The Michelin Woman

Written by Pat on September 19th, 2008

On Tuesday Shae had yet another doctor appointment. Actually, she had a non-stress test and a doctor’s appointment. A few people have asked what the hell a non-stress test (or a “nst” for the cool people) is. Basically, Shae sits in a chair with three monitors strapped to her belly (one for each baby and one to monitor contractions) and drinks apple juice while listening to the babies’ heart beats. Every so often the babies kick the monitors and it sounds like someone is smacking a microphone. This goes on for about 45 minutes or so. Very exciting. On the bright side, I got to read “The War Of The Wizards” (don’t worry, the wizards worked it all out in the end) and a Scooby Doo story (don’t worry, Scooby and Shaggy got to the bottom of the mystery) while I waited.

Anyway, back to Tuesday’s doctor’s appointment. After the excitement of last Wednesday we thought we might be scheduling a C-section at the appointment so I tagged along again. After dealing with several crazy old guys trying to run me down in the parking lot I finally made it up to the office. Eventually we got into the little exam room and the nurse took Shae’s blood pressure and then told Shae to drop trou and put a sheet on. A while later the doctor came in and we got our normal look at the kids (not nearly as cool as it seemed before we started going to the specialist with the good ultrasound). So far, so good.

Then things got awkward. In a scene reminiscent of a bad trip through customs, the doctor threw on some rubber gloves and went under the sheet. Shae’s responses indicated this was not a gentle exam. After about 30 seconds of Shae wincing, the doctor’s head popped back out from under the sheet and she said, “Oh yeah, he’s not head down so you’re having a C-section. I guess we don’t really need to do that.” We did learn that Shae is about 1.5 cm dilated, which I guess doesn’t really mean much at all other than the babies could be coming anytime from soon to a few weeks. We could have figured that out without violating my wife.

After the gloves were taken off we got into how Shae’s doing. She’s swollen, having headaches (occasionally, not all the time), and basically is getting pretty tired of being pregnant. I guess her blood pressure was higher than normal because they made her lie down and then came back about 15 minutes later and took it again. It must have been OK on the second take because the doctor didn’t seem all that concerned. As she was finishing up, she just gave us some general instructions: “Continue bedrest and call us and come right in if she experiences headaches or blurry vision, gets a pain in her right side, or she starts looking like the Michelin woman.” The doctor put it all in the computer, told us to make an appointment for next week, and said her goodbyes.

After she left, Shae and I just kind of looked at each other. Our first reaction was the same: “You’re/I’m on bedrest?!?” I’m not sure how Shae missed the memo (I’m blaming her since I’ve been avoiding most of the appoinments lately), but somehow we weren’t aware Shae was supposed to be on bedrest. Of course, her version of “active” is pretty much couch-rest so I think we’re OK. It also occurred to us we might have trouble spotting the other symptoms as well since she has headaches all the time (pregnant or not) and the pain in her right side is named Ella. As far as the “Michelin woman”, all we could come up with for that is the doctor meant to be worried if she woke up white and puffy. Shae and I both agreed that white and puffy pretty much describes her right now so I’m not sure how we’ll tell.

So right now we’re kind of in a holding pattern. The babies will be 37 weeks on Monday, which according to Shae is “fully baked” so we’re hoping to hold out until then. I’m hoping they make it until at least Tuesday because the Chargers play Monday night and I don’t want to watch the game on the little hospital room TV.

Here’s a pic of Shae at 36.5 weeks. Still looking great. We also uploaded some new pics of the baby room over in the baby stuff gallery.

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