No no, I haven't had the baby yet! But after a big day yesterday with two different doctors (my regular doctor and the ultrasound doctor) we came to the conclusion that a scheduled C-section is the safest way for Simba to enter the world.
My doctor was really nervous that the baby hasn't flipped yet because as we get closer to my due date the risks increase should I go into natural labor. She wanted us to schedule the c-section right away but we asked for another ultrasound first. When I had the ultrasound yesterday the doctor found that Simba has gained 2 lbs in the last 3 weeks, has almost no room left in utero to move around, and that there is very little amniotic fluid left to help facilitate the flip. In other words, it is very, very unlikely (especially given everything we've tried) that Simba will flip. This baby is staying breech! And like my regular doc, the ultrasound doc recommended that we have the surgery before the end of this week because the risks will only increase as we get into my 40th week.
I had a minor emotional breakdown that sounded something like, "I don't want to have surgery in Kenya!" But after talking to my childbirth-experienced sister, my parents, and most of all Kristoffer, I realized that it is not worth it to wait until next week to hope for a very unlikely flip and increase the chances of having a very dramatic or traumatic childbirth experience. Especially because we are in Kenya - where we are happy and confident in the medical care I've received so far but are still nervous about having an emergency here - scheduling the surgery makes much more sense than leaving the situation to chance. Kristoffer and I also had our first moments of parental guilt yesterday. All of the crazy efforts we were trying to flip the baby - and believe me, some of them were CRAZY - did yield a lot of baby movement; Simba was probably trying to flip like we wanted him/her to do but given the accommodations in there just couldn't do it! We hope we didn't cause our baby too much stress and spent last night apologizing to the belly repeatedly. Needless to say, all flipping efforts have ceased.
My c-section has been scheduled for this Thursday February 26th at 3pm (Kenya time). The doctor couldn't get an operating room on Friday or Saturday and didn't want to wait any longer than that. We think this is a pretty special date to have a baby because it is Kristoffer's grandmother's (Mormor Karen's) 85th birthday and what a gift we can give her! Tomorrow morning I am meeting with my doctor and the anesthesiologist to sort of prep for Thursday. We go into the hospital at 8:30am on Thursday morning for pre-op blood work and all that jazz, and then the baby will be born. I've heard that it takes 15 minutes to get the little one out :)
Since we adjusted to the idea that this is really happening, we have both been giddy with excitement. I could barely sleep last night and when I did sleep I was having surgical dreams. Kristoffer had a very hard time getting himself to work this morning. It is funny to be planning and waiting and planning and waiting, and then to all of the sudden know the exact hour when we will actually have our baby with us in the world.
My parents will be joining us in Kenya on Monday night; I was already very grateful that they were coming, but especially having the c-section I am glad that they will be around to help me and Simba recover and adjust to our new life. Kristoffer will be off from work through next week and will save the rest of his paternity leave for our trips home to Denmark and the US in June.
Again, this is not exactly the way I pictured the whole thing going and having surgery in Kenya has never been on my to do list ("But you're so good at having surgery!" Kristoffer told me), but I have gotten good at rolling with the punches and Simba's health and well-being is the most important thing in the world to both of us. So we will have this surgery and will soon have ourselves a healthy baby on our hands.
The next big surprise will be: lion or lioness?!