Thursday, January 15, 2009

Almost full-term

Tomorrow I'll be 37 weeks pregnant with Faith. Because her lungs would be fully developed by now, she is considered a full-term baby. We have 3 weeks until our due date, but she may decide to come a little earlier or later than February 6th. Next week the doctor will be checking my cervix to see if it has softened or if I'm dilated at all, just so that we have an idea of how soon to expect her. My ob-gyn has doubts that I'll go into labour on my own. She is expecting that I'll need to be induced. If I am induced, she said that we could wait as long as Feb. 23rd to start my induction. So she is not expecting Faith to come out until late February. I don't know... I have a feeling she'll be popping out in a few weeks!

Now that I finished writing up my birth plan, I am feeling a little less anxious and a little more excited. And I actually feel like my wishes for the birth will be respected now. Not because the doctors changed their minds about anything, but because I have legal representation now :) Right to Life NB has hooked me up with a great lawyer who will represent me free of charge. That's all I will say about that. But needless to say, I am feeling much more at ease.

It is also comforting to know that it won't be the neonatologist looking after Faith once she is born. It will be the attending GP (it usually depends who is on-call at the time). My nurse practitioner has offered to attend the birth and will relay any info to my GP, who will step in if any decisions need to be made about Faith's care. They both have been very supportive of my wishes for this birth, so I'm not too worried. They don't treat Faith like a "fetus," they treat her like their second patient. As for the rest of the attending hospital staff, I have included a little warning in my birth plan that states:

Although Faith is expected to pass on within hours or days of birth, I expect her to receive all the care that a baby would normally receive. Understand that failure or refusal to deliver care to my child because of her infirmity will be considered discrimination, negligence, and ethical incompetence.

After I had that meeting with the ob-gyn and the neonatologist, I had some concerns about the kind of care that Faith and I would receive. That is why I decided to add that warning... the rest of the birth plan is much less stern, though!