Van, like his sister, gave us a completely uneventful pregnancy, except that it was a little longer than usual (10 days late the first, 9 days the second). Unlike his sister, he then decided to scare the bejeesus out of everyone on his way out.
We are 0 for 2 for birth center births. We were transferred from the birth center to the hospital with Nuvy, after a very long and dysfunctional labor, but decided to try again for the home-y, jacuzzi-equipped, birth center birth of my dreams with baby #2. I had all my prenatal care with the wonderful, WONDERFUL midwives at The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr, PA. Without exception, they rock. Julia, one of my rockin' midwives, delivered Van at Bryn Mawr Hospital, but that's getting ahead of myself.
At 7 days past due, Van got an A+ on his "non-stress test", which is a physiological assessment based on fetal heart rate and movement to determine whether or not the uterine apartment is still up to code. No problem, so no eviction.
Day 9 started busy. Nuvy was scheduled to spend the afernoon with her Baba--my mother-in-law--who was and is my local lifeline when this mommy thing gets hairy (as it does when you're well past due with a busy toddler under foot) so our usual routine was a little accelerated to get ready for the special outing. It was only after Nuvy left that I noticed a weird silence in me belly, and it hit me that I hadn't felt a single squirm or kick all day. I immediately gorged myself on high-octane Indian restaurant leftovers and lay down on my left side (I'm an avid reader of alarmist prenatal literature, so I knew just what to do).
I waited almost two hours.
Nothing. I called.
As I drove myself to the birth center, my mental tire swing oscillated between feeling like an overwrought jackass for asking to make an unsceduled and probably unnecessary prenatal visit in a very busy practice, and wondering what I would say to all the people who kept asking if I'd had "that baby yet", when it turned out that there wasn't going to be any baby after all.
Unable to contain myself, I called my poor husband to share my terror, and told him through my sobs that I was terrified, and that there was nothing he could do. Nice, huh?
Yes, there was actually a knot in his umbilical cord. See how dark it is above the knot, and how pale below? EEK! Several of the childbirth professionals present had never seen one before. The midwife said she'd seen one or two--ever. But for all that apparent lack of blood flow (which must have tightened up at the VERY end, or ... I can't even think of it), he seemed the picture of health.
To make a too-long story short, he is the picture of health, but there were some complications. In the end, after a five day stay in the NICU and a couple of brain imaging scans, he was pronounced normal-looking and sent home with the same lifetime guarantee everybody else gets.