Having a uterine malformation means that no pregnancy of mine will ever be considered truly normal. Pregnancies in a bicornuate uterus are usually treated as high-risk. But visit after visit, Dr. K. comes into the room beaming after my ultrasound. "Everything looks great!" No opening or thinning of the cervix. No growth restriction in the fetus. Ideal levels of amniotic fluid. And the placenta previa that was threatening my chances of a having vaginal birth has resolved itself. "Perfectly normal!"
I wonder how many "perfectly normal" pregnancies my perinatologists see. They're trained to care for very ill mothers, and complicated fetal problems requiring in-utero intervention. These doctors do fetal surgery! It's hard not to feel guilty for taking up their time.
At my most recent appointment, Dr. K. did a fetal fibronectin test. I had never heard of this, but in the time between my office visit and hearing the message that the test had come back negative ("Very reassuring," the nurse said) I had myself thoroughly convinced that something could be wrong.
"This is starting to feel like...a lot," I told Beth when I saw her that same afternoon. (I have one weekday that's easiest in terms of childcare, and because ultrasounds are every two weeks and visits with my midwife have been every four weeks up to this point, I often end up seeing a perinatologist and a midwife on the same day.) "It's more than I thought."
More checks. More tests. More wondering.
Beth just nodded. She's been catching babies and caring for mothers 10 years longer than I've been alive. I can't even begin to imagine the many, extraordinarily different pregnancies she's seen. She's not concerned about my not-really-but-sort-of-"high-risk" status. Her next question was, "Have you ordered your home birth kit?"