Second, I had an epiphany yesterday evening as I was driving home from work. I had been worrying about what ifs all morning and then at some point in the day I became too busy to think about what ifs and I forgot and stopped worrying. Then, when I got in my car and had gone maybe a mile a little thought came: "Hey, remember your baby might have something wrong with it." It was the strangest thing because it really came as a little voice like that. And then without fail another little voice said, "You don't HAVE to think or worry about this. Why choose to worry about something you have no control over?" It was almost like having a devil and an angel on my shoulders like in cartoons. Now, its not like I didn't know worrying was a choice or that I'd never thought of that before, but for some reason it was different this time. It really became a choice this time. I don't know really how to explain it. And hopefully the next time I have something to worry about (because believe me, I will find something else to worry about) I will be able to make the same choice. It was like I finally saw worry for what it was - a thing draining me of vitality and love and joy and I was able to erase it just like that. I really don't know how else to explain it. I don't know if it was just a little tender mercy for me when I needed it most or if I am finally starting to learn how to deal with my worry wart complex or both, but whatever it was I'm glad because since then I have been able to focus on the things that matter, the things I have control over. I am hoping for the best outcome possible for this little girl and I am grateful for experiences that wake us up and remind us what we have to be grateful for and the power we have over our own thoughts and feelings.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I feel better now. I had my night of freaking out and now I'm good. I still don't know the results, but that's ok. Two things happened. First, it seems like every time I feel I have a worthy cause to throw a pity party over, I find out about someone who has it so so so much worse and I kind of wake up and realize whoa what are you crying about? I had that happen to me yesterday twice and I felt terribly ashamed of myself. Ashamed of the stink I was making about something that wasn't even an issue for sure. Something that most likely would end up being fine. Ashamed that it took someone else's pain to show me what I had/have to be grateful for. So, I kind of snapped out of it and looked at my life and had a bit of a change of heart.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I had my follow up ultrasound today. I don't know the results yet. Oh how I wish that they would just let me see a doctor so I didn't have to play this waiting game! I was able to see the screen this time (whether the technician knew it or not I'm not sure). At first I thought oh haha now I can figure things out on my own without having to wait! YIPEE!! Then after watching, I realized this was not a good thing. I figured out that on the screen it showed the gestational age for each measurement. I only figured this out towards the end so I only saw the last few measurements. But those last few measurements just fueled my worry. I know they take multiple measurements since there is so much room for error the bigger the baby gets so, like I said, I'm only going off the last few I saw, which probably isn't a good idea in itself. But nonetheless, I looked and I saw and now I'm worried. The measurement I saw for her head was 34 weeks and some days. Not bad. I am supposedly 35 weeks and 3 days so about a week or so behind, which I think is considered pretty normal (but we already knew her head was normal). The measurement I saw for her femur, however, was at 32 weeks and some days. That is quite a bit smaller. And thanks to google - or no thanks to google - a short femur length is a marker for down syndrome. Yay something else to add to my list of worries. I didn't catch a gestational age for her abdomen but I think I remember the cm measurement and from what I remember it put her abdomen at about the same gestational age as her femur - 32ish weeks - small again. Now I'm hoping that if I'm right about that measurement that her abdomen still grew. Since my last ultrasound was at 32 weeks and it was smaller at that time then a measurement of 32 weeks 3 weeks later would indicate some growth right? And yes, I do notice a lot of problems with my logic. First, I'm going off only the few measurements I saw. Second, I have nothing to compare it to since I never got the actual measurements from my last ultrasound so for all I know she could be growing right on target, just on the small side. And third, I could have read or understood these all completely wrong. Oh WHY DID I LOOK? There's a reason they usually turn the screen away from you. I want another level II ultrasound so I can have a real live doctor show me and tell me everything. UGH! Stupid Kaiser. This time when they call I'm asking for a detailed rundown of everything! I don't want to be left in the dark again. I hope they call soon. Oh please oh please call soon!
Monday, May 16, 2011
Seriously this is getting ridiculous! Today I had a prenatal appointment and my measurements were "ok" and the heart rate was good. When I asked him about the ultrasound results he told me she measured in the 45th percentile. I'm not sure if that means weight, height or both. Anyway, that is a decent measurement. Then as I was waiting for the nurse to schedule my next appointment he called me back into his office and told me that while her head had measured fine, her abdomen had been small. What in the world!? Then why did the nurse call me and tell me that everything looked good?? She even said that she had a perinatologist look at it. She assured me several times that everything was good. So WHAT IS GOING ON? Again, I didn't have the wherewithal to ask him any of that or how small her abdomen was. All I know is that it's small enough to cause him some concern. And not sure if that's a serious concern or a "just in case" kind of concern like last time. Anyway, he did tell me that this could mean asymmetrical IUGR which is usually a problem with the placenta. Because the brain is a vital organ it gets the majority of the blood so the head grows, but the lesser organs (aka bowel, liver, skin, etc) get placed on the back burner and she doesn't develop as much fat. Another term is "chronically starved." Isn't that a lovely phrase? I'm gaining weight like crazy, but she isn't! Anyway, he ordered another ultrasound to check the growth of the abdomen. The poopy part is that you need at least 3 weeks between ultrasounds to get an accurate rate of growth so it won't be for about another 2 weeks. That is a much longer wait then last time.
The good news is that asymmetrical IUGR is better than symmetrical IUGR. Symmetrical IUGR is usually a problem with the baby and it develops during the beginning of pregnancy, while asymmetrical IUGR is a problem with the mother/placenta and it develops during the third trimester. Basically, her brain and major organs should be ok it's just me starving her and her poor lesser organs aren't developing like they should! Most the time the babies catch up in weight and height within the first year. As far as I read there are little to no developmental delays (since the brain is spared - actually it's called the brain sparing effect) and that most asymmetrical babies have an excellent long term prognosis. Labor and right after delivery for these babies is the scariest part. Because the placenta isn't working well, these babies have a higher chance of all sorts of complications and labor has to be monitored very closely. Apgar scores can be lower, they have a higher chance of spending time in the NICU and all sorts of other things. Sometimes, depending on severity and what not, a c section is the better option. Even then these babies have a harder time right after birth. Still birth and post birth mortality rates are also higher, but not by too much. I think as long as they monitor you closely you're fine. There are obviously chances that the organs that got kind of left out will have problems too, but over time those generally catch up and gain all normal function. Some studies show babies with asymmetrical IUGR have a higher chance of developing hyperactivity, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, but if that is the case its just a higher chance and we can combat that with good eating habits and exercise. The other good thing is that if this next ultrasound does give her a diagnosis of asymmetrical IUGR I will be 36 weeks and some days so even if they do have to take her I'll be practically full term. Much better than the 32 weeks I was last time. I think induction is the usual course of action depending on the severity of the IUGR since she isn't getting the nutrients she needs from me and can get them better from the NICU. Sometimes I think they prescribe bedrest if it's not too bad. UGH! But being as far along as I will be it wouldn't be for too terribly long. All in all, it isn't the worst diagnosis in the world and for the most part babies with asymmetrical IUGR end up perfectly healthy and normal. I don't have ANY of the risk factors that can contribute to asymmetrical IUGR so hopefully this is nothing. I'm trying not to worry and I'm praying that her abdomen catches up and that this ultrasound shows normal growth and that this was another "just in case" from a very careful doctor. I am grateful that he is so careful and double checks everything. I'd much rather have these extra ultrasounds and deal with a little worry then have a serious problem get overlooked. She may be here sooner than we think - or may not. I'll know in a couple weeks.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Could my third trimester possibly go any slower? I'm 34 weeks todayish. Remember when I was 30 weeks? Yeah, me too. And that feels like an eternity ago - not just 4 weeks. Sometimes I feel like I'm never going to have this baby. I'm just going to be pregnant the rest of my life! Come on June. Get here already! The sad part is once June finally does get here I still have almost the entire month to wait. And I really do want to wait. As tired as I am of being pregnant I am not one of those women that reach 37 weeks and starts trying to induce labor. I have a firm belief that the closer to your due date, the better for your baby. There's a reason pregnancy goes 40 weeks. And that reason is not just to drive you crazy, although that is definitely accomplished in the process. At least at 37 weeks I can stop worrying about preterm labor. This girl is so low that sometimes I feel like she might just fall out.
Aside from the pregnancy doldrums I feel really good. My pelvic pain is gone, she moves, and because she is so low I can breathe pretty well. I mean really for 34 weeks I am doing good. I have a lot to be grateful for and then I get all bummed that I have six weeks left and then I get more bummed that I'm not enjoying every minute of pregnancy. Is it ok to not enjoy every minute of pregnancy - especially when your pregnancy is going so well? Shouldn't I be rejoicing and shouting my joy from the rooftops? Can't I be bummed and rejoiceful at the same time? Grateful yet ready? Happy yet bored? Cuz that's what I am. I am both of all those things. Well, I guess I can be all those things, I just need to focus on the more positive aspect of my pregnancy conundrums. So here's to six more weeks of an AWESOME, STUPENDOUS, FANTASTIC, MARVELOUS pregnancy. (and I really do hope it's six more weeks - no more no less).
Sunday, May 8, 2011
On Friday I got the results of my ultrasound. By then I wasn't too nervous anymore. I figured that had there been something wrong or at least something really wrong they would have called me. However, I still got a really nervous feeling when I saw the number on my phone. Luckily, everything looks great! Amniotic fluid levels, her growth, everything!! I am so grateful that she is ok! And I am so grateful for prayers! I'm getting so excited to meet this little girl!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
They called me yesterday to schedule an appointment!! What a relief! I was about to go insane thinking I would have to wait 48-72 hours just to schedule my appointment, which is what they initially told me. Ok Kaiser you have redeemed yourself. And even better: they were able to fit me in yesterday evening! Double points Kaiser. The only bad part: The ultrasound was with a technician, not a doctor, so I still don't really know anything. The technician said if there was something to worry about I would get a phone call in the next couple days, otherwise I would discuss the results with my doctor at my next appt. Which is in two weeks - boo. Patience is not one of my finer qualities. After tomorrow it will have been a "couple days" so I'm still kind of waiting in anticipation. I'm hoping that if something were really wrong, like something that could be causing the baby distress, they would have called me by now. That seems like a fair assumption, right? The fun part: I got to see her and actually got a picture this time around! I will have to scan it in so I can post it. She's really low - like I thought - and her head is down, which is good. He did say she had a strong heart beat! She is still moving quite a bit and that is usually a good sign.
In other baby news: I think I had some braxton hicks contractions today. It seemed like every time I stood up everything would harden up, but I don't know if that was my uterus or just the baby pushing against my stomach. I don't remember ever having any with Tyler so it's hard for me to tell. I've been taking it easy tonight just to make sure though.
I also have almost no pelvic bone pain today! YIPEE!! I can move!! I don't know why it has gotten so much better, if she moved, or it moved or what, but I won't question it. I'm just happy I can move without wincing in pain. Let's hope this sticks around.
Anyway, I will update more as soon as I know anything, which will hopefully be soon.
Monday, May 2, 2011
This baby is destined to give me premature gray hair. First, and far less important, my literal pain in the bum became almost incapacitating yesterday. Everything was fine in the morning, but at some point in the afternoon I did something that did something to my pelvic bone that made every single movement nearly unbearable. I spent the evening in tears as I tried to do things that only amounted to more pain. The tears continued as I was unable to do something as simple as lift my baby onto the couch to cuddle with me. Mark had to take over and do all the night time routines and put Tyler to bed. It's amazing what all of a sudden becomes important when you can't do it anymore. There were definitely nights previous to this that I wished Mark would take over so I could relax. Last night I realized how much it meant to me that I could be the one to brush Tyler's teeth, read him a story, sing him a song, rock him, and put him to bed with a kiss. I just cried and cried as I listened to Mark do it. So some of it was probably the hormones, but I started imagining what the next 8 weeks would be like if I couldn't do all the things that I was used to doing. That, obviously, brought on more tears. I finally went to bed to mope in my misery. It was some point after this that a streak of stubborness finally kicked in. I have 8 more weeks of this pregnancy, give or take, and I will not live like this. So I started practicing how to move, how to support my pelvic bone and tail bone so that the pain wasn't as severe. I also asked Mark for a blessing and prayed my own little heart out that I would be able to persevere through this and be blessed to know how to manage so I could still be my baby's mommy. This morning, though still in pain, things are better. I have learned a few new techniques that allow me to move more freely. I am so grateful that so far I am still able to get around and, for the most part, do things. I've even been able to pick up Tyler and play with him - albeit in a slightly modified manner. I hope that I will continue to learn and be able to work through this.
Now for the other news. I had a regular prenatal appt today and I had planned on focusing the majority of my appt on my pelvic pain and what to do about that. Well, she had other plans. The second the doctor started measuring and doing the outside palpations I could tell he was concerned. My heart sank - what now? He asked me how big Tyler had been at birth, how tall Mark and I were, how her movements were. He then told me that from his guess and measurements she was measuring small for her gestational age. He wanted me to go in for another ultrasound to check her growth and the amniotic fluid level. The water works were about to start up again. ANOTHER ultrasound? My little heart can't handle anymore scares with her! My immediate thought went back to my level II ultrasound that I had had earlier. Isn't measuring small a marker for all the defects they had been looking for then? Had they missed something? Was something actually wrong with her? As my mind swam, the doctor continued to tell me that it was a small suspicion since she was still moving well, but he wanted to make sure. ANd even if she did measure small, chances were she was just a small baby. So he left and I gathered my things all of a sudden horrifically aware of how menial my stupid pelvic pain was. Who cares about me! UGH! Life has a way of showing you what's most important when you start whining about something that's not. Anyway, pretty much what they are looking for is a problem called IUGR - intrauterine growth restriction. It could mean so many things it makes me want to scream. It could be nothing more than a small baby or on the other hand it could be a chromosomal defect (like the ones they were looking for earlier) or a problem with the placenta. It could also be something related to my health, but I don't smoke or drink and I don't have any of the pregnancy induced health risks such as hypertension, diabetes, etc etc - so most likely its one of the other three options. Now I just wait - - again. They said they'd call me within the next 72 hours to schedule my ultrasound, so I have no idea when it's going to be. Hopefully soon. And hopefully, like last time, it's with a doctor rather than a technician so I can find out DURING the ultrasound what's going on rather than having to wait longer for someone to call me and tell me. I am so ready to have her and have all this drama over with! I know there are different things to worry about once she's here and believe me if there is something to worry about, I'll find it. But I just want her here! Not early of course, but I just want the next 8 weeks or so to go by fast. I pray that she's just small and that everything is fine!