Friday, October 14, 2011

An Open Letter to Baby Z (34 weeks & change)

So here I am, trying to get caught up on what exactly has been going on with this pregnancy. I was so much better about it with Holden…but things are just different this time. That said, you know how sometimes you blog to document but it’s more for yourself than the blogosphere? Yes, this is one of those occasions. I feel like I should be apologizing for the length of this post, but again, it's really more for me than for you…though as always, you are welcome to partake.

October 3, 2011 at 32 weeks+5 days and obviously counting.

This baby has obviously not "dropped" yet.

Dear Baby Z,

I know I haven’t spent a lot of time documenting your awesome adventures, but the truth is, I feel like we’ve needed to be a little private about you.

Thanks to absurd amounts of technology, the medical community can now scare a mother into thinking hers is a high risk pregnancy without anything ever really being wrong!

I think you know the gist of it, but just to fill you in on a few of the details since you probably won’t remember:

Early in the pregnancy our caregivers were concerned I might have placenta acreta. Yes, super rare…but it is a condition where the placenta is low lying and attaches to the cesarean scar…complications usually range from blood transfusion to DNC or hysterectomy depending on level of severity, regardless of how the baby is delivered. Months ago they shared this bad news with us and so we played the waiting game – “Will it be attached?” “Will it not?” Is mommy going to lose more blood than having her arm ripped off like Grendel from Beowolf? (I was actually informed this can be the case as there is so much blood concentrated in the area, and scar tissue, unlike uterine wall tissue does not contract and close off, in essence).

With a few exceptions, we basically kept this concern on the down-low until we had more information from the follow-up ultrasound (we didn’t want to alarm anyone until we had a better idea of what we were up against).

Ah, were my hopes and dreams for a physiological birth thwarted again? Not necessarily… Baby’s delivery still appeared to be fine, and I was still a candidate for VBAC. It was the afterbirth that was the problem (how exactly does it detach?). The recommendation was that if it was attached that I still try for a vaginal birth, but get an epidural because I’d need to be medicated for an emergency procedure in the OR…and if I wasn’t medicated that meant being knocked out for the procedure and thus, seriously delayed bonding time for baby. (Obviously if it’s between au natural and bonding, I’m going with bonding...feel like I totally got robbed on that one with Holden, and I didn't even have to be put under for my cesarean.)

Thankfully, we we’re thrilled to discover that our prayers had been answered and the placenta was not attached to scar tissue! Huzzah…looks like everything is turning up Sabrena, right?

Well they just couldn’t leave it at that. While the placenta attached where my c-section scar ended, the ultrasound had revealed that I had now been diagnosed with “Polyhydramnios” -- which is a fancy word for “too much amniotic fluid.”

What’s the big deal about that? I mean, usually people don’t have enough fluid – that’s the concern. Apparently I’m just so good at pregnancy that my body’s producing extra fluid to cushion your kicks, squirms and hiccups even more, right?

Well, not exactly….

Turns out the condition can lead to complications from uterine rupture to premature birth or stillbirth. The cause of the condition is unknown – apparently some women just have more fluid, sometimes it’s caused from a birth defect in the baby or diabetes in the mother. But neither of those seem to be a likely cause (I was actually showing low in my glucose test, and from all these ultrasounds all your parts (heart, lungs, kidneys) seem to be functioning well Z, so we’re not really leaning towards a genetic birth defect.)

The truth is, yes, my levels are still high, but you look healthy – I feel you moving a ton, and you’re developing right on schedule...

We’re getting Non-Stress-Tests (NST) weekly to make sure you’re ok. And even though I feel you moving a lot, you still managed to change positions so much at last Friday’s appointment that in 45 minutes you weren’t hitting their ‘marks’ – thus qualifying us for yet another ultrasound and discussions about being admitted to the hospital for overnight monitoring.

Me to Darling Ultrasound Tech: “Admitted? What do you mean admitted?”

D.U.T: “Well, admit you to the hospital for overnight monitoring.”

Me: “What?!?!”

See, I figured I was going in for a routine 20 minute NST, and nearly three hours later they were talking about possibilities of an overnight stay if you didn’t show them you could practice your breathing for 30 seconds.

Although you pretty much waited until the very last few minutes of our half-an-hour window, we passed! Not sure what that says about you, but better cooperation next time would be greatly appreciated from your mother, her nerves and crazed-hormonal-pregnancy-emotions.

Your father, always the tender heart, had made his way to the hospital and surprised me at the ultrasound. It was one of those times I didn’t want to need him, but I was so glad her was there. It’s amazing the power that comes from having your hand held by your best friend. (Remember this when you find the love of your life).

So I guess I’m done “bragging” about my easy pregnancies. The truth is, I don’t get bad morning sickness…I don’t really throw up. I don’t need fluids, and I can remain pretty active throughout my entire pregnancy. But everyone has their own cross to bear when it comes to conception, pregnancy, labor and delivery. I'm learning it doesn't mean it's easy/'s just different. At one time I figured we'd have a 5 or 6 person family; emotionally, I think you may be our cut off point, Z. Mommy's had a difficult time dealing with the "what if's," and it's been no picnic for Dad either.

But yes, still hoping for a physiological birth with you - no meds, no O.R. and no complications would be ideal, but as I learned with your brother, my wants are not always reality. Our main goal - healthy baby, healthy mama.

I love you Baby Z. Hope to see you in about six weeks.


lichelle said...

You look so good!

My goodness what a roller coaster pregnancy and birth are. I wish you the best of luck.

Much love,

QNC said...

Liked this post. Love learning about all of this. I have a gorg picture of you from this weekend I'll try to post for you. You look like super cool.

The Lamoreauxs said...

It's nice to hear that pregnancy isn't peaches and cream for other people too, and every pregnancy is different. Brett & I had a hard time even getting pregnant and I felt like the only one...but you are right, the important thing isn't the journey going exactly the way you planned but the end result of a happy healthy baby. Good luck, can't wait to hear!