Thursday, December 20, 2012
my shoe drop-part one
When you get pregnant after infertility/loss/ART you tend to feel like you are always expecting the other shoe to drop. Always holding your breath waiting to see if the news from the next phone call or appointment will be positive or negative. I spent my entire pregnancy with Piper waiting for the other shoe to drop. I held my breath between betas and then I held my breath between ultrasounds. I kept telling myself I would just hold my breath a little longer... Until 15 week, until 18 weeks, until 24 weeks. I basically had a countdown in my head at all times of how much longer I needed to stay pregnant in order for her to be OK. And the funny thing is NOTHING ever went wrong. But, I managed to rob myself of ever really enjoying my pregnancy. Even as I sat in a labor and delivery room, strapped to monitors, with a baby bassinet in view, I just could not imagine the reality of getting to bring a baby home. I ended up with post partum anxiety because of it. I had never really mentally prepared myself for a real live newborn in my house and, in the end, that's exactly what I got. It was all very alarming.
Fast forward to this pregnancy and, in light of what happened with Piper's pregnancy, I vowed to ENJOY this one. To enjoy every little milestone. One good beta? AWESOME! Another good beta? GREAT! Heartbeat? WOOHOO! A baby with limbs? YES! Negative first and second trimester screens? JACKPOT! Gender scan? IT'S A BOY, YAY! I even kept up running. I had to give it up a bit in October, but that was more because all I wanted to do after work was sit on the couch and try not to feel nauseous. I ran two 5ks (at 8 and 15 weeks) and even managed to only drop a minute off my PR. I was maintaining 15 mile weeks and feeling good about how chill I was being about everything. Somehow, I was enjoying my pregnancy! And I had even managed to accept that I would be bringing home a new baby in May. I was so blissed out on my pregnancy happiness that I didn't even give a second thought to my anatomy scan at my doctor's office. I had, after all, just had a private scan to look at the gender 2.5 weeks prior and everything looked great, so why should I worry? And then the other shoe dropped. Or maybe it just tumbled. Either way, it fell.
The tech starts the ultrasound and is measuring everything, telling us what she sees (spine, femur, heart, brain, pen.is) and then I start to notice something. My baby, my boy looks way more squished that I am used to seeing. Instead of seeing a sweet little profile shot, I see that my placenta is basically touching his nose and the bottom of my uterus is simultaneously touching his back. MY BABY IS SQUISHED! So, I ask the tech if he looks more squished than normal and in normal tech avoidance, she says, "Well, I've definitely seen baby's that are more squished." And then I start to panic. She has basically confirmed that he IS squished. I try to ask more questions, clearly making her uncomfortable, but I NEED to know why things look the way they do. I watch her measure quadrants of fluid and I try to keep track of the numbers, but I don't know what they mean. I ask her what low fluid means and she says it could be something with the baby's kidneys or bladder. She said she'll look to see if he has fluid in his stomach and bladder which would show that those organs are functioning. She looks at them, but doesn't say anything. At this point I'm almost in tears, terrified at what is going on. I keep asking her if she saw anything in his kidneys and she tells me it's more important for there to be something in his bladder. I press her to tell me what she saw and after assuring her I just want to make sure my baby is okay, she tells me that, yes, he does have fluid in his bladder. Phew. Still, the pictures she prints out confirm that this little boy, MY little boy does not have the "right" amount of fluid around him. I tell the tech how worried I am and ask her for more information, which she refuses to give me, and instead just says that if she saw anything concerning/dangerous she would have called the doctor in. She also says that they will probably follow up with me and have me come in for another ultrasound.
We leave. I sit quietly in the car and then I start madly goo.gling "low amniotic fluid, 18 weeks". It's not good. When we get back to our condo I hop on the laptop and do more goo.gling. I knew that I saw the number 8 on the screen at one point when she was looking at my fluid, so with that in mind, I am able to calm down a little. I read that 8 is not good, but it's not super dangerous, either. And, really, without solid data as to what the tech saw, I can't properly look up information. I call the doc's office every day until I am able to get the results from the nurse. On Thursday. At 5:30pm. She tells me that my amniotic fluid is fine. I ask for the number--93. I then ask for the range for normal--87-202. So, barely normal. She said it's nothing and the doc can go over my ultrasound in more detail at my next prenatal visit in 3.5 weeks. Um, no. I schedule an appointment to meet with him Monday, hoping that the low fluid was a fluke. Praying that after a week of no running and good hydration it will be well into the normal range.
I'll end there for now. I'll have part two up tomorrow.