And the moral is, don’t get too comfortable

posted by Mel

Rough ultrasound yesterday afternoon. I am fine. Simone is fine-perfect for now. Just small (a little over 2 lbs right now and in only the 4th percentile over-all). But definitely growth-restricted and, as a result, stressed out. The umbilical cord is not keeping up as well as we’d like it to with its single artery. The doctor said that they will, best-case scenario, take her at 37 weeks. There’s a 50% likelihood that she will have to be taken before that. The short-term goal is to get to at least 34 weeks.

From now on I have to go into the hospital twice/week for non-stress tests (to monitor her heart rate) and biophysical exams-short ultrasounds where they take a look at her movement and blood flow through the umbilical cord. Blood isn’t moving through it fast enough, and that’s why she’s not growing as she should be. At some point it will probably begin to fail and the blood might start moving in the opposite direction. If that happens it will be crucial to get her out as soon as possible. One of these days I will probably go in for a biophysical exam and they’ll tell me I have to be induced either right then or within 48 hours. Worst-case scenario it has to be immediate and I have to have a C-section for some reason. If that happens, because the blood thinner will not have had time to cycle out of my system and I can’t be given a spinal block, I’d have to be put under general anesthesia, so I’d be asleep for the birth. I would HATE that. She’d go straight to the NICU, and I wouldn’t even get to see her.

The odd thing is I feel great, and the doctor said there was no reason for me to go on bed rest-won’t help. There’s nothing I can do to make it better or easier on Simone. The perinatologist says that stressed out babies like Simone fight, kick, and get strong earlier than babies that are not stressed out. Her body will throw crucial development into overdrive; so her lungs are probably maturing earlier than other babies. We could see her practicing breathing yesterday on the ultrasound. When she comes out, she’ll likely be pretty healthy despite being early. Unless she can make it to 5 lbs before she’s born (unlikely), though-she’s going to spend some time in the NICU. They won’t let her come home. I’m very unhappy about that. It’s not how I planned on spending our first few weeks of life together, but we’ll do what we have to do.

I went in thinking everything was fine. I even got through the entire ultrasound believing things were fine, even if she was small. I had no clue anything was wrong until the doc came in and told us, with a bright grin, that this baby was coming early whether we liked it or not. For the first time in my reproductive history, I was speechless and unable to listen and interact proactively with my care provider– unable to process what I was hearing. Vanessa had to ask all of the questions. She was really wonderful, and I’m so glad she was there. I had to go over the information with her a couple of times with the doctor out of the room before I could begin to process it. This morning I sat down with her again to review what she heard and what I heard.

I think Simone’s going to be OK-eventually. It sounds like, if we can make it to at least 34 weeks, there are unlikely to be any long-term effects. What I’m most upset about is the loss of my dream for our early weeks together. She’ll be in the hospital. That’s how I’m going to spend my maternity leave. I worry that we’ll have problems establishing our bond and that breastfeeding is going to be a huge struggle. I am trying to adjust my expectations.

Tempering all this, I have looked at her 4-D ultrasound pics from yesterday a million times. Sorry– no time to post them at the moment. She is absolutely beautiful. She has gained flesh and has a long upper lip. Her thighs and calves are delicately curved and perfect. My favorite part of her is her long skinny well-formed foot. Cannot wait to touch and kiss those tiny toes.

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16 Comments

Filed under Preggo, Young'n

16 responses to “And the moral is, don’t get too comfortable

  1. MT

    My thoughts are with all of you. And to a healthy baby Simone.

  2. i hope that the placenta holds out and simone can come when she is good and ready, no one likes to be rushed. we’re thinking of you gals – sending you love and hopes for another month and a half till kickoff.

  3. oh, how scary. but it sounds like you will be closely watched and there is a Plan. i’ll be thinking good blood-flowing thoughts for Simone, hoping she fattens up like a little piglet so she is pink and round before she has to leave your shelter.

  4. vee

    Oh Melody 😦 Really not what you wanted to hear, I’m sure. It’s good that Simone is very likely to come out of this with no long term effects, but what a scary prospect you’re facing. I know you’ll handle it admirably and do whatever your little girl needs you to do to get through this, but it really seems so unfair.

  5. nutella

    Wow, what rough news. I’m so glad that you have the care that all of you need. Snuggle in there Simone, and grow grow grow!

  6. That is a scary bit of information. It sounds like they’re on top of it and have a plan in place to make sure that Simone stays healthy and grows as much as she can before it’s time to be born.

    I can’t wait to hear about you touching and kissing those tiny toes, and about how she’s even more perfect when she comes out than she is while inside you.

  7. missanthropy

    It’s definitely not something you want to hear, but I know she’ll be fine. She just has to do all of her extra growing later, not now. 🙂 Maybe 20 years ago you’d have to worry about something like this, but I know both of you will be in good hands, no matter what!

  8. Amy

    it sounds like though stressful everything is going to be just fine. i’m most comfortable with what the perinatologist had to say. little babies fight hard, what a relief! i found comfort in those words and hope you did too. hope you have a nice weekend!

  9. Lo

    You are just amazing in your reactions to the twists and turns of life. Simone is one lucky babe.

  10. You may know that I am dealing with a growth restriction issue myself. It’s due to a velamentous cord insertion. I am only on weekly NST and BPPs for now, but that can change at anytime. We’ve lost a few percentage points in growth, sitting at 34% now.

    Will be hoping for Simone to get as much nutrients as possible. ~hugs~

  11. giggleblue

    oh, mel, i’m sorry that this is all happening to you. i hope that simone will hold out for as long as possible, and continue to grow and mature her little lungs. i just know she’s going to be perfect!

    its tough to deal with the fact that sometimes things don’t go as well as we would like, so i’m sending you warm wishes while hoping for the ultimate best!

  12. Io

    Oh Melody, I’m sorry poor Simone has to go through this. Poor kid. She is a fighter though and even if her beginning is rough and you don’t have the birth you want, she’s going to be an awesome kid. With kissable little toes.
    I’m glad you’re feeling ok.

  13. Co

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with this, but you really are again showing just how great a mom you will be. Flexibility is key. It’s good that you are able to be flexible, even though, yes, this isn’t how you wanted this to go.

    Hugs. You can get through this, too.

  14. Carolyn

    I’m sending positive vibes for that cord to stay strong as long as possible. I’m glad to hear that she is looking good and that you are feeling well. I hope that she arrives safely and in good time and doesn’t have to spend much time in the NICU. She sure is a little fighter. 🙂

  15. jay here, dipping in late to send love and say i am so sorry that this is happening. and yeah, i think you’re fab too xx

  16. Oh darling, I can’t imagine how overwhelming this is. I’ve been thinking of you and your growing family. I’m not surprised at all to hear you’ve got a fighter. Much love to you and in utero time to Simone. You are such a good mum.

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