Monday August 8th, 2016
Surprise! Baby Girl decided to throw us another curveball.
I woke up this morning excited to see my little girl once again. It was time for our weekly BPP with the Perinatologist (high risk pregnancy doctor). As I bounced into the exam room I wasn’t thinking of anything but seeing her precious face on the screen. Little did I know that I’d be seeing it in person a lot sooner than I was expecting!
The tech went through our normal routine. Baby Girl was wiggling around as usual and her little lungs were practicing their breathing. She seemed to be passing with flying colors from my point of view! These appointments always have me smiling after watching her for prolonged periods of time. However, my smile quickly faded when my doctor cautiously stepped into the room after the exam. She usually makes a beeline for the ultrasound machine and takes a peek through my belly as she gives me an update. This morning was different. She closed the door and sat in the chair directly next to me. Something was up.
Baby Girl had dropped into the 5th percentile for growth. This is something that I was afraid of, but never really believed that it would happen. The exam also showed that there were some abnormal doppler readings with the blood flow in her umbilical cord and brain.
Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) is to blame. Basically, my placenta has started to poop out and Baby Girl will do better on the outside than she will on the inside. We were going to have a baby soon.
“Nothing too urgent… We don’t need to take her today, but we can’t wait until next week.”
I’m sure my face was priceless when they told me that we’d have a baby this week. I was completely thrown off.
I felt the tears rush to my eyes. I felt excited. Thrilled. I’d have my baby girl this week! As the doctor handed me a tissue, thoughts of what she must look like passed through my head. I pictured her in my arms.
Then the reality of IUGR hit. I knew very little. Through my tears, I admitted that I didn’t know if I was crying because I was excited or scared. “All of the above, I’m sure,” was her reply. She was right.
I had so many questions:
Is she okay?
Was this something I did?
Was this related to Down syndrome?
How do we fix this?
Apparently IUGR is more common with high-risk pregnancies like ours and even though I live a healthy lifestyle, there was nothing else I could have done to prevent this from happening. The good news is that Baby Girl is healthy right now. The goal is to keep her that way. Since my placenta isn’t giving her what she needs anymore, we need to get her out so she can continue to grow & thrive.
The plan was to see my regular obstetrician within a few hours so she could check for dilation and we could choose a date to induce labor. I was planning on a Wednesday admittance to the hospital and induction on Thursday morning.
I was early for my appointment. I strolled up to the front desk and found out that the doc had already been out looking for me. I found this odd and my heart picked up the pace. I was called back before I even got a chance to sit down and my doctor was in the room in record time. She checked for dilation….I was completely closed. We chatted a little bit about IUGR and that’s when she threw me another curveball.
“We’ve decided that your baby girl is not going to benefit from staying inside a couple of days. It actually poses a theoretical risk….Do you need to go home before going to the hospital?”
I probably gawked at her for a full minute. I felt like I had missed something. She wanted me checked into the hospital within three hours. I blankly stared at my watch. Three hours?! Three hours before showtime and I felt stunned & unprepared.
Tears of anxiety started falling as soon as my feet hit the parking lot. I updated Jacob on the new plan as I metaphorically back pedaled. “I’m not ready to be a mom. I can’t do this. I need more time…” He, on the other hand, was relieved as he was dreading the otherwise two day delay. I needed his support & comfort and I was extremely lucky that he was able to leave work immediately and meet me at the house.
I felt like a mad woman, running around our home, collecting and straightening things. In my madness, the first tasks I completed were the dishes and putting deodorant on! (Very important, I know.) I made some calls to family and made sure the pups were taken care of. I walked in and out of the nursery about twenty times to make sure that everything was in place. I couldn’t think of what else needed to be done! Within the hour, we were gassing up the car and heading to the hospital.
I hope I never forget Jacob’s face during that drive. With his hand on mine, he looked over at me with an adrenaline filled smile and said “Doesn’t it feel like we’re in a dream?”
It was and it still is. Everything is very surreal.
I am currently laying in a hospital bed, listening to my baby girl’s whirring heartbeat on the monitors and watching my husband lounge on the couch next to me. I keep waiting to wake up in my own bed.
When did this happen? When did I become an adult that was ready to have a baby? Once upon a time, my main concern was talking my mom & dad into letting me stay up late. Then it was getting to class on time and applying for scholarships. As a matter of fact, this time two years ago, I was pumped up for my bachelorette party! All of a sudden, I am laying in a hospital, awaiting the arrival of my daughter.
I’m going to be a MOM tomorrow. I have never felt so scared in my life.