IUGR Update

I had my growth scan yesterday at the MFM’s office. Baby girl only gained 5oz and now weighs 3lb 1oz. Now she’s less than the 1st percentile. It’s great that she gained some weight, however tiny the amount, but I’m just so sad at how tiny she is. If she gains 5oz every two weeks and we are being induced at 37 weeks, I’m on track to have a baby who weighs around 3lb 11oz. That’s a TINY baby. I really hope the scan is off and she’s actually going to be bigger (not smaller). I also hope we can make it to 37 weeks without any issues. My MFM keeps telling me that it’s the gestational age that determines outcome, not weight. He’s glad we made it this far already (33 weeks tomorrow) and we are hoping everything continues to look good until induction. I’m still incredibly scared and sad that my body cannot nourish my baby appropriately. I’m so scared to have made it this far and then she doesn’t make it. My MFM also reassured me that with the close monitoring the risk of a still birth is quite low. I’m still scared, though. 

Thankfully, she’s still passing all of her NST’s, blood flow to the baby looks good, and the fluid levels are good. You could see her practice breathing on the ultrasound. It was really cool! 

We are looking at induction at 37 weeks, which we will schedule at my next appointment in 2 weeks. I’m scared of the induction itself, as I know labor that is induced has a higher risk of c-section. That, coupled with the fact that IUGR babies tend to tolerate induction poorly, makes me think I will end up with a c-section regardless. Ugh, I was really hoping for an unmedicated vaginal delivery but obviously whatever is best for the baby is what I want. I just know that pitocin contractions are supposed to hurt more and if I need a c-section right away for a problem it may be better to just have the epidural in place so I can be awake for the birth. So many things to consider. 

I’m really struggling with feelings of guilt and sadness. There has been lots of tears and I am really feeling blue. I know we all have our battles to fight but I just wish this wasn’t mine. I feel like my body sucks in general, with the poor egg quality, recurrent miscarriages, and the unicornuate uterus, and now it’s potentially contributing to lifelong issues for my little girl. 

In other news, I had my first baby shower, thrown by my husbands family. It was a joint baby shower as my SIL is expecting in December so we figured it made sense to combine them. It was wonderful to celebrate our baby, no matter what the outcome. I only got one “you’re so small” comment that I just brushed off. My SIL was 26 weeks to my 32 weeks and her bump is the same size as mine. Really great for my self esteem. We got a ton of clothes, and a lot of the stuff off of our registery. 

Speaking of the “you’re so small” comments, I really struggle hearing them. It just makes me feel bad about myself. I am also concerned about getting the “your baby is so tiny” comments after she is born, so much so that I don’t want any visitors after she is born. I’m sure this is unrealistic but it’s just how I feel. I don’t want to be judged as a poor mother because my baby is tiny. I already feel horrible about myself. These feelings concern me in general because I am concerned about post partum depression and anxiety and I feel like this may put me at a greater risk. I guess it’s good that I’m aware of the feelings already but it’s still scary. 

Thank you for reading if you made it this far. I hope everyone is doing well.

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35 thoughts on “IUGR Update

  1. stealingnectar

    Thinking of you and many hugs! You will feel so much better when you get to meet her and she is successfully out of your body! I had an induction (this time and with my 17 week birth) and THIS time I had an epidural. I was so glad I did. I had 25 hours of labor BEFORE 2 strenuous hours of pushing. I think this was not typical, but I was glad I had the epidural to get me through the last of it since I was sooo worn out before the hard part even started. All that said, I wanted to have a natural birth before I knew I would be induced, too, and I think it’s wonderful to just get in there and see how you feel. You might feel great and/or it will progress really quickly and you won’t want it after all! Whatever you do, you are almost to the end and our journeys have been long – but I promise this is all worth it once you get to hold your little breathing baby! Xo

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      1. stealingnectar

        You are welcome! I hope you come to a decision that makes you comfortable! A couple of other things: couple people told me how some countries think it’s barbaric that we still do vaginal births in the US…c sections guarantee a healthy baby and without the stretching, tearing, and stress! Also, my anesthesiologist happened to be very into organic and natural processes and products. I joked with him about his profession and his wife having an epidural. He got very serious and explained that getting an epidural protects your body from a lot of wear and tear (trauma) experienced through natural/unmedicated birth. He said that studies show that organs, tissue, etc, act younger after childbirth if you have an epidural since it eases the tension in your body. Now, I haven’t read those studies and I also think a natural birth is admirable and beautiful. However, you’ve been through a lot. However your baby gets here will be the right way for your family. I hope you find peace in any way she is here healthy and don’t feel one ounce of guilt. It’s a miracle, however it happens! So excited for you!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. rachela28

    I hope when the time comes that your lo arrives safely and that she is healthy. I know the time leading up to delivering is difficult as far as nerves go. I’ll be thinking of you and your baby girl.

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  3. Amy M.

    I think we all get overly emotional at this stage in the game, so don’t feel bad about that. You have plenty on your mind, so it’s natural to be concerned. Don’t worry about what other people may think/say about your baby. She will be perfect just the way she is!! I will say though that you’ve scared me about being induced…I haven’t heard any of that, about how labor is more painful and higher risk of c-section. Now I’m kinda hoping I’ll go into labor on my own before then!! I’m glad your Dr is reassuring though about age not weight, and hopefully he is right and she will be plenty developed when she gets here. I’ll be thinking of you!

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    1. RJ Post author

      I’m so sorry I scared you! This is just what I’ve read and what my MFM and I discussed. It does not mean it’ll be that way for everyone!

      Thank you so much for the support! I really appreciate it.

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      1. Amy M.

        Hahahahaha it’s okay, I’ve just never heard any of that before. My good friend was induced in March, and she labored for 3 days before they did a c-section.

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  4. Isabelle

    Oh girl. It’s so natural to feel this way. Of course we want everything to go smoothly. Just don’t blame yourself for what’s going on. This is out of your control. Very happy that baby girl passed her NST! Hold onto the positive. Happy that you have made this far. Only a few more weeks to go!

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  5. Nara

    Oh you poor thing. It is definitely not your fault about the IUGR… Sorry you had some tough comments at your baby shower. I think it must be natural for you to feel apprehensive at this stage and even more so because of the circumstances. But babies are born little all the time and turn out just fine! Hopefully everything will go according to plan and you are in a great position because they are monitoring you so closely. Thinking of you and sending you hugs! X

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  6. Nara

    By the way my midwife (“Best midwife ever”) said that the actual size of the baby can vary greatly and the important thing they look out for is that they are growing consistently at each check. So your little one is still growing, just slower than average. She said that is what they look out for and not for them all to be exactly the same size at each point.

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  7. Recurrently Unlucky

    Many hugs!! I’m so sorry she didn’t grow more… IUGR is so scary!… But she’s still cooking and passing the stress tests, that should be more important than the weight itself. I understand your concerns regarding labor. So many women are afraid of labor, but I always thought of it as such a special, beautiful experience and something I always dreamed of having. Letting go of these dreams is so hard. But having your baby safely in your arms is the ultimate goal, I’m sure you and your doctors will figure out the best way to get there. About the baby shower, I can’t understand how insensitive people can be! Honestly! Makes me angry that they make you feel bad about yourself and guilty.. But they don’t know better, I guess..
    I’m thinking of you and sending lots of love and peaceful thoughts your way! Hugs

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    1. RJ Post author

      Thank you! I always had all these dreams and ideas about pregnancy and this entire process has completely re-written what it means to be pregnant (as I’m sure many of us can relate to)! I really appreciate the support!

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. silentmiscarriageloudthoughts

    Thinking of you and your girl.
    I HATE the “you’re so small” comments- they really freaked me out too, even without the background you have when you hear them. Just try to remember that most people who say them are just thoughtless, rather than judging you as a mother. I hate to think of you taking on all that guilt.You are doing everything you can, and your body is doing the best that it can.

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  9. jen.g

    The ‘you’re so small’ and ‘omg you’re so big’ comments are awful but most of the time people don’t have ill intentions. I had twins and I got the OMG you’re so big, all the time, it was beyond frustrating. My son was 3lbs 11oz and he is a big chunky thriving 15month old with no issues!! Babies are amazing creatures and the NICU was a blessing in disguise. I know it is easier said than done, (i worried every second of my pregnancy and still do!), but stay positive and know that it is out of your hands. All you can do is make sure you are healthy for your baby!! Thinking of you!

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    1. RJ Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing! It’s so hard to hear other people’s opinions but unfortunately we all have to deal with it to some extent. I’m glad your son is doing well!

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  10. andthewindscreamsmary

    Hoping that baby girl stays put for a few more weeks so she can continue to develop… your doctor is right, is development not size! I’m so glad you’re being watched closely and getting the support you need. Just know you are doing the best you can for her, and I think those feelings of guilt and sadness are natural especially given how emotionally charged pregnancy and childbirth is to begin with. Wishing you and baby girl all the best.

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  11. sbach1222

    I’m so glad to hear that she gained weight, though maybe not as much as I know you and Dr would have liked.

    It really is great that she is at the 3lb mark though! When DHs cousin had a small baby, they told her that the size doesn’t matter, and they send babies home under 4lbs these days! As long as she does well, and it sounds like she is.

    I can’t imagine what you are feeling though, and all I can say is that it isn’t your fault even though I know that you know that, it probably still hurts you to think about. But it’s the truth, it isn’t your fault, not at all in any way. I hope you can find some comfort in seeing how perfect she is on your scans.

    Sorry for the “you are so small” comments, I’m sure those hurt too, but I know they are made by people who don’t know or understand the struggle, and probably only meant it as a compliment in reality. I’m glad it didn’t happen a bunch.

    And so glad for your shower! It must have been a fun, exciting day and I bet it made everything so much more real! You will have a baby girl soon!!! Yay!!!

    Take care dear. Physically and mentally. Lots of love.

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  12. notpregnantinrezza

    I’m sorry this sounds like such a stressful time. Please don’t feel like you’re not a good mother you seem incredibly caring of your baby and you are doing all you can to look after her. Only a few weeks now until you meet your precious one! Thinking of you xx

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  13. knalani

    Big hugs! You are not to blame for any of this, and people are stupid.

    For what it’s worth, I was super disappointed when I had to have a C-section for my (healthy) son. In case you find them helpful, here are two things that have helped me to feel better about it (and laugh at myself a bit).
    1) This awesome meme: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208918967357088&set=a.1431478392616.2060793.1402584589&type=3&theater
    2) This article in Slate that came out after a much hyped and much misunderstood study. (The title is not particularly informative; read into the article to see a nice explanation of the problems underlying so many studies of the “risks” of C-section…): http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/06/12/c_sections_and_chronic_diseases_i_fucking_love_science_article_gets_study.html

    I’ve done both – textbook VBAC (of my daughter Jane), and C-section (of my son). It’s true that the recovery from the vaginal birth was easier on me, physically, but I’d take the C-section again and again if it meant a healthy baby. (And I have choice words to anyone who comes at me with “microbiome” BS!)

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  14. ourgreatestdesire

    Oh Sweetie, I wish I had words to help you through this. I am sending you lots of love and huge hugs. You are an Amazing Mom already, no matter how much your baby weighs at birth. Those two things are not correlated in any way. You are doing the best that you can and that’s all you can ask of yourself.

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  15. Jennie

    I know I am late to responding to this but I am thinking of you. While we have had different issues with our pregnancies, it has led to similar emotions. I constantly felt like a failure because I could not get pregnant on my own, had a m/c, etc… When my water broke at 34 weeks AND I had to have a c section, I felt even worse. It was not the labor and delivery I had envisioned all these years. Also, for some reason, I did not see a c section as a ‘real’ delivery, which made things even worse.

    I now see that my way of thinking about things was not helpful. I did everything I could to keep my babies healthy and you are doing the same. You will deliver your LO in the way that is best for her, even if it ends up not being what you envisioned. It takes a strong mama to make that sacrifice. Be proud of yourself. She may be small but she is beautiful and strong. Congrats!

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  16. Jennie

    Also, I do not want to give medical advice but as I mentioned I had similar feelings like you did and I ended up with MAJOR ppd. It really knocked me off my feet. I hope this is not an issue for you but if it is there is NO shame in getting help. I am still dealing with it but it made a world of difference to me.

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