Today I Remember…

Today I remember…

My excitement at each positive pregnancy test. 

How I told my husband I was pregnant. 

All of the plans I made for each baby who was never meant to walk the earth. 

The anticipation of the first appointment, and then the nerves for the following pregnancy’s appointments. 

The incredibly heartbreaking power of the sentence “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat”.

The look on my husband’s face the first time we heard that sentence. 

The physical pain of each miscarriage, followed by the emotional turmoil. 

The thought that I may never become a mother to a living child. 

The fear of trying again only to face the same fate. 

That if I had never lost my three babies, baby A would not be in my arms today. 

Today, and every day, I remember my three angel babies, and I am grateful and thankful that I carried them for their short lives. I also remember all of the beautiful babies who were taken from our arms too soon. 

Baby A is Here!

Baby A was born Oct. 3 at 9:01am. She weighed 4lb 13oz and came out screaming. It was a successful vaginal delivery from a 44 hour marathon induction.

I’m emotionally and physically exhausted but my husband and I are so in love with our precious, tiny baby. We’re having some blood sugar and breastfeeding issues that are keeping us in the hospital, but doing ok so far. My husband has been incredible. 

Thank you everyone for all your support and well wishes. I will write a birth story when I’m more with it. I’m also very behind on everyone’s blogs so I will catch up when things settle down. Hope everyone is well!

‘Twas the Day Before Induction…

…and I literally cannot believe I made it to (early) full term, well, as of midnight tonight. 

My MFM appointment went well yesterday. No growth scan but the flow from the umbilical cord to the baby is still normal (although the resistance is on the high end of normal still). Fluid levels are still good as well. So we are still on for our induction tomorrow. I call the hospital at 4pm to make sure they have room to admit me. Then they’ll give me something to ripen my cervix and we get to sleep overnight, and then hopefully I’ll be ready to start the pitocin! So we don’t expect baby girl to arrive until later on Sunday or even Monday. 

I’m just so excited to meet her! I hope everything goes well and I don’t need a c-section, and she doesn’t need the NICU. But my greatest hope is that she is born safely so my husband and I can love her even more than we already do. 

Wish me luck! I can’t believe it’s here!

36 Week Appt and Breastfeeding Class, and Ideal Birth

I had my 36 week appointment with my regular OB today. We just chatted about induction and about how excited she is that I’ve almost made it to (early) full term. She also checked me to see if I have any dilation. I’m currently a fingertip (which means less than 1cm) but I’m 50% effaced and my cervix is quite soft. She can even feel the baby’s head since she’s super low! So I’m hoping I’ll go into labor naturally before Saturday’s scheduled induction! Haha, yeah right! I’m not expecting that, but I am hoping that the soft cervix will make the induction go a bit smoother!

My husband and I took a breastfeeding class tonight through Kaiser health education that was very well put together. She gave us a ton of resources to get help if we have problems and gave us a great overview. 

We watched a video of the golden hour, where they put the baby skin-to-skin on Mom just after she’s born and I literally started crying to myself as soon as I head the baby’s first cries. Then I proceeded to sniffle and tear up through the rest of the video. It was really touching. 

I really hope our baby cries right away and I get to have her placed on my chest. I just feel like there have been so many complications and anxieties throughout trying to get pregnant and during the pregnancy and I am just really hoping I get this magical experience. 

Obviously I just want my baby girl to make it out safely into this world, but I guess I do have some pretty deep-rooted hopes that I can still have a beautiful birth experience even though we are being induced. I always wanted to not have an epidural and not use meds but that is probably not going to happen and I’ve made peace with that. I think it’s really about my attitude going into everything and I’m just trying to go with the flow and realize that not everything is in my control (logically I know this but I think we all have our ideas of a perfect birth, and what my birth will likely be does not match with my ideal birth story). 

Anyway this was a rambling post but the emotions I felt watching that video tonight made me feel like writing. I have my last NST, Dopplers, and MFM appointment on Thursday. I’ll update once more after that appointment, then induction will be Saturday likely starting in the early evening! 

Shit is about to get real!

She grew!!!

I had my growth scan at 34 weeks 5 days and baby girl put on 1 lb 3 oz in the past 2 weeks! Now she’s estimated to be 4 lbs 3 oz. still tiny but up to the 3rd percentile. I’m hoping she can break the 5 lb mark by our induction at 37 weeks. Blood flow through the cord still looks good, as do my fluid levels, and she’s still passing her NSTs. My BP was slightly higher than my normal but still ok (128/88), and I had trace protein in my urine. My MFM wasn’t concerned so I guess I’m not either. 

My MFM scheduled our induction for October 1! That’s 37 weeks exactly. Less than 2 weeks from today. For some reason having this scheduled finally got me excited! The hospital will call us sometime after 4pm to let us know what time to come in to get started. I’m assuming this is because they do the scheduled c-sections earlier in the day and then the scheduled inductions happen afterward. From what I understand, they will give me medicine to ripen my cervix, and possibly use a foley balloon to help dilate me. Then I’ll probably get some pitocin. I’m not super excited about the possibility of a balloon to dilate my cervix or pitocin as I hear both can be painful, but I guess we do what we gotta do to get the baby out safely. I know the nerves about being induced will hit eventually but for now I’m just going to enjoy this incredible feeling of excitement! 

Now I’m nesting like a mad woman. My hubby set up the crib and changing table yesterday, and I bought the rest of the necessities off of our registery. Tomorrow is baby laundry day and then I’ll put everything away in its rightful place. I am a terrible decorator and I’m not into themed things but I had a ton of fun picking out cute crib and changing table sheets. Nothing is matchy but I love them all. Once I’m finished getting everything together I’ll try to remember to post pictures so you can all see my valiant attempts at nesting!

I had my friend-thrown baby shower yesterday, and it was so fun to celebrate the baby with my girlfriends and family. My aunt (who is an artist) gave me some incredible illustrations that I’m going to frame and hang by her bed. Everyone gave her a book to add to her library. My husband and I love to read so it’s great to have so many books now. Some of the books we got are from our friend’s childhood collections (used) and I think that’s so cool!

I also had my last day of work this past Wednesday and yesterday was my first official day of maternity leave. I’m so happy to be off now, as it was getting really hard to be at work on my feet all day, and sitting in the car for long periods of time commuting has been torture!

I hope everyone is doing well!

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.

First MFM Appointment

This past Thursday was my first meeting with the MFM. I had a full on anatomy scan to go with the growth scan, and they also checked my cord flow from the placenta to the baby, and my amniotic fluid levels. 

Dr. C is awesome. He says that the most likely cause for the IUGR is my unicornuate uterus (as expected). My fluid levels are normal, blood flow to baby looks good, no markers for TORCH infections, no hypertension or diabetes, and completely normal-looking anatomy (so low risk for a chromosomal issue). I am relieved that everything looks good, but at 30w4d she weighs 2lb 12oz, which is the 3rd percentile. She’s incredibly small. The biggest risk here is stillbirth, which he says is a very small risk since I will be monitored so closely. I hope that’s true. 

The plan is for me to have twice weekly non-stress tests (NST), once weekly ultrasounds to measure the flow to the baby from the umbilical cord, and to check my amniotic fluid levels, and every other week growth scans/appointments with him. He says even if she doesn’t grow, as long as everything still looks normal we plan for an induction at 37 weeks. He also said that if things still look good at 37 weeks we can discuss pro-longing the pregnancy. I am also able to try delivering vaginally if the baby stays head down (I think she will stay head down since I’m pretty sure she had no room to turn). However, IUGR babies tend to get stressed during labor so I may end up needing a c-section anyway. 

I have had 2 scheduled NST’s so far and she passed both of them. For the first one I had contractions registering every 1-5 minutes the whole time, and I could even feel them all. I also went into labor and delivery last night because the baby had reduced movements all day. Luckily everything looked great on the NST there and she is moving back to normal today. I also had a few mild contractions I couldn’t feel. Apparently that’s my new normal. 

So how am I feeling after all of this? Honestly, I’ve been a bit of a mess. I’m incredibly scared that my body will be unable to continue growing her and I’ll give birth to a tiny baby with a whole host of problems. I don’t think I could forgive myself if that happens. I just keep wondering if it was selfish for me to try carrying a pregnancy with this known uterine anomaly. But then I have to remind myself that we don’t know the outcome, and we took a calculated risk. I am just hoping for the best. 

Thank you to everyone for your support. If all goes well I get to meet my little girl in about 6 weeks. I am so excited (and scared). A year ago, I could have never fathomed that.