Same old story – it’s just unexplained

PC Diary @38Weeks 0 Days

The unknown doctor came in, shook our hands and looked at us in turn, he looked concerned.  But after a strange pregnant pause he managed to get the words out….”Everything looks good with the flow to and from the placenta”. Phew…a sigh of relief! From the look on his face, we both thought he was going to say something bad.  Another awkward pregnant pause and he said to us “We don’t know why your baby is measuring small.” (This doctor had very a very strange and awkward bedside manner)

Chris and I had bets on how this appointment with the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist would go.  We both bet it would be ‘unexplained’, because that just seems to be the way the cookie crumbles with us.  Unexplained infertility has done that to us, it has better prepared us for accepting the unknown.  By the way the unknown SUCKS.  But nevertheless, we seem to be able to handle it a lot better now.  We think that the doctor was expecting us to give him a hard time about not knowing why Rocky is measuring small.  But instead we just said, OK so there is nothing obviously seriously wrong? Although, she was even further behind than our past growth scan in the 3rd percentile (She was in the 5th percentile the week before), but these measurements have error inaccuracies, especially at this late stage of the pregnancy. There was no denying the fact that she is still very small and behind.

The doctor recommended that she be delivered in my 38th week so we can get her out of me and feed her up.  Later that day I went back to my OBGYN for another non-stress test and an ultrasound to check on my amniotic fluid levels.  All was looking good.

It was an emotional roller coaster day of nerves and relief.  We don’t know exactly how healthy Rocky will be when she arrives into the world and what the impact of the growth restriction has been on her, if any.  Perhaps my anemia was the culprit, perhaps it has been my bowel problems not getting the right nutrition to her or perhaps she is just a naturally skinny thing.  We don’t know, but that’s OK, because we are going to meet her very soon and hold her in our arms.

At my next appointment with my Obstetrician we talked about the induction process.  We had been penciled in to arrive at the hospital on the evening of the 20th December to have my cervix ‘ripened’ overnight.  Rocky is currently head down and engaged at Stage 0 right now, and I am still 1cm dilated and 50% effaced, which is a good thing and may mean I don’t need to have my cervix ripened.  If that is the case, then I may be asked to come into the hospital in the morning of the 21st December and they will put straight onto the drug Pitocin (it mimics oxytocin, the hormone which causes contractions).  The doctor warned us how long this process can take 12-24 hrs, and there is no way of knowing how my body will respond.  Sometimes a small baby can be a good thing and time can go quicker and I may have an easier time pushing her out!  Or sometimes not….  they will keep a close monitor on Rocky because sometimes growth restricted babies struggle to keep their heart rate up during contractions.  If Rocky’s heart rate decelerates then there is a very good chance I would end up having a cesarean section.  But the great news is, there is no reason for me to not have a vaginal birth.

My birth plan is that I wish to avoid pain medication at all costs.  However, I am now being induced using Pitocin and this can cause contractions to be a lot stronger and successive far quicker than a natural labor would be.  This means that there is a higher chance of this being painful!  My current feelings are that I will try my dammed hardest to not ask for the pain meds – in whatever form.  Chris is well versed in my desire, and my doula will be there to help me get through it too.  Although I want a vaginal birth, I have spent some time thinking about how to cope with an unexpected c-section.  I am now feeling ready for that moment because I know Rocky’s health is the most important thing to think about.  Luckily I will be on one of my favourite obstetrician’s service that day and I feel like I can trust her.

All this being said, the past week has been strange.  I had some plans for my maternity leave…I was excited to be taking some time to myself and thought 4 weeks before Rocky’s arrival I would have some time to do these things – Christmas dinners with friends and colleagues, executive development program study, knitting, Christmas card writing, email sorting, Christmas shopping, housework, blogging and more.  But with being on ‘rest’, many doctors appointments and not knowing what is going on has actually been exhausting and I have done very little on this list.  Even the things that don’t require me to leave the house for I haven’t been able to focus on, I have just been lethargic and brainless.  It doesn’t help that I am not even sleeping well and having lots of pregnancy related nightmares.  I might be physically well rested, but my brain sure isn’t.

Finally, just one more thing.  Now when people say to me, oh you look so good for 37/38 weeks pregnant…I actually feel bad inside.  I now know that my bump is small and I have put on little weight to the detriment of Rocky.  Until I meet her and hold her safely in my arms, that guilt is not going to stop, no matter how much people will tell me it’s not my fault.

But guys….I am almost at the end of all this…I am on the brink of exploding with happiness about that!

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21 thoughts on “Same old story – it’s just unexplained

  1. Amy M. says:

    I’m going to remind you of me on this one, for many reasons. I was high risk through my whole pregnancy, but we both made it through fine. They were thinking that Cadence was going to be pretty big, but she was a normal size baby. She also measured longer with a larger head and small abdomen, typical of GD babies (if I remember correctly from my research). She was born perfectly healthy. She was long and skinny, but she was overall healthy. She just still measured in at her 2 month appt at 90th percentile for length, but only 14th percentile for weight…but she’s STILL doing just fine. So try not to worry too much about a long, skinny baby. They can still be healthy and strong. Try to hang in there, just a few more days to go! *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. EmilyMaine says:

    I can’t wait until you can hold that baby girl in your arms and feel some relief after all you’ve been through. I met a mum and baby the other day that made me think of you. The baby was only 2kg at birth and she arrived full term. There was no late scan so they had no idea she was going to be tiny. They couldn’t find any reason for it when she arrived – everything seemed fine she was just small. She is now almost 6 months old and doing great! There have been no issues whatsoever. A good story for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. notpregnantinrezza says:

    Wishing you all the best for the arrival of Rocky. How exciting that she’ll be here soon. I’m sorry to hear how stressful it’s been and for the lack of answers. I was induced as well and it was painful but hoping for you you get the closest to the delivery that you want. I didn’t get much done on my mat leave either. It seems like it’ll be a holiday but I found when I was too tired and foggy headed too to do much. But you’re nearly there! And you’ll have your dearest little one for Xmas too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. RJ says:

    Yeah those “you look so good” comments were hard to hear as I just felt guilty. I’m glad you have a plan and a fabulous support system. I hope little Rocky does well during the induction and you don’t need the c/S or pain meds. Good luck and I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you!

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  5. s says:

    Thinking of you today on what may be your last day of a family of two. You and Chris have been through so much to get to this point, and I have been so impressed with how you have managed to thoroughly enjoy being pregnant and put the worries to the backburner (for at least some of the time). I am sure this time is so emotional for you guys, and I hope you find a way to enjoy this part too, even if it isn’t going as planned. I am so eagerly awaiting the news of Rocky’s safe arrival— so I can’t imagine how eager you both must be. Enjoy today– it’s truly the last day of an era. Sending you good thoughts, strength, and calm from the other side of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. andthewindscreamsmary says:

    I’m so glad you have a plan of action and great doctors to guide and help you. For what it’s worth, I was induced with Pitocin and went without meds – so it is possible to manage the pain naturally, even though it comes on fast, if thats what you desire! Don’t let the induction sway your other plans (I’m sure your doula will have your back on it too!) wishing you all the best and I cannot wait to read of Rockys arrival!

    Liked by 1 person

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