Tuesday, February 14, 2012

When life gives you.... whatever the f it wants, my background story

Last year I got pregnant. That is where my journey here begins... well to be fair it began when I got pregnant before over and over again but I couldn't seem to carry fast the first couple weeks, but I'm sure I'll reflect back to that someday. Anyways, my pregnancy was seemingly doomed from the beginning.  So  after a year of trying, I though for sure I was pregnant but after spending a small fortune on pregnancy tests I was frustrated by the fact that I was like 3 weeks late now but not pregnant so I went to the doctor. She took a urine sample and shocker, it came back negative. I tried to protest the urine test there because after I asked if it was more accurate than the home ones she told me no. But I reluctantly peed on yet another stick. She did take blood to check too and that came back positive. I didn't tell anyone but my husband for many weeks and I tried really hard to emotionally separate myself from the idea that this positive would turn into an actual baby. I had been disappointed before so from the beginning my armor was up. From the first day, rather than celebrate, I began to lay down the bricks building a wall between me and my future daughter.

 Although the "morning" sickness reminded me constantly that I was pregnant, I still told myself that it wasn't going to last. By the way what idiot named it morning sickness. I was so sick, all day, all night, at work, at home, I could hardly peel myself of the couch for nearly 12 weeks. It didn't make it any better that at my first midwives appointment at about 10 weeks they couldn't hear the heart on doppler. She didn't look any further and said it was ok and normal but I was pissed. I was convinced that I was being sent home to incubate a dead baby for 2 more weeks until my first ultrasound. By this time most of our family and friends knew we were pregnant. They kept asking me if I was excited and I would try to smile and say yes but they could see right through it. More bricks...

My 12 week ultrasound was amazing. To my surprise there was a baby there. It even looked like a baby, and I got to watch her dance roll and move on the screen. It was beautiful, she was beautiful, she was there, a real baby with a heartbeat! By that point my morning sickness was starting to let up and I was settling into this whole pregnancy thing and though that things were going pretty good.

I was not showing at 20 weeks. My midwife constantly reassured me that my fundus was in the right spot and the baby was still growing well. I just looked/felt fat. None of my clothes fit. Not the pre-pregnancy stuff or the maternity stuff. At my 18 week US we found out the gender and could not be more thrilled. Could it be? Was I finally starting to take down my wall?

I was having a lot of contractions the following week and went into the midwife to be seen. She assured me things looked good and the monitor did not show anything to worry about but she did a cervical exam just to be safe and found that my cervix wasn't right. I was only 20 weeks, this shouldn't happen until 35-40 weeks. She sent me to a specialist for a special kind of ultrasound to measure the length of my cervix. They could not get me in for a couple days so I waited. I was sure something was wrong. On the day of the appointment my husband had to work so I went by myself. I sat in the seat as the tech put a giant plastic condom on a freaky looking anal probe and informed me that this ultrasound is going to be done from the inside. She begins the exam talking me through it, things are looking good, she's making conversation, takes a couple of measurements, then says, that can't be right, re takes measurements, then doesn't say another word for the rest of the exam. She leaves me for what feels like eternity while I sit there and prepare for the worst.

The doctor came in with news and two new diagnoses incompetent cervix, and polyhydramnios. The first means that my cervix is not holding up to the demands of pregnancy and it is critically "thinning." The way mine measured at that point the doctor told me that I would not make it to my due date. The new goal for me would be 35 weeks. I was destined for medications, bedrest, weekly ultrasounds, and possible fetal loss. The other diagnosis meant that I had more amniotic fluid than was normal. Babies drink the amniotic fluid for nutrients and then they excrete into it to make more so your fluid leves should remain fairly constant. They had no reason that they could see as to why I had so much. They gave me statistics about what could cause this, since I already aced my glucose test that ruled out the most likely culprit. That left idiopathic (we have know idea why) or serious genetic or structural disease not previosly seen on US (about 10% chance). But the other problem was that all of this excess fluid was filling up my uterus putting even more pressure on my fragile cervix. So I went home with a book full of pamphlets about these new changes and I was ordered to take it easy for now. All I heard was high risk for fetal loss and 1 in 10 chance of severe genetic disease. I couldn't rush fast enough to begin building that wall again.

I continued to go for weekly ultrasounds and my cervix got worse and worse. Then at one appointment she did a cervical check. I was dilated 1cm at 27 weeks. She wanted me to go to the birth center for some medicine. Meanwhile she hooked me to the monitor just to see what was going on. I was having contractions every 3 minutes. This could be it, I was in labor.

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