a will, a way, and a wish

Well, we’re still here, me and this babe on board. After of week of trying to be positive but still wondering whether I would hear a heartbeat at my appointment today, I have made it to 25 weeks.

Amazing it is, truly.

Today I had an appointment with the chief Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist (aka high-risk Ob) at my hospital. At some point I’ll have to write more about the emotional aspects of this experience — e.g., how strange it is to walk into an Ob’s office and still look at the bellies as “other.” Or about how I left the “you’re pregnant” manual in the waiting room because I was convinced I wouldn’t need it after my appointment. But for now, I know some of you want to know what’s going on. So I’ll stick to the facts.

So, after wow-ing the attending nurse with my story, I met the woman who will hopefully deliver this baby. And not too soon, please. The doctor was surprisingly young-ish. While extremely confident and knowledgeable, she lacks the warmth and bedside manner of my original ob/gyn (who unfortunately lacks the technical ability to provide my care). But I’m not looking for a new best friend, really, just someone I can trust with my life (and this baby’s). She’s unfortunately not the kind of doctor who makes you feel like you’re her only patient, but she did answer all of my questions. And she has a plan.

And while I am well aware that this may not all go according to plan — whatever does? — it makes me feel better to know that I now have someone I can trust with my care.

First she reviewed some of the known risks. Apparently the placenta previa is not partial but complete, meaning it is covering the entire cervix.  Normally, in a healthy uterus the previa often resolves itself as it moves and rises as the baby grows. But in my case, it probably has nowhere else to go. In fact, the previa appears to be both anterior and posterior, making movement unlikely.

I think this little one found the one lone place in my entire womb to settle in, somehow. Literally, possibly the only place it could have attached, even if it’s less than ideal.

Since I’ve had multiple uterine procedures and scarring, I would be at risk of uterine rupture if I were to go into labor. So that doubles the necessity for a planned c-section before my due date, should we make it that far. More on that in a minute.

One big concern is premature labor. There is a recurring risk of P-PROM (pre-term membrane rupture), which is what I had last time and would send me into labor. Then there are the risks associated with the previa — i.e., the cervix (aka the most vulnerable area) is now covered by the baby’s lifesource. So no jostling. No sex. No heavy lifting, no strenuous exercise.

Um, aside from lifting my toddler, only the sex thing is an issue (might have been helpful to know sooner though). I have to say I did fall a little in love with my doctor when I asked her about sex. I said, “OK, no penetration, but, um, what about orgasm?” and she replied “well, we can’t always control that!” As if! Oh to be one of those women who has an orgasm simply while driving her car or something. Most of us have to work pretty hard at it, don’t we?

Anyway. Since the cervix is nice and closed and I’ve had no spotting since about week 10, bedrest isn’t necessary yet. But she was clear that any sign of blood should be considered urgent. Even a tiny spot. Hemorrhaging could happen quickly and would be an emergency. Similarly any sign of fluid would be urgent. So I’ve been a complete freak about that, while trying not to worry until there’s reason to worry.

But seriously, as I tweeted this morning, every day I don’t want up in a pool of fluid or blood is a really good day.

Have I told you I live about an hour away from my hospital? I mean, there’s a local hospital in case of emergency, but not one I’d choose to deliver a high-risk pregnancy. Not this one. So there’s that.

Then with my scarring there’s also a high risk of the placenta embedding itself deep into the muscles (placenta accreta), making delivery and separation difficult. They will monitor for this, to the extent they can, but she did warn me that there’s a good chance that a hysterectomy may be required at birth. Sometimes they simply can’t separate it and I’ll be losing a lot of blood while they try. She told me to drastically increase my iron intake to increase my blood flow to give them something to work with. But that conversation is inevitably coming.

Honestly, my womb has caused me so much grief and anxiety, but it’s still mine. Despite all my whining, I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. And it’s blessedly busy right now, trying to prove me wrong.  So if after nine years of struggle it can actually grow and sustain a real live baby? Well then, maybe it’s a fair trade. Thoughts to ponder.

Another ultrasound is scheduled for two weeks. Doc said the baby looked good in the last scan, but she wants another more detailed anatomical scan for a more complete picture of what’s going on in there. Of course they could find something more then. We’ll see.

So we’ve got a baby with a strong will and a doctor with a way. Now I’ve just got to hope and wish and pray that everything continues to go well with no more surprises.

Oh, and the original ultrasound put my due date at October 18, but if everything continues to go well, the doc says she may want to go as early as 36 weeks. Which would be September 21. Gulp.

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~ by luna on July 5, 2011.

33 Responses to “a will, a way, and a wish”

  1. What an amazing post! Reading it, I got chills going through me and realizing how scary and crazy this whole thing must be for you. Yet, at the same time, this is so amazing! You are pregnant and you’re doing all you can to keep it that way. May the rest of your pregnancy journey be happy and hopefully uneventful.

  2. Ok, I had to come back here and post an update: WOW! I just read several of your recent posts.. and WOW! Also, HUGE CONGRATS!
    I really do hope that this pregnancy goes well for you. I’ll be following you to see how things go.

  3. So amazing that you’ve come so far. *fingers crossed* the rest of your pregnancy is as boring and stress free as possible.

  4. That is a lot to take in. It must feel better to have a plan.

    Fingers crossed for you here, too! Wishing you an uneventful remainder of your pregnancy!

  5. I kinda love your doc. I am so glad you are in good hands for all of this, and know I am here squeezing yours when you need ANYTHING.

  6. Glad to hear that you’ve found someone who you can trust to guide you through the rest of this pregnancy. Just hoping as hard as I can that you don’t need to call on her expertise for a good few weeks yet.

  7. The whole idea of possible uterine scarring from my 4 c-sections increasing the chance of placenta accreta/increta is what ultimately led to my decision to discontinue trying to be a surrogate. I always knew of the possibility because my RE had explained it to me (and each of my IPs), but so long as my OB was okay with it and approved me (he was and he did), my RE was good and my IPs were, too. That last time around, I was with a different RE. She required a consult with an MFM before we proceeded, and it then the MFM, in turn, painted such an extreme worst-case scenario picture that in good conscience, I couldn’t allow myself to proceed. In truth, it call came down to a game of chance, and in reality chances are much higher that I’d be fine than they are that I wouldn’t. Still, after hearing everything so “in your face” from her, I didn’t want to put any other IPs in the position of needing to decide if I was worth the risk, when a surrogate should be an IPs’ best case scenario. *sigh*

    Anyway, I said all that to say that I know the risks you’re speaking of inside, backwards, upwards and all around. Echoing something you said recently, I think it’s mostly a good thing that more than half of your pregnancy went by with you none the wiser. You can’t get much more zen than not knowing about it at all, right? Late September seems so close and so far at the same time…less time to worry overall, but still a long time to go to be hyper-vigilant and paranoid. I’m glad there’s a plan and that your MFM, however aloof she might be, has a good plan in place. It really sounds like you’re in good hands. xo

  8. What Kymberli said — sounds like you are in good hands. Fingers & toes all crossed that things continue to go well. (((HUGS)))

  9. I had PROM at 35.5 weeks with Rory. She was born 2 days later. She has turned out fine with the exception of her unusual affection for the Backstreet Boys and bunions.

    May the days go quickly for you. It sounds like you a great doctor and you are as proactive as you can be. It all sounds like it will lead to a good outcome. 🙂

  10. I can only guess at how scary it feels, but it sounds like you have great care and are as ready as a person can be for what may lie ahead. I’m so thrilled for you and am thinking of you all the time.

  11. It sounds like you have an excellent plan. But September is so soon! How are you coping with that aspect of it? Are you in nesting overdrive, or still too cautious to dive in?

  12. I’m with Kymberli. Imagine how much you would have freaked out if you knew at say, week 6? At least you soldiered on till now. I hope in the midst of so much information and risks you find the time to enjoy the pregnancy. So hard, I know… But I have a good feeling about your doctor.

  13. Luna,
    I just checked in and saw your posts. I am floored. Absolutely floored. And excited, and anxious, and a little in shock, but mostly excited for your entire family. What a wonderful thing. I will sit and send good thoughts your way for many weeks!!
    love,
    debbie

  14. Wow such great news! Hopefully Semptember will get here quickly with no drama.Glad you found a good doctor. Keep us updated.

  15. I think of you often, and my breath is being held, as I’m sure yours is. 🙂

  16. WOW you really just have to get thru summer and just barley into Fall. I would have left the pamphlet too. I will be waiting and waiting to hear how its all going. thinking of you!!!!

  17. You are so smart. And such a tough cookie. I know you’ve got a lot of territory to cover before you can breathe a deep sigh of relief and hold your sweet, new, healthy baby in your arms. But it sounds very promising that that day will come…and apparently very soon!

  18. I threw every one of those handouts/booklets/folders into the bin. Really, we ought to come with signs on our foreheads or something, “Please spare me the usual bullshit. Does not apply.”

    This doctor may lack in bedside manner and warm fuzzies, but ef the warm fuzzies if she’s going to get you there and beyond. I’ve been meaning for years to donate blood in memory of Maddy who used a bunch, but now I’m thinking you may drive me in.

    Hanging on your every word until September. And here with you.xo

  19. Am I allowed to type – holy shit!? Praying for you and the baby til the day he/she arrives safely into this world…… Actually it’s kind of cool you were in denial for so long – less time to freak out, don’t you think?

  20. Oh, Luna! I’m just catching up…and, uh, “wow” doesn’t really even begin to cover it, does it? I’m with Deathstar – holy shit!

    I’m glad you are in capable (and extremely orgasmic, by the sounds of it) hands. Erm, that sounds kind of weird… but I’ll leave it in the hopes that it gives you a smile and a pervy thought to take with you to your next appointment…

    Abiding with you, and keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers. May you and the stowaway be safe, healthy and blessed with peace until you meet face-to-astonished-face.

  21. Another good thing about the kind of practice/hospital you’re at now is that there will always be someone excellent on call, day or night, though of course we hope that this woman will deliver you as scheduled.

    What a tenacious little fighter you have!

  22. I am crying. Crying with joy for you. I don’t know how I missed the first few posts – I’ve been an awful blog friend lately, reading only a few posts a week. Just hell yeah. And OMG. And I’m so sorry for the fear, I know it must be a constant partner to the joy. I’ll be holding you in all my thoughts and your gorgeous family of four.

  23. I’m in love with the idea that this little one was able to find the perfect spot to place his/her little self and then allow you to get this far unaware (what a great thing denial can be! who knew?!) he/she was there until now.
    Like others, I am thinking of you constantly with hope and love.

  24. Wow. That’s a lot. Sending many hopes and wishes for a mostly worry free couple of months and that the little one arrives safely when scheduled and not before (or not too much before).

  25. I just think about you and smile. All of the stars that aligned to make this happen, all of the “it had to be JUST RIGHT” scenarios, all of the magic!
    Beaming love and zen and comfortable positions and many, many more calm days to you.
    xo

  26. I am crossing everything I’ve got that the remaining weeks of this pregnancy are smooth and crisis free! September–so near yet oh so far…

    Much love!

  27. Holy crap. There is a lot to worry about, but holy crap, you’re having a baby. Sending you so many good good thoughts. Will we get to see pictures or are you against that? I’m so happy for you.

    I can totally understand the not wanting to part with your uterus quite yet thing….for sure. Hope it doesn’t go there.

    Holy crap, you’re having a baby!!!! YEEEEE!!!!!!

  28. Thinking of you every day, lady, and glad to hear that you’re both still well. Thanks for updating us.

  29. I”m here from Mel at Stirrup Queens! Wishing you good luck and will be following along.

  30. Holy freaking cow, Luna — I am so glad I poked my head out of my blog hidey-hole to check in on you (you have ALWAYS been one of my top-top favorite blog-ladies in the universe). What on earth?! What a crazy blessing! But wow, I can’t imagine what it’s like getting through each day wondering what’s around the corner with this.

    Will be thinking of you TONS and sending lots of love. And happy belated birthday to that sweet little girl of yours.

  31. Um…just catching up with the past several posts today, and all I can say is HOLY CRAP! Just when you think things are settled…

    I’ve followed your story for quite awhile now, and have to say I’m in shock–I can’t imagine what your shock has been. Know that I am wishing you, this baby and your whole family well through this incredible miracle. WOW. wow.

  32. A very belated congratulations to you! I’m keeping all of you in my thoughts

  33. […] I took the news about the placenta issues seriously, but I was beginning to feel confident that my new doctor had a plan. But it seems that plan is subject to […]

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