changing reality

Every time I start to wonder whether we are really going to have a baby at the end of this, I catch myself. I think, now let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Let’s not take anything for granted. I remember everything that could go wrong at any second. I take a moment and acknowledge the possibility that this could still end badly. But I can’t dwell there. So I take a deep breath and come back to the present moment.

In this moment, all is well.

All is well.

It’s an exhausting exercise, but this is my reality. Flush away the fear. Breathe in the present. Embrace the potential for good.

This moment. This is a new reality, really. One we never envisioned before.

I’ve said before that we’ve always wanted two children. When we first started planning our family — i.e., the idea for our family — we already knew that I could have trouble conceiving and carrying a child to term. We didn’t know how much trouble. But we knew it was a real possibility. In fact the conversation was spurned by the first known threat to my fertility more than 9.5 years ago, even though we didn’t start trying until later. We talked about having a biological child and then adopting our second child. We figured if/when we were lucky enough to have a baby, we probably wouldn’t be able to have any more. That was the first time we considered adoption, to complete our family.

But this? This we never could have imagined in a hundred years. It wasn’t even in the realm of possibility.

Yesterday I reached 27 weeks. Amazingly, the ultrasound showed perfect growth since week 24, right on target. Baby is measuring 2lbs 5oz and looks healthy. Somehow, against every odd, this baby appears to be healthy and thriving. This simple fact — as it goes against everything I thought could be real and true — is astounding to me.

Mac was unfortunately unable to come to my appointment this time. It was too early and too far for us to get good care for Jaye, so he stayed home with her and I promised to call him the moment it was done. He really wanted to be there, but we just couldn’t make it happen. I texted him a few times as I was on my way to the appointment. Then I took a deep breath and went inside. Back to the building that has been the source of so much anxiety and frustration. And now hope.

The technician this time was wonderful, which made me realize how awful the tech was last time.  She was kind and gentle, concerned about my comfort and well-being. She knew I was worried about growth so she measured right away and said the baby was measuring perfectly. Unlike the last tech, she reassured me that she saw nothing of concern as she scanned the baby’s bones and organs. I was so relieved I was almost giddy. Twice she stepped out of the room and twice I tried to text Mac that everything looked good so far. But twice I was interrupted and he was left at home to his own form of solo freakout until my call.

When the tech got to the placenta, it got a bit more complicated. She had to use three other cameras, including two internal ones (hello dildo wand, haven’t seen you in a while). She had already told me the lab doctor would also do her own scans next, so it wasn’t alarming when the white coat arrived looking very serious.

The lab doc greeted me with a “So you’re Dr. T_’s patient?” When I replied yes, that the chief MFM specialist/perinatologist was in fact my doctor, she went straight to work. She scanned for 20 minutes. Silence. Not one word. I tried to ask a few questions, tell her what I knew. I was looking for something, some indication of something. Nothing. No sign of anything. Deep breaths.

At the end, upon prompting, she explained what she found, but my doctor will have to decide what it means for my care. There are still some very real risks and concerns with the placenta. It is clearly covering my entire cervix (complete placenta previa) and attached in such a way that it is not likely to move.  She is pretty certain it is already embedding into the uterine wall — not as it should attach to a normal healthy uterine wall, but embedding more deeply due to scar tissue (placenta accreta), in a way that makes removal difficult if not impossible without bleeding out. It is unclear the extent of embedding so far, but she thinks it is serious and that a hysterectomy will probably be required at delivery. They will continue to monitor what they can, so my doctor can be prepared.

I meet with my own doc next week to see if anything else has changed. As of now, still watching for any sign of early labor, any drops or blood or fluid, any contractions.The big fear is an emergency situation in which I’d be forced to deliver a preterm baby under less than ideal conditions (i.e., any hospital other than my own, which is an hour away without traffic). That could be very very bad for us both.

If nothing else changes, I still believe the plan is to deliver at 36 weeks, or 9 weeks from today. That’s two months away. (Holy crap!)

Now back to the beginning. I still find myself swaying between thoughts that we could actually have a real live baby at the end of this, and thoughts that things could still go horribly wrong. On one hand I am so very grateful to even be in this position. On the other hand, I just don’t want to make any assumptions about how this will go. I know better than that, sadly.

I want to think about a future and plan ahead, like a normal person, but nothing about this is normal. This is against every odd imaginable.

In any event, I think about how our lives will inevitably be forever changed in some very powerful way.

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~ by luna on July 20, 2011.

21 Responses to “changing reality”

  1. I am exhaling…and then sucking in another sharp lungful of air at how precariously the good news tiptoes in balance with the scary news.

    9 weeks – I keep telling myself it’s not that far away, but it feels like so far. But so close. Biting my nails….

  2. So glad that your little fighter continues to do so well.

    Despite how scary I know it is for you, I am grateful that they are aware of the accreta and can plan for it. As many scans as I had (monthly, then every 2 weeks, then every week, then 2x/week) they never knew about mine until I delivered. They know that a c-section is the only way you can safely deliver and they know not to try to battle the bleeding needlessly, both of which are lifesaving pieces of information.

    When is the next scan?!?

    Oh and after I thought I’d said goodbye to the dildocam forever, they had to bring it back when I was having cervix issues. The u/s tech was very tentative before starting, “Uh, have you ever had an internal ultrasound?” I laughed in her face. “Hundreds!”

  3. Wow, oh my goodness yes, how scary all of this is. But also, what babysmiling said — you’re so blessed to know all of the medical details up front so that plans can be made. And even if you end up going to a hospital not your own, the info can be quickly shared with the docs so that priorities can be set and your treatment can be handled appropriately, or at the very least, not badly. You have time to make decisions. You have time to write up a “here’s what’s wrong with me and here’s how I want to be treated” document in case of emergency. That knowledge, that time, they’re gifts.

    My gut tells me that all of this will end well for you, but with a nod to the complete randomness of the universe, I will continue to hold my breath and pray to all the powers of healthy goodness for you and your family.

  4. So very relieved to hear that baby is measuring as s/he should, but still holding my breath for you. As others have said, at least they are aware of the issues around the placenta and can make plans for as safe a delivery as possible. Thinking of you, and hoping as hard as I possibly can that that little one stays put for the next nine weeks. xx

  5. Wowie. Luna. This is a real bittersweet journey, isn’t it.

    Keep us up to speed when you can — we’re all quietly but feverishly cheering for you.

  6. I’m glad that the ultrasound gave you (mostly) good news. The fact that the baby is growing and thriving is excellent. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. OH JOY THE dildo got to come out again, and this time lucky you. Well I mean lucky int he fact that in 2 months you might have 2 kids. I know it could all go wrong, but then again it might all go very right. I check blogs just to see if you have posted another update. thinking of you.

  8. Wonderful news. I hope that you can continue to breathe deeply for the next 9 weeks. One.day.at.a.time. I’m sure that it feels as short as it feels endless. My thoughts are with you.

  9. Oh, I am so happy you kept us up to date and that ALL IS CURRENTLY WELL! Beautiful words to hear! Only nine more weeks does sound fleeting and a little intimidating, but I have a feeling you’re up for the challenge!

  10. I’m so entralled by this turn in your story. Of life as it were. I feel so invested! I don’t know how else to describe it. 🙂 I think of you often.

  11. I’m optimistic and very happy that you are aware of all the medical complications. This is a sincere happy from someone who suffered lots of complications after my 38th week of an otherwise humdrum pregnancy!
    Come on baby, just 9 more weeks! I’m breathing deeply for you!

  12. Whew! Such an amazing post. Your situation must seem quite surreal to you, but you write with such clarity. So much deep breathing! I’m gasping for air just following your blog and thinking about the whole thing right now. 27 weeks and all is well!!!

  13. I about fell off my chair when you said 9 weeks. WOW!

    Sending you really really good energy.

  14. Just spent an hour chanting daimoku – for you and your baby! And will til the day she/he’s here.

  15. Wow… Hang in there.

  16. Thinking of you so much and sending many wishes for calmness and peace in the coming weeks. I’m sure it won’t be easy but I hope that you can find those bits of peace in the journey and that things continue to go well.

  17. Thank you for updating us. Yeah for the 27 weeks mark!
    Hoping the next 9 weeks are uneventful with a healthy baby.

  18. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels slightly short of breath reading your updates. Thank you for the detailed posts. I usually read them quickly in my reader then when I have more time and space I come back to the post itself and really read it deeply, albeit somewhat breathlessly. Yes, breathless. And I’m just a random blog follower. I can’t even begin to imagine what this is like for you.
    This is all so incredible. So, so incredible.

  19. I’m wishing you the best of luck! I had placenta previa with my last pregnancy (at 40); it was complete previa. I bled every month and finally I ended up in hospital at 35 weeks due to a big bleed, but DS cooperated and stayed put til 37 weeks, at which time I had a c-section. Sounds like your doctors are prepared for any possible complications; planned delivery at 36 weeks is common to ensure you don’t go into labor on your own with previa. Until then, take it easy! (easier said than done, right?)

  20. So frightening to face such a large surgery during the (joyful, completely uncomplicated 😉 birth of your baby. I’m so glad you have doctors you trust monitoring you so closely. Thinking of you and pulling for 36 weeks with all my thoughts.

  21. […] weeks the other day, I started to think that we might really have another child here. The news from last week’s ultrasound that everything looked OK with the baby was very […]

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