Sunday, September 25, 2011

35 weeks, 3 days

Hello blog world. The countdown is on. 18 days until my scheduled c-section. I feel uncomfortable in my baby belly, so I am welcoming this transition. I am blessed, however surprising that sounds, that I am having a c-section and this tenderness in the upper belly will soon be replaced by a squirming infant along my breast and a carefully stitched wound in my lower belly. I cannot fathom the thought of it actually happening as having been down this path once before and preparing for its most common outcome, I was met with a whirlwind of unexpected happenings after the last delivery. My son was never put to my chest. He was never allowed to smell my scent. He was never given the opportunity to look his mom in the face. He was whisked away toward a traumatic experience from the words, "It's a boy," to IVs and respirators, to a coffin-like incubator traveling 50 miles away from his mother, to having to be frozen to 90* for 3 days, to "there is no more hope for him." My wound did not just cover my abdomen, but threatened my life due to the traumatic experience requiring blood products, antibiotics, anti-hypertensives. It was a five long days before I realized my real wound would take months, even years to heal. It has been five years before I realized that I may never truly heal from the wound of child loss.

And, yet I am here. Ready to experience what I have been preparing my life for since childhood. I have craved knowledge on child-rearing, being a good parent and creating a loving, healthy atmosphere for my children. I have planned and thought of all kinds of various situations I may encounter with my children and have discussed at length with my hubby about how we would handle such and such and this or that. I now just want to begin this part of my life's journey. If I had never experienced child loss, I would be ecstatic to transition. However, my tainted past has prepared me to expect the unexpected. Prepare for all eventualities. Be aware that the world may not be beginning to fall into place for us, but instead may be preparing us for a world of hurt, disappointment and disarray. Yet, my hope is in the LORD. I know that nothing happens that He hasn't allowed to happen. But, this doesn't mean that everything will be just as I want it to be. It just means I must trust in His plan. His purpose. His desire for me.

My past week has been productive. I had my NST on Monday last week and baby passed that test perfectly. No contractions during the visit and despite my recognizing a couple of decelerations in his heart rate, the nurse midwife assured me that it was normal to have during some movements and since it was not under 100 bpm, I had nothing to worry about.

On Thursday, my hubby and I went to my BPP and doctor appointment. I talked with him about some of my anxious thoughts and how I wished I was able to deliver this baby now with as uncomfortable and sick I feel because I know that he is alive and healthy, but since it was only 35 weeks, I realize that he probably has some growing to do. My hubby was irritated that I would even consider putting my anxiety at a higher priority than the baby's well-being. He insisted that I was being selfish and that he would step in if I put his son in danger. I tried to reassure him that I was just sharing some of my thoughts and concerns as I wrap up the last 3 weeks. He was having none of it. He effectively forbid me from going through with a vaginal delivery if I went into labor on my own before the surgery. And as we pulled up to the office I realized his anxiety is as high as mine, but still I walked briskly toward the door, hoping I would be able to slip into the ultrasound room before he would be able to make it in.

Fortunately, my plan failed and I was taken back to the room as Shaun was walking in the door. Naturally my blood pressure was elevated from the heated discussion. 116/60. Baby boy's heart rate was 140bpm, his amniotic fluid index was 16 and he passed his biophysical profile 8/8! Since I had been having this tender stabbing pain in my upper abdomen and Google told me that Fatty Liver of Pregnancy was a rare, but potentially fatal disease that included this symptom, I had the tech observe my liver as well. She said it looked normal, no masses, no cysts and not enlarged. Whew! Baby's cheeks are so fat and squishy and he is breathing perfectly, blowing amniotic bubbles at times. And yes, he is STILL a BOY!! hehe!

My weight is hanging at 152.6 and my pulse was 72. We asked the doctor a lot of questions regarding my anxiety. She thinks my pain in the upper belly is baby kicking or muscles stretching. She said this is a common complaint from smaller framed moms and this side pain too. I asked if I should be tested for preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome. Her answer was no. I asked if going into labor is the risk for placental abruption, then should I worry about these contractions. She said no. The going into labor isn't the concern. The breaking of the bag of waters is what is concerning when it comes to chorioamnionitis (the infection in the bag of waters that may have been a factor in the placental abruption). So as long as my bag of waters is intact, no worries for infection in the bag of waters. Shaun asked if I would be allowed to labor if I showed up with labor. She said it was entirely up to us. I of course let her know that he absolutely forbid it and she said that was fine, however if I showed up and was 8-10 centimeters dilated, it might be a safer thing to deliver vaginally as it would be difficult to pull the baby's head out of the pelvis during the c-section. She didn't think this would happen though as I am acutely aware of the signs in my body and she didn't think I would be the kind of lady who would risk laboring at home before calling the doctor. So, then I asked her to check my cervix as the contractions that I do have are sometimes painful and I wondered if my body was yet recognizing them as true contractions and dilating me. She agreed only because I insisted as it was not necessary since I was having a c-section.

My cervix was high and pointing toward my back. She said the baby's head was low and I was a slight fingertip dilated in the outside of the cervix, but the inner part was closed tight. Whew! these seemingly uncomfortable contractions are just a pain in my belly, but not a cause for concern at this time! I was given a flu shot and tested for group B strep infection. I was sent on my way until Monday. Tomorrow I will be going to the St. Joe's birth triage center for my NST as there will be no nursing staff in the office. I guess I can make a trial run, just in case I think I am in labor over the next 18 days!!!

Father, thank you for your wonderful gift of life you have blessed me with. I pray that you allow me to experience motherhood soon from the outside of my womb! I pray that you keep Liam safe, that you protect him from the dangers of pregnancy and that you bring him breathing and healthy into this earthy world. I ask that you support me and my husband as we embark on this scary journey that resulted in tragedy the last time for us and help us to feel your peace throughout this transition to parenthood. We are so blessed to have a wonderful manual to raise our children in that you have provided for us and we have a great role model of a parent from your perspective.

Thank you, Jesus, for blessing my friend last week with her baby daughter and keeping both of them safe during their delivery. I praise you because your goodness shines in all that you are and do. I ask that you continue to protect and bless those of my readers who are still expecting and grieving and give them a glimmer of hope through you as they read this blog. I ask all this in Jesus' name, AMEN!

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