Keira’s Birth Story – Part 1

The last seven weeks have been amazing, beautiful, wonderful and very, very difficult. Everyone tells you its hard. You know it will be hard. You have no idea exactly what they need by hard though.

You have no idea that hard means you will hate your husband for awhile. He will not say the right things, he will not do the right things and he will get sleep. Basically, you will wonder why you married him and believe you will never want to have sex with him ever again because he is such a meanie.

On top of that there is guilt. Guilt because you cannot get your baby to stop crying. You have no idea what that baby wants and you believe you are already failing as a parent to make that baby happy. Guilt because you get upset with that baby for crying for 24 hours straight or because you believe this little person that you wanted so badly, hates you. If you are really unlucky, you will also have guilt over not being able to breastfeed, like me. Your supply will barely come in, you will have to take a pill that makes your pee smell like maple syrup, you will need to use a plastic nipple to get your baby to want to feed and then you will get mastitis, which will kill your already low supply and make you feel like you are dying with a temperature of 104. (Your husband also may not believe you are sick. Refer to paragraph two where I discuss hating your husband.)

There are other things too. There is anxiety. You will watch your baby when they sleep to make sure they are still breathing. If you are like me you may fall asleep doing this. You will really not want any old people with shaky hands/arms holding your baby because you are afraid they will drop them. Heck, you are afraid your husband will drop them. People will drive you nuts telling you what you “should” be doing and how you are doing it wrong, especially old people. (My baby does not like to be swaddled!!!!) People will be overbearing and you will have no idea how to handle that. You may even have someone who refuses to let you hold your baby when they are around and you will somehow have to resist the urge to smack them, catch your baby as it fall and run away screaming.

Lastly, if you have had a baby that you buried, there will be other feelings. There will be longing. It is different than the longing that was there before this child was born, but it is still there. You know it will always be there too. It will hurt when someone asks a grandma or great-grandma how many grandchildren, or great-grandchildren they have and they leave out the child you buried from the count. You will wonder if the baby you lost would have been easier than the screaming one in your arms, and because you never got to know that baby on the outside, you can idealize them and believe it would be easier. You will wonder if you should write this baby’s name on Christmas cards when sending them to people and wonder how you can move forward while still including this buried child in everything you do. You will worry that you will forget because some days go by and you don’t always actively remember now.

However, every time one of these feelings hit, you will remember this is the stuff you have been waiting for your entire life (except for the longing). Because on top of the husband hate and the guilt over various inadequacies, this new little person will love you. They will want to snuggle you. Even though they don’t recognize your face at first, they will know your voice (and this is a good thing if singing at the top of your lungs is the only thing you can do to get your kid to stop crying). Somehow, they will also know it is you when they lean their head against your chest. Then when they can recognize your face, they will love it and it will make them happy, even if you don’t always know how to get them to stop crying – still.

So knowing all that, this is the story I have been waiting to write my entire life. I’d like to think it was a story of strength, courage and preceverience, but it isn’t like I survived a war or something. I just beat the odds, somehow. Looking over at Keira sleeping now I still can’t really believe it, even though my exhaustion is telling me to believe it because it certainly isn’t the dogs keeping me up at night. At the end of the day, this story may just be a miracle within a miracle though. While every child should be considered a miracle because so many things have to go perfectly in order for them to get here, Keira’s life may be a little bit more of one because of everything she has already survived. She has also beat the odds even before she took her first breath.

Wednesday, July 25 I woke up nervous. It was amnio day and in less than 24 hours I could be going into labor to have my baby girl. The whole day didn’t seem real. I remembered my Aunt Karen saying something to me about possibly giving Alexander a little sister back in December when we first found out I was pregnant and somehow that day seemed like yesterday. I’m not sure where the 38ish weeks had gone. I know they had felt slow and had been filled with worry, anticipation and fear, but now that they passed it seemed like they flew by. December seemed like yesterday and yet here we were at the end of July. We passed all the big loss milestones of Alexander’s first year in heaven and had also overcame all the scares in this pregnancy, so far. But I was still waiting, waiting for the other shoe to drop and waiting for something to take my little girl from me too.

I had been resisting going on Dr. Google to look up complications for late amnios. I know Dr. P had said that the only risk was that my water would break, but for some reason I didn’t fully believe her. I needed to though so I kept myself busy that morning.

On the advice of Social Worker B, I finished packing the bags for the hospital. I put together a bag for me with some clothing, travel-sized shampoos and tooth paste, a pair of underwear and pajamas for Kevin, breast milk pad thingys and stuffed in some colored cheesecloths I bought for baby pictures at the hospital. Packing the cheesecloth I wondered if I was jinxing myself. I would need to actually get to have a baby to photograph in these, and I was 100% convinced that still wasn’t going to be a reality.

I also packed a diaper bag for me and Kevin. I bought him a Diaper Dude bag since I wanted something more girlie for me to carry the rest of the time. Buying these two bags was also a big thing for me. I bought them in June and was very careful not to buy Kevin his bag before Father’s Day. Again, I worried getting him anything for Father’s Day would jinx everything. My bag I bought in early June, I think, and it looks enough like a big purse that I felt even if something happened I could still use it. (I know this would never happen but it is what I told myself to make buying it OK) I threw some baby clothing in the diaper bags, inlcuding the take-home outfits, and a couple of blankets. I knew the hospital would provide most everything else at this point. I had already stocked them with some basics, so I left those in there but had no intentions of using the Buttpaste or anything else. As a late addition, I tossed in some baby nail files. With as much as Keira had her hands buy her face in all our ultrasound pictures, I figured I might need these to keep her from mauling her face.

I was trying to finish up somethings before I went in to have her and had two weddings I really wanted to get done. Because I had been procrastinating, I knew I would only get one of these done, if that. I had planned to work on it that morning, but talked myself out of it and decided to go put another coat of paint on the Keira’s bookshelf in the garage. The bookshelf had been my aunt’s a a child, then mine and then we gave it to my Aunt Vanessa. I swear we had painted it white in like 1992 when we painted the desk that goes with it white (still sitting in my office). Imagine my surprise when we picked it up from my aunt’s house and it was nasty yellow like it had been when it was originally purchased.

I huffed and puffed my way through painting another coat of white paint on the bookshelf.  Kevin had laid it down on the ground for me because I thought that would help me reach the bottom shelves. It did help me reach the bottom shelves, but it turned everything into a bottom shelf and I was sort of squatted on the bottom step of a step stool trying to get to every little nook and cranny. It was sticky out already and it was still before 9 a.m. so after one coat I called it a day with the bookshelf.

The next few hours I spent organizing Keira’s room and putting up the finishing touches in it. I had found some pearly butterflies for the wall across from her crib and put those up, finished putting her name letters on her door and doing other little odds and ends. I wanted to feel like her room was done, even if the bookshelf wasn’t. My Aunt Lisa was planning on coming over that night to help me with it a little more, but I was at the point where I knew I had done all I could do. I suddenly had the same feeling I had the day before my wedding – the stuff that was done, was done and the stuff that wasn’t done, oh well.

I left the house around noon and headed to find some lunch. Just in case this was my last meal before the baby, I thought I should eat something that would keep me full for awhile. I was fully expecting my water to break while I was getting the amnio and wanted to be sure my tummy was full before I was starved throughout the labor process.

I had given up on my weight at this point with the pregnancy so lunch was not going to be the healthiest of choices. I wanted something closish to the hospital and I didn’t want to have to get out of my car to walk in downtown Naperville so it had to be something with its own parking lot. My vagina muscles had been hurting way to much to be walking anywhere at this point. Getting in and out of the car hurt so the fact that I was even thinking about going into a place verses a drive-thru surprised me.

I thought I would have Portilo’s and that would fill me up, but the line was too long and it was almost 12:30. The amnio was at 1:30 and I didn’t want to cut it that close. The parking garage at the hospital can take 10 minutes all on its own since people drive through there at a snails pace.

I landed at Arby’s. Not the healthiest choice but I knew a good helping of curly fries would keep me full and going through a labor. I ate the chicken salad sandwich just to make myself feel better about those curly fries. I know that sandwich isn’t healthy either, but it gives the impression it is and that’s all I needed for the moment. I had other things on my mind.

I sat there staring at a Hispanic couple. They were very young and they had a tiny baby girl with them. All I could think was how lucky they were and I wondered if they knew it. My mind drifted to another Hispanic woman, one that I didn’t even know, whose baby I photographed about two years earlier in the hospital after he had been stillborn. Her baby was a boy and they had him dressed in a blue outfit someone made. She never planned to be putting on a baby that she didn’t get to take home. We didn’t speak the same language, but I understood her loss even then. I had one miscarriage by that point and was waiting for my second one to start because of my poor betas. I wondered if she had more children. I wondered if she ever got to bring a baby home. I wondered if I ever would.

Alexander passed through my mind and I tired to push him away. I couldn’t think of him and the outcome of his pregnancy right now. I was too afraid of this amnio. I was imagining how I would get through it and still believe Keira was ok. I was wondering how I would make it to the next morning. I was never going to be able to sleep and I knew I would be up overanalyzing each movement or lack there of.

I tried to picture what I would do physically and mentally to make it through the amnio. I thought I would close my eyes before I even saw the needle. I would take deep breathes. I would think happy thoughts.

Why in the world didn’t I bring someone with to hold my hand during this? I knew Kevin couldn’t come because he was trying to tie things up at work before the induction, but why didn’t I ask my mom or one of my aunts or anyone?

When I looked at the time I noticed it was 12:50 and time to go. I ignored the slight panic that was setting in, carefully and slowly got in the car and made my way to the hospital.

“Rachel, right?”

The receptionist at MFM knows me too now. I wondered if they would all miss me if I actually had this baby. OK, maybe MFM won’t, but Dr. M, Dr. C, Tracy, Theresa…They had become a different sort of support system over the last year and a half and I knew I would think of them often. I wouldn’t miss them, but I know I would think of them fondly for helping me to have a child.

Right now, I felt like throwing up. I sort of wished it was morning sickness verses the fear about a giant needle going into my stomach.

They called me a few seconds after I sat down. I love that this office is always so prompt. They took my blood pressure, asked the usual questions and then said a tech would be in.

Less than two minutes later an ultrasound tech walked in. I had never had her do any of my BPPs with Keira and had no idea who she was.  She was chatty though.

“This is it for you, right,” she asked. I nodded and she gelled up my stomach and set to work finding a spot to stick the needle.

She kept talking but I don’t remember what she was saying. At least she wasn’t the nervous tech. She made me feel better about everything, I do know that. She explained some things to me about the procedure and it helped, as much as it could anyways.

Then she told me Dr. Y would be doing the amnio. Ugh. He is the doctor who didn’t think I should talk to the neonatologist because didn’t think there would be a risk of Keira’s blood clotting. He was no longer my favorite doctor.

She found a couple spots she thought would be good and then Dr. Y came in and she presented them to him. There were a couple at the top of my uterus and two at the very bottom she was pushing for. They were trying to avoid the placenta and I got that, but the spots near the bottom of my stomach made me really nervous for some reason. Too close to my vagina? Maybe. I’m not sure what it was exactly. At the very least I decided it was a weird angle.

They brought in a table with all the stuff and Dr. Y decided on a spot up at the top of my uterus. Thank the Lord for that. It made me feel more comfortable, or at least as comfortable as I could be with this needle going near my baby. It wasn’t really about me in that moment after all, I had been poked enough that needles didn’t really scare me, but I was worried about the needle poking Keira or something going wrong with the procedure in general that would hurt her.

My breathing had changed and Dr. Y and the tech could tell I was nervous. I watched them clean the spot off and decided it was time to close my eyes.

“Deep breaths,” I told myself.

“Stay still,” I told Keira silently, like she could communicate with me telepathically. “I don’t want yo to get poked with the needle. Just stay still.”

I tried not to imagine the worst as I felt the needle piece my skin.

“Breathe! Breathe slowly!” I was shouting at myself in my head. The needle going into me didn’t hurt, but I did feel it as it went through my muscles and into my uterus. They really had to push it. Dr. Y even made a comment how touch it was and the uterus muscles as he tried to get it through.

Then he started drawing fluid. This felt like it took forever and in my head I did start panicking a little, especially when Keira started kicking near that area. I started praying.

“Please God don’t let this hurt my baby. Please God don’t let this hurt my baby.” I repeated this in my head over and over as I told myself to keep breathing too.

Why wasn’t it over yet? How much was he taking? How much did he really need and was he just draining my water? I stupidly pictured the water bag deflating like a balloon and then had to talk myself down.

“There,” Dr. Y finally said.

I opened my eyes and saw him standing there holding a siring that looked like it was filled with clear jelly.

“See,” he said, “no blood.”

I had no idea what that meant.

“That’s good?”

“Yes,” he said. “You don’t want to see blood in it.”

Ok, good, I thought. Now I can actually breathe. I felt weird though. The spot felt weird and it did ache a little. I imagined the sac trying to close that little hole back up. I imagined Keira wondering what the heck that was. I’ve invaded her world so much during this pregnancy and I started feeling bad about that. With all the ultrasounds and now this, I sort of feel like I put her through the ringer.

I slid off the table and was taken by Deb (one of the nurses) to a room for monitoring, basically an NST.

The room was so cheerful and so much better than the NSTs at Dr. M’s office. First of all, there were baby announcements all over the room. They made me happy. Second, there was a TV on the wall. Lastly I didn’t have to push a button each time she moved. The machine did it for me, which was nice.

I laid on the table looking with the two belts around my belly looking at the birth announcements and wondering if I would get to add a birth announcement to someone’s wall. I thought about Dr. C’s office and the party she wanted to throw once the baby was born. I thought about adding Keira’s birth announcement to her wall.

I turned on the TV, found HGTV and started watching a show about kitchen remodels. Deb popped in and out. Keira kept moving off the monitor, which I fully expected.

Then, Deb stopped leaving. She stood there next to me and held the heartbeat monitor on my belly. We chatted off and on and I was a little annoyed she was standing there. I sort of just wanted to relax. But then, I heard it. Something wasn’t right. The sound of Keira’s heartbeat slowed. At least I think it was Keira’s heartbeat. It sort of sounded as slow as a rhythmic breathing.

I watched my belly and the heartbeat/breathing sound matched my belly going up and down.

“What is that,” I asked Deb.

She didn’t really give me an answer. Instead, she left the room again. What was going on? By this time I had been there almost an hour and these things usually don’t take this long.

A few minutes later, Deb came back in and told me there were some decelerations in Keira’s heartbeat and they wanted to send me to L&D. Um, ok. I didn’t really get it. What did she mean by decelerations?

She proceeded to tell me that it happened a couple times while she was standing there and she already spoke to Dr. Y who agreed that he wanted to send me to be safe. She said he was talking to Dr. F, who is in the practice with Dr. M and was on call, and was briefing her on the situation.

Ok, so get me there, I thought. Just get me to L&D.

Before we started moving, I called Kevin.

“I’m going to L&D,” I said. “Get here.”

He didn’t need to know much more than that, but I quickly told him about her heartbeat and for once there was no argument about whether I needed to go to L&D or not. He just said ok and we hung up. I called my mom and told her what was going on. I told her not to bother coming at this point and I would call her when I knew what was going on.

Deb moved slower than I wanted her to. I could feel Keira moving so I knew she was doing ok for the moment, but I wanted to get to L&D as soon as possible. How soon could they get her out if there was a problem?

Deb walked through the building to the hospital with me. I’m not sure why I needed an escort, but whatever. MFM is in a building attached to the hospital and really just a short walk to L&D. However, instead of going the short way for some reason Deb took the long way and we walked all the way around the freaking hospital. The walk alone could have put me into labor. She had to slow her pace to wait for me. Walking was starting to hurt so badly from my lose ligaments in my pelvis. I had to go slow, much slower than I would have liked to have walked.

When we got to L&D Deb told them who I was and they were ready for me. I silently prayed that I would not be in my old room.

The nurses checked me in and I mentioned to them I was supposed to be back in the morning for an induction so they may as well just let me stay. They smiled at me. I wasn’t kidding though or trying to be cute. I was done. I was done being pregnant and I wanted my baby out safe and sound.

Instead of checking me into a holding room, or whatever they are called, they checked me into an actual room. I smiled a bit because I knew they must be considering keeping me.

My nurse (whose name I can’t remember) made me drink water, hooked me up to the monitoring machines and we found Keira’s heartbeat right away.

“I’m supposed to be induced tomorrow morning,” i told her. “Can I just stay as long as the amnio results are good?”

I had decided to not waste anytime or beat around the bush about this. I was going to tell everyone I saw because I felt if I was vocal about it they couldn’t ignore me.

“It’s a possibility,” she said and she smiled. “I’ll see what I can do.”

With those words, I relaxed a little.

A short time later, Kevin showed up.

“What’s going on?” It wasn’t really a question. It was more of his way of saying hello and asking for an update at the same time.

My mom didn’t listen and showed up at the hospital anyways. I tried not to be annoyed. I’m not sure if this happened before or after we got the news that Keira’s lungs were mature, they would be keeping me and starting the induction at 6 p.m.

The nurse said they were going to start me tonight but keep my dosage of pitocin low. They would start me at 2 and then increase it to 4 about an hour later and I would stay at 4 until about 6 a.m. That plan sounded ok to me. Anything sounded ok to me as long as it didn’t have me going home where I wouldn’t sleep and panic without hearing Keira’s heartbeat.

I sent Kevin home to go change and get a few more things. Luckily, I had listened to Brandi and packed my bags so we had almost everything, with the exception of the phone chargers and some other miscellaneous things.

While he was gone Social Worker B showed up. I had asked for her so it isn’t like it was a shock. She and I discussed some things and she reminded me that I needed to state what I really wanted and not let people bulldoze me when it comes to the baby. This came directly from some discussions in Share that I haven’t specifically written about here.

After Social Worker B left, Becky showed up! Becky had married Kevin and I, she baptized Alexander and was now the chaplain at the hospital where I was delivering. I had no idea she was working there now, but was so happy to see her. She said a prayer with me and my mom.

After this, I got the news that they wanted me to eat some dinner and would be starting the induction at 8 p.m. instead. I called Kevin and told him to get himself some food because I had to eat. I ordered something small because I remembered vomiting during labor with Alexander and didn’t want a repeat. Plus, I had that giant Arby’s lunch.

The next few hours seemed to move fast. Kevin came back, my mom left and just before 8, I was started on the low does of pitocin. Between bathroom breaks and trying to adjust myself in the bed (why are those things so uncomfortable?), we spent the night watching and listening to Keira’s heartbeat on the monitor. That sound made me feel secure, but it also scared me that it would stop and they wouldn’t get her out in time.

To be continued… :) There is only limited time to write now.


Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

It’s coming

I promise I am working on her birth story! It is just taking forever and is like a short story. It is coming. Promise. I need to get it out, even if it is just for me at this point. :)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Glasses Mom

Before I write about the birth of Keira, I need to make one more entry that happened on July 24. I was going to include it in her story, but it impacted me so much that I felt like it deserved its own blog entry and I want to keep Keira’s story positive and about her specifically.

The night of July 24 was my last Sharing Hope meeting, a graduation in a sense. I was nervous about it. It is a group no one ever wants to belong to, but it is also a group of people who made me feel normal after Alexander died last year. The first meeting I went to felt like it was the first time someone actually got it. They got what I was going through and could relate in a way no one else can unless your child has died.

Part of me was still concerned I wasn’t going to make it out of this club, and the other part of me didn’t really know what I would do without it. Yes, meetings are only once a month (at least mine are. The main Share group bumped meetings up to twice a month.), but these people still got me. They would still be the only people in my life who would get  it after I graduated from the group.

However, it wasn’t exactly the happiest of occasions.

I went in hoping to see Blonde Mom and her baby, but she wasn’t there and that was understandable. Social Worker B filled me in on the details. She had her daughter July 12, alive and healthy. I was overjoyed to hear that. She named her little girl Audrey.

“I think she was so in awe about what a miracle it was to have her there,” B said. At that point I could only imagine the feeling.

I asked if Glasses Mom was coming and B’s demeanor changed. She looked down for a split second and I knew something was wrong.

“Actually,” she said, “she lost the baby.”

I felt like my heart stopped. I had to pee before walking into the meeting but sort of fell into my chair when she told me that.

“No!” I screamed in my head. “No, no, no, no , NO!” This was not supposed to happen. We were supposed to be fine this time! We were all supposed to be fine this time!

“What happened?” Instead of screaming, this is what I asked.

“The same thing as last time,” B said. “She went in for her ultrasound, the one she had two days after our last meeting, to have the anatomy scan and the baby had no heartbeat. She was in the same room at MFM and everything.”

I was completely in shock listening to this. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t even right. Why did she have to go through this again? She didn’t deserve this.

“The cord again?” It couldn’t have been the exact same issue, but again I was wrong.

“He was very small just like Noah,” B said. “The baby was a boy again and the cord narrowed again.”

“The same exact thing,” I said still stunned.

After a few seconds I asked if B had seen her since and how she was. It had been almost a month since the ultrasound already.

“She is very angry this time,” B said. “Now it is more about looking for answers. She didn’t have this issue with her older boys, but to have it with the last two again it just does seem like coincidence. They are looking into some testing options.”

I nodded and remembered that I had to go to the bathroom. I excused myself and when I got to the safety of the bathroom stall, I cried. I fought back uncontrollable sobs for Glasses Mom. She was such a rock during all this since she was so much further along than I was in the recovery journey. She was almost at her year mark before I even joined the group. Noah’s birthday is in August, I think, so she is coming up on two years.

I went back to the room and B turned her attention towards me. I was the only one there that night so we spent an hour discussing me and the next few days coming up. My amnio was the next day and I confessed to B that I was actually very nervous about this procedure. If there had been any way to get around it and still have Keira early then I would have gone that route, but I knew there wasn’t.

B said she is surprised they were making me do it instead of just inducing me since I was almost 38 weeks, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.  She told me to bring my bag for the hospital, just in case. This was good advice and I am happy that I listened.

B told me she was taking off half the day on Thursday but would check on me the morning of the induction. I couldn’t help worrying still that something was going to go wrong still. The other shoe was going to drop and what happened with Glasses Mom hadn’t made me feel any more confident in my belief that I was going to get to bring Keira home.

The only thing that made me feel better was the pushy, hard movements of feeling Keira in my belly. She was moving so much during the meeting that B could see it as my stomached bulged out on the right side. I tried to push everything else away and concentrate on that instead of my fears.

When we were done talking I felt like I wanted to pop my head in on the Share meeting. I wanted to see if Glasses Mom was there. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to cry with her. I knew I couldn’t. I knew it would hurt the people in the room too much to see my belly, even if they knew what I had been through, it would still hurt them and that I understood.   I walked out of the hospital that night with mixed emotions – fear, panic, devastation and a little bit of hope for the next few days.

Posted in Alexander, Keira, Loss, Reoccurring Pregnancy Loss, Stillborn | Leave a comment

Preview: Keira’s Birth Story

Coming soon to a blog near you! I just have to get a minute… or 60.  Here is a little preview.

Born: July 26 via unscheduled C-section

Time: 7:04 p.m.

Weight: 7 lbs 5 oz; Leaving the hospital: 6 lbs 12 oz

Length: 19 inches

Status: Healthy and perfect in every single way.

At four days old:

Posted in Keira, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Full term!

Somehow, I have made it to 37 weeks today and I have a baby kicking me in my tummy right now. I thank God for everyday that I have had with Keira and continue to pray like crazy that I get to take her home alive and healthy. I may get this sooner than we originally thought too.

I have no idea where I last left off with last week. The last week or so has seemed like a blur. I started maternity leave today and I was so concentrated on being done with my real person job (forever!), and getting things accomplished at home that I feel like I can’t really remember a lot that has happened.

I do know when I saw Dr. M last week, I tried to explain how much anxiety I was having. I’m pretty sure most of it was brought on by the baby shower my family had for me last weekend, but I was still on pins and needles all last week.

For the first time, Dr. M looked at me like I was bat shit crazy and for the first time, I was irritated with him. I was tearing up trying to explain to him and he just patiently told me everything was going great, all Keira’s results were great and I was being monitored much more than most other people get. To this last comment I thought, “I deserve extra monitoring!  I don’t just have live babies.” In my opinion, if you have had to look into funeral/memorial arrangements for your child, you deserve the doctors doing more for you the next time around.

I tied to convince him one more time to go a week earlier. I knew he wouldn’t do 37 weeks. In fact he told me not to have the baby this week because he was out on vacation. I tried for 38.

“How about 39,” he suggested, but it really wasn’t a suggestion. It was more of a, “I’m not budging on this date young lady and if you keep pushing I will take it back and we will just let you go the whole time.” Maybe that’s not what he meant, but that’s how it felt to me at the time.

When I went to my appointment yesterday (also my birthday!), I wasn’t really sure how it was going to go. I was seeing Dr. P, whom I hadn’t seen since she released me from the hospital last year after having Alexander. I had been allowed to see only Dr. M since I am high risk whereas most people have to see all the doctors in the practice. I knew I liked Dr. P, but seeing multiple people this time just didn’t make me comfortable and I was happy to have avoided it until now.

They told me she was running late when I first arrived. Typical, I thought. And it is. It is very typical for that office to run behind. While in the waiting room I had a momentary freakout when I saw a giant ball go from the left side of my stomach to the left and then back down. First, it hurt like hell. Second, there was a giant something coming out of my stomach!!! The general consensus after texting some people was that it was her tooshie.

The problem with her moving like this is that it completely freaks me out. Not because she is moving, that I like even when it hurts, but because I worry she will flip out of her head down position or get the cord wrapped around her in some bad way. Blood clotting and the cord getting wrapped around her neck are my biggest fears right now.

About 15 minutes after my scheduled appointment they hooked me up to the NST machine and off I went. Keira seemed pissed right away and was moving like crazy. I still couldn’t tell where she was though after her little/giant butt moved across my stomach.

I have learned to hate NSTs. I now know enough to know what they are looking for and if her heart rate isn’t doing the right thing then I silently freak out and have to talk myself down in the chair. I am amazed my blood pressure has remained pretty much normal through this. About halfway through the NST, Keira decided to take a nap. She was done being disturbed.

It took Dr. P about an hour and a half to get to me, and I was a little annoyed. However, she completely made up for it.

I didn’t really ask much because I figured she wouldn’t really know my history and at that point I wanted to get out of there so I could get home and change for my birthday dinner with Kevin. Except, she knew me. Well, maybe not me, but without looking at the computer she knew I would be nervous about this pregnancy and want to be induced.

“You’re having an induction right?”

“Yes,” I said, “at 39 weeks.”

“Why aren’t you doing it sooner? I figured you would want to get this baby out as soon as you can.”

Where did this question come from? I tried to do it sooner. “Dr. M won’t let me,” I responded.

“Well, you could have an amnio to make sure her lungs are developed and then we could do it sooner,” she said. She continued how she knew the sooner the baby was out the better I would feel and easier it would be, and how we could possibly make this happen next week.

Was this lady joking? Why was she toying with me?

“Really,” I asked.

“Yes, well, where is your placenta?”

“It is in front,” I said.

“Hmmm, maybe that’s why he didn’t offer it,” she said talking about Dr. M. “There has to be a spot for the needle to go in and with the blood clotting, we don’t want to go through the placenta because that can cause issues.”

“Oh,” I said. There went my hope.

“Well, why don’t I get a machine and scan you an we can check where the placenta is?”

Ok, this lady was awesome. I was not going to turn hat down.

She had a machine brought in and found that my placenta reach just above my belly button, so there would be plenty of room to go through the upper part of my uterus to get  what they needed. Basically, the amnio at this point can somehow check for lung maturity.

“What would be the risks with the amnio,” I asked. I know earlier in pregnancy they can cause miscarriages, but that is like in late first trimester and mid-second tri. I remembered someone on The Bump getting this done a few months ago to check on lung maturity for earlier delivery.

“The only risk at this point would be that your water would break and you would then be induced anyways,” she said.

Could this really be an option for us? Apparently it was. Dr. P said she was going to touch base with MFM, then send Dr. M a note with the “new plan” and as long as there were no issues we could do the amnio next Wednesday and induce next Thursday. She said she would call me that night after she spoke to MFM, just to double check there were no “issues” she was missing.

I went home a little in shock. I called Kevin right away and I think he was a little in shock too. This could possibly be our last weekend without a baby.

During dinner, Dr. P called and left a message. She said she spoke with MFM and there were no other issues they could see. She said that she would have a note sent to Dr. M and then the rest of it I couldn’t hear because the restaurant was loud. I didn’t think much of the voicemail because I figured once Dr. M gets the message on Monday he would stop the whole thing. Imagine my shock when I got a call this morning from the office and the nurse told me I have an induction set up for 8 a.m. next Thursday.

I think I said “OK” about 100 times while I was on the phone. I was preparing to go out and buy the items off our registry we didn’t get, but still really needed and just didn’t not expect this call. When I hung up I told Kevin we were scheduled for an induction and I had to schedule and amnio for Wednesday.

Kevin was sitting when I told him. He then stood up and said, “I have to go get some times done.”

He was right. He is behind on his list I gave him last week, way behind.

So, I called MFM this morning and scheduled my amnio for next Wednesday at 1:30. Apparently, it will only take one hour to get the results. If they come back as her lungs being mature, we are good for launch at 8 a.m. the next day. If they don’t, they have to be sent out and results will take about six or seven hours. It could still happen depending on what the lab says. Seeing as how I got the shot for her lungs at 32 weeks and she has been an excellent breather on her last two ultrasounds (the one in L&D and then the growth last week – by the way, she was estimated at 6lbs 4oz that day!), I will be shocked if the test comes back showing her lungs as not mature.

That being said, I am still praying that they are mature so we can be induced next week. Praying so much that I finally will get to have a take-home baby.

Posted in Bloodclotting, God, High risk, Keira, Loss, Protein S deficiency, Reoccurring Pregnancy Loss | 3 Comments

Over it

I am done with pregnancy and I am willing myself to go into labor. It is not because I am tired or sore or grossed out by how quickly the hair on my upper lip grows or hurting from all the gas or sick of seeing new brown spots pop up on my face for some unknown reason. It is because I am petrified this week that she is going to die and no one is going to do anything about it. I just want to get her out so I can see she is safe, or at the very least that she won’t die inside me.

We ended up in L&D last night. She was active, crazy baby all day yesterday and then got quiet. She did not get moving again at her normal time. She is usually having a dance party that starts around 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and I just lay there feeling her move until I fall asleep with my hand on my tummy.

Last night, I got some pushes around 11 p.m. but t was nothing like normal. I must have relaxed enough to fall asleep because I woke up at about 12:30 to go to the bathroom. I laid back down and still felt nothing. Usually, when I get up at night, she will have to readjust from when I stand and lay back down again. I will get a few pushed, a couple punches or some light kicks as she squirms back into her favorite position – head down, on her side with her entire body on my left and legs curled under her with her feet on the right. But last night there was no repositioning.

I fell asleep again, unsettled.

I woke up around 2 a.m., went to the bathroom and had no movement. I laid down and that Duck Dynasty show was on. I had already fallen asleep to this episode several times so I switched to the rerun of the Hoda and Kathy Lee hour from today. I also drank some strawberry and banana V8 juice. It is crazy sweet so I thought it would help. It didn’t. By 2:30 I was hysterical. I tried the doppler and heard the placenta swoosh and heartbeat, but that didn’t matter to me. In my head I kept thinking back to what someone said on The Bump last year from the September board. She said the baby will stop moving long before the heart stops beating. That idea just haunts me because it is exactly what happened with Alexander.

I woke Kevin up and was crying and starting to having breathing issues. Kevin tried to get me to lay down with him but once I did I couldn’t breathe and felt like I was being suffocated. I sat back up and he told me to go ahead and call the doctor.

I dialed and the answering service told me Dr. L would call me back. Crap. She is the same one who would not let me go to L&D just before my loss marker with Alexander and was going to send me to the ER for a doppler check. I wondered if they gave her all the crappy shifts as a type of hazing, since I think she is newer.

I told Kevin I was going a few minutes later. Dr. L had not called back yet but I decided I didn’t want her medical opinion, I had my anxiety and that was enough. We got dressed and when she called back I was starting to sob again. She told me to head in, but we were already on our way.

We arrived at L&D around 3 a.m. and things happened surprisingly fast for once. They got me on a monitor pretty much right away and we found Keira’s heartbeat. Her heart was steady in the low 140’s and upper 130’s. She seemed to be sleeping. Her heartbeat is never that low when she is awake.

We heard her move once or twice during all the questions they ask. The nurse also decided to do a swab to test for my water bag leaking because I have been having some watery discharge since Thursday. There hasn’t been a lot, but I had been pretty dry for awhile before that. I had taken off the panty liner I was wearing on a regular basis because it had started feeling gross to wear.

She swabbed me and left me on the monitors. Kevin sat in the chair with his head against the wall and eyes closed once she left the room. Then I had a pretty large contraction and he watched it on the monitor. Last year, when I was induced with Alexander, we (Kevin, Emily and I) watched the contraction monitor as I went into early labor. I like the monitor because it is distracting.

Kevin and I watched the other people in labor. There were only two, or two that were in active labor anyways.

“I’m jealous of those people,” I said.

“I know you’re ready for her to come,” he said.

“I just want to be them,” I continued as I watch their contractions that were basically right on top of each other, but smaller than the one I had.

I just wanted her to be coming so she could get here safe. I know she is big enough, I know her lungs will work because sometimes I can actually see her practice breathing in my stomach. It is weird to see both of us breathing at once. Keira’s is faster and it is so amazing to see.

The nurse came back and said my swab was clean and didn’t indicate the bag was leaking. However, she said she wanted to keep me on the monitor so my baby could wake up some more. Keira had moved a few times, but her heartbeat was still steady in the low 140’s. I knew they wanted to see the peaks and valleys with movement and they weren’t getting that.

Apparently, Dr. L also decided to do a bedside ultrasound to check my water level. That made me feel better. I haven’t seen Keira in almost four weeks (I have a growth ultrasound this Wednesday) and I am honestly shocked I haven’t freaked out sooner, but her movements have kept me calm and happy.

They wheeled in the machine and it reminded me of the one that we watched last year as we checked for a beating heart on Alexander. She clicked the machine on and found Keira snuggled in her spot, her heart was beating and she was practice breathing so much that it made the doctor laugh. He little, giant tummy was going up and down, up and down.

“That’s some good breathing,” Dr. L said.

“Her tummy is so big,” I said to Kevin. “That’s from all the ice cream I have been eating. I need to give this kid more vegetables.”

Dr. L did a BPP apparently while she was looking. The water in the sac was good, her breathing was good and her small movements were good. I guess Dr. L could see her wiggling her fingers and moving a bit. I didn’t see it. I did see her resting her hand on her chubby tummy, but didn’t see any movement.

Dr. L didn’t give me the BPP score, but apparently Keira passed the test. I certainly didn’t see any big movements and I thought that was one of the indicators they score you on.

When she finished the nurse said they were going to keep me on the monitors for a while longer. Looking at the monitor and the print out, I knew they still weren’t seeing the heartbeat peaks and kind of movement they wanted.

“Just keep me here,” I begged in my head. “Just please induce me for some reason and get her out.” It was very irrational, but I deserve so irrational moments. My shower is this weekend (yes, I decided to let my family throw one) and I think that has been feeding into my general anxiety about Keira and all the bad things that I know can still happen. I’ve been freaked out about the cord and the Plaquinel should have worn off about a week and a half ago so I am concerned about what her blood is doing, even though the pediatric hematologist reassured me about this last week (more about that later).

Around 5 a.m. Keira started doing what they wanted to see her do and her heartbeat was in the upper 150’s, lower 160’s and peaking in the low 170’s. About 40 minutes later they were releasing us to go home.

I still wasn’t feeling better about anything. Why did it take her so long to get there?

“I don’t want to leave,” I said to Kevin.

“I could just leave you here till you deliver,” he said.

“I’m fine with that.” He shook his head at me and gave a little smile. He had been really amazing. I was sort of shocked. He didn’t complain once and was supportive the entire time. I’m pretty sure he feels bad about letting me go alone last time.

We got home around 6:15ish and my alarms started going off to go to work. I had already decided I wasn’t going. As of today I have eight days left before my maternity leave and it really can’t come fast enough. I have doctor’s appointment the next two days (and was supposed to have an NST today to but Dr. L said to cancel it), and then appointments two days next week too. The second one is on my birthday. That is my last day in the office and I will be leaving early for it. :)

I fell asleep for about an hour when we got home. Unfortunately, if Keira is oing to move in the morning, she moves between 6:30 and 7:30 so I missed that window. Her movements also don’t wake me up either so when I did wake up I laid there waiting for her and she was quiet.

Kevin was on a conference call and also staying home today so I went to go get us some breakfast. I decided to bribe Keira with chocolate bought a Double  Chocolate Chip Frappuccino (no caffeine) from Starbucks. All girls like chocolate and if she is my kid, and maybe even more so Kevin’s, she will really enjoy it.

I couldn’t go back to sleep when I got home. I couldn’t lay there waiting for her to move because it was making me crazy. I decided to do some editing and slowly but surely, my peanut started to wiggle a bit, just a bit. Now I just have to get through today and tomorrow morning and then I can talk to them at my growth ultrasound about the fact that I am going to be a paranoid freak the next few weeks if her movements don’t become normal again. Three weeks and two days to go till my induction date.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smiling more

I forgot to mention something about last week. (Pregnancy brain?)

During Sharing Hope, B said to me that I seem to be getting excited and I was smiling a lot. Honestly, I am getting excited. I’m excited in an I-can’t-believe-I-am-actually-this-close kind of a way. I was also excited for Blonde Mom and Glasses Mom that they were going to get their babies too.

Dr. M also said something to me about this too though. Actually he has said it to me the last two weeks.

“As we get closer, you seem to be smiling more,” he said. “It’s good to see.”

He was right. I do smile more at appointments now. I can see the end of years of trying to get pregnant, being pregnant and getting no baby and I can actually let myself think I will get to have Keira alive and healthy. It feels good. It feels like a happy ending that is just the beginning of years of traditions, memories and good times. It feels like a dream come true.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment