Sunday, January 10, 2010

4 weeks to go...

Hi sweetie!

I have so much to update on...we had another u/s right after Christmas, and several doctor appointments since then..things are looking good..the u/s showed you measuring small, in the 27th percentile. All my children are on the small side, so that is not weird to me. Your kidneys looked fine, although they saw the echogenic bowel again. Your heart looked fine (thank God)...your bladder was distended...until they re-did the u/s and saw that you had emptied it! Basically everything looked normal, except your femur (leg) bones, which are smaller than the rest of you, but they are not off the charts, just at the very bottom. Could just be genetics.

Soooo, last Fri. I went for my weekly check-up. everything looked good, I was dilated to 1 1/2, you were head down. Then she measured my tummy, and it was only 33 when I was 36 weeks. (the numbers are supposed to correspond or be close.) Two weeks before when I was 34 weeks, I measured 34..and now you were measuring small. So obviously you didn't shrink, but you didn't grow. The midwife brought the ultrasound machine in to check my amniotic fluid. It was fine. She asked about your movements and I said you have definitely slowed down. But you've always been a pretty calm baby. Some of your siblings have felt like they were going to kick a hole through my tummy, but all your kicks are very gentle. Soooo, she talked to the doctor and had me go for a fetal stress test, or FST.

An FST is very simple, they just hook me up to 2 monitors- one to measure contractions, one your heart rate. I was contracting fairly regularly (which has been happening the past few weeks at different times) and it was probably because the midwife had just checked me. The problem was, everyone went to lunch and forgot me in that back room!) I had texted Daddy and told him about the FST so he called labor and delivery at the hospital..they said yes, she is on her way over, because another lady had just been sent over. So he and Kenzie went and waited 20 minutes for me there, while I was falling asleep during my FST at the doctor's office!

Finally a different midwife came back to the room and said she was so sorry, everyone had gone to lunch and she hadn't known I was back there! She looked at the paper (the print out of the heart rate, etc.) and said "Oh wow, you're contracting, but the baby isn't really responding like she should, let's try to wake this girl up!" She got me some grape juice and crackers, and immediately you started moving and your heart did the little "ups and downs" it is supposed to. (that shows movement, etc. rather than a straight, steady line.) Daddy and Kenzie asked the nurses in L&D if I was coming- and they all figured out I wasn't! and he and Kenzie came over to the doctor's office to see me. By that time I was done, and Kenzie left for work..Daddy and I made my appointments- because now they want me to go 2x a week for an FST and ultrasound, to make sure you are growing, moving enough, and that my amniotic fluid is fine. I went to the bathroom in the waiting room (and this might be TMI so Uncle Chris, stop reading) but there was blood..back to the midwife to explain how much, etc. She said that is normal for after a check- however it is NOT normal for me until I am in labor...nothing about this pregnancy has been normal for me! So anyway she said to go home and rest and call if there was too much.

At which point I lost it (on the way out to the car)...because Baby Lily, I am just going to be painfully honest...I am weary of it all. I feel like I have done pretty good- for me- up until this point. Through heart diagnoses, kidney warnings, possible open heart surgery at birth, 70% chance of downs syndrome, small femur and nasal bones, echogenic bowel, fluid around the heart, kidney stones and hospital stays, bladder infections, food poisoning and emergency room trips, a hernia and belly bands, carpal tunnel and wrist braces, 6 ultrasounds, trips to Eugene, etc.etc.etc I feel like I've been pretty good at staying calm and trusting God, and just enjoying this pregnancy up to this point. But Lily, I am just tired of the roller coaster, and I want to get off.

Don't get me wrong- I still love pregnancy, and I DO trust God, and I DO believe you will be totally fine. It's just that I would like a break in this little trial, I would like to just have a "typical" boring doctor's visit, I would like to just hold you in my arms and smile and say THEY WERE WRONG ALL ALONG! And just know that medical technology has come almost too far for it's own good...and lawsuits have forced doctors to constantly function in CYB mode. That is what Daddy said when we got to the van and he talked to me through my tears...

"This is all 'CYB', babe!" were his words. I said (with mascara running down my face) "What is THAT?!?" (thinking oh great, just one more new thing I've never experienced ??)
So Daddy said "It's Cover Your Butt !!"

He went on to say that with every baby we have seen more and more "tests" and checking, and making sure they let us know every single little possibility...so if anything goes wrong, nobody gets sued, they can say they told us.

So I went home and rested and read all my previous pregnancy journals...which are usually in a book, not in blog form:) And guess what I found out? ALL my babies measure small, I have NEVER measured "right." I never measure 37 or 38 or 39 or 40 at those weeks, and I rarely even get to 35 or 36 inches. Or centimeters, whatever they use. IN FACT with Abigail- my smallest baby besides Noah, who was premature, I measured 31 at 36 weeks!!! and nobody asked me to do any special tests or ultrasounds, nobody got nervous that she wasn't growing...

So am I saying I don't trust or like my doctors or midwives? Not at all, they are just doing their job, doing what they are now trained to do, and it is not out of incompetence or greed or anything other than this is just the day and age we live in..and maybe it would be nice if we could go back to a simpler time when they just felt your tummy and took your blood and said"Looks good! Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning!" however....maybe we might not be able to save the babies we do, who DO have heart problems, etc. that benefit from immediate attention after delivery. And we might have more children like my friend Christina M., who went 5 years with medical problems before they finally did surgery and found out she did have a heart problem that required surgery. So I guess technology has become a double-edged sword, and quite probably I am just experiencing the ...not so nice...side of the sword.

Well, little Lily, I love you, and really in spite of all my tears and complaining here, you are worth it all. It's been a great test of my faith, this pregnancy...coming on the heels of a miscarriage, and throwing all kinds of curve balls our way ...but God uses ALL things for the good, and no matter what, I am glad He blessed me with YOU.

I have 27 days left (give or take a few) of you in my tummy, and I am cherishing every moment of this special closeness to you. After that I have to share you with everyone, but for now you are all mine:) I love your sweet kicks and knowing you are curled up inside of me, I love knowing you are a girl, I love the anticipation of your birth...I cannot wait to hold you and kiss you and look at your sweet little face and tell you how much we've been through together already. Mommy's littlest princess, I am just anxiously, lovingly, WAITING FOR YOU!!!

All my love forever,

Your Mama oxox

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