10 days

Between the last several weeks flying by, and my c-section getting moved up a week thanks to another patient delivering early, I am now only 10 days away from (hopefully) meeting my baby.

I was conflicted about whether to insert the “(hopefully)” there, but in these last few weeks, my confidence has waned as the fear mounts about everything that could go wrong. I never would have guessed I would be 38 weeks pregnant with still so much uncertainty over whether I will bring my baby home.

I don’t know why I feel so much anxiety – I have no reason to believe anything will go seriously wrong, other than the few hiccups I’ve had (kidney stones and now GBS positive). I guess I’ve just done too much Googling and reading about all the tragic things that can happen.

I am trying to live minute to minute, then day to day.  This is similar to how I felt when I was dealing with the subchorionic bleed in the second trimester and was desperately hoping to make it to viability. Every so often I think, “Ok great, I’m another hour closer.” I wake up in the morning and mentally tick another day off my countdown. The nights are the worst.  I wake up at least 5-7 times a night to use the restroom, and when I get back into bed, I can’t go back to sleep until I feel the baby move and kick a few times. Needless to say, between that anxiety, my kidney pain, and frequent bathroom trips, sleep is not something I am getting much of these days.

At this point I am actually seeing the upside of delivering via cesarean. Being GBS positive plus all the other things I worry about may have made a natural delivery too anxiety provoking for me to enjoy. (By the way, I know bieng GBS positive isn’t the end of the world – Just one of those additional wrenches in the plan that throws me all off balance, mentally).  If I can get to next Thursday without going into labor or having my water break, and can walk into the OR healthy and ready, I may finally be able to relax a little bit as they bring my baby into the world.

 

33 weeks

My anxiety has unfortunately not improved in the past few weeks.  While I feel like I am getting so much closer to the finish line, I also continue to panic that something could go wrong at any moment.  Baby’s movement continues to be a source of anxiety for me as well. I also made the mistake of spending too much time on Google reading up on breech babies (why are they breech, risks of remaining breech etc.), and let’s just say I shouldn’t have done that.

If/when hopefully baby arrives safely I am sure I will miss being pregnant, but at this point I just want to it to be over. The weight gain and being physically uncomfortable does suck, but it’s more the mental torment that is making me question whether I could handle another pregnancy in the future. I have not felt fully emotionally stable or healthy since before I was pregnant. That’s a long time to feel so much stress!

Last week I had my 32 week growth scan, at which time baby was still breech – Frank breech position to be exact. (Explains why I’ve been feeling big pokes on the right side, it’s baby’s foot).  My OB’s office started the paperwork for my c-section, which is scheduled for February 22. I will be 39 weeks + 6 days.  Of course, I have a whole other set of worries here. That’s pretty much 40 weeks – what if I go into labor before then? Again I’ve read way too many scary things about going into labor with a breech baby.I feel a little bit like a ticking time bomb, though maybe that’s just me being overreactive with my anxiety.

To a much much lesser extent, I am still a bit disappointed about not being able to labor naturally. People keep saying there is plenty of time for the baby to turn head-down, but I’m starting to feel skeptical. The further along I get with a baby that is still breech, the less likely I know it is that he/she will turn.  Ultimately all that matters is a baby that arrives healthy and safe, but in a perfect world I would have gotten to have a normal birth experience.

At this point I am trying to make preparations as I feel up to it. It’s hard some days to pick up a baby book or buy things for the baby when I lack the confidence that everything will turn out ok ,but I am doing the best I can.  When I first told my family I was pregnant, I asked them not to plan a baby shower as I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable having one, and at this point I’m very glad that I had that foresight.  Going to a big celebration centered around my pregnancy/baby would have been way too much for me at this point, mentally.

Spiraling

After feeling really optimistic and positive for a few weeks, I am finding myself back on a downward spiral of anxiety and fear. I think it is something about entering a new trimester that brings all the fear back as I experienced this around 14-15 weeks as well.  It’s like I suddenly realize all the new potential things that could go wrong in the weeks to come and start panicking.

Since hitting 28 weeks, frequency of movement has been a major source of anxiety for me. Most days I have an extremely active baby that pretty much never stops moving, but once or twice a week he/she will have a pretty quiet day that gets me worried. If I am being honest, even on the active days when baby stops moving for an hour or two to sleep I start to panic a bit.

The frequency of movement didn’t concern me so much in the second trimester when I knew it wouldn’t be unusual to not feel movement all day, every day. However now I feel like I should be feeling it constantly and whenever I don’t, I really start to worry.  This morning I didn’t feel any kicks when I was lying in bed after waking up like I usually do. I got up and drank some juice and laid back down, and got some kicks but still not the normal activity level. I already had an OB visit scheduled for this morning so I mentioned the change in movement to my midwife. She had me do an NST and squeezed in an ultrasound. Fortunately all looked well in terms of baby’s health, but due to the level of my anxiety, that really only comforted me for a few hours.

I don’t know how I am going to make it through 9-10 more weeks with this level of anxiety. Compounding my overall feelings of stress is the fact that I was told today that baby is still breech and if he/she didn’t turn by my next growth scan in 2 weeks at 32 weeks, I would need to schedule a c-section.  I burst into tears instantly as the thought of missing out on labor and a vaginal birth makes me feel like in addition to everything infertility has taken from me, now I’ve been robbed of yet another part of the pregnancy experience. It is not the biggest deal in the world as what matters most is baby’s safe arrival, and I was told that they will continue to check baby up until the day of the section in case he/she does turn, but its still upsetting.

3rd Trimester!

At 27 weeks + 5 days today, I am, for all intents and purposes, in the 3rd trimester. I can’t believe it.  For 3 years I dreamed of what it would be like to enjoy the holiday season, my favorite time of year, full of hope with a big round belly.  It is surreal that this is actually happening.  Just one year ago, I sat home with my husband on Christmas Eve and watched movies because family celebrations were too painful.  Two years ago, I ran out of church crying because I was overwhelmed with fear, loss and emotion.

I was overcome with hope and happiness in the waiting room of my OB this morning, as I looked around at the Christmas decorations and heard the holiday music playing, and realized that I am living what I have dreamed of for years – Being happy, healthy and pregnant during this special time of year.

I am not without any fears or cares – Typing this still gives me anxiety, as the thought creeps into my mind – Christmas is still 4 weeks away, anything can happen between now and then.  But today I am trying to focus on the positive and keep the worries at bay as much as I can. I had my first growth scan today and all looked perfect. Baby is estimated at 2lb 10 oz today and in the 50th percentile.  Right on track! I was shocked and disappointed to face the fact that I have gained 35 pounds so far, but knowing my baby is healthy makes it worth it.  Plus I found out that I passed my 1 hour glucose test, so I know to some degree my health is not in danger.

I did learn that the baby is breech as of right now, but the midwife said there is plenty of time for that to change.  I am going to try not to worry about it right now and see what happens at my next scan. I found out today that I’ll be getting ultrasounds every 4 weeks due to my mild hypothyroidism.  Now that I am in my last trimester, I am being seen every 2 weeks total, which is great.

I felt good enough after today’s appointment to start ordering some things for the baby. I chose and ordered a diaper bag, along with a few other items.   I am sure my anxiety will ramp back up in the next few days but for today I am enjoying feeling hopeful and happy.

Countdown to Viability

I am currently 21 weeks + 1 day and 20 days away from 24 weeks, or, viability.  Am I the only one desperately counting down to this milestone?  I know that as of 24 weeks its not like I could birth a fully developed baby guaranteed to survive. But it is comforting to know that in 3 weeks, if something goes wrong, something could at least be done to try and save the baby.

I know this is a morbid thing to focus on.  But the past several weeks have been scary as I have felt like once you’re in the late teens/early twenties weeks of your pregnancy, you’re somewhat in open water.  You’re far enough along where something tragic could happen, but not far enough along for anyone to be able to do anyting to stop it.

Had I not experienced bleeding last month (and way too much googling over what SCH’s can lead to), I probably wouldn’t be so focused on this.  But, at the moment it’s the only thing keeping me sane as I’ve continued to dream up new fears every week.

On Monday of this week I had an appointment with the MFM doctor.  This was an appointment requested by me to check in on my SCH.  The MFM said he did not see it, only a marginal sinus (I believe this is a placental lake?) which was not a threat, and not the same thing as an SCH. In addition, I have had no fresh blood in 5 weeks and no old blood in 3 weeks. The fear has not left entirely but I did feel marginally comforted after the appointment.  They also did my fetal echo (required for all IVF patients), and fortunately it was perfect!

Something that has been bothering me a bit is the onset of Braxton Hicks.  I seem to have started them earlier and with more frequency than other first time mom’s.  Mine started around 19w and I can have up to 10-12 per day, though not every day.  Of course it didn’t take long for that to instill the fear of PTL in me.  Plus, they are just plain uncomfortable.  I’m trying to rest as much as possible and drink a lot of water.

I have also started to feel the baby move, which is amazing but also kind of weird!  It feels like a little snake swimming around in there. But I love knowing that it’s an experience that only baby and I will share. My bump has popped and there is no mistaking now that I am pregnant.  I still haven’t purchased a single thing as I don’t feel ready to do so, though I am starting to get pressure from my family and husband to begin preparing.  With (hopefully) a full 19 weeks to go, I feel I have plenty of time left.