Friday, January 18, 2013

20 week appointment: Eliza Kay

Our little Miss is looking fantastic! She was so funny during the ultrasound. MUCH more cooperative than Nathan; he kept hiding in this one corner, with his hands over his face. The ultrasound tech said that isn't rare; that it's kind of like an early defense mechanism. His little world was feeling a bit intruded on and he was just trying to get away! Knowing his timid little self, especially as a baby, I feel bad! Haha, oh well, he turned out just fine :o)

Little peach is absolutely perfect! We are feeling very, very blessed. Of course, there are always things they can't diagnose in an ultrasound. Out of curiosity, we asked the ultrasound tech (who we love!) and she said the list includes any random webbing the baby may have (fingers, toes, etc.), cleft palate (they can diagnose cleft lip, which is usually a pretty good indicator of cleft palate; I didn't even know they were different!), and some heart issues. All of that has to be assessed at birth. As far as everything they could check, however, our little Eliza passed with flying colors :o) 
The sweet tech worked very hard for this profile shot; little baby E loves having her limbs up by her face!
This goofy girl had her foot RIGHT in her face a lot...even in the 16 week gender check! Check out that little bony leg! They look so freaky without any fat! I'm loving her profile, though; hopefully she gets the same cute nose Nathan has, not her mama's big honker!

I, however, did not pass with flying colors. This wasn't something we were anticipating. 

Several weeks ago during a physical exam, the doctor warned me that my placenta was lying pretty low. He also said it was very early to jump to any conclusions and worry me for nothing. During this ultrasound the tech looked at my cervix (okay, men, this post will have some womanly words in it...I'm not getting gross, don't worry!) and saw that my placenta was lying way too close to it. It didn't cover it, but if it doesn't move it will be too small a space for a baby head to fit without crushing the placenta. They are calling it "partial placenta previa". Complete previa would mean that the entire cervix (which is of course a very small area right now) is covered.

For those of you who am wondering what I am talking about, the cervix is where the baby has to pass through to be born. If there's a big ol' organ, filled with blood supply to keep both me AND the baby alive is in the way, you have to worry about the baby bursting the placenta on the way out. If a placental abruption occurs, it is common knowledge that both baby and mom will be lost in 10-20 minutes if emergency actions are not taken to stop the bleeding. This is obviously a huge risk.

So, I was told today that there's about a 50% chance that I'll need a c-section; either the placenta will move as my uterus grows or it won't. Luckily, there's no possibility of it moving downwards; if it's going to move, it will be up, away from my cervix.

 As far as my VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) chances go, I was at about a 90% chance of having a normal birth (because I dilated to a 9.5 with Nathan, so my body's "done" the labor thing, just not the delivery part!), and today it shrank by 40%. It's not set in stone, but still concerning.

The plan so far is to do a follow-up ultrasound in 4 weeks. By then my uterus will have grown a bit, and should hopefully be grown enough to show improvement. They will keep following up with ultrasounds every 4 weeks until the problem is cleared up, or until 4-6 weeks before my due date, at which point they'll decide whether or not to schedule a c-section or let me off the leash and let my body do what it will.

Part of me (the wimpy part) wants to take the easy way out, throw in the towel, and just do a repeat c-section. With c-sections you know exactly how every birth is going to go. The risk of complications is very low, and you can plan everything (flights or trips to get moms here, babysitters for Nathan, other outside commitments), down to the day. You go to the hospital and have a baby in your arms half an hour later. (ALL the work is in the recovery, not in the labor!) Plus Eliza would get to stay in the OR instead of being rushed off to NICU like Nathan was, if of course she's problem-free. I'd get to hold her on the operating table, unlike with Nathan. That was what I felt like I was deprived of the most; by the time I got to hold Nathan, everyone had been called and sent pictures. I felt like the last one to experience my own baby. 

The only reservation I have about this plan is the obvious one; it's not the intended way for our bodies to have babies. It's a perfect alternative to gambling a baby's health, but I do feel a bit deprived of a "typical" experience!

I am glad that there are only selfish reasons to be concerned about. I am forever grateful that I don't have to worry about the health of a fetus; I had this weird feeling today that we wouldn't get the news that we were expecting. I would rather have it be about me, ANY day, than about this little one! 

(Haha, I totally hoped that my "weird feeling" didn't mean that Miss Eliza would be a boy this time!)

So, we are praying for everything to grow normally, including my body. Any prayers and good thoughts would be welcomed! :o) I just hope I don't give myself panic attacks with all the worry over the next four weeks!

Exciting Appointments and Going to Counseling

We loved seeing our little peach, Miss Eliza, on her 16 week ultrasound, when they did her early gender check. It is so fun to see these tiny ones swimming around!

Well, we have another appointment in about half an hour, the full 20 week ultrasound where they'll check her top-to-bottom to make sure nothing's wrong. We're praying for health in our little girl! 

 I know I've been lame at blogging since last semester when I was doing my practicum and never had time for much of anything. Even any facebooking was done from my kindle in between classes!

So, here's a promise: As soon as I get home I'm going to blog about this, before I forget the details. This blog is my journal, and I've taken pride in actually keeping a journal over the last few years! However, I need to be less lame and write more, and I want to remember some of my first ever memories of our daughter. (Man, that's fun to say! I just got used to saying "our son" regarding Nathan!)

Here are a few little memories from the last 20 weeks:

Movements came SO much sooner than with Nathan, as is common with most subsequent babies, or so I've been told! When I lay flat on my back we can even see her moving and kicking. It's SO cool! She loves my bladder...not cool.

I had my first birth dream with this baby the other night. It wasn't anything long or detailed, just simple.  Everything actually went perfectly in this dream, which is exactly what I NEED to be envisioning at this point. Although I know that something, whether it be little or big, almost always goes wrong, I like having another scenario to picture. Being at my friend Juanee's birth really helped; THAT was a fast, flawless first labor! But remembering this dream has already brought me a lot of comfort in the last few days, and I'm grateful that it seems so real to me still!

As far as the other half of this blog post title goes, it was recommended to me by our family practitioner to go back to counseling. My anxiety is horrible right now, almost as bad as when I was in counseling last time. His opinion was that I should give a thought or two to preparing for a situation, and being counseled in preparing for having Eliza. Since my last experience, having Nathan, was what turned my life and personality completely upside down, I consider it to be wise counsel to try and prepare to do this again. That way, whether I'm dealing with a normal, uneventful birth or being rushed back into that OR, I will be mentally prepared for it all...or at least as prepared as possible!