Wednesday, 1 April 2020

21 weeks pregnant - Oligohydramnios & Tetralogy of Fallot

21 weeks pregnant - Oligohydramnios & Tetralogy of Fallot

I’ve made it to 21 weeks pregnant, and this week has been a much quieter week than the last one. There have been no hospital appointments, no scans and no bad news. 

You could say I’ve been able to lull myself into a false sense of security. My bump has popped more, and I’m feeling baby boy more frequently, and boy is that the best feeling ever. 

I’ve found that Nugget is moving around quite a bit, some days he’s really low down, like right back down in my pubic bone, and then when I lay down (usually at night) I will start to feel him bobbing around. When I wake up in the morning he has been by my belly button, and I feel him wiggling and turning around. 

There have been a few days early this week where I didn’t feel him for a few days, I could still find his heartbeat on the Doppler, but I didn’t feel him. Fast forward to Tuesday night, I lay down in bed and after a little while I could feel him working his way up my tummy until all of his body was by my belly button.

The way he positioned himself made my tummy hard to the touch, and you could feel the bulk of a little baby beneath my skin. 

It was the strangest, most incredible feeling. The baby boy who at one time not so many weeks ago, I thought I would never feel move from within me. Yet after the news last week that he probably won’t make it... I began to feel those very first movements!

Luke has even felt him kicking away now during one of Nugget’s midnight shape throwing! 

I was around 25 weeks with Leo when I first felt him move, so despite Nugget having Oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid), a poorly heart and potential bilateral talipes (club foot) I can already feel him, and I know he’s telling me to keep on fighting for him and not to give up. 

I feel defiant and hopeful at 21 weeks pregnant, I know what the experts have told me. I know that they know what they are talking about, but at the same time there is something within me that tells me that this could all turn out ok. 

Blind hope into the unknown.

This morning when I woke up my tummy stayed harder, baby boy had been wiggling around before I got up, and while he moves I place both hands on my tummy and stay put until the movement stops.

Last night I lay there for about an hour just holding my tummy as I felt him letting me know that he was there, that he was ok. When he moves it makes me want to stay awake and just have those moments with him, because the uncertainty and prognosis paints a bleak picture that means these sorts of moments need to be seized with both hands.

It's still too early for what it deemed regular movements from my little 21 weeker, but I still worry when I don't feel him move. I wonder if the fluid has reduced more so that he can't move now, that maybe it all got too much and he had to forefit his fight.

I am certain this baby boy of mine is a fighter, he has been fighting his entire short life. He's survived the increased risk of miscarriage due to the high fluid measurement on his neck. He's survived the Amniocentisis, he's survived his poorly heart and potentially his poorly kidneys. He's surviving everyday in low amniotic fluid and as far as im concenerned he's fighting every day for his life.

This week it has been a quiet week at home with Leo, we have been doing our school work from 9am through to 1pm, and then he gets the afternoon to do what he wants. I use this time to lay around and rest in the hope that this combined with lot's of fluids will help me build or maintain the amniotic fluid that we have.

We’ve been busy with his spellings and working on the scrapbook I bought him not long after we got back from New York. 

Next week I have my consultant appointment on the 9th April. I know that this is most likely going to bring more grave news, but I feel ready to face it now. I’ll be sticking to my guns and telling her that I will be continuing my pregnancy.

21 weeks pregnant - Oligohydramnios & Tetralogy of Fallot
I will use this time to enquire about the steroids that they can give to babies to strengthen their lungs, and if we make it to 24 weeks, this is exactly what I want for Nugget. 

We are just under 3 weeks off viability right now, and I know I can’t look into the future and see how this ends, but I can’t see him coming any time soon.

I have 2 goals right now. My first is to reach 24 weeks, and then following that 30 weeks. I know they said it doesn’t matter how far I get, the outlook is bleak, but I’ve read some miracle stories of babies born after Oligohydramnios, and despite spending time in Special care, they weathered the challenges and surpassed all expectations placed on them.

It can happen.

Yes we have the added issue of Nugget’s heart diagnosis of Tetralogy of Fallot, but the first issue we have to face will be to see how his lungs really are. 

Right now I’m just trying to enjoy being pregnant, to feel his movements, to feel him physically getting stronger. This means he’s growing, this means he’s trying to get to meet us. 

I’m still drinking as much water as possible, adding in orange juice and coconut water for a good mix. I’m eating poached eggs daily in the hope the extra protein will help him get big and strong!

Right now I’m doing all I can, I don’t know if it will work, but it’s nice to think that all of this may not be in vein. 

It’s nice to think that despite how horrendous this pregnancy has been in certain respects, there may just be a silver lining. 

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