Tuesday 14 April 2020

23 Weeks Pregnant

We’re now 1 week away from viability at 23 weeks pregnant. In 7 days at 24 weeks, if this baby boy made an appearance, the medical world could intervene and try to save him. 

Thankfully I can’t see him arriving in the next week or so, even if the dream I had on Saturday night told me otherwise... I seem to be dreaming about my baby boy so much recently, and they are always my favourite dreams. 

The kind of dream that I never want to wake up from, on this occasion baby boy arrived in the world early again. As he has done in pretty much every dream I’ve ever had about him. This time I was lay in bed, I was holding my belly like I always do when I’m in bed, as this is when I feel his movement the most. Nugget pushed his little face firmly up against my belly and you could see the details of his nose and where his eyes would be. 

Then he pulled his body away and suddenly I knew he was on his way. In the dream this prompted 2 strong contractions, and then Nugget was in my arms. For a premature baby he was so strong, he was breathing on his own and it became apparent that his lungs were better than anyone could have anticipated (no pulmonary hypoplasia in sight).

As the dream developed... it became evident that Nugget wasn’t your average baby. Within a few hours he was walking, and then running... he was more like a toddler now than your typical newborn premature baby. 

Then I woke up... 

On Tuesday 14th April I made my way back over to Worcester Royal hospital, I had been feeling so elated since my consultant appointment. They were letting me fight for my baby boy, a section had been discussed and even steroids for Nugget’s lungs. 

I was now 23 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I didn’t think that we would be delivered anymore bad news, but by this point I should expect it I guess.

I sat and waited for my name to be called, the hospital was really quiet due to the Covid 19 lockdown and only the patients being allowed to attend appointments. Once again I was on my own, Luke has stayed at home with Leo, and I went to see baby boy.

I was soon called into the room, the very same room I had been told that Nugget was pretty certain to have Trisomy 18 - Edwards syndrome

The scan started right away, the familiar silence ensued as my consultant concentrated and tried to veranda her way around the low fluid. Every so often she would relay the measurements she had taken to the supporting midwife. 

I learned that baby had put on 4oz since my last scan, which although still had baby measuring around 3 weeks behind, he was growing! 

After the scan concluded they delivered more bad news. Baby now had no measurable pocket of fluid, the Oligiohydramnios (low amniotic fluid) was now being referred to Anhydramnios (low to no amniotic fluid).

This was just the starting point for the bad news. I was now advised against a section, against fetal monitoring and it was once again confirmed that my baby was not going to make it in this world.

I was offered another termination.

I said no I would not end my baby’s life. 

I felt pretty defeated in all honesty, blow after blow I have been dealt in this pregnancy. Each time I am thrown down I do dust myself off and rise again. 

I’m not sure if it’s defiance, gut instinct or if I just need to keep holding on to that glimmer of hope, just hoping that Nugget can and will defy the odds and get to come and meet us. 

When the termination was offered the tears fell, I could see the pitty in the consultants eyes, a lady I really to appreciate and admire. She didn’t like telling me these things anymore than I liked hearing them. 

It was decided that I would labour naturally and forgo the section, we will intermittently check Nugget’s heart rate but regardless of any fetal distress, we won’t be going for an emergency section.

I feel confident that I can labour, but I am aware that Nugget May continue to be breech and I have no idea of when or how I will go into labour.

The consultant told me that Nugget could pass away between appointments, my next one being just under 3 weeks away on May 4th. I got the impression that she would be really surprised if Nugget made it that far...

She told me that he could pass away during the birth or immediately after, that his lungs just cannot develop with no fluid. 

I had a chat with the peadatrician who is at the births of babies who need specialist help. He concurred with what my consultant had just told me, but I asked him to be present at the birth anyway. He told me that he would, but the decision on how to proceed would be determined once he was here. 

If there was no hope I was told they would pass me my baby boy so I could share whatever time we had together, and if there is by some chance a miracle, they would intervene.

I left feeling like I had been hit by a truck, but inside I could feel my defiant flame burning still. Inside I knew my baby had a heartbeat, and I knew that I was going to keep marching forward regardless of the odds that I would lose him.

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