Friday 15 May 2020

27 Weeks Pregnant

27 Weeks Pregnant

These last weeks have passed in a blur, the lack of sleep and tummy knots of hurt and confusion have only added to the overwhelming feeling of not knowing what to do or how to move forward. 

I have had to silence all the noise and try to carve a path forward, take a new direction that I didn't want to take and try to re-write what my future is going to look like. 

Of course I am 27 weeks pregnant now, and I am kicking myself. If I had known what I know now at my 20 week fetal medicine appointment I can't honestly say I wouldn't have accepted the offer of a termination. I feel so guilty saying that, incredibly so. 

I hate that this thought has even crossed my mind, I hate that I have been made to feel that way subconciously. This week I have felt terrified at either prospect of having a baby, terrified he may pass away, and equally terrified that he will survive and his quality of life will be severely impacted. 

I took all scenarios into consideration when I made that decision several weeks ago, but when your life changes over night, you do have to wonder how you got to where you now are. Of course I would never change my decision now, I am invested and will see this through no matter what happens. I need to summon strength from within myself that I don't even know exists, but it really is the only way.

I'm busy working on drowning out the noise, trying to focus on my next steps and what that involves. 

I am almost in my 3rd trimester with so much un-certainty hanging in the air, a time I should have all my eggs in one basket and know that I am supported and loved. 

Baby boy has been wiggling and I am pretty certain he has gone from head down to breech again at points during this week, and now judging by his movements it would seem he has reverted back to his head down. 

For someone with no fluid he sure has a way of getting around. 

You can feel him grinding and bumping around in there, it's such a weird feeling when you can feel his body rising up and down. I don't re-call this feeling with Leo at all, granted it was 9 years ago now. 

27 Weeks Pregnant - Anhydramnios

 I have accepted that due to the low fluid and having a small baby, I probably won't ever have what I would call a 'real' pregnancy bump. Just another aspect of a normal pregnancy that I have been robbed of. My tummy is only hard where baby is, when he moves from the space he has occupied my tummy goes soft again.

I get jealous when I look to other pregnant ladies and see their blossiming bumps, bumps that signal healthy babies growing within, but at the same time I know I have to keep going and that my journey is unique.

There are no appointments this week, I won't see my consultant again until 30 weeks now. I do have to book my 28 week midwife appointment though and I know I am going to have to come clean with how I am feeling, because I am so worried about my mental health right now, although I do feel like I am starting to accept this new direction.

By filtering out people's actions and not filling my head with black clouds, I am focusing on myself, baby and Leo. I am focusing on keeping a clear head so that I can shut my eyes and sleep at night, and although those tummy knots keep rearing their ugly head deep down within me, for the most part I can silence them.

It's like everybody says, it's all about the baby steps. The getting up, the showing up, the amazing family and friends helping set your compass so that you get where you need to go. I keep repeating 'This too shall pass' and 'Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations' to myself, a little mantra of hope that hopefully puts me onto the path that I am supposed to be on.

It's been a crap week, I am not going to lie. I am not going to pretend that everything is ok when it is so far from ok. I have faith that one way or another a new normal will come out of all of this, that I will find my way out of this maze and be happy again. One day.

Tuesday 5 May 2020

26 Weeks Pregnant - Yet Another Scan

26 Weeks Pregnant - Anhydramnios

As 26 weeks pregnant rolled around I had so many other things on my mind. Things that I shouldn't have even had to consider or comprehend, and the one person that should have been my biggest supporter throughout all of this could not have been further away.

This however is a story for another day, a story I am not quite ready to tell at this moment in time.

It is for these reaosns that I have not sat down at the computer and written up my 26 week post.

As I cast my mind back to the week I hit the 26 week milestone, I was worried because I had somehow lost my pregnancy notes (this all ties up with the above), I contacted my midwife who reassured me that it would all be ok, she could re-print most of the scan notes and rebuild my notes for me. 

I was so thankful to her, I cried down the phone and she told me to book an appointment for 28 weeks, come to see them at the surgery and just do all of the normal pregnancy milestones. She praised me for my decisions, but at that moment in time I wasn't sure anything I had done or was doing was the right way forward.

It was now Monday 4th May, my midwife called me first thing in the morning and we re-filled all of my notes as mine had still not materialised. She told me to pop by the surgery an hour later and she would bring the new notes out to me. True to her word, she delivered my new notes to me and wished me all the best for the scan.

 It was time to head off to my scan, I was worried that I hadn't felt baby move quite so much and before I set off to the hospital I lay on the bed just jiggling my tummy to see if Nugget would respond with a kick or movement. 

Of course he did, but it wasn't as strong as it usually was and was up higher than usual. Happy that he had given me a little reassuring movement I got in my car and made my way back over to Worcester hospital. 

The date and time for my scan had been written in my lost notes, thankfully I had taken a picture of it so I had it to hand. I realised that it said Tuesday 4th May 2020 at 2pm, when the 4th was actually a Monday... I very almost called up to clarify the day, but naively assumed that the date would be correct and they had just put the wrong day...

It turns out I was a day early for my ultrasound, so I had to head home and go back again the following day. 

Eventually I was lay back on the bed in the consultants office, she asked me how I had been and I told her that everything was fine, but the reality was my world was being pulled out from beneath me.

The ultrasound commenced and she confirmed once again that there was no fluid, that there was a high chance I could lose my baby in between appointments and that she believes although the Amniocentisis came back clear, that there was a high chance of some kind of syndrome running alongside the heart condition and lack of fluid. 

As always Nugget's bladder was empty and there was nothig in his stomach. 

Baby was still measuring 3 weeks behind and the growth line is starting to plataue, however he had now reached the estimated fetal weight of 1lb 10z (He was 12oz at the previous scan at 23 weeks), which meant he had put on 5oz in that time frame - He should have been more along the lines of 1.68lbs... But despite slow growth and having Intrauterine Growth Restriction slapped into my notes, he had grown and reached another mini milestone in my eyes, the 1lb mark!

Another little surprise was that despite having no measurable fluid, baby boy had rotated into the head down position where as at the previous scan he had been breech. This was a milestone that I hadn't even considered a possibility. 

The different kind of movements suddenly made sense, it was because he had changed his position!

I wasn't offered a termination at this appointment after making my position on this very clear. I pushed for steriods and she told me that if I made it to 30 weeks when my next consultant appointmnet was to happen, then we could most certainly discuss the possibility of steriods for Nugget's lungs.

This gave me some hope, it meant that there was a chance.

I had my blood pressure and urine checked at this appointment, both of which were absolutely fine. 

Another appointment under the belt, with an update on baby boy and then a wide abyss of time between appointmnets. 

I feel awful right now that I should be focusing all my attention on baby boy, but my mind is all over the place and being pulled in so many different directions. I don't feel strong, I don't know what to do or how to make myself feel better and I don't know which outcome would favour my position best right now. 

As always I will paint a smile on my face and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Friday 1 May 2020

25 weeks pregnant

25 weeks pregnant - Anhydramnios Oligohydramnios

25 weeks was a milestone week for Nugget's movements, just like they were with Leo. Up until this week I had to be lay down in order to feel him moving around. I found that at 25+3 I could feel him moving when I was sitting up, and a a day or so later even when I was standing!

 There was one moment where baby boy kicked so hard into my belly button that I actually jumped, and I have even felt movemnts as high up as my belly button. This is the highest movement I have experienced so far.

When I woke up one morning this week I became aware that I could feel Nugget all down my right hand side, almost like he had turned and was now lenthways down my side opposed to laying across my lower tummy beneath my belly button.

It's been so nice having so much movement from him, reassuring me that he is doing ok in there despite everything that is going on. 

This week there were again no appointmnets, we have our next scan next week to see how baby boy is getting on. I have accepted that the fluid around him probably wont magically materialise, and I have accepted that these appointments will never be filled with the words that mean a miracle has happened. 

These appointments are always going to be about preparing me for the worst case scenario, they are always going to be about preparing me for the death of my unborn baby. I have made the decision that I will set mini goals for these appointmnets and if he reaches those markers I will be happy. 

All I really want is for him to keep on growing, putting on size and surviving. For this next scan I would love for him to hit the 1lb mark, and just know that his heart continues to beat strongly. I know that the fluid is gone for a reason... what that reason is no body can tell me, but it is gone. 

Keeping the hope alive has become so important to me, I don't think I could keep going if I was certain he woulnd't make it at the end. I have read so many stories where the outcome looked so bleak, but the babies pulled through in the end. 

I know that whatever happens my little guy is going to have to keep fighting even after the pregnancy, we know he has the heart condition Tetralogy of Fallot, but there could be other factors we need to consider should he defy all the odds and make it into this world. 

One thing that I have been unsually happy about is this, regardless of what happens now. No matter what happens. My baby boy get's a birth certificate, he's a real little person and whether or not I get to bring him home or not... He existed, he has a name and he matters.

My bump is looking rounder this week, more like a baby bump and less like chub. I would love for my tummy to fully pop and to actually look pregnant like I did with Leo. Due to the low fluid and growing a small baby, I am not suffering with back ache or having trouble getting to sleep each night. 

In a weird way it is another aspect of being pregnant that I have been robbed of.
I have found speaking out about what is going on in my pregancy refreshing. Back in February we announced that we were expecting, and instead of having to have individual conversations with people about the turn the pregnancy was actually taking, I decided to be quite vocal in what was happening. 

I have done this on my blog and on my personal social media, it has meant that I can update everyone in one go. I don't need to have one to one chat's with everyone I know and get emotional, I can think about what I want to say and how I want to say it before I put it out there.

People have been incredibly supportive, some have even gone as far as saying how brave it is. I don't consider it brave, if anything it's a way of addressing everyone in one go to spare myself. At the same time though I have been able to reach ladies who are going through a similar journey, and we have been able to guide each other on this journey into the unknown. 

I have been caught off guard a few times where people have congratulated me, and I have looked blankly at them wondering what the kind regards are for... then I realise they are congratulating my pregnancy. I should just say thank you, but I can't help but look at them with confused eyes.

It's another week under the belt, another day closer to the 26 week scan that I was told we may not make... But I have high hopes that we will!