Monday 29 June 2020

32 - 34 Weeks Pregnant - IUGR and Anhydramnios

34 Weeks Pregnant - IUGR Anhydramnios Oligohydramnios

It's been a few weeks since I sat down to write a Nugget update, and it has certainly been a busy few weeks to say the least. 

Following on from my last post, I am pleased to say that a new normality is forming (even amongst furloughed life and Covid 19). Leo and I are making plans for the future and despite having some storms to weather over the coming weeks and months, we are so excited to start house hunting and moving on with the next chapter of our lives.

34 Weeks Pregnant - IUGR Anhydramnios Oligohydramnios

I am very lucky to have an incredibly supportive family, and if it wasn't for them I would probably still be sat curled up in a ball on the floor and rocking relentlessly backwards and forwards. A big drive for me has been getting moving, putting on my headphones and going out on some rather epic walks just to clear the fog that descends in my mind. 

Endorphins really are the best anti-depressent ever!

Nugget has been breaking more rules over the last few weeks, at 32 weeks I had to take a trip to hospital due to a bleed. It was at this point I realised how under prepared I was, I didn't even have the basics for a hospital bag, and despite making a list weeks ago... I didn't have a clue what I needed.

I called up the triage and overloaded them with information about baby and myself, they told me I needed to come in and get checked over. They told me to bring my hospital bag in case they needed to keep me in, or in case baby was going to make an appearance. 

They asked me who was bringing me in, and I explained that I would be driving myself. The guy seemed shocked and advised me to get dropped off, but I explained that it was fine and this was how I wanted to do it.  

33 Weeks Pregnant - IUGR Anhydramnios Oligohydramnios

I started to throw things into a bag and explaining to Leo that he was going to have to stay with Grandma and Grandad while I went over to Worcester to get checked. I explained that I didn't know what was going to happen or what time I would be back, and thankfully he was absolutely fine about it all. 

Leo actually said the most lovely thing to me this week, and anyone who has followed this blog for a time will know that he has always had a favourite blanket. It's something I have always found very endearing about him, over the years I have managed to get my hands on about 5 of these blankets (actually a cot duvet that was part of a cot set from Toys R Us!) on Ebay! 

Leo wants his baby brother to have one of these blankets, he wants me to take one with me to hospital when he is born especially for him. 

This beautiful gesture on Leo's part equally melted and broke my heart all at the same time!

I have found being honest about everything with Leo as it happens the best way to keep him happy with what is happening/going to happen. I threw what I thought I may need into a bag and off we went.

When I arrived at hospital triage was full, so I was taken down to the delivery ward and set up in a room for them to do all their checks on baby.

Everyone was so lovely, I had to explain how complicated the situation was to quite a few different people, and as baby was looking so good on the trace machine, for the first time in my entire pregnancy I was told not to give up hope.

This both floored and confused me further...

Nugget looked nice and strong on the trace machine which was nice to see, but I always find this difficult as I know that the scans paint a very different picture. We were left on there for quite a while which was fine with me. I had been handed a little clicker that I had to press everytime I felt him move. 

32 Weeks Pregnant - IUGR Anhydramnios Oligohydramnios

Of course Nugget decided to stay very still, but that wasn't out of the ordinary for him, he has never moved like I remember Leo moving, as he has got bigger the movements have changed. Instead of being a foot or hand to the stomach, it's more of an overall movement. Almost like a swipe as his entire body slowly moves to where he wants to go.

33 Weeks Pregnant - IUGR Anhydramnios Oligohydramnios

I have always put this down to the low/no fluid, he's essentially vaccum packed and doesn't have the opportunity to kick or hit out. So Nugget's movements are not so pronounced, which of course is normal for him and what I am used to. 

It is always quite tricky to explain though...

Eventually the on duty consultant came to see me, they checked to see if they could see why or where the bleed had originated (they used a torch and I couldn't help but chuckle!), but it wasn't obvious and as it had been old blood they weren't overly concerned. 

It was with the consultant that I discussed my birth plan and what I wanted to happen, up until this point they were talking about keeping me in overnight for monitoring. When they heard that I was having an un-monitored birth they decided it was ok to send me home again.

Over the next few days I had some on/off bleeding and what I think was a 'show', just before I was off on a 10k walk, as you can see.... I still went!

33 Weeks Pregnant - IUGR Anhydramnios Oligohydramnios

I had my next official consultant and scan appointment on the 23rd June where I would be 33 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I could feel Nugget moving around in his fashion so I decided to wait until then to discuss all of this.

The consultant in charge of my case is amazing, I have so much respect for her and all she has done for Nugget and I. The first thing she asked me was 'Are you still feeling him move?' to which I informed her that he was still here and fighting!

Everytime I tell her that he is still with us she looks shocked, he keeps defying all the odds placed on him and breaking all the rules. We discussed my trip to hospital the week prior, how I was with everything else that had been going on behind the scenes (which thankfully was all incredibly positive!) and the scan commenced! 

As always a thorough check of Nugget was carried out, and as always you don't see a lot on the scans due to there being no fluid, but I instantly saw the beating of his little broken heart. It's been months since I saw anything that actually resembled a baby on the screen, but I know he is in there.

As the scan continued I saw her hovering over what I thought could potentially look like a stomach, but as Nugget's stomach had never been seen on a scan in the past...I thought that I was just jumping the gun and that this wouldn't be the case. 

As it happens... My consultant started talking about how she could see what appeared to be fluid in baby boy's stomach!

33 Weeks Pregnant - IUGR Anhydramnios Oligohydramnios

I asked how this could be? 

Where had the fluid come from? 

The consultant looked just as baffled as myself, and she told me that 'he really was a little enigma'. 

That much is certainly true!

Nugget is weighing in at an estimated 2lbs 1oz (absolutely tiny for his gestation), but he has grown. I was then told that it was positive that he was growing, and if it was just the heart condition and Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) then there could be some hope, but obviously we have the Anhydramnios and small lungs at play in our scenario too... Along with potentially things we don't even know about yet.

There is still zero fluid around baby (Anhydramnios) and he is still breech. My consultant thinks that even though he continues to grow and stay put for now, ultimately when we get to delivering him, this is potentially where we could lose him. 

This prompted a number of questions on my part, as I was so confused on what I needed to include in my hospital bag. 

Packing a hospital bag that didn't really include anything for baby was so foreign to me and I was certain that I was missing essential items..

Did I need to include nappies? Baby grows? 

Anything for baby at all?

It was decided that I should maybe purchase some premature baby clothes, but I got the impression that was more for me than it was for the baby. I figure he will only need clothes that early on if he loses his fight, as if he was in NICU then he wouldn't really require clothes...

As for nappies, it was explained that I wouldn't be able to purchase them small enough for my little fighter.

It looks as though I will still have the Pediatrician at the birth, and ultimately if he is born alive, his fate lies in his hands. He will make the overall decision on whether to intervene or to let nature take it's course...

I have to admit that I have been doubting my decision over whether or not I want steriods for baby before he arrives. It really is a difficult decision and I think that is the one thing that I will keep going over and over in my mind, as I said last time I have decided against having them, but what if this is the wrong decision?

Maybe I will get more clarity from future scans, maybe things could look more positive? Maybe the decision will be taken completely out of my hands and be irrelevant anyway... It really is just a case of waiting and seeing what happens next.

I am hoping that I will be induced should I reach 36/37 weeks, I feel this will allow more control over when and how baby arrives into the world, and I feel the need to control any aspect of what can actually be controlled in a very out of my control situation. 

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