October 8, 2007

And Definitely Restricted

Last week I met with the OB to follow up on the scan. Actually it was a series of confusing visits with different people and different interpretations. My regular appointment was already scheduled with the physician's assistant. She explained to me it's not just a matter of the baby being small as I had hoped; it is considered growth restriction because of the hypertension, since we know that hypertension definitely restricts fetal growth, especially in mom's over 30. She showed me a chart with our 17 week anatomy scan on a grid and you could see that it has dropped from just above 20th percentile then to just below (18th). It was a little frightening to see that, although it is still not in the teensy tiny dangerous less-than-10th percentile range.

I left that appointment feeling a bit more concerned and thinking this situation was a bit more serious than I had thought. I had flashbacks to my tiny neice born 3 pounds 15 ounces at 34 weeks, which sounds like about the pace of growth we are on. I remember visiting her in the nicu and her head was smaller than my fist, about the size of a tangerine. It was amazing to see her but scary too, and I remember what a horrifying time it was for her mom, who was driving more than an hour a day after a C section (not advised) so she could go visit her baby in the hospital. She was there about two weeks and is now a thriving 5 year old, but we'd certainly prefer not to repeat that scary nicu stay.

The next day I came back to see an OB since the physician's assistant thought I should follow up with one of them. The first thing she said when she walked in the room was "Your scan looks fine to me." Irritating. I didn't even know what to say. What does that mean? We've just readjusted our entire lives around strict bed rest. I even missed a family funeral that was important to me, and she's telling me everything's fine?! I may have just stared at her blankly for a while, blinking. Eventually we got around to the part where she said "Look at it this way, you're 33 weeks. If we have to deliver your baby tomorrow, it will be just fine." That's when I realized she wasn't telling me I'd had a perfect scan and there was no growth restriction and bed rest was totally unecessary, she just had a very different definition "fine."

And now mine is somewhere in the middle. I'm aware that bedrest is important because we need to keep my blood pressure under control as much as possible and try to keep the fluid levels as high as possible, but the baby seems pretty healthy and there's nothing to do but wait for the next scan before we start guessing about whether I'm going to be induced early. Every week I'll be going back to the Peri for another check, and every week they'll be evaluating whether the baby is better off inside or out. Kind of familiar, the old weekly wait for the next check. I thought I'd graduated from that class already.

So the inevitable question everyone's asking us now is if we're ready. In the most basic sense, all we need is an infant car seat, a place for the baby to sleep, and a pair of stocked boobs. We've got the car seat, a bassinet loaned to us by a friend is next to our bed, and I've been leaking colostrum for two months now, so I guess we're ready. It doesn't even matter that we've got a pretty well stocked nursery ready to go, but it will be nice not having to worry about that until we're ready to use it. We've got some basic diapering essentials, but we'd have to buy preemie size diapers. Basically, we're ready.

There are a number of things that aren't as completely ready as I'd like. We still have one last baby class and a lactaction class I'm hoping we'll attend. I've got loads of work to wrap up before going on maternity leave but it's getting there. I haven't packed a hospital bag but I may get to that after the scan on Thursday depending on how that goes. I haven't pre-addressed birth announcement envelopes and other things like that but we'll see what I get around to.

From the time I had a due date, I've been trying to prepare myself for being late. It seems like everyone I know has been at least a week late and they go crazy waiting for those last few weeks to go by. I decided to be excited about the idea of being 10 days late (12/3) so the baby could be born on the third of it's month like me and J. This was my silver lining if it started to drag on forever. Now this whole thing has me thinking about delivering by 11/3 (37 weeks). If we are lucky enough not to have a preemie, the flipside is that it WILL drag on forever, so I guess there's no perfect answer to mentally preparing yourself. Of course the key thing will be hoping for a healthy baby, but the other thing I'll be checking the tea leaves for at each scan is some clue to just how much longer we have to go. Patience has never been my thing.


Valerie said...

I am sitting here hoping and praying you make it to 37 weeks and deliver a healthy baby. Rest as much as you can Momma.

Anonymous said...

I haven't had a chance to reply to your email (in-law invasion) but have been thinking of you non-stop.

I am sorry to hear that this is a bigger deal than you originally thought. I hope the restrictions aren't too bad and you can pretty much lie around and have people cater to you. If I was closer, I would bring you dinner and lots of baked stuff.

Keep hanging in there, it won't be much longer. I am sure the next weeks will drag on, but I will be thinking of you and the little one.

Nearlydawn said...

Sounds like there is fine, and there is FINE, huh? Damn, hate that kind of frustrating ambiguity.

Well, I do hope that all goes as well as possible over the next few weeks. I take it from your post that are ARE on bedrest... That probably won't be your favorite thing, I'd wager.

IF there's anything us bloggers can do for you, especially to help distract you, you know how to reach us!! :)

Anonymous said...

It's so awful when we talk ourselves into one thing only to have it completely flipped over. I'm sorry that your little one is lagging and that you're getting somewhat inconsistent feedback from your docs about it. I certainly do hope that your baby doesn't fall behind any more and that your BP stabilizes/drops a bit.

Tam said...

Hey Sarah, I am hoping that everything works out well, hopefully your next scan will tell you more and you can try and prepare yourself from there.

It's hard, especially considering the IF part of all this but just try and rest as much as you can and we are all praying for a healthy baby for you!

Kate said...

All things considered, I would have to agree with your doctor's definition of fine. 33 weeks is fine. 35 would be better. 37 great. 40 fantastic.

And by the way, you can't have Nov. 3. That's my due date and I am not sharing. :)

Hang in there, Sarah, and keep us updated. I am thinking of you lots.

JJ said...

Definitely let people cater to your every need--take it easy--Ill come be a personal servant=)
ALMOST there....=)

Nicole said...

I think I want to start bringing a whiffel ball bat with me to doctor's appointments. That should allow me to "properly" respond to comments like "fine". Grrr. Glad you're hanging onto patience the best that you can.

Anns said...

Oh wow girl, are you EVER in my thoughts! How are you working on bedrest.. or more so, WHY are you working on bedrest? Isn't there some law against that or something?

On another note when I say I'm in my 20's I'm saying it with pride since I'm minutes away from the 30's.. so let me revel in it ok!

Stay calm and know that in any event at least you can be assured that you live in a country where our hospitals are equipped to handle premies.... not everyone can boast that.

My best,
ANns xo

Cibele said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and wishing me well. I hope that the next scan shows that your baby is growing and that you can hold on a little longer. Take care and rest. I am sorry that you have to go through this

Angie said...

Hoping you and baby are safe and healthy.

Sara said...

Oh dear. I'm so sorry to hear that there is no longer any question about whether restriction is an issue. I share all of your fears (my baby is behind too, and the doctor is speaking ominously of an early delivery), and very much appreciate the bizarreness of having to try to adjust your mind to a very early birth, while still keeping the possibility of being overdue in mind. I guess we might as well embrace uncertainty, though, having no other option.

Good luck my dear. I'll be hoping for good news.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

WOW - so much to worry about. It sounds like you are handling things as well as can be expected. But that first doctor would have left me in tears.


niobe said...

Of course, the growth restriction and very real possibility of a preemie are scary, but even in the worst case, you are *fine* in the sense that even if the baby was born this very minute, at 33 weeks, everything is likely to be absolutely okay, even with some time in the nicu.

Still, I'm wishing for the absolute best case scenario for you --which would mean making it to at least something like 37 weeks with no further restriction and no extra hospital time. And, though I know it's hard, I'm sending a few extra patience vibes in your direction.

Queila said...

Enjoy the pampering and take as much rest as you can (that's what people keep telling me, anyways).

I'll be thinking of you.


Lindsey said...

Sarah, I feel very much on the same page. We are trying to get ready, and I am trying to accept the fact that I may have a baby that goes to the NICU instead of straight home. I thought I had more time, and every day I ask her to try to make it to 11/7. I want this to be easy for her, and I hope it ends up being easy for your little girl, too. Fingers crossed that this ends up going better than expected for both of us.

Marie-Baguette said...

not sure if this can help you but my baby was measuring at 38 percentile and then fell off the charts and they did not induce me right away because the baby was doing fine. I am really hoping things are going to be fine for you and the baby. For the premie diapers, I ordered them on Amazon (the NICU was using the Newborn size though). For smaller clothes, GAPBaby has a "up to 7lbs" size that is great. Gerber is also doing a small newborn size. As to the birth announcement, I would not worry about them. During the first couple of weeks, you won't sleep much because the baby will wake you all the time, so you can do the cards in between feeds!

Sticky Bun said...

Wow--you have got so much going on. I'm sorry that you have this to worry about, but hope that taking it (very!) easy will do the trick until 37 weeks!

hang in there!