Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hate to whine, but ...

I had another really crappy Monday.  Seriously, I am starting to dread Mondays ... aside from the fun I have with All About MEme.  Because CPV is home on Mondays to provide childcare, I schedule my doctor's appointments for that day.  Great way to start my week ... like the great glucose debacle of two weeks ago ...  

I interrupt this post to bring you two apologies:
  • This post is ridiculously long.  I am sorry about that ... but yesterday was rather action-packed.
  • I have not had the chance to visit the All About MEme participants.  I will do my best to do that in the next day.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled post :)

Because this pregnancy has been a bit out-of-the-ordinary, I had two appointments yesterday.

The first was a routine OB appointment with Dr. M.  I gained a few pounds - woo hoo!  My glucose tolerance test came back normal.  Baby's heartrate sounded great.  My uterus was measuring a bit small, which came as no surprise and didn't worry either of us too much.  And somehow, Dr. M talked me into getting a flu shot ... not the H1N1, just the typical flu vaccine.  I've never actually had a flu shot before, and my arm is throbbing and painful ... like 16 hours later.  Next year I think I'll just take my chances.

The second was with the specialist at Maternal Fetal Medicine.  The doctor there has been monitoring my pre-term labor symptoms, checking my cervical length every chance she gets, and making sure baby isn't been affected by all this excitment.  My visit started with a twenty-minute NST (non-stress test) during which I had three contractions.  The baby's heartrate was very reactive - lots of highs and lows - and compared to the heart of a 32 weeker ... at just 29 weeks.  Way to go, Baby Girl 2.0!

I was feeling so proud and assured as I waddled across the hall for my ultrasound;  despite the multitude I've already had, I couldn't wait to get a good look at my baby girl.  With my nagging fear of "not looking" as pregnant as I am, I was anxious to get measurements of the baby's growth.  Foreshadowing.  She looked great on the screen - brain, heart, adorable profile -  and did her best to allude the technician, which just made me smile. 

Next was the most painful fFn test (fetal Fibronectin) I've had thus far - it's like a pap smear - minus the lube and speculum - that checks to see if my body is releasing a protein substance.  It's a predictor of pre-term labor, and it was my 4th swab  this pregnancy.  Well, I don't know what the heck that nurse was doing down there, but instead of a swab, it felt like she was digging around down there - with a tampon - sans lube.  I was none-too-happy about that procedure ... and I think I made my feelings quite clear.  The nurse was apologetic but I still considered kicking her in the face ... not really, but it did feel good to type that ... kind of wish I had thought of that at the time!

The poking and proding ended with the ceremonious checking of my cervix of steel ... which is, in deed, making good on its name.  My cervical length has been unaffected by all these darn contractions ... good news!

Very good news considering what I heard next from Dr. K. 

In a month's time, Baby Girl 2.0 went from the 30th percentile for growth to less than the 10th percentile.  This was not good news, and I was a little shell-shocked and confused and upset.  It could be that she's just small ... and that's okay ... but it's a significant enough change and low enough percentile that rigorous monitoring will be required.  (The following list is really for me to get all of this straight ...)
  • Bloodwork done tomorrow to check my thyroid level and meet with my endocronologist to discuss what effect (if any) that level could be having on the baby's growth.
  • Additional vitamin containing more folic acid, B12, and B6 ... a little growth cocktail.
  • Increased protein in my diet - balanced with "good" carbs. 
  • Twice weekly non-stress tests. 
  • Weekly ultrasounds to check on baby's well-being, especially blood flow in and out of the placenta and umbilicial cord.
  • Ultrasound in two weeks to evaluate baby's growth.
  • Dr. K also talked about steroid shots but wants to wait as long as possible before administering; they are most effective when given within two weeks of delivery.  We are still hoping this little nugget is going to cook for many more weeks.
I left the office in tears ... and the stupid receptionist took like 10 minutes to schedule my next appointments.  I couldn't get out of that parking garage fast enough.  Once cell phone service was available, I called Chitown Momma ... and through my sobs explained what had happened.  She was the calm, collected, empathetic rock that I knew she would be.

I drove home in a daze.  Trying to be optimistic.  Trying to remember that this wasn't - by any means - the worst news I could've received.  Baby Girl 2.0 is still happily in utero.  Her heartrate looks great and she's active ...

But I still needed reassurance, so I called my primary care physician / OB to discuss the results of all this testing.  Dr. M is amazing!  Her number one concern was getting my stress level down.  She's a firm believer in the connection between mother's stress and fetal well-being and does not like the idea of me getting worked up.  Just hearing her voice made me feel more calm.  (Perhaps I'll write more about that conversation in another post ...)

I finally arrived back home - almost four hours after leaving for my MFM appointment.  Natalie had just woken up from her nap.  We had a snack and read stories ... while CPV went to have the flat tire fixed.  Oh yeah, I started my day with a flat tire!   And then I headed upstairs for a quick snooze.  I spent the next two hours in a deep sleep and woke up to a delicious pasta dinner.  CPV took care of Natalie and everything else; I am so grateful for him!

My head is still spinning (and my arm is still throbbing) ... but I am making peace with the fact that this pregnancy is going to be a pain in the ass ... but totally worth it in the end! 

Baby Girl 2.0
I love you so!
Please, please, ...
Grow, Grow, Grow!


BJ_Mama said...

Oh, dear. I. HAVE. BEEN. THERE. I am praying for you and 2.0 as I type. The same thing happened with Samantha, and we've had "growth issues" ever since. Only she dropped below the 10h percentile at 37 weeks and they induced labor that very night!
I went through the 2 a week appointments and the NSTs and growth ultrasounds from right about where you are now, though. I know the stress, the worry, oh, I wish I could jump across the country and hug you RIGHT NOW!
It sounds like you have one WONDERFUL hubby to take care of you. That's what helped me the most aside from constant prayer.
Just know that you are not alone, and I am a firm believer that those ultrasounds become TOO much at some point. When they threw up the induction flag at 37 weeks for me, they thought Sam was 4lbs 10oz she came out 5lbs 7.5oz SO THERE!
My family and I will continue to pray for you and 2.0 and the other sweet V's.
God Bless!

Raising Z said...

Wow! What an ordeal for you to have to go through. I am so sorry and praying that she stays in to cook for at least the next 9 weeks! I am glad that your doctor is so supportive and calming...I was just thinking that mine would never do that sort of stuff for me. Maybe if I go for a third it is time to change things up.

I had an appt. today and I was nervous that the baby might have turned on Sunday (a very painful 30 min. of movement where I was convinced the little peanut turned). I wasn't seeing my usual doctor (thank goodness) and the nice midwife I was seeing went to get the ultrasound machine so that we could check to see that the head was down...it is (my doc never would have done that)! I have my next ultrasound next week to check fluid and growth and they may take the peanut right then. We shall see....

I am sending good vibes and thoughts your way! As you said, it will all be worth it in the end. This little girl must be a little diva and wants to make sure that her entrance into the world has STYLE :)

Oliver'sMom said...

Lady, that wasn't whining, that was stress relief! You type what you gotta type, you do what you gotta do! Personally, I love that you post like you do-I think it makes all of your friends feel like you are reaching out to us for comfort which is EXACTLY what we WANT you to do!!!! Huge hugs, but not so huge they start some contractions, and good thoughts and prayers your way. PS-I think you need a Jimmy Johns today...You earned it!

stb said...

ARGH - Oh man - take it easy and let your husband keep making you fancy dinners!!

Deb said...

Glad that you and the babe are in good hands! I also had some quirky scares with my second pregnancy--and an insensitive doc (who I ditched) made it much more stressful than it needed to be.

You're doing the right thing by relaxing and thinking positive the best you can.

Sending good vibes your way!

Terri said...

Oh dear. Very stressful Monday. I'm sorry you had to go through that! The flu shot... I get them every year and just got mine. The pain will go away probably tomorrow. And trust me - it's better than getting the flu. Your tiny BGV 2.0 - I know it's stressful, but try to remember the happy healthy little one that's roaming around in there. She'll grow... they all do. You'll do what's right, and everything will be fine. And vent... I agree that it definitely helps. :) That's why we are here!

Laura said...

Big sis...I am thinking about you and sending big big growing vibes to 2.0. We all miss you and Natalie very much. Big hugs and belly rubs. <3 Laura

The World As I See It said...

I can relate about monday's totally sucking. I am sorry to hear that your baby isn't growing how they would like it to but at least she is growing! I think at times doctors can be to strict about baby's gaining and what not. I see why they are worried but hell she is growing and they don't need to make people feel like crap.

Miss Mel said...

Thinking of you D! You are being the rock she needs! xoxox

Chi-town momma said...

Hugs, friend, hugs!
Just keep rubbing that belly-o-yours and reasuring BGV with your loving words. Sending "big baby" vibes your way!

Epiphius said...

Geez Dana! It seems like you just can't get a break! It's not whining to get things off your chest and reach out for support! Me and mine will continue praying for you and yours and hoping that BGV2.0 stays snug and cozy in your uterus.

One thing I've learned with the flu shots is that if you (or hubby) rub the muscle, it tends to help a bit. It's also totally worth the excuse to ask for a back/shoulder/arm/... rub!

Epiphius said...

Oh ps! Yeah for normal GTT results!

SupahMommy said...

grow baby grow baby grow baby grow...

she'll be perfect dana.


Shell said...

I'm cringing at the probing. Ouch.

Grow, little girl! Sending grow vibes to your little one.

Kmama said...

hi! I'm popping over from SupahMommy and I just had to comment.

First, I'm sorry you had such a rough appointment. I honestly know how those go. My first son was small and they suspected IUGR with him, in addition to low amniotic fluid. I posted about my story here: http://thedailydribbles.blogspot.com/2009/08/true-story-tuesday_11.html

and here: http://thedailydribbles.blogspot.com/2009/08/true-story-tuesday_14.html

(the second is a continuation of the first).

My son is now 5 years old, and yes, he's small. He's in the 10th percentile for height and the 5th percentile for weight, but he's smart, and cute, and can do everything everyone else his age can do.

You hang in there! And feel free to email me if you have questions or just need to vent, because I really do know how you are feeling!!

Elaina said...

My doctor was worried that Lily was very small, and I had to get frequent ultrasounds near the end of the pregnancy. She ended up being a big healthy baby.

On another note, great guest post on the eebees site. What an awesome play date you hosted. You're a super mom! xoxo.

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