Monday, June 29, 2009


I had a prenatal appointment today. Everything looks good. Thumper is doing well, I'm doing well, everything is just peachy. And yet, in the middle of the appointment that little nagging bit of doubt crept in there and I had to take a moment to compose myself.

I am 25 weeks pregnant. The baby is roughly 1.5 pounds. Still tiny. I was concerned because the last few times I've used my doppler to listen to her heartbeat it has fluctuated from a strong fast beat to a slower fainter beat. I know that's normal. I know that. But it still freaks me out a bit because the theory is that Benjamin died from a blood clot caused by him compressing his cord. So when Thumper's heart rate slows I just imagine it's because she's planted herself on her cord and is compressing it. And then she'll get a blood clot and die. That is immediately where my mind goes. Even tho, logically, I know it's normal. All babies compress their cords. And most do live.

My doctor assured me that Thumper is still too small to compress her cord. That fluctuations are totally normal. As long as her heart rate is speeding back up quickly then she's fine. That if the heart rate stays below 100 for any length of time then I should be concerned. But basically he told me that, at this point, there is no cause for alarm. Then he went on to state that what happened to Benjamin was a total fluke, like being struck by lightening, and it should not happen to one person more than once. He must have sensed my reaction to that statement because he went on to state that he knows I won't believe that until I am holding this baby safe and healthy in my arms. I just cannot put any faith in statistics and such. It wasn't supposed to happen once, why shouldn't it happen again.

Then I also got a copy of my files since I am going on vacation next week. I want to take a copy of my pregnancy files just in case I have to go to the hospital while I am away. Obviously I read the files, even though I knew there was going to be a lot of stuff on Benjamin in them. Right at the top it goes over my obstetrical history. It has Benjamin listed as 'induced fetal demise, breech'. And then under the heading for 'present health' it simply has N/A. Not applicable. Obviously I know that is true, but it's just so clinical and harsh. God how I wish it was applicable.

Then in the report from my high risk doctor I am referred to as a G3P1SA1. Curiosity got the better of me and I googled what that meant (damn Google!). G means Gravita, which means woman. The 3 is for 3 pregnancies. P is for Para, which is used for the number of previous successful live births. And SA is for Spontaneous Abortions. So in those short 7 characters you can see that I have had 3 pregnancies, one 'successful live birth' and one 'spontaneous abortion'. A spontaneous abortion? Doesn't that sound nice. So clean and clinical. Now I realize these reports cannot be all compassionate and gloss over the cold hard facts, but damn! That just sounds horrible! Let's hope in October I become a G3P2SA1!

The report went on to state that I should be seen more frequently during this pregnancy for various reasons, including emotional support. "She indeed got pregnant very soon after she lost her baby last November and as a result of that is up for a very emotional, stressful rollercoaster during this pregnancy. There was just no time for her to have grieved properly the recent loss of her baby". Ummm..... I thought there was no right and wrong way to grieve? I thought time would NOT heal all wounds? I thought every one grieved on their own time line? Who's to say this isn't the best way for me to grieve. Who's to say that I am not grieving every freaking day, regardless of the fact that I am pregnant! Who's to say that if I had waited to get pregnant that would not have been harder on me? I want more children. I want a living, breathing, crying, healthy freaking baby in my arms! That does not, in any way, diminish the loss I feel for my son! I can mourn him and at the same time try to be hopeful for this baby. They are not mutually exclusive. I understand that this pregnancy is going to be very emotional and stressful. I think even if I had waited months, or years, it would have been very emotional and stressful. Time will not change that. Time will not erase the pain of losing Benjamin. It will not make the hurt and disbelief that it happened or the belief that it might happen again go away. I will feel this way for every pregnancy I have, regardless of how much time I have had to grieve my sweet baby Benjamin.

I washed all my baby clothes this weekend. I had a bunch that a friend gave to me before she moved. They are all boy's clothes. A bunch of them had small stains on them because her son was a big spitter-upper and was on medication for it that stained clothes. I was able to get almost all the stains out, which I was very pleased about because the clothes are really cute. I also washed the big bag of girl clothes my sister handed down to me. Most of them are 12 months or older. So if Thumper is indeed a girl she's going to be wearing a whole lot of blue, lol! But I'll wait to go shopping until I get a better indication of the gender of this stubborn little baby! I go for another ultrasound on August 5th, so lets hope s/he is a little less modest at that scan!

So that's my update for today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A trip to labour and delivery

I think this might have been #1 of potentially many trips to labour and delivery for me this pregnancy. For a few days last week I had been crampy but had just attributed it to doing too much around the house. Then on Friday afternoon I was out grocery shopping and got pretty intense heart palpitations and then everything went black. I didn't actually pass out but it left me dizzy and shaky. As soon as I was done shopping I went to work to see Brian. After discussing it for a while we decided that I should go to L&D, just to be safe.

I was terrified to go. I wasn't worried that there would be any problems with Thumper since she was moving around like crazy all day. I was just terrified that they would put me in assessment room #1. That's where I went when my blood pressure was through the roof with Jackson and that's where I went when they told me Benjamin had died. That room is not a good room for me. I could not bear the thought of going into that room again after the last time I was in there.

As soon as I got to the nurses station I started bawling. I just knew they would tell me to go in that room. They guessed that I thought I was in labour. I said no but couldn't get anything else out. Then they told me to go to Assessment room #1. I immediately said 'no, I don't want to go in that room' and I think with the fear in my voice and the sobbing they figured out right away not to put me in there. Instead they sent me to room #3.

Room #3 is a fantastic room for me. The best room on the floor. I would happily spend every day of this pregnancy in that room. That was the room that Jackson was born in. That is the room that wonderful, amazing, awe-inspiring things happen in. That is the room that I became a mom in. ONLY good things can happen in that room.

I told the nurse why I was there and what my history is. I told her about Benjamin. She was wonderful, as I'm suspecting all the nurses at this hospital are. The doctor came in and took my full history, then started checking me out. They listened to the baby's heart beat (152 bpm), they checked my blood pressure (a bit high, but I think it was just the anxiety from being there), they checked my blood oxygen level, they ran blood work, they even did an EKG. They were very very thorough. The doctor said that he was probably being overly cautious and doing some unnecessary tests, but with my history they'd rather be overly thorough than miss something. Everything came back normal. They don't know why I was crampy or why I almost blacked out. But I am fine now.

I am glad that I went though. They were so wonderful to me. The nurse told me that I would never be seen as a bother or anything, that they would rather see me every day for the rest of this pregnancy than miss that one time that I should have come in. They only want me to have a healthy screaming baby at the end of this. It gave me so much reassurance to know that any time I feel off in the slightest that I should not hesitate to go to l&d. Normally I have a problem with that. I hate feeling like I am inconveniencing people or overreacting to something. But they made me feel better about it, helped me understand that I have every right to react strongly to any concerns this pregnancy. And they totally made me feel welcome there.

And the nurse put it on my chart that I am not to be seen in Assessment Room #1. I would rather be seen in the hall than go back in that room. Phawoo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A good day

I started a support group with another mom that lost a baby. We've had a few meetings now and seem to get a new member every month. That sounds impressive but considering we've only been having meetings for 3 months now that just means that there are now 5 members of our group, lol. At our last meeting we were talking about giving birth. One of the members was talking about how she's only had cesarean sections and really wants to experience a vaginal birth. That got all of us talking about giving birth and all the positive experiences and feelings of it. For the first time this pregnancy I had flutterings of excitement.

I love giving birth. I am one of those odd women that enjoys going into labour, going through the hours of labour leading up to the birth, and then that glorious moment when the baby first comes out and you feel that sudden change. That change from being one being with your baby to suddenly having them out in the world, out into your arms. Where you can look at them, kiss them, hold them in your arms and just be in pure utter awe of them. All the hours of discomfort, pain, excitement and fear just dissipate in that moment. And there he is, your baby, your glorious baby.

My labour and delivery with Jackson was textbook. It had it's moments of worry but all in all it was a beautiful experience. My labour and delivery with Benjamin was as good as it could have been given the circumstances. I still had that moment when he first came out and I got to see him. Granted it was bittersweet, but it was still that moment that you wait for. That moment to finally see the little bean that has been kicking, punching, rolling, and hiccuping away inside of you. To finally see face to face who you've gotten to know over those past few months.

So on Friday I finally had that excitement. That flutter in my gut and in my heart when I thought about when Thumper would be born. I was actually able to imagine that moment when Thumper becomes his/her own separate entity and the doctor places him/her on my chest and I can just gaze at the glory that is my new baby. I'm not ready yet to imagine that the baby that is placed on my chest will be living, breathing and screaming, but I know I'll get there.

It was a good day.