Tuesday, March 24, 2009

34 Weeks & Some Surprises

Well, as the creative title implies- we are 34 weeks along. Yes, "we can't wait!," yes, "we are still feeling great." No, "I cannot predict when she will be born..." Yes, "we realize how much our lives will change in a few short weeks," blah, blah, blah.

Everyone seems to have a million questions and their 2 cents of wisdom for a pregnant lady these days. I have also noticed a calculated increase in "sympathy" tips at the restaurant. Note to all you ladies out there: wait a few tables when you are about 30-34 weeks pregnant - people think you are a sad, knocked up gal raising a baby on your own, and they tip 20% plus - guaranteed!

So, we are still feeling so good that I make my previously and currently pregnant friends want to stab me with dull spoons. I am sorry, it has just been a freakishly uneventful pregnancy to this point and I feel fantastic. The docs tell me that the baby is 100% healthy, right on track for growth, and that I should count my blessings.

However there has been one small glitch in the perfect pregnancy. We had an appointment last week - at this appointment they looked back through my charts and remembered that at my 20 week ultrasound I had a bit of a "low lying placenta" and it was nothing to be concerned with then because 95% of the time it "migrates up" to where it is supposed to be by the time you get to the end of the pregnancy. Low lying means it was a bit too close to the cervical opening (where the babe will come out and if it ruptures or bleeds it is VERY bad). So, no worries for the last 15 weeks - surely it migrated and all will be great.

Well, after a follow up ultrasound was done yesterday, it is still within the "not-safe threshold." It needed to be at least 2 cm away and it was at 1cm. SO, this news was delivered to me by my very nice sonographer with a disclaimer - "your doctor will confirm all this and let you know what is going on."

Of course I can hardly wait for the doc to get the report from the radiologist, so I call him and tell him to get the report asap and call me. He is nice, so he does and sure enough... Too close for comfort but "he will consult the other 3 docs" and we will make any final calls regarding the delivery at my weekly appointment on Thursday.

To simplify my rambling: I have a partial placenta previa. This is one of the 3 possible scenarios where a vaginal delivery is just not an option. This means that I will have to have a cesarean section to deliver baby healthy and not risk bleeding to death myself. This means that all my hopes and dreams of this beautiful natural birth where my baby comes into the world in a certain way are shattered. This means that I grieved and pouted for my disappointment and this BIZARRE turn of events for exactly 8 hours. Pete helped by being really, really sweet and getting me dairy queen blizzards and letting me cry on the couch all night.

Let me just say that I am EXTREMELY thankful and grateful for the modern technology that can identify this very real complication that would likely result in a very very bad situation for me and our baby. I am MOST concerned with the healthy delivery of our baby, above any thing else in the entire world. But, it was quite a blow. We have been thinking and preparing for this birth for 9 months. The entire birth training I have been doing has been "visualizing" this natural birth and I whole heartedly wanted and believed in the plans we had. It's like training for a marathon for months and pouring your emotions and hopes and efforts into it and then breaking your foot a few days before the race! BUZZ KILL!

I still have to talk to the docs on Thursday, but being me - I of course have now dove head first into reading about placenta previa and the odds of being able to do a natural deliver - pretty much 0% - you just don't mess with a big bleeding placenta - I get it. And, I don't want to risk anything, especially this.

So, there we have it... You will likely be meeting baby girl Howell a bit earlier than expected, as (from what I have read) and she will likely be delivered (unless there is a small miracle) by cesarean section. You can read a more technical definition about placenta previa here.

Great news - she is ADORABLE! I got another peak at her sweet face and feet and butt in the ultrasound and she has a beautiful face and full lips and big cheeks. She is perfect. She is estimated to be about 5 pounds right now (give or take 12 ounces either way) and she will likely gain about 1/2 pound a week until she is born. She is estimated to be in the 40th percentile for size - so she is kind of petite!

We can't wait to meet her - HOWEVER she comes into this world!


Terra said...

Hey girlie! Chin up! I can feel your pain about the c-section. Unfortunately mine was not due to placenta previa, but a baby with a big head. We waited and waited and prayed and hoped that somehow he'd figure out a way to migrate that little (or big) head of his down and out, but at 38 weeks I too had to have a c-section. Not as I had envisioned or planned my pregnancy either mostly because I knew that chances of me getting to have a natural childbirth the next go round were slim to none due to risks after c-section, but here is the good news you can look forward to....c-section babies have beautiful, perfect round heads since they don't have to come through the birth canal. I know...TMI...but trying to give you something positive to look forward to! You look wonderful!!

Promoting OK adoption said...

Brooke! I am so sorry! I am so proud of you for being positive about this and seeing the big picture. But at the same time I can only imagine the heartache of all that you have prepared for. Your analogy was incredible about the marathon. I am so sorry! That's all I can say! Terra is right though, they make pretty babies and in reality it's about the health of you and the baby. I am just sorry that darn placenta is not cooperating! The same thing just happened to my sister Becki.

tim, ally and silas said...

thanks for the update my friend...love you so much, and i admire the way you are walking through this potential change of plans. love you and can't wait to see that little girl's sweet face!!! terra is right...silas' head was a pointy cone for months! :o)

lauren and brad said...

Oh Brooke...you are such an inspiration. You have had the most perfect pregnancy and I am sorry that you won't be having the birth that you dreamed of...You said it at the end, exactly what I was going to say...something we say in yoga, "Let baby know that we anxiously await her arrival, but that we will lovingly accept them whenever and HOWEVER they arrive."
She will be perfect no matter what and the most important thing is a healthy baby girl and a healthy MAMA!
And not that you are even there yet, and I probably shouldn't jump ahead, but there is always next time.
I'm so excited for you knowing that you get to meet your sweet angel in such a short time!

Meggan Carrigg Davidson said...

Thinking of you - and beautiful baby Howell - here we come! I can't wait to see her and hold her!!

Rachel Melone said...

I hate that! I was so excited to see how amazing you did with natural birth- look at the bright side, at least you are in great shape and will spring back from a C section better than anyone I know! I'm just going to say a little prayer also for a miracle and you being able to complete this pregnancy the way you want to !

Bibi said...

Blizzards rule - and getting everyone home safe and healthy is the goal. So Blizzard it up, rest, and buy a cute onezie for baby cousin!
We're cheering you on!!

BrookeMahan said...

Oh Brooke, I am sorry to hear that you will not be able to go through with the birth plan that you envisioned. It just happens that way sometimes. However, the most important thing is the health of you and baby girl Howell! So keep your head up and just know that this is all part of God's plan. BTW I know two people who gave birth via c-section and had 4 children after vaginally...it is possible. Aso, I pushed for 3 hours and was in labor for 18 after my water broke, so Owen had a bit of a conehead for the first several hours after his birth! Keep us posted and I can't wait to see pics of her when she is born!

A Growing Family said...

I am so sorry my sweet friend! I konw that must be a huge disappointment but you have a great attitude about it. I also had to have a massive change of plans and ended up with 4 c-sections but their births were stil an incredible experience and like everyone else said- they came out with perfect little heads!

kerri said...

I am so proud of you and your amazing ability to handle whatever is thrown at you . . . I will be the luckiest Nona Kerri (grandmother) ever! All my love . . . see you soon!

Meg Taylor said...

oh brookie!!! everything happens for a reason and THANK GOD they have such technology to divert a scary situation!!!! xoxo
peter is the sweetest and blizzards are yummy

Steve and Janie Taylor said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with all three of you...and when you hold your sweet child in your arms, it just won't matter how she got there!

Michal said...

So sorry, Brooke. I know the news can be quite a blow. I found out I had to have a c-section four days before my due date...and was 100% prepared for a natural delivery. But, when it was all said and done, I was thankful for a healthy baby boy...with a perfectly round head (bonus). I'll be there on Tuesday to answer all your c-section questions...hang in there.

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