Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A Mixed Bag

A lot has happened since I last posted.  I left it all a little hanging.  I've been trying to figure out how exactly to unravel here on this blog... but I cannot quite get into "compose" mode about one particular thing. 

So I'm just gonna spill.  Here's how my week ended...

My work called me just after 1pm on Thursday. 

I had a plan to ask if there was a chance for me to come back as full-time instead of management.  I was going to ask about a different location that was easier for me to commute to.  I had it all ready to go... but I'd get things started with my news....

I told them I was pregnant again.  I only wanted what's best for me the company, so if they have other plans for what they'd like to do with me, I'm open to suggestions.  But, I will be leaving in Spring 2013. 

And I was ready... for them to umm and ahh over making a quick decision without doing something illegal.  But I was ready to talk salary and contract structures... and so on....

They surprised me.  They said congratulations and expressed their happiness for me, and told me how glad they were to have me back.  They're "thrilled" to have me back for whatever time I'm giving, and they'll "take what they can get".  "Four months is better than not having you back at all."

I didn't even have the chance to dive into my plan B.  I chickened out.  I said words like, "great" and "I'm happy to be back" and we went on to talk about recent developments and changes to the company. 

I hung up on a bit of a high, but also a bit disappointed in myself.  All the pep talks I'd given myself to send that email and get the ball rolling, I had completely disowned.  The "plans" I comforted myself with about a lighter work load, and an easier location, I had totally abandoned. 

I'm such a coward. 

But I'm going to give it a go.  See how it feels.  And if I find myself ready to break - maybe then will I make all the requests I'd originally planned.  Or, I'll quit for good.

I'm scheduled back in 2 weeks. 


I met with a specialist on Friday.  She is "the best".  And I can now attest, she is the absolute best I've ever met.  She spent 2+ hours with us on Friday afternoon (which led into her evening) and touched on everything I was hoping.  She asked me more questions than any doctor one has asked me.  She asked about my over all health and my medical history.  She asked about every last detail during my pregnancy with Alexander.  She honed in on every day leading up to his death.  Asked me for an entire play by play of anything I felt necessary to mention.  She had a copy of his autopsy in front of her, and combed through it with us. 

She talked about pregnancy loss, and infant death like no other doctor I've come in contact with.  She was so knowledgeable.  She talked about my placenta, gave me examples with imagery so I could understand... and she made sense of a whole lot.  I think I understand more now why my son died the way he did than I ever have.  I know my previous OB went over the results with us when they were first released, but I now know the difference between a fairly good sounding educated guess when figuring out all the medical babble and a real insightful, conclusive explanation. 

She focused a lot on the findings in my placenta.  She went over the "scaring" and "clotting" which I was once told were normal findings.  In fact, from what she's seen in her career, they were signs of a very tired, very finished placenta.  Somewhat "normal" for 41+ weeks pregnant.  But it was a simple case of supply and demand.  My placenta had reached a point where it could no longer supply to the demands of an overdue baby, still very much alive and requiring a lot in the womb.  The GBS was a bit of a nail on the head, where the placenta became infected as well... and further restricted the placenta's duties. 

I'm glad that she took the time to explain this all to us, so we now fully understand her approach - specifically towards this subsequent pregnancy.

This doctor works with a different common denominator than other GP's and OB's.  She's had pregnancies end in their 2nd and 3rd trimester - with babies born dead or prematurely - more times than the average Dr. Joe.  It's all she works with... high risk...troublesome...abnormal pregnancies.  She's invested in her work.  She's invested in these babies she's saved, or said goodbye to.  Her eyes filled with tears when I told her my story.  She listened in disbelief when I told her I was 6 days overdue and worried because something didn't feel right, and was let go to carry on, on my own.  I was crying too.  Maybe my agony caused her to cry for me.  But whatever her tears were for, they were coming from her heart. 

She talked about this pregnancy.  She talked about working with many women who have carried a subsequent pregnancy after a loss.  She said words like, "I want you to enjoy yourself in whatever way you can, because you deserve it.  I know you love his baby, and you deserve to feel that with as much innocence as possible.  And I'm here to help you do that.  Because you deserve it."  I cried.  I cried, and cried and cried. 

She asked what we named our son. 

Her son's middle name is Alexander.  Her eyes brimmed with tears once again.

She has a plan.  She has a serious plan.  We're getting babe out.  Alive.  Whatever it takes. 

She talked about growth ultrasounds at 24, 28 and 32 weeks.  She mapped out my last 6 weeks with three appointments a week - a BPP, an NST, and a check up to swab for infections and/or GBS and draw blood and test my urine for additional screening.  And within that weekly check up, she's going to do a special ultrasound on my placenta. 

There will be no stones unturned.

But, I know.... I know I know I know..... this baby can still die.

However, I was once handled by a doctor who believed babies live in spite of the prenatal care received. 

I am now with a doctor who knows babies die.  Period.  So she'll be damned if she misses something.  And that feels good. 

Dare I say, she's given me hope that somehow, some way.... I will have a living baby. 

She did a round of swabs to check for GBS, and she's taking an aggressive route regarding prevention.  Although she doesn't feel the intrauterine infection is what caused his "ultimate" demise, she understands that it did in fact occur, and it can in fact occur again.  As rare as it would be, in can happen again.  She'd like me on amoxicillin for the remainder of my pregnancy to lessen the chances of an intrauterine infection.  I'm nervous to be on antibiotics for 23 weeks.  I'm going to call her tomorrow (or whenever I work up the nerve to have the conversation and question her approach). 

She checked the baby's heart rate with the Doppler.  She got it right away... then the baby "swam away".  She assured me with a litre of fluid vs an ounce and a half baby... sometimes the heart rate is hard to find.  She then struggled for about a minute to relocate it.  My heartbeat was the only one she could pick up.

"We'll do an ultrasound.  You'll have a look, and we'll get the BPM from there."  She wasn't worried about the baby.  But I could see that she was worried I'd be.

I wasn't.

We took a peek anyway.  She said she wanted to get a good look at where the baby was at.  There was a big screen in front of me.  I didn't have to crank my neck to see what she saw.  There are definite perks to being at a fancy speciality hospital that only specializes in high risk pregnancies. 

(But one big fat disadvantage got me there...)

And there the babe was.  Doing its own thing.  SUCKING IT'S THUMB.  Twisting and turning about.  I could clearly see hands, arms, feet.... nose, mouth and a big ole head. 

I was amazed at how much could be seen at 14 weeks.  But there s/he was.  In all their glory. 

She showed me the heart, the diaphragm and the lungs.  She said development is on track.

"..and it's too early to see if it's a boy or girl..."

"...we think it's a girl.. just a feeling."

"well... actually...it's there.  I can see."


I asked.  She told us.  My heart soared. 

I don't want to say, because she said the anatomy scan will confirm in 4 more weeks... but she's 95% sure it is what it is.  She told us that girls have a "tulip" in between the legs, and boys have a "digit/limb/stick". 

She zoomed in, and there it was.

I won't say.  It could be wrong.  And I've already wrestled with my mind, trying not to imagine this baby one way or the other. 

Just stay alive, and I'll be set. 

I cried when we left the appointment.  Daniel too.  Both of us, trying to talk through our tears...red faced and a mess waiting for the elevators. 

We cried because we were relieved.  We cried because we finally had someone who listened to us, who cared enough to care, who really wants what we want.

We cried because we missed our son.  Because we wanted Alexander.  Because it was painfully clear to us that he just should not have died.  There was a way... there was time... he was a strong, healthy baby ...but somehow left alone without a chance to make it.  We cried because we thought of what could have been if this doctor was our doctor the first time around.  As impossible, and unnecessary as that would have been at the beginning, it probably would have brought us to the end with a live baby. 

In a cruel way, our emotional state was once again dragged through the mud while we learned how good this can all turn out.  It really hurt.

But at the same time, we were so happy to have this baby be given the chance to live.

We were crying, and smiling, and hurting all at once.  Luckily we were the last ones at the clinic. 

I felt extremely vulnerable that Friday evening. 

Because I trust this doctor.  Because I want this baby.  Because I believe in her approach. 

But I know it could all be over at any time... even at the very end. 



I'm trying to enjoy it while it's here.  For what it's worth.  A possibility?  A potential?  A maybe baby?

Every day, I'm convinced this baby is already gone.  I don't feel a flutter or a bump for half a day and I think "for sure today's the day it died."

I hope I always continue to be wrong.


  1. Awww I love those pics. So glad you have a wonderful doctor looking out for you and new baby. My guess is boy. Just FYI, we were able to tell Hayes was a boy at 13w, 3d and at 14 weeks with Kellan. Just sayin'. ;)

  2. Umm, I'm moving. I love your doctor. I want to call her MY doctor. I'm so glad you have her. And that beautiful babe.

  3. So wonderful that your doctors heart is so big. You need the love! My doctor was like that and I'm so grateful for that!!!
    I'm glad she took her time, was thorough and caring. I'm glad you got to see your baby. They look fabulous! I know your anxiety will be through the roof, but take those beautiful moments of happiness when you can get them.
    Personally I'm banking on a boy for you... Just a feeling :)

  4. Oh, Veronica. I'm so glad you saw that doctor and that you liked her and that she took so much time with you and was so compassionate. That's wonderful news. Your baby is beautiful!

  5. Your doctor sounds absolutely wonderful. I know that feeling of wondering why you couldn't have had all this extra attention last time, and that maybe it would have prevented what happened. I have those thoughts all the time as I am also getting excellent care this time (though not as excellent as you!). Your scan is reassuring to see. What lovely photos. I know you will treasure them. Thinking of you, from one 14-week pregnant woman to another!

  6. I'm so glad your doctor is great! It really made a difference that my midwives were so loving and thorough and willing to do whatever I needed at any given time (from extra ultrasounds to testing for infection to ending work early). Having a care team and plan that you trust will help with your sanity and healing. And yes, the if only we had done these tests last time..that is so hard to reconcile. Keep plugging along!

  7. Thank you all for all the support. Yes, I am happy and relieved...but I'm hoping this wasn't just a first impressions fake out. I'm really glad I liked her, because I was worried we wouldn't click. And if we didn't, I haven't too many other options.

    I'm so taken aback that this type of care is really out there. It's so obviously (and rightfully! We're growing human beings here!) so hands on....where my previous prenatal care was so casual, hands off, and always presumed everything is a-OK.

    I'm still apprehensive about starting the script of antibiotics she gave me. She said its the number one method she uses to prevent intrauterine infections. Women who are at risk, or have had GBS be the cause of preterm labour are on these antibiotics from day one.

    Anyone else been on antibiotics for the majority of their pregnancy?

    I have another appointment in 3 weeks, where I will have my urine and blood screened for any possible infections or bacteria that would be harmful towards baby, and maybe an ultrasound. I'm seeing her partner next time, just in case my doctor "gets struck by lightening" (as she put it) and can't deliver this baby. It will give me a chance to meet her, and get somewhat acquainted if this other doctor ever has to step in.

    I'm thankful, and relieved...but I know there is no magic being worked. There are no guarantees, and (if I make it) it's going to be a very scary 3rd trimester.

    1. The antibiotics scare me, too - but I don't know anywhere near what your doctor knows. I am not trying to go against her - at all - and I know you will do your own research.

      My oldest son has autism. We have had quite a number of doctors tell us that they believe, increasingly, that use of antibiotics during pregnancy can be a risk factor for a child to be born on the autism spectrum.

      I just know that I look back at everything I took/didn't take/tried/didn't try during that pregnancy...and I always wonder if something I did brought this into his life.

      I love him dearly and I would never trade him in. I also wish that he didn't have to suffer what he does.

      All this to say, the antibiotics scare me, too.

      AND I will back you 100% whatever you, along with your doctor, choose. There are no easy answers!!

      It makes me cry, in the good way, to know you've got such a good doctor. Thank God there's one out there like her - and I couldn't be gladder that she's taking care of you.

      I'm glad they appreciate you at work, too.

      Oh, Little Baby! You are so sweet. Just keep on growing...

      Love, love,


  8. Your doctor sounds wonderful. I'm SO, SO glad you've found someone like that to see you through this pregnancy. I hope her partner is almost as good.

    But yes, it's devastating to think that Alexander could have been saved if only... I'm so, so sorry about that.

    And as for the work situation, I know conversations like that are really hard. I freaked out when I asked my job to let me go part-time next semester. I was pleasantly surprised by how supportive and understanding they were. If nothing else, use your doctor and say, "My doctor says that if I am going to work through this pregnancy, I need to have less stress or I need to work from a location closer to home" or whatever it takes. It's not like your work is going to call your doctor and ask! It sounds like they value you and are willing to be accommodating, so it can't hurt to ask. Perhaps you could send an e-mail? Sometimes it's easier to write these things than say them. Good luck. I hope it works out well for you either way.

    1. I was on the phone with a few friends I've kept in touch with over my leave that still work with our company. I got a huge mix of dread and adrenalin. A lot of the people I'm going to be managing are going to be new...and don't know me. Lots of pros and cons floating around.

      On Thursday, I spoke with my HR guy and the "big" boss. They told me to contact my new direct superior the week before I go back to iron out my schedule, and make sure we have a few days together to get me caught up. Even though he's my new boss, I've worked along side him for 4 years (he got promoted THE DAY after I left for my leave. I was kind of a front runner in the beginning of 2011 ... But then I got all pregnant and stuff, so I knew it'd go - unjustifiably - to him). So I'm going to run it by him, sooner rather than later, and see how it's received. I'm stressed about this because I know it's going to make his life harder as he'll have to fill my shoes if I move into another position.

      But I'm trying to breathe easy. It's *just* a job, and it's *just* money. Not worth making myself sick over.

  9. This gives me so much hope for any baby I have in the future. Just to know that a doctor is out there that cares so much...I can only hope the specialist I see will be like this...

    But I can totally imagine the pain of reliving all of that pain, thinking WHAT IF we got all of this last time? I think about that sometimes about my Luke...I feel like he could have lived, if I'd had all the monitoring they could possibly have done. There was just nothing pointing to me needing it.

    But I can't keep going there. Here's to hope ♥

    1. Oh Jen, I'm so sorry. I just popped over to your blog, and 2 months out is a brutal time.

      Hold on to your hope. Mine slipped through my fingers every now and then, but it's all you can do. Hold on, and keep your Luke close

      Love to you

  10. Your doctor sounds great Veronica. It makes all the difference to have the right care team, and I know in my heart if we were in these hands last year, Liam would be here today. The care we've received for this bub and Liam is like night and day.

    I've been on and off of antibiotics during this pregnancy. I'm also on hormones and for someone who's mother, aunt and grandmother all battled cancer, it's scary to be pumping myself 2-3 times a day with progesterone. But we have to trust our doctor and focus on bringing Liam's brother safely into the world. The rest, well who the heck really knows.

    I'm thinking of you and your beautiful baby. xx

  11. Just wanted to check in. I hope things are going okay with working and babe looks good!

  12. Haven't seen you around lately. How are you??? HOpe everything is ok!