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
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
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.
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."
OH MY GOD I WASN'T READY FOR THIS!
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.