Saturday, June 4, 2011

Week 34 and a Change of Plans



I might have mentioned this before, but one thing that's been interesting about this pregnancy is that I've been much less focused on being pregnant and much more aware of the fact that there's a new little person developing inside me that we haven't met yet. At least, that was the case until last week.

At my 21 week ultrasound, the ultrasound tech and midwives told me that I had marginal previa--a fancy name for the placenta being too near the cervix. I didn't have full previa, where the placenta is covering the cervix, and in most cases, the placenta will move away as the uterus grows with the baby. But, because they'd found that, it was important to call if I ever had any bleeding and to be sure to let the person on call know that this had been found earlier. So I've been going along my merry way, optimistic that this would resolve. I probably worried more at the beginning, but then I met three or four people who had had a similar finding early on but in all cases the placenta moved far enough away for it to not be an issue.

And I hadn't had any bleeding. Until last week. Wednesday I was planning to drop Stella off at home then run out to an evening work event but I wanted to run to the bathroom first before diving back into traffic. And I saw a tiny bit of spotting. I thought, well, I better call, but I'm sure they'll tell me that it's not an issue unless there's more. A conversation later, and Tyler, Stella and I were all loaded up in the car to head to the childbirth center to check things out.

We arrived, got put into the exact room that Stella had been born in (which was kind of cool), and then waited for the on-call ultrasound technician to show up. The nurse on duty even seemed very blase--I had the distinct impression she thought the midwife was being overly concerned--and they monitored the baby for awhile. (Now we had medical proof that "little kicker" is an apt nickname--baby was moving and grooving almost the entire time.)

Finally the tech arrived and she did an ultrasound. I'd been a little excited to have another ultrasound, thinking that compared to the early one, we'd really be able to see more. In fact, we could see less distict body parts, and it didn't seem like the kind of situation to ask for more baby peeks. As soon as she saw the placenta, she said it looked close. Too close. And the midwife later confirmed that it needed to be a minimum of 2 centimeters away, and it was only .77. If it had only moved that much in 11 weeks, it was unlikely to move significantly further. Which means a scheduled c-section.

I know I'm lucky to be in a position where this is known and can be addressed. In other parts of the world and in older times, this kind of thing is serious enough that it can mean death for mother and/or baby because of heavy bleeding. I'm adjusting to the idea, but I'm still bummed. It's the polar opposite of what I would have hoped my birth plan would be (like with Stella, med-free vaginal birth), and I'm not looking forward to more time in the hospital and longer recovery when I'll already have a toddler at home. For some, this would be a welcome option. For me, not so much. I have to change providers, probably have an earlier birth, and anticipate surgery instead of labor.

So now I'm spending *lots* more time thinking about the birth than I probably would have otherwise. And, to be frank, in a way that has more dread than I would have otherwise. Which makes me really sad. Fortunately, I have friends who've been in similar situations who can provide advice and support, and I can have one of the midwives assist with the c-section even though I need to move to having an OB as my provider. I know that I can still make this the best birth possible and that having a healthy baby at the end will make it all worth it. But I'm still adjusting. It's really a fallacy to think I could plan any of this anyway--I guess I'm just getting an early reminder that a new baby is going to require many adjustments.

So, stay tuned. I'll probably even know next week when the birthday will be, which seems odd but should also appeal to the planner in me. Until then, I'll just spend a little bit more time mourning and adjusting. Soon enough I'm sure I'll be able to focus on all the positives, which will still include meeting this new little person and watching Stella transition into being a big sister.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I'm sorry again things aren't going exactly as planned. I know everyone says a healthy baby is what's important (and it is) but I know how disappointing it must be! But you have a great attitude in that this is an early reminder that a new baby is going to require many adjustments! So great to see you this weekend - hang in there and remember it's okay to be sad!