Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Saying bye to my baby.

How do you start a blog like this?
Where can I find the words to even begin to describe what is happening?

Looking back on my last post, I feel bad for that naive girl who thought she could save her baby by eating differently. I feel bad for the girl sitting in the waiting room, holding on to that last thread of hope. Little did I know I would leave the doctor's office defeated and heartbroken.
My one job for four months has been to protect this baby, and I failed. Nothing has ever hurt this bad.
I was doing so well yesterday, and then in the middle of the night I lost it. I've been crying since 2am. I can't believe this is happening to me.


While we waited very impatiently for the perinatalogist (high risk obgyn) to come in, I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. Just awful. I knew.
The second the ultrasound began I could tell things weren't right.
The doctor looked closely at the baby's brain before telling us "There doesn't seem to be a cerebellum. This structure here may be it, but it is too misshapen to know for sure. If that is indeed the cerebellum, the chances of this baby making it to term are small, the chances of having a successful delivery are even smaller, and if those things defy the odds and go well, this child will have severe brain problems."

Things just got worse from there.
She could not make out the quadrants of the heart.
There was very little amniotic fluid...which is telling of a pregnancy that will not be successful.
The baby was barely moving, unlike all of the other ultrasounds.
The baby is now measuring 10 days behind, whereas last time it was only 8 days.
"The prognosis isn't good." ...she said as I did everything I could to hold my tears in.
It was too much and when I couldn't hold back anymore, she seemed sympathetic and said "I'm so sorry I have to be the one to tell you all of this."

I chose to continue with the amniocentesis, which hurt like hell.
I want to know what happened to my baby and the options were either amnio, or sending her to a lab after surgery for an autopsy. I think this baby has been through enough, don't you? So, I chose the amnio. It hurt...I wish I could forget how bad it hurt. I cramped all night and now it feels like a big bruise. When I started cramping, I got mad. Why should I have to go through any pain at all? Isn't the emotional pain enough? It's a sick joke.
And of course, it gets worse. My options were to carry to term or terminate. I know this is a controversial topic, and I probably shouldn't admit to the public that I chose the latter. But you cannot judge unless you are in my shoes. I know so many women choose to "leave it in God's hands", but I just can't do that. For me, that would be the selfish choice. My baby would be too fragile for labor and if she made it out of the womb safely, she would struggle for her life for minutes before passing. The small chance that she would have to make it through all of that would mean a horrible quality of life and a lot of surgeries. I say with all of my soul and heart that I would rather suffer for the rest of my life than have my baby suffer for one second. This baby has fought enough. She needs to go home now...even though I am heartbroken that her home will not be in my arms.

I also took into consideration future pregnancies. The safest thing I can do for my body and the healing process is a procedure called a D&E. Dilation and Evacuation. It is a two day process, and it isn't pleasant. I will spare you the details, because they're not easy to listen to.

I had thought I would wait for the results for the amnio before having surgery, but I think I might be having a change of heart. The prognosis is fatal either way. Why torture myself for 2 more weeks? Let my stomach get bigger, feel the baby kick more...it doesn't make sense. I don't think I was thinking clearly yesterday and I don't think I was ready to let go. I don't think I will ever be ready to let go, but the sooner I start the healing process (both mentally and phsyically), the sooner I can learn to cope with this and get back to my normal life. The longer I wait for the procedure, the more risky the complications can be. I will be talking to my doctor today about the best options and how to proceed based on what is best for me and what is best for my baby.

I don't write this blog hoping for pity. Actually, please do not pity me. This is absolutely the hardest thing I've ever had to do and the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but I am still alive and I am still healthy and eventually I will be okay. Bad things happen to people every day and every day people move on and cope. I have a lot of anxiety about surgery, but I trust my doctors and know I am in good hands.

Oh. And here's the funny part. Everyone that has been following my pregnancy knows that I had a very strong feeling that it was a boy. In fact, I said "I would be shocked if it was a girl".
After 3 different ultrasounds by 3 different people confirmed girl, we were told yesterday it could very well be a boy. It appears that our baby "girl" grew something in the last few days. Of course, we will find out definitively from the amnio results. But man, mother's intuition is a crazy thing.

Brian and I thank everyone for the support. Really, I am still amazed by the amount of people who truly care about us and what we are going through.
We will take the next few days to say bye to our baby, but I will update when I can.



Friday, March 23, 2012

IUGR Diet

I'm feeling a little bit anxious today. We have been waiting for some blood results for about a week and was really hoping to have them by today...but that doesn't look like it's gonna happen!
I'm sure it's gonna be another long weekend!

So intead of focusing on that, I'm focusing on the positive things that I can control! Like finally gaining a little weight and keeping it on!
So, you probably know that when people say they are "eating for two", that is kind of just a silly saying. Doctors typically tell pregnant women that they only need an extra 300 calories daily. Well, I always knew I needed more than that since I was a bit underweight to start...but I had no idea how much I really should be eating.

I have more than doubled my daily calorie intake and more than tripled my protein and iron. Of course, this isn't healthy for every pregnant woman...but some little babies need a bit of extra help growing and I am willing to try ANYTHING. I am eating so much that nothing tastes good anymore and I have to force every bite down. It's a full time job to remember to eat this often and remember which specific foods to eat at which time. Really, every member of my family makes sure I am eating at least once an hour!

I realize this doesn't sound like an awful problem...in fact, it probably sounds kind of cool...but it's not like I get to sit at home eating ice cream and taco bell all day. No way! I'm eating about 2,500 calories of pure healthy shit all day, every day. And as much as I complain daily...looks like it is working! :)

Four months!

Grow baby Finley, grow!!!!! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Finley June

Well, it's been quite a while since I've updated. Mostly because I wasn't sure what to say. I've thought for a few days about blogging about my pregnancy journey...and originally decided that it was too personal to share to complete strangers, but after much internet research I have decided to share.
I'm mainly hoping that someone, somewhere in the world is going through something similar and can be educated or gain hope while following in on my journey. I've been getting a lot of texts, calls, messages, and e-mails asking how I am doing. I'm not sure how to respond and I know so many of you are interested in what happened, so here we go. I hope this is the beginning of a very long journey...but we will start here with day one.
I found out I was pregnant on December 28, my husband's birthday. It was VERY early...about 3.5 weeks, so we waited until I actually missed my period to tell anyone...just in case. I was unusally worried and anxious from the beginning, just had a weird feeling about all of it, but I chalked it up to being a first time mom. All those hormones get crazy, right? But as much as I tried to be excited about this new baby, I just couldn't let myself. I felt guilty when I wouldn't let myself connect with this baby that I had wanted for so long, but it also let me know that something was wrong.

January 25th I had my first ultrasound. I was 7w5d and baby measured 7w3d...so basically right on track. I know exactly when I ovulated...so this was very important. I thought I could finally let myself relax and enjoy being pregnant. I never got sick, didn't break out, my boobs didn't hurt...I mean literally nothing except that I was exhasuted. I thought to myself "Well, maybe I'm one of those lucky ones!" Ha! Ya...right.


February 11th is when things started getting hard. I was 10w1d pregnant and I noticed blood. I know it is normal to "spot" during pregnancy sometimes, but I flipped out. I went to the emergency room and she was fine...strong heartbeat and all. But then the tech told me she was measuring at 9w3d. She reassured me that everything was fine, and ultrasound machines aren't always exact. I had a follow up appt with my OB that Monday where I was told that I had a mental problem.
"This isn't medical, it's mental." Were her exact words. She told me I should look into therapy and learn some new coping mechanisms.
Well, I immediately switched doctors. I have a few choice words for her...but we will leave those out for now.
Might I just add that the bleeding is still happening today, more than 5 weeks later, and happens daily. That's obviously a mental issue...right?

Anyway, I had an ultrasound scheduled with my new doctor at 12w6d. Baby again measured small at 11w4d. I was told everything was fine but to come back a week later for correct measurements. At 13w6d, baby measured 12w4d. Obviously...something was wrong, but again I was reassured that things were fine.

I sought a third opinion from a well known OB at a different group. Finally...someone listened to me and shared my concerns. He did an ultrasound that day when I was 14w5d, baby measured only 12w4d. I was heartbroken. She wasn't growing. We were given very little hope and I was put on bed rest and told to return for another ultrasound on Monday.

Well, before my next appt came I got a phone call from the previous OB. She informed me that my blood results had come back weeks before (she wasn't going to bother to tell me the results until my next scheduled appt with her...2 weeks later). The results for Trisomy18 were very worrying to her. She told me Trisomy18 is incompatible with life and there was no way the baby would make it. She told me to hope my baby's heart stopped so I wouldn't have to deliver a stillborn or face the decision whether to electively terminate or not.
Let me just repeat...SHE TOLD ME TO HOPE MY BABY'S HEART STOPPED.
I was devasted. I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, I could barely walk or talk. Nothing made sense...why did no one tell me before? Why was this happening to me? All my friends have happy, healthy babies! WHY ME!? This was awful. I prepared for the worst for my appt on Monday and expected to have to go into surgery in the next few days.
After 3 long, awful days...Monday came. I could barely talk I was so nervous for the ultrasound. Then...there she was. Strong heartbeat, kicking and dancing around. Looking as perfect as ever. The best news of all was that she measured 14w1d! Just 3 days before she had measured 12w4d. She was now only 8 days behind her due date. I couldn't believe it. I didn't know how to feel. You mean there's a chance she will be okay?! It was all so overwhelming, and honestly I was afraid to let myself be happy again.
The OB still had some concerns. Finley's stomach is measuring 2 weeks small, which could mean there is a problem with the placenta. I got scheduled with a high risk Dr. for the next week for an ultrasound and amniocentesis. An amnio will rule out any genetic disorder...but the ultrasound gave NO signs of Trisomy18, or anything else genetic for that matter.
Hm...thanks previous OB for the unneccesary meltdown.

My high risk appt is 5 days away and I can't wait. In the mean time, I am on bed rest, taking iron supplements, taking baby aspirin to thin my blood (to make it flow more quickly through the placenta), eating once an hour every hour, and100g of protein a day...yes, seriously. (And for all of you smart asses, this has NOTHING to do with me being a vegetarian...I would gladly eat meat if it would make my baby okay...but it won't make a difference, I promise). I bought a Doppler so that I could listen to her heartbeat at home to calm myself in between appointments. This morning I found her heartbeat very strong and I could tell she was moving all around. For a baby that wasn't supposed to make it to Monday, she's doing pretty well...don't you think? :)
So...I have been researching like a CRAZY person. I found something called Intrauterine Growth Retardation, which basically just means an otherwise healthy baby that isn't growing as he/she should. IUGR usually starts showing signs in the third trimester. It happens in less than 5% of pregnancies, and even less begin in the first trimester. It is VERY rare, which is why I haven't gotten answers from doctors yet. Most doctors won't ever encounter first trimester IUGR babies, but this is the ONLY thing that matches my story exactly. Of course, I'm not a doctor and it could be something different. But I just know, I dunno, call it maternal instinct! I have read numerous stories that sound exactly like mine...some with bad endings, and some with happy endings. Some healthy babies, some preemie babies, some babies with medical issues, and some babies that don't make it. But the important thing here is that she has a chance.

Just this morning, I got a message from someone with a story very similar to mine...actually, almost exact. She had a healthy, happy baby at 32 weeks pregnant. What a miracle. I am praying that this is what is going on, and nothing genetic...and I will hopefully get answers very soon. But today I have some hope again. This might be okay.
IT HAS TO BE OKAY.

(I am almost 16 weeks now...but we haven't taken any more pictures yet...)
When we named Finley, we had no idea just how meaningful her name would be. It means "small or fair warrior". Today I believe that is just what she is. I've got a little fighter in there! I know this could be the beginning of a very hard road, but I'm prepared for anything now and I won't stop at anything to make sure this baby is okay. All positive thoughts, prayers, and hopes are very welcomed right now!


Brian and I thank everyone SO much for the support and understanding. This is the hardest thing we have every been though, but it's amazing to have such wonderful friends and family around us.
I hope that answers everyone's questions. I will update soon!