Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bundle of...

a.) joy
b.) nerves
c.) both

C would be most accurate.

Baby #2 is due in February--February 19, to be exact. Unlike with Lydia, we kept this news quiet, not announcing to our parents until the first trimester was nearly over. We wanted Lydia to be the one to share, and we didn't want to share with her until we had passed the window when miscarriages are most common. She did indeed share the news, announcing to both sets of grandparents, "Mommy has a baby in her tummy and I'm going to be a big sister!"

As I've blogged before, my biggest fear with Lydia was whether or not I would love her--would love being a mom. That fear quickly vanished, and Lydia is definitely loved, not just by me but by many. This round, I am in a different place, am a few years older. This time, my constant fear has been that something would go physically wrong. I waited on pins and needles to hear a heartbeat, to receive clear first trimester and quad screens, and when all of that happened, I told myself it was time to relax and just be excited about the baby that will join us in February. I knew my anxiety hadn't been normal.

And then...

...a lot happened. A huge bleed at 18 weeks, a diagnosis of placenta previa, a hospital stay due to bleeding and tightening of the belly that presented as possible preterm labor, and an ultrasound that showed three soft markers for chromosomal disorders. Two weeks followed, and as we waited on amniocentesis results, a Level II ultrasound, and I spent a week on bedrest followed by a week of minimal activity at work and home, every step forward I had made with pregnancy-related anxiety vanished. At the ultrasound the morning of the bleed, the tech asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, and because Robin wasn't there, I asked her to print the photos and put them in an envelope to be opened with Robin later. This happened before news of things not "normal" beyond the placenta previa, and the envelope stayed sealed in my purse for two weeks as we waited on ultrasounds and test results. So much felt in question that I didn't feel like that envelope could be opened with excitement, and so it stayed closed until we had several questions answered. I felt like all of my anxiety and fear had been some sort of premonition--that my feeling that something would go wrong had been confirmed.

Those with whom I spent time during that week will attest to the train wreck of emotions that I was. Emails were sent out with vague information, and we were on the receiving end of an amazing amount of kindness and goodwill, not to mention prayers and positive thoughts. The babysitting, food deliveries, and kind words went miles.

Preliminary amnio results came back "great," followed by a totally normal complete report, received the morning of a Level II ultrasound that showed a healthy baby. Even more exciting (and surprising) was the placenta that, two weeks previous, had completely covered my cervix had now cleared the cervical opening by 3 cm. I no longer have placenta previa! The one remaining anomaly--the one that we knew would most likely not be rediagnosed--is a single umbilical artery. (Most umbilical cords have two arteries; this baby has one. This condition can be associated with poor growth in utero and requires extra monitoring to insure that the baby is receiving adequate nutrition, though our baby is currently measuring right on track.) In happy disbelief, we made calls to our parents and headed to lunch where we finally opened the envelope that told us this baby was a boy. We made the obligatory penis jokes, celebrated that so much of the fear of the past two weeks was over, and went on with our day.

Now, I can't seem to kick the fear. Everything triggers panic: the news that the umbilical cord anomaly will require weekly monitoring after 32 weeks and the perinatalogist had suggested extensive monitoring when in labor (despite assurance from nearly EVERYONE I know in the medical community that this is rarely an issue), the words "high risk" coming out of my midwife's mouth (even though I know that anything not completely normal in a pregnancy can throw someone into the "high risk" category), little twinges and back pain (that come with most pregnancies), any other sign that something might possibly be wrong (even though everything "wrong" is either no longer an issue or in most cases, doesn't pose a problem).

This baby is so wanted. Since Lydia was born, we wanted a second, 3-4 years after her. This baby is due exactly three weeks before her 4th birthday. His name was picked out before he was a bundle of cells. We have a nursery color scheme, and a plan for Robin to build his crib is in place. If I wasn't so invested in this child, I don't think I would be emotionally capable of such panic. We have always planned on stopping at two children, so this pregnancy will be the last one, and here I am, so nervous I'm having a hard time enjoying myself.

I do intend to talk to my midwives about this. This anxiety has reached a level that does not feel like me, does not feel rational, and does not feel healthy--for me, Baby G, Robin, or Lydia.

So here's my request: if you're the praying type, please pray for peace for me and health for our little one-artery-cord baby. If you're the positive energy/thoughts type, send it our way. If, like me, you've struggled with anxiety associated with pregnancy or medical situations, let me know. I feel like a crazy person, and I'd love to hear 1.) that I'm not alone and 2.) what you've done to address your medicine-related anxiety. We have 18 weeks to go, and as currently, my anxiety frequently overrides my excitement, something's gotta shift.


  1. I'm the praying type, so expect lots of peace and health coming your way! I had a ton of anxiety with Emmi also. I remember thinking it was worse than with Maddi because I 'knew what I was getting' this time, in other words I knew that the black and white ultrasound photo and bundle of cells turns into a smiley, hugging girl that says my name and loves us. For me, it was hard to comprehend the first time around because its such a miracle. We were high risk with Em because of low fluid, at night I ran through every scenario in my head of best and worst cases. Kurt thought I was crazy. So you aren't alone. What did I do? Prayed. Talked about it with those I trust. I ate (alot). Remembered that the chances are much higher that all will be just fine than otherwise. Is there fear also of how your relationship with Lyd's will change? Also terrifying yet normal. That was a big one for me too. The heart really does manage to grow. :)

  2. Ugh I'm a jerk. I was thinking this but didn't type it: I'm so sorry you are having a stressful time and to hear of all that you guys have been through. So very excited for your family for baby boy!!

  3. Dale and I pray every day for all you guys...always have and always will! :)


  4. You are most certainly not alone. Obviously, no parent wants anything but the most healthy & normal pregnancy, birth, & baby. It's stressful to know that everything going on inside your own body is out of your control. My advice would just be to trust your instincts; if something doesn't feel right, don't feel stupid calling the nurse line or having a doctor check. I'll be thinking & praying for a totally uneventful pregnancy!

  5. First, it's really normal under ANY circumstances to worry about what's coming. Then, when you get bad news it just feeds your worries. There's also that feeling that "well, my last one turned out so well that THIS one can't possibly be perfect!" There's a reason you got the GOOD news, too. Things don't just turn around and go backwards at this point. You are through the most difficult part-where the big things are happening. And, yes, as someone else said, you will have room for both kids! It won't be the same experience, but that's why it's so rewarding! Meanwhile, I'll be praying for you!
    (Aunt) Theresa