The last time I posted on here, I had just entered my 3rd trimester. Well, since a year has passed, it's safe to say I had my baby. There are a lot of things I want to share about my pregnancy and motherhood, and I will. But I want to start it all off by sharing with you my birth story. As it is quite lengthy, it will be divided up into 3 parts.
My birth story actually begins 1 month before I gave birth, when I was 32 weeks along. I went to a routine biweekly doctor's appointment, where my dr. just checked the baby's heartbeat and measured my belly. At this point, I was still pretty small. Until maybe around 28 weeks or so, you wouldn't look at me at say, "She's pregnant." I was stuck at the awkward not-sure-if-pregnant-or-just-has-big-belly stage for a while.
|Me at 20 weeks. See? No, no you can't|
|29 weeks. Finally able to see a rounder pregnant belly, but still can be a bit confusing... pregnant or chubby?|
|Ahhhh... now we're talking. 34 weeks. Definitely pregnant.|
So, as you can see, I was pretty small. My 34 weeks is most people's 25! I had heard I was tiny for weeks already. Comments like, "Are you sure you're pregnant?" or "Where are you hiding that baby?" were all very common. But I didn't think too much of it. Everything seemed fine at my appointments and my dr. had not raised any concern. I just thought I was small.
But that changed when I went to that biweekly appointment. As she measured my belly, she noticed I was 3 weeks behind. That began to concern her. I guess she had noticed I was small beforehand, but she thought I would catch up by the third trimester. She decided she needed to do an ultrasound.
As she turned the machine on and prepped me for the u/s, she told me that she suspected I may have a condition known as intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR). IUGR is a condition in which the placenta does not provide the necessary nutrients to the baby, thus resulting in a series of potential problems. She told me that if this was the case, we would need to get him out sooner than full term, because there was always the danger that my placenta would just stop working.
As you can imagine, I was terrified. I began to cry because I felt so helpless. I felt guilty, like it was somehow my fault. If only I ate more. If only I rested more. If only I ate better. These were all things that ran through my mind. I wanted my baby safe and alive and in my arms. But there was nothing I could do. I just laid there, waiting to hear what my dr. found from the u/s.
After about 15 minutes (during all of which she had a very concerned look on her face), she noticed that the baby was definitely measuring smaller than normal and my amniotic fluid was pretty low. She couldn't determine anything conclusively, though, so she sent me to a specialist.
After hours of waiting there, I was finally seen. The specialist was very kind and encouraging. She determined that my placenta was just fine and that my baby was probably just a lean and small little guy. I was put at great ease and felt so much better. I called my dr. to let her know what happened, but she was still a little worried. She said that even though I didn't have IUGR right now, my case was so sensitive that I could develop it at any point. To ensure that the baby stayed safe, she decided I should start going in for weekly appointments, as well as going twice a week for NSTs (not stress tests) and AFIs (amniotic fluid index) -- I will tell you all about those lovely letters in Part 2.
So now you know about the time I went in for a routine visit and left a high risk patient. Come back to read the rest of my birth story!