Part 2! Pregnancy number 2 equals premature baby number 2
What a week this has been. To start with, I have been so unbelievably touched by the messages of support from you all. Hundreds of people have read my blog and the comments, shared stories and other brave women out there also talking about their experiences has been truly mind blowing. Thank you so much and please keep on commenting - it really does mean so much to me!
It's currently 2am as I write this quietly in bed next to my rock of a husband who has been SO supportive. I sometimes forget (don't we all!) that he is part of this and going through his own roller coaster of emotions, whilst trying to keep a brave face for me.
Since the scan last Wednesday we have really switched in to 'caretaker' mode - speaking with family and friends about who can help on what day with Poppy whilst I'm in and out of hospital and how I'm going to get 45 minutes in to hospital each day when I can't drive after a ceasarean. Luckily for me I have been blessed with the worlds most supportive family and friends (not to mention I have the most amazing neighbours including my sister and business partner who lives 2 doors away!).
I made a decision last Friday that this week would be my last week of work. I work on a Monday and Tuesday and whilst normally I would love any excuse not to work (!) it did make it very real speaking to my boss on Friday and explaining my situation. Tuesday was slightly surreal, finalising any outstanding work and not really being able to go in to any great detail with colleagues as to when I'll be having this baby. I kept starting to explain how my placenta isn't functioning and quickly thinking how hideous this must sound to most people, so I condensed it to 'some complications'!
I also saw my blood pressure specialist on Tuesday who decided that whilst my blood pressure has started to go up only very slightly, given my circumstances he thought it was best that he started me on some medication to keep it as low as possible. He explained that there can be a side affect of possible drowsiness and feeling a bit 'out of it' for a couple of days until my body gets used to it and boy was he right! I woke up yesterday morning with a dull headache and by midday I thought I was going to fall asleep standing up!
Yesterday was a pretty big day as I had my next scan booked in and although I didn't feel stressed, I'm sure in fact I was.
I had a lovely start to the day being lucky enough to go with Lizzie, my sister and business partner in The Little One, to her obstetrician appointment. Lizzie is due 9 days after me (if I wasn't having P2 early!) and thankfully having what looks to be a full term pregnancy. Having said that, she has been suffering from pelvic instability and been in a lot of pain from the simplest of tasks such as walking or even just lying in bed. Listening to her speak with her obstetrician about such different aspects of a pregnancy made me realise just how different every woman's pregnancy is and how strong and resilient we have to be for every different roller coaster we are on.
Next stop for me was to meet my husband and head to my appointment with the doctor (who I didn't like but now do like!!) Straight up on the bed and after a quick discussion recapping last weeks scan and how many weeks I now am (30), he explained that all he was doing today was measuring the amniotic fluid levels again and the blood flow to and from the umbilical cord and brain. He wasn't going to measure the size of the baby (much to my dismay) because it was too soon to get an accurate reading but he assured me that he will definitely take measurements next week.
Straight away you could see the 'Swiss cheese' placenta appear with larger holes and more of them. He also showed us the white ring around each hole which is another sign that the placenta is failing.
Unfortunately the news wasn't great. My amniotic levels are now only just in the normal range, dropping from 11 last week to 7.2 this week. Apparently if they're over 5 it's ok and my obstetrician later told me that they also measure the deepest 'pool' of amnio to get a gauge and mine was 3.3 which is 'ok' for now. The second test was the blood flow level which had gone up so we were wrapped with that before quickly changing our minds after being told we want it to trend down not up because the test is measuring how hard it is for the blood to flow through and going up means it's getting harder. It was still in the 'normal range' but again only just. His feeling was that we should be ok for another week but was going to speak with my obstetrician about having a CTG scan to ensure the baby wasn't stressed half way in between next seeing him.
We walked out of the appointment fairly flat and thinking 'Oh Sh*t'. Let's just say the drive to the obstetrician was a pretty quiet one! Suddenly we'd gone from thinking we had a few weeks up our sleeves to now having a gut instinct that this tiny bubba could need to enter the world in as little as a week.
We got to the obstetrician and his opening always slightly sarcastic line (which I love!) was 'gee you're a trouble maker, aren't you!' We sat down and he recapped our scan and his phone conversation with the doctor that he'd just had. In a nutshell he wants to start putting a plan in place for the possibility of the baby arriving within the next two weeks. This means I have to go off the aspirin so my blood is not too thin when they operate, I had a steroid injection yesterday and am going back for another today to try and develop P2's lungs, and I have to go in to hospital Saturday to have the baby monitored for an hour or so with a CTG scan. If Saturday goes well then we head back next Tuesday for another scan to measure amnio, blood levels and P2's growth.
From there who knows!
We also had the discussion again about having to be sent to another hospital to deliver if I don't get to 32 weeks as P2 will need to spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit. I must say this is one thing that I'm not rapt about. It means I'll have a complete stranger delivering me (not to mention the fact it will be an awkward conversation with this person when I tell them I'm not happy with my first caesar scar and want it cut out and re-done!) and I'll be in a hospital that I've quite possibly never stepped foot in. But, on the important side, it will be a hospital very well equipped to look after our tiny P2.
My plan of attack for the next few days is to do things that I enjoy; having lots of fun times with Poppy, seeing friends and family (albeit low key catch ups!) and generally trying to keep my mind of what is to come.
I will also be packing my bags with tiny, specially designed nappies for premature babies (thanks Bidibots!), selecting pink and blue tiny outfits, and having serious talks with P2 about cooking for a bit longer!