It has been a while since I have updated, in part because nothing really eventful has been happening with this pregnancy – a blessing for which I am tremendously grateful – and because a great deal has been happening in the rest of my life.
My most recent ultrasound was almost two weeks ago at 25 weeks. Baby was measuring on track and was estimated to be weighing in at 2 lbs 2 oz (give or take 5 oz). For 25 weeks that sounded pretty good to me. The technician spent considerable time trying to show me why it was not possible our baby has Spina Bifida. I wanted to tell him that I’ve moved on and did not welcome an opportunity to relive the stress that the positive screen for SB caused but I kept my mouth shut, mostly because I could see that he meant well and was trying to be reassuring. He cross-examined me about why I was being monitored, however, compelling me to reconsider my compassion for his supposed good intentions.
Why do technicians feel the need to grill me about my medical history and my understanding of why I am having extra ultrasounds when they have my chart and invariably say “yes, I read that” when I say we have had many pregnancy losses (8 in total and I hope that ends the count)? This has happened to me four times during this pregnancy so far, all with different technicians (so it’s not just one sadistic creature doing this). The second time I actually asked if the tech had read my chart. She said yes, but she wanted to know what I understood. Next time, I am not going to play this charade. If you want to know why I am there, ask the referring physician and stop making me recount my medical history, my loss history, my immune issues and the issues with my placenta. It’s in the chart. Read it, shut up and do your job.
Funny, I did not realize how bitter I am about the cross-examination routine until I started describing it here. At least now I know that it upsets me and I will be drawing a very clear, firm boundary should it happen again. You hear that Universe? Harumph!
Back to the medical update: The placenta is still located both in an anterior and posterior position which means the Placenta Previa diagnosis remains. The tech thought maybe the placenta had moved but when he showed me where it was in relation to the cervix, it looked exactly the same to me and he was really guessing from reading my chart rather than comparing images from the prior scan to the one he was doing. He also said that blood flow to the placenta does not change once it’s measured around 20 weeks (which is not true) so I am not putting much stock in his thoughts about the Previa issue when the OB reported it to remain an issue.
I am still on Prednisone but have weaned down to 7.5 mg and on Thursday I will drop down to 5 mg and next week Thursday to 2.5 mg. I will be entirely Prednisone-free in two and a half weeks. Yay! I may have a sip of wine to celebrate! I have three more Intralipid IV treatments and after that the only medication on which I will remain is Lovenox (enoxaparin sodium). Yay! I may have a second sip of wine after the Intralipid treatments are done. You pregnancy purists, pretend you didn’t read that.
As I hover over the threshold into the third trimester, I must confess that I am ready for this pregnancy to end. Not soon – please do not let this baby come before 34 weeks, Universe, please – but when it ends (which won’t be after 37 weeks in any event). This has been the single most stressful and exhausting period of my entire life (more stressful than trying to work, complete law school and visit/care for my dying mother; more stressful than articling while escaping a violent partner and rebuilding my life, more stressful and exhausting than the various traumas I experienced living abroad). I read some of my blogging sisters’ musings about missing their babies being in their wombs or not wanting their pregnancies to end on one level and I feel both sad (because I think it evidences something I am clearly missing out on) and totally unable to relate.
I do not want to come across as ungrateful. Yeesh, writing that sentence alone made my eyes flood with tears. I am more grateful than words could ever convey to have carried this baby as far as this and to hopefully be birthing this baby in the next couple of months. I *love* feeling Azulito(a) kick and wriggle and perform Jujitsu inside of me. That said, I would trade the in-my-tummy gymnastics for a healthy baby in my arms and an opportunity to get my body back, try to figure out my immune system and get it back onto some kind of healthy plane of existence again, and be on leave from work spending time with the Miracle Toddler and our new addition free from the current daily anxieties about everything that my crappy placenta and my zealous immune system could cause to go wrong with either baby or me, the aching hips and back and neck and shoulders and head, the daily blood pressure checks and injections, the crazy pregnancy dreams, the anxiety of being completely underproductive at work for reasons beyond my control, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
As deeply grateful as I am, I have had enough of this roller coaster ride. I will happily disembark when that time comes (which hopefully is not for at least 7 more weeks!).
In other news, the LP and I are in counseling (brought about in large part by the stress and other side effects that the last 2 years have caused). I am glad we are getting help. I am not ready to blog about it here and may never choose to do that, but I am feeling good about this move and grateful that the LP is taking part voluntarily despite the fact that the issues we are examining dig to really deep, very challenging places in him. I see this baby as having been and being a catalyst for tremendous change not only in me but in my marriage and in the LP. The Miracle Toddler will also be facing great big changes soon and I hope he can find it within himself to still say “I love your baby, Mommy” then as he does now (though I will forgive him if from time to time that’s simply too much to ask of a toddler). I suppose when I envisioned Azulito(a) communicating that s/he chose us because of something to do with “education”, I did not imagine the learning would be so profound this early. At least I know I was not wrong in interpreting the message that way. This most certainly has been an education. And then some. I have a feeling there is plenty of learning yet to unfold.
On that note, I want to thank each of you who read this blog for your support, interest, encouragement, love, kindness and – to those of you who share them, your words. I will be forever grateful and hope that whatever I may bring to you is some compensation for the time and energy you have shared with me. I wish you all the best, always.