Resilience And A Pregnancy Update
Around this time of year bloggers often choose a word for the upcoming New Year. I’ve never felt compelled to choose one word that would be the theme for the year ahead, but this year one word came so easily to me. My word this year is:
A couple of weeks ago at my second trimester anatomy scan for baby #3 we got news that were some complications with the baby. We were floored and shocked and scared. I had done the prenatal blood work and the nuchal scan and they had all been normal. I thought everything was pretty much on track and thought for sure the intense nausea and vomiting I had (and was still having) was a sign that things were strong and healthy.
Shortly after the ultrasound we were told about all the worst case scenarios of what it could be, quietly we were also told ‘but it could be normal’. We were told it could be an infection that would have major consequences to the baby, it could be something genetically wrong, it could be your placenta or it could be unknown. We were left confused and numb and my heart ached with uncertainty. There would be no quick answer available to tell us what to do. It was also just before Christmas and doctors and labs and services closed and slowed down and we had to wait alongside worrying about the baby.
It felt like in just one tiny moment all the appointments with the high risk docs started happening. Soon I was consenting to amnio to get more information on the situation. I felt like I was spinning out of control and my heart was pounding. I stopped for a minute and decided I could choose how I responded to this situation of unknown. I chose to be resilient.
Being resilient doesn’t mean I’m okay with the crap that is happening or that I was born with knowing how to deal with a shit situation. It doesn’t mean that I don’t cry or sob or worry. Being resilient means that I choose to deal with all those stressful factors in a positive way. I’ve leaned on friends, I’ve texted up a storm with awesome friends who will let me rehash the same scenario over and over. I’ve chosen to love on my two healthy children and see the blessings that they are. In between bouts of sadness, because it’s normal to feel ALL the feelings. I also let myself feel optimistic and even momentarily happy.
Of course, I’ve let my mind think about the worst case scenarios. With each appointment we have with the high risk doctors or appointments to check on the baby, we have learned more and crossed off some terrible potentials from our list. I’ve sat sobbing in the bath thinking the absolute worse things that can happen in pregnancy and I’ve cried in my OB’s office as I stood holding on to her with a hug.
A couple of weeks back when we first heard the news that something might be wrong with the way the baby was growing, I put myself into self care mode and made a conscious effort to take care of my whole self. I drank lots of water, ate delicious food and lay down more than I normally would do. When my two sisters offered to take my kids away for 4 nights of sleep over and cousin fun, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I allowed myself time to lay in bed, to distract myself with Netflix and to sit in hour long baths at 3 PM. That is what being resilient is, coping with stress in a positive way and finding positive meaning in life experiences.
To help myself distract from the sense of impending doom, I made a fancy spa pedicure date with an amazing friend and reached out and connected with people I knew would be positive forces in my life. It is an amazing feeling when you reach out to certain people for support that they respond so uplifting and you feel like you can go on one more day.
The thing that I know for sure about growing a baby is, anything can happen to anyone at anytime. There is no reason that a good person gets a terrible experience/outcome or a not so great person has a normal healthy experience. Pregnancy is random at best and ultimately we are just along for the ride. I know that there is a big window of unknown in pregnancy and while we try our best to predict outcomes and modify experiences for more positive results, we can’t control and predict every outcome.
I am choosing to stay positive and to take things one day at a time and to lean on friends and family. Right now we have ruled out a lot of potential issues and are leaning towards a baby that is normal with a not so great placenta. I will take ALL of your positive thoughts and well wishes, so don’t hesitate to send some cheer my way!