Have a Little Faith …

Today was our 32-week ultrasound with the perinatology unit at the hospital.

It isn’t standard operating procedure necessarily to have an ultrasound at this point (usually the 18-20 week anatomy scan is the last) but this was a follow-up to the fetal echo and anatomy scan we had done at 21 weeks and it’s always exciting to see Maya on the screen! (Isn’t she cute?!)

She’s been wiggling and moving and hiccuping and kicking/punching me lots (keeping me up at night … good prep for mommy-hood, no?) and it was cool to see how she’s positioned —  head down, lying comfortably on her side with her spine on my left side, which explains why most of the movement I’ve been feeling is on my right side. She kept her face down throughout most of the scan (boo!), where the tech checked her measurements and organs and everything and it all looked normal and good and healthy — whew!

But she’s measuring on the small side. As in, 17th percentile small.

Anything less than 10th percentile can be a cause for concern, and my doctor wasn’t horribly concerned but did tell us she is on the “small side of normal” for her estimated gestational age. (She’s estimated at being 3 lbs 2 oz now but those estimates can be wildly off the mark–as they’re just that, estimates.)

So he asked how big my husband and I were at birth/how my mom carried, as that usually is a good predictor as to how a mother will carry/size of her babies. Well, I was two weeks late and only 6 lbs 10 oz and as I’ve noted before, my mom carried low and small. My husband was 7 lbs. So neither of us were huge which means we probably wouldn’t make a huge baby. And we’re having a girl, and girls tend to be smaller than boys.

(Now I should note, since the very beginning I’ve been a bit leery about my estimated due date (EDD), which has been determined as December 19 based on my last monthly period (LMP) on March 13. My cycles were horribly erratic (which is how I honestly didn’t even know I was pregnant until I was 7 weeks along) … so part of me wonders if I am really a week or so behind that date…I’ve always thought I’d go into labor on/around New Year’s Eve!)

Anyway, in spite of knowing how genetics can come into play … you can imagine how much of a failure I felt like upon hearing this, as I am her sole source of nutrition and I’ve already been concerned I’m not “big enough” to be as far along as I am.

So I asked if there’s anything I could do (or should have done) to make her bigger …like eat more, etc. He said absolutely not; that it’s nothing I did or can do. Some babies are just smaller, and that’s a fact. She will take what she needs and genetically, she’s probably just on the smaller side — nothing I can do to change that, though obviously we want her to continue to get bigger.

The plan is  for us to go back in four weeks for another ultrasound to check on her growth and see if she’s getting bigger. He said he’d be more concerned if, say, her head circumference was measuring much bigger than, say, her abdomen … but she’s proportionally small … and otherwise healthy.

Then came the kicker. Turns out the cord is wrapped around her neck. 😦

This happens in 20-40% of babies (statistics vary) and my doctor says this should NOT be a cause of concern to us especially since they know it now … but it was still scary to hear.

Again, it’s nothing we could have prevented … babies in the womb swim and play and get tangled in it and she’s too big now to untangle herself. So what this means is in delivery, it just might take a minute longer to untangle it before my husband can cut it, and because they are aware of this condition, will be especially cautious with delivery. The risk of this cord situation is it can cause stillborn deliveries, but hopefully since my doctor knows the situation ahead of time, he’ll be prepared and that won’t be the case! (Please keep the prayers coming for a healthy delivery and baby!)

He also recommended once a week (or twice a week, depending on what my OB says) non stress tests just to be sure everything is OK with her heartbeat and if things look bad, they’ll induce me early but hopefully that won’t be the case. I posted on BabyCenter.com about this cord situation  and got tons of reassuring comments by moms who had this happen — I guess it’s fairly common but most people don’t know before delivery that it’s a problem; this ultrasound showed us what was going on, or we wouldn’t have known, either, until delivery. So if there’s a  silver lining, it’s that we know a little more of what to expect.

To be honest, all the extra testing we’ve gone through has been a double-edged sword. Sometimes I wonder if ignorance would be bliss … all this information sometimes just feels overwhelming and scary and riddles me with anxiety (hubby however remains cool, calm and collected–telling me he heard the exact same things as I did but isn’t concerned and has faith she’s just fine!) … but then I love the extra testing we’ve gotten because it’s given us an eagle’s eye perspective into the ins and outs of her development … and when we look back at the first ultrasound at 10 weeks, where she literally looked like two connected blobs … to an actual baby with a face that isn’t reminiscent of Skeletor 😉 … it’s mind-blowing.

I really feel like this entire pregnancy has been a test of my faith.  A test of patience. Sometimes I feel like I’m passing … and other days, like today, it’s hard to feel so optimistic … yet I know that there’s no other way to look at this situation except glass half-full.

She’s going to be OK … and I just need to start believing it. Truly believing it. After all … hope floats!

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11 thoughts on “Have a Little Faith …

  1. Having faith is the one thing you know you can do. The whole pregnancy with complications thing is SO hard. I had a zillion sonograms and I only ever felt 100% okay when I was in the moment, looking at him on the screen. The second we left, I would be like, “Gah, what if they missed something?” My husband was calm, too, while I was always so nervous – I think it’s just the mom’s role to be nervous. After all, you’re responsible for growing this person – even though a lot of their growth is out of your hands.

    The babies put on a bulk of weight in the last four weeks so she’ll grow just fine. *Someone* has to be in the 17th percentile. That’s the whole point of percentiles! Not everyone can be 50% or 85%.

    My husband was born with the cord around his neck and he’s fine (well, mostly – har, har). And the fact that they know, that’s all you need to know. And she’s already turned, which is great! So you know you don’t have a breech situation. There’s so much good here – keep up the positivity 🙂

    1. So true, Candice–it’s all we have right?! I def. think you’re right; it’s a woman thing to be so concerned. I think that is going to be what happens–she’ll gain a lot in the next few weeks and even out; that’s the hope!!!

      Good to know that about your hubs, too!

  2. First of all – I think Maya is such a pretty name! Second of all – I wish I could give you a big hug through the computer screen! Don’t you wish you could have a glass of wine? 🙂

    I am so sorry you’re having such a stressful pregnancy. But I honestly think that Maya will be just fine. Both issues that came up today are not out of the ordinary and like your friend said, you wouldn’t even have known about them if not for the late-pregnancy ultrasound. Trust me, if the doctors were worried about it either one of those things, they’d let you know!

    I had spotting throughout my pregnancy from 19 weeks on, and even though they told me “one in four pregnancies has unexplained bleeding!” it was little comfort. But everyone told me L would be just fine and you know what, they were right! The NST every week should alleviate some of your worries and as long as she’s moving and kicking a few times an hour, you know she’s fine!

    As I’ve told you via email, my son had developmental delays during his first year, and I spent months and months sick with worry. He’s basically caught up now, and although there are still some concerns, I feel a whole lot better about his future :). But I do know how horrible the worrying is and how hard it can be to just relax. If you ever need to chat, please drop me a line!

  3. Aw thanks Alison!! :)LOL, wine would be nice…! glad you love her name, too 🙂 I know you’re right, it’s just hard not to be preoccupied when we hear stuff like this. So glad to know how well L is doing–that is definitely awesome!! 🙂 And thank you–I appreciate it!

  4. In regards to small–I have 3 girls and my first and third were over 8lbs but my middle daughter was nearly two weeks overdue and weighed in at 6lbs even. She weighed 12 lbs at a year but was healthy. She’s barely been on the charts, ever. She’s just…tiny.

    She’s nearly 18 now and is 4’10” and 90 lbs. She is perfect in every way (got her period at 13, etc) but just a more tiny version. She loves it! Unfortunately finding clothes must be done in the girls section (a 00 is too big) and shoes for a size 3.5/4 are hard to find for a teenager that wants more adult looking heels, haha.

    I guess I’m just saying that smaller isn’t always bad, esp. if the baby is growing at HER rate and everything is fine.

    I think I do agree, sometimes too much knowledge is a dangerous thing but where to draw the line, right?

  5. I’m glad you’re approaching this positively. I’m sure you’ve done the research and know all the benefits of a vaginal birth (there are many) BUT, that said, when you trust your doctor and he says this is possibly a necessity, what are you going to do? As you may remember, I was in the exact same situation. Both my dr and I were strongly opposed to a c-section and in the end it became what had to happen because of Nate’s breech presentation and how little I stretched in the pregnancy (I haven’t even fully processed yet the complicated feelings I have about some of that being “my fault” – one of these days).

    It is very nice knowing the day you’re going in, but I’ll be honest – it was very hard for me afterward knowing he missed out on certain antibodies and hormones because he wasn’t born vaginally. It also delays milk production and I often wonder if it was one part of my not being able to nurse. I’m glad Nate is perfect and I wouldn’t have pushed for a vaginal delivery against my dr’s orders because I knew he was 100% treating the c-section as the last, last, last option. (Oh, and I didn’t find the surgical recovery to be that big of a deal – possibly because I had two abdominal surgeries previously and was preoccupied with the baby anyway.)

    At this point, the part that’s both comforting and scary is that most of it is out of your hands. What will happen, will happen – and stressing about it does no one any good (including Maya). So keep up the positive thoughts.

    And if you ever want to talk about this with someone who’s been through something similar, I’m always here.

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