I think I need to write this. I've been forcing it to the back of my brain for the past 11 days, but I know I need to deal with it. It's effecting me more than I probably realize and I hope that this helps.
The last few weeks before Hannah's birth, I had been burdened by a lot of worry and fear. I couldn't shake the feeling of something being wrong. I think I wrote about it here a few days before she was born.
I went to the hospital on the Saturday before Hannah Mae was born because her movements felt different to me. She was still passing her kick counts, but the forcefulness and strength seemed different. It was like she was tired and groggy all the time. Chris and I had a big day of nesting planned, but after breakfast I decided that it wasn't worth the worry so we went in for a NST at L&D. She looked great and produced a good strip (there were a few variables, but her recovery was good). My doctor came to the hospital for a delivery and stopped in to check on us. I think the look on my face said it all and after talking for a bit he said that he was beginning to think that delivering her at 36 weeks might be best for everyone. We were shocked, but pretty excited. He felt my belly and decided to do an ultrasound to check her positioning. She was breech. All this time she had been head down and we just had to laugh that the little squirt had turned the week before delivery. He said that her movements probably felt different because she had turned and told me to come back again the next day for another NST.
Sunday's NST showed her still doing well but she did have more variables and I think I saw concern on the nurse's face when she told me (but I could be making this up... there was definitely concern on my face and in my heart). My doctor told me to call the high risk doctor in the morning to make an appointment to get his opinion on delivering her at 36 weeks.
Monday was ... I can't even find the right word to describe Monday. I emailed a few friends and asked them to pray because we were going to decide when to deliver Hannah Mae. I was pretty freaked out, but honestly couldn't begin to imagine what would actually happen at that appointment.
My mom was in town because my dad had been admitted to the hospital on Saturday morning with arterial flutter, so she came with me to the appointment. I don't know what I would have done if I had been alone. Chris couldn't come with me and I honestly thought that if he came then something definitely would be wrong (what kind of logic is this? very very screwed up logic, not to mention theology).
The ultrasound tech checked all her measurements and as I've have quite a number of ultrasounds, I've learned to look at the week that her head, tummy, arms and legs measure and can get a sense of what's going on from my very limited knowledge. I knew something was wrong from the beginning. One weird thing was that she had turned and was now head down again (the little stinker!). Her overall growth was now below the 10th percentile and she was mostly measuring around 31-33 weeks. There was increased pressure in her brain which was an indicator that she was having to work too hard to get what she needed from the placenta.
The high risk doctor came in and checked her over and got a really concerned look on his face. He spent a good 5 minutes looking over my history and hemmed and hawed over everything in my chart. At this point, I was crying and feeling completely broken. It was happening again. My baby was struggling to get what she needed, just like Owen.
The doctor told us to come with him to his office and we'd call my doctor to consult over when to deliver. All this time, I hadn't been able to look over at my mom. I knew that once I did, I wouldn't be able to hold the sobs back. I got off the table and my mom took me in her arms and told me I was doing so well... and that's when I lost it. I almost collapsed in the hallway. I haven't been been that out of control (outside of when they told us Owen had died) in public and as embarrassed as I was, I couldn't stop the sobs or the words coming out of mouth. I can't do this again is all I could say.
Both my doctors decided that the risk of something happening in the span of a few days wasn't worth it the benefit of her lungs getting a few more days of maturity. We needed to deliver her now. For the first time, I saw compassion and empathy in the eyes of the high risk doctor (whom I not so lovingly have called 'Dr. Poor Bedside Manner'). He mentioned the words 'recurrent' and 'growth restriction'. Three words I would pay to never hear again- but there they are and there is no denying that something was happening to cause her growth restriction. And that the same thing happened to Owen. I think I remember the high risk doctor mentioning something about the placenta, but I was so distraught so there's no telling what all he said.
I hope to have some answers one day. I hope to get a bigger picture of how and why my body has now twice caused my babies to have growth restriction.
I could seriously punch a hole in the wall.
We are overjoyed OVERJOYED that Hannah Mae is alive and healthy, living on the outside where we can hold her and stare at her perfection and hear her unbelievably girly squeal. But I won't lie and say that the past two weeks have been easy. Her birth wasn't what I expected... I didn't think (I feared it every day) but I honestly didn't believe that we would be staring at the same situation that caused Owen to die. I feel... I don't know what I feel... but the emotions of the past two weeks have been hard to process.
I'm on cloud nine that she's in our arms. I'm exhausted by her sweet newborn perfection. I'm exhausted from an emergency c-section (this is a whole different story) and recovery. I'm pissed that my baby girl could have died. I'm crazy with hormones and postpartum emotions. I'm frustrated that my body AGAIN couldn't provide for my baby. I'm crazy in love with this little girl and terrified all at the same time.
I am struggling fiercely with not guarding my heart against her because I'm afraid of losing her. I'm dealing with all the feelings of incompetency and insecurity of a first time mom BUT I'm not a first time mom and I'm pissed that I don't know what I'm doing. I'm so angry that Owen isn't the first baby I'll care for. I feel robbed.
And about all the negative crap I'm feeling- I'm completely burdened with guilt over.
Why can't I just enjoy my sweet Hannah Mae? This is what I've been waiting for and I feel so guilty that there's so much crap swirling around in my head. I feel like a failure. I feel unworthy and ungrateful.
I know I'm safe and secure in the Lord Jesus- this is what my ever steady husband tells me everyday, but I don't feel safe. I feel crazy.
And I feel SO bad that this post is so negative. I'm sure this is not what everyone is expecting and for that, I'm sorry. Thank you all for praying for us and for covering Hannah Mae with prayer. The Lord is faithful and even though life is not what we expect and sometimes not what we ask for, He is still loving and faithful. You have pointed me to Jesus and his love more than I can say. Thank you.
I didn't want to publish this right before Mother's day but my hands and mind keep coming back here to write and I just need to post it.
I will remember all your precious children tomorrow as I remember mine... the ones we can't see or hold as well as the ones we have in our arms.