Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…
After our baby check-up last Friday, we had to make some arrangements for an emergency c-section. The scheduled date was Tuesday the 16th. But here we are!
Born with 37w5d, he measures 35 weeks. He weighs 5lbs8oz (2500 gr) and is 18.5″ (46 cm).
He is petite but perfect!
It has been quite the pregnancy. From the beginning right up until the end. In my first trimester I experienced a uterin bleeding / hemorrhage and they couldn’t explain it. Being through several miscarriages I knew we could lose this little one too. But I wasn’t ready for that. The doctors told me they couldn’t predict what would happen and that there was nothing I could do. When the hemorrhage left my body it could take the baby along with it.
The first trimester passed and all seemed fine. The bleeding had stopped after trying to rest more. My body had absorbed the blood clot. Where I had felt the other boys move at the latest with 17 weeks and the earliest with 9 weeks. I couldn’t feel this one move and it worried me. I did feel the feeling of butterflies once, but it passed.
When Microbaby was around 18 weeks I felt (s)he needed a name. We thought of unisex names and tried them, but none fitted, until we used my husband’s middle name. His middle name is unisex too and this one fitted. Thinking of this name and the baby together gave peace inside my body. It felt like one piece of this puzzle fitted. I was happy we had a name for Microbaby but at the same time I had this instinct feeling: “our baby has a name but we will never use it.”
During our 20 week check-up they measured Microbaby a week smaller. Not really something that caused concern. Because I have Ehlers Danlos (eds), they wanted us to come back with 28 weeks for an extra check-up with a doctor that was also familiar with eds. During that check-up Microbaby was not one but three weeks behind in growth and measuring below the 10th percentile. He measured on the 3rd percentile. Hearing all this it sounded like jibberish. They mentioned IUGR. Wait, what?
When I was 30 weeks pregnant I felt that we needed to prepare the co-sleeper for Microbaby. We ended up building two. One for Miniman and one for Microbaby. When it was finished, again I had this feeling: “now he has a name and a crib, but he will never use it.” It was a scary thought.
From 32 weeks on they wanted me to come in biweekly to check upon the little one. Once a week his umbilical cord flow, his blood flow in his body and the placenta was checked, also known as dopplers, and twice a week we had NST’s. They did biophysical profiles. Every two weeks they checked his growth. To be honest, I was happy with these check-ups, because I hardly felt Microbaby move.
With 34 weeks he went through a growth spurt so it seemed. We felt like he was catching up. And I felt some movement. I can tell you that I couldn’t be happier. Feeling him move, feeling his presence even more than only his spirit felt so reassuring. Dad, however, never felt him move. He measured in the 8th percentile and the doctors said they hardly see these kind of improvements. They even mentioned that he could grow above the 10th percentile and that I didn’t have to deliver at 37 weeks but maybe at 38 or even at 39 weeks. How happy we were and we didn’t worry so much.
However with his growth scan at 36 weeks at the Children’s Hospital and at 37 weeks back at the Perinatal Center, he measured back in the 5th percentile. All these numbers, percentiles, what did it mean. I couldn’t picture what we could expect and I asked the lady who did the ultrasound how Microbaby looked. She did a 3d ultrasound and you could see the familiar features of an average growth baby. Same chubby cheeks. That helped to cope with what to expect.
And than we spoke to the doctor, during that 37w5d check-up. I had developed an itch on my body, on my hands and feet since the last three weeks and it had gotten worse. My belly itched, my hands and my feet and Dad had googled it two days before and even had me call the ob-gyn. He found something about cholestasis. The nurse told me they could run a test, but it would take a week to get back and since I was scheduled to deliver the next Tuesday, results wouldn’t be back in time. Well that is what the nurse said.
At the Perinatal Center, when I mentioned the itching again the doctor wasn’t so calm and I ended up delivering that same evening, on February 12th.
The next day all the itching was gone. So the doctor is pretty sure it was cholestasis. But the combination of everything made her act. The IUGR, not feeling my baby move plus the expected cholestasis.
Microbaby turned out to be Microman and he was (is) petite but perfect. I delivered with almost 38 weeks and he measures 35 weeks. He is here and I don’t have to worry anymore that I will lose him in utero.
I didn’t realise how afraid I have been of losing him. Of not being able to hold him, to love him. I thought I was coping pretty well with the previous miscarriages, but now I realize how much they hurt. And it really hurts. I have been crying and I feel relieve. I am able to mourn it all, the miscarriages, this scary roller coaster like pregnancy.
And we are not there yet. Microbaby is small and lost almost 10% of his birth weight during his first days earthbound Losing weight is normal. But the doctors expect him to be back at his birth weight within 1,5 week after being born, and I don’t know if that is reasonable for this little fellow.
Today I was told to feed him every hour. Wondering when they expect for mommies to get some sleep and change to heal too.
I have been fingerfeeding him, nursing him as much as we both can. That little stomach can only hold so much. And he didn’t gain any weight since we left the hospital. He didn’t lose any weight either.