Sunday, July 31, 2011

Letter to my son...

Dear Nico,
tomorrow you'll be 30 weeks old.  Please hang in there for 4 more weeks.  Just relax, grow, get strong and before you know it, you'll be in our arms and safe.  You are loved and perfect.  You are our miracle and I am thankful every day for the blessing you bring to my life.  These days have not been easy for us, I know you can feel my sadness, anxiety and fear.  But mostly my fear.  I hope that you can also feel my joy, excitement and wonder that you are in my life.  You're not even born yet, and you've already made me happier than I have ever been.   I am filled with thanks that we have you - even if only for a short time.  I still wake up, look at my belly, and am filled with wonder that our love has created you.  With God's grace we will get through this difficult time.  Just know that you are loved and we pray every day that miracles will happen and we will get to love and hold you close.

Your mama

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The past few weeks

So much has gone on in the last few weeks, I don't know where to begin.

The last thing I thought I'd have was a "high risk" pregnancy.  Everything started out fine, more or less.  I didn't have morning sickness or trouble eating, and everything was going smoothly.  I did bleed a bit in the first trimester, but that ended as my second trimester started.  Mr. C and I have been preparing ourselves for a natural birth at the birth center by watching videos, meeting with our midwife and doctor and exercising with prenatal yoga and walking to prepare for the birth.  The second trimester was going great...lots of energy, belly growing, and just feeling really, really good. So, when I began to notice that I wasn't feeling baby move much anymore I was a little worried but thought I was overreacting, or being irrational.  But, after 2 days of little movement, I couldn't shake that something might not be right. 

Finally, I decided to call my midwife who met us in the office on a Saturday within a half hour.  She listened to my belly and heard a heart beat, nice and loud.  While Mr. C and I were relieved, she suggested we head over to St. Joe's and have the hospital monitor the baby's reflexes and movements.  None of us expected that I would later be admitted and remain there for the next 5 days.

Our little son's heartbeat was decelerating and I was having contractions.  Holding me for "observation" turned into days of anticipation, anxiety and fear.  The first night at the hospital a neonatologist came in to let us know what our sons chances of surviving were if they had to do a c-section that night, at 25 weeks.  After a steroid injection (just in case his lungs needs to develop outside the womb) and some major doses of Magnesium to stop the contractions, he stabilized a bit.  

After 4 days of some heart decelerations, and lots of ultrasounds, the cardiologist came in and told us our little boy has a genetic heart defect. They'll operate at birth, but he needs to stay in my womb as long as possible to be able to undergo the surgery later.  On top of this news, they discovered that he's smaller that average and we decided to do the amniocentesis to rule out chromosome disorders.  Were still waiting for the full report, but the prelims came in normal for the 3 major concerns.

We decided to leave the hospital and go off the monitors that follow his heart rate and just live day by day, hoping the decelerations go away and he grows bigger and stronger.  It's been 2 weeks and he's still with us.  Tomorrow he'll be 28 weeks, and we wake up grateful that we still have him here.

Nothing really prepares you for news like this.  Not only do I still have my midwife and OB, but I have to have 2 ultrasounds a week, and will meet with a cardiologist bi-weekly.  And I need to "stay off my feet."  I am going from trying to live as stress-free as possible to undergoing one of the most stressful experiences.  There are so many things that I need to still process and adjust to.  I am still so joyful about my pregnancy, and hopeful, but I find myself overcome by fear and anxiety.  Chris has been more than amazing through this all, and he has become the one person I can depend on.  I don't know what I would do without him.

Me and baby at 24 weeks