The last few months have presented so much hope and joy for me. I am still carrying this little guy at 21 weeks! I cannot believe it. I have started to embrace the process and even have set up the crib and painted the walls in
Son One’s Son Two’s Son Three’s room. The room has gone through a lot of changes throughout the last three and a half years, but I am feeling more confident every day that the most recent changes will serve the long term purpose of keeping Son Three safe and warm. But, with all of these warm and fuzzy feelings, a little reality started to lurk too closely again this last week.
I had my official anatomy scan with the high risk specialists and let me say right away that Son Three looks beautiful and healthy. He is averaging in the 70th percentile on his measurements which makes sense because my husband and I are both tall people. Son Three was so busy moving it was difficult to get his measurements! But, to our relief and as far as the specialists can tell, he has all the good stuff he is supposed to have and he seems to be progressing with robust health.
The reality set in when they decided it was necessary to flag me for a possible case of marginal placenta previa. Knowing a little (but not a lot) about this immediately alerted my fear centers. After all, this is the specialist’s office where I have done two post-miscarriage WTF appointments to see if we could glean any insight into why I kept losing babies. And, here they were, telling me I had risk for something else that sounded less than ideal. All I remember is seeing those words, “placenta previa,” in my miscarriage research in the past, just like I remember seeing “ectopic pregnancy” before actually having what was suspected to be one in Fall 2014.
The ultrasound tech left and I tried to process her admission without melting down completely since the nurse practitioner was on her way back into the room. Choking back some tears, I told my husband not to try to comfort me right now; it was one of those moments I needed to NOT absorb everything I was feeling and just concentrate on being logical and listening to information.
For those of you who do not know, placenta previa is when your placenta is covering, partially covering, or marginally covering your cervix opening. If early and unwelcome bleeding doesn’t ensue and demand a trip to the ER, often a simple C-section can now relieve the concern for placenta previa. In most cases, the marginal diagnosis I am now being monitored for resolves itself on its own. In fact, some sources say 90% of the time this becomes a non-issue by the time for delivery. But, when you’ve fallen into that 10% or 1% or less than 1% category several times in past pregnancies, it’s hard to feel too assured by the statistics supposedly being on your side.
So, I am mostly concentrating on being logical. I realize that my placenta has high odds of moving up and away from my cervix as my uterus grows and, essentially, pulls the placenta up on its own. (I think I vaguely understand all of this, anyway.) But, of course after all of our trauma surrounding pregnancy, I find myself – in moments – angry, frustrated, and fighting a little of that exhausted/defeated feeling we get when we’ve been struggling in a battle for too long. I was highly aware that I had finally moved out of that way of being into a lighter, happier place, and I had no intentions of willingly going back to fear, grief, or sadness.
So, here I am…overwhelmingly grateful for Son Three…enjoying every kick and somersault he seems to be perfecting…and, also, finding myself detached from the process in some moments because that has been a survival technique I have instituted when trying to handle past losses. I am trying to remind myself that this isn’t a death sentence. It seems far from it, actually. And, after all my husband and I have been through, a C-section birth – or even an emergency trip to the ER with this little guy in a few weeks when he is viable – would be delightful compared to losing babies. But, there is that puny, fear-based, limiting voice that says, “Why me?” Why do I have to have one more challenge that the doctors classify as random or unlucky, but still an issue? Why do I have to go back to the specialist for extra monitoring with this fifth pregnancy?
And, to add another layer of drama and anxiety to my current feelings, my gorgeous, playful, everything-to-me, six-year-old pup has to get a spot removed from his skin and tested this week. It’s been almost exactly two years since we almost lost him when his stomach flipped, and I am just not ready to deal with losing (or almost losing) family members again this year.
So, this post ended up being more negative than I intended it to be. I really am still so joyful about my current situation and feel like these two worries will take care of themselves in the weeks and months to come. I know this is life. We get presented with confusion and fear, and we grow by integrating it into our lives and not forgetting how incredibly positive so many moments in our life are each and every day. I am going to have to commit myself to balance, letting myself feel joy, and limiting my dark concerns. Worry isn’t helpful anyway.