Life After the Second Line

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Halfway There

Today I am 19w6d into this pregnancy. My doctor plans to schedule my C-section for the last week in May, provided I make it that far (please, let me make it that far!) so I guess technically I'm a little tiny bit past the halfway mark.

Now is when the panic sets in. Oh sure, I've been scared since day one. After two years of infertility prior to P & E, to get a surprise like this has seemed to good to be true all along. And yet -- I wasn't *really* scared. I figured, hey, my pregnancy with P & E was totally fine for the first half, so this one will be, too. Aside from the wonky b/p readings at the doctor's office which I've never replicated at home, it has been. But now, in my mind at least, everything changes.

With Peyton and Ethan, I got my first high blood pressure reading in the doctor's office at 19 weeks. She told me to get a good home monitor and to check it regularly until she saw me again two weeks later. I did, and the readings weren't great. Definitely in the meds.-necessary range. At 21 weeks, I started taking them. And they worked -- the lowest possible dose kept my blood pressure in the acceptable range for the remainder of my pregnancy. Problem was, in the end, it didn't matter. My blood pressure was still fine when I was admitted to the hospital at 31 weeks. Seems I had developed a cord blood flow problem resulting from the underlying blood pressure issues, and the fact that it seemed to be under control didn't make a bit of difference. Then, following the two longest weeks of my life in the hospital, I had P & E via emergency C-section at 33w1d. E spent 4 weeks in the NICU; P spent 7 and stil came home on oxygen.

I'm so damn scared now. What's to stop it all from happening again, only maybe earlier this time? My hospital stay and the twins' NICU stay were hell, but I did finally get my happy ending. Today they are beautiful, healthy, thriving. What if that doesn't happen again? If I do end up hospitalized, what will I do without P & E for whatever period of time must pass before I deliver? Even G won't be able to stay with me this time around; if I'm not at home, P & E will obviously need their daddy to be here.

I know this is the absolute wrong attitude to have. I know, at this point, that my odds of complications remain in the 5% range. But I keep thinking, so what? My odds couldn't have been much higher than that the first time around, even with my various risk factors, but that's what happened.

I hate this. I hate that I can't seem to enjoy being pregnant. After I had P & E, I kind of thought I'd like to have another baby in part so that I could do the whole thing over and do it right the next time. You know, have a healthy, full term baby and all that. Maybe that's exactly what will happen -- how I pray that is exactly what happens! -- but I still will not have enjoyed the process. So in that respect, even if I am blessed enough to get a perfectly healthy baby on schedule this time around, I will still feel like I've been cheated out of the "real" pregnancy experience.

I guess, though, that this is "real" for me. It's not easy, and it's not wonderful, but damn it, if the end result can be, that's all that really matters. Only 19.5 weeks until I get there . . .


  • I so know where you're coming from though are situations and pg/birth experiences differ.

    With J, my pg went to hell at the 36w mark, hence the 37w1d induction. Now, with this one, here I am watching my body potentially self-destruct earlier on. I know no two pregnancies are alike but how I hoped this one would be one of those "no issues, everything looks lovely" processes until the end (or at least longer than 37 weeks).

    Like I said, I know my experience is so completely different from yours, but I think in the end, we both want the same thing. The "normal" pregnancy. Alas, I guess for some of us, normal is a relative term.

    Wishing you all the the best as you stare down the halfway mark.

    By Blogger Dee, at 6:17 PM  

  • Duh..."are" = "our"

    Clearly, my placenta has eaten my brain.

    By Blogger Dee, at 6:18 PM  

  • Hi Heather,

    I got your note about thinking you went to the same doctor as me. Please email me -- I would love to talk to you a bit more but I can't figure out how to email you directly from your site. :)


    By Blogger Jamie, at 2:09 PM  

  • Heather--I just wanted to thank you for every kind thought and word you sent my way during these incredibly difficult past few weeks.

    It means the world to me to know that wonderful women like you are in my world, rooting us on. I doubt I could have made it as well as I did without your support and thank you many times over.

    I hope you're doing and feeling well :-)

    By Blogger Dee, at 10:04 AM  

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