Monday, June 11, 2012

The 20 week milestone



Reaching 20 weeks is a big pregnancy milestone. I am thrilled we are here. That the little one is still alive.

I had been doing ok with my fear levels until about a week or so ago...and then as we approached the 20 week mark, all hell broke loose internally. I became terrified that the baby would die before we reached 20 weeks. In my nerve-wracked mind (and in medical terminology), her death before 20 weeks would be miscarriage #7. Should she make it past 20 weeks, and then die, she would be stillborn. She would be counted differently, as my child, as having been here. Of course this is all semantics. Nothing magical happened between last Friday and Saturday. Same little one. Same emotional impact of her death, if that had occurred. But I felt so afraid that she might just get lumped in with all the other losses, and be, well, "lost" amidst my history of recurrent miscarriage.

Perhaps needless to say, but while I was in this terrified state of mind, imagining this little one making it full-term, and being born alive, and joining our family...well that was a tall, somewhat impossible, order.

In this strange, dark way, 20 weeks became this critical milestone to get to.

I saw the OB last week and immediately she could tell I was much more anxious than I have been. She wanted to know why, and I tried to explain. I ended up crying on the exam table about wanting this baby's life "to count." I could tell that I shocked her. I haven't been so emotional this whole pregnancy. I haven't let myself get emotionally invested.

But as usual, she was great. Reassuring, normalizing. Saying I've been holding myself back this whole time, and now it's hitting me. I am pregnant. There is a real baby inside of me. A baby I could lose, just like all the others, and have my heart shattered. She listened, she reassured me. She checked everything checkable. Cervix is long and closed. Blood pressure good. Urine fine. Weight gain fine. She had me list my fears again and we went over them one by one:

preterm labor
preeclampsia
PPROM
cervical incompetence

She said preterm labor doesn't happen this early unless I'm dilating. And I'm not. I look fine so far for preeclampsia. PPROM also almost impossible unless I start dilating. And cervical incompetence (which could lead to many of my other fears) we are checking for weekly and see no evidence of.

I have another anatomy scan this Friday. We will check on everything checkable. Again. I will get a cervical measurement done. My mom will be here visiting and will come with Will and me. I think it will thrill her beyond imagining to see the scan. This is her first time to see me this pregnancy. Her first time to see me visably pregnant ever. Another milestone.

I've been checking on little Magpie almost daily with the doppler. She's in there cooking. She's the size of a cantaloupe. She's doing fine as far as we know.

Her mama is a bundle of nerves but is hanging in there too. I just need Ms. Magpie to stay in there for another 8 weeks minimum.

Stay in there. Stay alive. Stay in there. Stay alive.

I repeat this to her in an urgent whisper several times a day.

So far, she seems to be listening.

Mo


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37 comments:

Danielle said...

I felt exactly the same way- that I wanted this baby to get to 20 weeks so he would be someone if we lost him. And then I wanted to get to 24, for viability, and then to 28, when the odds were with us, and then, and then... He will be 15 weeks old this week. And, boy, is he someone.

Cheering you and Magpie on.

sprogblogger said...

20 weeks! I'm sorry it's been scary (and likely will CONTINUE to be scary) but--20 weeks! You're halfway to totally-full-term-get-her-OUT-so-you-can-hold-her. And as you say, only 8 weeks away from excellent prognosis if something scary did happen (which it won't). I'm REALLY glad your OB is taking such excellent care of you and taking your emotions and fears into account. It sounds like you are in the best hands, and your little Magpie is doing fantastic. Thinking of you, wishing this were easier, though I do think you're bearing up under the strain like a rockstar. Rockstar of Pregnancy, that's you, Mo.

You gonna be around in mid July? We're planning a trip down there to spend time at the beach (I know, right?) and go to a show or two. We could lunch. Or dog-walk. Or something. Let me know if it'll work for you--I'd love to see you.

Pie said...

For some reason 24 weeks was my internal milestone, the number I had to get to so I could let myself feel it pregnant, admit to myself I was pregnant. I think your 20 week goal is totally understandable, given all you've been through.

But - 20 weeks!!! Hooray for 20 weeks! Can't wait to hear all about the anatomy scan, it was one of my favorite memories of being pregnant, that scan.

gwinne said...

Oh, Mo. I hear you. Yes, I understand what you mean about the possibility of loss at 20 weeks, although it is, as you say, just semantics. And yet, this pregnancy is different from every one you've experienced so far. 20 weeks is AMAZING.

I'm so glad things continue to look good. And Magpie...what a sweet nickname!

Anne said...

ALL your children mattered. But I really do hope this little girl hangs in there!!!

What IF? said...

The losses you and Will have suffered are unimaginable. And yes, every child matters. I admire your strength in taking this pregnancy day by day, and for allowing yourself to once again be vulnerable in the face of the unknown. Hooray for reaching the halfway mark.

This litte girl is a tenacious survivor, just like her mom.

Emily Erin said...

So glad that the doppler can offer daily assurance. I am also so very happy that your doctor took time to address each of your concerns. I am also so happy for you and your mother that she'll be able to come to your anatomy scan-- what a wonderful life milestone to share.

Allison said...

I think you've had so much happen to you that it's impossible to imagine a worry free pregnancy. But that's what you may have!! I was certainly shocked at how well my body did. You have a great OB and I think all will be well. :)

Dora said...

She counts. They all matter. Your daughter has so many people waiting for her safe arrival. And I totally agree with Susan. You. Are. A. Rockstar! I'm glad you let go with your awesome OB. So glad she reassured you point by point.

Magpie, listen to Mommy! Another 18-20 weeks, okay?

A cantaloupe! Wow! That's big! :-) xoxo

Lydia said...

It's not just you who is whispering to Magpie. I think you have a whole world of those of us also whispering to her "Stay in there. Stay alive. Stay in there. Stay alive.".

Thinking of you.

newbie said...

Congrats on 20 weeks!!! I know it must be so damn scary for you, but everything is going so well! I know you won't rest easy until that little girl is in your arms, but I feel so good about how things are going for you. Your Magpie is there to stay!

Miss Megan said...

She is in there and alive, and that is WONDERFUL!! 20 weeks is a fabulous milestone and I am so happy that you are finally there!!

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

After adopting Isaac, we found ourselves pregnant with Elijah. I realized, however, that I didn't fully comprehend HIS life until I got pregnant a second time. I actually realized that I never really thought Elijah would ever be born -- so I can understand what you are saying about not believing you are pregnant. I didn't realize how pregnant women normally feel until the 2nd time.

Praying for you and little Maggie! Can't wait to "meet" her. Since this is an anonymous blog, will you post her picture when she is born? :)

Jessica R said...

Oh Mo, I'm so sorry that you've been having such anxiety. (FWIW, I think I would feel the exact same way.) Last year I was six and a half months pregnant at Mother's Day and the mothers' day card my parents got me upset me. I didn't want to count being pregnant until the baby was actually here - then I somehow acknowledged that I was pregnant, even though I still have trouble connecting DD to Peanut (my pre-birth baby).

One day at a time, girl. You've been through hell and it's okay to be nervous. Just keep breathing, and the days will keep passing. You're doing great.

Amy said...

Congrats on 20 weeks! I understand your fear and anxiety approaching the 20 week mark. I read your journey hoping to see a point where the stress starts to go down, and I'm just not sure it will...

I am so glad your OB was understanding. Thinking of you.

Kristin said...

I am thrilled beyond belief that you've reached this milestone.

Anonymous said...

I understand. I used to sing 'Hang On Little Tomato' to my baby girl.

Mrs. Misfits said...

20 weeks was also my big milestone. You are doing great and I'm glad that your OB is working with you on all those fears. I also kept that thought of loss after 20 weeks and I wish I could say that I ever relaxed into pregnancy. I will say that when she starts to move you will feel a bit more connected. Healthy and alive is a great mantra.

It Is What It Is said...

It rarely fails that when I have the thought that we haven't heard from you in a bit, voila, there's a post.

HUGE milestone, Mo, really. Then comes 24 weeks, then 28, and pretty much monthly thereafter. Congratulations.

I will be wrangling with similar fears compounded by my likely decision to not have a perhaps unnecessary preventative cerclage placed and take a weekly surveillance, measure and see approach. I just spoke with my peri again, who complete answered all of my questions. It is perhaps the biggest leap of faith I will ever take, but something I am feeling is the right way to proceed.

Continued smooth pregnancy, mama!

peesticksandstones said...

I cannot believe you are at 20 weeks already. Wow! Congrats.

This post really touched me quite deeply. As someone who had recurrent miscarriages, too, I had VERY similar feelings during this time. I think I recall, though, that at some point my baby became super-duper active (even hiccuping a lot between bouts of kicking me in the cervix) and that became a godsend for me, to help counteract a lot of those middle of the night fears. I'm sure the doppler helps, too.

So glad to hear things are going great! Maybe a trip to pick out more maternity clothes is in order? That (and the Edamame pregnant-lady spa) were huge treats for me during that time.

Trisha said...

This is a HUGE milestone Mo! Really this is incredible, your journey has been so inspiring to me. I can't wait to hear all about the next 20 weeks!

B. said...

I love your OB! I've met some understanding ones, but yours seems tailor-made for you.

And 20 weeks. Wow. The halfway point. I'm looking forward to seeing a full-term belly shot, and then a birth announcement. Yay!

Jen said...

Big milestone! Congrats Mo!

JenC said...

Your OB sounds great, so understanding. I'll never forget being transferred from the RE to a regular OB and they couldn't hear the heartbeat and (being the fatalist I am) said matter of factly, oh I've lost the baby, and my OB said no all looks fine, come with me, and peeked in the us room saw it was empty, and gave me an unscheduled transvag u/s just to reassure me. Sounds a little much, but it was what I needed. I too couldn't wait to get to 20, then 24 then 28, then I finally started to relax a little. I hope you get a chance to do that. I'm so glad things are good to date.

Brid said...

Wow! This is just great all around! The freak outs are normal even without your history... I know I don't know you, but I feel like I do and I, along with my family and close friends are all sending you and Will and the little one, the best of all possible wishes and luck!! Twenty weeks! You're at the peak baby girl! xoxo

St Elsewhere said...

Hurrah for 20 weeks! You are halfway through...

I want this to be fructified for you....Can't wait to read your mummy posts....

Marcia (123 blog) said...

People all over the world are whispering to little magpie too :)

20 weeks!!! Crazy how fast time flies (for us)

thisamerikenyanlife said...

It sounds like your OB is AWESOME for helping you deal with your fears. I am so, so happy every time I stop by the cyber cafe and find a new "good news" entry on this blog. Keeping my fingers crossed from way over here.

Megan
http://thisamerikenyanlife.wordpress.com/

Rebecca said...

Congratulations on reaching 20 weeks!

I think it's totally normal to have major, major anxiety at this point. I think I was the most nervous from about 18 weeks to 26 weeks. At that point, you've come so far and you can't really pretend nothing is going on any more because you can see it every time you look in the mirror. Yet at the same time, you know that odds are it's too early for a good outcome if something was to happen. So the anxiety and terrified feeling totally makes sense. I started to relax a little bit at 28 weeks, but it wasn't until 30 weeks that I really started to feel like things could possibly be okay if something were to happen. At that point, my blood pressure dropped about 30 points (seriously, no exaggeration) and stayed there for the rest of the pregnancy.

I hope the next 10 weeks pass quickly - and uneventfully - for you.

Deana said...

I'm so happy that you've reached this milestone - congrats on 20 weeks!! The rest of your pregnancy will fly by. Pregnancy after infertility truly is the most stressful time. When I was pregnant last year, I kept saying I wished I could just go to sleep and wake up when the baby arrived. I almost couldn't handle the stress! I think with as often as you're being checked, and as thorough as your OB is at every appointment, the chances of something going wrong at this point are so slim. But I know it's still scary until you're holding your healthy baby in your arms. I'm hoping your anatomy scan on Friday gives you even more reassurance that everything is going great.

Gil said...

Just wanted to say *hugs* and your fears are totally normal. You have fought tooth and nail to get this far. And I gotta tell you something: the fears? They never really go away. Next, it'll be getting to 22 weeks. Then 27. Then 30. Eventually, delivery. Then you worry about all the other stuff that comes! Trust me: Petite is going on 3 and I worry today about a dozen things. Some big. Some little. You know something though? It's your JOB to worry. You're going to be a mom. And that's what moms do, right? It's okay. For now, try not to let your fears overwhelm your happiness though, okay?! Lots of love and hugs to you and Will. Always!

Roccie said...

You must be exhausted my dear.

I send you all the peace and stillness I can. I remember that ice cold fear and it sucks so bad.

Laura said...

Half baked! Mo, you're having a baby!

nurslouisa said...

20 weeks is a HUGE milestone, try to remember when you are driving yourself crazy: the stats are on your side! That is a lovely cantaloupe you got there, half way there!

Claudia said...

congratulations - that's really really excellent news!

Anonymous said...

So happy things continue to look so good, but sorry for all of your (understandable) anxiety. Are you still going to go to Hawaii? I think it's great you two are taking a 'babymoon' but I hope the long flight and being so far from home don't add to your stress level too much, thus counteracting the benefits of a vacation you need and deserve...Take care of yourself!

Pale said...

Oh Mo (& Will!)!! Twenty Weeks!! Half way, baby. SOOOOOOO happy and excited for you ... I want to say that milestone came quickly, but HA -- double HA -- easy for me to say that, I know. Can't wait to hear about your next scan. Lots of love.

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