Wednesday, February 1, 2012

24 Weeks + 5 Days and a Counseling Appt

Today I had another appt with the Perinatologist, the same one that did my anatomy scan. Baby girl is measuring in the 32nd percentile with her head measuring a little on the small side. The Dr. said she isn't too concerned about this so I am trying not to be either. It kind of bugs me though because Liam's head measured big and it turned out to be because of the hydrocephalus from the spina bifida and now hers is exactly opposite being on the small side, hmmm.

Strong heartbeat of 159bpm and weighing in at 1lb. 9oz. It surprised me that already at 24 weeks + 5 days she already is bigger than Liam was at 25 + 6 days.

On top of wanting to make sure things were still measuring on track we checked the incision, which still looks good. She then wanted to look at where the placenta was sitting according to the incision, which she said sometimes it can happen that the placenta will attach itself to an old c-section scar which can cause problems. She said that everything looks good though and she will see me back in a month to check it out again. Love hearing good news!

She also said that she had done a bunch of research since I last seen her on other fetal surgery moms who had transverse fundal incisions like mine and what the statistics showed for uterine ruptures. It looks like my type of incision in that location shows about a 14% rupture rate. She also called UCSF and talked to my Perinatologist there to see what he would recommend. If you have followed other posts this has been something I have been a little concerned about and my Dr.'s have talked about anywhere from 37-39 weeks for a c-section, with 39 scaring that crap out of me. It looks like as of right now, even though its still many weeks away, I will be getting the steroid injections at 36 weeks with or without an amnio. The c-section will be at 37 with the NICU team prepared, which makes me feel more reassured. I personally don't want the amnio since they said we will do the c-section whether the lungs are matured or not and don't want to risk going into labor a week early when she will be delivered a week later anyway. So technically as of Friday I only have 12 weeks to go. 

We tried to get good pics of her face but she liked to keep it buried in the placenta. In the pic to the top right you can see one of her legs up by her face. She kept it there almost the entire time and looked like she was kissing her knee. So here she is at 24 weeks + 5 days. Can't wait to meet you baby girl!

I had an appt with my counselor yesterday. If I cry much these days it tends to be at these appts because we talk strictly about my emotions, and now that I am pregnant again we talk a lot in regards about what happened to Liam and how it affects this pregnancy.

She has known me since about 2 months after Liam passed and so she has seen me at my some of my worst moments in grief and has also heard all about my paranoia and fears about this pregnancy. She, like many others, friends, coworkers, and Ob dr., and has seen how much I have changed since the beginning. But yesterday she talked to me about really needing to find away to make peace with what happened to Liam because she really thinks its going to affect my little girl, if it hasn't already. She also feels that I am a perfect candidate for postpartum depression and suggested either starting on some antidepressants now or try doing some EDMR.

I don't know what to think about this. I don't want to be on drugs and I think if we do EDMR I will end up depressed. I think I am doing really well for someone being a year out. I read through many blogs and feel like where I am in my grief is pretty comparable to what other blm's are feeling for this stage in their grief, pregnant again or not. Am I wrong on this? I actually think I will be overjoyed when I finally can hold my living baby girl in my arms.

She mentioned that she is afraid that unless I can make peace with this that my little girl will grow up feeling like she is living in the ghost of her brother. She also would like it if Dereck would start coming to my counseling sessions till the baby is born to get his perspective and learn more about how he is processing everything that has happened.

It's a lot to take in and I just feel so overwhelmed by everything she said yesterday. I could hardly sleep last night and even got up this morning still feeling down and had to have a good cry before work. I really feel I'm doing better and have made so much progress.


  1. I'm so glad that everything still looks good! You can kind of see her cute little face in those u/s pics :) 37 weeks sounds's weird that they're doing the amnio even though they'll be doing the csection no matter what, but I'm glad they're doing it earlier. It's just easier on your nerves that way(at least for me it was).

    I honestly think your emotional state is normal for a babyloss mom. It's normal to go through a whole slew of emotions, especially with a pregnancy after a loss. I don't think other people get it, though.

    Anyways, continuing to pray for you and your baby girl. You're getting so close to the 3rd trimester! :)

  2. It's good to hear that all is well with your baby girl. My triplets were born at 35 weeks, 6 days w/out steroid shots. They did very well and 2 of them came home with me. Anna was in the NICU only b/c of her surgeries. At 37 weeks, your baby may need some NICU time - you can never be sure - but I'm sure she'll be just fine.

    As for the counseling - I'm obviously not a professional, just a mom who lost a baby and then had triplets. I think you will make peace with what happened with Liam when you are ready to. What I have seen with other moms who have lost a baby and with myself, is that I tend to be overprotective of my kids. I still haven't made peace with Abbey's death and I don't know if I ever will. I still blame myself. But I love my living children with all my heart and they certainly don't live in the ghost of their sister.

  3. Ah! She looks great! :) Jack always measured at the 49th percentile across the board and he ended up being long and lean.. I wouldn't focus on worrying to much about it. :)

    And I hear what you're saying about feeling like you're doing really well at this stage, compared to where you thought you would be/in comparison to other blms. At the end of the day, you truly are only a year out from his birth, so of course you haven't "accepted" it because I'm not really sure that you ever can "accept" it. Some days I feel I am doing remarkably well and pehaps too well, and I worry this means I've pushed my true thoughts to the back burner. Other days my grief brims over and I can't stop the flood of tears... I suspect it's all entirely normal. Well, "new normal". And yay for 12 weeks and a plan! I'm still on target for a c-section at 38 weeks, so 13 more for me as of tomorrow. :)

  4. I'm so sorry your counselor made you feel that way! That doesn't seem very appropriate to me (in my non-professional opinion). Does she know very much about the bereaved parent grieving process and pregnancy after loss?

    That said, I did EMDR with a counselor at our local hospice a few months ago and found it to be a very positive experience. It got rid of my c-section flashbacks, which were hindering my ability to plan in any way for a future birth. You can use it for very targeted memories and not try to tackle everything at once. I'm happy to talk to you more about it if you'd like.

  5. Hi Becky, am so glad your doctor is looking into every possible aspect in this pregnancy. It's great to know your baby girl is growing very well. I agree I guess all blm's emotions are at same level, when expecting a new baby. I just wish everything goes well and you take home your beautiful doctor with you.

  6. Wow 12 weeks where does the time go. I am glad everything is going well. As for the councellor, to be honest she sounds like she knows absolutely nothing. xo

  7. I was pretty frustrated reading about your counselor. I know she's probably quite helpful and I'm speaking from another place because I've never seen a counselor, but you should not be feeling guilty!

    You need to know that this is hard. Pregnancy after a loss is hard and guarding yourself is normal. Though, I think you've even embraced your currently pregnancy more than many of us BLMs out there have... from the very beginning. I highly doubt this baby will live in the shadow of Liam, though I am sure there will be parts of working through our emotions (ALL OF US) when we have a subsequent baby finally born alive in our arms to stay. It HAS to be normal.

    I don't like that she questioned you going on drugs while in pregnancy if you felt like you were doing well. I am not against drugs for assistance postpartum as I think we'll all have a little (or a lot, I fully anticipate my own) of PPD and PTSD, but to worry you or bring you down at this point without you first voicing a concern makes me a little crazy. Please know that it appears to me that you are doing very well handling the stresses of this pregnancy. It is not easy and that doesn't necessarily mean you should be loaded with drugs UNLESS it's something you and your husband have a real issue or concern about.

    Glad the babe is looking great and you have a countdown in weeks!

  8. I agree with others who have posted here. From what you're writing, you sound like you're 'on track' in terms of your grief (if one can even ever be 'on track'). In terms of medication, I think you should consider it only if you are having trouble enjoying your every day activities ASIDE from pregnancy concerns. For example, if you are anxious going to work, or have trouble laughing at funny movies, or want to eat or sleep a lot or not at all. Meds are great at helping with those types of symptoms of depression or anxiety and pulling you out of a 'funk' that you just can't get out of.

    But depression shouldn't be confused with grief and I think it's pretty normal to feel very conflicted about a pregnancy after loss. It's hard to trust your body to do things 'right' this time or to 'assume' that you're going to have a live, healthy baby at the end of it.

    I would say look at your emotional health outside of pregnancy to determine if you need meds. If you're a wreck over EVERYTHING then yes, maybe meds are in order...if you're sad over the fact that your son died and you're nervous/excited/anxious/scared over the fact that you're about to have another baby...then I think you're pretty normal!

  9. I so love hearing good news too Becky and this is good news about your baby girl. She looks great :)

    I can't imagine what this pregnancy must be like after losing your Liam but I hope to be in your position one day, and I hope that I would handle the stress of a new pregnancy as well as you have. There is a difference between feeling depressed and being depressed. And of course you feel depressed, you lost your firstborn and you're pregnant with your second and you're dealing with so many feelings from the past, the present and the future. It is all very normal.

    I think you're doing really well. I'm thinking of you your babe and baby Liam. xx


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