Today marks 21 weeks pregnant. So far along, so far to go. If Turtle was born today, he would have a 0% chance of survival. But by the end of this month, if all keeps going well, we will have reached the point of fetal viability.
And all is, for now, going well. We had another round of OB appointments on Thursday. I was nervous going into our MFM ultrasound. I woke up that morning, and everything just felt heavy. Everything annoyed me. My clients had been riding me all week. Driving to work was more frustrating than usual. I knew it was because the stress of the ultrasound was exacerbating everything.
At our last ultrasound at Children’s two weeks ago, they thought they saw some dilation of Turtle’s bowel, the part still inside his body. Dilation is a tricky thing. It can indicate a problem with the bowel, like a blockage or disconnection. This can really complicate things once Turtle is born. If there’s a blockage, they would have to cut out the blockage and sew the bowel back together. This can create short bowel syndrome, which is a very serious thing. It could also indicate that the bowel is irritated, which might mean it cannot be fixed right after birth because it’s too swollen to operate on. In this case, they will have to put the broken bowel back in his belly, sew him up knowing his bowel is not working, give him IV nutrition for months until the bowel is ready to be fixed. Which means a second surgery, and a much longer hospital stay.
We learned all of this at Children’s two weeks ago but I was scared and didn’t want to think about it, so didn’t want to blog about it either. The other thing about dilation is that it might not mean anything. Sometimes they’re worried about dilation on the ultrasound and then the baby is born and everything is fine. At this point, dilation can also either grow or shrink. So I really wanted to wait until I saw my MFM OB, the true expert. Denial is a powerful thing and it really helped me through. Thursday meant time to face the truth. And not just about the dilation. At my last MFM ultrasound, my OB had indicated a potential placenta previa. But he didn’t say much about it, just said the placenta was “blocking the exit,” but that it might change. Then I read up on placenta previa and realized it’s kind of a big deal.
Luckily, everything was okay. Turtle is growing appropriately. His heart rate looked good. There is some dilation inside his belly but it’s relatively small right now. It’s .9mm and Dr. Kind says he doesn’t worry until it gets over 2.0mm. So for now, that’s fine. Though we have to watch it. Turtle was active during the ultrasound, as he has been over the past week. I’m really starting to feel him now! Consistent bubbles, flutters, pulls and twinges from down below. It’s a truly magical feeling.
As for me, I’m okay too. They confirmed that there’s no placenta previa on a transvaginal ultrasound. My blood pressure is good. My urine tested negative for everything. I am gaining weight at an apparently alarming weight (seriously, my regular OB was shocked), but I also know I’m retaining water. My feet and lower legs are definitely swollen. She said as long as I’m eating well and feeling good, not to worry about it. Of course there is a side of me that’s worried. It’s much, much harder than I realized watching my body change so drastically. Seeing the scale tip 200 for the first time in my life. I haven’t been able to exercise, really at all, since becoming pregnant. Mostly because of my constant nausea. That has mostly passed now. But now it feels difficult to get moving. I’m not only out of shape, I’m many, many pounds heavier. And I obviously have to chose my exercise carefully. I’ve purchased a maternity swimsuit that I hope to break in soon. I have a big belly now, and it’s hard not to compare myself to much skinnier, more active pregnant ladies who are about as far along as me.
So that’s the update. Okay for now. But so far to go.