At my 34 week check-up the nurse measured my stomach and then gave a dissatisfied grimace at the thin white strip of measuring tape. Through her thick rimmed pink opaque glasses she looked over at me, “Have you been running a little small?”
And so it began I thought, it was about this time in my pregnancy with my first daughter that my doctor discovered that she was no longer growing at a healthy rate. She didn’t offer much information on the concern, only that I should seek out a specialist. Considering I was cash pay and had lost my job due to the travel restriction by the time I had the money scrounged for the specialist he told me to just have the baby, that it was too late for him to make a difference.
Upon just having given birth I felt the sudden and unexpected relief of deflation as my doctor pulled out the remains, “well that placenta was useless,” she says as she shows it to my mother and the nurses, “see that, completely useless.”
For months that echoed in my head. Was it the stress that caused me to risk my daughter’s life? Was it those days I missed my pre-natals due to morning sickness? What did I do to cause the early decay of my daughters life source within me?
Coming back to present day, I looked up at the woman with the deep lines of concern crossing her forehead and said, “up to this point she had been perfect. This happened with my daughter too…” I started.
“It will be fine,” the nurse reassured me, “we will check it again next week.”
The next week came and due to some minor confusion from my doctors very urgent call to the hospital for a delivery I was not measured.
The next week there was no appointment made for me, as they never called me back like they promised to make it, leaving me to call them and be pushed back to the next week.
This past Friday I strolled in, and for the first time since the gender discovery my husband was able to join me. It was supposed to be 15 minutes, hear the heartbeat, measure the tummy, and get out, where we would take advantage of the time Aislyn was with a babysitter and spend some quality time together. As my doctor measured my tummy she turned and calmly asked, “have you been measuring small? This shows you are measuring at 36 weeks when you should be at 37.”
The concern reignited in me as I hit a moment of panic picturing yet a second daughter struggling for oxygen within my womb. But unlike my first doctor, my current doctor said, “That’s fine, I will just send you in for another ultrasound today and we will check to make sure everything is checking out with the baby.” I was in a bit of shock. What? You mean you as a OB/GYN could check this out? You mean that a specialist isn’t a necessary expense?
The ultrasound tech measured the baby. I repeated several times how my placenta turned ‘useless’ in my first pregnancy. She took the resulting measurements to my doctor who came into the ultrasound room and shut the door. “Everything is okay, you just make small babies. The growth has slowed and really the baby at this point will be better off out then in, and that’s not your fault. The tech has pointed out that you seem incredibly concerned with the health of the placenta after your last pregnancy, and I can reassure you that the placenta is perfectly healthy, your daughter has plenty of room. I could take her this week, but that seems a bit drastic, so how about the 28th?”
I felt relief, I felt excitement, I felt shock, that was an entire week earlier than planned. Mom would have to change her travel, Grandmother would miss the great event, but I would have my sweet girl out of this cursed belly and into my arms, nothing could be more great. I suddenly felt an extreme wave of relief that the new bassinet had just been delivered the day before. So here I am counting down these final days of this beautiful pregnancy, and looking forward to meeting this new beautiful soul.