Just a few hours before we found out we were pregnant again, Daniel and I were talking with a wise friend after church. We were talking about losing Ginny and how it can be difficult to hear of others giving birth to living babies. She said that as a community of friends, we agree to walk with each other through the good and the bad. She described how she recently attended a Jewish wedding. In the Jewish tradition, the bride and groom break a glass. Breaking the glass is acknowledging that they are forming this covenant in a broken world. The world is full of pain, suffering, and risk, but they choose to take the risk and support each other – with the help of God.
Later that day, I took a positive pregnancy test. I remembered our friend’s story of the Jewish wedding. Daniel and I discussed it; we have chosen to bring a child into this world, knowing full well it is broken. Unlike the last pregnancy, we know there is risk and there is pain and there is loss in this world. We acknowledge it, and we still took the risk. But we will be there to support each other and our children – with the help of God.
My pregnancy has been classified as “high-risk”. After all the test results were evaluated by a few different doctors, the true cause of Ginny’s death is still unknown. All we know is that Ginny had intrauterine growth restriction (aka she was small) and the placenta was small and unhealthy. All the conditions that Ginny and I were tested for came back negative. We don’t know exactly what happened. Because of this, there is a “high” risk that it will happen again. The doctor explained that “high” means 1/100, so most likely I will have a healthy living baby. The statistic doesn’t mean much to me. Once you realize it can happen to you, you are always aware it can happen to you.
Since I am high-risk, I see special OBs called Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) doctors. I will get much more monitoring. My ultrasounds will be more frequent and a lot more thorough. I take low-dosage aspirin daily. The doctors won’t let me go past 39 weeks, and they said if I am really anxious, they will induce at 37 weeks. That’s why my due date (40 weeks) is July 28, but I know I will deliver no later than July 21. I feel good about this plan.
If only I had more monitoring during my pregnancy with Ginny, maybe they would’ve noticed she wasn’t growing, maybe they would’ve seen the placenta wasn’t healthy, maybe they would’ve induced me, maybe she would’ve spent a little time in the NICU and then come home, maybe she would be in my arms right now.
I hate to have regrets, but one of my biggest is not getting a third trimester ultrasound. When my mom visited to help set up the nursery in mid-February last year (two weeks before Ginny died), she offered to take me to a private ultrasound clinic to get pictures of Ginny. I knew that would probably cost a few hundred dollars. “We will see her in person in just 6 weeks. We shouldn’t spend money on that. Plus she is so big and smooshed in there; we probably wouldn’t get a good face picture.” … Worst case scenario, we would’ve had more pictures of Ginny – pictures that I would’ve treasured forever. Best case scenario, they would’ve caught that she was small and sent me to the doctor. We could’ve saved her! Oh, what I wouldn’t spend on that ultrasound knowing what I know!But of course, I didn’t know any of this then. I made what I thought was the smartest decision.
As painful as that “what if” is, it does give me some comfort for this pregnancy. The doctors say that what happened to Ginny didn’t happen overnight. Even if the same thing were to happen again, we would hopefully catch it in time! When I get to a point, I will be getting weekly ultrasounds and non stress tests. If I get far enough along for viability, it is likely that this baby will survive. I hope.
It is worth the risk.
2 thoughts on “High Risk”
Prayers for you all the time and love you so much
Grams and Alfred
Prayers for that amazing peace from God that passes, covers, quiets all the “what ifs.” I pray too that you can rest now knowing that you and your doctors have a diligent plan in place for the rest of your pregnancy. ❤️🙏❤️