Since we don’t know exactly what caused Ginny’s death, often this pregnancy feels like I’m in the middle of a monster movie sequel. It feels like a movie that never actually shows the monster, so I am free to let my imagination go wild. Will the monster show it’s face during this pregnancy? Will it appear suddenly or is it hiding and plotting?
During this pregnancy I’m mostly concerned about Chet’s health, but at each appointment I’m also searching for more evidence about what happened to Ginny. I get each new doctor’s perspective. I look for clues in each ultrasound. Thanks to additional monitoring, I do have more clues.
In a previous blog I mentioned that in Ginny’s anatomy scan, they saw an intrauterine band. Ultrasounds during this pregnancy have shown that I don’t actually have an intrauterine band, but I do have a uterine septum, a divide in my uterus. The top of my uterus has two compartments that join at the bottom. When we realized this at an ultrasound this pregnancy, I asked the doctors if that could have contributed to Ginny’s death. They said it usually causes miscarriages, not stillbirths. They said it could have been the cause but there is no way of knowing. I wondered if perhaps the placenta had grown up on the septum and didn’t get the needed blood flow. I wasn’t going to get a confirmation.
In a later ultrasound, I asked a different doctor if it looked like Chet’s placenta could grow onto the septum. She replied, “Oh it’s already way up in there”. I asked if there could be a reduced blood supply because of it. She said they would tell that by the baby’s growth. If the baby was happy, the placenta is happy. My baby is growing so all looks good, but we will need to monitor closely, as we are already doing.
At the ultrasound last week, we got to see Chet’s cute little face again! He has continued growing, and they estimate he is 5lbs now! But they also detected a slight excess of amniotic fluid. The doctors proceeded to list several issues that could cause this. Then they said none of those issues were possible in my case based off of previous test results. They said there may be nothing wrong and I may have extra fluid for no known reason. They recommended close monitoring, as we are already doing.
Now I have three things that push me into high risk category and deserve additional monitoring. But Chet is growing! He looks great so far and is moving a lot. That gives me so much hope, but does not ease all my fears.
As I try to stay as aware as possible during this pregnancy, I feel like I can’t trust my motherly instincts. My instincts didn’t alert me when Ginny was dying. And now that I’m that pregnant again, my fear just tells me to get the baby out ASAP. It isn’t safe! I know that’s not true right now, but my instinct tells me it is true.
Sometimes all of this makes me feel so anxious. I get anxious for appointments. I get anxious as I think through different scenarios again and again. I get anxious as I have memories of Ginny’s death again and again. It does sometimes feel like there is a monster lurking around the corner. Do I think I have a chance at capturing it or killing it or even just escaping?
During these moments of anxiousness, I have go back to an eternal mindset. I need to change my perspective again. Although the medical advice and monitoring are important, I know that even if I had all the information in the world, I’m not in control. Even if all signs pointed to a good or bad outcome, it really can’t be known ahead of time. I have to remind myself that I am not the creator and sustainer of life. I have to trust God. The fact that Chet is growing well does give me hope, but I have hope beyond that. I have hope in heaven and restoration beyond this time, and God is with us. As much as I’d like to have control, reminding myself of this truth does help me exhale. It eases my anxiety a bit. I have to remind myself of this daily, sometimes hourly.
“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:7
“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” Isaiah 41:13