Before I can share with you about our daughter’s birth and life so far, I feel the need to finish the story of our pregnancy. The last update I gave was at 20 weeks – half way through the pregnancy. At that point we were just about to find out the gender of the Little Pom Pom. So much happened in that second half of the pregnancy! It was a roller coaster of trips, parties/showers, doctor’s appointments, blood tests, emotions, and prayers.
The emotional roller coaster began with surrendering our anxieties about the health of our baby leading up to the 20 week anatomy scan. We surrendered that anxiety and trusted in God’s plan for the pregnancy and the baby.
At 20 weeks we were told that Charlie was a perfect baby, but that we would need to have another ultrasound at 24 weeks because her head was measuring a little small. They figured that was just an inaccurate measurement because of how active she was.
At the very end of week 20 we had our gender reveal!
In between weeks 20 and 24 I was referred to see a hematologist (blood doctor) for issues with my platelets (the cells in your blood that causes your blood to clot). I have a platelet count below the normal range. Come to find out, I have an antibody that destroys some of my body’s platelets, causing the lower count. Thanks to all of the blood work I had to have done throughout the pregnancy I am now not nearly so bad about needles, but Will’s still not ok with them… I had to have my blood drawn weekly for almost the entire second half of the pregnancy. More on that to come.
This is when I transitioned into maternity pants. I finally had an actual bump! I didn’t just look like I had one too many pieces of pie after Thanksgiving dinner anymore!
The emotional roller coaster continued in week 24. When we went in for Charlie’s growth check we found out that at 20 weeks she was measuring quite small, but her head was measuring very small. She had grown since 20 weeks, even gained some ground, but her head was still small compared to the rest of her small self. Because of this we were referred to the high risk doctor for a special ultrasound to find out if there was any cause for concern.
Week 25 – We went to the high risk doctor and had a super fancy ultrasound done – you could see the blood pumping through her heart! The doctor told us “heads come in all shapes and sizes. It’s what’s inside that matters, and what I see looks perfect.” We were elated! It was the first doctor’s appointment we had gone to in a couple of months and left without some possible bad news or some other test that needed run. Nothing but good news!
At this point we started registering and planning decorations for her room. By the end of May we had purchased a jogging stroller (our first purchase lol), the crib was up, we got a steal on a glider off of Craigslist, and we had painted. Will’s mom and my mom had also pitched in their sewing skills to help make the curtains and the crib skirt.
In June I had the opportunity to go back to Kansas for a week! While I was there my sister through me the most amazing travel themed baby shower! At the end of June we went to Texas for the wedding of one of my college roommates.
In between the two trips was the dread gestational diabetes test… I failed the one hour test. That meant I had to take the 3 hour test, which I barely passed. Between those two tests and my weekly platelet count check I had my blood drawn six times that week… there were bruises. Barely passing the glucose test was a shock and meant I had to limit sweets and carbs some.
July came before we knew it. A good portion of this month was spent working on a special quilt for Charlie. Both Will’s mom and my mom were a part of that process as well. We learned how to have a baby and started working with an amazing doula! Our friends and family blessed us with so many wonderful gifts, a beautiful shower, and the most precious prayer time. We also had our maternity pictures taken and celebrated our 4 year anniversary! July was moving a long nicely. Charlie was doing great, my belly just kept growing and growing, and I was still feeling pretty great considering I was 33-37 weeks pregnant.
But then it happened… my platelet count started dropping again. There’s a threshold that you are supposed to be above in case you have to be administered any sort of anesthetic for an emergency c-section. I was rapidly approaching that threshold, and then I crossed it. At 36 weeks they started me on steroids. Steroids can mess with your blood sugar, so in addition to the medicine I had to start pricking my finger multiple times per day.
The bright side in all of this is that we had another ultrasound, and much to our surprise, our daughter was all caught up! They told us that you would have never known we had been due to a small head size because her head (and everything other than her femur) was normal! In fact, home girl had some seriously chubby cheeks!
At 37 weeks we found out that we would most likely be induced at 39 weeks if my platelet count was up and I had started dilating. Strike while the iron is hot and not risk anything.
At our 38 week appointment I had lost weight, and my belly wasn’t measuring right. For those reasons we had another ultrasound that day to make sure that the steroids weren’t causing problems with my amniotic fluid levels. Our doctor told us as we were going back to the ultrasound room “If this doesn’t come back normal you’ll be having your baby today instead of next week.” Everything checked out though! So our induction was scheduled for the following week.
Now the story of her birth is something I will leave for another time, but I want to close by saying that it was definitely God’s timing. The night we went in for the induction my platelet count had dropped, and the next morning it had dropped below the acceptable threshold again – good thing I wasn’t planning on an epidural because I couldn’t have had one if I wanted it. Labor and delivery went well. Charlie was born. She was healthy. I was healthy. And at 39 weeks and 1 day our pregnancy was over. Now for the roller coaster of parenting.