I kind of feel like my baby-related posts serve to educate people teetering on the brink of starting a family. In other words educating clueless people like me! I admit that I didn’t know that much about pregnancy/childbirth….then I started reading the dumb chat forums and found myself cringing with a look of disgust on my face. I’m over it though. It’s all a part of life, a cycle that has been happening for millions of years.
Like most women, I went into pregnancy thinking everything would be peachy. I thought it would be some warm and fuzzy period in my life- lazily daydreaming about baby while rubbing my belly and enjoy a cup of Maxwell House International Coffee (decaf of course) or something. I think that is a myth. There is actually a lot of planning (and stress) involved. I am really just going about my life and happen to be pregnant at the same time. Maybe I need to find a meditation session to take my mind off the stressful things.
I’m sure you all can guess the common stressors associated with a baby, like finances or relationship issues. But, something I didn’t anticipate was worrying so much about the well-being of Baby A (believe it or not I have a heart after all!). There are a LOT of variables in pregnancy- more than you can image in fact. Things like gestational diabetes, hypertension, torn/dislodged placentas, chromosomal defects… and more stuff that you don’t care to read about.
The worry starts with the positive prego test. Did you know that 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (for a variet of reasons)? Most of the time this happens before you even know you’re pregnant, but that fear lingers until you clear the first trimester. 3 whole months. Then your first ultrasound- is the heart beating? Then the nuchal scan that picks up markers for various chromosomal conditions like Down Syndrome. Next up is the AFP that detects neural tube defects like spina bifida. And finally the Grand-daddy of them all: the 20 week ultrasound that checks anatomical features to make sure everything’s on track and where it belongs. Of course you can decline all of these tests if you wish, but who doesn’t want to know how things are going? I am not a fan of surprise.
We had a little wrench thrown in our plans during the 20-week ultrasound- we learned that Baby A has a single-umbilical artery, or SUA. Cords should have two arteries and one vein, but Baby A has only has one of each. Sometimes the remaining artery compensates and is twice the size. Sometimes not. There are a few complications associated with this but we are lucky that her case is considered “isolated” with a good prognosis. Issues usually don’t arise until the third trimester though- the baby may not get enough nutrients, thus slowing growth and requiring an early delivery.
Or there could be no problems at all.
Apparently SUA is rather common- the ultrasound tech, staff radiologist and even my OB kinda of shrugged it off, saying they see this every day. Not very reassuring but I have to trust their judgement. It’s really a sit-and-wait kind of situation since issues don’t show up until futher down the road. The good news is that Baby A is measuring right where she should be at 20 weeks so right now there’s nothing to worry about. But I do anyway! FYI- the cause of SUA is unknown and tends to show up more with female babies, older (ahem) mothers and diabetics.
Even though my doc said I didn’t have to change my routine I am focusing on eating as healthy as possible and have instinctively scaled back my already-weak exercise regimen. Baby A will be monitored a little more closely starting at week 30. So no worrying for 9 weeks, right??!
Today’s lesson: not everything goes according to plan, and you just have to accept it. Once you accept it then you can move on.
~Till next time…