As many of you have seen from Facebook and Instagram, I am currently hanging out in Labor and Delivery. Fun times.
For those of you who do not enjoy hearing the nitty-gritty of things concerning birth and such, just a warning.
The post below will contain such things.
At our twenty week ultrasound we found out that we had a low-lying placenta. Which was later re-identified as being a marginal placenta previa. Which has since been re-re-identified as a complete placenta previa. As I assume that most of you are unfamiliar with the term, let me give you a brief explanation. The placenta is supposed to be attached towards the top of the uterus. A previa has attached very low, in our case, completely covering the cervix. This causes several problems. First of all, baby's escape hatch is blocked. Not a good thing. Secondly, baby is constantly resting on, bouncing on, and pinching the placenta. Also not good. The placenta is a very blood-rich organ and is baby's life-support while they're still inside, so it's generally a good idea to keep it in good health. Previa commonly causes bleeding, anywhere from spotting to straight up hemorrhaging. As the baby gets bigger, the risk goes up. Heavier weight on the placenta, unhappier the placenta gets. Once the risk is judged too great, a c-section done. Most previa babies are premature.
I had our first episode of spotting at 27 weeks. (For those of you less well versed in this world, full-term is 38-42 weeks, 40 weeks being standard.) It was very minor. I got off my feet for the night and took the next day relatively easy. I started again at 29 weeks. A bit more, still not severe, but followed by 3 days of clots. Not good. Thus the decision to send me to the hospital in order to get a round of steroids in me that will help to develop Walden's lungs just a little faster. Things seem to have calmed down now, but the plan is to keep me in the hospital until Sunday afternoon. At that point I'll head home and take things easy - no lifting, no housework, etc. We will be seeing more bleeding and we will be seeing more of the hospital. No one can say when that might be. Hopefully we'll be able to keep Walden in until closer to 36 weeks, but he's already a big guy. The goal is to get past 32 and then as far past as possible. We will most likely be looking at a NICU stay, but do not expect to see any severe complications. Walden will just need some more time of special care in order to mature enough on all fronts to come home.
This was all a pretty hard pill to swallow when it all really became real this week. We had been hoping that the placenta would migrate up, that we wouldn't have issues with bleeding, that things would be normal. It was a jolt to realize that we need to change our expectations. There were tears and fears, still are here and there, but overall we've really gotten to a good place. We have an amazing support system (all of you!!!) filled with people who actually mean it when they ask how they can help. Thank you. We truly are pretty good at the moment, but we may be calling on a few of you in the coming weeks, so ready the casseroles and prepare for some babysitting.
The most frustrating thing about all of this is knowing that we won't be able to have Walden to ourselves until he's weeks or maybe even months old. Who doesn't love that squishable newborn phase when they're just a little mewing lump? Even though the NICU nurses are amazing and we are so beyond thankful for them and their ilk, it's hard knowing that it's going to be someone other than yourself there to help your kiddo in the middle of the night.
The scariest thing about this is the flashbacks. We're going to have a baby who's covered in wires and tubes and connected to beeping machines. We're going to walk in to the hospital with Walden and leave without him. We've done this before. Of course we realize that these are very different circumstances, but it doesn't change the fear. No one expected Ryann to die that night. We know first hand how quickly things can go from fine to dire. And this time it won't be just our kiddo in the hospital, it will be me too. This is probably one of the hardest things for Jared. He has to sit by my side while across the curtain the doctors are slicing into me, hoping to avoid a hemorrhage, and pulling out our preterm babe. We know in our minds that every should/will be fine. But it's scary.
So in conclusion - thank you, prayers and good thoughts appreciated, and we are so excited/scared/on pins and needles to be meeting our new son.