The first half of my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. Because we were seeing a fertility doctor at the time I became pregnant, they did our first few ultrasounds. That doctor gave us a scare at one point about a possible ovary torsion, but Dr. Atkinson, maternal fetal specialist, later confirmed that there was no need to worry. I had no symptoms of pregnancy those first 20 or so weeks. If I didn’t know I was pregnant, I would have no reason to think I was pregnant. The lack of symptoms was enough to make this anxious girl worry, even though I knew I should be extremely grateful!
I think it was around 25 weeks that we learned Ryder’s abdomen was measuring small. They did not seem overly concerned at the time. I did notice that his overall growth percentage was also dropping from around the 60th percentile to something in the 40th percentile. Around 28 weeks we also found out that I was borderline for Gestational Diabetes (probably due to the PCOS). I was able to get in with an endocrinologist and after a week of checking my sugars 4 times a day, they decided that we did not need to change anything or have any treatment. Even though I was not changing my diet or activity (I did prenatal water aerobics throughout the entire pregnancy) I started losing weight. I should also note that I really had a hard time feeling Ryder move. I could not do “kick counts” because I just didn’t feel him moving that much. So because of the gestational diabetes, and lack of feeling of movement, they started doing non stress tests twice a week. They would hook me up to a fetal heart rate monitor and watch for spikes in his heart rate and movement. He usually passed these pretty quickly. I think there were a couple of times where he was sleeping and they would buzz him to wake him up. They were also doing growth scans every two weeks. Even though his abdomen kept measuring small, Dr. Atkinson seemed pleased that he was staying on his own growth curve.
I came down with a stomach bug at 31 weeks on December 16th. After receiving some iv fluids and resting for a few days, I seemed to be back to normal. We had another growth scan on December 20th and they thought he was 4 lbs. They also showed us that he had a lot of hair! Everything seemed fine at that ultrasound even though I was still worried about his abdomen being in the 14th percentile.
I slept pretty late the next day, Saturday the 21st. Chad had a friend in town who wanted to go to lunch. I got out of bed and noticed a large puddle of blood on the sheets. We were both terrified and panicked. We rushed to labor and delivery. I guess they were updating the computer systems, and they could not get the fetal heart rate monitor to work. Those were the longest minutes of my life! I started begging them to just use a handheld monitor to make sure he was still OK. They finally got the monitor to work, and he was acting normal. Dr. Atkinson, bless him, came over to check on me. They could not determine a cause for the bleeding. He said it could have been a blood vessel that burst. My blood pressure was a little high, so they started a 24 hour urine test to look for preeclampsia. They also gave the steroid shots to help develop his lungs. They admitted me for monitoring overnight. I did not have any further bleeding and they discharged me just in time to see my dad’s side of the family for Christmas on Sunday.
I took it easy the next few days, and had another non stress test on Tuesday, Christmas Eve. Everything seemed fine; although, I had lost more weight! I did not feel Ryder move at all on Christmas Day. I also had an excruciating headache that whole day. Instead of my usual worried self, though, I felt pretty calm. This was the last picture taken of me pregnant on Christmas Day.
We had an appointment with my OB, Dr. Owen, on the 26th. Anyone who knows me well, knows that the day after Christmas is my favorite day of the year because I love to stock up on Christmas decor half off! We met with Dr. Owen that morning, and she said that with everything going on she did not think I would make it to 38 weeks. I was on Christmas break at the time and she mentioned that she wasn’t sure I could return to work. I should add that they never mentioned bed rest, I think they just did not want me under any added stress. When I asked about bed rest they said that it was actually more dangerous because of the risk of blood clots. Chad and I were both a little taken aback, but I decided to go ahead and do a little post-Christmas shopping to get my mind off of things! When I returned home that evening, Chad had come down with a stomach bug.
Around 8 PM that night I had another minor scare (I’ll spare you the TMI details). My parents took me to labor and delivery since Chad was sick. The OB on call was very nice and did not seem concerned. He said Ryder looked good on the non stress test, and he went on to further explain that a good non stress test is good for 4 days without an adverse event. That statement was enough to give me peace to go home and go to bed!
To be continued….