I had an appointment with my OB this past Friday. Yoda is looking great and measuring great. Still, no weight gain and my doctor doubts I’ll gain any for the remainder of the pregnancy. I can still look down and see my feet for the time being. I had my glucose test on Friday as well and yeah…it was nice to drink the flat Fanta-like beverage for a few sips but anything past the few sips was like….
“…we should probably talk about the idea of a c-section….”
I can’t say I was shocked by my OB’s words. He pretty much confirmed what my MFM saw the week before – Yoda is a very big baby, already measuring three weeks ahead. My OB estimated he’ll be at least eight pounds, if not nine pounds at birth. It was at the doctor’s appointment I learned that a baby’s weight is dependent on the mother’s height, something I didn’t know. I guess however tall you are will determine how big your baby will be. Tall woman = big baby. Small woman = small baby. Anything in between of that is just a special circumstance. Makes sense if you think about it.
Back to what my doctor suggested, I’m not against the idea of a c-section. In the beginning of the pregnancy, I had an idea I was going to have a c-section, partially because of the cerclage. My OB made it very clear he did not want to remove the cerclage and let it stay for the other pregnancies I’ll have, which isn’t a bad suggestion. He was concerned about a vaginal delivery and potential stress to Yoda. Nothing is set in stone, but it’s something we’re considering, given his size and my already high-risk state.
Yoda, an October baby? Maybe.
Either way, I’ll just happy when he finally arrives.
Those are things I’ve said to myself. Those are things I’ve said to others. But I wonder…does grieving over your pregnancy, your child…does it ever get easier? Does it ever get better?
This December, it’ll be two years since Ethan went to Heaven and it sometimes feels it just happened yesterday. I often wonder what his personality would’ve been like. Would he have been precocious? Would he have been quiet and observant? I wonder all the time. Sadly, I will never get a solid answer. I will just have to keep wondering and guessing, coming to different conclusions each time.
Burying my son was and still is, the hardest thing I have ever done. The pain never goes away. It may not be as devastating as before, but it never truly goes away. Sometimes I feel alone in this. Our families refuse to mention Ethan, either out of respect for us or dealing with their own grief. It’s hard, though. I know if someone were to ask my mother how many grandchildren she has, Ethan isn’t mentioned in that count. If you were to ask M.’s parents, how many grandchildren they have, they would simply say, ‘none.’
It might be easier to lie than to explain, I get that. Most people don’t want the details unless they press for them. As a society, we’ve been taught to be happy, happy, happy. On social media, we have been trained to present ourselves in the most positive light, even if it’s a boldface lie. After all, if there is some negativity, we’ll look bad. We’ll make others look bad. That, we have been taught, is a no-no. It is better to suffer in silence than to speak about it publicly. It’s about making other people feel comfortable. If you somehow disrupt their comfort level, you’re deemed as being full of drama and being a bad person.
It sucks. I’ve had people who could not possibly relate to what I went through, am still dealing with, tell me they understand how I’m feeling. Do they? Understand what exactly? The fact that the reason I lost Ethan was due to something being wrong with my body, and Ethan was perfectly healthy, making me feel like I’m defective? The fact that if I want to see my Ethan, I need to drive to the cemetery? The fact that I’m wondering when I should bring Yoda to Ethan’s gravesite so he knows his brother? The fact that I’m getting anxiety of posting any pictures of Yoda when he’s born out of fear of someone will whisper, ‘That’s the one that made it’?
I’ve had people be happy for my current pregnancy because that would somehow take the edge off losing Ethan. Does it? I’ve thought about my son more during this pregnancy than the last 20 months of his death. Let’s make one thing clear: Yoda isn’t Ethan’s replacement. I cannot replace a child like I would with a car or a job. Nor should I be expected to.
This pregnancy has been very uneventful. Other than modified bed rest, I say I’ve had a textbook easy-breezy pregnancy. I’ve gained no weight outside what is expected due to really monitoring my diet and minimal exercise. Mentally, it’s still a mind-fuck. Instead of being excited about the new outfit I purchased or test-driving the stroller sometime soon, I have to be cautious about the milestones and hope I meet the next one. I have two doctors, my OB and my MFM, who I see on a regular basis, sometimes three times a month, to make sure my pregnancy is going as smooth as possible. If I feel any pressure in my vaginal area, I immediately start wondering if my cerclage is holding up. I find myself jealous over women who boast about their pregnancies and announcements, wondering why I couldn’t do the same thing out of fear of ‘what if?’
It’s a daily effort to stay positive and happy for this pregnancy. I know Yoda is a blessing and I’m grateful for every single moment I have with him. I wish people would understand that my pregnancy with Yoda doesn’t diminish my grief for Ethan. For as long as I live, and no matter how many children I have, I will always remember the one that didn’t come home.
So much has happened since I last checked in! Lots and lots of great news!
First things first – the major news: surpassing Ethan’s gestation loss and reaching viability. To be honest, I never thought I would see those two milestones. It’s huge. Reaching and surpassing Ethan’s lost was very emotional. Reaching viability was equally emotional. This pregnancy finally feels real. I’m going to be a Mommy! M is going to be a Daddy! We’re going to have our rainbow/take-home baby in a few months!
I had my latest check-up with my MFM and I had more great news: no progesterone shots needed! He based his decision on how the cerclage was holding up. If my cervix was funneling down to it, he would recommend the shots. If it wasn’t, he didn’t think it was necessary. Well, the cerclage did its job! My cervix grew from 3.4 to 4.8! That is flippin’ incredible. I know I’m not out of the woods quite yet and it could shrink and funnel at any time due to how dynamic the cervix is but it’s great news and gives me a lot of much-need hope and faith in this pregnancy. I’m still on modified bed rest and continuing my daily baby aspirin regimen.
Pretty soon, I’m going to start post things I’ve purchased for Yoda and possibly give an unbiased review of them. Some of the things I can’t give a review based on he’s not here yet so I can’t determine if it was a good thing or not. I did recently purchased a lot of organic clothing and I’m still on the fence about cloth diapering, though I am doing my research.
I’m so flippin’ excited!!! Just a little over 100 days to go!!!
It’s Hump Day Bump Day! Wanna see what I look like now? Let’s gooooooooooooo!
I started tagging my photos for fear of trolls. I don’t think anyone would do that since I’m also well-known in other areas of the web. Still, the prevalence of Catfish and the like, I have to be a bit cautious.
No weight gain at all! Remember when I said my weight gain has been less than 10 pounds? Well, it’s been nothing! I credit that to a lot of water and really, not eating too much junk. I do eat my McDonald’s and some other junky-junk occasionally but it’s not a daily habit. One, the acid reflux/heartburn is a killer. Two, it’s just bad for me. I am blessed to be one of those women who carries her pregnancy mainly in the stomach.
The main reason for no weight gain is the fact that I was already a big girl (size 18-20 pre-pregnancy) to begin with so both of my doctors are very dead-set on me not gaining any more than I absolutely have to. In fact, they both would prefer that I lose weight during the pregnancy. The fear of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes is a real one.
I go in for my MFM follow-up on Friday to see how my cerclage is holding up. The fact I’ve made it this far is a very good sign and is giving me a lot more encouragement to finally purchase more baby items (I finally bought the stroller I wanted!).
“Keep up the good work. I know you had to sacrifice a lot for this pregnancy.”
Those were the words my OB told me yesterday. I met one really crucial milestone and that was surpassing the gestation where I lost Ethan. Yoda is measuring ahead and it’s just a huge relief. I haven’t really put a lot of thought about this pregnancy and everything I’m sacrificing until he made that comment. Then it dawned on me. I am sacrificing a lot of things.
One of my close friends is getting married today. Originally Maks and I were supposed to go to her wedding. I really wanted to go. She’s getting married in New Jersey and I just wanted a mini-vacation across the country. I hoped I would be able to go and I waited until the last minute to tell my girl, K, that I wasn’t going to go. Ugh.boo.hiss.
It does suck, I’ll admit. I wanted to go to the beach this summer and I can’t. I want to travel and I can’t. It’s a constant reminder that as much as I’m progressing, this is not a textbook low-risk pregnancy. I have to be horizontal, most of the time. I can go out a couple times a week, but those are short trips.
It’s not fair; really, it isn’t. Why can’t I have a carefree pregnancy like so many of my friends and family members? Why did I have to go through major surgery at the beginning of the pregnancy for a chance of going full-term? It’s unfair. I have to go through all these hurdles just to get pregnant, just to stay pregnant, and maybe, have a chance of carrying full-term.
I had a friend ask me recently if I thought I would regret not embracing this pregnancy 100%. I’m pretty sure I chucked my cell phone somewhere once I read that text. If you never had a late loss, you can’t relate, point blank.When you have had a late loss, every subsequent pregnancy after that is a giant mind-fuck. You’re constantly wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. You spend more energy trying to stay positive and hopeful than picking out baby items. It’s not a typical feeling of, ‘Well, I’m pregnant and I have 40 weeks to prepare for this baby!’ I wish. It’s more like, ‘I’m pregnant and I have 40 weeks to stay sane for the sake of this baby.’ Big difference. I’ll never be completely comfortable with this pregnancy until Yoda is home.
The sad part is, my homegirl’s comment isn’t the first stupid comment I’ve received. I’ve had people say or do some really stupid things within the past year. Let’s count the struggles, shall we?
My personal favorite are the friends and family who thought sending me a picture of their healthy and happy baby or child was going to brighten my day. Why would that brighten my day? A reminder that you have something that I don’t?
The ‘You’ll have more babies’ comment I seemed to get every so often. Oh, you can predict my future? Lovely.
The friends who saw my situation and ask me questions regarding pre-term labor because all of a sudden, I’m an expert.
The reactions from my parents and in-laws, who are excited about Yoda and welcoming either a new grandchild or their “first” grandchild because clearly, Ethan didn’t fucking exist. Of course, he didn’t. I just spent the entire year mourning over something that didn’t happen and I’m about to spend a couple of thousand dollars on a headstone for someone that didn’t exist. Gotcha. Just because you don’t want to deal with it, it doesn’t mean I have that option. That is never an option for me. I know their MO is they don’t want to “dwell” on sadness but when you bury a child, it stays with you. It doesn’t leave. For every good week, good month I have, there’s a very hard week and a very hard month that’s lurking around the corner. Just this past Thursday, I had one of those big, nasty ugly cries and I probably haven’t cried like that in a while.
People bitching about how their lives suck and yadda yadda yadda. All I think about is, ‘I bet you didn’t have to bury your child.’
So I’m used to people saying and doing stupid things just because they don’t know how to react to someone who had a late loss. And I get that for some, I’m a form of entertainment. Let’s keep it real, when your life isn’t going great, you always want to see who is worst off than you are. I’ve had a pretty rough year. I’ve also had a pretty good year. I was able to channel my emotions into my writing and had a very successful year because of it.
Honestly, I’m not sure I even want to announce Yoda’s arrival. I’ve gotten quite accustomed to keeping this pregnancy a secret, I really don’t see the point of any big announcement. Maks and I decided we’re not doing a photo book of pictures on Facebook. I’m not sure if I want even one photo posted. I’m afraid of people would point and stare, ‘That’s the one that’s alive’ or ‘that’s the one that made it.’ I think those who want a photo will get it in the mail. Everyone else can just use their imaginations on what a Blussian baby would look like.