First things first... as most of my friends know by now, I'm pregnant. We start week 38 tomorrow. I know it's been a long time and my last blog made the promise of an announcement and then I just kind of went AWOL. Oddly enough, I just haven't really talked about it, but here goes...
The first two trimesters were 'easy'. I really didn't have morning sickness or experience any of the symptoms that you're warned about in the baby books. I had monthly OB appointments that were not earth shattering. Mostly 10 minutes of "how are you feeling?" and a quick listen to the baby's heart beat. All was well.
We found out that we are having a girl. We have named her Dylan Simone. Dylan, just because we like it. Simone is after my beloved grandpa, Simon.
A couple of days before I hit 30 weeks, we went in for my third trimester ultrasound. From that moment, our lives changed completely. The doctor thought I was going into preterm labor and saw some abnormalities with Dylan's heart. Apparently I was having contractions (though I couldn't feel them) and the baby was breech as well. I was immediately admitted to the hospital with the warning that I may have an emergency c-section if necessary, but the baby would not survive because of her heart issues.
There are no words to describe how we felt with this news. We were at 30 weeks. How could this be happening? Everything had been fine when we were checked just a few short weeks ago.
The last two months of pregnancy have been a miracle in and of itself. I ultimately did not go into preterm labor and we were thankful for each day that we were able to keep Dylan safe and continually growing in belly.
What made this a nightmare was the fact that Dylan has heart issues. Her right atrium is overgrown and her tricuspid valve is too thick - allowing blood to flow in and out, instead of just in one direction. This caused her heart to grow to an abnormal size. This added on the additional worry that the heart took up too much space for her lungs to develop to full size.
So what does that mean for an expectant mom? Weekly ultrasounds, antenatal tests, echo cardiograms, in addition to the bi-weekly OB check-up appointments. Let's throw in two MRI exams as well. I'm also experiencing pelvic pain (most likely from Dylan dropping deep into my pelvis and hitting a nerve). On most days, I can barely walk and need to use a cane. One day last week, my right leg was so painful I needed to borrow a wheelchair to get to my appointments.
Through it all, we've gone from fearing the loss of a child at 7 months to the elation of knowing we've been able to carry her almost to full term and that she is receiving the best care possible from the UCSF Children's Hospital.
So here we are, on the edge of starting week 38. Doctors tell us that Dylan will be delivered sometime during the following week. We're aiming for a birthday of Wed, April 6th.
Unfortunately, I will not experience the joy of holding her in my arms when she is first born. I know this. Fetal cardiology will be taking her away for observation. If all goes well, then she will be moved to the NICU and I can visit her there. "Well" means that she is able to breath on her own and that her heart is cooperating - she could very well need heart surgery.
Let me tell you, while crying is not my favorite sound, come D-day, when I hear my baby's cry for the first time, it will be the sound of music to my ears, because that tells me she's getting oxygen into her lungs.