Monday, July 13, 2015

Viability

So here we are, 24 weeks with Bowie.

24 weeks seems like a turning point.  The point babies can often survive outside the womb, and each day that passes, their rate of survival is higher.

If I lost my baby to prematurity, I am sure that hitting this milestone would bring me great comfort.

But I didn't.  And it doesn't.

I lost my 34-week perfectly healthy baby who suddenly stopped getting what she needed from me. 

And so now? Viability scares the shit out of me.

For 20 weeks now, one way I have been surviving this pregnancy is telling myself, over and over again, there's nothing you can do.  I'm taking good care of myself, but besides that, if something were to happen to Bowie, there would be nothing I could do.  And in an odd way, that has been comforting.  That takes the responsibility off of me.

And now?  Viability means Bowie could live outside the womb.  And it's hard not to think of my  womb as a death trap.  It's hard to house a baby who could make it on her own, and fear for her life while she's inside of me.

We are still 10 weeks from our point of loss with Lydie.  10 weeks.
I remember saying to Justin, she's viable!  I felt like we were home-free.
That takes my breath away.
That makes me remember how ready Lydie was to live in this world, when her life got snatched away from all of us.

When people ask me how this pregnancy is going, and I say "good so far," I also want to remind them that Lydie's pregnancy was going great until the moment it wasn't.  

I know this feeling, of responsibility and fear, is just going to continue to amp up over the next 14 weeks.  My friends say to me, "October is only three months away!" And I think, holy hell, how am I supposed to make it three more months?

The other day, my doctor told me to enjoy my "short leash" now.  That my leash is about to get a lot tighter.  That in less than a month, I'll be going from one doctor's appointment a week to two or three.

I don't know if I am looking forward to that or dreading it.

When my doctors speak about how Lydie died, they tell me it was"acute."  They tell me that they could have done all the testing in the world and not seen it coming.  They give me statistics about how unlikely it was to have happened.

And when they speak about Bowie, they tell me not to worry, because they'll be running tests multiple times a week.  That if there's anything wrong, they'll catch it.  They give me statistics about how unlikely anything is to happen.

Do they not see how they contradict themselves?

Believing what happened to Lydie was acute is good for my guilt.  It is not good for my anxiety about Bowie.

I told my doctor this.  She sighed and said, "What happened to Lydie was very, very unusual and very, very unlikely.  It's very, very unlikely to happen again, but considering it's already happened once, I know that doesn't give you any peace of mind."

When she asks how my anxiety is (and she does, regularly, and seems to be functioning as my therapist as well as my OB), I tell her, "It's not as bad as I thought it would be."  Which is true.  I knew this would be hard.  I expected this.  But I can feel the anxiety ramping up with this milestone.  

I just want to fast-forward until mid-October.

Moms of rainbow babies, how did you manage?  Any advice??  Please??

5 comments:

  1. You just. . .do. Day by day. Your doctor sounds nice, I like her.

    But yes, it's hard to know that what happened to our babies was likely acute and hard to catch and unlikely yadda yadda yadda and yet NSTs and extra appointments are supposed to give us peace of mind. But, somehow they did. For the most part.

    You did all you could for Lydie. And it's shit luck that she didn't make it and it's cruel and wrong, but doesn't take away from the fact that you did all you could.

    It's now your turn to do all you can for Bowie. And you'll do that and we will just cross our fingers and toes and anxiously await what I hope is a really amazingly happy end to this oh so scary pregnancy.

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  2. I think in a way maybe I blocked out how I managed but yes to what Caroline said. You manage in the same way you've been managing, one day, week, hour at a time. You love Bowie as you love Ben and Lydie and you know that she can feel that love. You take tests for what they are--positive signs but not absolute. You keep trudging along.

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  3. I felt the same anxiety when I hit viability. I did kick counts hourly some days (with Zuzu--harder to do with Coco when I had a toddler at home). I welcomed the twice-weekly appointments and just focused on getting through the days in between.

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  4. The extra appointments were a nuisance. They made me feel so much better though. And even though all of the doctors told me that a repeat was highly unlikely, all of the bad symptoms I had with Genevieve returned. This time, I got the early delivery though and the healthy baby. So those extra appointments do save lives.

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  5. 100% you're doing the right thing by telling yourself that there's nothing else you can do because you're doing everything you can.

    I know you did everything you could with Lydie, but I sort of always tried to keep in mind that what happened with Luke was like what happens in a car accident. Your doc is right--It was acute. And those statements they mention DO contradict themselves. But at the same time, you have no control. You do your kickcounts, You're more aware of things now. And maybe MAYBE that's more than you were dong with Lydie.So you ARE doing all you can.

    Today, that Bowie is still here. And you are one day closer to October. And I can promise you that the relief that comes when she's here? Oh, it's the most amazing feeling in the world.

    You got this, Mama.

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