Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Pregnancy

Ah, Sybella's pregnancy. Suffice to say, I didn't enjoy it. I don't enjoy pregnancy much on the whole.
I found out I was pregnant on September 30 2010, the very same day we moved into our new home. Lalalala, it was all happening. New house, preggas, I was as happy as a clam. It transpired that we conceived Sybella on my birthday, which is September 15. How romantic...!
So, all was going well for a few weeks. I was upset by the intenisfied sense of smell that pregnancy brings and wondered if we'd ever get the old owner's "smell" out of the house. I felt virus-y and at six weeks, the nausea and vomiting set in with a vengeance. This was disconcerting, as I had never been sick with Jack.
At six and a half weeks, I started to bleed. I took it calmly and philosphically thought that it wasn't meant to be. My GP was away, but I went to pathology to find out what my hormone levels were doing. Surprisingly, they were increasing. But I continued to bleed. I resigned myself to the fact that I was miscarrying. I was upset, after all the hard work to achieve this pregnancy. But a miscarriage before twelve weeks is a sign that the foetus was not viable, and so I felt accepting. I went to the hospital, where they had a clinic called Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS). I cried as the midwife took my blood pressure and temperature, and continued to cry as they ushered me into the ultrasound room. I cried until I saw a little heart beating away. My baby was still alive.
The next two weeks saw the bleeding get heavier. By now, I had a dating scan booked, and expected bad news. But no. There she was, oblivious to my angst, heart beating away. Wow. A little fighter. Apparently the bleeding was coming from outside the sac, so I rested easy, and the bleeding stopped after eight weeks.
This little episode cost me much of my sanity from then on. I became extremely anxious about the wellbeing of my baby. As weeks went by, I bonded and became more and more attached to my little baby. At thirteen weeks, I had the nuchal scan to test the risk factor for Down Syndrome. I had a spectacular result. My risk was 1:10,002. All was well. Sweeeeeeet.
After sixteen weeks, I started to feel movements. Now, the movements always worried me. Whilst pregnant with Jack, he never stopped moving. He responded to music, my voice, even jumping if I dropped a spoon. Sybella was much gentler. She moved softly and not very often. Although my twenty week morphology scan was fine and normal, I asked my GP for another ultrasound at twenty four weeks. At this scan, Sybella was diagnosed with a "dilated renal pelvis." There is a tube that runs between the kidneys and the bladder, called the renal pelvis. In a foetus, it should be so small that it is unable to be measured. If it can be measured, it is classified as dilated. This condition is known as Pyelectasis. Sybella's renal pelves were 6mm each. I was assured that this was the most common complication found on foetal ultrasounds, it occurs in 1% of babies and not to worry. Telling me not to worry is like telling the Pope not to be Catholic. But basically, all it meant was that she would be more susceptible to reflux of the bladder after birth. In very rare cases, surgery is required. At thirty weeks, I had another ultrasound to check the progression of the Pyelectasis. Unfortunately, it had progressed, to 9mm each. The doctor asked me to book another scan for thirty four weeks, and be on my way.
The quality of Sybella's movements still worried me. Not so much, as I was having check ups every three weeks and in every ultrasound she was growing beautifully and was "happy and healthy" as one sonographer put it. But her lack of movement was a niggling concern. I asked many other mothers if their babies moved much, and I got mostly the same response, which was that I shouldnt worry, my scans were good, and she was probably a quiet little thing. So I put it aside.
I got closer to my due date and began to get excited. I thought I had earned it. At thirty three weeks, Kelvin and I put the nursery together. On the 20th of April, I washed all of Sybella's tiny little clothes. On the 21st of April, I fitted the sheets on her cot and put a sheepskin in the pram. On the 22nd of April, I realised I hadnt felt her move all day. On the 23rd of April, my GP couldnt find a heartbeat and sent me for an urgent scan. Where I found out that my baby had died at thirty four weeks.

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