Pressure.

When I was pregnant with Alden after Kenley’s death, I never felt “pressure” about my pregnancy. I know that probably doesn’t make sense to most people but the mothers who have lost babies will understand it.

I thought in my head (very naively) that the universe had done me wrong enough by taking my perfect daughter that I was pretty much guaranteed to take Alden home. That awful awful thing couldn’t happen twice in two years to the same family right?? I mean looking back I know that I had and continue to have zero control over the “universe”, and while I say I didn’t feel pressure to keep her alive that’s probably false as well. Alden’s pregnancy was the most mentally taxing thing I think I’ve ever done.

I was just focused on getting her here alive. I felt we were monitored wonderfully, which we were, and I felt confident in her living. It was still very scary but it was different than this pregnancy.

This pregnancy, however, I feel something odd. And I really don’t know what else to call it except for “pressure”. Pressure to make sure that Rowan is born alive. Pressure to make sure I’m very conscious of her movements, pressure to remember her every pattern. Everyone’s excitement is overwhelming and I’m so thankful that she is so loved already and people can’t wait for her arrival, but shew.

I feel like the universe gave me my “freebie” and now I have to work for this one. My brain is overwhelmed constantly and I feel like I’m second guessing everything. Our care protocol is identical to that if Alden’s so I know I’m being monitored well, and I’m on lovenox again so I know that’s helping as well. I guess I don’t really know how to explain it.

Pressure is the best description I can come up with I think. I feel like if I were to lose another baby people would think I was unfit to be a mother (more than some of them probably already do…). I feel like I would hear “how did you not feel her moving-AGAIN”. Or similar things that you just know people are thinking and saying behind your back.

I need to get this baby here alive.

She has to survive.

11 days.

routine.

Rowans pregnancy has been pretty much routine aside from the fact that she’s a complete miracle. I do however have a fear that she will die, just like I had the fear with Alden, and just like Kenley did. I don’t care how many precautions we take, or how many NST’s I have, I will just always be fearful because of our past.

That being said I believe in my heart that we will bring her home alive. I trust my MFM and I am so ready for her to be here. I had an NST on Thursday which ultimately went well, but Rowan was just doing whatever she wanted to do….

I got there, hooked up to the monitors and immediately found her heartbeat. Then, within 5 minutes she rolled into some weird position and we couldn’t find her heartbeat for approximately 20 minutes. I felt her moving around a ton, and we would get a bunch or random heartbeats but nothing solid enough for her to pass the NST. My favorite nurse Cathy sat with me, constantly moving the monitor trying to find her heart rate and I know she could just see the fear in my eyes. She called the ultrasound tech down and had her scan to see how Rowan was laying. It turns out she was head down like always, but then flipped her spine up and at a weird angle. She was able to listen to her heart beat via ultrasound and we were able to see her moving around.

I don’t care if I could hear her heart beating or not, it stressed me the fuck out. PTSD. I mentioned it to the nurse and she asked why I was feeling that why. I told her that at the hospital this is how they couldn’t find Kenley’s heart beat– an NST. It was the first time I felt real fear during this pregnancy. I felt concern on 12/30 which prompted me to go to L&D to find out if she was moving ok.

I cannot tell you the stress and anxiety that comes with the last 2 weeks of a pregnancy after loss. Tomorrow, I’m 35 weeks pregnant. 35 WEEKS. again. I can’t believe that I’m here again. It’s a serious mind fuck honestly. All of these crazy preparations we did for Kenley, then again for Alden, we have done NOTHING for this baby except we have a dresser. I feel guilty honestly, but we don’t have a bedroom for her, so I mean I don’t know what were supposed to do. Ugh.

Tomorrow my Mother in Law is throwing me a “diaper party”.  I didn’t really want one, and I don’t really know how I feel about it honestly, but it is what it is…Having a baby shower for a baby after loss is weird anyway, and this is my second baby after my loss. I dunno. I obviously will appreciate everything we receive and I am grateful that she wasn’t to throw one for us, it’s just weird for me.

14 days to go.

growth.

Today was our final growth scan! Possibly our final ultrasound ever, honestly! We will probably have one at the hospital before the c-section, but this was the final big one. She of course didn’t cooperate at all, and we weren’t able to see her face. We did see everything else that we needed and she is now (34 weeks) measuring in the 83rd percentile at 5 lbs 15oz! I wanted to see her face so badly, but she’s just nestled in so tight that it was impossible.

She passed her NST as well. I love listening to her heart beat on the monitor. I could listen to it all day; as long as she’s moving its very relaxing to me. After everything was done, I met with my Dr for a little bit. There’s nothing to really talk about when we meet, so just a formality really. So we have 6 NSTs left; 21 days.  I can’t even believe it.

I ordered a few things for Rowan the other day. I bought her a onesie for the hospital, a hat that is adorable, and a blanket that has her name on it. I bought a newborn insert for the halo bassinet as well. Alden hated sleeping in it with nothing around her; I think it wasn’t “secure” enough for her. Too much wide open space and she wanted to be cuddled up.

I cannot believe there will be another baby in our home so soon. It really doesn’t even still feel real. I’ve been feeling really guilty about Kenley lately. Just the would have and should haves that I’m sure most mothers feel after their child dies. It’s like with each subsequent pregnancy I thought maybe it would feel different, but I was way wrong. It still feels like I’m leaving her behind.

weekend review.

Landon’s birthday party was this weekend. On Wednesday he will turn 7! I can’t believe it; how in the world can he be that old already? Ugh. The party went well and he seemed to have a great time. We rented a video game truck to come sit in our drive way for 2 hours so the kids could go inside and play a bunch of different video games. After everyone left, Landon’s cousin from Norwalk spent the night and drove home with my mom the next day. It was a great weekend.

On Friday, before Shane went to work, Rowan was moving all over like crazy. She was moving so much that it actually made me feel nauseous. I kind of felt scared because I’ve never had a baby move that much and as strongly as she was so I laid down for a few minutes and she sort of mellowed out. Well, the next morning was Saturday and I usually take a belly picture because that’s my “new week”. So, 33 weeks, and Rowan has dropped SO much. I’m not sure if it was from all the moving she was doing or what was going on but shooooo. So now I’m feeling tons of pressure in my lady bits, but I can breathe so much better. This has never happened in any of my pregnancies so I’m kinda freaked out. If you google it you can easily find that when a baby drops labor could happen soon, or it could be super far off still.

Mind is in overdrive about it obviously. I’m having a scheduled c-section so I do not want to go into labor, but I’m only 33 weeks…I don’t think I have anything to worry about but who knows.

Today I have an NST @ 2:45, and I’m planning to talk to the nurse about it. You know, cus anxiety overload is gonna happen any way we slice this…ugh.

Landon’s birthday was the last “milestone” before Rowan is born…I can’t e even believe it’s going to happen so soon.

25 days.

 

NST 3

Today I had my third NST. Everything looked wonderful, and Rowan was very active once hooked up to monitoring…

Yeah. Once we hooked her up, I felt less crazy. Let’s start from the beginning…

As I’m driving to my appointment it hits me that I can’t remember when the last time I felt her move was. I thought hard about it and decided I felt her move this morning around 6:30 when Landon woke me up. I rolled over in bed and she started kicking- I’m pretty sure that’s the last big movement I felt from her that I could really be positive about.

Usually she will kick when I shower- I did that this morning and I can’t recall her kicks.

So I’m driving down the road completely zoning out about movement, poking her and begging her to move. Nothing. I wish I could say I believed things would be ok, and I didn’t spiral into crazy town in my head but that’s not the case at all. I turned the music up really really loudly, poked my belly, pushed my belly, drank my cold water, and still no movements.

Then, PTSD kicked in. I had all the thoughts and feelings of when Kenley died. I could just picture myself going to this NST thinking everything was fine only to be told it wasn’t. It would be the same thing- unable to find her heart on the monitor…ultrasound…the world comes crashing down around me.

I hustled to my appt, walked inside and checked in. As I was sitting there waiting I felt her kick. Then again, and a few more hard jabs.

I felt a little relief.

My favorite nurse came to grab me for the NST and I explained what was going on. She hooked me right up and we heard her heartbeat immediately. We watched as she had proper accelerations and eventually the nurse told me to lay back and relax. She was going to keep me on for about 10 more minutes.

I put my phone down, and laid there with my eyes closed, alone in the room with my baby girl. I listened to her heart beating away nice and strong. In those moments I realized (all over again? Had I been pushing these feelings down? Idk…) that I will NEVER be a normal mother again. Ever. No matter what. After what I have endured, nothing will be normal for me again.

As my nurse unhooked us and told me we sounded wonderful and passed with flying colors, she said something that I really needed to hear.

She said “Don’t ever hesitate to call us. Come in, we’ll hook you right up, and you can stay here all day if you need to. Or go to L&D and stay there as long as you need. After what you’ve been through it’s absolutely understandable.”

I’m glad she understands. But, it just goes to show you that the medical field is still a bit out of touch. I know she meant “what you’ve been through” = the death of Kenley, but it’s just like…Kenley is not something we went through. She IS my daughter. She is my every day, my every second, my reality. I’m not going to come out on the other side of her death as the phrase “what you’ve been through” suggests…I will always be in the thick of it.

So today was less than fun…