I had thought I would take a week and let a little of the fear subside that was at 27 weeks and tomorrow I will be 33w. Every time I try and sit down to write this I think to myself what is the point, the outcome was good, why dwell? Oh and how I do dwell in the dark hours when my stomach is silent and feels almost vacant.
I went to work as normal on week 27 day 3 and felt just awful, but then again what else is new when I am pregnant, the difference being that my legs were round swollen tree trunks and my head was stuck in a vice. I could hardly concentrate on anything going on because my head hurt so badly but I remember thinking when was the last time this baby moved? After I dragged my ass home and to bed nothing improved and by morning I realized it had been almost 12 hours since she had kicked, rolled, danced...moved. I called the doctor (around 9 in the morning) knowing they would send me for an NST, I had the same problem with S. and to be honest I figured I would go in they would roll their eyes and I would be on my way in an 45 minutes an hour tops.
If you are new here (thanks twitter) you may not know but I had NSTs for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy first do to lack of fetal movement and then for possible PIH, this is good and bad; good in that I know almost every nurse in L&D, bad that I know when things are going downhill (or maybe that comes for being on the IF block) It started off as always with awesome nurse S. (a 20yr vet of L&D) coming in and getting the info and getting the monitor up and running and then she couldn't get the baby on the monitor.
It was silent in my stomach, sure a bowel tone here and maybe one there but it just sounded vacant, she tried for almost 10 minutes straight moving me this way that way, at this point I was calm, babies hide, 27 weekers are not always predictable on monitors I was running every story, fact, tale over and over in my head. After 12 minutes (yes I was keeping track what the hell else should I have done) she said she was going to call for ultrasound and I saw it. It was brief and just a flicker but it was pure fear on her face and then it was gone. Enter awesome nurse D. (30yr vet of L&D) and the doppler, I immediately relaxed, doppler would find the heartbeat faster than ultrasound could get off their ass and roll down the hall. D. and I were chatting as she got the goop out to put on my stomach, she had been my nurse the day I was put on modified rest during my last pregnancy so we had spent some time together, we chatted about the holidays and she fired up the dop (as I like to call it) and nothing.
S. came back in to say U/S was on their way and then they exchanged a look I will never forget and S. stopped mid-sentence and left the room. D. tried for 11 minutes with the doppler. 660 seconds and by second 480 when she asked if there was someone she could call to be with me I lost my shit.
I was doing the silent ugly cry where you are trying to hold it in and your whole body turns red and according to D. if I didn't start breathing I was going to be in trouble, my own heart rate was in the 180's as though if I could just make mine beat harder hers would be found.
The next thing I knew my doctor (Doc Bowtie) was in the room and seconds later the u/s machine showed up, I was trying to calm down telling myself there was nothing I could do falling apart at this moment wasn't going to change the outcome. There was nothing I could do, I must have repeated that a hundred times over in my head.
DocBowtie found her but could not locate the heartbeat, she was turned all weird D. and S. were holding hands, it was another seven or so minutes before he was able to (thanks old u/s machine may you be taken outside and put down office space style) actually see the heartbeat and at one point he actually yelled at me to look the arm was moving, couldn't I see the arm moving, he was holding still did I see it now? then he turned to S. and said get me the high res. machine NOW.
It ended well, she is fine, I am fine, S. cried but I have no doubt that she too will be okay and D. asked if she could spank the baby when she is born. I spent the next eight hours being monitored, most of it with S. holding the monitor in place because this baby would just not cooperate with anyone. I had a bio-feedback done and it was perfect, I was evaluated by Doc No-Personality (mat.fetal spec.) and after all that I was sent home, changed but fine. I pray those are the longest 30 minutes I ever feel; I know there are no guarantees. I had been skeptical and at arms distance this whole pregnancy until that day. It was only then I understood that no matter how hard I tried to be logical about everything my heart was in deep.
I could want all the distance in the world but there is no space in parenting and that is more than fine with me.
It happened at Costco. I was just trying to waddle through the crowds and there in the flower section was bouquet after bouquet of purple roses, they were your favorite. I stopped and stared for a moment and let my mind wander. What would it be like if you were still here? Would I have to decided between you and mom for the holidays? Would you spoil S.? Would you think me irresponsible for having a second baby so soon? Would you be proud? Would you notice the purple roses in a small vase in your guest room?
It has been 18 years since our last Christmas morning together and I miss you more this year than any other.
I have been meaning to write this letter to you since about month seven of my pregnancy. I had bought a baby book and there was a special envelope for a letter to baby from Mommy. I haven't gotten around to putting a letter on actual paper but believe me my dear I write to you daily in my head.
I am having surgery in the morning and while I expect to be home and whining by dinnertime this last year has taught me that life canand willchange in aninstant and it is important to seize the time you have when you have it. These things are important to me and I hope someday we will sit and laugh at how I was afraid and so I wrote them all down. My hope is by the time you are old enough to need this advice you will be very sick of hearing it. From me. This is not a full list, which will go in the baby book, but this is a good start.
Things to Remember
You are so loved. You were so wanted and loved before I ever met the you that you are. I longed for you, dreamed for you, and craved you. The day that we met was easily the best and worst day, imagine having everything you have dreamed of handed to you in a 7.7 pound squalling package, everyone looks to the mom for answers but the truth is that we were just meeting for the first time (I have never felt that kind of fear and joy at the same time) and I had no clue what I was doing. Before you I had never seen what innately good really was. Your spirit and joy for everything around you is infectious as is your constant smile and laughter. Your eyes are so wise it is almost like you are saying not to worry you and I will be okay, we will take this adventure together.
Be kind to everyone you meet. There is never a reason to be mean to people, you never know what is going on in their lives and you never know when you may need help from someone. The same goes for if you are having a bad time, there is no reason to take it out on others. You would be surprised how far a kind word and smile will get you. Always smile at other women; this may seem weird for me to say but something happens around middle school and girls can be mean and awkward and a smile can disarm a situation like nothing else. Also you are stunning inside and out when you smile.
Be fair and honest, lying never helps anything and unless you memory is flawless it usually catches up with you. Be kind to all the people you meet. Always tip 20%. If the service is awful go with 15% trust me the server will get the message with a 15% tip, they may be having a bad night but they are still tipping out every other person in the restaurant (that's right sometimes as much as 40 percent of what they are tipped). Donate generously whether it be time or money there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you have given to help make the world better (Go ask Grandma to tell you the starfish story)
People will say things to you, about you and sometimes for you. Own your voice and know that you are who you are and there is nothing wrong with that. Don't let ANYONE tell you there is ANYTHING wrong with you. My biggest regret in life has been my over concern of what other people think of me. In the end you have to like you, also please make sure you love yourself before you ever try and love someone else. Never compromise your morals or potential just to make someone else happy.
Drink Slurpees in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter, go on spring break, please don't TP houses (Again go ask Grandma to tell you the story about Aunt C.) Get a job learn how to drive a stick, sleep in, go to the beach, love all music, travel, love, live.
If you ever can't talk to me you can always talk to Auntie Jess She can answer anything and everything plus she knows more about beauty products than any human should and she is good at math and making mac and cheese. She can fill in the blanks and hold your hand when need be. She rescued me when I didn't even know I was lost. She is the perfect example of choosing your family. Not all family shares blood with you, you create and surround yourself with those people who are genuine. Some of the best people in life are friends.
Your father is a good, caring man; he loves you fiercely and would do anything for you. Be patient with him, you are his little lady and that will never change. You will always be the tiny girl that he brought home in ladybug pajamas. Yes his love of golf is annoying but so is my shoe collection and coffee habit.
I wanted to name you Lorelai...any questions about that one can be answered by the Gilmore Girls and your father.
I love you bug and I will do anything in my power to make sure you and I go on this adventure together, even in the mandatory teenage hating years I will win you back one emo song, latte, and Nordstrom trip at a time.