At 19 weeks, I went in to a routine doctor appointment to have my cervix checked. The good news is my cervix is still long (4.5cm) and closed, so they were pleased with that. The doctor decided to take a quick look at the babies on ultrasound because of being on bed rest the week before and losing some amniotic fluid. She thought it would be good to check the fluid around the babies. I was relieved to hear she wanted to take a quick peek because I also wanted to be sure they were all doing well.
This was a doctor that I had not been seen by before, so she started out with getting her bearings on where all the babies were located on the ultrasound. She was scanning around and trying to determine which baby was A, B and C. As she moved the transducer around, I saw one of the babies on the screen looked pretty scrunched up, like it didn’t have very much room to move around. I said something about it, which the doctor acknowledged. After looking around a bit more, she started to tell me what she was seeing. She asked if I could see how the two babies had a certain amount of dark area around them, which is fluid, but the one baby did not. It was pretty clear to see this, and she said that it meant that one of the babies did not have as much amniotic fluid, and in fact it was a very low amount. I asked her which baby it was, and she said it was Baby A.
The doctor explained the importance of the amniotic fluid, and how it is essential to have the right amount for lung development. I basically knew what she was getting at, and I didn’t even have to ask what would happen if the baby didn’t continue to get amniotic fluid for proper lung development. I knew that if the lungs do not develop properly, the baby may not be able to breathe and could be lost. She then told me that she was sorry to say that I would have to be put back on bed rest and to drink plenty of fluids. She wants me to come in a week later for another ultrasound to check the babies and their fluid levels. I asked about the bed rest and if it would be temporary or until the babies are born. She said there is a very high possibility this could be throughout the pregnancy.
At this point, my mind was racing. Being there alone, unsure of what would happen, feeling a bit in shock, I couldn’t think of any other questions to ask. I just felt really scared and concerned for our babies. I don’t want to lose any of them, and at this point we have a concern for all three babies. Baby A has low amniotic fluid, Baby B has SUA (single umbilical artery) and Baby C has an enlarged stomach. I did my best to keep it together and proceeded to the front desk for my follow-up appointment.
While I was at the front desk, the nurse returned with my paperwork and recognized my name. She realized that she had spoken to me previously when I had been leaking amniotic fluid and I called in asking what I should do. She put her arm around me, asking, “are you doing okay?” I was barely keeping it together as I shook my head no. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore and she asked if I wanted to step into a room and talk. I couldn’t form the words to say yes, so I just nodded and we made our way into a room.
The nurse handed me some Kleenex and asked what was going on. All I could see in my mind was the image of Baby A, the lack of fluid, and how tight and scrunched up they were in their sac. The only thing that gave me comfort in that image was seeing their tiny heart was still beating. I told her I was really scared and explained what I had just learned and how concerned I was for all babies. I am scared about them being born too early and having to struggle so much. There are all the additional concerns about not being able to work, do household chores, attend parenting and nursing classes, and the other events like showers that I could miss. The nurse tried to reassure me that being on bed rest, Baby A will hopefully regenerate enough amniotic fluid and that I would be coming back in a week to be rechecked.
Back at home, we’ve already gotten such wonderful support. My mom stopped by that same night, brought us dinner, helped with some chores and kept us company. The next day my mother-in-law dropped by with some beautiful potted flowers and some treats. I know right now is very emotional and scary for us, but we have amazing people who are being so supportive, and we greatly appreciate how much more bearable that makes these tough times.
If you could keep us in your thoughts and prayers, we would greatly appreciate it.