30 weeks 4.5 days: And then just like that things change

January 22, 2014 § 53 Comments

This will be erratic and full of typos. Forgive me. It’s the middle of the night and I’m not so concerned with writing style right now.

My plan was to follow up yesterday’s post with one later this week about the pregnancy itself.

I was going to talk about how the movement is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. I was going to tell you about the weight gain and the roundness and loving my less angular body. About how I’ve somehow miraculously managed to get by with no stretch marks yet. I was going to tell you that we picked out names that we love and that feel right. I was going to comment on all the weird things about being pregnant, like the leaky boobs starting at 20 weeks and the dizziness and low blood pressure and the inability to walk more than a mile during the second trimester (these last two have improved), and the multitude of Braxton Hicks contractions that started around 16 weeks, sent me in for monitoring around 24 weeks, and have since subsided to a “normal” rate. I was going to tell you about all of the things I love about being pregnant. In fact, on Sunday, someone posted a question to a due date group I’m in asking the women what they like about pregnancy. I said the following:

honestly, i am kind of loving almost everything about it. i love the movement. i love thinking of food as baby fuel and trying to squeeze as much of it as humanly possible into my body during the day for them. i am even fine with the insomnia, because i get to lay in bed and feel them move and think of how excited i am to meet them. i’d be lying if i didn’t mention loving all of the positive attention. attention from others usually makes me feel squirmy and uncomfortable, but for some reason now i’m basking in it. i work in a couple of different hospital settings with a lot of women (many of whom are in the child-wanting stage but who are currently focusing on academics and careers) who make me feel like a rockstar and ask me 100000 questions a day. i love the knowing and warm smiles i get from strangers. i love how my coat won’t close in the bottom and my belly sticks out and i’ve overheard two women over the course of the last month stop mid-conversation to comment to whomever they’re talking to on how “cute” i am. i mean, really. talk about making a lady feel special!! i love how peaceful the nursery makes me feel. i love that it has turned my already sweet husband into an even sweeter father over the last couple of months, even though they aren’t here yet. in the evenings, he often sits in the rocker in the nursery with a soft light on and plays his guitar because he “just likes it in there.” ha, oh yeah. and while i do miss working out, i love having the excuse not to, since you really can’t do much besides walk and stretch and squat with a twin pregnancy at this stage of the game.

But then.

Today (yesterday? I don’t know. It’s 3 AM and I slept for an hour between 11 and 12 and then woke and sobbed into the Artsy Engineer’s chest for 2 hours before deciding to get up and make myself a cup of tea to relieve the pressure in my head and to write these words). Today things went not so well all of the sudden.

I went in to maternal fetal medicine for my monthly growth scan. During the growth scan, they measure the femur length, the head circumference, and the abdominal circumference, and they use these measurements to estimate the weight of the baby. She measured Baby A first. Our dear girl looked good. She was right around average for gestational age for twins at 3 lbs 4oz. We weren’t able to get a good image of her face, because she was wedged in and sleeping most of the time, but the sonographer commented that she had really chubby cheeks. And I was able to see that she has quite a bit of hair already.

Then she moved on to Baby B, our boy. And his report is not glowing. Baby B’s growth has fallen off. His estimated weight is 2 lbs 11oz. I didn’t think to ask for his percentile at the time, but from my own Dr. Googling, this puts him below the 10th percentile. This represents only a 450 gram growth over the past 4.5 weeks. They then came back in the room to do all sorts of other measurements, including using the doppler to look at blood flow in the cord as a measure of placental functioning. This was also less than good. 

It is evidently not an emergency situation yet but it could quickly turn into one. The MFM doc has increased the frequency of my appointments. I’ll be going in every Tuesday and Friday for further monitoring. He also said that I will not be making it to 36/37 weeks, as was our goal, but might be able to “coast along” like this for another couple of weeks. Honestly, I didn’t hear many of the details from here on out. I heard the buzz words. Placental insufficiency, poor environment, lack of nutrients, preterm delivery, if we can get there babies born at 32 weeks generally do pretty well, get him out where we can get him what he needs to grow

And this was the first appointment the Artsy Engineer missed, because everything has been going so well and because he’d been out so much around the holidays and to drive me to all of these interviews.

As soon as I left, The MFM called my OB (who I lovelovelove) and my OB called me immediately. He said some additional things, including that he was “a little surprised” that I was not admitted today and that, while I don’t need to have my bags packed before each of these appointments, I should start mentally preparing for the possibility of admission for closer fetal monitoring and eventual preterm delivery.

They were also both careful to say that there is nothing I have done or can do. It’s not the little bit of caffeine I’ve been drinking (one half caff a day). It’s not my vegetarianism or my recent travel. It is most likely due to placement of the placentas and what this placement means for their growth and functioning. I have to believe them right now, because my focus is mostly on my babies alone, but there is a nagging voice of fear somewhere in there that wonders if this is something I have done or (worse, maybe?) my womb is just not good enough to make or carry babies.

Now we wait and we watch. They are weighing the risk of leaving him in an environment where he is clearly not getting what he needs versus the risk of taking them both out at this level of prematurity. The MFM doc said that had I been 34 weeks today as opposed to 30.5, he would have suggested that we deliver now. But I guess it’s all about balancing risk. The OB told me that he asked the MFM whether I should come in for the steroid shot to help develop their lungs in preparation for delivery, but that the MFM said that he thought that was still premature. So we wait.

Needless to say, I’m not doing super well at the moment. It was shocking. Everything had been going so smoothly. I was just thinking last night that I was pretty sure I could ride this out for another 6+ weeks. In fact, when I laid down on the exam table for the ultrasound today, I remarked to the technician that I felt WAY BETTER than I had expected to feel at this stage in the game. I had started thinking I was going to be one of those to make it to the safe zone.

Tomorrow my dad has arranged for himself a quick phone call with the medical director of the NICU in the hospital where I currently receive obstetric care and where I’ll be delivering (the same hospital my dad recently left for a new position in a new state as resident Bigwig of Pediatrics at Bigwig Hospital). It helps to have family in medicine.

And me. I’m going to go drink my tea (which is now cold and as such will relieve no head pressure after all) and try to put myself to bed.

§ 53 Responses to 30 weeks 4.5 days: And then just like that things change

  • Wow. That is a lot to get your head around hon. Don’t try to right now, just try to sleep. Ill be praying for you and your babies. Xx

  • Sadie says:

    Oh, Lentil. Although I’m not feeling much in the mood for blogging or reading these days, I had to comment straight away on this post, because so much of it sounds familiar. My situation right now is very different, but also kind of the same. We had bad-ish news at our 20 week scan that has all of a sudden turned into potentially very bad news. Like you, I have woken up the last few nights crying and unable to sleep and terrified of my baby’s suffering and of something I might have done to cause it. Like you, we have suddenly been told that we might need to expect very early delivery of this little girl (albeit we still have longer to wait) and are feeling so overwhelmed and terrified and confused. I’m sorry you are going through this. I am sorry the news was less than great. I don’t have any words to bring comfort, but wanted you to know I am holding your hand across the miles and sending so much hope and love. Right now, I am just trying to focus on surrounding our girl with love and good energy and believing in her. I’m going to do the same thing for your son. Much love to you friend.

  • amh! omg! says:

    You poor thing not fair just as you were enjoying your pregnancy. I have been told that due to low PAPP-A at an earlier screening that I may be at risk of a small baby or a premature birth so I am tentatively waiting to find out about my placental function which I have to wait till 20 weeks scan to find out about. I spoke to one of my colleagues earlier who also had scary predictions during her pregnancy – she ended up with a perfect baby who is now 12 yrs old and taller than her! I’m really hoping you’ll be able to grow them a little longer xx

  • Kimberly says:

    Oh I am so sorry that things have abruptly taken a turn for the stressful. I am glad you have made it this far with no issues – and I so wish that could have continued for you. You are really tough and have smart advocates like your dad on your side – you will make it through whatever they recommend. I will be thinking of you often!!

  • josefascherer says:

    Fuck. I’m so sorry. I’ll be thinking of you and your family. All I can think of to say is that I listen to this parenting (ish) podcast – a writer and a comedian’s wife. The writer had the same thing in her pregnancy. She talks about it openly and responds to FB and website messages. Her name is Stephanie wilder-Taylor, in case it seems comforting at all to find her. Even just to look at pics of her healthy 6 year old twins- thriving and playing and as key characters in her stories.

    Sending you love and wishes for moments of peace and comfort.


  • crochetingbeautiful says:

    I am so sorry to hear your struggles. and it is hard to learn that for some reason your body is failing the child inside of you (been there). However my son was born @ 27 weeks, and just turned 2 (today) and is perfect.
    Yes, you will struggle with preemies, no doubt, but you will do great because even though being inside of you would be better, it wasn’t for them and being in the nicu with wonderful nurses is where they need to be and man is that place impressively scary and comforting at the same time.
    and know 100% it was nothing you could have done or changed that would have changed the outcome, because that can be a very scary road to go down, so don’t. This is just the course that you are meant to go down.

  • jebhow515 says:

    The same thing happened to my sister and my niece and nephew were born around 34 weeks at 3 and 4 pounds. He was thriving and she wasn’t. They are now 2 and if I may say I believe they may be gifted;). And let me Tell you…she has quite the personality. She is a tough little chickie. I know your babies will be great!! And I know how stressed out you must feel. Take some time for yourself today and relax for your sweet babies. You will be in my thoughts!!

  • While my last OB visit was less scary because it was at 36 weeks, it’s still traumatizing to be told that things aren’t going well. My girl twin was in the 5th percentile so my doctor recommended inducing the very next day. I cried. Everything turned out ok despite the shock and fears. Just keep hanging on as best you can. It’s tough enough once they’re here without draining yourself with worry beforehand.

  • katherinea12 says:

    I’m sorry to hear what happened at your appointment. Will be thinking of you and the babies and hoping for the best for all of you.

  • jesselyn6585 says:

    Oh Lentil! I’m sending you a ton of love! I’m hoping that your babies can stay put and grow a bit longer. As for thinking that your womb isn’t good enough, consider the fact that you have multiples in there and are thriving! That’s a super womb if you ask me. We usually only have one at a time. You are amazing and your babies will be too.

  • Gypsy Mama says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. I always assumed that if the babies were cramped or something that we’d have pain to give us an indication that something was up! Take care of yourself. Sounds like A.E. is taking great care of you too. I hope you and baby boy can hang in there a little while longer.

  • lydiaseeks says:

    It sounds like you have an excellent medical team to trust in and lean on. I pray things go well and that they are able to make the best choices for both your little ones. Hang in there. Hopefully in the future when your little ones are toddling about and spilling milk everywhere you will think back to these stressful days and marvel at just how far you’ve all come.

  • nickeecoco says:

    Lentil, I am so sorry to hear this. I’ll be hoping and praying for you and your little boy that he will start to grow at a much faster rate and that both babies will be in skilled hands at their delivery. You are definitely in my thoughts right now.

  • Lentil, I’m so sorry, and I can’t imagine what you are going through. I hope you can take comfort in some of the encouraging comment-stories above. Keeping the faith for you out here. Be okay, little ones, be okay. xo

  • Amanda says:

    Oh Lentil! I can’t imagine! You must be scared to death! I’m glad to hear that your dad is getting involved and that he will understand exactly what’s going on! Praying for your sweet boy and lots and lots of wisdom for your doctors! Hang in there! HUGS!

  • redbluebird says:

    Lentil, I’m sorry 😦
    Please don’t think it’s something you’ve done. Twin pregnancies can be tricky, and as you know, twins are so often born early. I hate that you have to worry about your little guy, but I believe he will be OK. I’m glad you’re already almost 31 weeks– this is a much better situation than having this finding five or ten weeks earlier. I hope they decide it’s safe to keep them in a little longer, but babies born around this time can do very well. I’ll be thinking of you!

    • missymakes says:

      Lentil, I am so sorry to hear this. It’s amazing how quickly things can take a turn in a twin pregnancy. A little over a week ago, I was thinking the same thing – I might be one of those to make it to term. A week or so later, I have 2 premature baby girls on the outside (I know, I have to get around to posting about that). I’m really hoping you’re able to hold out a lot longer than I did. No matter what, I’m here to talk. And if it helps, my girls were born at 31w4d and are doing shockingly well considering how early they were born. They can do amazing things in the NICU these days.

  • Kitten says:

    I’m sorry things are getting so scary! It sounds like they’re taking good care of you. Sending lots of healthy growing baby vibes your way!

  • Jenny says:

    I can only imagine how scared you must be right now. I’m so sorry you’ve gotten this news. I’ll be holding you and your babies in my thoughts. *hugs*

  • J o s e y says:

    Oh hon, how scary!! It sounds like you’re in great hands though. Try to just trust that the MFM is an expert in this and he will do everything he can to balance the pros/cons of how long is best to keep these babies cooking in your belly. Don’t let yourself even drift into the territory of feeling like a failure. Your body IS doing this and it IS nurturing your babies — the placenta thing is such a freak thing that you cannot control. Thank goodness we live in a time where doctors can monitor it and make sure your babies come out at the best time for them. Hang in there hon – I’ll be praying Baby B starts growing more appropriately and you’re able to keep them in a few more weeks!

  • Sara says:

    I sm so sorry that you received this stressful news. I hope this provides some reassurance for you, my twin boys were born at 33 weeks due to severe preclampsia. They spent three weeks in the NICU, now they are home and almost seven weeks old. I hope they decide it is safe to keep your babies in but know that if you do have to deliver early you will have an amazing medical team to take care of you and your babies. Delivering early is scary and I cried when they told me I had to have an emergency csection, it was the best decision because my blood pressure continued to sky rocket after birth. I am keeping your family in my prayers.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sending you the warmest thoughts. My heart goes out to you. You are in a very scary place right now but everything will be ok. You will see.

  • Aislinn says:

    Ah Lentil, I’m so sorry that you have to worry about your little guy. It sounds like both of your doctors have his health as top priority, so you’re in good hands. I hope both of you can hang in there for a few more weeks and that both babies are delivered safely. Thinking of you ❤

  • 2dognite says:

    What stressful news. After so long of feeling that your body is not doing the things it should, and then finally getting on track, I am sure that this has been such a struggle. As someone with an equally medical family (my dad is also a pediatrician) it helps so much to be able to advocate for yourself and have family members advocate on your behalf. It sounds like you and the inmates are getting excellent care. And I second what you and everybody else said – there’s nothing you could have done differently. Same thing happened to a friend who was pregnant with a singleton and had little problem getting pregnant. Her little girl, while tiny, is doing just fine. Your body is working hard and doing everything it can to get those babies to a healthy place for delivery. We are lucky to be pregnant now in this age of endless fetal monitoring, ultrasounds, etc where problems can be detected and addressed immediately. I’m thinking of you and feeling confident (of what help that is, I don’t know) that things are going to be ok if a little scary for the next several weeks.

  • bustedoven says:

    I just can’t believe this is happening to you, and I wish I could give you a giant hug. No one wants their babies to end up in the NICU, and I know I would be so scared if I were in your shoes, too. But like lots of ladies here have said, you and your babies will get excellent care, and they have a great chance of thriving. A while back someone in our due date group posted this link to pictures of babies born prematurely and then the age they are now — happy, healthy normal kiddos. In case it is comforting if your babies do have to come out before term: http://www.lilaussieprems.com.au/then-now-photos-babies-born-at-31-weeks/

  • Megan says:

    I’m so sorry for the news you received, I will say a prayer for you and your little ones. A friend of mine just delivered her twins at 32 or 33 weeks a couple days ago because of a growth issue in one of the babies as well. They were both healthy an doing well, so I hope at whatever point in the possible near future you have to deliver that your babies will be perfectly healthy as well! Good luck with your next appointment!!

  • Daryl says:

    I’m so sorry for this scary news. It sounds like you’re in good hands, and your babies will be closely monitored so that decisions can be made based on what’s best/healthiest for them. Sending you major baby growing vibes and big, big hugs!

  • notpregnantandpissed says:

    Oh girl….this was how I ended my last post, “how quickly things change!” I am so sorry you have to go through this…I can imagine how scared you are. What about some acupuncture to try to get placenta to a better spot to deliver more nutrients? Just taking a stab in the dark here… I am so hoping whatever happens that those babies are born as healthy as can be and all will be ok! Hang in there!

  • Steph Mignon says:

    Oh man, this sucks… I’m just hoping that things will turn around while you wait things out… that you’ll see enough progress to keep him in there as long as possible. Sending you, your hubby, and your babies love and prayers and oodles of positive thoughts!

  • SM says:

    Take a deep breath, sweetie! You got them to 30 weeks and that’s amazing! Every day you keep them in there is a good day and if they come early than they come early. Babies born after 30 weeks have a great chance with some NICU time. You’re doing awesome, friend! Hugs sent your way!

  • Oh Lentil! I’m so sorry you’re going through this stress. It sounds like you’re in good hands with your doctors. If they have to come early that might just be what your babies need to do. Try to send those babies positive thoughts, tell your boy he needs to take the nourishment he needs to grow. Tell your girl to get ready and make sure her brother does to. I will be thinking of you and hoping all goes well.

  • I’m really sorry you’re dealing with this so close to the end. If its any consolation, the same thing happened to me when I was pregnant with my son. At 20 weeks he was measuring in the 50th percentile, but just a few weeks later at the next growth scan he was down to the 10th. I had low PAPP-A, blood pressure issues and some clotting factors. I went in twice a week from then on, and they kept an eye on his size, cord and placenta function. I know it’s scary, but at least they’re keeping a close eye on all of you, and sometimes they’re safer out (even a little early!) than in. I, thankfully, made it to 38.4 weeks and aside from being a little tiny (5 lbs and 8.5 oz) my little guy is totally healthy! Yours will be too!!

  • Hey Mama…first off you have done an amazing job growing your babies to 30 weeks. I know how hard it is feeling so helpless when your baby isn’t doing as well as doctor’s would like to see. It sucks. The good news is you have a great team of doctors (and your dad!) making sure everything is ok. Sending you and the babies lots of well wishes!

  • Aramis says:

    Oh no! This is such awful news, and to get it when A.E. wasn’t at the appointment…I’m so sorry. But you have a great support team (both in the hospital and here online!) and you guys will all make it through, whatever it takes. Hang in there, mama.

  • Sunny says:

    Oh girl…I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through this appointment without Artsy Engineer by your side, and I’m so sorry you’re going through this right now. Good–no–GREAT news is that it sounds like you have an amazing and caring team that’s going to look out for you and the babies, and get them here safe. Thinking of you.

  • JenS says:

    Things can indeed change in an instant with a twin pregnancy. I also thought I would make it to 36 weeks no problem because things were going so well. You didn’t do anything. Sounds like you are in great hands and they are going to make sure you have 2 healthy babies. I’m a little surprised you aren’t getting the steroid shot yet. I got admitted and given the shot for much less. That seems hopeful they think they can keep those babies cooking long enough that you don’t need it.
    So sorry this is happening. I’ll be thinking of you and sending all sorts of positive thoughts that you get to stay pregnant a few more weeks. Hang in there.

    • I think they’re hoping I can hold out another couple of weeks, and if that happens, a steroid shot now will be past its’ most effective point, apparently. And I guess the risks of getting more than one are still higher than the risks of labor in the next few days? Who knows.

  • josamarie says:

    I’m so sorry that this happened, it is incredible how things can go from rosy to stormy in a matter of moments… but you’ve been through so much and fought so hard for these two little miracles, I know that you will weather the storm together and come out safe and healthy on the other side! Complications at this stage are terrifying (not in the same situation, but dealing with my own demons at 30.5 weeks now, as well), especially with twins, that’s a ballgame I can’t even imagine at this point! I’m sending lots of happy and hopeful thoughts to you and your beautiful babies!

  • Infertility Can Suck It says:

    Oh no. I’m so so so sorry to hear this and to know that you are stuck worrying. Saying many many prayers for you and you little ones. I know it’s probably irrelevant, but I have two sets of friends who delivered multiples around the 28 week mark. One set of twins and one set of triplets. All five babies are doing great and thriving and are now 3 and 4 years old. Hang in there and it sounds like you have wonderful care and great doctors looking out for all three of you!

  • sarah says:

    Ugh. Just when you were starting to enjoy your roundness. I’m so sorry, Lentil. This is crappy and totally unfair. I could regale you with stories of friends and co-workers who delivered now-healthy babies at between 25-34 weeks (including two sets of twins) but I’m not sure how much reassurance is provided by anonymous anecdotes over the inter webs. So, I will say only that I am thinking of you and the AE often and cheering on those two little inmates to stay put, and stay healthy for as long as they can. It sounds like you have attentive, caring docs and a really well informed dad – a great team for these twins! Not to mention the parents – who are badasses. Hang in there and thinking of you! xo

  • Oh dear friend Lentil, there’s not much left to say that hasn’t already been said. I cannot imagine what you’re going through right now, but just know that we are all here for you and rooting for you and that little baby. Sending so much love your way… seriously!

  • torthuil says:

    So sorry to hear that you got distressing news. Your care team sounds very knowledgeable and kind and I’m hoping the very best for you and your little boy and girl.

  • Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope you and the babies can hang in there a little longer.

    But (and I write this as someone who recently lost twins at 20 weeks) you really have good chances of bringing both of them home, having them both do well. Thinking many good thoughts for the three of you.

  • Amber says:

    Oh Lentil! It is so scary, isn’t it? I was admitted to the hospital at 32w,3d and delivered my twins at 33w,2d. It was for different reasons, but I thought I’d just offer that both babies are doing very very well. We did spend time in the NICU, but it was just because they needed to learn how to keep themselves warm and learn how to eat. I am holding out hope that you are still doing okay and that you will be able to keep those babies cooking a few weeks more.

  • Unprolific says:

    Premature delivery and facing a NICU stay is definitely scary. You have done a great job growing these babies and have done everything you can to give them the best start possible. Your blog has kept me hopeful for my own twins 🙂 This post even assured me that the leaky boobs I developed this morning are normal (even so early- 18 weeks!) I will be thinking of you and hoping for you each week!

  • petersentn says:

    I can’t imagine how scary this all must be, and of course the second-guessing that comes with it regardless of what everyone tells you. Know that you have been the perfect, responsible momma and done all you can to nurture and grown BOTH little ones. I do understand the second guessing. I have an occasional earl grey in the afternoons to keep me sane at work, or a doughnut (followed by a crazy large salad) and then feel guilty and wonder if I’m doing all I can do nourish this little one. Ultimately, though, they are incredibly efficient little parasites, and so as everyone has told you, this has nothing to do with how well you’ve been eating: anyone who reads your blog knows you are a health nut! 🙂 I’ll keep you in my thoughts, wishing good things all the way!

  • jebhow515 says:

    Thinking of you! Hope you are doing well!

  • Oh, shit, fuck, damn. I hate that you have to be scared and worried and sad. And you need to feel however you need to feel. But I am going to believe from a distance that baby boy can make it just a couple more weeks. He and baby girl will come out, if not perfectly healthy, then close. And the doctors and nurses and you and AE will be there to get them all the way to good out here in the world. Love and light being sent your way.

  • megsnyc says:

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I know it must be terrifying. I think it’s very natural for infertiles to worry that it’s something they did or because their body or womb “isn’t good enough,” etc. But that’s not the case. This can happen to anyone (and as a matter of fact, my very fertile best friend is going through the same thing right now). I’m sending positive vibes your way, hoping and praying that your babies are healthy and all will be well.

  • missymakes says:

    Just realized I left my comment as a reply to someone else. Oops! Anyway, I’ve been thinking about all of you lots. I hope everything is going okay.

  • Amber says:

    You’ve left us hanging! I hope you and the babies are okay. Been thinking about you!

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