I woke up today feeling meh. I just felt down; which I know is a reasonable thing to feel. When we got the diagnosis of olighydramnios, I used to cry every day. Going back to work was a good distraction so I’d have some days I wouldn’t cry. Lately I go through most days coasting more or less- I have more days without tears than days with tears. Work plays a big part because it’s forced me to pretend and numb myself up, which I think carries over to life outside of work. But I still have my down days.
I still was able to get out of bed, pull myself together and head to 6:30am bootcamp. I know myself and I need exercise. It helps distract and clears my mind. I also feel like a guilty blob when I don’t. So getting there wasn’t hard. Working out wasn’t hard (or actually it was very hard physically, but mentally no problem). And then I rushed off for a quick shower at my cousin’s before heading to work. That’s when the meh feelings started to catch up. I didn’t want to go to work. I didn’t want to pretend. I didn’t want the stress that comes with working. So I stopped and got me a donut. Boston Cream. I feel like I get more bang for my buck- the donut plus the ooey gooey goodness inside. Plus there’s got to be some sort of dairy in that cream, which means I get calcium (if my midwife is reading, maybe she’ll agree?). When I’m feeling down, I eat my feelings. I’m definitely not one of those people who lose their appetite (or weight) when they are depressed. I personally would prefer the taste of chocolate in my mouth all the time, when I’m down. It helps.
So on days where I’m feeling down, I eat a lot more chocolate, which often includes a donut. Hence the new name- donut day. I need a name for them because in general I am down anytime I think about my situation. But some days- donut days- are the worse days.
I had an ultrasound today. My midwife and I debated about going- we both knew that it wouldn’t necessarily tell me much new, wouldn’t change anything really. It’s the midwife model to think about each intervention (like an ultrasound) and wonder how would this change my management. Today’s ultrasound really wouldn’t, I don’t think. But I shoved the midwife in me aside and went anyways. Part of me just wanted a break from work. Part of me wanted to see my baby again. Part of me might just thinks maybe they’ll see more fluid. Maybe they’ll tell me some good news. Plus the doctor I was scheduled with, made me realize last time I saw him that I needed a more concrete plan. So I was curious about his thoughts at this point.
Today we saw the doc with lots of experience- the one who gave us a little hope earlier saying the lungs don’t “look hypoplastic.” Fluid today was undetectable. Every other week we seem to find a little pocket so I get the label of oligohydramnios. On weeks like this I have the label of anhydramnios. Two different labels, but in my case no real difference. Oligohydramnios is a spectrum and has different cutoffs depending on gestational age. My oligohydramnios is considered severe and persistent. Mild or borderline ologihydramnios would have different consequences.
So today I have anhydramnios. This to me is neither good news nor bad news- it’s all the same. But they did see a small bladder! Apparently they saw one last week, but I didn’t know that. I almost cried tears of happiness. A small bladder means some urine is going through the kidneys. It just raises my hopes that there might be some kidney function. Nothing spectacular, but some cells must be working in there. This is good news. I asked the doctor his thoughts on the chest cavity. When lungs “look hypoplastic” the heart just fills the rib cage. In a normal chest cavity, the heart fills about 1/3 of the chest cavity. He measured our baby’s heart vs chest and it fills about ½ the chest. This is no surprise- it’s not a diagnosis of pulmonary hypoplasia, but it certainly raises suspicion for it. This is not new news. So in theory it’s neither good nor bad- we have been anticipating some degree of it since the fluid was low.
I left the ultrasound a little disappointed. I guess there’s some good news regarding the bladder. But what’s the use of kidneys if the lungs don’t work? I suppose this will help me come to terms even more with the thought of my baby on a ventilator- whether it works or not. But the disappointment made me realize that I actually do have a little bit of hope. I often feel like I don’t- I feel like I write as if I don’t. But instinctively I must have some hope somewhere in me in order to even experience disappointment.
I go to the hospital in a week. It’s getting more real. Earlier the idea of getting to 34 weeks was exciting. And I’m a little excited to relinquish the burden- someone else will be looking after the baby and making the decisions. I don’t have to worry so much about fetal movement because the monitor will be telling us what’s happening. But as 34 weeks approaches, I’m beginning to realize that there is an end to this. This baby will be born. I will no longer be pregnant. There is no more hope or fear- just reality. The baby will breathe or not breathe. The baby kidneys will work or not work. The unknown may be tortuous, but there is some comfort in it as well. The unknown can sometimes be better than a known sadness. So for now I am going to try to figure out how to “enjoy” this time of uncertainty.