I went to the Dr on Monday. Twice. Once for a regular appointment to check Bean, the next for monitoring, to check Bean.
I was anxious.
I had been quiet all weekend.
I had nothing to say really.
Just a very somber feeling inside, one that I couldn't explain.
Hubby kept asking me what I was thinking, telling me to talk about it.
Nothing came out.
There weren't any words...I just felt....quiet.
So I went to the Dr. Still feeling somber, but with a couple questions.
First question I planned to ask was about the monitoring and the possibilities: what were we looking for, would we find it, have I don't something or can I do something, is it really something at all or are we just milking the insurance?
My second question was if I could wait as long as possible before being induced. I am 11 days from my due date and not feeling like she's coming today or tomorrow. You know? I'm having contractions, just not often enough and they're still quite bearable. I was induced with Daughter and Son, and Baby came on his own. It was a much better experience with Baby and I'd prefer to try to let Jelly Bean make her appearance whenever she's ready also.
So those were my questions. I asked the first one and I could see my Doctor squirm just a bit. She's a very honest doctor and always prefers to err on the side of caution. She doesn't like to tell moms too many "possibilities" that could just stress them out and she absolutely will not do ANYTHING that puts the mother's comfort over the baby's safety. Nada. So I trust her completely and appreciate her methods. I've mentioned before how much I seriously ADORE my OB. Well, as I watched her squirm and try to dance around my question, not giving me any "possibilities" that they are concerned about, I pushed the issue. Usually I don't, but I really did this time. "What EXACTLY" are you concerned about to keep me being monitored so often?"
She told me that with high fluid levels, she would normally be concerned about things like down syndrome, intestinal issues or even trisomy 18, but since it's much later in my pregnancy and we've done all that testing, she's more concerned about other complications. She said her primary concern right now is stillbirth.
The whole room froze at that moment. At first I reacted like "Ohhh...okay." As if I was saying, ok, so no big deal. Then I processed the actual word and panicked a little.
"What? How could high fluid levels cause stillbirth?!"
She explained that they don't know too much about either stillbirth (in many cases) or polyhydramnios, and that it is not that the fluid causes stillbirth, but rather it just tends to just be one of those things that occurs often enough that they have to look at it. In enough situations to be concerned about, mothers with polyhydramnios deliver stillborn babies.
She explained that she doesn't feel the urge to deliver the baby right now as she has still been regularly active and had a strong heart rate at every visit and monitoring. So she told me to be very aware of her movements and if I feel like she's slowing down to get ourselves to the hospital. She also said if there are no big changes by next week she will schedule delivery shortly after, so I wouldn't be going much over my due date, if at all.
I didn't ask any more questions.
I was kinda whirling.
I left the office and drove home.
And the rest of the day it was all I could think about. The thoughts just kept flooding in.
I knew it was just a precaution. There are no other indicators that anything is wrong at all, and chances are that everything will be fine and I will breathe such a big sigh when she's born.
But when your doctor says the word stillborn to you at 38 weeks, there are just things you cannot help but think about.
In no particular order, these were some of my thoughts (some are completely irrational)
How would I get through that?
How would I explain that to Daughter and Son? Daughter would be devastated and mad at God, I think.
Why would God want her already?
I'll never say her name to her.
I love her name.
I wouldn't want to have another baby.
At one point I felt an urge to stop and thank God for the time that I've had with her already.
Then I felt incredibly sad that I am the only one that has been able to enjoy her so far.
She'd still wear the dress. (She's going to wear the dress that Daughter and I both wore home from the hospital as newborns)
We'd have a funeral.
Would anyone come? No one else knew her.
How would we pay for a funeral?
How would I keep going, taking Daughter to school, changing Baby's diapers, making Son sandwiches?
What would I do with her things? I couldn't get rid of them yet, but I should give them to someone who needs them.
How would Hubby deal? Would he cry? He doesn't cry.
Would I be scarred...obviously, but would I lose it forever. As in would my kids and husband lose a part of me they still need?
Oh....all the work we put into her room.
I think I'd sleep in her room.
I wouldn't want to leave the hospital.
All those hours spent crocheting tiny hats and bows, legwarmers and headbands...she'll never know how much I sat and thought about her and prayed for her.
I'd throw up.
It would be so hard to be around another baby.
I'd hang her picture with my kids'.
I'd need help.
I couldn't deliver her...how could I go through that pain, knowing there would be no cries or coos on the other side? They'd have to take her out. I couldn't push.
But it's something I just couldn't help.
Tears stung the back of my lids all day, my hands very seldom moved from my stretched and round tummy. I smiled weakly at people and had a hard time listening to my neighbor's griping about her deployed husband. My heart was breaking all day and my brain was on overdrive, going back and forth between telling myself to stop being so ridiculous and thinking of the what-ifs.
I cannot imagine the pain that families go through when they do actually have to go through having a baby die in utero so close to delivery. I was absolutely devastated when I miscarried a few years ago, but this would just be too much to bear. My heart bleeds for those families, because although I have not experienced this tragedy, just having to think about it at this point has been overwhelming.
I know that God has us in His hands. I know He has a plan, He's in control. I also know that none of that "knowledge" would take the grief and pain away if my bean never smiled at me, never gripped her sister's red hair or painted her big brother's nails...if she never danced on her daddy's feet. I know that Jesus would hold her, dance with her and love her...I know we'd be with her again in heaven, but living the days here, constantly wondering and aching for her life would be absolutely terrifying.
I also know that the chances of this are slim and I shouldn't even be thinking about it, but I couldn't help it and wanted to just write about my feelings and thoughts. Because this is real and this is what happened. And you know, just the little sliver that I've felt this week has filled my heart with so much more compassion for families that go through this. Before this week, I couldn't imagine. This week I did imagine. And it was horrible.
So every day I am thanking Jesus for the time I've had with Bean and just continuing to ask selfishly that our time with her not end too soon. ;)