I am currently 22 weeks pregnant with my 5th baby (I have had 3 very healthy babies, and I also have my "heart" baby aka my step-son). Pregnancy has never been my favorite thing. I tend to be very fatigued early on, followed by horrendous heartburn later in the pregnancy. But overall, there's never been any major issues with me or the babies, thankfully.
I had a regular check-up scheduled for Tuesday. I got a call on Monday saying it was rescheduled for Friday morning. Then on Thursday, I got a call again, saying it was going to have to be a few hours later with a different doctor. I found this a bit annoying, but oh well, right? These things happen.
The nurse called me back and did the usual weight and blood pressure check. My blood pressure reading was very low. The nurse was quite concerned about it, which got me concerned. She did another reading and it was higher but still on the low side. Already, this appointment was turning from routine to a little scary. It's never good when the medical professionals show obvious concern, is it?
I was taken to the room to wait for the doctor. Because it was almost lunch time, she was running behind, so I waited for quite awhile. She finally came in, apologizing for making me wait so long. Since she is not my regular doctor, she briefly went over my history, asked a few questions related to the low blood pressure, and then let me know that as long as I pay attention to my body (checking for dizziness, being careful in the shower, etc), it should be fine, and that it should start going back up towards normal from here out. I felt a good deal of relief at that point.
She had me lie down so she could listen to the baby's heartbeat. Well, the little stinker kept moving away from her after she'd get a very brief reading. After several attempts, it was still enough for her to hear for more than a second. I listened carefully too, because hearing that galloping sound is one of my favorite parts of the pregnancy. But as I listened, I immediately knew something was wrong. The rhythm was wrong. The doctor looked concerned as well, and she said "You hear that too, don't you?" I nodded, fear mounting. She kept listening, and then her previously light-hearted attitude grew serious.
"I'm going to refer you to Maternal-Fetal Medicine to meet with one of the high-risk doctors."
With those words, my heart sank.
In the blink of an eye, my blind assumption that this pregnancy would go just as easily as all the others was gone. I immediately started asking about the structure of the baby's heart...did it look okay on the anatomy scan from a couple weeks ago? Were there any obvious defects? How come we hadn't heard this before on previous checks?
She did her best to assure me that the baby's heart structures all looked normal, and that many babies with arrhythmias in the womb outgrow them before birth. She also specifically asked me not to Google it! But she was adamant that I needed to see the high-risk doctors sooner than later.
And with that, the appointment was over.
I know that the news I received yesterday is small potatoes compared to what many women are told about their babies. I know it could be much, much worse.
But the fear I felt in those few moments as I was hearing, for the first time in all my pregnancies, that there is something not right with my baby, was overwhelming.
In the hour after the appointment, my mind was running wild with thoughts about what the possible outcomes could be, what I might have done to prevent this. I kept taking deep breaths to keep myself calm as I called my husband to tell him what had happened.
After my initial panic subsided, I was washed over with a feeling of calm. I kept thinking that God has this baby in His hands. He formed it and He knows every hair on its head. Whatever the outcome, His plan is perfect and I am resting in that. I placed my hands on my belly and prayed over the baby. And I decided to give my fear and worries to God. Is this an easy thing to do? Of course not. But I refuse to allow fear and uncertainty consume me as we wait for further information.
The baby seemed to agree with my decision to let go of my fear, because he or she spent the rest of the afternoon kicking and rolling around in my belly. Feeling it move so much has been greatly reassuring! I am resolved to take this day by day and focus on the positive.
So that is all I have to say for now...I will update when we know more. I would greatly appreciate it if you would keep my baby in your prayers. Thank you!