Thursday, June 2, 2011

Soldier On

26 weeks + 5 days, 10 weeks post rupture, day 23 at my parent's place.

So I've been ruptured 2 days longer than I lasted with Aidan. Quite a milestone. At our OB appointment today Dr. Eeyore said that when I ruptured 10 weeks ago he never would have predicted that I would last this long. My response was that "well, if I'd been born a few decades earlier I wouldn't be here either based on my heart condition". You just never know.

Since I'm now well past the point of viability, have had steroids, and am still pregnant, Dr. Eeyore seemed a little more positive today. He was happy to see that blood flow through the cord is normal, fluid level is low at 5.3, but at least I don't have anhydramnious (no fluid). Acorn continues to grow and is in the 40th percentile for gestational age, weighing about 834 grams according to the formula they use to calculate weight. My cervix is long and closed and measures at 2.4cm. Baby is still breech so I'm probably looking at a C-section whenever we deliver. Hopefully my uterus will be big enough whenever that happens that I can have a transverse incision rather than a vertical one. If you have a vertical incision in your uterus they will never let you have a VBAC. You will forever need C-sections for all future children (a concern if we ever need/want to do this again). At this point I'm not opposed to a C-section, but it IS major surgery after 10 (or 12, or 14?) weeks of bed rest, on a high risk cardiac patient and I fear I'm looking at a rough recovery.

While I'm content with the outcome of our appointment today, one thing that they keep finding bothers me. Acorn's head is kind of a funny shape. It's called dolichocephaly. Basically when you look at the baby's head from the top it isn't round. It's oval shaped. Quite oval shaped. The diameter across is measuring at 21 weeks, but the overall circumference is within the normal range. So the head is long and narrow. This is likely due to prolonged low fluid levels.

The doctors don't seem terribly concerned about it and have said that it can go back to normal...but I'm afraid Acorn will look funny when he or she is born. I mean it's not a huge deal in the long term if it can be fixed or will grow back to normal...but what if there is no long term? What if we only have a short time with Acorn? It gave me such pleasure that even though Aidan was small and very quickly dead, at least he was cute in a way that other people could appreciate. What if Acorn is odd looking and the only photos we have to show people don't show a 'normal' looking baby? It's a small worry compared to our other massive worries (lungs!!! cord compression!!! infection!!! prematurity!!! C-section!!!), but anything else that is 'abnormal' at this point always seems like too much to handle.

And so we soldier on.

Note: Yes, dolichocephaly is the shape that normally preemies develop after laying on the sides of their heads for weeks/months. I remember this shape well from my years in the NICU. However, I don't remember any of the babies coming INTO the NICU with that narrow shaped head. They all started out with round heads and then over time morphed into dolichocephalic baby heads. I'm just hoping it's not SO severe or noticeable that it makes Acorn look funny.


  1. I'm so glad that so many things are looking good. I hope Acorn's head goes to normal size and that it is just because of the fluid. I hate that you can't catch more of a break.

    I was thinking of you today and wondering what was happening.

  2. so glad you've got a little good news and that your dr was not quite such a downer today. so glad you've made such progress.

  3. YAY for an update! I was just thinking about you.

    I am so happy that Dr. Eeyore had a little spring in his step for you today.

    I hope I don't irritate you too much with all my positivity and sunshine right now but the sun IS shinning and the birds ARE singing (literally outside my window) and April 29 (5 short weeks ago) you were asking people where to buy micro preemie clothes to (possibly) bury Acorn in. Today??? Not so much!!

    I am holding out hope Emily...I don't know why...I just am.

    Feel free to delete this if it's too much for you :)

  4. I have seen lots of preemies and they often DO have long narrow elongated head shapes. It's not unusual.It doesn't mean that anything is wrong. I am rooting for you!

  5. I'm glad the doctor is finally sounding more positive. I'm remembering what you've written about hope and love, and I really admire how strong your love is, for Acorn, for Aidan.

    My fingers are still crossed for you, and I'm sending love.

  6. Since I had the fetal surgery with Liam I will always have to have c-sections and it freaks me out. I knew that was how it was going to be before surgery but I also expected to have a living child in the end.
    Glad to hear you got some positive feedback from the doctor today and that acorn is doing well. Hopefully the head will go back to normal also.
    Thinking of you always:)

  7. I also always have to have c-sections due to the transabdominal cerclage. I don't have a heart condition to worry about, but it did freak me out a bit. However, as others said...I'll take it over having any more babies slip out!

    I am SO glad the doctor is starting to express some positivity - knock on wood.

    Honestly, even "weird" looking babies are cute to me, which is somewhat new since my loss. I have a feeling that no matter what people will think Acorn is adorable.

    And SERIOUSLY YAY for having fluid!! That's such a continued good sign.

    Go lung development, go!

  8. There is hope in your voice today, even if you don't see it. And this makes me happy.
    We're all here for you. Cheering you and Acorn on all the way.
    Keep holding on, Mama. I think you're amazing. I'm only a little bit ahead of you with my pregnancy, and because of all I've read here in the past few months, I am appreciating this far more than I would have - not that I'm someone to take this special blessing for granted anyway.

  9. The "always have to have Csections" applies to me as well due to the transabdominal cerclage. So what. You do what you need to do and deal with the consequences. I agree that a transverse incision is desirable, but take it one day at a time, if vertical need be, then worry about the lack of vbac options. For now, your uterus is not cut and you don't have to decide anything. Plus Acorn might turn.

  10. Overall it sounds positive!!!

    Hang in there, everyone will love Acorn no matter what!!!!

  11. Still here and reading and rootin-tootin you and Acorn on! So glad that Eeyore's slight optimism translates into tangible optimism and even if you aren't feeling it yet, I think the rest of us are.

    I do think of you and Acorn often. It's odd since I'm so connected to your story and it's only via the internet. Thank you again for your courage in being so open and sharing.

    I agree with other posters. Take one worry at a time. It always sucks that normal pregnancy concerns are stripped away from us babyloss moms. I can't tell you how jealous I am of friends who whimper about their birth plans going awry at the last minute. My birth plan=live, healthy baby. But I agree with you in that I wouldn't want a vertical incision for myself.

  12. Glad to read that Dr E sounded more positive today. It's great news that you've still got fluid and that Acorn is growing. 834 grams is larger than my J was at birth. I know that doesn't really mean anything but it makes me feel hopeful for your little one.

    I hope that you can avoid a vertical incision if you have a C section and, preferably, little Acorn will change position and you can avoid a C section of any description.

    Is dolicocephaly the same thing as what my doctor fondly calls 'preemie head'? Or something different?

    I can sympathise, sometimes comparatively 'minor' issues, such as looking cute, are just the final straw. That last small worry is just too much? I'm sure Acorn will take after his or her big brother, Aidan, and be very cute indeed. x