Friday, October 21, 2011
A wonderful friend had this made for me and gave it to me this week. The artist's work is simply beautiful. You can check it out at http://www.redletterwords.com/ Thank you so much, Lisa, I absolutely adore it!
Yesterday I had an appointment with the high risk OB who gave the original diagnosis of anencephaly six weeks ago. I hadn’t seen him since then and wasn’t exactly sure what these specialist visits were going to include, but I knew there would be an ultrasound and probably some serious discussion and therefore would not be toddler friendly. A dear friend came to babysit my kids (we love you Erin!) and I made the 45 minute trek to his office feeling a bit nervous…and cautiously hopeful. While I wasn’t necessarily “expecting” some miraculous news, I wasn’t counting it out either. I’m still not, even after seeing Elizabeth’s ultrasound and once again receiving confirmation of her condition. I’m always praying for a miracle, if that’s how God would be most glorified.
The appointment actually went really well, despite the discouraging news. The doctor was professional, but more laid back this time (probably because he didn’t have to deliver life-altering news). He took his time with the ultrasound, pointing out everything he was seeing. One of the first things he told me was that Elizabeth is breech. Once I could see it on the ultrasound, her positioning made perfect sense to me! She moves constantly and her kicks have always seemed so low. She had her head burrowed up in the right side of my rib cage (which I can also totally feel) and her little hands up by her face. She is nearly two pounds. I specifically asked about my amniotic fluid level, as I had researched that women carrying babies with anencephaly can sometimes have an excess (causing discomfort and in some cases early labor) because the baby often does not have the capability to swallow. He showed me her full little bladder and said that she is, indeed, swallowing. My levels were in the average range, though on the higher side. No cause for concern, a blessing. We looked at her heart, her kidneys, her tiny hands and her not-so-tiny feet—she definitely has my feet! I asked for some print outs.
After the ultrasound we went into his office to talk some more. He was concerned with my emotional well-being and wanted to make sure that I have support in place. We discussed the fact that Elizabeth is breech and he explained that this is more common with babies who have anencephaly. While he did agree that she has plenty of time to flip into the head down position, he didn’t seem extremely hopeful that this would happen. He asked about my birth plan. I told him that Onan and I want to do whatever we can to ensure the most time possible with Elizabeth. That while I prefer to avoid a c-section, if having one means an easier delivery for her then I will gladly do it. He was quick to assure me that delivering her breech poses no greater risk to me or Elizabeth in our case. He encouraged me to wait for spontaneous labor and warned that I would most likely go past my due date, especially since all three of my other children have been late. He said that babies with anencephaly who survive the pregnancy usually survive the delivery.
It was a heavy discussion and somewhat draining appointment, but I was so impressed with the doctor’s obvious concern and care. He was unhurried, informative and supportive, for which I am hugely grateful. I will see him again at 33 weeks.
Thank you all for the continued prayers and encouragement. I literally just weep over the comments, praising God for kindred friends who want to share in my burdens. It means so much more than you know!
Posted by Leah at 8:05 PM