An IUGR baby: our story so far

IUGR

IntraUtarine Growth Restriction.

A baby that is not growing as it should be.

Not just small.

Not just on the last percentile.

Not just the bottom of the average, as some babies must be.

A baby that is not thriving where it should be.

A baby that is deemed to be better out than in.

A baby at risk.

A high risk pregnancy.

An IUGR baby~ ghostwritermummy.co.uk

When I was born, I was SGA. Small for Gestational Age. The doctors sent my mum for an x-ray as they were convinced she had her dates all wrong. I was born one week later, smaller than I should have been. My eldest was SGA. My third baby was SGA. These facts put me at risk for another SGA baby, or for an IUGR baby. For the record, SGA does not mean IUGR, but IUGR babies are all SGA. Still with me?

At my booking in scan, my consultant booked three growth scans for us and gave us a personalised growth chart. No more plotting my baby on the national average. This baby was to be measured according to what is normal for me. This was reassuring, but we were convinced that the growth scans were unnecessary. We’d had them with all three previously, one for each, and were told each time that baby was well. On the smaller side, but healthy and thriving and gaining weight well. We decided that we’d attend the first growth scan, but we’d probably request for the others to be cancelled. The biggest thing was that we wanted a VBAC. So we wanted to do what the doctors seemed to think was important. But if, as we were sure would happen, the doctors agreed that baby was growing well, we felt subsequent growth scans were pretty pointless.

So the first growth scan arrived at just over 29 weeks and from that point onwards everything changed.

IUGR had been mentioned in previous pregnancies, but always dismissed. This time though, we were told that baby might not be ok after all. There was no question that follow up scans would be necessary. Four weekly appointments were changed to two weekly, with a view to reaching 34 weeks gestation. Considering our first two were both born post 40 weeks, the idea of an early baby was a huge shock to us. We’d honestly assumed we’d be told all was ok, that baby was small but perfectly fine. Not so.

The second growth scan was devastating in many ways. It was found that baby was still small, and that blood flow from the cord was reduced. Baby was not receiving enough oxygen. Baby was starving inside of me. Not thriving. Not just small. Not just at the bottom of the percentiles. Not just SGA.

Appointments were amended again, this time to weekly and we were sent home with even more questions than before. We’re still unsure what it all means, and the only thing that is super clear now is that there will be no VBAC. There may be an early baby. There may be special care. There may be health issues later in life. There are so many may bes. There are no certainties.

During all of this, the one thing that has been drilled into me is to monitor baby’s movements closely.

iugr baby_ monitoring_ movements~ ghostwritermummy.co.uk

I have never ever felt concern over this before. Three previous pregnancies and I had always felt confident that baby was well and kicking as it should be. This pregnancy has always been different though, even before we knew anything was wrong. Movements were late; later than previous pregnancies. Movements were scarce for a long time. We put this down to the position of the placenta, and we’re still told that the fact that it’s anterior could be the reason why movements are still not as noticeable as they are supposed to be. Following the second growth scan, I was put onto the monitor and everything seemed fine.

The next scan did not measure growth. Instead the fluid around baby and the flow from the cord was scrutinised, and all found to be within normal parameters. Hooray! Good news, at last. Although the doctors were careful to advise me that weekly scans were still necessary, and that baby was still small. It was also made clear that the results from the scan were normal today and may not be the same next time. Again, I was put on to the monitor to check baby’s movements and although they were definitely reduced from the last time, they were still sufficient enough for me to be allowed home. No decelerations and totally normal readings all round.

And so here we are. Days away from another scan, where I will be 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Potentially days away from delivery. The magical 34 week mark. And so many questions.

Is baby really IUGR? Or just SGA? Is 34 weeks really a suitable gestation for delivery? With each week that passes now, the risk of stillbirth increases, and yet there are risks associated with premature birth if they take baby too early. It is still hard for doctors to accurately diagnose and in many cases this can only be done once baby is here. If the birth day is at 34 weeks and baby is not IUGR, the chances of a fast recovery and minimal issues are great. If baby is IUGR, more help will be necessary. So many ifs!

We wait, and yet the waiting is excruciating. People keep saying that the longer they leave it, the more weeks that baby stays in, is better. But there will come a point where that is no longer true. There will come a point where baby is not moving as it should and they will decide to deliver. And I am so scared that they won’t make that decision at the right time.


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67 Comments

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 24, 2014 / 6:54 am

      Thank you. It means a lot to have your support x x x

  1. BakedPotato Mummy
    September 23, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    I wish I could wrap you in a big hug lovely lady. It must be so frightening and confusing having so many unanswered questions and fears. I’m thinking of you all. Fingers crossed for the next growth scan. Wish there was more I could do xxx
    BakedPotato Mummy recently posted..Hunt for Billy’s BeetleMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 24, 2014 / 6:53 am

      I do have a lot of unanswered questions! But I think that they will remain that way til baby is here. Thank you for your lovely words x x x

  2. September 23, 2014 / 9:54 pm

    It is so difficult, because the doctors can’t predict the future any more than you can. At the end of the day, we have to trust that they are looking out for us and our babies to the best of their abilities. My thoughts are with you, as I know how tough it all is. Dan was thought to be IUGR for a while, and I had to have an emergency induction because of so many problems, but he was born healthy and well, though on the small side. Every situation is different, of course, and I am keeping my fingers crossed for you that all will turn out well.
    Katie @ AMotherThing recently posted..And So It Continues…My Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 24, 2014 / 6:53 am

      Thanks lovely, of all people right now I know that you understand pretty much all of what I’m feeling right now! The doctors are looking out for us, I’m certain of it. I just wish I KNEW with some certainty what is going to happen! x x x

  3. Jodi
    September 23, 2014 / 10:10 pm

    My middle son, who is now a very healthy 8 year old, was an IUGR baby. At 37 weeks he was induced as his chances were better out than in. His birth was very traumatic and stressful for him. He had to be resuscitated and lucky spent only 1 week in NICU. This is what can happen and probably your worst nightmare but I am telling you this so you know it will be alright. The doctors treating you both know what to expect and will have a plan in place for every eventuality. Hugs for you I know how stressful this time waiting for answers is.

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 24, 2014 / 6:51 am

      Thank you for sharing. I am happy that they know what they’re doing, I only wish I had someone who could explain it all a little better if you see what I mean. The doctors I’m seeing seem to speak in code and don’t respond well to being asked questions at all. I want someone to talk to that can really explain a few things to me. I know they don’t know much til baby is here so I am prepared to wait. Thanks for your lovely comments and well wishes x x x

  4. Lisa H
    September 23, 2014 / 10:33 pm

    I am waiting with you and thinking of you ever day xxx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 24, 2014 / 6:46 am

      Thanks lovely, it means a lot. Miss you loads x xx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 24, 2014 / 6:45 am

      Thank you. The hospital has not mentioned any care after birth at all, I may well have a list of questions for you! x x

  5. September 24, 2014 / 1:09 am

    Sending you some positive thoughts and thinking of you and your family. Stay strong!

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 24, 2014 / 6:45 am

      Thank you so much x x x

  6. Kelly
    September 24, 2014 / 5:13 am

    Oh I feel for you, I was recently in your position.
    I was flown 4 hours away from home though to another hospital which was more suited for my situation and put on bed rest at 28 weeks.
    Everyday I woke up wondering if today was going to be the day the delivered her, long story short we made it to 1 day off 34 weeks which was our goal, after being told so many things could be wrong with our baby but we won’t know till she was born, she was born screaming, healthy and needed no assistance with her breathing!!
    She is prefect in every way still slowly putting on weight but hey she’s happy so I’m happy.
    Good luck with everything

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 24, 2014 / 6:45 am

      Oh my goodness, you must have been worried sick! That’s the most frustrating thing- that they don’t really know anything for sure until baby is born. But that isn’t their fault, its just the way it is. I now wonder whether my last born was IUGR too as she had real trouble maintaining her temperature at birth and was very small at term. Who knows? Thank you so much for your comment. If this baby does arrive next week, I hope the outcome is as positive as yours. Enjoy your baby girl x x x x

  7. September 24, 2014 / 6:53 am

    Hoping that everything continues as well as it can be for both of you hun xx sending good vibes for your next scan x
    Chrissy recently posted..A Week for Swimming FirstsMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:33 pm

      Thank you lovely x x x x

  8. Alison Turnnidge
    September 24, 2014 / 9:11 am

    I’ve been thinking about you lots these past couple of days. My eldest was born at 33wks due to preeclampsia, IUGR, dodgy placenta, very low fluid and had stopped growing at 27wks due to all the issue, which nobody was expecting. I was terrified that she hadn’t made it but was relieved to see her three days later in her incubator and managed to have our first cuddle. She is now a stroppy but healthy 13yr old.
    I know that the doctors will do what is best for you both as they did with me when I had my first and second.
    Wishing you all the best xxx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:30 pm

      Thank you so much. I really am finding lots of comfort in messages from parents of IUGR babies that are healthy and well. I am hoping that we make it too x x x

  9. MummyandMonkeys
    September 24, 2014 / 10:47 am

    Wow, what a stressful pregnancy for you. I really hope this weeks scan is good news! Xx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:29 pm

      Thank you x x x

  10. September 24, 2014 / 11:24 am

    It is impossible for you not to worry and fret, and if you are like me then you probably spend your whole time searching for information online – and still you are left with more questions than answers. Although it is difficult, I would advise you try to meditate, try to relax (I hate it when people tell me this) but try to think positive thoughts, as hippy as it sounds it can help your mind and body to relax and hopefully allow your body to nourish your baby. Despite your doubts you must trust the doctors, as there is no other alternative. Out or in your baby will get the best care possible – trust yourself, be strong xxx
    Fiona recently posted..Searching for the perfect honeymoonMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:28 pm

      Yes, online research is my current past time I think! Its hard not to when the hospital has told us so little, but I know its not good. I DO need to try and relax a little as I am not sleeping much at all and having fairly awful dreams about it all too. Thank you, I am going to take you up on this advice x x x

  11. September 24, 2014 / 2:33 pm

    Ah honey it must be so scary. All I can say is that I so hope all goes well for you and baby arrives safely. Good luck with the next scan and I guess take each day as it comes lovely! Xx
    Caroline (BecomingaSAHM) recently posted..Sing, Monkey, Sing! 28 monthsMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:27 pm

      Thanks lovely x xx

  12. September 24, 2014 / 2:40 pm

    Must be so difficult not knowing the answers to so many questions and what ifs. The hospital staff I am sure will do their best for your baby whether baby is delivered next week or a few weeks down the line. One advantage I guess is that in some way your are mentally prepared for an early birth rather it coming as a shock like for some people. Best wishes xx
    Danielle recently posted..Our wedding: The CeremonyMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:25 pm

      Yes, being able to prepare somewhat is definitely a silver lining in it all. I just want to know one way or another now! x x x

  13. Emma Lander
    September 24, 2014 / 7:10 pm

    Oh it’s all so worrying. All of it. I met someone this week who didn’t find out she was pregnant until she was 20 weeks and I felt quite envious. A 20 week pregnancy-the luxury.
    I am thinking of you and I am sure everything will be ok. Big hugs xx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:24 pm

      My cousin was unaware she was pregnant for 7 months! And her baby was breech so she had a planned section a month and a half later. So no pregnancy symptoms, no worrying and not even one contraction either! Hard to believe isn’t it? And you’re right, the worrying is the worst part x x x

  14. September 24, 2014 / 7:55 pm

    Sending so many prayers and best wishes to you and your beautiful baby. I hope everything goes smoothly for you. I can imagine it’s hard with all the what ifs. I hope you have found an outlet for expressing them in your blog posts. We are all reading along and supporting and wishing for you my lovely. Big hugs I wish I could say or do more for you. not long and you will have more answers. Stay positive. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted..Share With Me ~ wk 34My Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:22 pm

      Thank you so much lovely. x x x

  15. September 24, 2014 / 9:18 pm

    What a terrifying time! I’ve been following your pregnancy on your blog and I have everything crossed that the right decision is made at the right time. Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers your way xxx
    Not A Frumpy Mum recently posted..Wicked Wednesday – Broken BiscuitsMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:20 pm

      Thank you so much x x x

  16. Kate
    September 24, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    My daughter was shown to have IUGR at 20 weeks so I totally understand what you are going through. We also had endless appointments – twice a week at the end. It was terrifying but I would like you to know that she made it, we made it and our little fighter is now a thriving 20 month old. When she came into the world induced at 37 weeks weighing 3lb 14oz the shock was huge…but wow what a journey. She is still tiny for her age but her development is absolutely fine. All the very best to you, try not to worry and focus on the positive stories like ours xx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:16 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It really does help to read so many stories of precious IUGR babies who made it. Thank you x x x x

      • Milly
        July 18, 2016 / 3:44 am

        For the love of God, keep writing these artlsiec.

  17. September 25, 2014 / 6:27 am

    Thinking of you as always honey. It makes my stomach flip knowing how you’re feeling. Seeing all the medical terms – in China we didn’t have any of that. Just that she wasn’t growing. At 34 weeks we met her and she was a a fighter. And at 5 years old she still is! Ask ALL the questions you need to and don’t leave until you have answers. Sending you hugs and strength for the next few weeks x x
    Michelle Reeves (bodfortea) recently posted..China in a mouthful: easy special fried riceMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:09 pm

      I’m not sure whether the medical terms make it easier or not to be honest. With my other three, I was always told they were small, and Bella in particular was very small too and I wonder now whether she was IUGR too. Obviously, she was well and healthy so there is every chance this one is too. Its just the not knowing that is so hard! It does help to know there are others like you that understand though, so thank you for your kind words xxx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 25, 2014 / 12:07 pm

      Thanks Pippa. Hopefully baby will soon be here and well as we can start socialising again! xx x

  18. September 25, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    I really feel for you but can not offer more than words of hope and support. My two previous babies were small 5lb 14 and 6lb 7, not really tiny but little, I am now 17 weeks pregnant with number 3 and have all sorts of appointment scheduled for growth checks etc so have a small idea of what you are going through however my babies have not been growth restricted just little. I really hope it all works out for you and your baby will be healthy whenever the time comes, I know frields who have had babies at 28, 33 and 34 weeks, the are all now happy healthy children without ongoing problems. I send you hugs, best wishes and good luck for the future x #sharewithme
    Loving life with little ones recently posted..I’m going to paint a pretty pictureMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 26, 2014 / 6:43 am

      Thank you for your kind words. I am hoping this baby is just small too x x x

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 26, 2014 / 6:44 am

      Thanks lovely x x

  19. September 26, 2014 / 10:03 am

    The longest few weeks of your life – with the happiest outcome. All this stress and worry will be worth it when that little baby is in your arms.
    The lady in the bed opposite me had her baby delivered early after she had stopped growing & a good friend of mine the same. Your body has had to work extra hard to cope with the HG. x
    Colette B recently posted..My 1st Years Polka Hooded Baby Robe – ReviewMy Profile

  20. September 26, 2014 / 10:15 am

    I can’t imagine what you are going through but one thing I have learnt from pregnant scans is that out of 3 people who were measuring small and had to go for extra scans etc their babies all turned out perfect and beautiful – and I’m sure yours will too

    xXx

    #sharefriday
    Oh So Gawjess recently posted..Push PresentsMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 27, 2014 / 8:21 am

      Thanks lovely x x x

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 27, 2014 / 8:20 am

      Thank you x x x

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 27, 2014 / 8:17 am

      Thank you so much x x x

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 27, 2014 / 8:17 am

      Thank you! x x

  21. September 26, 2014 / 9:52 pm

    Thankfully I had read your scan tweets before this. Tough times for you all, glad it’s now going well.

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 27, 2014 / 8:16 am

      Thank you! x xx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 27, 2014 / 8:15 am

      Thank you so much, they are MUCH appreciated x x x

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 30, 2014 / 8:16 pm

      Oh thank you so much x x x

  22. September 30, 2014 / 8:09 pm

    Thinking, praying and sending all my love. All you can do is follow their advice and go with what they recommend.

    I read a book a long time ago with a quote that has always stuck with me, it was about making decisions to do with health care and went like this “”Make the best decision you can with the information you have at that time.” “‘At that time’ is the critical part. You’ll see what I mean. You can drive yourself crazy saying, “If only we had known this, if only we had known that.’ The point is, you didn’t know, so just keep telling yourselves, ‘We did the best we could with what we knew. We did the best we could with what we knew.'”

    Annwen xx
    Annwen recently posted..Making A Simple Car CostumeMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 30, 2014 / 8:15 pm

      That’s really great advice, thank you. I think we’re doing all that we can right now x x x

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      October 1, 2014 / 1:08 pm

      Thanks lovely x x

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