An IUGR baby: the agony of the unexplained

So the last scan was good news. Really good news. And I wanted the high from that news to last a little longer. Is it hormones, or something else? They say a mother’s intuition should never be ignored, but what if her intuition is hard to read?

I am pleased. Of course I am pleased that baby seems to be growing- slowly is better than not at all. So I’m pleased. I’m pleased that the blood flow is improving and all the dopplers are coming back ok. I’m pleased that the doctors are pleased. I’m pleased that the 34 week mark has been and gone. 34 weeks and 1 day today.

An IUGR baby_ the agony of the unexplained~Ghostwritermummy.co.uk.

But I am still scared.

Baby still does not move as much as I would like, or expect.

Baby is still small.

I am still here, 3 sections under my belt and dreams lying in pieces around me.

And today I am trying to sort through what it all means, really.

My babies do not come early. I know that 37 weeks is not classed as premature, but for me it really is. It is 5 weeks earlier than I expected. It is 2 weeks ahead of what is classed as full term. It is not the pregnancy length I imagined. I was in it for the long haul. And if baby really does have to be taken this early, I want to know why.

‘Unexplaind IUGR’ does not cut it for me. I know that baby is small, way below the 10th centile. And I know that that means IUGR. But I want to know why. Blood flow has improved. Fluids are fine. My blood pressure is fine. My placenta is not located too low. I am not diabetic. I do not have a blood clotting disease. I don’t smoke, drink, or take drugs. I eat well. I exercise sensibly. I was not underweight before pregnancy and I am gaining enough weight now.

And yet 40-60% of IUGR cases are unexplained. Blood flow remains fine. All of the above can be discounted.

I don’t want to be unexplained, when so much is riding on it.

Some days I have made my peace with not being able to have a VBAC. But other days I wonder whether it is still within my grasp. Now that we are back on fortnightly scans, and it looks good for the results of the next one being good as well… is a VBAC possible? Or do I sit tight and wait to hold my baby sooner, more calmly?

Is a c-section really best?

My head says yes.

My heart says… maybe. Maybe not.

What I really need is some answers and that is the one thing that the doctors cannot give me. I have to wait for baby to be born before they know whether or not their diagnosis is correct. I have to trust in the people who do not instil faith in me at all. That’s so hard to do!

We are feeling abandoned. Midwives tell me that they cannot answer my questions as they are not obstetricians and do not want to give me the wrong answer. Doctors don’t have time to answer my questions. Or they don’t have the answers. Nobody is actually considering anything other than the clinical. What about me?

What about How are you feeling about all of this?

28 Comments

  1. September 29, 2014 / 6:57 am

    I’m so glad you got some good news and baby stays in for that bit longer. It all feels so disjointed though doesn’t it? It’s not fair at all that your questions and concerns keep getting pushed about and dismissed. I hope they do take your feelings into consideration. And I hope baby gets to stay in there a bit more longer too xx
    Notmyyearoff recently posted..The Lies We Tell – AKA Excellent Parenting AdviceMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 29, 2014 / 9:08 am

      Thank you. I think what happened with luka has a lot to do with how I feel right now. I know we’ve had good news and that is fantastic but I don’t think I will relax until baby is here and we know all is ok. Thank you, as ever, for your kind words x x x

  2. September 29, 2014 / 7:22 am

    It’s really not fair for them not to answer you, even if only to say “I don’t know”. It’s easy for me to say, but I hope that the good results can be some light through the uncertainty and the vbac disappointment. Big hugs from me and Toby xxx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 29, 2014 / 9:07 am

      Thanks lovely. It is hard not being able to talk about the things that I’m worried about. It is such a relief to be able to write them down x x

  3. BakedPotato Mummy
    September 29, 2014 / 7:46 am

    I’m so so pleased that the news is good but I wish somebody had all the answers for you. It makes me really cross to think people are treating it all do clinically and not considering your emotional wellbeing. Sending lots of love your way xx
    BakedPotato Mummy recently posted..Lemon Meringue CupcakesMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 29, 2014 / 9:06 am

      I know that i should be over the moon that the last two scans have been good news, and really I am. But I cannot help feeling a little lost, perhaps everything I went through with luka has made else fearful of all that could go wrong. And the thought of something else being wrong is really frightening. I suppose all I need is for doe one to sit with me and explain things a little better. Thank you for your kind words, your support means more than you know x x

  4. September 29, 2014 / 10:15 am

    I’m so pleased the scan held better news for you and baby. Sadly there sometimes just aren’t answers for why these things happen – it’s really frustrating because as a mum you want to be doing everything possible for your baby and it’s something you can’t control. But you are doing everything possible, everything that is within your control. Your close monitoring is great, but you’re so right, the human aspect is so often missing. You’re not just a vessel holding a new life, you’re a human with your own hopes, fears and dreams. Doctors sometimes need to take just those extra few moments to make sure you’re more than ok physically. xxx
    Leigh Kendall recently posted..An open letter to the neonatal unit staff who cared for HugoMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 29, 2014 / 2:19 pm

      It is frustrating but I do know that the doctors are unable to tell me more. What you say about the understanding and personal nature of all is spot on though. We really feel we need someone to talk to about everything and that emotional well-being is not being considered at all. I know that we are so lucky to have such a good prognosis and I know that to some I must seem quite ungrateful but it really isn’t like that. I think that previous birth trauma has left me highly sensitive and aware of all that could go wrong; I am so emotional about it all right now! Thank you, as ever for your support. You are wonderful! x x x x

  5. September 29, 2014 / 4:41 pm

    My great hope for you is that in a few week’s time, your little one will be in your arms, happy and well, and you can put all of this behind you, knowing that all the decisions made were the right ones. It is such a very difficult position to be in, not knowing what will come or how you can best affect the end result. As you’ve written, you have done EVERYTHING you should have done all along, from eating well and exercising, keeping healthy and nurturing the little poppyseed from day one. Sometimes we don’t know the reasons for things. But you are doing everything you can, and I’m certain that the doctors are doing what they think is best. I wish I could reassure you, but nothing is ever certain in this world. All we can do is try to take it all as it comes. As always, I’m thinking of you. xx
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    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 29, 2014 / 8:09 pm

      Ah lovely lady, with all you’re going through your support is amazing. Thank you for your kind words and for holding my hand virtually through it all. I am thinking of you too x x x x

  6. September 30, 2014 / 10:42 am

    I think that, compared to what I’ve seen and read about maternity care in the US, care in the UK is very good. That said, it seems to me that you’ve been consistently let down by maternity care in the UK and you have every right to feel abandoned. There is still so much that we don’t know about birth and babies – there’s a huge amount of mystery surrounding so much of the process. Not that it helps in your case as I know you just want and need answers. The way you’ve coped throughout all the uncertainty is amazing though, and you don’t have much longer to get through now. Know that you’re not on your own – even if it’s not face to face there are still many people out there ready to give you support when you need it. xxx
    Molly recently posted..40 weeks pregnant is not overdueMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 30, 2014 / 10:52 am

      You’re right- I am in an IUGR and a VBAC support group and it seems that the UK has a LOT more care and a better system than in the US. I think in my case, this time, it’s more to do with the fact that I chose maternity care out of area rather than at my local hospital. The system allows you do to that but doesn’t cope very well when you do. I am feeling a lot better about it all in terms of trusting the doctors. I think what is keeping me going is knowing that I will soon be holding baby- sooner than I planned! Thank you for all your support, it really means a lot x x x x x

  7. Rainbow Mam
    September 30, 2014 / 3:17 pm

    I’m really sorry that you are not getting the support or answers you need from the clinicians. Our eldest had severe IGUR, which was picked up quite early (they knew something was wrong at around 14/15 weeks, and diagnosed IUGR at 20/21 weeks). The unknown is very hard to deal with. But I found the medical team (both Consultants and Midwives, in fact everyone we came into contact from cleaners, caterers to sonographers) gave us incredible emotional support as well as dealing with the physical side of our failing pregnancy. Like you, they couldn’t tell us what would happen, or really why it was happening, but they let us ask all our questions, and if that didn’t know the answer simply said ‘We don’t know….’ Having an IUGR baby is hard, because you do live from scan to scan, trace to trace and nobody knows what will happen. It’s natural to feel scared and to want answers. Give yourself space to feel this. All you can do is take each day as it comes (an awful cliche but true). You are being monitored and that’s the most important thing, and if you ever have concerns head to the hospital. My Consultant told me to have a very very low threshold for coming in. If I had the slightest concern, to ring up and go in. Wishing you all the best xx

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      September 30, 2014 / 8:11 pm

      Yes its the emotional aspect of it all that is not being dealt with. I crave someone to talk to who understands, or who has seen cases like mine before. My midwife is unreachable- I haven’t seen her since July and I really miss talking to her about it all. I think that lots of stuff is coming back to me surrounding Luka’s birth and I am starting to feel panic about everything, despite the doctors telling me things are ok for now. I can’t help but think that if I was able to talk everything through it would all be so different! It is hard, not knowing what is happening, and I know that the doctors are doing their best but I’m really struggling to cope with it all to be honest. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, it really does mean a lot x x x

  8. September 30, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    Glad to hear you had good news and are feeling positive from that. I wish you could have your answers. It’s a horrid feeling thinking of the unknown and feeling frustrated when you believe your concerns aren’t being acknowledged. I hope you get those answers soon.
    LauraCYMFT recently posted..Me & Mine #9My Profile

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

      Thanks lovely. I think it would make so much difference if someone had the time to sit and talk to us a little x x

  9. October 1, 2014 / 6:54 am

    Oh hun. Baby is still safe and sound so that’s good. It is hard – the unknown isn’t it? People say oh relax and don’t worry or don’t think about it but that is totally impossible really. There is no way I wouldn’t be thinking about it. All you can do is relax and rest and try and keep you nice and upbeat. But I know this will be hard. Lots of love and I am happy everytime I see a piccy of that growing bump! xxx
    brummymummyof2 recently posted..Wicked Wednesdays 1st OctoberMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      October 1, 2014 / 1:07 pm

      Ah thanks lovely. Feeling much better today 🙂 x x

  10. October 1, 2014 / 9:31 am

    I’m so pleased for you that the scan results are good but desperately want to send big hugs for the emotional side of things. “I don’t know” may well be true (my BIL says the more he learns as a doctor the more he realises how much we don’t know) but it isn’t helpful when what you’d really like is that nice holy grail of a little “do this and everything will be OK”. Hopefully in exactly the right number of weeks you’ll be snuggling your new arrival and all the worry can melt away 🙂
    Carie recently posted..The Fourth Trimester: the reality of a Mummy tummyMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      October 1, 2014 / 1:07 pm

      Yes, hopefully. Thank you for your kind words, I am feeling a lot more positive about it all today x x x

  11. To Infinity and IVF
    October 1, 2014 / 12:32 pm

    Popping over from the Share with me linky. Hope they’re able to give you some more good news at the next appointment. xx
    To Infinity and IVF recently posted..The New BlogMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      October 1, 2014 / 1:06 pm

      Thanks lovely x x

  12. October 1, 2014 / 10:14 pm

    I am so glad you got some good news and baby gets to stay in that little bit longer. Every little bit helps a whole lot!!! I wish I could give you more answers or I wish they could that must be frustrating and hard. Biggest hugs to you. Not long you will be holding your beautiful baby. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again soon. #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted..Fizzy Lemon Cocktail RecipeMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      October 3, 2014 / 6:17 am

      Ah thanks lovely. I don’t think we will know much more now until baby is born. It would help to have someone to just talk to I think x x

  13. October 2, 2014 / 4:52 pm

    I am pleased to hear that your baby is growing and things are going ok even if your baby is small, hopefully it will continue to be smooth for you all and you won’t have to deliver too early. I’m sure things are really hard to understand and it doesn’t help all the thoughts and feelings you have when you can not get any answers, i just hope that you can find a happy balance and your baby is healthy x #sharewithme
    Loving life with little ones recently posted..4 months pregnant-already!!My Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      October 3, 2014 / 6:16 am

      Thank you, we genuinely are grateful for the clinical care we’ve received and the way that the hospital has been monitoring us. I do crave someone to talk to though, as I fear that all we’ve been through previously has a lot to do with the worry x x x

  14. October 2, 2014 / 10:24 pm

    I am so pleased that you got the good news. It must be such a stressful time for you and the professionals should be giving you the answers you need to put your mind at rest x #ShareWithMe
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted..Gratitude List #18My Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      Author
      October 3, 2014 / 6:13 am

      Thank you. I think that they are doing all that they can, but it would be so nice to have someone to talk to who understood our history and was able to just listen x x

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