There's nothing quiet like being told by your midwife that your baby isn't growing. It's that moment of oh, right. The moment when utter panic sets in and all you can think is how it's your fault. So far in my pregnancy I've been told this twice, so I thought I'd share my experience!
I write this as I've just been back from my second growth scan and I'm 31 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I'll skip back two weeks ago to when it all started.
It was a usual midwife appointment, a general health check for me and then the second time I'd have my bump measured to make sure baby was growing. Being it on the second time it didn't really bother me when it took her a while to measure me as I wasn't really sure what she was looking for so I was just laying there minding my own business.
Next thing I know she's telling me he's not growing and I need to book in for an urgent ultrasound to check everything is okay. She told me not to worry as it's a routine thing and there's loads of factors as to why my bump wasn't growing.
Now I'll be honest, I was totally cool in the room. Just a 'oh okay, yeah no worries' as I collected my things with a number to call and make sure my appointment was booked asap. It was only when I got home that it actually hit me. My baby wasn't growing, there was something wrong with him. I had one job and I couldn't even ensure my own child was okay.
The next day I rung up the hospital to see if they had received the urgent request and to see when the next available appointment was, sadly I had to wait until the following Wednesday (6 days!). I can't even begin to explain the guilt, stress and worry I had during those 6 days. Every time he moved I worried, every time he didn't move, I worried. All I could think about was how there was something wrong so I went straight into panic mode and went out and purchased everything for his and my hospital bags just in case come the scan he had to come out.
One thing I have learnt is for the love of God if you do go through something similar DO NOT GOOGLE. It's like when you have a cold and a quick Google search later your utterly convinced your dying of viral plague. Not a single story or experience I read about online was a positive one, they all ended in premature babies and C-sections.
Wednesday finally came round and I sat fidgeting in the waiting room until we were called in. A mere 5 minutes later, I just wanted to burst into tears. There he was, head down, happy, wiggling and despite my bump being a bit on the small side he was fine! After the scan I had to head to the maternity day unit to get his measurements plotted on my growth chart and he was well within the limits.
Skip forward 2 and a half weeks to my next midwife appointment. Again the usual health check, bump measurement time and about 40 attempts later, my bump was measuring at least a week smaller than where it was expected to be after my previous measurements. So once again my midwife puts in a urgent request and I get a phone number to see when it's booked in for.
I got an appointment the next day (Thursday) due to a cancellation and once again those nerves start kicking in. Despite I can feel him kicking me in the ribs, responding to noise and giving me chronic heartburn, the guilt was sliding in. What happens if he hasn't grown?
It's now a few hours after my second growth scan, all is fine. He's perfect, he's where he should be, I just don't have a very big bump! This time we actually got to see his face and profile and he was playing around with his umbilical cord while the nurse was trying to scan him. He was opening and closing his mouth, kicking the ultrasound machine and he is already a double for his dad.
I can't even begin to explain how stressful it is to be told your baby isn't growing. No matter how hard you try you blame yourself, the guilt eats away at you and it's really rather scary but despite the hundreds of horror stories online - it will be okay. The midwifes and ultrasound nurses have been utterly fab and really have helped keep my nerves (somewhat!) at bay.
Have you had any scary pregnancy experiences?
Until next time,