In less than 12 hours I will have given birth to my fourth and final child at just 31 weeks gestation. Tonight is our final night together.
Yesterday, a chain of unhappy news began around noon time and I had to begin processing my emotions quickly. An ultra sound showed that the baby did not appear to be growing and that there was restriction in the cord blood flow. In short, the placenta was beginning to give out because of my preeclampsia. The specialist informed me that I would not make it to 34 weeks and that the probability that they would need to take the baby within the next week was very high. I’d be lucky if he made it to 32 weeks. Another ultra sound was scheduled for Friday and we would go from there. Later that afternoon, as they monitored the baby’s heart beat, there were many dips that worried them. The doctor decided that I should be monitored again first thing in the morning, before I ate breakfast, in case they needed to preform a c-section. This news, paired with the fact that he was barely active all day, led to a nervous night of little sleep during which I was convinced it would be my last night pregnant. By the time I woke in the morning, my little guy was already stirring for the day and let me know he was doing okay. His heart monitoring still had its dips, but he was moving. I was on the monitors for a much longer amount of time (most of the day), but it made me feel better knowing he was being watched. In the afternoon, a friend visited and during that time my nurse came in to check on me several times. I knew something was up because she seemed anxious for my visitor to leave.
At about 5:30 tonight, the nurse informed me that the baby’s heart rate had dipped pretty frequently and for longer amounts of time during the afternoon monitoring. All the nurses were biting their nails as they watched this. My nurse contacted my doctors and specialist and they decided that tomorrow needed to be the big day, it was too risky to wait.
So, this evening I have laid here, under constant monitoring, thinking about that fact that these are my last pregnant hours. It is as if he knows this because my little guy has been the most active he has been since I entered to hospital almost two weeks ago. He is flipping and flopping and kicking and jabbing me in every direction. I can see my belly move as he gives me a good kick or elbow. He wants me to know he is there and for me to remember how it feels to have him inside me. He wants us to have this one last night together to just be together in a way we will never be again. This is my fourth and final pregnancy, after tomorrow I will never be pregnant again. Even if I wanted another child, my body has made it clear that it can not handle pregnancy anymore. Once I am wheeled into surgery at 10:30 tomorrow morning, my last baby will be cut from my body and a whole new struggle will begin. I know that at 31 weeks, with all the technological advantages, my baby has a good survival rate, but I also know that there are always unknowns out there and anything could happen. I know that, though statistically low, there is a chance that these last hours of my baby beating me up from the inside could be the last moments I have with him ever. I also know that the reality of tomorrow is that I will probably not get to hold or touch my tiny child once he is pulled from me and that he will have to fight his battle without me for at least the first 24 hours. I also know that this will probably be the hardest thing about tomorrow.
I know my guy is tough and he will receive the best care possible once he is out, and that he is probably safer outside of me at this point because they can help him if he is distressed, but that doesn’t change the fact that I want to keep him in a little longer and have him all to myself. So despite being exhausted and knowing I should get some rest, I can’t help but remain awake, spending my last hours with my baby before this experience ends and I am never again pregnant. I’m just thankful that he is humoring me and keeping active to keep me company.