Grace’s Journey Part 4

In my mind, the New Year was going to be great! I had pregnancy confirmed, better yet I was almost out of my first trimester, and I received all the instructions to be weaned off the hormones by the end of the first full week in January.

In my mind, the New Year was going to be great!  I had pregnancy confirmed, better yet I was almost out of my first trimester, and I received all the instructions to be weaned off the hormones by the end of the first full week in January.  Unfortunately, my expectations were not my reality.

2016 had some rude awakenings for me – all within the first 2 weeks.  One of my daughter’s friends was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, a form of childhood cancer currently affecting approximately 53 children in the United States.  When I heard that news, it made me hold my daughters a little tighter, a little longer, and appreciate them a little more.  All I kept thinking is “that could be my baby” and I wondered how these parents had the strength to tell their child she has cancer.  These parents have been amazing – everything they say or post on their daughter’s diagnosis, prognosis and subsequent treatments has been positive and encouraging.  They have never questioned why them, or lamented at their “bad luck.”  They have been strong, and their family appears to be more united than it was before the diagnosis.

On January 11, I had my first trimester screening with a doctor other than the reproductive doctor who did my pre-screening testing, the transfer, and monitored the baby’s progress until week 9.  First trimester screenings are generally held at week 11 of pregnancy.  This doctor told us first trimester screening may be unnecessary in our circumstance, as baby had been genetically tested prior to transfer.  The genetic testing done to the embryo is more accurate than the first trimester screening done.  If we moved forward with first trimester screening, it could result in a false positive, and the doctors would then want an amniocentesis done.  We also found out the reproductive doctor only did one of the necessary tests to determine if I have the same blood disorder that the intended mother has.  They tested to see if I have the antibody for this disorder in my blood, and when it came back negative, gave me the go ahead to be a carrier.  They did not test to see if I have the antigen.  (Generally if you do not have the antigen, you will not have the antibody.)  At that appointment, and the one the next day with the OB/GYN, we were all told baby looked good and everything appeared to be going well.

On January 15, I started bleeding.  Not spotting, but bleeding.  I called my OB/GYN and was told to go to the ER.  The hardest call I’ve had to make has been to the intended mother advising her I was going to the ER and why.  She was wonderful.  She met me at the ER, helped to keep me calm and was able to provide the nurses with additional information I didn’t think of at the time buy proscar 5 mg online (like that I had only stopped taking hormones one week before).  After about an hour or so, an ultrasound technician wheeled me (and her) down the hall to one of the ultrasound rooms.  He spotted baby first thing, and made sure to point out baby’s heartbeat and assured us that things looked good.  I am not sure who cried more – the intended mother or me.  The technician believed I had a slight tear between the placenta and uterus and stated that if I wasn’t bleeding, he wouldn’t think it would be an issue at all.  I was released and told to stay off my feet as much as possible.

One week later we had a follow up appointment with the OB/GYN.  I was still bleeding, but not as heavily as I was when I went to the ER.  She told me that I have a low lying placenta (not placenta praevia which is where the placenta blocks the cervix).  The way I understand it is the placenta develops wherever the embryo embeds in the womb.  The placenta does not move, and low lying placenta is where it is really close but not blocking the cervix.  However, the uterus grows during the course of pregnancy.  So, the hope is my placenta will be pulled up and away from my cervix as the uterus continues to grow.  Until then, I am to stay off my feet as much as possible.  No more walking the dog.  No housework.  No lifting anything.  No laundry, no dishes, no nothing.  I am to behave as the stereotypical housewife right now, sitting on my behind, watching TV and eating bon-bons (although I don’t actually eat bon-bons and am finding it increasingly difficult to sit on my behind and watch everyone around me do all the work).  I have a desk job and am able to work, as long as I sit as much as possible and don’t get files for the boss.  And, lucky for me, my bosses and co-workers are all very understanding and willing to work with my temporary restrictions.

Until all this happened, I hadn’t fully processed how much responsibility I have.  Not just with my kids, husband, dog, house, and job, but with this pregnancy.   For the next 25 weeks, I am the person responsible for making the intended parents dream of being parents a reality.  Honestly, it’s terrifying and a lot of pressure.  In my naiveté, I equated this pregnancy with all the others I had.  Get pregnant, watch baby grow, and deliver healthy baby some 38 + weeks later. I never took into consideration the part the intended parents play, and how the fact this is NOT my baby is always in my thoughts.  Even if I wanted to disregard doctor’s orders, because I feel fine, I cannot take that risk.  The intended parents have a lot riding on the outcome of this pregnancy, and I need to abide by all the terms the doctor(s) give me.  Even when that means having them come help do my laundry, clean my toilet, or simply trying to choke down 80+ ounces of water a day.

Kimberly Surratt served for eight years on the executive council and has been the vice chair and then chair of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section. In addition, she is the President-Elect of the Nevada Justice Association and the chair of the domestic lobbying committee. She has lobbied with the Nevada Justice Association since 2004.

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