If we were having coffee this week, I’d be having mine in a large mug with a slightly warm fruit scone and butter – yum! And I’d probably talk at length about babies, and childbirth, and problems, because that’s what’s on my mind today.
My eldest daughter is currently just under 33 weeks pregnant with her third baby. As a long-term type 1 diabetic, she’s recently been struggling (through no fault of her own) to regulate her blood glucose levels during this pregnancy, and as baby’s growth is also concerning (really small this time and with a slightly erratic heart rate, not really big like last time) there is now a distinct possibility that her new little one will be born even earlier than the early birth already planned for.
Baby’s calculated due date is actually very early January 2019, but because of my daughter’s diabetes the plan all along has been to have baby delivered by 38 weeks at the latest – just before Christmas – and that’s what we’ve all been aiming towards.
But due to these recent complications of erratic blood glucose levels, erratic fetal heart rate and small baby, everything is up in the air just now and after a 3-day stay in hospital on constant IV Insulin to keep her levels stable while giving her steroids to ensure baby’s lungs mature early enough, my daughter was discharged yesterday with the understanding that at this point it looks like reaching 38 weeks gestation is unlikely.
At next week’s clinic appointment the consultants hope to have a rolling plan in place for booking an elective section for probably around 36 weeks, but with the proviso that any further problems would mean an emergency section at any time before that date – decisions will be made week to week, depending on the results of the ongoing twice-a-week scans and fetal monitor trace (already being carried out for the past month), and plan adjusted accordingly.
So it now seems likely that my daughter will definitely have a section, and her new baby will probably be in the Special Care Baby Unit for an indeterminate time after birth, assuming all goes well. As ever, there are no guarantees that all will go well, and that is a concern. I’m hoping above hope that all goes to plan, not only that baby stays safe inside for as long as possible, but also is born safely and in good health. The not knowing is hard, as is the interminable waiting.
I mean, I know no-one ever knows exactly when a baby will be born, or how things will go, but this feels like an extra layer of not knowing all over again. My youngest daughter also had complications in the latter stages of both her last two pregnancies (for an entirely different reason), and both babies were born early but thankfully healthy. Those last few crucial weeks of waiting were excrutiating, with frequent hospital monitoring and never knowing week to week if baby was still ok.
I tell myself it will be fine this time too, but of course we can never know how things will turn out. So for now I’m more concerned than excited, but remind myself just how lucky we are to have such an excellent national health service here in the UK in spite of ongoing funding difficulties… 🙂