Last Monday we had our anatomy ultrasound for little Finch. (I’m using Finch to refer to this baby until he’s born… Flicker came in a very close second, and some people said they liked Falcon as well, so it was a difficult decision.)
Anyway, everything looked great. I was obviously nervous leading up to it. Besides the usual worries surrounding the scan, I was nervous at the prospect of having a new sonographer and seeing a new maternal fetal medicine doctor (MFM) who we’d met a couple of times during my pregnancy with Joel, but STILL… But everything ended up fine on these fronts too.
Before the appointment, I’d requested my sonographer be Renee, as I thought I remembered her performing one of my ultrasounds with Joel. But, much to my surprise, when Renee walked into the room, I realized she was someone completely different from who I was picturing and who I thought I’d requested.
But then she was compassionate and explained everything she was doing in a reassuring way and also explained that our former sonographer essentially “willed us to her” which made me feel appreciative and secure and also like we might have been a bit extra as patients last time – extra enough to have had someone say, “Should they ever return, you would be the one to best handle them.”
After our ultrasound came our appointment with our new MFM. He remembered us too. He came in with my file, greeted us, and sat down like, “So no issues with your prior pregnancy, genetic testing looks good, all your labs are normal, everything on the ultrasound looks perfect – what is your plan?” TRANSLATION – “Everything looks super great, and I don’t really even consider you high risk anymore, but given what you’ve been through, I’m not even going to try to fuck with you.” And I gave him an approving nod, almost silently thanking him and also agreeing, “Damn right.”
And we proceeded to tell him our plan, which is slightly revised from last time based on things we’ve learned – non-stress tests at the hospital three times per week starting at 30 weeks, cord imaging once per week starting at 28 weeks and twice per week starting at 32 weeks, delivery between 37 and 38 weeks depending on cord positioning and sanity levels, though should anything remotely questionable pop up, we reserve the right to scrap this plan and move into the hospital.
“Okay,” he agreed, and he scribbled it all down and closed his notebook, and then he ushered us out so we could make our next appointment. He smiled and patted us each on the back, showing that although we’re extra, he maybe still likes us.
Despite my ultrasound going as well as it could have gone, I had a major anxiety meltdown last week – the most severe one I’ve had in a long time, or maybe ever. It’s like the combination of the ultrasound and Joel’s Thursday one-year-old well-baby visit was too much for me, and my body completely shut down, incapacitating me from basically Sunday evening until Thursday afternoon.
There is no way to describe the misery of it – my mind was completely racing with both flashbacks from my pregnancy with Matthew (triggered by the anatomy scan) and irrational worries over Joel’s well-being. But I was in such a bad place, I couldn’t at all decipher which thoughts were reasonable and which weren’t. I felt so hopeless, concluding that after this pregnancy someone should drug me into oblivion just to help me be able to cope with the rest of my life… And then I posted some really dark and scary things on Instagram.
What eventually lifted the fog was my sweet friend, Michelle, who met me for coffee on Wednesday and offered a listening ear and some helpful words, and also my anatomy scan going well and Joel’s appointment going well and also my Thursday afternoon therapy session.
On Thursday Mark accompanied me to my appointment, where my therapist helped us both to better understand my brain. He explained that the Fourth of July to a veteran is a like an ultrasound to me – it’s very likely to spark this extreme, uncontrollable response – it was very likely my trigger. Also in therapy we’ve been discussing what we now believe is the biggest key to me being able to function more consistently on a go-forward basis – gaining the ability to better deal with life’s ambiguity. (I’ve actually written an entire post on this, which I’ll share later.)
I’m going to wrap up this post now… I feel like I’ve gotten away from writing a bit (which isn’t for lack of things on my mind rather general laziness and busyness and the occasional debilitating breakdown), so my goal over this next month is to write more frequently and not necessarily put pressure on myself to do long posts, rather just get the process of writing going more again…