8.16.2012

A Whirlwind of Emotions-Recapping My Day *Updated

Nothing like a slow growing pregnancy to tell you who the pro life doctors are, that is for sure.  I learned that back in 2007,  and I received a refresher course this morning.  I believe it was Ann of Building a Nest that reminded me that dealing with non pro life doctors was sometimes a necessary evil.  That is the case here, and even though I knew Dr. Toth wasn't pro life, the degree to which was shocking to my sheltered self.  Thanks to a beautiful friend I know through the online forums, I was informed of two possible interventions we could take to save our baby.  The first is hcg shots, something to discuss with Dr. Hilgers.  The second was oral antibiotics to discuss with Dr. Toth or Hilgers.  (She was on orals almost immediately after her IV because she was not on antibiotics pre conception; since it is safe to assume that the lack of pre conception abx is the cause of the delay in growth for this baby, this might be a possibility for me).  So this morning I started with my call to Dr. Toth in New York.  I explained my situation to the receptionist, knowing Dr. Toth may be out of town, and was surprised to be immediately put in direct touch with Dr. Toth.  However it was nothing like the shock that was to come.  He started with how he got my email about the low heartrate.  (He had not responded, unusual for him).  He went on to say "this is a sick baby, Jamie.  A very sick baby.  Do not try to save this unhealthy baby.  Do not.  Promise me.  You wait it out.  You move on.  Don't give it another thought. You follow your protocol next time.  Promise me you will do nothing.  Leave it alone.  Move on."  He said this firmly and with little emotion.  My stomach dropped and I was in shock.  I can't explain how I felt, except that when I emailed my friend I told her I felt like I was going to throw up.  My emotions evolved into rage.  And then I became defensive.  This baby is alive.  My baby is alive.  What mother doesn't do anything to save her child?  This child, sick or not, is mine.  Does a sick child not have value?  I don't believe that for one second.  My nieces have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, another has Celiac's.  Is that not just a small piece of who they are?  I had an image of the children in other countries with disabilities, viewed as not having value and so they are starved, beaten, or simply left to stare at the wall or static on tv.  My PhD is in special education.  I am Catholic.  I believe to my core about the dignity and value of every human life.  I was disgusted, and in my disgusted and enraged state I called Dr. Hilgers. 

I was able to talk to a nurse right away, given the situation (I was looking for life saving treatments I could do immediately to save my unborn child).  I told her about me anticipating the progesterone would drop further when they receive it on Friday and asked if there was harm to supplementing.  I told her about my conversation with Dr. Toth, in tears, and she assured me they value every life.  She said that they were more likely to put in another ten day IV, rather than do orals, due to the IV being the "gold standard."  I will be honest with you, I almost threw up again right there.  I am a weak person, and I struggled in that moment with that idea.  Another ten days.  Was I playing God?  Images passed through my mind of a baby much more disabled than anything I had encountered in my career.  Dr. Toth's words echoed in my head.  I wondered if I was playing with fire, in a sense.  I felt weak.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  It was sort of a "get behind me, Satan!" moment, and I tried to soldier on-in true "fake it until you make it" fashion. I want you to know, I did do some quantifying.  I was worried calling her straight from the Toth call, complete with tears and rage at his words gave her the "do everything" impression.  That sort of desperate and at all costs was not exactly how I felt.  I told the nurse, I am not saying do every intervention at all cost.  I know our faith doesn't require that.  I am saying, that I want and trust Dr. Hilgers opinion.  I know he will weigh risk and benefit and make recommendations.  I will do whatever he thinks is appropriate.  I trust his skills and his moral compass.  And so I wait to hear back.  Then I started to wonder if what I had done was the right thing.  I began to question all of it, from the call to Dr. Toth, to the call to Dr. Hilgers....

It was words from all of you that I found so comforting this morning as I had to go to a work meeting immediately after.  This is not about me and the decisions I make. The baby's life doesn't hang in my hands.  I couldn't handle it if it did.  It is God's hands that it is in.  So I gave it to Him.  I told Him I didn't want that decision, I only desired what He desired and that was good enough.  Whether it caused me pain and heartache in the immediate or not, I know He has the big picture and only desires long term good for me and my child.  And so I let it go.  And that is the only reason I am still standing.  So thank you for that reminder, as I started to go down that road of what I could have done differently.

In my waiting, I realized that if the baby had no heartbeat all of this next step of intervention was moot.  I didn't know if Dr. Hilger's would want a more recent sono prior to placing an IV or not, but I know that for sure I would want that info and I wanted no further delays.  Since I had an appt for Monday and since I had childcare today, but not Friday, I called and moved my songram up. It was with an independent office and they didn't mind.  I let my ob/gyn know what I did and why after the fact (is that  teenage trait-don't ask if you don't want to know the answer?  oh well...it was self preservation). 

So, at 2pm today, I received another ultrasound (managed to get a rosary in on the drive over!).  It provided very little clarity or comfort, but it did give us information that is more up to date.  The baby's heartbeat improved to an 83, which is of zero comfort because 90 was supposedly the minimum (my data driven mind wondered if this difference was statistically significant...).  Additionally, the baby did grow appropriately since my Monday scan and continues to measure exactly 1 week behind.  I relayed this information to both Dr. Hilger's nurse's vm, and my local ob/gyn.  I have yet to hear back from Dr. Hilger's, despite the nurse saying he was with a patient and she would catch him between appointments (that was at 9am).  My local ob/gyn said to keep my Monday appt with him, and he will scan me then. I have guilt that I am not rejoicing over a beating heart, but maybe with time and effort and prayer I can get there.  Every life deserves to be celebrated.  Thank you for supporting me through this painful journey!

*I heard back from Stephanie at Dr. Hilger's office.  He thought my prog level of 12 was a good sign, as was the CRP number (1.2) which he considered an indicator of infection/inflammation, which was in the normal range (which is 0-2.5).  Not to be a pessimistic or act like I know better than doc, but the CRP number for me has always been in the normal range, despite miscarriage (and including miscarriage from infection).  In fact, with Gabby, my fastest miscarriage where I never had one ultrasound because the hcg never doubled, my CRP was the lowest, .2.  Not to mention we know I was covered in inflammation two weeks prior to conception because he saw it with his own eyes during my lap.  So I am skeptical.  However, he offered progesterone vaginal supplements, which I have never been on before but will gladly take.  And he said that IV antibiotics wouldn't be necessary until I had pre term labor symptoms like contractions, bleeding, cramping, pressure and backache, etc.  If those happen, I should notify him immediately.  I don't know how I feel about that, seems less proactive, but I certainly do trust his judement, so I am fine.  I will have another scan Monday and they can reevaluate at that time.  In the meantime, my dear husband and I will be taking 24 hrs to celebrate our 6th anniversary and try to distract ourselves this weekend!

14 comments:

Hebrews 11:1 said...

My jaw dropped when I read what Dr. T said. Thank goodness for doctors like Dr H!! I am so sorry you are going through this, but you are doing the right thing by surrendering it to God. If it comes down to another IV, I know you can do it. I think it's a good sign that the heart rate went up! I know it's still below minimum, but maybe by Monday it will have increased even more! I'm still praying hard for you.

Amazing Life said...

I just wanted to tell you that I got chills reading this because as Joseph and I said prayers after lunch today, we only asked intercession prayers for you and for your baby! The Holy spirit is powerful, so thankful I was able to pray for you as you were having a whirlwind of emotions!

Sending hugs your way and prayers continue! Happy 6th anniversary, I hope joy trumps any worries or fears you are experiencing.

Chasing said...

Prayers

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

Oh my. This is so much and so heavy. I'm glad you realize that the Church doesn't call us to do EVERYTHING possible, but I'm sure knowing it in your head doesn't make decision making any easier. For what it's worth-I'm really proud of you. What a perfect example of living what you truly believe. This is your child and you are fighting like hell-no matter what protocol you choose to follow. Prayers for you and this sweet baby.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

Will say a prayer on "our" 6th Anniversary Sunday. (this may not sound like much, but trust me, for me right now, ...it is.)

Simone said...

I was thinking about you all day. I cannot believe what Dr Toth said. That is so horrible. Your baby is continuing to grow and improve so this baby might just be a late bloomer. Good Luck on Monday.

Little JoAnn said...

Oh dear sweetie...you are such an amazing mom...I am holding you in prayer so tightly right now. Trust in Him! You are my heroine!

JellyBelly said...

Continued prayers!

Andrea Starosciak said...

Hi Jamie - I am so happy you were able to talk to Dr. H's office. I am continuing to pray for you and your baby!!!
In Christ,
Andrea Starosciak

Sarah said...

Lord, you love WBR's child as You love all children,
Bring healing to their child who is not well.
Stay by their sides and comfort them through this trying time.
Keep us ever mindful of Your loving presence
Bless them with Your powerful healing and comfort us also.
Thank You for hearing our prayer! Amen

Mother Mary Pray for them.
St. Gianna Pray for them.
St. Gerard Pray for them.
St. Jude Pray for them.

KC said...

Wow, just wow. I am praying!!!!! Lord, thy will be done and strength for you and your family. (and wisdom too)

allthemasons said...

Oh wow, I just had a chance to get caught up on what has been going on. I am very sorry and I will include your family in our rosary. You are showing amazing strength and courage to fight for this baby!

From Pam and John to Mom and Dad said...

I'm praying for you and your baby.

Joy Complete said...

I am so sorry for all that you are going through with this pregnancy. Having to wait and watch is so difficult, but you are being proactive in what you can do. I will be praying for you on Monday. Hope you were able to enjoy some time with your husband this weekend - Happy Anniversary!