Family

Worry

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Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

I was about 23 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child, a son. I had two daughters and I was so happy to be having a boy! This was going to be a new, fresh experience for me. I had been feeling like I had a bladder infection so I had gone into the ER to get it checked out. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one but you don’t want to let bladder infections get out of control; you want to get in to see the doctor at the first sign of one. So there I was, lying on a table, having already given a urine sample, as the nurse searched for a fetal heartbeat (a routine procedure when you are pregnant and visit the hospital). She kept moving her instrument around and held it in one place (finally) then a look settled on her face that betrayed the concern that she was feeling.

“What?” I asked as I abruptly sat up halfway, propping myself up on my elbows.

“Shhh!” she scolded “Please lay back down and be quiet.”

“Ok” I responded weakly. What could possibly be going on? I thought. She called someone else in and then asked me to breathe as shallowly as I could.

“If this heart rate is what I think it is then we will have to deliver now!” Tears blurred my vision, my heart did start pounding, and I wanted to sob loudly and start protesting that delivering was a horrible idea. I was 23 weeks along! The baby is supposed to stay in for at least 38! I was not calm, but I tried so hard to slow down my heart rate, my yoga breathing came in handy, although I will say that it is difficult to breathe yoga style when you are also attempting to breathe shallowly. Visions of babies born too small and so weak raced through my mind. I saw nothing but incubators and sorrow for the next few minutes as another nurse came in; a doctor followed not long after. They were talking but it was difficult to hear them while stuck in this new tunnel of fear. They weren’t talking to me anyways. I was paralyzed.

It’s amazing to me how many stories start out like mine did and end in crushing loss and dashed hopes. I think it would be fair to say that in that moment my anxiety was justified, however, when you look at the whole story, the above situation was actually no big deal. I did spend the night in the hospital under observation that night. I did have to see a perinatologist once a week for the rest of my pregancy. I was given a steroid (to speed up the growth of the baby’s lungs) shot just in case my son’s heart condition went south and I did have to deliver him early. I was nervous for the rest of my pregnancy to the point where I just wished that he would be born early so I could stop worrying that while his heart wasn’t being monitored that he would go into cardiac arrest, and just die, in utero. None of the worst case scenarios that I was presented with or worried about ever took place. My son was born at term. We had some issues getting his heart medication right at the beginning of his life and that was stressful. But all in all, everything turned out fine my son was off his heart medication after the first year of his life, he is 5 years old and thriving. I have had to chase after that boy since he started walking at 8 months old!

No matter what there is hope and what seems like the worst thing that can happen at the time; can turn out to be no big deal in the long run.

Have you had a similar experience in your life; where everything seemed to be going to hell and then just evened out and turned out fine? Share!

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