We headed out into rush hour traffic tonight for yet another appointment. Bladder full, I thought we were having a scan of my leg to determine the status of "Cleo", (my nickname for the blood clot). Surprisingly, when we got there the radiologist, Susan, told us we were there to check on the baby. After my scary talk yesterday with the High Risk OB, the baby's growth and development had been paramount on my mind. Anyone who has seen me pregnant before knows that I am much smaller than in previous pregnancies. At the first mention that there may have been clots forming on the placenta for weeks now, possibly limiting the baby's growth, I couldn't stop imagining the baby shrinking inside me.
"Do you know what you are having?" the radiologist asked.
We told her no, but just last night we had been thinking about finding out.
"Maybe it would help to know," I had told Guy. "All this talk of blood clots and pulmonary embolism and placental abruption... I feel like everyone has forgotten about the baby. It might help us to connect to the baby a little more if we knew what it was."
"Do you want to know?" she asked, and I realized that in just moments I could actually know something about this baby that was happy. Guy and I talked about it a moment.
He said, "What ever you want",
and I said, "Let's do it".
As soon as I said it, though, I didn't feel as excited as I thought I would. I went into the bathroom a moment to empty the 4 gallons of water they had made me drink for the scan, and realized I wasn't ready to know yet. So much has changed. We can't have a homebirth anymore. We can't wait for labor to come and calmly bring our baby to our arms here in our home. We won't have anything we are familiar with, and we may end up with a cesarean. One by one, each of the elements of our hoped-for birth has been erased from safe possibility.
But not this.
When our other babies have been born at home, either Guy or I was the first to announce their gender. There have been laughter and surprise and thrill in those words, "Its a boy!" "Oh, a girl!". And always, in our voices, not a stranger's.
I came out of the bathroom.
"I changed my mind, I don't want to know yet."
I didn't want this to be the association I have with finding out, all because of the crisis. I didn't want that special moment to be hijacked as a bandaid for our hurt hearts. There are still a few things we can hold on to in the traditions we hold dear.
and tell each other.
We had good news anyway. The baby measured perfectly in every way. It's organs are healthy. The blood that nourishes it pumps safely to it through a placenta that, for now, is doing its job. In four weeks, the baby will be checked again. I have faith that it will be just as perfect then.
The radiologist couldn't contain her curiosity. She peeked at my vein while she was scanning. Sure enough, just as I knew it would be, the clot is still there in my pelvis. I don't know how long it will be there, but I believe if it had been a threat, God would have resolved it along with the section of clot that threatened my leg with permanent disability. It was comforting not to have to wait until a scan days from now to know what I am dealing with. I am okay with knowing it is there.
She printed us a dozen pictures of the baby.
Today was a great day.