On being good

(Okay, yeah, so I've done something, like, four posts in two days - a blogging diarrhoea - but here's another one.)

I am so relieved and so, so, so knackered!

I think it's the experience of having had a bit of a difficult birth the first time around, and being classified as high risk this time around - due to diabetes, previous Caesarean, previous IUGR etc - but I've been feeling a bit... "on my toes" about this pregnancy lately.

Nothing's been outright wrong, thank heavens, and we're coming along nicely, we really are!, but it's this label of "high risk" and the potential for problems down the line that's been making me a little apprehensive.

These past few weeks of getting past 30+ weeks have been sort of crucial, in more ways than I can probably care to elaborate on.

One has been, of course, gestational diabetes: as much as I've been doing a good job of managing it with diet and exercise, I've also been acutely aware of the fact that sometime around 28-32 weeks it may intensify considerably, regardless of my efforts, and because that process would be driven by pregnancy hormones then there would be very little me and doctors would be able to do, apart from putting me on Metmorfin or insulin, or both.

And I knew that if that, indeed, turned out to be the case - that if I did, indeed, need drugs to help me manage my blood sugars - then doctors would start pushing me towards an early Caesarean at 38 weeks, and I didn't really... want that. As much as I wanted a healthy child and a healthy mother, regardless of how we got there, I also wanted to at least have a chance of getting there on my own, without heading straight down the surgery theatre way, and possibly NICU way.

I've already been down to the surgery theatre way, and NICU. I know what it's like.

The other things have, of course, been the post-Caesarean part (how will the scar look once we're a bit further along?), the thyroid levels (will they start declining, like they did last time?), the blood flow to the placenta (will it start calcifying, like it did last time?) and, most of all, the "how the baby grows" part, which has depended on everything listed above, and many things more.

I've known and felt week by week that this pregnancy is different from what it was like with The Kid in almost every way I can think of, and I've been somewhat ambivalently sure (if that makes sense to you?) that we've been fine, both of us - but I've needed to have my support system of midwives and doctors assuring me that we are doing fine.

Four, five weeks ago when "high risk" labels first started getting bandied around, there was a lot of talk about things that may - or may not - go wrong, and it's part of medical professionals' job to inform and prepare people in case things do go off the beaten track a bit, so there aren't big shocking meltdowns happening afterwards.

But as much as they've been repeating to me that, at this stage, everything is looking fine and hopefully everything will continue on looking fine, it has also been the case of "let's wait and see", and "let's meet again in a fortnight", and "we'll know better once the results are in".

Basically, that you're doing good, but just be aware that it may change soon, mmkay?

And so, because of all that stuff that I have listed above, what I saw and heard at the Women's Hospital today really... made my day.

It wore me out, sure - but it also made my day.

Pretty much every person I came into contact with today - a radiologist, a diabetes physician, a dietician, an obstetrician, a testing centre nurse - they were all happy with where I was standing at this particular moment in my pregnancy, and none of them had any qualms about their particular part of my medical history and circumstances (a first!), and so for the first time it really did feel like it was a green light all the way through.

I have made it to 33 weeks, which in many ways is a sort of a cut-off point. A lot of the hormonal changes have done their spikes already, and if I have managed to get to here without having to alter my regular medications and their dosages, then in all likelihood it will stay that way, too.

I have managed - and been lucky enough - to not have to use diabetes drugs, and so medically speaking it has allowed me safe passage towards a potential natural labour (whether it'll happen or not is another story, but at least it's an option).

And as is the case with many post-NICU parents, I looked at the numbers charted on the ultrasound screen today  (2+ kg, 30+ percentile, all measurements dated to 32 weeks or later) and let out an audible sigh, I think.

It must be the experience of having been around clear plastic bassinets and blue lights and oxygen masks and intravenous drips - NICU paraphernalia, basically - (do post-NICU parents ever get over that? Ever?) - but I looked at those numbers today and felt my tummy and smiled towards my daughter and felt like we were... getting out into clear, and that I didn't have to prove myself to anyone any more. They could see it all on their computer screens, if they wanted to: me and my daughter were doing fine.

And with that, I may just sign off for today and go some dishes or something.

It's nice to be good.

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