Tuesday, March 08, 2016

IUG... What?

A year ago, I had no idea that IUGR Awareness Day coming up, on March 13th, was a thing.

A year ago, I had no idea IUGR was a thing.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction.

Three words that changed my pregnancy, my delivery and my life. 

Forgive me if that sounds dramatic, but it's the truth.

I don't know how to share what IUGR has meant to our family. I don't know how to put into words the fear, uncertainty, chaos and isolation that comes along with it. 

But I do know that if there was someone out there that could have reached out and understood that my baby wasn't going to be little just because I am, then I wouldn't have felt so alone. That just because I'm all of 4' 11" a 3lb baby wasn't something I should have just expected. I actually had an ultrasound technician tell me, "In my country we say big dog, big puppy; little dog, little puppy." 

Yeah.

So here it is. Here's the series I would have wanted to read. And if someone out there, going through this diagnosis, this uncertainty, right now could, at the very least, not feel alone and at best, feel comforted, then it's worth putting it all out there...

At 30 weeks pregnant with my second baby, I went for a routine ultrasound. Our hospital policy includes a late pregnancy ultrasound, and thank Gd it did. I knew right away that something wasn't right. I saw the look of confusion on the technician's face. Four times I answered what my due date and LMP was but she just didn't seem satisfied with it. I smiled at our little moving bundle on the screen, wiped up the gel and walked over to my OB down the hall for my appointment.

That's where he told me that our baby was measuring small. And not just small but "too small". For 26 years I had dealt with being called small, short etc. But this time no one was laughing it off. This time words like "induction," "at high risk," "closely monitor," "low birth weight," were being thrown around. Something was wrong and it wasn't even something that people could understand. 

I would say, "They're concerned, the baby is measuring too small." 

Everyone else would say, "Well look at you!" or "Ultrasounds aren't accurate!" or "I bet it's going to be 8lbs!"

People would ask how far along I was, and when I'd respond they'd look shocked and tell me how lucky I was to be so small.

Never in my life, have I hated being told that more. 

All I wanted was to be big. I wanted that jump, that huge weight gain which would mean my baby was growing, was thriving and was getting bigger. 

Instead I stayed small. 

I left that appointment feeling a horrible combination of confusion and guilt. I had already been doing everything I possibly could to have a healthy pregnancy. I had cut out fried eggs, deli, caffeine, anything even semi-questionable. I was eating as healthy as possible. I was chasing a 14-month-old and going for walks and keeping active. I never missed a doctor's appointment, and I rested as much as I was able to.

So why had my body stopped helping the baby? Why wasn't it growing?

You get pregnant, you get bigger, the baby grows, you deliver.

Why was my story stalling on the second part?

After being "small," for 26 years, why couldn't just this once, I move passed that? 

I went home, cried and waited for our next doctor's appointment the following week.

Next, I'll share what an IUGR pregnancy looks like. 

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