Baby Allen @ 31 Weeks

 

The last 10 days or so have been an unbelievable whirlwind with baby Allen. He got diagnosed with IUGR {Intrauterine Growth Restriction} which is basically a blanket diagnosis that means he’s really small but we aren’t sure why.

I have undergone an enormous amount of testing and monitoring and spent five of the last seven days in the hospital, but as of today, we and the doctors are really confident that this little guy is safe and content on the inside still.

{Today's NST}

{Today’s NST}

Here’s what’s going on at this point:

  • Baby Allen is extremely small – he is in the first percentile for his size right now.
  • The doctors haven’t figured out what is causing his growth restriction. It’s likely got to do with placenta insufficiency, but they haven’t found anything concrete to go off of yet.
  • For the rest of my pregnancy I will have to have twice weekly non-stress tests {NSTs} and biophysical profile {BPPs} ultrasound scans.
  • The non-stress tests measure the baby’s heart rate. The doctors want to see periods of higher heart rates {“accelerations”} to demonstrate that the baby is happy and content. Today’s NST showed four really, really solid accelerations, and the nurse explained that if the placenta wasn’t providing enough and he wasn’t happy that he would be too lethargic to move around {that causes the HR acceleration}, so the accelerations were really encouraging.
  • During a few of our baby’s past NSTs he had drops in his heart rate which could easily be from him rolling over on the umbilical cord. We’ve learned that the recovery from a deceleration is an extremely important part of how they determine if he’s truly stressed, and it seems like our little guy has always had really strong, solid recoveries even when his heart rate dropped.
  • The biophysical profile {BPPs} ultrasounds measure five things: baby’s amniotic fluid levels, the cord flow, baby’s tone {if he’s flexing his muscles and making slight movements}, large movements {3 are required} and practice breathing. Right now, his fluid levels look good, but the cord flow is showing a little bit of restriction, so they’re monitoring that closely.
  • The baby is currently in the breech position so we’re hoping he flips to be head down so I don’t need a c-section.
  • Once the baby’s fluid levels or cord flow levels drop or if the doctors determine he is getting stressed, a delivery will happen. The same goes for a stagnation in growth, which is measured bi-weekly with a special growth ultrasound {different from the BPP ultrasound}. My next growth ultrasound is next Tuesday.
  • We got a new-found sense of confidence today that making it to 36 or 37 weeks gestation is a real possibility at this point.
  • No matter when the baby is born at this point, the survival rate is extremely high and complications with the baby are extremely low. Our hospital has a level 3 NICU {highest care possible} and is able to provide top-notch care for him to continue to develop if needed. My doctor was confident, though, that if he made it to 36 weeks that he may avoid a stay in the NICU all together!!

To say we’ve had a stressful week would be an extreme understatement. Now that we’re home from the hospital and received SUCH encouraging news from today’s appointment we are starting to calm down a bit. It’s really tough living in 3 day increments – we can’t plan anything past Friday morning’s appointment because that could be another hospital stay for monitoring or a delivery. At this point in this situation we are pretty much prepared for anything.

Our focus {for the next 3 days 🙂 } is keeping me calm {spa day on Thursday!}, pumping my body full of nutrients, particularly protein and water, and making sure our house is ready for this little boy to come home to.

Thank you again to our family and friends for the wonderful support. We are so grateful for the encouragement and positive vibes.