My Tiniest Heartbreak- IUGR

When I first really saw Isabella, I cried. A wave of guilt rushed over me cutting my visit with her short. After 10 minutes with the baby I gave birth to just 24 hours before, I asked my husband to wheel me back to my room and I cried.

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When I was about 22 weeks I was informed that Isabella was small. No big deal was made about it, just that she was small and they would keep an eye on her. Since they were already keeping an eye on my placenta due to placenta previa, it wasn’t much of a big deal. Then one day my doctor casually told me that she was IUGR and sometimes that meant having the baby as early as 28 weeks because they tend to thrive better outside of the uterus at a certain point. Scary stuff. Thankfully my doctor was so laid back and chill that I didn’t have a major panic attack, but I was worried. I kept wondering what the heck IUGR was? According to the American Pregnancy Association:

The most common definition of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a fetal weight that is below the 10th percentile for gestational age as determined through an ultrasound. This can also be called small-for gestational age (SGA) or fetal growth restriction.

There is no one solid thing that accounts for IUGR, but the American Pregnancy Association lists these as conditions that could put one at greater risk factors:

The thing is, I had none of this at the time. However, during my pregnancy I went from having low blood pressure to having preeclampsia, and when Isabella was born we found out that she had a very small placenta.

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I’ll never forget looking at her wrinkly skin and tiny 4lb frame. I knew in my head that we were blessed. Yes, there were other babies much smaller and yes, she was healthy except for her size, but man. This was my baby and I felt guilty for my baby that was in my body being so tiny. Did I not eat enough protein? Was there something else I could’ve done to help her? I was crazy in denial about her size while pregnant. This kid moved so much and I could see her butt shifting across my belly when she moved. I thought she couldn’t possibly be as tiny as they said she was and ultrasound techs are often wrong, right? Not in this case.

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Because she was able to breathe on her own and her blood sugar and body temperature were fine, she only stayed in the NICU for 1 week. Our goal after that was just helping her gain weight. When I was pregnant with her she went from the 2nd percentile, to the 5th, then finally the 8th. Today she is in the 12th percentile, so still very tiny for her age. It no longer kills me on the inside when someone makes a remark about how tiny she is, but in the beginning it crushed me. And sometimes I’m still sad that she looks like a 2 month old when she’s actually 5 months old, but what can I do? We feed her when she’s hungry, giving her an extra half teaspoon of formula with every bottle (per the pediatricians instructions) and we wait. I’m apart of some wonderful IUGR communities on facebook and one thing I know is that you can’t predict how your child is going to turn out in a few months, not even in a few years. Everyone’s IUGR baby is different. Some of them stay tiny forever, others have mental delays. Some are normal on the charts now and are doing exceptionally well. All we can do is pray and try to help her reach her full potential as best we can. I can say that Isabella is passing every test and meeting every milestone, even exceeding some of them (rolling over at 2.5 weeks? Check!). Today she is fascinated with trying to dance like her big sister. I am beyond thankful for her progress. Every time I get sad it is ushered out by all the thankfulness I feel.

For more information on IUGR Please visit the American Pregnancy Association
For support wth your IUGR diagnosis you can join this awesome facebook group.
To keep up with my tribe, please follow me on instagram and facebook.

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…Gender Reveal Party!

Old wives tales

In fall of 2015 JD and I were contemplating whether or not to have another child. We talked about it often and definitely prayed about it. During that time I thought about the things I would look forward to if I were ever to get pregnant again. One of those things was a gender reveal party.

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I hadn’t even heard of a gender reveal party until a couple of years ago, but once I did I couldn’t shake the idea. How exciting! Finding out the gender with your closest family and friends. That I definitely wanted in on.

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So even though we decided not to have another little one, God had other plans, and while adjusting to the journey I quickly started throwing ideas together for a gender reveal. Then I started poking around pinterest and getting overwhelmed.I was in my first trimester and exhausted, feeling ill, and just not in the greatest frame of mind. How was I going to pull off a gender reveal party? Cheaply. I was going to do it cheaply. I soon realized that this party could be what I wanted it to be, not everything I was seeing on pinterest. It wasn’t going to be as elaborate as my other parties because I simply wasn’t feeling up to it and that was ok. Also, we were having it at our house which meant the crowd had to be really intimate, so it wasn’t going to be some huge affair. All of that was more than ok with me.

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So we pulled it off. We did Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as the theme. Instead of me doing my usual treats table where I make a million sweets, I simply did a Sundae bar and I’m happy to say that it was a hit! We had a ballot and did stickers to show how everyone voted. Then my friend Michelle made me this amazing Star pinata to use to reveal the gender. We slipped the envelope to my sister-in-law and she was the only one of us to know the gender up until the reveal. Food was simple. Burgers, hot dogs, chicken salad, fruit, potato salad, and of course, cake.

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It was a good time had by all, and the best part was, I did it my way. Ok, enough of that. Ready to know what we’re having? It’s a….

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GIRL! Another princess to spoil. Awww, we can’t wait to meet you Jelly Bean! You’re already so loved!

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