After that Doctor walked out of the room (and I subdued the urge to knock her out) it was safe to say that reality was setting in. It was about an hour later that the OBGYN Doctor came back in to talk to us. She had this sympathetic look on her face and this time she pulled a chair up next to my bed. It was easy to read the room and tell that this was not going to be good news.
The Doctor told us that the baby was in trouble. Her heart rate was stagnate, little to no change in her heart rate was a sign of distress. To be honest, that was confusing to me. I was told the day before that too many changes in heart rate meant she wasn't doing well. Apparently neither were a good sign.
I was told that based on the baby's trends, she needed to come out or we would risk losing her. It was time to make a decision. They explained to me that I had a few options. The best way I can think of to lay this out, is to list the choices we were given.
1. Go in for a planned C-Section. If I chose this option, I could be awake during the procedure. That meant I would be able to hold the baby for at least a few minutes, in the event that they were not able to intubate her. It was also made clear that me that going in for surgery with my blood pressure as high as it was, put me at risk.
2. I could wait until the baby was in full distress and go in for an emergency c-section. Under this circumstance I would be under full anesthesia. That meant If they were not able to intubate my baby, I would never even get to hold her. But in theory, it could have bought her more time to develop.
3. I could take the fetal monitors off and be pregnant for whatever time we had left.
4. I wasn't technically 24 weeks pregnant yet. I was told in the state of New York, I could still exercise my right to terminate the pregnancy.
After presenting me with all of my options the Doctor said "I know that is a lot to process. I will give you a few minutes to decide, but I can really only give you a few minutes." She left the room and for what felt like the 100th time in two days, I absolutely lost it. I let myself feel that for a minute and then pulled it back together. We had an impossible choice to make.
My fiancé came and sat on the bed next to me and rubbed my back while we had the most difficult conversation we've ever had. We talked through everything including what quality of life our daughter might have if they are able to intubate her and what life would look like after potentially losing our child. I wasn't thinking at all about the risks for me. Chris of course was. I understood and appreciated his concern for me, but I looked at him and said "I do not think I can ever forgive myself if we don't do everything we can". We made our decision.
About ten minutes later the Doctor came back in. At this point it was about 10:30 PM on Christmas night. She asked us if we had decided and I looked at her and said "I have to at least try".
The next thing I knew, I was getting prepped for surgery.
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
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