We "graduated"!!! / Worries during pregnancy

Well, would you look at that. It's like this baby is illuminated by some special light in this picture! Maybe I'm crazy. That's okay.

I had a dream about his delivery last night. The biggest thing I remember is that we needed to decide on a name for the birth certificate - and of course, I woke up before we decided! So far for our kiddos, we come prepared with 2-3 name ideas, but prefer to meet the little one before deciding his name. Seeing his face and hearing his voice really seems to help.

And here I am, on a tangent.

What I *really* wanted to tell you was that - we've graduated!

What does that mean?

While we're going for a natural birth at our birth center with minimal interventions, Alan and I still opted for the 12 week ultrasound to help screen for genetic problems with the baby. This is a pretty common ultrasound, but our birth center outsources this to a provider affiliated with their partner hospital - which happens to specialize in identifying high-risk problems.

During that ultrasound, baby boy looked fantastic and the risk of genetic problems was minimal. (Blood tests from me also came back reporting minimal risks.) The doctor did note that my placenta had several "lakes" that could be a cause for concern, but I shouldn't worry - we would just monitor them as the pregnancy progressed.

Telling me there's something to "monitor" but not to worry… impossible. Lots of worry, even though I knew right away this was an issue outside my influence. Nothing I did or changed would affect these placental "lakes". Yikes, right? We didn't see anything like this with James, so I was immediately concerned.

Turns out, "lakes" are pools of maternal blood in the placenta, and they show up on an ultrasound as black areas that kind of look like bodies of water on a map. While fairly normal, if the lakes are numerous or big enough, they can potentially restrict the growth of the baby (they are essentially non-helpful parts of the placenta, not doing their job). Blood is supposed to flow through the placenta in channels, which nourishes the baby all throughout the pregnancy.

So as a result, I've had a couple more scans than the average mama, and at my last scan (around 24 weeks) the doctor mentioned that the lakes were "much less impressive" - great news, right?? We scheduled one more scan around 30 weeks to check in and make sure things were progressing as expected. That's the picture you see above, from yesterday.

And… the placenta looks fantastic! The lakes are pretty much totally gone, and baby is growing right on track. I have just the right amount of amniotic fluid in there, he's head-down and strong, and looks just as he should. Wahoo!!

So we've graduated - I no longer have to go in for scans, which is a good thing (even though this provider has been incredible in every way and a pleasure to visit!) and the best-case scenario.

Such a relief for me and Alan, and a great way to kick off these last 2 months of pregnancy.


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