Since about 20 weeks I’ve had a worry in the back of my mind with regards to my amniotic fluid levels. When we asked about the possibilities of what could happen in the pregnancy after we found out it was T18, one of the things they mentioned was a possible build up of amniotic fluid. They explained that babies with chromosomal abnormalities often have trouble with swallowing, which begins in utero, so they are unable to swallow and process the fluid like a baby with no issues would. Therefore, the fluid builds up. This is problematic because it increases the risks of some things, including preterm labor.
As the weeks have passed on, I have had fluid building up. And I find it very bothersome. I think on some level I feel like it’s a way that I’m failing. Even though I know it has nothing to do with me, I kind of feel like I should be better. I’m surprised by the things that really bother me — Gabriel’s low weight and the excess amniotic fluid. They’re things that are to be expected with a baby who has trisomy 18. Tommy reminds me that it’s ok, it’s not any worse because of these things. But I think for me, it’s just concrete evidence of the T18. It’s one thing to have a diagnosis. It’s one thing to read a lab report. But for some reason, it’s the weight and the fluid that make me realize that his little body just isn’t working as it should.
At my last appointment, they measured fluid and it measured at 28. The ultrasound tech told me that average fluid levels for 30 weeks are 14-16. Half of where I am. In fact, the first tech measured 28 and then asked the second tech to measure. The second tech asked her what she got and when she said 28, the second tech said “28???!! Yes, I’ll double check.” You never want to hear that kind of shock.
I’ve not talked much about the physical stuff of pregnancy because truly, it’s not a big deal, and I’m happy to have every side effect I’ve had because it means I’ve gotten to have Gabriel. But it’s not been an easy road. I have a ridiculously large collection of prescriptions and pills I take. I’m thankful for the balance of medicine because it helps me to keep my food down, be healthier, and try to gain more weight. So while I may be a walking pill box, I’m all good there. But lately, within the last month, the presence of the extra fluid has really started weighing me down. I kept trying to remember if it was a normal pregnancy thing, to be so uncomfortable, but I couldn’t remember feeling that way with Jack. I’ve come to realize that the heaviness I feel and the abdominal pain, is most likely from the extra fluid. And it’s just uncomfortable. Again, I wouldn’t trade it if trading it meant not having our Gabriel. It’s all part of the process.
But as the weight, both physically and emotionally, of it has been setting on me heavy lately, I’ve come to realize that it’s really a deeper heart issue. It’s more about me being consumed by it, lacking in faith and trust. So what if I have more fluid? That doesn’t mean there won’t still be a miracle. It doesn’t mean that anything will be worse. It may mean that I have to go slower and I don’t get to do “all the things” I want to do, but that’s no big deal. Maybe that’s a blessing in and of itself.
So I’m meditating on the verse below. Remembering that my focus needs to be on God and not on myself. Remembering that I trust Him. Remembering that He is good. Always. Will you pray that we are able to do those things? Pray for our hearts as well as Gabriel, and me, physically. Thank you!
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.