I am still physically exhausted as well as mentally and emotionally drained from this experience of having to wonder about how much havoc my antibodies are causing. (If you’re out of the loop, please go read my post on Month 7.)
This month I actually decided to stop posting regular articles here on MCS. I wrote another post about that decision here if you are interested. It was a painful decision to make, but now that it’s been a few weeks, I realize it was the right thing to do. I’m not giving up blogging forever, but I do need to focus on what’s more important right now, and take care of myself, make sure I have enough time to do ALL THE THINGS.
Each week I wait to hear whether my baby will have to come out, like, now. Much like the whole situation with Covid, it’s hard to see into the future, to plan, to dream, to project myself. But, fortunately, each week we get good news from the ultrasound, and I am relieved that I have another week not only for my baby to grow inside me where she’s supposed to be, but also another 7 days to get shit done around here.
Unrelated but not inconsequential, my freelancing business blew up this month. I had done a little email marketing campaign in the first week of March (a knee-jerk stress reaction to discovering this alloimmunization problem), and lo and behold, it worked wayyyyyyy better than I ever anticipated. I had planned on pitching 100 target clients. In the end, I had time to pitch only a quarter of that. But I still got an 8% conversion rate! Dude!
That meant a ton of extra hours spent onboarding clients and then doing the project work, invoicing, etc., all the while, never knowing if I would actually be able to complete the projects based on what the weekly ultrasounds would reveal… so I’ve been a ball of stress around that, even though it’s very much a GREAT thing to have had people breaking down my virtual business door.
Apart from that, I feel like I spent the last month at the hospital. I’ve had endless blood tests, too, between 2 different labs. One of the tests involved trying to determine my baby’s blood type through analyzing fetal blood in my own blood. Apparently it’s a fairly recent “technology” they’ve developed, and it was hard to actually get someone to take my blood for that, because no one knew what this test was! I am still waiting on the results. The point is to have my baby’s blood type already on hand in case she needs a transfusion. (They would always retest her right before giving her a transfusion, but this way they already have the blood there, and they are just double-checking before they give it to her, rather than having to, I dunno, go order the blood or something. It’s to save time, basically.)
I also finally made an appointment to see an osteopath. If you’re not familiar what that is (cause I had never heard of this in America), it’s like a chiropractor but not. An osteopath isn’t cracking anything. He’s basically leading you in exercises involving a resistance between you. It’s hard to explain. Picture like an arm wrestling contest! Only it’s with different muscle groups. It’s painful, and you do start to break a sweat, but you will walk out with immediate relief. I was so glad after my session. I felt like I had grown about 5cm. Suddenly I was walking upright again, not waddling like a fat turkey! The pain in my lower back and hips had all but disappeared. I was kicking myself mentally for not going once a month since about Month 2 of pregnancy. Imagine all the pain I could have avoided… and how much more energy I’d’ve had. You don’t realize just how tired being in chronic pain makes you until it goes away suddenly.
Most importantly, we had a consultation with the pediatrics unit at the hospital. The doctor we saw gave us the most encouraging news. Based on my test results, the pediatrician could be fairly certain that my baby would at some point develop a blood problem, whether in utero or within the first 2-3 months of life. But then she will have eliminated all the antibodies, and the problem would not persist. With regular exams, they will know when she needs treatment, which would involve either light therapy (for jaundice) or a blood transfusion (for anemia). It seemed so simple and so sure. I walked out of the meeting and said to Papa, honestly, they should have started with that meeting. It was so reassuring! Previously all we’d had were worrying blood test results and anxiety-inducing ultrasounds.
But it’s good news, and we feel confident that this nightmare will be over in a few months, and our baby will be healthy by the fall. If only we could say the same for the Covid situation… Only 2.5 more weeks of pregnancy to go, at most! The doctors will induce me at 37 weeks if I haven’t already gone into labor. This is purely because of the alloimmunization issue. I’m starting to feel anxious again about the birth. What will it be like? What fresh bodily hell awaits me? And then, how will we cope with another screaming infant? Stay tuned… Month 9 will be short.
If you missed the first installment of my pregnancy series, you can find it here. You can keep up with subsequent months as they are published here.
Jessica is an American expat living the dream in Normandy. She is wife to a French hubby and mama to a Franco-American daughter, born in 2018, and one whippet. Passionate about all stages of writing, this Francophile created her blog in 2020 to help others navigate motherhood with a focus on conscious parenting and bilingual parenting. Bonne lecture !