Having had two babies before my IUGR baby I thought I knew everything about
pregnancy. Oh boy was I wrong, everything with this third pregnancy has been
eye opening and humbling (you can read our journey through miscarriage and how we got to this point HERE). In all honesty it has shown a light on how blessed I
had been with my previous pregnancies and I hadn’t even realized it.
Intrauterine growth restriction is when a baby is not growing at the normal
rate in the womb. Ok so a small baby, not a big deal right? That’s exactly what
I thought, I’m just being honest. Here’s the deal, I’m an all-natural mama. I
love my midwife (before all of this I was pushing for a homebirth), I use my
oils during labor/delivery and I have avoided a medicated birth as much as
possible. Basically I believe in the power of a woman’s body to make and
So when the OB told me at my 20 week ultrasound that my baby was a little
smaller than they would have expected I didn’t get what the big deal was and I
thought they were making something out of nothing. At the time I had no idea
that when she said I would need to come back in 2 weeks for a growth scan that
it would carry on through the duration of my pregnancy.
At our first growth scan we were told she was measuring 2 weeks behind
putting her around the 14-16th percentile. She wasn’t officially IUGR and
everything else looked good, it was relieving but we were still prescribed
growth scans every two weeks. At an hour and a half drive round trip I wasn’t
super excited (again, see my naivety here, I had no idea how important these
scans would be).
At my next scan we learned she was growing, but still on her own curve of
14th percentile. They would continue to monitor to ensure she stayed on track
but no red flags. We learned at this appointment that the importance of the
growth scan is not only to see that she’s growing but also that there is
sufficient blood flow from the placenta to the baby.
You see, what can happen with IUGR babies is the placenta isn’t able to
provide all the nutrition the baby needs to grow. This all made sense to me and
I felt relieved that they were watching her so closely.
At our 30 week ultrasound we got the news that they wanted to see me 2x a
week for a NST (non stress test) and 1x a week for a doppler (to check fluid)
in addition to our bi-weekly growth scan. So basically I was moving in to the
hospital. According to the OB it was important to track her movements during
the 3rd trimester with the NST. As annoyed as I wanted to be I was happy that
they were paying close attention to our baby girl.
I continued to be thankful that she was growing on her own track that that
we weren’t officially IUGR. That was until this week (week 35) when she dropped
to 10% and we were officially placed in the IUGR category. What this means for
us is that unless she has a growth spurt in the next two weeks we’ll be talking
about an early delivery.
Guys, I’ve had two babies, both were big (8.2 lb and 9.3 lb), I went into
labor on my own with both and delivered naturally. This is a whole new world
for me. I joke that it feels like I’m having my first baby. Some questions that
I had that you may also have if you’re in this same position. Does early
delivery mean c-section: no, unless that’s your choice. The nurse today told me
it would be an induction. Does early delivery happen right away at 37 weeks?
Not necessarily, my midwife said depending on what the 37 week growth scan says
we can weigh our options. Obviously if my fluid is low or she’s in distress
they would schedule it right away but otherwise they may give me a few days.
So that’s where we are today. I’m so thankful that she’s passed her NSTs and
as far as we can tell she’s a healthy but tiny little girl. In the next couple
of weeks we’ll learn whether or not my placenta is just “too tired”
(as the OB so lovingly put it) to carry on the rest of the pregnancy. I’ve done
a pretty good job of not google searching the crap out of IUGR and if you’re in
this position I would suggest the same.
This week I did a search just to prep myself for early delivery if we go
that route and I found very little first accounts from other mothers who have
gone through this. Which is why I’m writing this now. I hope my journey can
help answer questions for other moms going through the same thing. I’ll keep
you posted on the how the rest of our journey transpires so look for an update
in the coming weeks.