My pregnancy was a typical one. All of the expectations, anxiety, and joy of bringing a new life into this world. At my 37 week check-up, I was told I was “having the pregnancy that everyone dreams of”. No complications, great health, loving life.
At week 38, I watched the midwife’s eye grow larger with concern when my baby’s vital were low. She also noticed that my fundal height had not increased since the last week. They strapped me to a monitor, which indicated the baby’s heart rate had slowed. They were concerned, and scheduled me for an ultrasound later that day. This was supposed to be my last day of work before leaving for maternity leave and life as a stay-at-home working mother.
I called my husband and shared the news. I remember trying to play down my concern at the time. I thought they were just being very cautious. We returned for the ultrasound, and the technician joked as she probed my belly. She told us to return to the midwife’s office for the results, but then thought again and said she needed to go speak to the midwife herself. At this moment, we realized that something was wrong. She walked us back to the waiting room and went in to see the midwife. We started to become more and more anxious as we waited. What did she see that made her so concerned?
When we saw the midwife, she reported that our baby was very small for her gestational age. They wanted to consult the MD on call and were going to send us to the local university for further diagnostics. However, we couldn’t get into that lab until the following week (because it was Labor Day weekend). The midwife and MD debated on what we should do. After hours of anxiety and debate, they recommended that we induce and welcome Hazel into this world early so that she could receive any care she needed outside the womb.
We decided to follow through with induction and return to the hospital that evening. We rushed home to pack our bags, scan the unfinished nursery, take care of the dog, and call our family. I remember sobbing as I looked at the ultrasound photos from her last healthy scan. What was going on with my little girl?