Apr 7, 2011

F is for Fatherhood... and Faith

This is not a happy post.

My wife, Jen, is a week away from entering her third trimester. We decided last summer that we would start trying to have a baby and within a month or so she was pregnant.

Today we had our fourth ultrasound scan. The doctors told us there wasn't as much amniotic fluid around the baby as they would like. For someone with little medical knowledge this language is pretty scary. I know amniotic fluid is important, I just don't know why.

We were told that a reduction in amniotic fluid can result in the lungs not forming properly. This means that there is a very small chance, a worst-case scenario, that if this doesn't sort itself out, the baby will not be able to breathe on its own when its born, and will not survive more than about 48 hours, at best.

There isn't anything that can be done. We just have to wait. And hope.

Up to this, everything has been fine. The baby's size is good and its heartbeat is strong. Its been kicking all shades of crap out of Jen for weeks now. Right up to our last scan, everything looked perfect. We've been told that there have been cases where a mother has even had no amniotic fluid around the baby, been told the baby won't survive, and still prove the doctors wrong. Our doctors have been wonderful, making sure we're both okay and assuring us that there is still a very good chance our baby will be fine, that at this stage it's all guesswork and they simply have a responsibility to tell us about all of the possibilities.

When I stated the A to Z Challenge, hell, when I started this blog, I hadn't intended that anything really personal would be posted on it. But this is just too big for me to shove aside for some random "F" post. As it happens, fatherhood and faith are foremost in my mind.

Both Jen and I are trying to keep positive. We've been told that nothing can be done. I don't believe that. I believe in the power of the human spirit. I believe in faith. I am not a religious man, but I am very spiritual. I want to believe that our baby is a fighter, like us. I want to believe that, whether through chance, faith, Reiki, positive thoughts, or prayer, our baby will be fine.

But faith isn't about knowing.

I'll be keeping things updated here and on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Jeez man that's terrible news.
    As an expectant father too, I really feel for you. It's scary news alright, and my thoughts will be there alongside my best wishes and every good vibe there is.
    Hopefully it will all work out well; as you say, there is certainly a chance of a positive outcome. Just cherish the time you have with your baby, both within the womb and outside, because no matter what happens, it will always be precious.
    I'm not the most religious person myself, but I'll offer what prayers I have, for what it's worth.

  2. Without being a scaremonger, heavens knows you shouldn't listen to the horror stories, if you need to push for an earlier c sec please please push hard. If they seem like they are humming and hawing about delivering then drill them over all the chances. A girlback home had her baby go from fine to stillborn in the space of two weeks after being advised to just keep waiting and see.

    It's heartbreaking to have a premature baby in the care ward but they have a great chance to survive these days so please don't be scared of the option

    Much love to you both. Xx

  3. I believe in you and your baby.

  4. Mad Iguana: Thank you. We're hoping that everything's going to be all right. The doctor and midwife seem more concerned making sure that we're not worrying ourselves too much than the possibility that the baby's in serious danger, which is good.

    Quilla: We'll keep that in mind. My mum apparently had very low fluid when she was pregnant with my sister, and my sister was born at over 10lbs and healthy as an ox. Finding that out was a big relief.

    Anonymous: Thank you, whoever you are :-)

  5. I will be praying for all three of you.

  6. Sorry to hear that. I am not religious either, but I truly believe in the human spirit! I think that if a person is a fighter and wants to make it through anything, they can.
    Sounds like the baby is keeps kicking to let you guys know he's here and not going away any time soon!!!
    I will keep you guys in my thoughts!

  7. Halli: Thank you. We can't believe the amount of support and positice thoughts we're getting.

  8. So sorry to hear about your scare; difficulties in utero are really tough to get through because you literally feel like there's nothing you can do.

    I'm hoping they're going to do frequent ultrasounds now to keep on top of things? It's great that she's about at the third trimester mark! Even if something happens that the baby arrives early, making it to the third trimester has given the baby so much strength and nutrition to start their little life.

    At 33 weeks, I was told that one of my babies hadn't grown in 3 weeks time and was sent directly to deliver. (pregnant with identical twins - one was stealing all of the other's nutrition - results in something similar to low amniotic fluid) We rushed to the hospital and they were in NICU for 2 weeks. Scary, scary first day for me, but ... they are both now 3 1/2 years old, healthy and hearty and full of life. Babies can handle an awful lot and doctors and nurses can do amazing things.

    Will be thinking of you and your wife. Best wishes for a happy, healthy baby and good welcome to fatherhood.