Everything is Fine With the Baby… Except – What No Expecting Parent Wants to Hear

by Leila on March 4, 2014

Waiting for his sister


That word isn’t something you want to hear when you are at a prenatal checkup. It paralyzes you as it continues to echo in your ears.

Except… except… except…

There is no amount of delicate bedside manner that can make a blow like that any less painful.

It’s just one word. One freaking word that halts you.

Except would be an amazing word if it was followed up with something like…

Except, she’s wearing a ninja mask.

Except, you are further along than expected, she’s going to be delivered today healthy and painlessly. Yay, no more pregnancy!

Except, we found a million dollars while we were examining you. Here is your cash – cleaned up and sterilized of course.

Oh that last one painted a weird visual. Sorry, everyone.

In the fraction of a second all of this ran through my head as soon as my doctor said “Except…”

Yes, even the bit about the million dollars. My mind has strange coping mechanisms for stress.

I have placenta previa – which means the placenta is too close to my cervix and that makes natural delivery complicated – this is pretty common and not a big concern.

But… there is always a freaking but… in addition to that I also have vasa previa – which means there are vessels that aren’t in the right place, and are exposed, which means there is a possibility of them rupturing which puts my baby at risk. If there is a rupture I could lose her within minutes. That right there makes every other insignificant complaint I could have possibly had irrelevant.

Thankfully, this was all caught early and doesn’t pose a developmental concern. She can keep cooking until it’s time for a c-section (which I haven’t had one before) and be out of harms way so long as there isn’t a rupture. Vasa previa is very rare, hard to diagnose and not preventable. I feel like those three things are a common theme in my life when it comes to health hurdles my 11 year old daughter. When it is caught early that increases her chances of survival which is all I can focus on right now. As always, I have to make the most out of the cards I was dealt while trying not to freak out.

I’m on modified bed rest until, what feels like, the end of time and space. This isn’t easy for someone like me who is constantly going. I have to reduce my stress, which resulted in some massive purging of negative people and situations in my life that I refuse to waste energy on. I have had to become comfortable asking friends and family for help. I have to fight everything that is naturally me by slamming down my brakes and doing what is best for my daughter who needs to “Just keep cooking”. I’m at a point where the stress doesn’t consume me because I’ve had to force myself to get there. It’s not easy since I usually reduce my stress by finding solutions and the only solution is that I sit, wait and hope for the best.

I’ve made a long list of projects I’ve procrastinated on so I can keep busy. I cannot sit around and watch TV or play games all day because that weighs me down. I have to feel productive at the end of the day even if I can’t physically do everything I am used to doing. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, living in fear of losing my daughter, or complaining about this situation I am going to spend the next few months accomplishing all I can while sitting on my butt.

I almost didn’t share this news. It’s taken me weeks to decide to go “public” with it. It feels different when I share hurdles that I help my loved ones overcome compared to something that is about me. I get very uncomfortable when I’m not 100% and this isn’t the sort of attention I like. I also don’t like to cause anyone stress. Above all, I absolutely hate feeling vulnerable.

I would rather avoid the subject and then months later casually mention, “Oh and by the way, I was on bed rest for 4 months and couldn’t really hang out… sooo, whatcha wanna eat?!”

The friends I’ve known for a long time can probably go on for hours about all those “Oh and by the way” moments I have thrown at them after the fact. Sorry, guys! (Insert evil laughter here)

The reason I changed my mind is because I’ve realized there are a lot of parents who are, or have been, in the same boat as I am. Those parents who have had to play the waiting game and hope that their babies keep cooking as long as possible are more common than I ever realized.

We all want to have healthy and thriving babies, and we try not to think about those worst case scenarios. But, what I have learned in this past month is that there is so much strength in embracing these challenges and taking comfort in the miraculous success stories. I’m choosing to share what I’m going through so I can not only explain why I may pick up obsessive habits like making hats, but, to also connect with others who are finding themselves in a similar situation. Maybe my experience will provide some comfort or raise awareness no matter what the outcome.

I started this blog with the intention of sharing my “Nothing can hold me back” attitude and I plan to do just that with this situation as well. I’ve had several friends express how inspiring I am when life throws obstacles in my way. Truthfully, I don’t see myself as inspiring… I just try to get through every crazy situation with the least amount of damage while focusing on the kickassery times that are just beyond the struggle.

It is going to be a long road. I am hoping for the best while making the most out of each day while my daughter continues to cook in there and uses my ribs and abdomen as punching bags.

Live, laugh and ninja kick to happiness. Always.

About Leila DontSpeakWhinese

Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of five awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Leighann March 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm

good for you for sharing this and reaching out. I’m sorry to hear that you are on bed rest but if that’s what’s best for you than I’m glad to hear you’re making the best of it.
thinking of you.
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Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Thanks so much, sweetie! I really appreciate your words 🙂 Also? LOVE the “Ten reason’s Mom’s re ninjas!” hehe
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Kristin March 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Praying for you and your little ninja. I know how hard it its when you face those kind of uncertainties during a pregnancy. I am here if you need me.
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Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Massive tackle-hug-smooches, my friend. I appreciate you so much!
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Jennifer @ Mom Spotted March 4, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Hugs, I was on bedrest with my middle and it’s no fun at all. I hope you have am uneventful rest of your pregnancy and you get to hold your little girl right when she is expected. You got this 🙂
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Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Thanks, woman! My doctor always said “I hope I don’t see you for a long time and I hope bed rest is uneventful” – the first time she said that it shocked me. But, now I get it 😉
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Rita O'Neal March 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm

I’ll be thinking and praying for you! I’m always home so if you ever need someone to chat with, look me up!
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Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Thank you!!! I will for sure 🙂 I’ve been using Skype and chatting a lot more than I usually do so be careful ;P
Leila recently posted..Your Birthday Cupcakes Are NOT More Important Than My Daughter’s LifeMy Profile


Coffee Lovin Mom March 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Leila, I’m glad you shared this..someone out there will be able to relate or ease your anxiety about how to keep your oven in the best condition for the rest of the cooking time. Bed rest sucks but you have a great family supporting you – I’m sure they will be able to fill in as needed. I just know you will look back on this time that seems like an eternity now as just a short stint in your ninja adventures!


Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Thank you! I’m so thankful with how great my kids are handling this. Sure, it’s tough at times but for the most part they have shown how responsible they are. Yanno, except when they are hiding in a room I can’t waddle into trying to hide from me so I don’t give them more chores LOL
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Necole March 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm

My sister was on strict bedrest after discovering “bleeds” or placenta tears – she could only get up to use the bathroom or shower. The hardest thing for an active (ninja) woman to do is to rest. So glad you shared this – your friends and family are here to help in any way!


Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I’m so sorry your sister went through that… it’s terrifying! I’m trying to stay positive while preparing for the worst. I’m hoping I can still stay on my feet for a little bit until my daughter is with us 🙂 Thanks so much sweetie!
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Faiqa March 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Girl, I know exactly what you mean — I’m totally that “Oh, by the way, I had this major life crisis three months ago” kind of friend, too. I’m glad we’re both attacking that full force. It doesn’t mean we’re weak if we share. It means we are unafraid of being seen even in the moments when we feel scared. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the doing it even though we’re scared. My thoughts and strength are with you, my ninja sister. It’s going to be fine. XO


Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm

If I could tackle hug you right now I would 🙂 I agree, it’s NOT easy to attack these types of hurdles when you are used to crawling into a cave and attacking those demons solo. Hopefully at this end of our journey’s with this we will be having some drinks talking about how empowering it was to be like “I can be scared and still rock it!”
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Trina March 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Hugs- thank you for sharing because there are always others looking for information or just the fact that someone else is going through it too. I hope your bed rest is uneventful. I didn’t know this, but with a c-section make them help you move by the second or third day in the hospital. I had to sleep sitting up for a month and couldn’t walk well for like two months.
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Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm

That is a good tip that a few people said. I plan on walking as soon as they let me. I’m kind of intrigued by how you can’t really work your abdomen muscles after the surgery 😉

Thanks for the support, woman!
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Wendy March 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm

well, that sucks. The word EXCEPT sucks. I know- (yes, you ARE pregnant, Mrs. DelMonte, except, well, you have cancer) I get it. I do. And I get how “bedrest” makes you crazy and tired.
I’ll play online games with you. WE can do words with freinds, except I suck at it and that would be like cheating.
I’ll be praying for you. And cheering you on. and you, you sit there and BASK in the love that you will surely be showered with.
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Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm

You are my kind of Words with Friend partner hahaha I’m convinced some of my friends cheat because they NEVER use big words 😉

Thank you so much… To be honest the amazing support and love I’ve received has been overwhelming. I’m so very grateful for it all.
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Mindy Grant March 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I am so sorry to hear this! When I was pregnant with my daughter, I found out that I had a bilobed placenta, which put me at risk for vasa previa. I was completely freaked out, but thankfully another ultrasound confirmed that I didn’t have it. I’ll be praying for you and your baby, and hoping for a smooth pregnancy and delivery.
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Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Oh my goodness I’m sorry you went through that but I am glad you didn’t end up having vasa previa. It’s maddening because of how difficult it is to diagnose. Bilobed placenta increases the chances for vasa previa and it’s such a double whammy!

Thanks for all the awesomeness. I really appreciate it 🙂
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Julia Roberts March 4, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I love you. That is all. (You’ve got this!)
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Leila March 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I love you too!! I keep chanting, “You got this!!!” – I should make some shirts with that message hehe
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Jess March 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm

I hope everything goes smoothly with the bed rest and delivery. It was courageous of you to share (I know what you mean about the “oh, hey, so…”) and I hope writing about it helped.
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