Yesterday, after a three hour visit to the hospital for our weekly ultrasound, L&D monitoring and a consult with my fabulous OB, Dr. Anthony Human, we were informed that our chances of holding out until 36 weeks are most likely slim to none. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Hmmmm…that’s a bummer.
I have been feeling SO good since I got out of the hospital and got over that nasty Flu, so we went to the appointment thinking that we were going to get some great news from the doc – great news, such as, “Everything is looking awesome and nothing has changed, so you can start getting up and doing some moderate activities.” Yah, not so much. Instead, we heard, “Your cervix has thinned out almost completely and the baby’s amniotic sac is now resting against your cervical stitch (cerclage), which means your water could break at any time. So, we really need to all but cut your legs off from here on out. We want you to get as far along as you can and we’re shooting for 30 weeks, but that won’t happen unless you pretty much stay off your feet at all times, except for potty breaks.”
Well that was unexpected, and unwelcome news. In a nutshell, the doc told us that we are going to have a premie whether we are ready for it or not and we had best get used to the idea.
I didn’t feel disappointed or shocked at the news at all. Instead, I immediately thought, Well, the rest of the pregnancy has been a total nightmare, what’s one more bit of unexpected news. Really, we should expect this sort of thing by now. So, rather than break down crying or rage at the universe for making this such a difficult time, Greg and I both chuckled a little, shook our heads and shrugged our shoulders. Okay. In a few short weeks we will be meeting our daughter. It’s not under ideal circumstances, but it could be a lot worse – she could have already arrived.
As one of my favorite nurses, Debbie from L&D, wheeled me out to the car where Greg was waiting, my mind was already moving at the speed of light. We’d need books about Premies and NICU stays so we know exactly what we are in for. We’ll need more premie clothes and all the tiny clothes we already have will have to be washed so she can at least look fashionable during her stay in the NICU (okay, I’m kidding about the fashionable part – I use humor to cope). I’ll have to make her a baby mix of soft, soothing music and record our voices reading a Dr. Suess book so she’ll have comfort when we can’t be with her, etc.
It wasn’t until late last night when Greg and I were discussing how to keep our spirits up for the next three weeks that I realized I had kind of given up and that we were both resigned to the fact that I will only make it to 30 weeks. I stopped, mid sentence, looked at him and said, “Listen to us. We’ve given up already. Who’s to say that if we make it to 30 weeks, we can’t make it to 31 or 32 or 33, etc. Just because someone has told us this is the case, why did we just assume that this is how it has to be?”
I hardly slept last night due to dreams of traumatic childbirth and a tiny baby who could fit in the palm of my hand, hooked up to monitors and struggling for life. Once I woke up, there was no more sleep in the cards for me. Instead, I lay there listening to myself breathe, feeling the baby move around and kick up a storm, and I let my thoughts wander. Eventually, I realized that I am not ready to have this baby yet. Even though the pregnancy has been one setback on top of another, there are some positive aspects that can’t be overlooked. She is healthy. She is growing as she should be. She has my nose, which is a blessing because Greg has a huge schnoz and we don’t need a baby who comes out looking like Grover! :). She is getting stronger each and every day and I could sit here for hours (well, I have to sit here for hours) and feel her moving around inside me. There really are no words to describe the feeling of growing another human being. And, frankly, I’m not ready to let that go yet. And, if I’m not ready to let that go, then I am going to do everything humanly possible to ensure she stays in there as long as possible. That’s all there is to it.
I’ve decided that no one is going to dictate when this baby arrives except her and I’m going to make her as comfortable in there as I possibly can in hopes that she’ll want to hang out as long as possible. Besides, we haven’t been able to nail down a name for her yet and we’d hate for her to come into the world without a name!!! Priorities. Priorities.