We had a nice uneventful weekend and have safely arrived at 27 weeks. Annie and Steve had a long visit yesterday. We were hoping that she would take a nap but she snuggled with me wide awake while Steve crashed and had a well deserved rest.
Today Baby Girl Tee was unusually quiet. She is normally very active after mealtimes (this girl loves to eat vicariously) but today there was barely any response. When things hadn't picked up by 1:00 I became concerned and the nurse decided to do a non-stress test to put our minds at ease. As soon as the monitor was in place Baby Girl snapped to attention and gave a perfect strip. Once again she had accels that would make a 32 week old fetus proud. She also had hiccups for a good ten minutes and this provided much amusement for her parents. Steve hadn't heard them before and of course thought his daughter had the most adorable hiccups known to mankind.
Anneliese is getting more and more interested in the idea of having a sister. We passed the nursery once on a wheelchair ride and Steve held her up to look at the babies. She became very upset when we had to leave and demanded that I get her baby out of my belly NOW. She has big plans for the two of them. Today she told us how she would "take Baby Sister to the zoo but the baby would be scared of the elephants and she would help her." It is a bittersweet thing to hear her make plans for a future that is so uncertain. There is no way to explain this to a two year old so right now we are letting her dream and hoping there are no difficult conversations in our future. In the meantime I enjoy having my daughters together and watching Annie rub my belly and talk to her baby sister. It reminds me of long ago, before the pregnancy took such a complicated turn. Annie would sit on the bed next to me and talk to my stomach. She once pushed on my belly and Baby Girl started kicking her hand. I wasn't sure if I had witnessed the first time they played together or the first time they fought.
The maternal fetal medicine team is meeting this week to decide on the timing for my next round of steroids. The hospital does not have guidelines in place so it's decided on a case by case basis. There is some disagreement on whether they should do it at 28 weeks or hold off and hope she is born later. They will only do a maximum of two rounds (2 shots each round). There is evidence that any more than that carries risk to the baby. The attending doctor this afternoon said "more than two rounds and they start seeing small heads." We, of course, want Baby Girl to keep her nice big Mellem-noggin.
I am hoping they decide to do the injections sooner than later. They have to be given at least 48 hours before delivery to be effective and in our situation delivery is very hard to predict. They are most effective for two weeks following the injections but it is not as though the effectiveness drops down to zero after 14 days.
One thing that may be hard to understand is that the steroids can only help mature lung tissue that is present. If her lungs are severely undersized due to the low amniotic fluid the steroids will not change the outcome. We are choosing to have hope, however, and want whatever lung tissue she has to be as mature as possible. I am very much hoping to get another round of steroids in before she is born.
Here's to making it a whole 12 weeks with ruptured membranes!