Friday, April 16, 2010

33 Weeks

Things have returned to a relatively boring state. I am constantly in awe of how my status can fluctuate so quickly. On Thursday it really felt as though we had reached a turning point. Now we are back to no bleeding, very few contractions and Baby Girl has been passing her NSTs with flying colors. I am so grateful to be able to say all of that.

Now that delivery is set (April 26th) the mood here has changed a bit. In many ways I am relieved. Originally the plan was to deliver me at 35 weeks. I was not at all comfortable with that. To me that is an extra week of sitting here waiting for infection or cord compression when that week does not offer substantial benefits to the baby. The NICU doctor and maternal fetal specialist agreed, especially considering that the pregnancy has not exactly been calm lately. I was allowed to choose the doctor performing the C-section. Normally you get whoever happens to be the attending that week but I was not comfortable with getting a random doctor. There are so many in this practice and I can't say I have much of a relationship with any of them. Some make me downright uneasy. Being able to choose a doctor I feel confident with has eased my mind considerably.

We also now know the neonatologist who will be working the week we deliver. We both feel she is compassionate and competent. I sense that she herself feels hope for Baby Girl and wants to see her do well.

Now that everything is in place all that is left to do is move through time and arrive at next Monday safely. Things may not go according to plan and delivery could be any day, but we now have a set goal to work towards. I am doing my best to stay calm and focused. I have always told myself that if it were possible to bring her here through sheer force of will then I would. When things are shaky I hold onto that and it helps to refocus my attitude.

This week one of my favorite words has been "No." There are two palliative care researchers here interested in interviewing women such as myself who have continued a pregnancy with a poor prognosis. Originally I agreed to be interviewed as it is hard to say no to a good cause. I have found, though, that the closer we get to delivery the less I want to talk about it (and the more everyone who walks into my room wants to discuss my feelings). I realized that I am really not up for a lengthy discussion about the trials of this pregnancy and declined. Such a relief to not be waiting for that knock on my door.

Then yesterday the attending decided I might have preeclampsia based on a handful of slightly elevated blood pressures. My BP has been trending up, but that is not uncommon in this stage of pregnancy. More importantly, not a single BP has actually qualified as being high, they are just higher than my normal. It seems when you enter a hospital that the doctors feel they have absolute rights over your body and can put you through whatever they ask without a lot of consideration. This doctor decided, to play it extra safe, that I should have a catheter for 24 hours to screen for preeclampsia. I am leaking amniotic fluid so a traditional urine collection would be inaccurate. Preeclampsia is very serious and I don't take it lightly. However, I am also not subjecting myself to a catheter and the risk of infection when I do not actually have high blood pressure. I refused the catheter, annoyed some people but have been sitting here with very normal BP ever since.

Do I sound cranky? I feel a little cranky and have been apologizing a lot for my attitude. I sometimes feel that I have taken a departure from my normal personality and hope this is just temporary hospital induced craziness. Seriously, though, you should pity the poor fool who comes into my room suggesting a catheter for no good reason.

Despite all of my tension, today there is a wonderful bright spot in my life that has left me smiling all day. One of my fellow pPROM moms, Amber, gave birth to her daughter this morning. She is in the NICU and doing very well. Amber ruptured very early, much like I did, and has been an incredible woman throughout her pregnancy. I am so thrilled that her little girl is here and fighting. They will all be in my thoughts and prayers as she grows stronger every day.

Being a part of the "pPROM community" has been an emotional experience for me. There are so many women who have to say goodbye to their babies far to early and each loss is devastating. The mothers and babies I have grown to know and care about along the way will always be in my heart.

This pregnancy has been about 5 years long, so to see an end date so close on the calendar boggles my mind. I sort of thought I really would be pregnant forever. I appreciate all the good thoughts and prayers as we enter this final week of pregnancy and prepare to welcome our new daughter. It is an emotional time but I have learned that even when it doesn't seem possible you really can dig deeper and find more strength.


  1. This is an amazing post from start to finish. This really is a book in the making. Inspired by you, I may just make "no" my word of the day.

  2. I am proud of my strong women. Dad & Grandfather

  3. JT - stay strong. stay focused. stay calm. you are doing amazing. I am glad you got to choose your doctor as well as you are confident with your NICU doctor. all our prayers are with you.

    I completely understand your reasoning for saying no.


  4. Way to go on standing up to the doctors, JT! I'm glad to hear that things have settled down and that you finally have a due date. I can't believe it will be here so soon! I hope this week is happy, restful,uneventful and quick! Stay strong, sweetie!

    Amy J

  5. Wow next Monday! It seems hard to believe that the day is so close now, looking back to the beginning. Great job :) Thoughts and prayers continue to be said for youand Baby Tee!NICU staff is great from everything I have read and heard and personally seen and Im sure she will be in great hands with so many people that love her (they really start loving the babies).

  6. The ability to say 'no' to your Dr. makes you like superman! Way to take charge of your (and baby girl T's) health. Praying the week flys by for you, and that Monday comes with a 'better then anyone expected' outcome.