Sunday, April 11, 2010
"Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee"
(oops! The date is wrong.)
Today we reached a wonderful goal-32 weeks. It is such a blessing to be able to say that. Baby Girl continues to do well. We had an ultrasound this past Wednesday and while the fluid was very low she has stayed on the same growth curve (32nd percentile). She is now estimated to weigh 3lbs 6oz. This means that if she were born now she would now longer be considered a micro-preemie. Just reaching 32 weeks means that she will not be facing overwhelming complications from prematurity. We have more than enough to worry about with her lungs so we feel a great sense of relief in making it this far.
This past week seemed to last a month. All those stereotypical things people complain about with hospitals are so true and wearing on me a bit. I have a tendency to get cabin fever easily and this staying in one room for weeks on end is bringing out parts of my personality I'd rather not face. I am beginning to identify with The Shining much more than a normal person should.
The upside is that as my reserves are depleted other things rise up to ease the pressure some. I do have a medically necessary private room now and have for 2 weeks. This is probably the most significant change and has done wonders for me. I really think if I were continuing to deal with roommate issues at this point that I would be hiding in the bathroom all day or the nurses would be calling security to pull me off of some drug addicted roommate.
The other big change is that some of my most favorite nurses have taken it upon themselves to tweak the schedule so I am almost always assigned a preferred nurse. Bless their hearts for being protective of me. The kindness these women have shown me over the past 8 weeks is priceless.
Oh! I also have been able to continue my IV holiday. I should knock on wood but the closest "wood" in my reach is the wood grain sticker on my hospital tray.
I recently met with the child life specialist that works with the NICU. As delivery approaches I realize that I have no clue how to balance the needs of both children aside from changing the laws of space and time. There is a very real possibility that Baby Girl will be critically ill and require NICU care. I will undoubtedly want to be at her bedside as much as possible. At the same time I will have a two year old at home that has not had full access to her mother since early January. Being healthy does not mean that she will not need her mother. I don't want her to keep making sacrifices any longer than necessary. The child life specialist gave me great guidance in regards to splitting my time and giving Anneliese more stability in her life. Until a few weeks ago I never knew child life specialists existed but boy are we grateful for the resource now.
We also talked about how to approach all the possible outcomes with Annie. It is hard because with such an uncertain pregnancy we really don't know what to prepare her for and will be making it up as we go. It is a comfort to know we will have professionals to help walk us through it. She said they do a lot with play therapy at her age as two year olds can't express themselves very well verbally. I laughed and said "Well, you will have to meet our Anneliese." She has no problems sharing what is on her mind and has an impressive awareness of her emotions.
She also explained that quite often with young children the stress of having mom in the hospital does not come out until after mom returns home. At that point they feel safe expressing their frustration and want to test Mommy to see if she will leave again. It is good to be able to anticipate such bumps in the road and prepare in advance. In general she continues to handle the separation very well but lets me know she is not happy about it. Tonight while playing she sang "I'm a silly girl and I live in a house where I really miss my Mommy all the time." It broke my heart to hear it but I am very grateful that she can share her feelings. It's all I can do to stop myself from running back home to be with her.
As for Baby Girl Tee, she is a moving and punching machine. I may nickname her Cassius Clay. I have several sore spots on my abdomen from her antics and I am always impressed by her brute strength. Sometimes I think having to move against so much resistance has made her "buff." At any rate she is a true fighter in every sense of the word.
In the most exciting thing to happen to me in weeks she has gotten herself in a position where she is blocking the fluid from escaping. I have not leaked for 2 days! This is honestly thrilling for me. Her movements feel more gentle, as if she is floating just as a baby should. My belly is bigger and has a nice rounded shape. The biggest difference though is that she has not had big decels during NSTs because her cord has the cushioning it needs. Now, she can move from this position at any time and this wonderful swimming pool will be gone in a minute but for now the two of us are going to enjoy the luxury of amniotic fluid.
The doctors made a point of explaining that fluid levels increasing at this point will not change the status of her lungs as we are out of the period of critical lung development (leave it to doctors to dampen my excitement). At the same time, I think having a good amount of fluid may exercise her lungs more effectively as she practice breathes and help them maintain flexibility when she is born. I have no scientific proof of this (and I have cut myself off from reading any more oligiohydramnios, pPROM, hypoplastic lungs, etc studies) but in my mind in makes sense. At any rate it certainly can't hurt things.
I hope this post is somewhat coherent as I am running on very little sleep and my typing is atrocious. Again, I am so grateful for the support we continue to receive. This is a challenging time and every kind word and prayer helps.
Here's hoping for a nice calm week ahead! If you can believe it delivery is at most 2-3 weeks weeks away.
Anneliese sharing one of her favorite hospital hang outs with her cousin. It was so nice to have time with my family. Thanks again for the visit!