What a whirlwind. Yesterday I showed up for the ultrasound. Brent borrowed a coworker's car to meet me at the hospital, since his is still out of commission. We were called back in no time and set up to see our baby girl. (Who is definitely a girl, by the way - we saw the whole thing!) She was playing with her toes in front of her face so we didn't get to see her as well or as much as we would've liked. She was breathing, though, which was a great sign. Already practicing on pumping those lungs, which becomes a huge part of her story.
The tech moved on to check the umbilical cord blood flow and the amniotic fluid. I'm no degree-holding tech, but I suspected what she was marking as "fluid" was entirely too little. There were lots of colors in the umbilical cord reading and I assumed that was good news. When she was finished she told us she was going to call the doctor because the doctor might want to take a look at the ultrasound. I turned to Brent and commented about the fluid being low. I went on to say, "We'll most likely have her early." Of course I was thinking four or five weeks away yet.
We headed upstairs and were called back by the nurse, Nikki. I adore Nikki. I had lost another 2 pounds - since the day before - so was feeling pretty awesome. Blood pressure was lower than it had been as well, in he 130s over 80s. Brent and I were both pretty optimistic at that point. My doctor was boarding a plane to Haiti. Remember the one post where I loved her so much and kudos to her for being an advocate for Haiti? I really could've used her yesterday, so wasn't so thrilled about the Haiti thing. "Dr. Waffler" as Brent has (not so) affectionately deemed her, came in for the consult. The diastolic pressure from the placenta to the baby is somehow restricted, and baby is small. Two weeks smaller than she should be size-wise. The amniotic fluid is very low. Through her smile and encouraging tone she said, "So we're going to recommend admission to the hospital."
Wait. What? Today? Now?
I can't tell you what I was thinking, because I don't even know. Through choking back tears and trying to piece it together in my mind I asked, "So what you're saying is, I'm going to have this baby this weekend?" Most likely, yes.
But she's only 32 1/2 weeks. She'll be premature. We don't have anything ready. I'm not ready. She's not ready. Will she be okay? When? How? WHY?
Brent had to leave to go back to work to return the borrowed car and tell them he wouldn't be in for a while. Doctor checked me out and the next thing I knew, I was being wheeled to a hospital holding room, being hooked up to monitors, and asked to put on the lovely bare-butt gown. I was crying, but not hard. I just couldn't believe - or understand - how this was all happening. The nurse was unloading pertinent information to me and I was nodding, but only hearing bits and pieces. She stopped at one point and said, "You will only retain about 10% of what I'm saying. Don't worry. Ask later. You've just had a bombshell dropped on you." I nodded again. Indeed - a bombshell. Could I have done anything differently? Is it my fault? Will she be able to stay in there for any while longer? I just came in for an ultrasound....this is not at all what we were expecting.
Brent came in to the room - I've never been happier to see him. They were trying to get an IV in me, and after six (painful) attempts, one finally took. The NICU nurse came in to tell us what to expect and answer any questions. Everyone had the same sentiment - "You're at 32 weeks, she'll be fine. Girls do better than boys. She'll be fine." I heard them say it. Every nurse has said it, the doctors have said it, and I've heard them. And I've repeated it. But I'm still scared to death.
I got a steroid shot yesterday to help Baby Girl's lungs develop. I'll receive another one today. The fact that she was already breathing in my uterus was a fantastic sign. The steroids will only help her develop at this point, and she'll be better able to breathe on her own, sooner, so they tell me.
Brent asked what items I needed from home. I told him, "I don't know, I haven't gotten that far in the book yet...." We came up with a list, but he is making trip #2 today. When I said we didn't have anything ready, I wasn't kidding.
They drew labs this morning and took another ultrasound. My labs came back fine and the ultrasound was fair - about the same as yesterday. The good news is, is wasn't worse. Another new doctor, Doctor H, came in today and told me she would be very surprised if I would hold her for another week - and that most likely I would deliver, by c-section, sometime this weekend.
Today is Friday. This is like - the weekend. This is it. Brent and I are going to have a baby girl. Within a few days. A few hours. Few.
Brent posted his very first blog ever regarding the experience we've had. http://bklep.blogspot.com/ I just love my husband so much - I can't even tell you. Even though I've scolded him twice for talking to me when I'm trying to concentrate - I wouldn't want anyone else here bothering me. I'm crazy about this baby girl's daddy.
The prayers, love, and support we've received have been overwhelming. It's incredible to me when we feel so isolated and so alone, we're just consumed by an outpouring of offers and encouragement. We can't tell you how much that has helped us in these last 24 hours.
Please continue to pray for Baby Girl and for her continued strength and health. The fact that she's moving her lungs already is a great sign, considering the circumstances. She's a tough little one. I'm hanging in there, and feeling a little better about things the more encouragement and information we receive. The hospital food isn't so bad. The view is great. And I've come to realize the best thing about this is, my God is bigger than my tiny baby. He's bigger than this hospital. And He's bigger than my worries or my fears. My God is in control, and though I would give anything to grab those reigns, I absolutely entrust Him to do an amazing work in our family, and in our baby.