GOAL!!!! We are officially 26 weeks pregnant! My 5 pounds of babies are happily playing and I am so happy to tell you all that Bobby was monitored- without assistance- for the half hour! He popped off here and there (but Maya does too... They like to move.) His heartbeat was mostly steady and sounded normal for the most part. There were bits and pieces of arythmia but what we heard on Tuesday is not there. What we heard on Wednesday with the labored beats was gone. I can count on one hand the number of times his numbers surged, and even the surge was only to the 160s. He was happy beating away in the 130s moving into the 140s and 150s at times, and then, settling back into the crook of my leg and whoohaa with his 130s. The nurse put him on and backed away and he stayed. She watched for a bit then left and he stayed. When she returned and put Maya on the monitor, he stayed. And then, together, they were on the monitor and the lines were (mostly) consistent. He'd move here or there, she'd move here or there. But it was almost like last week. I could not ask for more right now (well, except the whole "full term" thing). It's all I can do not to burst into tears. Thank you all for the prayers that are getting us another day and bringing health to the babies. Whether you are lighting a candle in church or sitting under the moon with your hands raised... Regardless of the name you call the Divine by or even if you call That Which Is by no name at all, we are grateful.
It's been a pretty relaxed day. We now are on what may be our last hospital countdown. 14 days. 2 weeks. Not just the BIG 28w goal but also the going home goal... the baby "un"shower... so many things.
It's hard to think about baby showers, honestly. When we initially discussed them, the days were so far away. There was today, when we were going to leave for TN to have a shower next Saturday... And then the "un"shower for some friends on the 12th... And then the one Peter's mom is throwing on the 26th... While my mom's shower has been postponed until the spring, the other two are still on. What was so long ago are now 2w and 4w away, respectively. People are RSVPed for 2w from now... Peter's mom is mailing out invitations this weekend for her shower... 28w... 30w... Wow... We have somehow gotten to the point that this is around the corner. And I am both thrilled and wordless...
I have tried to look towards these things will excitement and joy (even though I am not the "shower" type... It's why I chose to not have a bridal shower). And I do. The idea of a day where people are just thrilled for the babies and where that is the focus- what parent doesnt love that idea! But then there is the hurt. There was the planned TN shower for Nicholas and Sophia- a month after I first went into labor. I remember Peter calling to cancel my plane ticket and my mother calling people to tell them her first grandchildren had been born and has so soon after died. With Alexander, there was some sort of discussion that we would "plan" a shower after 24w. We never even looked at invitations or anything else. I mean, why tempt fate? Although, fate didnt need the tempting... And now... Bobby and Maya.... Invitations that were made.
(forgive me... I used Paint to take off my MIL's contact cell and email for the RSVP since I didnt feel right leaving it visible...)
Items purchased off a registry... And it all seems like one part of this journey that is normal.
As much as normal is what I've wanted from the start, part of me is afraid to enjoy this. Does that make sense? Everything has been so different... How can I let a regular baby shower in? How can I pretend to all the people who come that things are fine? With the un-shower, thrown by Sarah and attended by a small group of friends that have hung out together for a while, it's different. They know that this is all different. This is a party with baby undertones. It's not a baby shower. But for my MIL's shower... It's the real thing. With baby favors and lots of people and gifts and food and cake... And, dont tell, but I am afraid. I am afraid that it wont be me. That there will be a person who smiles and laughs and plays everything off as fine, who inside is breaking apart because this is what was meant to be almost 2 years ago... Something that was lost. And suddenly, is found.
Please dont misunderstand me. I am thrilled that people are celebrating with us and are happy for us. I am thankful that people are helping us provide for the twins in this way. And I am touched that so many people are actively engaged in helping plan and prepare the baby shower (from what I hear, it is a huge deal among the church ladies :) ) But there is a part of me that aches from this and I wanted to share that. Because, sadly, I know that I am not alone in that. And, if you are reading and in a similar place and are fearful, you are not alone.
As I close, I ask that you say a prayer for another special family. Sarah and David welcomed their beautiful Ezra a year ago, after finding out that their precious son had passed away in his womb home. He is now watching over Sunflower, the baby brother that is currently growing inside his Mommy. Please remember their family and, most of all, Ezra, on his special day today and his birthday tomorrow.
Oh Michele I am so so happy for your 26w mark! Of course it's not over yet but this is a great goal and your little ones are doing really well which is great. Sending you much love, Fran
Oh such a relief that the babes are doing so well! Way to go, Robert! And you get to go to another 2w countdown - woohoo! 38 weeks, here you come!
I totally get how you feel about the baby showers. As much as I wanted to enjoy my last pregnancy, the fear - fear of everything - got in the way. It's the worst thing about all this, that so much of the innocent joy is gone forever. It's going to be a bittersweet time for you, but I really hope you can enjoy the sweet and hold onto the bitter to mull over and mourn over later.
People - especially people who know what you've been through - just want to celebrate the new lives you're bringing into the world, and baby showers are almost the only way our culture knows to celebrate that. They'll understand that you feel a little conflicted about it all.
If it helps, in a way, these baby showers are for all the babies you've had, not just Robert & Maya. It's okay to be sad that not all of your children are there laughing at the joke gifts and being done in by a friend's pure thoughtfulness.
You deserve the chance to laugh a bit, you've been through so many tears. I hope you can enjoy these upcoming days. You're in my thoughts.
Michele, I am so very, very glad that you are so close to going home, and to being able to celebrate your beautiful babies with others. I know it is so normal to think about "what should be" at the same time - you're so amazingly strong and supportive to others. Thank you.
Happy Goal Day!
congrats! that is great news.
I am glad you and your hubby liked the picture.
congrats michelle!!!! I am soooo proud of you!! what an awsome moment. it was at 27 weeks that i went into the hospital with megan so i know what you are feeling in some way. i too was afraid of a baby shower for megan after aaron died but you know what? having her to hold and home from the hospital on his 1st birthday was a godsend. just enjoy all the gifts and fun that goes along with the baby shower.
Oh Michele!! 26 WEEKS, DONE!!!!
We are really doing it, one day at a time, slowly but surely. I am so excited the new 28 week countdown has begun. I am overjoyed at Bobby's progress. Go big babies!
As for the showers, I too understand. My first one is next week (at 27 weeks) and I am nervous. I have been waiting so long to have one, it almost doesn't feel real. I hope you enjoy the celebration, knowing everyone remembers your older children too.
Much love and happy 26!
yay for 26 weeks! i remember that milestone well. what a huge relief. and there will more to come. :-)
on the baby shower thing, i totally hear you. i was actually just plain dreading mine. i was so worried about what was going on and what might happen that i couldn't imagine sitting around (ok, lying around) and pretending everything was normal. it wound up being a wonderful day, and i know yours will too.
so happy for you at 26 weeks.
26 weeks... I almost can't believe it is already here. Congratulations!
Your invitation is adorable!
Look at you! Ups and downs abound, but you just keep on going and those babies are healthy and happy and growing big! I'm so glad that Bobby's heart has settled into a healthier rhythm and I hope the visit with the specialist on Monday brings nothing but good news.
I can't imagine how complicated your relationship with baby showers must be, but as I was reading I thought that this part, from 26 weeks on, the part with the baby showers etc... will be a part of processing and mentally preparing for a stage that is going to be so exciting, but also so challenging and different for you and your husband, hopefully it will be a time when the babies continue to do wonderfully and you have time for emotional processing & healing. I wish you the very best as you forge ahead!
Great news on the baby front. Praying for them to be full term.
I can only imagine your fear for the baby showers. There is no way you can just put those fears behind you. I will pray for your comfort and pray that God will let you know that this time is different and you can go forward with real hope, enjoying the showers alone the way.
Happy 26 weeks!! And hooray for Bobby's improved heart monitoring.
I'm not having a baby shower at all, for lots of reasons unrelated to loss.
For what it's worth, personally if I were a guest at your shower I would welcome an acknowledgement of Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander. Just as older living siblings are invariably mentioned at a baby shower, Bobby and Maya's siblings don't need to be hidden. I wonder if that might help you to reconcile the happiness of the day with what you missed two years ago.
I also wanted to mention that having already read all of your updates since you've been in the hospital has been helpful for me now that I'm in the hospital too. I know so much better what to expect than I would have! So, thank you.
Happy 26 Weeks to you! Congrats! 1 Goal down!
Michele, so thrilled for you that you've made it to 26 weeks! And thank you for your words about Ezra, we are missing him deeply today.
YEAH!! 26 weeks!! That is awesome Michele! I am so excited for you guys! Your belly is beautiful!!!
I could understand about being nervous about the shower- I would be afraid too. You have had such a rough go of it- but hopefully it will be a good experience.
I know Bobby and Maya's sweet older siblings are cheering them on- and also cheering you on. I am sure they would want you to be happy and to enjoy this time. Enjoy the little mints, cake and ham sandwhichs. :)
Happy 26 weeks!!!! So happy to see you reach another goal. And so good to hear that Bobby is doing better.
A sincere congratulations to all of you! Happy happy happy 26 weeks--
navigating the cultural rituals of showers and celebrations while filled with longing and grief and fear and wonder and hope-- ahhhhhh I hope you are gentle with yourselves during this time- and know that the universe is filled with good intentions.
I will keep my arms up toward the moon for you,
with big love,
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