Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 27: T-11

Yesterday afternoon, a neonatologist came up and talked to me about the outcomes for babies born 24-28w and boy was that a grim talk. Coming on the pantslegs of Dr B, it was quite the flip side. We discussed lungs being damaged by medical intervention, brain bleeds, heart valves that dont close, blood transfusions, infections, you name it. She didnt pull any punches. Which I appreciated. I've read up on preemies and the issues, so none of it caught me off guard, but it is still very black and white and very gray... No one wants to deliver early but this info just made me feel all the more determined to do whatever I can possibly do (stand on my head???) to please, please, please, make it to 36w. Please. I dont want to think of my babies in the situations she discussed. I dont want to think about having to make the decision to end life support. I know none of us do, and sadly many of us have been there. And it sucks. And I dont want to be there. In that place. She told me that I was doing well and that she hoped she wouldnt see me or my babies for 12w at least, and that even then, it was because she was just double checking they were okay and not because they were ill. You and me both, sister. (And, she also offered to consult if we had any questions and to come back after 28w to discuss the 29w-32w period, either here if I am still admitted or readmitted or via the phone, as well as to talk to Peter via the phone if he had questions.)

In happy news, my mother in law came and she gushed about my baby shower, scheduled for Sept 26 (30w) since it now seems like I will be out of the hospital. Ah... rooms full of people and me in pajamas... How sexy. Sarah is throwing an "unshower" at 28w, which she thought of moving to the hospital (just a small group of mutual buddies) and she's pretty pleased I should be home. Again, can we say sexy PJs? But these are my contemporaries and I dont mind them seeing me at my worst (okay, so I do, but...) Family... Not so sure about that. I might have to have dear sweet hubs find me some better looking loungewear for my rapidly expanding tummy. I dont know if my bedding wear is appropriate for the priests (and yes, MIL is inviting the priests and a slew of folks from church, as well as children, so I want to be "covered" in all the places that count.)

I am legitimately excited. It makes things seem so... real. Like this is a big step. I mean, the happy ending has nothing to do with a baby shower, but... Normal people have showers. I will get to be a "normal pregnant woman", even if for only a little while.

My mom is throwing a post-baby shower, probably in the spring. We are hoping that, assuming the world continues to spin in the right direction, that we will take the kids to TN in March, which is really nice there, even though it is still chilly here. She already has the invitations and everything, so we will just set a date in January or so, and go from there.

And, into today... Well, first off, I know hospital food is supposed to be gross, but they just moved to a new restaraunt style meal thing and it is actually quite good! (Not that I dont miss home cooking but this is better than what I've expected and experienced from meal service). I just ate and I was hungry- can you tell???

Babies stayed on the monitor for an hour today! The nurses got busy and came back much later than expected, but the papooses had cooperated for 55 minutes. I was so proud of them. And I didnt have one single contraction while on my back! Success! But it gets better... I got called for my ultrasound around noon. The tech was waiting when I got there. She did an ab one and we saw both babies. The last 2 days, I have had some back pain, which at first I thought was my back deciding to rebel against bedrest but then I had the distinct feeling of a certain little girl burrowing into my spine. So... my suspicions were confirmed- Maya has turned and is now vertex! So the pitter patter of little feet against my spine and upper uterus can now be attributed to both sets of feet! They looked great and were playing (which meant the tech couldnt get clear shots of them, so no pics).

We waited for about 20 minutes and the MFM doctor didn't arrive, so the tech went to page him. She came back and said that he had been called to an emergency in the OR (which just made my stomach fall) but offered to do the scan anyway. While she cant interupt the results, she said that he would review the images and, if he wanted a live show, they would come back and do another scan at some point. I said that would be fine (after all, I'm already there and I want to see!). She was nice enough to write her notes outloud. :) So, my cervix measured 1.6-1.7 which was wonderful. I even peed before my jaunt to the u/s room, so I was worried it might have shortened because of the movement but nope! And she said that Mr. Big Head (whom I love dearly) was pushing down in such a way that she could barely see the funneling (and couldnt see enough of it to measure!). We got a great image of the cervix, which looked like a rainbow in shape. So, it is closed and tight and everything looked wonderful (to my untrained eyes). I am still reeling from all this news. First the "you might go home" and now the "good cervix". Not to mention that both babies head down is a relief when you are considered a natural birth. She said that it is still possible for them to move but that most of the babies she sees head down by 24w tend to stay that way and that you typically see babies that are older and not head down move into that position. So, we shall see. They still have room to play, so they may decide to go all over the place.

When I came back, I had mail! You guys- your support... There aren't words. Each week, someone I've never met ends up in my hospital room in the form of a card or letter or something. The letters usually begin with "You dont know me..." But I feel like I do. I feel like I know each of you who drops by and reads and says a silent prayer, each of you who comments, each of you who walks the road of an infertile or an orphaned parent... Your cards and letters touch me. We hang them on the wall and I can see them every time I look up. They are what help keep me upbeat and happy. The pictures your children draw: they are on the wall next to the bed. These things... I just dont know how I would survive a bleak room feeling alone. I feel so terribly blessed in ways I cant count. I have IRL friends who email, call, or come by often (and send not only prayers and good thoughts, but bring crafts and laughs and positive vibes (and chocolate- thanks AB!!!!)). I have blog friends who email and send cards and notes and little things to say hi and make the time pass with a smile instead of ever present fear. And my family and friends in TN who always email daily or send letters weekly, just to say hi and check in. I am truly blessed by this outpouring. You guys give me faith in not just the human race, but the human family. And, from today's mail pile, thank you to little LV for her beautiful fractur (it's a PA thing... Google can explain) of our children's names. And to EH for her goody bag (I will start the book as soon as I finish the one I'm on- which will be today- THANK YOU!). And to PJ, who has been a penpal of mine since I moved away from home (and a mentor to me well before that). We've regularly wrote for years but seeing her familiar script always brings me a smile from home.
So, another good day everyone! Those prayers are working! And we have less than 11 days to our next goal of 26w!!!


gwinne said...

You sound pretty good! Fingers crossed that you'll be going home in the upcoming weeks!

Kate said...

I'm so happy to hear this. I know its scary the scenarios the doctor described, but we're all here praying for you, an your little babies. May God keep them in your womb until week 36 or beyond!

Ms. J said...

Keep hanging in there!

Hmmm, tasty hospital food? Now that IS news! Are you allowed to select what you want, or do they have you on any dietary restrictions?

Um, any ice cream on the menu (I am back to obsessing about it).

Remember my whine for diet coke yesterday? I picked up Lil Pumpkin at her grandparents after work, and my stepfather, being innocent and sweet, said "do you need anything to drink, I could get you a diet coke!" (My mom is a fellow addict). AAAARRRGGGHHH!

I swear, I am being tortured by the lure of the demon diet coke!!

cheryllookingforward said...

It makes my day to read good news from you. I'm going to keep cheering for your cervix!

Anonymous said...

So happy for the good news!

Katie said...

Hi Michele!

I stumbled across your blog after seeing you on babycenter- I'm due myself Dec.4th with a little girl, so we're at almost exactly the same place in our pregnancies. I just wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers and so are your little ones. I'm going to keep watching and praying for the best for you!

k@lakly said...

That's great news all the way around! I am so happy things are going so well! Continuous good thoughts for all of you from out here:)

A n T said...

Love hearing all the great praise reports!

Carrie said...

HOORAY for continued AWESOME news! Your cervix is doing so well!!

So very, very glad that you've got showers planned- how special! You are going to get there and BEYOND!!

I am sure the neonatologist totally freaked you out. I would've felt the same way! I am very encouraged by this blurb from an article on the March of Dimes about how well babies after 26 weeks do comparatively, and feel much comfort from it. Of course NOT ideal, but I am learning 26 is a different world from 24. Here is the blurb:

"These babies are at high risk for one or more of the complications discussed above. However, most babies born after about 26 weeks gestation do survive (about 80 percent at 26 weeks), although they may face an extended stay in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) (13)." From http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_1157.asp#head6

Anyhoo, sorry for the LOOOONG comment! Again, so happy for the the awesome news you are getting. Grow, babies, grow!


Cara said...

Michele - I have been away for a bit but thought of you often. I am so relieved to hear you, your babies and your cervix are all doing well!!

I just burst when I think of you holding your healthy babies...eventually!!!

PS - my word verification is "closes" - not kidding!

T said...

Just wanted to drop you a little note of love and support. These long days in the hospital must be so tough, I can't even imagine.

Sending you SO much strength as you countdown to the next goal of 26 & the goals after that!

Reba said...

i know the possibilities of extreme prematurity are so terrifying...but these babies will have a chance that none of their brothers and sisters have had so far. i know a chance is never enough, who of us doesn't want 100%?? i'm so glad things are looking good.

quadmom said...

wow, it sounds like you had a fantastic day! so glad to hear you had so much good news. =) i hope you get to go home soon and get some lovely pjs for your shower!

Anonymous said...

yay for better hospital food! :) I'm so happy to hear that you got good news today, I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers every night! glad you like the book. *hug* -Elisabeth H

LitterOf2 said...

Wow, it is great that you realize just how loved you really are by everyone!

I am just passing through, will email tomorrow. I am so excited to hear your good "newses" about the babies' positions and obedient cervix. Keep your head up, you're doing wonderfully!

Alisha said...

Hi sweetie! Glad to see you and the babes are doing well and there is the prospect of going home. I am on vacation and just wanted to check in on you. You and your little ones are never far from my thoughts. Much love!

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...


The doctor's words would have scared me and I think I would have asked her to leave, although I suppose that wouldn't be helpful. :) I am impressed you were able to sit and listen.

I will continue to pray. Every day and night.


Annalien said...

It has been a while since I commented, but I read everyday. Yours is the first blog I open to read with my morning coffee. I am so very glad that things are looking good and I pray that you may indeed be home for your baby showers. What about some nice track pants and T-shirt as attire for the showers? Not that I think the people will mind what you wear - they will just be so exited and happy for you. I pray that everything holds up until way past 32 weeks. God bless!

Leah said...

So happy you are doing well! :-D