Dr B came in this morning with a big smile on his face (now, I'm sure some of that smile is the post-vacation relaxation). He said that I was the first patient he was coming to see and that he was over the moon with our progress. He's reviewed my ultrasounds and said that they looked great. That we knew my cervix was going to misbehave but the stitch and bedrest are keeping it at bay. He was pleased with my most recent measurements. He even gave me full potty priviledges! I can use the bathroom 100%! It felt so good to get up and go. It's a small walk but my legs appreciated the stretch too versus just going from bed to one step to the pottychair. So, as we discussed "where do we go from here", he said (and I didnt even bring it up), "I think that we can look at you going home in the coming weeks". He wants us here for at least 2 more weeks. He said that viability and health at 26w is a huge jump from 24w, as it relates to twins, and that 28w is even better. Assuming I am stable for the next 2w and my u/s results continue to show more of the same, he said that he would look at sending me home between 26w-28w, still on bedrest, but with bathroom and shower priv's. He still wouldnt want me going to church every week or making any meals for myself. But we can all live with that! He'd want me back weekly for monitoring, which I expected.
Right now, our primary delivery goal has been shifted from 36w to 32w. He still wants 36w. But he said that his concern isn't really cervical since the stitch hasnt torn at all and hasnt let my cervix change below 1cm. His concern is that my water will break. If PROM occurs, they will not try to stop labor at this point, since the cerclage would need to be removed (for risk of infection) and since I have the steroids. (We didnt discuss a rescue dose in the early 30s at this point, although I'm sure it will come up again.) He said that, since the babies are measuring quite a bit ahead in weight and size, he feels that they may trigger labor around 32w. Which wouldnt be horrible and to try not to worry. That 36w is still our big goal and when the stitch would voluntarily come out, but that if we hit 32w, he will consider that a huge success. And, once we hit 28w, he feels 32w will come quickly. And, even better, once 32w comes, it is a 28d countdown until the perfect result. (So, I'm not the only one counting down!)
I am overwhelmed with the good news. And I needed it, a lot, after last night.
During my monitoring, Peter went to get water, etc. and to prepare for the evening. It was late because of how the night worked out, later than normal, and when he came back, he had this look on his face. I assumed that he was thinking about Sophia or Nick and Alex... But, when the nurse left, he said "I think the couple at the end of the hall lost their baby." I asked what he meant, and he said that, since it was way passed visiting hours (it was almost 11pm) and he saw people with suits going in and out, he was concerned and asked the nurse. She said that they were having a rough time. Obviously, they cant tell you personal info and he wasnt shocked by that. Well, I just broke down and cried. I couldnt stop. Just knowing... Oh God... It just hurt so much. Finally, I was able to breathe and he said that he was going to tell the nurses that, if indeed that was the case, and they needed or wanted to talk to another couple who understood, to pass our personal info along. She said that she would give our information if that was the case and, based on Peter's perception, that is, sadly, indeed the case. When he returned, I was a mess again. I just couldnt control myself. I bawled. He just held me and rocked me, and eventually, I feel asleep, but even now, I cant think about this couple whom I've never met, who are grieving and wondering "why" and feeling alone. This couple whom I am too intimately aquainted with because we've been there. It hurts. So much. Even in my happiness over our recent prognosis, I am in agony over theirs. And I cant even walk down the hall to tell them. I cant hug her and tell her that her baby will live forever in her heart. That one day, she will take a breath and, even though it will hurt forever, she will find a way to live so that her child can live on inside of her. To tell him that it is okay to grieve, that he doesnt have to be strong, that crying with her will help them both because they will both realize they arent alone in this. And that hurts too.
I dont know how I would have handled someone coming to me after. After Nicholas, I was in shock and we were just so focused on saving Sophia that we couldnt grieve the way we needed to. I think I wouldnt have called anyone then. After Sophia, I was lost. We both were. And we grieved our twins together, but still felt alone. Because I couldnt handle the idea of verbal communication with anyone really, the blogosphere saved me. The first blog I found, the blog for whom Maya is being named after, was my salvation. She saved me. Her grief, her longing, her honesty... They were what pulled me through and helped me tell Peter we werent alone. That other people, different people with different circumstances from all over the world, they understood. And then, through her blog, I found others. And others. And others found me. And there was help. I think that, at that point, I would have been receptive to another parent contacting me. After Alexander, I think that we were very much together in our pain and there was the already built support blog system, along with our very dear IRL friends who shared the grief and the joys of our children. I would have been open to talking to them, but I think it would have been more to connect and not as a salvation of any sorts. I already knew we werent alone.
Yesterday afternoon, Sarah brought over Sophia's dinner, homemade with love from the depths of her soul. I treasure this woman. She is a sister to me, in every way except genetics (and we all know how little I think of those!). She brought homemade pierogi, made from her grandmother's church in NY, and they were wonderful. But most of all, even though the food was great, it was that she thought to do it, wanted to do it, volunteered to do it, and that it wasnt odd to her in the least to do it. She was happy when she unpacked the goodies and shared them with us. She sang "happy birthday" with us, as we watched a candle flicker over the brownie that Peter had picked up for Sophia's special dessert. She talked about our daughter (and her two brothers). She still grieves them, too, and I am grateful that she remembers. That she always will. That she loves them, too, and never shys away from bringing them up in conversation or letting their names flow from her lips or telling me "I saw/heard X and thought of Y today." I know she reads this sometimes, and if she catches this post, then I want her to know how much all that means to me. And to Peter too.
Sometimes people can only talk about how great the pregnancy is and they dont mention the children we have. I understand that they dont always fit into whatever conversations we are having. But, both in real life and in the virtual world, we are blessed by people who remember. There are too many to name, but I do think of you and thank each one of you for remembering with us.