Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goodbye, familiar things. (38 weeks!)

A week from today, we will be a family of four.  I absolutely can't wait to meet our little girl, but the whole idea of what we're facing is seriously scary.  It's amazing how fast this pregnancy has gone, especially from 21 weeks on, when we got The Diagnosis.  Today was my last MFM appointment, which was completely uneventful.  It was pretty weird checking out and not scheduling a follow-up.  Everybody from the sonographer to the doctor to the check-out chick was wishing me luck (what is luck, anyway?) and requesting pictures once Bee is born.  Nice folks.  And once I left, their niceness, combined with The End of MFM Appointments, got me all teary-eyed.  I made a little stop by the yarn store to drown my sorrows  in wool and organic cotton (shout out to all my fellow knitters, especially those on Ravelry).
Tomorrow is my last day of work for quite awhile.  I have to admit that I'm pretty much checked out mentally, so hopefully none of my patients tomorrow require any advanced cognitive skills.  I warned Sarah (super friend and office-mate) that if anybody is too nice to me tomorrow, I'm going to cry.  I'll probably cry all day anyway.    It's a weird feeling knowing that, no matter what happens with Bee, I'm going to be a different person on the other side of all this.  Hopefully for the better, but definitely different.
Tomorrow is also Henry's last day of daycare until we get back in town.  I've tried to explain this to him but, you know, he's not even two years old.  I might as well be trying to teach him the fundamental theorem of calculus (I was a nerd in a former life).  Even though he doesn't get it, I know he's going to miss his friends and his sweet and wonderful teachers.  I know kids are resilient and adaptable etc etc, but taking him from his familiar routine hurts my heart.
Sorry for the disjointed post.  Just felt like y'all needed a little update, I suppose :)
To close, I'll leave you with a couple verses from Psalms that I believe are for our sweet baby Bee:

I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.

~Psalm 16:8-9

Friday, May 18, 2012

36 weeks

Not much new to report over the past week or so.  I'm currently cruising along at 36 weeks pregnant, and my standard answer to the "How are you feeling?" question is "Tired."  (Roughly 75% of this can be attributed to pregnancy.  The other 25% I'll blame on Henry, who has decided that sleeping until 7:30 is for the birds and has been getting up between 5:45 and 6:15 for the past three weeks or so.)
OB and MFM visits have been largely uneventful.  Yesterday the sonographer had to work really hard to get Bee to cooperate and demonstrate her practice breathing.  I'm thinking she was in a food coma (as was I), following a delicious lunch which included sweet potato fries.  She finally woke up though and proved she was perfectly capable of some nice practice breathing motions, thank-you-very-much.  Last week she was equally stubborn, and when the sonographer finally got her to wake up, we got some great pictures of a very ticked off baby.

She looks more and more like Henry with every passing week.  And since Henry looks *exactly* like Jonathan (and lately my father-in-law Jerry), that means I've got another baby who I seemingly had nothing to do with genetically.  Good thing I've got such a handsome husband, eh?  Anyway, these are from the "I look just like my brother" file.  That twisty thing by her face is the umbilical cord.

We're getting really close to the finish line, friends.  In less than three weeks, our little baby Bee will arrive.  It's really starting to get real.  Baby Parker was born today in Atlanta, and at last report was going to be placed on ECMO this afternoon.  I've been keeping up with his story since we found out about Bee's CDH, and I totally feel like I know his mom Abby.  The past several of her posts have really hit home, and I've been praying like crazy for them.  Knowing that Parker is *here* already means we're one step closer to meeting our own little fighter.  I can't imagine what kind of emotional roller coaster this family is already on, but I guess I don't really need to.  We'll be there soon.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Update at 34 weeks

I had a couple appointments this week.  The unfortunate thing was that the first one wasn't exactly planned (but don't panic, because it all turned out okay).  A few days ago, around 4 a.m., I was awake for literally the 6th time that night to make a trip to the bathroom.  If you've ever been 8 months pregnant, you know what I'm talking about.  Anyway, I crawled/climbed/flopped back in bed, but couldn't go to sleep because I was having one contraction after another.  They were just Braxton-Hicks contractions, which normally aren't anything to worry about.  However, the prevailing advice is that if you have more than four in an hour (check!) and they don't go away when you lie down on your left side (check!) and drink lots of water (check!) then you probably need to call the ol' OB office and have yourself checked out.  Especially if you're only 33ish weeks along.  So yes, I was fretting about this.  I made myself an appointment at the OB office for that morning and just prayed that I wasn't in any sort of real labor.  They hooked me up to the monitor, which measures the baby's heartbeat and can detect contractions.  In 20 minutes I only had two little contractions, and Bee was wiggly with a nice variable heart rate (which they like).  The OB declared me good to go, and that was that.

A couple days after that excitement, I had an appointment with the MFM folk.  Nothing new to report there, other than Bee is up to an estimated 5 lb 7 oz!  Her liver (well, part of it) is still up, but sweet Dr. Chapman did say that not seeing it there until the third trimester is better than if they'd been seeing it up there all along.  And yet again, we discussed how none of this has any sort of reliable predictive value for how Bee will do once she's born.

I want to thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts as we've gone through this process.  I can't say enough about how amazing and supportive my coworkers have been.  Miss Anne (first mentioned in this post) even got a prayer chain going the other day when I was having all those contractions.  And many thanks to all the CDH mommas who commented on my last post (when we first found out that Bee's liver was up) to send encouragement and prayers.

In other news of the "God is so good" variety:

  • We've found somebody to house sit for us while we're gone, which includes taking care of our gigantic (but oh so sweet) German Shepherd Zander.  This is a *huge* blessing.
  • The daycare that Henry goes to is helping us out in a big way.  Since he likely won't be there for the majority of the summer, they've told us that for the weeks he's not there, we won't have to pay.  (Normally we'd have to, to hold his spot...which we would want to do, because we love that place!)
  • I spoke with some folks from HR who have assured me that it shouldn't be a problem getting my insurance to cover my delivery in Charleston at the "in-network" rate.  Again, huge blessing.
So thank you to everyone who has helped us in any sort of way with your prayers, support, and encouragement.  Jonathan and I are humbled by your generosity and thoughtfulness.  Please keep praying for our sweet little girl, that her lungs would be big and strong and functional once she's born.  June 7th keeps getting closer and closer...