Sitting here in the Hospital and just so T H A N K F U L that things continue to be stable for the most part and that I am saying “hello” to the third trimester for the first time!
I have been here for about three weeks and am getting really used to “The Routine”. In a way the routine helps get from one day to the next. I have my blood pressure and temperature check every four hours around the clock, even at 2 in the morning. I have a pavlovian repsonse to the squeaky wheel on the blood pressure machine cart coming down the hall. I know that in any minute, there will be a knock on the door and someone will come in to check my vitals.
I go through an NST every morning which stands for Non-Stress Test. Well, it’s called that because it’s a way to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and any contractions I may be experiencing without being invasive and causing stress to the baby… wish it didn’t cause me stress too! It’s supposed to last just 20 minutes, but if Fafa is moving too much, her movements stop the tracing from recording her heartbeat and we have to start over. During the NST I have to stay reclined on the bed and can’t really move. There have been times where this has lasted up to two hours. It is definitely cause for HUGE celebration when we can end the test after 20-30 minutes!
I have an IV line in my arm at all times, even if it’s not being used. That way they don’t have to waste time inserting one if things get more serious. The IV has to be flushed with saline multiple times a day so it doesn’t collapse, and then it can only stay in the same vein for four days, so I have to get a new one after the fourth day, if it lasts that long. One only lasted me two days! I also have to get bloodwork drawn three times a week. Thank goodness I’m not afraid of needles… but like Ross from friends, I bruise like a peach! So, my arms are paying for it.
Twice a week, I have an ultrasound, and this is where they check Fafa’s growth, check my amniotic fluid level (which is high) and monitor the “window” where the scar from my c-section with Lucie has become compromised. Up until yesterday, the window had remained pretty unchanged from when they noticed it a few weeks ago, but now that I am in the third trimester, where there is the most growth to the baby and the uterus, the growth to the window is going to be expected and it has already started to show signs of getting longer. This is where the balancing act of how-long-can-this-window-get-before-we-need-to-deliver-the-baby is going to be crucial. Taking all other things into account, like the NSTs showing Fafa is not in distress, and that I am not having regular contractions, as well as no tension or ballooning on the window give the doctors reason to believe I am stable enough to stay on the bed rest floor, instead of the labor and delivery floor which is closer to the operating room. As the window gets longer, if all other factors remain the same, they will continue to try keep me from having to deliver for another day and then for another week. Since the window is already lengthening, we’re not sure that it will safe for me to continue through to 36 weeks, which was the original plan. But I am clinging and praying and hoping that I can get to 30 weeks, and then even 32. With each week that I am here and able to postpone having to deliver, that will be less time that Fafa will have to be in the NICU. We know that she will spend time there, so I am just very much hoping it won’t be for weeks upon weeks.
So as I started off saying, I am very thankful for another day of me and Fafa getting to chill in our private room on 5th Avenue. And it’s not all poking and monitoring… I do get room service for all my meals after all, (the food is pretty good), and since of course everyone that works here has gotten to know me, Rob, and Lucie, they usually make sure to give me Animal Crackers for the Goose and Oreos for Rob with at least one of my meals. I’ve also been cleared to work so during the weekdays I am able to sign on and work remotely, that has been really helpful to keep me feeling productive and connected to others. It has also helped to keep me from spiraling into worry all the time.
I can’t help but be on high alert and anxious but I am comforted as well. One friend gave me advice on how to look at this time: “Poquito a poco…” which means little by little. And that’s really the only way I can keep going without collapsing under the heaviness of this circumstance. Instead of trying to grasp the whole big picture and look too far ahead, I can take it day by day, meal by meal, hour by hour, prayer by prayer, and encouraging text by encouraging text. I know that God is with me, I am not alone, I am not forgotten, and I am not unseen. I know that I am in the best place for me and Fafa. Doesn’t make it any easier. This is so hard for me, for Rob and for Lucie, and being apart is not what any of us want. But I am also seeing in real time that each day is a true gift.
Thank you to each and every one of you who has been so loving and supportive as always.