|Watching the morning news...I never do that, but it's passing the time.|
That's what we're waiting for...for those of you who bake by instinct, like me, you understand exactly what I mean. I last wrote to you from my couch, where I'd been ordered to stay until further notice. Since then, a lot has happened very quickly. I was a good girl for three weeks, laying down most of the time while everyone in my family tried to fill in for me. I must say that I'm so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the unhesitating manner in which my family rose to the challenge. When I asked my younger brother if he could come help and play Uncle Mom, he never once complained or acted as if he had anything else he's rather be doing. My Mom worked all day and then came straight over to help in the evenings while my husband was working, and backing up my brother.
So, that went on for almost a month, which is hard to believe in hindsight, as it went by so quickly. Then, my husband brought me in for an ultrasound and to update my doctor on how the bed rest was working to bring my blood pressure down. We sat in the dimly lit ultrasound room, chatting pleasantly with the technician doing the exam. She seemed to get more focused and quiet, then she said that the Radiologist would be in as soon as he looked at the pictures. I had a feeling...Then our wonderful radiologist came in to complete the exam, as usual. He is always so warm and funny, more like a good friend than a doctor. He's cared for us at every opportunity since my first pregnancy. He wasn't his usual, perky self. He started to explain the concerns and risks of my hypertension and that things didn't look like we wanted them to at this point. Ella is only a little over 3lbs, which is in 12th percentile for 32 weeks. He also said it looked as though the umbilical cord and placenta seemed compromised. I am paraphrasing, but basically, my whole body, including the part directly linked to Ellowyn's care and development, is over stressed. The immediate question became how much longer the baby was safer on the inside than she would be if we deliver by cesarean section.
The concerns of having a premature baby at 32 weeks are these: her lungs may not be fully developed, or prepared for the involuntary act of breathing as needed, she may not be prepared to eat by mouth or to swallow safely and she is literally skin and bones, without any subcutaneous fat layers to help her maintain her body heat. At least, those were the concerns on Wednesday, when this all swung into motion.
I was ordered to the hospital so that we could both be monitored. I have been given two steroid injections that are supposed to increase the surfactant on Ella's lungs, so that she'll be better able to breathe outside the womb. The ideal is to give at least 24 hours for the second dose to kick and start working. Friday at 4pm was that 24 hour mark. As of Thursday morning, Doctor Jones was not sure we would be able to wait that long. It's now Saturday, and praise the Lord, Ella is 32 weeks and 5 days. It doesn't sound like a big difference, but I'm told that every day she stays in my belly, is two days less she may need to stay in NICU.
We are just watching and waiting. My blood pressure has been up and down, but so far it hasn't hit the scary, "lets go to the O.R." mark and the baby is strong and her heart is beating loudly, telling everyone who enters the room that she's fine and feisty!
So, back to my title, I'm sitting in a hospital bed, with 8 days left until Christmas, waiting for the doctors to get the feeling that it's time. There is a tiny chance that, if my pressure would stabilize, I could even go home for Christmas, still pregnant! All your prayers are appreciated. We are at peace, knowing that every good thing comes from the Lord and that he is guiding every decision made on our behalf. Merry Christmas!!