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Tuesday am, May 1. I think I’ve done pretty well up until this point. I have been choked up many times, and shed a few tears at the ultrasound, but nothing uncontrollable. Nothing that I couldn’t catch my breath from. That’s about to change.
As soon as I could make my eyes focus a little, I tried to inspect my abdomen. It looks like it’s still getting bigger! I can feel a difference in Will’s movement… it seems more fluid. More free. More spacious. I have had 3 babies already, so I am familiar with the sensation of having a baby dry in there. Movement feels labored and sluggish. I felt it yesterday for those morning hours after the rupture. What a relief to feel more full now!
I reach for my phone and see 12 text messages waiting, but I can not get my eyes to focus on them! My nurse walks in, sees me trying to read with one eye open, and laughs. She offered to help, so I closed my eyes and let her read me the dozen texts from my precious friends and family who are all so concerned for us. There is one from my mom… she and Dad are bringing Starbucks. Another from my friend Kristie in CO who says that if we are here long term, she wants to come visit and help with the girls. Several from my little sister… being so far away is so hard. I have a hard time responding to all the messages, but I feel so very loved and prayed for.
My nurse says that the contractions have slowed to only about 3 per hr… it’s a good sign that I might be able to go off the mag soon. Thank you, God!!! The headache and lazy eyes and muscles and hot skin are incredibly frustrating. The nurse also says that since the neonatal specialists didn’t get much time with us yesterday, they want to come back today. That’s ok… I have a lot of questions that I hadn’t been able to form yesterday.
My parents arrived with coffee (oh blessed Starbucks frappucino!) and take our little girls out for the day. They have plans for swimming and movies and all 3 girls are elated to see Mimi and Papa!
Dr. Patel (another neonatal specialist) arrives and talks to us for what seemed like forever. He was very gentle, and very knowledgable, yet full of the same bad news. I was able to ask my questions about long-term staying. He said that as a general rule, no matter how early a baby is born, they are not ready to go home until their due-date… or close to it. His one encouraging bit was that Will is already measuring at 600 grams (1 lb, 6 oz), which is a bit large for his age. Large is good. Nathan and I look at eachother and a new reality begins to dawn. We are here for a while. A nurse chimes in that when you have a complete amnio rupture like I did, you can not leave the hospital. So we are here until Will comes, and possibly for a while after as he gets bigger. We’re talking the possibility of months in this hospital… at least until the beginning of August. The implications of that start running through my head. Where will Nathan and the girls stay? How will we ever pay for this? The girls can’t live in here for 3 months… they will go crazy. We don’t know anyone here. How on earth is this going to work? I keep telling myself to slow down and take one step at a time… but the questions will not stop.
Dr. Patel runs through the list of complications. Again. The terrible odds. The cruelty of making a baby suffer unnecessarily. The unlikely chances of healthy childhood. The implications of a damaged baby on a healthy family and three big sisters. Nathan and I look at eachother and agree…. again… this is our baby. Of course we don’t want to put him through unneccesary pain. But to start out, do whatever you have to do for him. At long last, the dr leaves. Michelle, Nathan, my sweet nurse (Christie) and I sit there in shock for a few minutes, trying to breathe through the heaviness in the room. Nathan tells me that our friend Chelsey, from CO, is wanting to come out here to help care for the girls. Indefinitely. Another friend of a friend here in AZ is offering to help with meals and childcare. A complete stranger has offered her guest room. God is providing above and beyond.
I’m having a hard time processing everything, and feel so very tired. My nurse, Nathan, and Michelle all insist that I should try to nap while the girls are gone and things are quiet. That seems like a good idea, because I can barely see straight. But napping was futile… every attempt turned into a nightmare. Before long I could not stop the sobs and called Nathan back in. My nurse said I was having a nervous breakdown and called the pharmacy for some sort of med, but we managed to get a grip on it before they arrived. Nathan laid down and cried with me, prayed for us, and things somehow did not feel as dark.
I don’t remember much after that melt-down. I know they moved us to another (way smaller) room. I know my parents took the girls back to their hotel for a sleep-over and Nathan stayed with me all night. The sleeping attempts were slightly more succesful, though very interrupted by the monitors and beeping. In the end, I was just thankful to still be pregnant another day.