Sometimes you just have to wonder why.
Why me? Why now?
Not many of us ever find the answer to that question.
We've all witnessed a miracle, whether we've been aware that what we were experiencing was one. Some can point to truly significant events with no question and know a miracle took place. We've all heard of the person who survived a deadly accident with barely a scratch. Or who overcame a chronic illness, such as cancer. Or defied all odds and survived with a normal life when all medical knowledge had given up on them. Those with faith in God chalk it up to answered prayer. Sometimes even those with no faith in God can see Him in those actions.
So sometimes, when we are faced with insurmountable events in our lives, we look to God and beg Him to fix it. And what happens when He doesn't?
I mean, let's be honest here. This is GOD. He can do anything. There is nothing beyond His ability to control. To fix.
So, why didn't He fix me?
Regardless of where you are in your faith journey, this question can break you.
Why didn't you fix me?
I've said that many times over. I cried, prayed, begged for Him to fix me in that hospital. To save my little girl for the trial about to come her way.
I don't think there is anyone who has sat on the outside of an incubator holding your infant, who should still be in your belly and NOT asked that question.
But maybe the question is not why did you let this happen to me, but where do I go from here?
I've seen people in traumatic situations, whether it be having a preemie, losing a child, be involved in a life changing accident that left them somehow "less" than what they were, or whatever that trauma may be, handle things in a few different ways. It seems like they either sink into the "why me's" and simply can't move beyond it. The event so defines their life that it then becomes their life.
Or they shrug their shoulders, look up and keep moving forward. As if it never happened. As it it never touched their lives.
Or, they move forward and DO something with the trauma.
I think I'm done with the why me's. I think I've been done for a while. It seems I've found a purpose from this experience. Preemies, and preemie families feel like my purpose. In supporting others through this somehow.
I've become involved with both the March of Dimes and a local NICU. And I've never felt so fulfilled.
It's not about what happens to you but about what you do with what happens to you.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sometimes you just have to wonder why.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete – he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.
Yeah I'm a bit late on posting this update. But, well, I've been busy. Hopefully I didn't worry you.
Still going. Baby is already larger than indicated above. C section should be scheduled for the 22nd of December, I've just yet to receive official confirmation. Should get that next week.
Any way, here's a 35 week belly. Hard to imagine 4 more weeks...
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Did you know that 51.7% of women in a recent poll believe that it's "safe" to deliver a baby between 34 and 36 weeks? And that for every week before 39 weeks that a baby is born, the risk to them of death doubles with each week?
Or how about that term was determined to be at 37 weeks, not by any scientific research, but just because the World Health Organization decided that date was "term."
These are just a few of the things that I learned by attending my local Prematurity Awareness Conference today. And what a fitting way to spend this World Prematurity Awareness day.
Even for one being very aware of prematurity and the issues and problems it causes, this was an eye opening day. HUGE strides have been made in raising awareness. I've seen this just here in my local home town. Prematurity is getting much more "play" in the local media. Maybe because of stories like Mighty Melody, or the MOD is just getting better at getting their message out there in more prominent ways.
Whatever the ways, there still needs to be even MORE awareness made. That first statistic, that half of women believe that it would be safe (?!) to deliver at 34-36 weeks? Really? And that this isn't just a problem of the public, but even OB's, who should know better, are giving in to inducing. Mainly because the #1 reason they are sued is for failing to induce. Even though there was no medically necessary reason present.
And that even with lung maturity tests coming back mature, does not necessarily mean that baby is "ready" to enter this world?
The main focus of this guys particular talk was on reducing the amount of elective c-sections and inductions prior to week 39. I know I have a limited view point on this because my only experience is a 29 week preemie, and to me, getting to 39 weeks would be a HUGE blessing. In fact, when my OB initially told me that with this pregnancy she would do an amnio at 36 weeks and perform a c-section at that point, I was crushed. But I fought back. I originally got her to agree to 37 weeks at least, and with more research, convinced her to let me go to 39 weeks, as long as I was not laboring.
Why was I so insistent on 39 weeks? Lets take a look at this photo:
Or what about this one:
Would my baby be capable of surviving outside the womb had I agreed to that 36 week delivery? Yes. But, looking at this, why would I want to allow that? Am I taking somewhat of a risk? Yes, but I know I'll be watched closely and at the first sign of a uterine rupture I will not argue with taking this baby out immediately.
I don't know, I guess it's a huge shock to me to learn just how many think it's ok to deliver at 34 weeks. And that many women do not consider a c-section a major surgery.
I would do anything to get to 39 weeks. And avoid a c-section.
Unfortunately for the first pregnancy, both choices were taken from me. And on this, so far only the 2nd choice has been taken from me.
I'm 34 weeks today and begging for 5 more. Yes, begging. Am I uncomfortable? Very. My ribs hurt, my hips hurt, heck sometimes even my legs hurt. I'm EXHAUSTED. I can't breathe. I can't eat what I want. Sometimes, yes, I even think I can't take it anymore! But the one thing I never think is I want this baby now. I just want it to be December now. I want to be 39 weeks now. But I will fight tooth and nail for that 39 weeks until I am out of options. I fought tooth and nail for that 29 weeks.
I'm not going to post my 34 week update today, mainly because it contradicts a lot of my emotions of today and confirms where the misconception comes from that it's "safe" to deliver now. I am 34 weeks, and by all accounts should make 39. Even my OB told me yesterday she thinks it's very likely. I had my first NST for the diabetes as well as a growth scan. Shrimp performed well and even my "pre-term" contractor of a uterus behaved. Shrimp measured 36 weeks by ultrasound thanks to the GD, but that doesn't change anything in my care plan.
Chubby cheeks and a big grin. A far cry from this:
I don't know if I've made any sense or any point in this. I just hope, that as I grow and learn more about it that hopefully I'll be able to, in some way, spread awareness about why it is SO important to wait if you can at all do so. Not everyone can. But if you can...fight for that 39.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.
Yeah. Really in disbelief to tell you the truth. I can't believe, as we are going through this prematurity awareness month, that I am sitting here just 4 short weeks away from term. And that really even if things did spiral out of control I could still get that take home baby in just 2-3 more weeks. Of course I have absolutely no desire for that to be the case, I really want at a minimum of 37 weeks. Even if I am miserable with a baby who insists on being transverse and sticking its bum out my right side and using my ribs as a foot stool and stretching tool.
I go back and forth on if I really will make it. I've been having more and more of those signs that my body is preparing for delivery, but nothing indicative of true ptl. Just, what I'm assuming, are normal aches, pains and cramps for being 33 weeks pregnant. I still have the vistaril that I take whenever I feel more contractions than I'm comfortable with. And I'll be honest...that line is not a very big line lol! Give me something like 3 in a row and I'll down one just to keep any more from coming. Are contractions and bh normal at this point? Yes, and I know that. But psychologically, contractions are my worst enemy and I experience nothing but panic when I feel them. So if I can keep them from being too often, I will.
And I guess the biggest clue and indicator of how far I am is the fact that my maternity shirts are starting not to fit. They no longer cover the bottom of my belly and people can get glimpses of the lovely elastic waistband of my maternity pants. I won't even go into what the scale says right now. Let's just say I hope to never see that number outside of a pregnancy. Even though judging from my arms, legs and other areas all of that weight must be baby as I don't see any changes there.
And here's a 33 week belly.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
To start, I sit here and I have these blinding moments of disbelief. Am I really here, 32 weeks pregnant? Am I really this far? Am I REALLY going to have a baby in a little over a month?
I remember when we began our journey into parenthood, and all the trouble we had to even get pregnant. And now I sit here with a swollen belly, watching the leaves turn and feeling my stomach churn. Feeling the excitement course through my veins as I watch the leaves turn and know, just know that I'm going to make it.
I feel so confident in fact that I went out today and bought take home outfits.
Yes, take home outfits. I'm actually contemplating packing a hospital bag. And having it ready just in case. As much as I would love to make it to that 39 week mark, I'd also love to have that "oh my gosh, the baby's coming NOW!" moment....in a good way. Because I'm term and this baby decided now was the time to come.
I had a hospital tour. I looked at pediatricians and had to choose one that visits that hospital, since my current one doesn't. I'm making lists of things I want to accomplish on my leave, which starts in just 2.5 short weeks.
Is this really my life? It couldn't be. Things don't go right for me. In fact, it usually feels like I'm the one clinging to the rim of that deep pit for dear life and wondering when it will be my turn. I'm usually the one sitting back, watching everyone else with the perfect life get everything they ever dreamed of while I claw my way to even realize just the smallest of my dreams.
And yet, here I am, on the brink of a dream come true.
Could this really happen to me?
Thursday, November 3, 2011
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
Laura Story "Blessings"
I was listening to this song the other day on the way to receive one of the final p17 shots of this pregnancy. And during it, I could actually envision and HEAR the cry of my newborn child. Hear it. Oh to just go through a delivery and actually hear that first cry as my child breaths in it's first breath in this world would be heaven.
And it dawned on me a little bit. "What if the trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?" Would I appreciate that sound as much if I had the honor of hearing it when Elisa was born? And the reality is, even if I do go here pretty soon, 32 weeks is lung maturity so the likelihood of hearing that first cry from this point out is pretty high.
I wanted to just bawl. Darn hormones, but I did. The idea of hearing that first cry is so amazing to me. Everything we went through with Elisa, maybe it makes me all that much more grateful for the milestones I am now reaching with this one.
Not that I'll love this one any more than I do Elisa. In fact, Elisa will always ALWAYS have a special place in my heart just because of how hard we fought for her.
But I love that I am now 32 weeks pregnant with this one. That this now means lung maturity. That this now means only 2 weeks until even suck, swallow, breathe is developed. And then, all that's left is all of the brain development and weight. It seems the further I get, the more I can believe I'll make it. Even if I always have that door open in the back of my mind that says ANYTHING could happen at anytime. Honestly, I'd be naive to think it couldn't. Even if I didn't have a previous pre-term delivery, it could still happen at anytime. 9 months of pregnancy is not a given for anyone.
"By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth."
Tuesday was our hospital pre-delivery tour and I'm so glad I went. I did get all those questions answered that I needed to know. Like, baby will stay with me in recovery! May spend an hour or so in the nursery but basically I'll have baby in recovery. I'll be able to receive guests once I'm in the post-partum room. And again, baby stays with me. Wow, what a concept. They did tell me that they normally keep c-sections bed bound for 24 hours post op and I just laughed. I told her I was up 5 hours after Elisa was born and walking laps around the nurses station. Since that's what I had to do to go see her. So I'll probably do the same this time around. They also now know NOT to give me vicodin or hydrocodone. I will refuse it adamantly.
So, here we are. 5 weeks from that blessed term date.