Friday, 18 April 2014

Getting prepared, part III: and the universe laughed

Alternate titles for this post: What a difference a day makes; Ready or not,  here she comes; Reasons why all your 'planning' is stupid; Planning schmanning; or the simple Gotcha!. Any works really, so take your pick. And you'll have to excuse me if this post is all over the place, a rambling, incoherent collection of my thoughts at this juncture. These have been heady hours.

Yesterday at our appointments with both the fetal medicine specialist and our OB, we learned that although little seedling's growth is still on track (she's now 1.75 kilos, or 3 lbs8 oz), the diastolic flow of her umbilicus has further declined. While Dr B did say that he 'doesn't think it's a matter of the next 48 hours', I was given the first of two steroid shots to help mature her lungs, and we've been put on high alert. I've just returned from the clinic where I had the second shot, and tomorrow we're back again for another non-stress test and further doppler reading. Basically, I'm existing right now just to gestate this little girl (even though my maternity leave doesn't official start until month's end). I might as well just move in to the hospital (though I'm glad they haven't suggested admitting me - yet).

And even though I was given an inkling of this trajectory nearly two weeks ago, intellectually I guess I couldn't quite grasp it. Not for the first time though, my body has been smarter than my brain, and I find this level of intuitiveness amazing. Yeah, my body gets it, she's doing her job and she's been trying to tell me something. I was slow to catch on, but I'm getting there. Physically, I've felt extremely pregnant - like, imminent delivery, as I am now learning - for several weeks now. I haven't slept through the night in weeks, and when I wake up at four in the morning, it is with the ravenous need for food RIGHT NOW. (I'm kind of also hoping this means little seedling is on a final, fortifying growth spurt.) I have crazy, constant Braxton Hicks that seize me with a breath-taking ferocity, and a constant pressure in my lower pelvis. And ok, I often pee a little when I sneeze. Then I feel like I have to pee all the rest of the time, but when I get to the toilet, nothin' doing.

When they measured the amniotic fluid levels along with little seedling's growth yesterday, here were the results: I am carrying a girl who is a wee bit behind in terms of average growth, but she is swimming inside a uterus measuring at 41 weeks. Yikes.

You guys, this is pretty much it. (But I still hope she'll hang on another few weeks, just to build up a bit more and gain strength. I can hope, right?)

H and I spent yesterday after the appointment stumbling around in a kind of daze of heightened awareness, yet not really aware of anything else besides this Huge Thing at all. It's scary but also exciting to think we might meet our daughter so soon. We cried and we had huge grins on our faces and got distracted and irritable and then laughed and cried some more. We felt all the emotions. All of them.

 
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So how prepared are we? With the all important details?

Finish that novel I was working through? Squeeze in one last date night with H? Go for a pedi to avoid in-hospital embarrassment at my unsightly winter toes (and while we're at it, don't I need to do something about my now unknowable nether regions, which I haven't been able to access since, like, February)? Baby clothes washed and ready? Yeah, some of that stuff we've managed. I still haven't packed a hospital bag. And in truth, we still need to finalise a name for this girl (we're pretty much there, though I have moments of paralysis thinking about the responsibility involved in shaping a whole person's identity in this way). But then, thank gods I managed to watch the final episode of True Detective; I'm not sure I could have gone into this not knowing of the fates of Rust and Marty.

But seriously though, I had a epiphany sitting in the crowded clinic yesterday, awaiting my shot and trying to absorb this scary new development.

I have agonized over the possibility of a scheduled C-section - recommended by Dr B as the best way to avoid unforeseen complications and make sure everything is in place for her transfer for further tests and surgery - and a (maybe?) desire to try for a vaginal birth. I have struggled with doubt and worry that I have not 'enjoyed' this pregnancy 'enough', coping as I was with recurrent terror and stress from so many quarters. Should we have done birthing classes, even though I felt and knew we wouldn't 'fit in', just so as to maximize the whole experience? Shouldn't I have spent more time listening to my hypnosis tracks, to make sure I am all calm and collected and present for the birth itself? Yadda, yadda, yadda....

But here's the thing: when we get to the end game, the real deal, none of this - the little things we do to convince ourselves we have some control over any of this, or even the lack of control itself - matters even one jot. It's superfluous. She is all there is.

It kind of reminds me of that poem, one that has brought me much affirmation in times of difficulty. (Go read it now; it's short and powerful.) Only now, in an entirely different context, it becomes all the more uplifting and joyful and speaks to me on a whole new personal level.

We sit and we wait, H and I, for our great day to dawn, for our little light to fill the world.


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We've worked so hard to get here, and she's worked so hard to stay and grow and thrive. It's been such a long journey, and yet it's far too soon. Now more than ever, we have to keep believing in her.
Whatever the coming days hold for us, (and I'll certainly endeavour to update), keep us in your thoughts, won't you friends?

19 comments:

  1. I'm sure it's all a bit overwhelming, but I think you are doing great - you know what is most important. That is a great gift. I love the poem - it made me weepy. Thinking of you and little seedling.

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  2. Sending positive vibes to you, H, and your little seedling. Hoping that her arrival is safe and brings you much joy.

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  3. Well I hope she stays inside but you got the shots and she is at a good weight so you will be Ok! Thinking of you and hoping for one last date night!

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  4. Positive vibes winging their way toward you! XO!

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  5. Definitely keeping you all in my thoughts!

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  6. Of course you are in our thoughts, and I am sending you all the love, good vibes and prayers.
    It will all be fine. Also, our Yu was born at 1.9 kg and she was very strong, even at ther tiniest, she has always been such a strong fighter. I am sure seedling is so too. She has showed you one and a million times.

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  7. So close now and of course it's overwhelming to think (about and) beyond the birth. You have waited so long for that moment, to meet your girl for the first time. Wishing you a safe and quick delivery, however it happen.

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  8. You and you husband and your little girl are in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing worth us how you are doing. I am hoping all goes smoothly!

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  9. Thinking of the three of you as you await your little girl's arrival. I hope she can continue to grow and thrive on the inside for as long as possible, but she is strong and will continue to thrive no matter what. Can't wait to hear of her safe arrival, however and whenever it happens,

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  10. I am sure that you have a totally different mix of emotions than I have, but I'm on pins and needles over here! I know the circumstances leading to her birth may not be the most ideal, but I can't wait until she's here safely!!! I hear you on wanting to wait a few more weeks before her arrival, but she'll show when she wants to show. Sending all of you so much love!

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  11. Oh Sadie, the three of you continue to be in my thoughts! All the best in these coming days (and yes, fingers crossed - weeks instead of days!). It sounds like you have amazing care and there is no doubt that you have an amazing little girl. Thank you for the updates. Hugs hugs hugs.

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  12. I am sending you so much love and good energy. I am thinking of you here in Massachusetts. I hope everything goes well. You've done great, Mama! Truly.

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  13. Sending all the good energy I can muster- hoping things go as the should, and that if now is "go time", you'll soon by nuzzling that wonderful baby girl

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  14. I'm hoping that everything with little seedling's arrival will go as smoothly as it possibly can. Sending so many positive thoughts your way.

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  15. i, too, have been thinking of all three of you (well, four, really, because S. is also in that family photo of you that i have in my head). i'm sending you and your little girl so much love and positive energy for the coming days (and weeks and months and years....)

    the other day the "Dear Future Mom" ad came on television here. it was a bit different from the one you posted, because all of the children were Francophone. it made me think of you and your little girl, and the thing the struck me was the looks of pure love and joy on the faces of the mothers. i hope very soon you have that same look on your face. <3

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  16. Sending you lots of good vibes :)

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  17. Thinking of you and your family, Sadie, and wishing you all lots of strength in the days and weeks ahead. It's so exciting that your little girl will be here soon! I'll be watching for updates. And I say go for that pedi!

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  18. I'm thinking of you all! I'm so excited for your new little family. Sending you love and strength.

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  19. I felt a huge responsibility in naming a human. My girls were a couple days old before we (well, me, really) could commit to anything.
    Thinking of you and hope all goes smoothly. Any wait to hear about seedlings arrival.

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