Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hospital Day 39 - 28 1/2 Weeks!!

I'll start with Psalm 28:6-9...

Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever. (NIV)

As I read this passage, I am certain the Lord has heard our cries and for whatever reason in His sovereignty, something beyond my understanding, is answering in ways we only hoped for. My heart is truly "leaping for joy" and I am definitely thinking I will have many new songs to sing when this is all said and done. I am nearing my 29th week on Sunday, and yesterday was another ultrasound/growth scan. You may remember that the last one brought incredible news of an amniotic fluid level considered to be normal and a great weight measurement for the baby. Well, as if it couldn't get any better, here are the results from yesterday's growth scan. According to measurements, baby weighs 3 lbs 8 oz, which puts him above the 95th percentile AND means he is measuring as if I am 30 weeks along rather than 28. Not too shabby! The ultrasound tech also commented that she would never know by the looks of things that I had ruptured. She said, "Look at him, he's textbook. What a beautiful baby." She then announced that my fluid level was 20, and the flashback was immediate. I remembered many weeks ago, when I was still in the hospital in Cape Girardeau. I asked my doctor there if it was possible to re-accumulate fluid. His answer was, "Well, it's possible you'll regain some, but you'll never be a 20." Hmm, never say never is all I can say. (A lesson I, along with Fivel the mouse learned in 1986 from Henri the french pigeon in the move "An America Tail".) Sorry, I digressed a bit there...

Many of you are probably wondering if this means that the "leak" has re-sealed or healed. That's been my question too, and the doctors all remain very skeptical of that. Dr. Nelson, who has been my favorite thus far, discussed that theory with my mom and I yesterday. As a man of science, he explained at length the findings of all the European studies on this subject. Apparently they are much more aggressive with their research and testing on this than here in the states. They do more amniocentesis testing and "puncturing", and the findings all reveal that the membranes never actually re-seal. There's that word again... never. He likened it to a balloon loosing air and suspects that the leak is up high and the amniotic sack layers have overlapped, thus holding the fluid in. So, if that's the case, even the "blue die test" that I hear about as a possibility to have done at 34 weeks, which is an attempt to prove if re-sealing has occurred by injecting blue die into the uterus to see if it comes out, would still be ineffective in proving a TRUE re-seal. He therefore will continue to consider me "ruptured" and will remain guarded, not wanting to take anything for granted considering things have gone SO well. I respect the science and at the same time, I believe in the possibility that it has "sealed" by God's hand (if that's what he so intended) OR perhaps His answer to our prayers WAS that the layers overlap... or really, who knows??

Regardless, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is the incredible is happening and we can only marvel and be grateful. Being completely transparent with you though, I will admit that as I think about all we have overcome, and as I study the looks and responses of amazement from the doctors and nurses, this thought is always trailing behind, "Why is this happening for us and not every women and family who face this?" ... I just don't know. I don't think God values us or our baby any more than ANY other precious child, just like I believe the sacrifice of His own Son's life in the place of all humanity is NO LESS real or substantial for ANYONE else. I, we, are certainly NO more deserving of a miracle. I think about this often as I pray for the woman down the hall from me who is waiting just as I am, and in a situation very similar, EXCEPT that she doesn't have any fluid AND they KNOW that her baby will enter this world with complications. God loves her, her baby, her husband and daughter, just as much as Ryan, Stella, and I, and our baby. This isn't over yet, and though I have faith that our baby WILL be fine, that simply is not and has not once been in our hands. I can only pray that I'm able to use this experience and it's outcome in an empathetic and compassionate way for others who are facing this, and as an incredible testimony. But my struggle will join the ranks of so many others as to why His "answer" is different from one person to the next.

As I think back to Psalm 28, and say to you that God has indeed "heard our cries", it is not something I say flippantly. He isn't just hearing OUR cries, but those of all the others who have lifted their voices, shed their tears, cried out in pain, sorrow and distress... just as we did in those moments not that long ago when we were asked to terminate our baby's life because he'd "never" have a chance, and because preserving his life could be at the expense of my own.

No doubt the Lord has been our "strength and shield", the "shepherd" who is leading us through dangerous terrain, whose rod and staff are of comfort. At the end of the day, science and medicine weigh in heavily, and I am incredibly thankful and confident in what they offer, but I know there's more here...

With love,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Almost 28 Weeks!

Just wanted to give a quick update, since it's been almost two weeks since my last one. Thankfully, there hasn't been much to report on which is great! Things are still going really well and no changes, so I couldn't be happier. The doctors continue to tell me to "stay boring", and I'm happy to oblige. Thanks to instant play on Netflix, which has allowed me to immerse myself in movies and series that I've never seen, I'd say the days are passing faster which is very welcomed. The last couple weeks have also been filled with visits from family and friends which was wonderful. I had almost a full week with Stella, and it was awesome to have so much needed time with her. I'm coming up on 28 weeks on Sunday! I probably won't write again until after next Wednesday, which is when I'll have the next ultrasound/growth scan. I'll let you know how that goes and how much bigger he is! Have a wonderful weekend!

With Love,