Monday, August 30, 2010

Waiting

So, I feel like the girl who cried blog or something.

Yes, I have a bunch of posts in various stages of completion, and yes I have a lot to say.

But right now, all I can think about or write coherently about is waiting. We are 35 weeks and two days into this wait, thrilled to have made it this far and hoping we get some more time.

I am not a patient person; this is not new information. But this pregnancy—and the long, challenging journey to get here—have humbled me, have forced me to let go and take things day by day.

We waited a long time for this little girl. I waited a long time to share the news, because it took several months to trust this was real. For the first 18 weeks, we waited for the infections and exacerbations to die down and waited for the necessary isolation they entailed to be lifted. We had 3-4 weeks of relative normalcy, and then other complications emerged and since early summer, we’ve waited and watched blood pressure readings and pulse oximeter results.

We wait for Saturdays, the changeover day, when we complete another week of this pregnancy. There have been points in the past few weeks when we seriously doubted we’d see another Saturday with her on the inside, so as we approach week 36, we feel lucky just to be able to keep waiting.

Over the past few years, through the consults and tests and the risk assessments and the disappointments, I promised myself that if I were ever fortunate enough to have this experience, I would never complain about pregnancy symptoms, I would never be the infertile person who forgot the journey, and I would never, ever take any of this for granted.

I said this before when I wrote about high-risk pregnancy by trimester, but the “typical” pregnancy symptoms don’t bother me. In fact, they have always been reassuring: the severe nausea, the swelling and back pain, the interrupted sleep. They tell me things are still moving forward, they tell me that in many ways, I am just like any other pregnant woman, and that feels really good.

Besides, who isn’t tired and uncomfortable when pregnant? It’s an occupational hazard.

Anyway.

In terms of the high-risk stuff, the complications that mean I am at the doctor’s office all the time and have had more ultrasounds, biophysical profiles, and NSTs than I care to count here? Well, we went into this with our eyes wide open, so we are not surprised by it all. Granted, we didn’t expect some of the issues (like getting discharged on bed rest at 28 weeks for blood pressure or starting contractions at 34 weeks) but we also knew that things like that can emerge in any pregnancy.

I realize I haven’t updated much on the third trimester since it first started. As I said, we expected a lot of the challenges we’ve had and even expected to have surprises. What’s worth mentioning is that there have been good surprises, too. Namely, we expected the baby to do okay—after all, we have the best care available, and intense monitoring and proactive intervention.

But she hasn’t just done okay; aside from some recent bumps, she has thrived. Truly. Measuring ahead of the curve, being accused of being feisty, moving her diaphragm like a champ, kicking and punching all hours of the day and night…she has surprised all of us, doctors included, with her resiliency and buoyancy, even when my body is struggling. The closer we get to meeting her, the more amazing all of this is to me.

The other observation I have to offer is that while I expected the physical stuff and therefore am not entirely fazed by it, what I did not anticipate as readily was just how emotionally intense this trimester would be. The sheer amount of worry and apprehension, the speed with which the situation can (and does!) change, the prolonged state of ambiguity, the toll of spending days (and days) on the inpatient labor and delivery floor—it is much tougher than the physical stuff.

But every second is worth it.

We have both fought hard for every day of this pregnancy, particularly this last trimester. At this point, I feel like I have done everything I can for her, and it is out of my hands. Now, we need to trust in that and watch and wait for her cues. And it occurs to me that maybe that’s the legacy of this pregnancy: preparing me to do just those things when she’s here.

9 comments:

Lyrehca said...

So glad you posted--I was just thinking about you and wondering what the latest was. Glad she's still in there and that you're doing well at this late date. Go Saturdays!

Rachel said...

She is already learning how to persevere, from the best person to show her - you, her mother.

Cheering for the both of you from thousands of miles away :)

Emily said...

I'm so glad you're doing well - and that you are closing in on your due date!

Janine said...

Congratulations on making it past 35 weeks--almost to 36! I am reading your book right now so I just "discovered" you. What a gem you are to those of us who have the privilege of reading what you write.
I am a high-risk labor and delivery nurse who has been home mostly full-time since having my own three darling boys. I can relate to alot of what you are going through, both because of my profession, and my chronic illnesses. Let me just say you are right in thinking pregnancy surrender is good prep for parenthood. I have learned the most about letting go through my boys (the illnesses haven't hurt, but having "your heart walking around outside your body" is a much more potent medicine in that regard). You are about to have some of the best moments of your life. 35/36 weeks just sets her up beautifully to do well, and I am hoping you get to go even further.
All the best to you, thank you for your thoughtful, helpful, inspiring words. Janine

Lisa C said...

I am so happy for you. Have thought of you often. Believe it or not, after the baby is born life will get even more chaotic, but the chaos will be filled with much more joy! Love ya!

Mo said...

Happy post, Happy Mama, Happy Baby dancing around! So good to hear!
mo

shoshana said...

Miracles! You're almost there, just a few more weeks and you'll get to meet the most wonderful person in your life.

shoshana said...

Miracles! You're almost there, just a few more weeks and you'll get to meet the most wonderful person in your life.

Genevieve said...

I spent the first 7 months in bed spitting up 36 ounces of mucus a day, on medrol and couldn't take breathing treatments due to the fact that they were sending me into tacchycardia. I had Chest Xrays done. They believed it to be a Bronchiectasis flare up, obviously severe. AS soon as I became pregnant, all of the hormonal changes affected my breathing and lungs in a terrible way. I felt so stir crazy from being couped up in the house, vest treatments and postural drainage and a spit cup by my side. It sucked! The Doctors didn't know what to do with me. I remember the first OB I saw was very reputable and he actually encouraged me to get an abortion stating Bronchiectasis would kill this child before she would ever be born. NONSENSE...my beautiful daughter is healthy, no CF, no lung issues...and she is peaceful, content, happy and rarely ever fusses. However, she just started teething, so early! 3 1/2 months old. wow.

So Happy you made it through all of this. I hated being pregnant, I hated being sick. It's because of what we suffer daily, it disrupts our relationships, our life style, everything. BUT she was the prize. I would do it all over again...I love her so much!

 
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