Thursday, January 14, 2010

23 days...

Hello Lily!

Today it is 23 days til you are due.

2 days ago we had another FST (fetal stress test) and ultrasound. Dr.Boyle, who is the head of the dept. did them both. She told me every Tues. morning they discuss their high risk patients. Guess what? We made their list;) Soooo they all (all the doctors and midwives) discussed you and me...and said what if Lily doesn't do what we want her to do at her FST today? Meaning, what if you are not moving a ton, and your amniotic fluid has dropped. I had been on the monitors for half an hour...and she came in to tell me all this. She looked at the monitor and said "And of course, she isn't doing what we want her to do!"

What is strange, is you HAD been moving a lot while I was lying there hooked up to the monitors. But your heart doesn't show it- the heartbeat is just a steady line, showing little is always right in the same range, in the 140's. I asked her what they want to see- she said a ten point acceleration or deceleration in the heart rate..she gave me some juice, and put a cup on my tummy upside down and tapped really hard on it, trying to startle you. Your heart did what it was supposed to, and you jumped a bit. She said we would see what you did for ten minutes and left the room.

This time you went to sleep...she came back in saw the monitor and said we would do the ultrasound next..She measured the 4 quadrants of my uterus, and added up the measurements of the deepest pockets of water..They added up to 7-8. A healthy range of amniotic fluid is between 8-14. Last Fri yours was at 11. Last week the midwife had told me if it drops below 8 they get concerned. Dr. Boyle said I was still borderline safe.

Next she looked at your tiny chest. I learned something i never knew before- even though babies don't really "breathe" in the womb, (they get oxygen thru the cord), they "practice" breathing. Their chests make these little rising and falling movements to practice for when they use their lungs- isn't that amazing?? But they don't do it ALL the time, just at intervals. The doctor said sometimes we have to wait 30 minutes to an hour to see if a baby will do this- but you were doing it right away! And you did it the whole time she was doing the scan. Apparently this is a REALLY good sign of a healthy baby, so she was very glad to see that.

She also looked for clenched fists and feet...because if the fluid is low, this will be what can happen to a baby...not much room to move. But we couldn't see your hands or feet, they were tucked under you. ..

You were obviously sleeping, and didn't move much...but you did make tiny shifts, so that was good. You were head down, and low. the end of the u/s she said this is where we go from here: on Friday I go back for a repeat of these tests (in the office.) IF you are doing the same thing, they want me to go over to the hospital weekly for a full scan, on a better machine, rather than 2x a week in their office. This would give a better picture of movement, growth, and amniotic fluid. IF your fluid is not good, or movements too slow, we will induce.

I asked AGAIN- why are we still talking about downs syndrome at every visit (she had mentioned that at the beginning of the appointment). She said mainly because we have never done the tests to rule it out completely (the amniocentesis). So because you have had all these soft markers for downs along the way, combined with my age, we have to err on the side of caution.

And here is where I heard for the first time that downs babies have a higher rate of mortality in the womb. Lovely. AND women over 40- especially almost 42- have a higher rate as well of having babies die in the womb.

Okay Lily, as I said in my last entry, I feel like I have been pretty calm throughout everything...I've had my moments, definitely, of losing it. But I really do think they are just "moments", I don't feel like I live in a constant state of stress. But every visit has added a new layer of things to pray about. And those words felt like they added TEN layers. I kept reminding myself- these are all just statistics! I don't live my life based on statistics, I believe God is in control, not numbers. And they are not these terribly high odds anyway, just "raised odds".

Dr. Boyle said what is important right now is that I make sure you are always moving like you normally move, by measuring kick counts. You should have 5 every hour. Every woman should be conscious of her baby's movements at the end of pregnancy, but she wants me to be extra alert about things, and she said twice- if there is any change AT ALL to let them know.

Doesn't that sound relaxing? Let us know if your baby stops moving so we can...see if she died? I mean really- wouldn't that be a little stressful for anyone ? But again I am reminding myself- you are in GOD'S hands, not just mine- I can count kicks and be vigilant, but ultimately your tiny life is not in my control. I have to TRUST God and do what I can, but I can't live the next 23 days in fear.

Easier said than done.

So the past 48 hours I have been having a little ...big...test of my faith. I have alternated between being relaxed and sane and counting kicks.... and struggling not to feel panicky when I don't feel you move. And keeping all my "what-ifs" at bay. There are a million what-ifs threatening to rob me of the joy of these last few weeks. They are ugly, and scary, and if I let them, they make me shake all over and cry, and I can't focus on anything other than praying God, please don't let Lily die, we've come so far, and overcome so much, and I want my little baby girl so much, please please just let her get here safely.

Sometimes I am really good at internalizing my stress..most times I am. I don't walk around yelling OH MY GOSH I'M FREAKING OUT!! But my body has lots of ways to remind me I am hiding the stress, instead of giving it to God. Like insomnia...nausea..lack of appetite...back and shoulders throbbing..contractions!!! the past two days have been filled with all of those. I've lost 5 pounds this week...

So what am I going to do, Lily? We need a calm Mommy here, it isn't going to help you to have me in this state.

I decided I am going to do what your very wise Daddy said. He is my rock in a storm, he holds it together for us, and I don't know WHAT I'd do without him. Honestly, I don't.

HE said we are going to put our faith in GOD and trust that He is going to bring us all through this. We are not going to live every moment wondering and waiting for what could go wrong. We are going to pray, and believe God to give the doctors- and us- wisdom for the next few weeks. We are going to believe God to bring you here safely in His timing, and trust that NO MATTER WHAT, God will take care of us all.

And like my dear dear friend Janet says- FEAR is not of God. It isn't!! So if I am feeling it, I need to stop, and make a decision- this is what Daddy said- MAKE A DECISION- to trust God and not my feelings.

So right now, I am going on record that I AM making that decision- I cannot live by my feelings right now, or I will lose it. I am going to trust God, I am going to believe God for my favorite time in life- labor and delivery- even if I have to be induced, I am believing God that it will all go smoothly and wonderfully. I am going to enjoy life, and these last precious days of you being inside of me, and enjoy the wonderful family God has given me, and know that all things work together for the GOOD to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.

Thank YOU God, for this testing of my faith, maybe I haven't passed with flying colors, but I am learning, and that is a good lesson for me. It doesn't matter how long you're a Christian, there's always room to grow, and God is so faithful to bring us through and help us grow.

Someone once told me that Lilies grow in hard places...I looked it up, and it's true. So true of YOU too, my little Lily. You are appropriately named, and what a beautiful, loved and prayed for miracle you will be when we hold you in our arms. We are all WAITING with anxious hearts!

All my love forever,

Your Mama oxox


Grafted Branch said...

I'm moved to tears with this post.

I love the deep meaning behind her name, and pray that she will be as impacted by the story of her birth when you share it with her during her first pregnancy someday decades from now. :)

God bless you all, Patti...keep looking up! Come what may, you cannot control it, LOOK UP! Blessed be the name of the LORD!

Virginia (Jenny) said...

Wow! I know what that stress feels like. NOT NEARLY like you.

When I went to the hospital for kidney issues, I was 27 weeks pregnant. My contractions were huuuge. I was so sick that I was left in a room crying for somebody to help me. I was scared I was going to deliver at 27 weeks. They were finally able to help me but I was in the hospital for a week. To make me feel better they said that having babies is killing my kidneys. Also that I need to see a specialist and maybe think about surgery to correct whetever needs correcting. Me, being scared, I haven't gone. I was on antibiotics th whole pregnancy and I only gained 6lbs total because of the stress. I'm just glad Caleb is here safe and sound!

You have every right to be worried but you are right.... God, ultimately, is in control. He has a plan for Lily. :D Can't wait to see pics of her safe arrival.

TheFoleyFive said...

oh heart broke when I read this, I know that special terrible fear that is so inherent with motherhood...My entire pregnancy with Em they told me to not expect a live child at birth, every day was fearful...but look at her now, chubby, brilliant, naughty...all the things I wanted...I felt like Emry was my Issac and God was seeing if I could give her back...but I couldn't, I never came to the place where I could say even if you take her I won't be crushed...instead I could only say you knew her first, you formed her before I did, I will always give her back to you, but please, please, let me have my baby...I think he knew I was at my limit...I was broken and tried, and he loved me by giving me the most perfect little red head I ever dreamed existed...
(psalms 139) For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

S said...

That is one of the sweetest things i have ever read (and i have read a lot of your sweet little things over the years). You are much stronger in your faith than most even understand and i love you for all you do and endure for this 'little' family of ours. I am so glad you are the mother of my kiddies and can't wait for our little Lily Bug to join us out here! [:-)

Phillip said...

I know you don't know me, but I know your three oldest children, Jason, Josiah, and Mackenzie. (not that you didn't know their names)

Anyway, I stumbled onto your blog by accident, and I wanted to let you know, you really inspire me. Myself being someone who spent long days and longer nights in the hospital as a baby, child, and even into my teens, I never would have made it without my mom being right there with me the whole time. I think it is such a great idea to have a blog for you unborn baby. I don't believe I have ever met you, but I can tell you I know that this baby girl will be born into a Loving, Godly home. Which is sadly not too common these days. If I am ever lucky enough to be married and have children of my own, I want to do something like this for mine.

And I will pray for you and your baby Lily... that both you and her will be in God's hands, not just the Doctors