Last night we went to our second birthing class at the hospital. The two nurses that teach it are both very experienced in Labor and Delivery, Cesarean, and Newborn Nursery. When we told them what we were facing they were both very positive and encouraging as well. We love to hear medical professionals (any medical professionals) tell us that things will be okay. One of them was very surprised that we already had a diagnosis. She said that most of her experience with diaphragmatic hernias were babies that were not diagnosed until after birth. That made us thankful once again for the time we've had to prepare and the excellent pre-natal care that we have received the past few months. When we told her that the liver and spleen were still below the diaphragm she also said, "Sounds like you've got the best case scenario!" Now granted, she hasn't looked at our records and she's not a pediatric surgeon, but still - a positive attitude like that from anyone in the medical field is very encouraging and hopeful to us. Last night was also "Meet the Doctors" for folks trying to choose a pediatrician. We've already chosen a pediatrician and met with him and like him very very much, but the Q & A last night was still helpful. When we explained to the panel of doctors about our case and asked about the likelihood of being able to transition to breast feeding at some point, they were also very encouraging. None of them had terror or horror on their faces when we said "diaphragmatic hernia" and they all nodded encouragingly about her eventual recovery and return to "normal." So, again, while there's no way to predict the future or for them to know details of how Clara will do, we're overall encouraged by some general positive medical vibes.
Today I had an appointment with my regular OB. I got to see Dr. Scherer who has cared so exceptionally well for us from the beginning. I taught her daughter in kindergarten last year and got to know her very well, and am so deeply grateful for God's hand in placing their whole family in my life in His perfect timing. She has continually gone above and beyond to take care of us and I feel so special to be receiving this high level of personal care. She was also positive and encouraging about the pregnancy in general. Although I'm still sick some, the Zofran is mostly managing that and aside from nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and other typical third trimester aches and pains, this has been a very healthy pregnancy. My glucose test came back with good blood sugar levels, I haven't gained too much (or too little) weight, there are no signs of preclampsia or other risk factors and like I already mentioned, Clara is growing very well! It was a good visit with Dr. Scherer today and even though I start going every 2 weeks now, I won't get to see her again until March. So, we went ahead and picked a tentative date for this baby to be born!
The official due date is March 28. As I've mentioned before, we're wanting to balance letting Clara grow and get as big as possible with not wanting my water to break or for me to go into "unplanned" labor. So we're tentatively planning a scheduled induction for WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23. Mark your calendars. :) Hopefully she'll be here sometime that day or the next. Dr. Scherer still has to check with the pediatric surgeons and make sure that date works well for them and that everything at Baptist will be ready. Assuming they are, we'll let the neonatalogists and pediatric cardiologists and everyone else that needs to be involved know to be on standby and we'll have everyone ready to give this baby the best possible care once she's on "the outside." It's a little weird to have a more specific date than just a due date and know when we'll really be doing this thing. But my type A control freak personality is delighted to have something penciled in on the calendar. Obviously, we'll be monitoring things between now and then and it could be subject to change...
Okay! Enough medical updates. Let's cut to the chase and see some more photos of Clara! Like I said, these aren't quite as good as last time, but in three weeks we'll get another look. Kathy was frustrated with Clara's lack of cooperation but we still think she's the best.