I know I told you that the next post would be photos of the nursery, and I promise, they really are coming soon. But I can write much much faster than I can upload photos, so I thought I'd catch you up on last week's round of appointments. Plus, I really delight in stringing you along and building the suspense about the nursery. (IT'S REALLY CUTE!!!).
Last week I had a regular OB appointment that was pretty uneventful. Everything seems to be still on track and normal as far as the pregnancy goes. They said they can't do much about my horrible acid reflux/heartburn/vomiting since I'm already taking 150mg Zantac, Prevacid and about 20 Tums a day along with the Zofran. Since I had such yucky stomach issues before ever becoming pregnant, it's really no surprise that it's been the biggest physical struggle for me during this pregnancy. Maybe the wives' tales will be true and Clara will come out with a head full of beautiful hair. I've got the bows ready, just in case.
On Thursday we visited Brenner Children's Hospital for the first time. Since Clara will be transferred pretty quickly after our delivery at Forsyth (within a few hours probably), this is the hospital where we'll be spending most of our time. We're so grateful to live near such a wonderful children's hospital with a national reputation for excellent care. We are confident that the surgeons, neonatalogists, nurses and other staff there will give us the very best care possible. We went to tour the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and get a picture in our minds of what our day to day lives will be like while Clara is there. The facilities all seem really nice and the staff was warm and welcoming. We were given our tour by a social worker who took time to explain to us what kind of bed Clara will most likely be in, show us some of the machines that she could be hooked up to, and generally explain some of the rules and procedures of the NICU so that we can know better what to expect. They have a lactation consultant on staff and a room available for mothers to pump, so I'll be trying to give Clara as much of my breast milk as possible, even if it's through a feeding tube initially. They've also got "family rooms" where Robert and I will both spend the night with Clara in the room with us for 1 or 2 nights before we're discharged and have a "practice run" at being alone together. There are several "suites" and each suite has about 6 different beds/bassinets for infants. So, it's not the most spacious or private set up, but I think that's pretty typical. We're only allowed to have 2 visitors (including us) at a time due to space and probably also security. We saw lots of teeny tiny babies and some who have probably recently undergone surgery. There was not a baby with diaphragmatic hernia in the hospital at the time, nor did we get a chance to see an ECMO machine in use. We're grateful that no one is having to use it right now! They had recently discharged a baby girl with a diaphragmatic hernia who only stayed in the NICU for ten days after her surgery. Everyone there was saying what a shock it was how well this baby had done, because typically even a best case scenario is at least a month. Apparently she was breathing on her own before they even did surgery and then didn't have to be on a ventilator for very long afterwards at all. They all cautioned us to not expect that or hope for that, but to us it is encouraging to hear such positive stories, even if we recognize that we may not experience the exact same thing. I'm joyful for that family and continue to trust that God will provide and care for us as well. It's nice to know that it can be done.
So, that was our NICU experience. There's nowhere for us to stay overnight, so we'll go home in the evenings and try to sleep, trusting that she'll rest in good hands. We're so thankful that we're only 15 minutes away. I'll probably be spending most of my days over there and Robert will certainly stop by as often as he can once he returns to work (somebody's got to earn some money to pay these medical bills!). They do have Wi-Fi, so I'm sure I'll be bringing my computer and updating you all regularly with photos and news as we get through this together, by God's grace.
On Thursday we go for our next ultrasound. It's certainly starting to feel quite crowded in my belly, so I'm not sure what kinds of pictures we'll get (in terms of the fun 4-D ones of her little face), but if there are any cute ones, we'll share those too.
Thanks for your continued prayers. We continue to have faith that they are being heard and will be answered.
Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)
Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. (Matthew 21:22)
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. (Psalm 91:15)