Monday, March 12, 2012

Hall Pass and Hurdle #5

Friday was a busy day (followed by a busy cake weekend- which is why I am late updating). We had a visit with the perinatologist Friday morning, followed immediately by the cardiologist at lunchtime.

Both appointments went great!

At the perinatologist, we found that, yet again, Parker has turned breech. Sigh. It couldn't matter less to me or my doctors, but it is pretty darn uncomfortable to have all the gyrations! One benefit that far outweighs any discomfort is the easiness with which we could get a view of his face:

In short, I am carrying another miniature version of my husband. Jeremiah has looked exactly like Mike since the second he was born (sideburns and all), and now I know that we can expect the same thing from Parker! At least I know he'll grow up to be handsome. :-)

Here's Jeremiah, on the day he was born. They are the same!

Parker weighs 3 pounds on the nose. He already has a pretty good head of hair, and anatomically speaking, no changes in the herniation of organs. I asked if they would be continuing to do the LHR measurement at each appointment, and the answer was no. They really only look at the LHR from 24-26 weeks to determine the outcome, and from then on it doesn't much matter. We get to keep Parker's "highly favorable" outcome for now, so we will take that!
His lungs were measured, and both left and right are growing nicely. Everything else looked great, and thus we were given a hall pass of sorts...
THREE WEEKS OFF FROM APPOINTMENTS! Yahoo! I had been told to expect twice (possibly thrice) a week appointments from 30 weeks on. They felt, on Friday, that there were no indications of fetal distress, so I don't have to go back until 32 weeks. I have to go see my OB somewhere in there, but this is still great news!

We left there and went directly down one floor to the pediatric cardiologist. We hadn't seen him since 18 weeks, and he felt great about things then. A follow up at 30 weeks was ordered, and were very much hoping for "no news is good news" from him. Sure enough, after a LONG fetal echo, we were given the all clear in the cardiac department. Parker HAD ENOUGH ultrasounds that morning, and very nearly started behaving badly during the echo. He kicked the tar out of the transmitter for most of it, then rolled over so she could not get a good reading for a while. I threatened him with lack of donuts, and soon after he fell alseep and cooperated. Booger.

Dr. V (cardio) reiterated that until Parker is born, they can't know too much, but that from what he can see, there are no causes for concern of any kind. The heart is pushed fairly far to the right, and is right up against the chest wall. In my head, combined with the news that his lungs were bigger than expected and that there is a fair amount of stomach up there, this resulted in a mental image of his heart getting smooshed and having to work harder to pump blood. Dr. V assured me that his heart is strong enough to keep itself from getting smooshed, and that the only complication that might arise from overcrowding in the chest is the kinking of major blood vessels leading to and from the heart. If that happens, fluid builds up in other parts of the body (fetal hydrops). He sees absolutely no indication of that right now, hasn't ever seen it develop after this late in a pregnancy, and has already communicated with the perinatologist to keep an eye out for it. He then told us that he'd see us on Parker's birthday (he will likely do an echo before Parker is transported) and sent us home.
Hurdle #5 is behind us!

I'm so thankful that our appointments went so well, and Parker was pleased with two donuts on the way home. I feel like once we hit those 2 or 3 times a week appointments at 32 weeks, we will be on the ground running until he's born (I might have to re-evaluate donuts at that stage... 3 donuts a week for 8 weeks might not be the smartest of plans... ). From all indications, Parker will make his grand appearance on Friday, May 18th. That used to seem like a lifetime away, but it is creeping up on us. I can't wait to meet him, I can't wait to finally be able to stop hearing "once he's born...", and I can't wait to get this show on the road so we can hurry up and go to Disney World.

I had a brief sad moment looking at that picture of Parker's face-- it's likely that we won't be able to see his face for weeks due to ventilators and nasal tubes. Even when he's born, he will be intubated and whisked away within seconds. I won't get to snuggle with him, I won't get to giggle at the sideburns he probably will have, I won't get to see him for days and days. That's stinky, but that's life. I can't change any of that, but I can be in control of some things. I WILL have my husband on FaceTime 24 hours a day so I can videoconference with a newborn. I WILL know the people who are taking care of him are wonderful, kind, and caring. I WILL do my best to recover quickly so I can get the heck out of dodge and get to Egleston to see him. I WILL NOT ACT UGLY IN THE HOSPITAL (I will need reminders of this. They aren't going to let me go before it is safe to do so, and that's that. If nothing else, I must think of nurses and doctors as keepers of the epidural pump, thus deserving of all kindnesses).

That's my new mantra-- control what you can, leave the rest alone. Continue to prepare for his arrival, knowing all the while in the back of my mind that once he's born, I will control nothing. Deal with emotional hiccups as best I know how, pray for God's strength to carry me the rest of the time. Start saving money with which to bribe nurses to break me out of the hospital early.

Just kidding.

Sort of. :-)


  1. Dear Abby. I am so happy that you are getting good news and lots of opportunities to look at Parker's sweet face!

    One thing struck me when you said you won't see his face free of tubes for a while - that is true. One of the gifts I had was a nurse who stood on a chair behind me and took pictures of Samuel on his way out. They were not exactly frame-worthy pics given the setting and Samuel's, um, backdrop given the c-section. ;) But they were the only shots I had of his tube-free face until he was extubated 3 months later and I was really grateful for that. Thought I would mention it to you too. :)


    1. First off, Corrine, you always seem to be one step ahead of me on the comments!

      Abby, I had the same dread and fear of those initial days when I was apart from Ramsey but somehow, I made it through the first days, and all of days that followed with more strength than I ever anticipated. I am praying that you may have that same strength throughout your journey.

  2. So glad you're getting good news!!! May 18th will be here before you know it. We're enjoying reading your updates!