BPP #3 (part one) today = 8/8. Part two (non-stress test) on Tuesday.
Parker did great today. He didn't want to show his face too much and kept kicking the tar out of the transducer (is that a word?), but in general he did perfectly. His practice breathing was highly complimented, as were his movement and muscle flexion. Next week we get to shake things up with a grown scan instead of a biophysical profile. Woot woot!
I had to have my blood pressure checked twice today. When I first arrived, it was high and my pulse was fast. This is most likely due in no small part to the fact that Mike and I were sucked in by the Hot Donuts Now sign at Krispy Kreme on the way down. Parker got his donut BEFORE the appointment on the understanding that he better behave (which he did. But I got some ferocious nudges after the appointment as if to say, "Hey woman, where's my follow up donut?" Booger.), and I no doubt was on some sort of sugar high when they took my vital signs. They took them again before I left, and all was well. Another Friday, another $4 parking deck fee, and another report of "everything is stable for now."
We'll take it!
It occurred to me today that I am now less than a month from delivery (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I have to start lining some things up logistically, so it is time to start taking people up on the ten thousand offers we have gotten.
I am NOT good at asking for or accepting help. One of the first sentences I was able to string together as a child was, "I do it myself." I like to think of myself as "independent minded." Almost everyone else, most especially my husband, would call it "stubborn as a mule." Whatever the terminology, it is becoming abundantly clear that I am about to receive a big fat lesson in Accepting Help When It Is Offered 101.
The most common question we get these days is, "What do y'all need?"
The short answer to this is "Prayers and volunteers to keep Jeremiah."
Apart from that, we don't NEED anything. There are plenty of people in the world who NEED things more than we do. I have all of Jeremiah's baby items ready to come out of storage. I have the most fantastic house cleaning people. I am cooking up a storm and will, by the end of next week, have 8 weeks' worth of food in the freezer. Those needs are met.
Every time someone asks The Question and is given The Short Answer, they usually raise an eyebrow and just say, "Abby. *stare* Don't be ridiculous." I usually start sweating in my armpits and/or break into hives at this point, recite the preceding paragraph, and change the subject. It's honestly not because I will think myself weak for accepting help. I hope and pray it doesn't appear that I am ungrateful to those people. I just don't feel like I qualify as a person who NEEDS anything-- I live a comfortable, and by most standards, privileged life.
Still, it doesn't make one bit of sense to ignore the people who are offering to make our lives easier. Their offers of help come out of their love for us, and I know that down deep into my soul. The day of our NICU tour, Eileen the Angelic Tour Guide gave us some advice. We are about to be thrown into a crisis which very few of our family members or friends can understand. We won't even understand it while it's happening. People will want to help, but they won't know how. It's our job to very clearly outline what we need and apologize for any hurt feelings later.
That last sentence absolutely kills me, even to type. "Clearly outlining what we need" sounds downright bossy. (I prefer to say "what we would like to have happen" because it sounds better. And because I don't have to say 'need'.) Who the heck am I to "clearly outline what we need" to people who are loving and supporting me at the worst time in my life? Won't I seem like some sort of wretched and ungrateful person by saying, "Thanks so much for offering to help. We love you, too. NOW GO *fill in the blank* RIGHT NOW! HUSTLE HUSTLE! I'LL APOLOGIZE LATER!"
It's already happened and I've hated it. I've turned down offers of parties/showers and felt like dirt. We've gotten some raised eyebrows for our "no one comes to the hospital until otherwise informed" policy, which was agonizing to settle on but is truly what we feel will be best. I had a long conversation with my friend Ali about it... she has had some mighty struggles in her time and has always maintained a graceful and grateful heart. Her advice had two parts: a) protect yourself and your family first and b) let people do things, even if you don't NEED them.
That's my homework this weekend.
1) Figure out what we NEED ("Prayers and volunteers to keep Jeremiah!" The response is second nature by now)
2) Put on my Bossypants.
3) Tell people how they can help.
4) Invest in armpit sweat catchers and hive cream.