By the end of that appointment, for me, everything had changed. My doctor didn't give me any official restrictions, but even through her typical calm demeanor I could see she was clearly concerned. That was only reinforced when she scheduled a follow up for yesterday rather than the end of the month. What little confidence I'd mustered that things would turn out ok was gone, and despite the fact that pretty much everyone around me thought I was overreacting and the next appointment would be fine, I knew there was no going back. Every time I moved I was scared something would go wrong, and I knew that fear wouldn't diminish no matter what the outcome of the next appointment. Selfishly, my absolute worst fear was ending up on hospital bed rest away from Maggie for as long as 15 weeks. I was sure I couldn't bear it.
Unfortunately, my fears were less off base than usual.
So here I am, laying in bed, and it's not as bad as I thought. Don't get me wrong, it's not fun, but it's completely bearable... the being in bed part that is. The missing Maggie part is wretched. On the upside, I'm learning a lot. Apparently I'm the exception to the rule in that I'm horribly concerned about possible outcomes for my baby and terrified to get out of bed. The neonatologist came in this afternoon to fill me in on what life's going to look like if this little one insists on coming out this week, and the first thing she said is that she's usually called up here to chastise non-compliant mothers who are sure that everything will be fine rather than to calm down an overly anxious one. I'm pretty sure I actually laughed out loud because my immediate thought was, "Who on earth are THOSE people?" Even now, hours later, I find it completely absurd that there are women who could be told their babies might be born at 25 weeks and be anything less than horrified, but she promised they exist.
Nonetheless, meeting the super awesome baby doc was the highlight of my week. Yes, it would be bad if he's born now, but it's not as dire as I originally thought. And there's a good chance we'll make it at least another week or two. If we make it to August 24, there's a 91% chance that IN THE LONG RUN, he would have no major complications. Yes, his life would start with an extended stay in the NICU, but there's a really good chance that eventually he'd completely catch up. She also said that when it comes to developmental delays, our impact as parents will be greater than any impact she can have as a doctor. Looks like all those years working with my little ones are going to pay off!
So today I'm hopeful. It's one more day towards 26 weeks, and although the odds aren't good, each day without further progression is a good sign. Hopefully we'll be counting for a long while.
And just for you Suz... the three things I'm thankful for today:
1. When I blindly chose a doctor long before I was pregnant, God guided me to someone who I adore, and she was able to admit me to the hospital rather than the obnoxious high risk guy... meaning I get to see her daily rather than him.
2. She just so happens to be at the only hospital in the area that will be able to care for both me and our baby, regardless of what rare or obscure complications he has. Many women in my situation would have their baby whisked away to another hospital immediately after birth. I won't have to worry about that.
3. I've gotten so many texts and emails of encouragement that I'm having a hard time keeping up. I've felt very alone recently, but today I feel immensely loved.