Yesterday was all over the map. I couldn't even compose myself to sit down and write an update, but this morning I'm feeling great and like a new woman!
Last week before we left Midland my OB said I was dilated to a 2. Since I had been dilated with Henry for WEEKS, I didn't put too much stock in it. Then as we walked around some sights in Houston this week I told Cash I could literally feel her dropping. My mother-in-law also said she thought she could see from one day to the next that she was much lower.
So yesterday morning we started at the OB here in Houston. She said I had moved closer to a 3 but could feel baby's head. Y'all. I don't know much about delivering babies, but I feel that is pretty low. We talked about inducing, and she said it would depend on my ultrasound that afternoon and what the fetal specialists thought.
At the ultrasound the tech tried to measure AL's head circumference but kept telling the doctor she could barely do it...the baby's head was almost engaged. I was elated that I hadn't gone mad when I kept saying she was super low. I was just hoping she was low enough they would let me have her right then. My body is so ready.
The fetal specialist then came in. We see multiple high risk specialists while in Houston, so we had not met this doctor before. I just kept staring at him and thinking, "Wow. He is very, very handsome." He said he thought he had met us, and I was thinking to myself that no, I would have remembered this.
He said AL had stopped growing. Although she's always been small, she is declining on the charts. Therefore, he didn't see any reason to keep delaying the birth. He went and spoke with our OB and they decided to induce Monday. And life stopped.
It is one thing when your whole body is ready. It is another thing to prepare your heart. We've gone through so much emotion in this pregnancy. Often times I never thought we'd ever really get to meet her, like she was an ultrasound instead of a real baby. But to have a date set and it be within the week, wow.
I honestly had to choke back tears while talking to the doctor. All I wanted to do was go home and hug Henry and tell him he has given me the best 15 months of my life. I was so sad in that moment that 15 months is all I had with H. Every day it is just me and him. He has taught me so much and made me grow and learn as a mom. While I'm elated to see him as a brother, last night my heart was torn when the reality of him not being my baby hit.
After we talked to the doctor a bit more and got some clarification on what it should be like immediately after delivery, we went into a conference room to wait on the nephrologist. While she was a nice woman, our conversation with her had both Cash and I scared. She was not overly optimistic (read: not at all) about AL's time in the NICU or really what her quality of life might be like. After weeks of appointments where AL had been the same and almost forgetting at times she does have problems, this news was like a dagger to the heart. As the doctor talked about dialysis and our need to find a pediatric nephrologist close to our home, I wondered how we had slid backward in AL's outlook. I was just realizing we were really about to have this baby, and now this doctor was painting a grim picture of her life.
After she left, Cash and I both just sat there. What could we say? I finally told him that was hard to hear and was ready to meet the neonatologist to hopefully get some answers. We waited. And waited. For an hour.
My patient coordinator told us she was trying to find the neonatologist but was having a hard time, so she wanted to reschedule us for Friday since I was having my last ultrasound then anyway. I told her we really needed answers and didn't want to leave without them. Another lady in the office assured us we could see the neonatologist on Friday. Again, I said we have been waiting so long for clarity and this doc had skipped us last week and I didn't want it to happen again. They went and got soap opera star doctor, and he sat back down with us.
He apologized about the appointment being canceled but promised he would personally call her and assured she would be there Friday. I think he saw our concern all over our faces, because he got up and shut the door as I told him we were confused and disheartened after our meeting with the nephrologists. We explained that since our urology appointment in December we had expected a few tests and to come home within a few days. In fact we didn't even think she'd be in NICU. But now the nephrologist had told us a minimum of 2 weeks in the NICU and perhaps dialysis and no kidney function.
Soap opera star doc said that surgery (urology) and medical (nephrology) always differ. He understood our struggle as a high risk doctor and as a parent of a child born with 2 enlarged kidneys. He said that it was a large stretch to say AL didn't need a NICU. She needs a NICU. But a minimum of 2 weeks was probably a stretch on the other end too. He said as a parent he would suggest us to expect 2 weeks and then if we get out early we will be happy.
He took his time to reassure us that this wasn't a death sentence and that we would get through this. All joking about his looks aside, I fell in love him as a doctor in that moment. He seemed to really care about our family and our concerns. He didn't brush them under the rug or act like we were overthinking it. He cared deeply. Even Cash said he was his new favorite doctor there, despite his soap opera good looks.
Once we got back to the house and settled for the night, we were able to just think about the whirlwind of the next few days. We are so busy! But we are trying to get in as much sleep as we can knowing the next few months may find us sleep deprived and ready for normal! 😊
I can't say enough how thankful I am for you going through this journey with us. It is your prayers that got us through so many hard times. As we enter into a new stage we reflect on the miracles God gave us, the friendships we strengthened, and the love poured on us. Thank you. Thank you.
Our next post will be about the delivery of our little AL. See you on the flip side!