Thursday, March 31, 2011

Growing with Beauty

Last Friday I saw both the perinatologist and my ob again.  The boys actually came to the ultrasound with Bryan and I so that they, too, could get a peek at Beauty.  It was hard to get a good look at her face because her legs were right in front of it, but the boys enjoyed seeing her nonetheless. 

They measured my amniotic fluid again, and it was even higher than last time, so I do officially have polyhydramnios.  My abdomen measurements support this as I measured 32 weeks pregnant when I was only 27 weeks.  So, I am measuring a full five weeks ahead.  I look pretty darn pregnant.  In fact, today a man at Bed, Bath, and Beyond asked me, "How many more months do you have?  Or should I say weeks, days, hours?"  Despite the extra fluid, the perinatologist seemed pretty relaxed about the state of affairs.  His biggest concern is preterm labor, as is ours.  He did tell us that two-thirds of women with polyhydramnios have no known cause for it, and though Samuel's heart was a cause for it last time, in all likelihood there is no real reason for it this time -- especially since I passed the glucose test and do not have gestational diabetes.  Bryan and I are both feeling pretty calm and unconcerned about the diagnosis.  I continue to have some apprehension about Beauty's lungs being fully developed when she arrives, mainly because of how underdeveloped Samuel's were, but otherwise I'd say we're resting easy.

Because of my extra fluid, once I reach 32 weeks I will begin twice weekly doctor's appointments.  I did the same thing with Samuel.  I will see my ob on Mondays for a non-stress test where they strap a belt around my belly and monitor Beauty's movements and heartbeat, and then on Fridays I will have an ultrasound to measure fluid, look at the blood flow to the umbilical cord, check to see she is not under stress, etc.  It's rather inconvenient to arrange childcare twice a week, but the upside is that we'll know how she's doing on a very regular basis.  And we'll get lots of ultrasound pictures of our cutie.  :)  Actually, one of Samuel's 3D ultrasound pictures from a year and a half ago is on the bulletin board at the perinatologists', and I love to look at it and even touch it when I walk by.  It's very faded, and soon I'm sure they will take it down, but it's strangely comforting to know my baby boy is gracing the wall of somewhere other than our house.

As I entered the third trimester today (28 weeks) and as we prepare for Beauty's arrival, I am getting more and more excited about meeting her.  We are picking out a paint color for her room and are in the process of transitioning it from Samuel's room to Beauty's room.  Every day it is a little less Samuel's as we paint swatches on the wall, organize the closet and put her few girl clothes front and center, and pick out paper with which to make and frame her initials.  Last week I called it Beauty's room once, and Caleb was immediately bothered.  He said, "It's not Beauty's room!  It's Samuel's room!"  I told him I was feeling kind of confused about it and wasn't sure what to call it.  I explained that it was Samuel's room, but it will be Beauty's room, and I never know what to name it.  I asked him what he thought we should do, and he decided to call it "the baby's room."  I am happy for him to do so, but it doesn't really satisfy my confusion.  I finally decided to call it Samuel's room until we truly transition it to her room -- paint it, change the decorations, put up her initials, etc.  Even if Samuel was alive, we would move him into another room and turn "the baby's room" into Beauty's room.  Once upon a time it was Joel's room, and we moved him out to make room for Samuel.  So it is a room that would have held Joel, Samuel, and Beauty, and therefore it doesn't feel so heartbreaking for it to cease being Samuel's room.  Part of the closet is allotted to Samuel's things -- the keepsakes I sorted through awhile ago, the blanket we wrapped and held him in while he was dying, the lovely afghan my grandmother knit for him while he was in my womb, etc.  It will be sad to have his life relegated to a corner of the closet, but at the same time, it feels like a natural part of healing and grieving.  And his picture will stay in the room as will the wooden block with all his birth stats that my brother's family gave us shortly after he was born.

I do find myself missing him a lot lately.  Today when Beauty gave me a particularly sharp kick, I started to call her Samuel, and it made me sad.  I have been trying to envision what life with four would be like -- a 6 year old, 4 year old, not quite 2 year old, and a newborn.  When I think about it, my head spins a little.  I wish we had gotten the chance to live that chaos though I wonder how crazy it would have beeen if Samuel wasn't a healthy boy.  No doubt our world would be surprisingly different if Samuel had lived but still required intense medical care.  Despite how much I miss him, I do love thinking about him healthy, happy, and complete in Heaven. 

These are days in which I try to live in peace and joy and make the most of this time I have with my daughter.  There are no promises that I will have many, many days to spend with her, so I am cherishing each day I get -- with hopes of abundantly more.  Bryan and I are mentally preparing for 8 more weeks of pregnancy instead of 12 since Samuel made his entrance 3 1/2 weeks early, and my fluid levels mean an early birth is likely.  So we're working hard to prepare for her arrival, to finally settle on one of the two names we've narrowed the list down to, and to increase the boys' independence and responsibilities.  We are living in hopes of a healthy baby and many changes ahead, and we are trusting God to be God.  In the days before our daughter makes her arrival, we are thankful for a God we can depend on, that we don't have to live in fear, and that He created this little one exactly as He saw fit.  We can't wait to see her for ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this generous update and the photos, too! I had a dream last night that you asked for my prayers, and I want you to know that you always have them.