I spent most of yesterday up at the hospital with a few appointments. We always enjoy seeing our little man, but its always mixed with a little apprehension, especially because Seb is not usually very active till afternoon time. So I sighed a great sigh or relief when I heard his heartbeat. Phew. Another day granted us.
34 weeks now.
We were a little alarmed at first to find that his heartrate was rather slow - about 90bpm (has been about 130-140bpm previously). My heart jumped up into my throat. I spoke very firmly in my spirit to the Lord - No, I'm not ready for him yet! (really, when will I be?). A low heart rate meant TO ME that I was possibly going to be induced today. Either that or worse - he was starting to lose his fight! No. Not thinking about that, thankyou very much.
The doc said it was a little concerned but that he'd check again at the end of the scan because it can be common for babies (esp T18) to have drops in their heartrate for a small time.
PRAISE GOD that his heartrate went back up to 130bpm in a few minutes time. But a bit of a reality check.
We're not ready. I haven't made his little quilt I've been thinking about for the last few day. MUST get onto that. I don't have his cute little beanies that my friend is making him. Most importantly, I'M NOT READY FOR MY BABY TO BREATHE HIS LAST BREATH IN MY ARMS (or even before)...!! Will I ever be?
I was a little surprised to see the next part. Doc ran the ultrasound machine up under my chest, and there his head popped up!
The little rascal has turned breech!!
It made me chuckle a little though. Showing his character already? Doing some acrobats in there. These little things are priceless. Greg commented to me later in the day that he was going to make a joke - 'Maybe he'll be a swimmer', and then reality hit and he realised 'Oh. No, he's not going to be a swimmer.'.... but I wonder if there are pools in heaven??
The doc doesn't seem too concerned about him being breech, and said we will still go ahead with a vaginal delivery if he's breech. Could have a little feet-first baby. Must get pics of that!!
Sebby is small and I have a lot of fluid so he should come out fairly easily regardless of his presentation. Except of course if he gets snug crossways.... that would mean a c-sect. But I'm not too worried because I think he's just dancing a little, doing somersaults. He has a LOT of room in there!! I'm sure he's just being cheeky, showing us a little of who he is.
By measurements, he currently weighs 1.5kg - about 3lb 3oz I think. Soooo teeny!!! I think if he's born soon, that 00000 will be too big, but I'm sure the teddy bear outfit will fit.
(note to self - share pics of his clothes and other beautiful special things he has)
His head circumference is just over 30cm right now. A friend of mine is making him some beautiful crochet beanies and we've been trying to work out what size. She's made one little 30cm newsboy cap and keeps telling me she's sure its going to be too small (fits Baby Born).... it might be just about right - I'm sure the yarn will stretch a little.... or maybe we'll make it just a tad bigger? I really want his special things to fit him. We won't be able to just go out and buy more.
So he's little. And I have a LOT of amniotic fluid. Olympic size swimming pool in there! Docs said that excess fluid can possibly put me into early labour. I guess we take that as it comes, trusting God that it will all unfold in His perfect timing?
Not knowing when is scary. Every little cramp I'm getting now, I monitor like crazy. Just in case (but please don't be!). These last weeks are definitely going to stretch us. The emotions, the trust in our God. And handing things to Him. I can't control this. I can only trust that He is. But we are only human - I need to give it to him constantly. Constantly! The 'you're so brave and strong' comments are going to be stretched to their limit from now on. I don't feel brave at all right now. I'm scared out of my mind! I hardly even feel strong. I feel like anytime I talk to someone now, I could possibly just break down at any point. I was VERY shocked in myself to make it through 2 phonecalls with friends yesterday afternoon actually. I"m not really strong anymore, only leaning on my God and begging him for a few ounces of strength and composure each day.
We didn't get any pics from the scan this time. It was really just to check how he is. I guess I could have asked for some, but he didn't seem to check a lot of him indepth - his heart and brain mainly. I guess they just expect those other things are going to be there and be the same - his deformed hands, his small chin. I would LOVE to surprise the pants off them and to hear that they can't find any problems. A complete miracle!! Wowsers, how amazing would that be. What an incredible testimony to the healing power of my awesome God. And I know He can do it. But I have never really thought that that was His plan (like I really know though huh?). I would love to be wrong. LOVE TO. Nothing more would I want than to bring my perfectly made, perfectly healthy baby home with us. Would love nothing more than to have to run around and make him a nursery. That would be a great joy to my heart. But, I feel that even time with our little man would be the hugest miracle. Even that would defy so many 'statistics' - those that say only 50% of T18 babies make it to birth, and less for boys. And that even less make it to first year of their life - again, boys less. So you see, to even have some time with him alive would be a great testimony to my God's greatness! Just to meet him and talk to him and tell him how much we love him and how much his Heavenly Father loves him. Miracle!
But we will take what we're given. I know this is not in my hands, at all. What I want, and what God has planned for Sebastian could be very different. But I do know He will use it for good.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Already I have seen some of that good, in messages from strangers or new friends telling me how me sharing my journey and my faith has helped them. That makes my heart sing. It makes it all a little more worthwhile. While it will never compare to having my boy, it is comforting that God is using me to touch others. That already He is using me as an instrument of His Love and His Salvation. I do pray that I may touch many more lives for Christ. Even to ease a few questions for them, even to know they are not the only ones going through this.
I would never take back this journey. While its been the hardest thing EVER in my life, and while I'm well aware the worst is yet to come, I have been so blessed by our road. I have said to my husband that ideally, we would get our miracle and take Seb home healthy. But even so, I wouldn't change this road at all. I have gained a new awareness and perspective of how precious life is. I won't take it for granted now. I have been blessed and comforted by many women who are Angel Mummies. I have been supported, I have been loved, all by women who's hearts are aching just as much for their lost babies. I am truly blessed. It's a world you never ever want to enter into, but one that provides immense comfort in the way that only women can support each other, can cry together, can be mad together and can mourn together. Its a world where you can crack it at the smallest thing and they KNOW what its like. That the smallest things can set you off. And a world where they know you will NEVER forget your baby, you will NEVER be the same again, even if you look OK from the outside. Our babies will always be with us, never far from our thoughts and the sorrow of our loss never far from our hearts.
To all my Angel Mummy friends, your love and support means the world, and I cry with you for your lost babies too. You have immense strength and I love you all. xx
I do have more I wanted to say about our appts but might leave those conversations for another time. I want to share our birth plan, and about talking to the baby doctors. Now THAT'S a hard one - talking about your baby passing away, talking about how they don't recommend any sort of intervention because your baby is going to die anyway. THAT'S HARD!! Another time.
I'm having lunch with a friend today. A friend that I had to be selfish with, and miss her baby shower on the weekend. I'm not normally a really selfish person (well at least I don't think so!), but this time I had to be - for a little self-preservation. I don't think I could handle opening baby presents and talking about all the thing that are to come for her and her baby. Life is tough enough for us right now without stretching those emotions to the absolute limit. I just don't think I'm strong enough for that. And I realise that. And that's OK. I'm sure I'll have many more moments in the future where newborns will just be too hard. And I'm OK with having to say no and be a little selfish there too.
May you all have a blessed day. xx