Hello, November! When you are admitted to the hospital for dilation in October of 2015 but your baby is technically due in February 2016, the change of the month becomes a really really big deal. (I don't even know what I will do if we actually make it to the new year!!) I have been crossing off each day we are progressing until milestone #1 of 28 weeks, but ultimately nothing felt better than knowing we were at least a calendar month closer to where we are supposed to be...and entering our third trimester!
Status: Yesterday we rung in the start of Week 27, which truly means the worst is behind us. While we technically have 13 more weeks (over 3 months!) until this baby should be making her appearance, we are in a MUCH better place than had she come three weeks ago when I was admitted. Fortunately the awesome doctors & nurses here were able to get me stabilized back at week 24, and the hospital bedrest is paying off. I am still at pretty high risk for infection/rupturing my membranes (breaking amniotic sac) as I am dilated, but many women have gone full term with some dilation so we will see how far I can go with 2cms. Plan is to do an ultrasound on Friday, November 6th and if I am still stable, go home and do bedrest there!!
By the Numbers: Fewer than 1% of babies in the United States are born before 28 weeks, but now that we have reached the 27 week gestation milestone, we have also achieved 90% viability - a huge relief from the roughly 50% chance when I was first admitted at 24 weeks. We sill have a 25% risk of severe permanent disability if our baby girl wanted to make her debut this week, but fortunately we are in great hands to mitigate as much risk as possible with me staying here through the end of the week. If she continues to follow the same growth curve, she will likely weigh in at approximately 2.5lbs by the end of the week. With a high birthweight, being a singleton and a female all putting her at more favorable odds for viability and decreased risk of permanent disability if born today. While her larger size does make her heavier on my cervix, it also means she is less likely to "fall out" (words of Dr. D) which means if my water breaks, we do have time to get a magnesium drip started to protect her brain from bleeding.
Hanging in there: Halloween, my favorite day of the year, was the toughest day by far. I had been making holiday crafts since being admitted, so excited for the day- and talking about my two costumes for weeks: I was going to be a "Bed Bug" and "Princess and the Pea"... except no one brought my costume to the hospital so I was just a depressed pregnant lady on bedrest. I think my husband was so busy with the new house that he just kind of forgot to bring Grace by, so I had a total of 9 minutes with her dressed up in her costume because she was already late for trick-or-treating with her friends in Palo Alto. It was really really tough being alone here, getting updates of friends with their beautiful families all dressed adorably, and hearing all of the other rooms filled with visitors and kids who had enjoyed too much candy. The nurses appreciated the treats I handed out, but it was just one of those lonely nights that made being here all that more difficult. I also received my tDap vaccine on Friday in my left arm, and as I have to sleep on my left side to relieve cervical pressure/increase blood flow, I was restless and unable to sleep. On the flip side, I was spoiled with visits from childhood friends (one that I found out is having a little girl in April!!! besties!) and friends from high school who cheered me up as we went down memory lane of Halloweens past. I also spent a good portion of the weekend chatting with friends calling from back in D.C., New York and even Cambodia- hearing their tales and living vicariously through their adventures just reminded me of how blessed I am to be surrounded by such amazing and inspiring people.
Thank you for your continued prayers- the progress we are making is a true miracle with so much gratitude going to each and every one of you who have supported our family through this journey-- fingers crossed I get to go home next weekend!!