A Shift

10 May

Today I’m 23 weeks, 3 days.

That’s 4 days away from viability.

There’s a little chalk board hanging outside my kitchen, and about a month ago I drew a calendar on it, which ends on May 14th, with the 14th circled in yellow chalk. I’ve been blocking out the days left. Somewhere after my last post, I stopped blocking them out.

After all “viability” is really just an arbitrary date, kind of like the due date. Viability doesn’t happen ON the day, it kind of happens around it. During my blogging black out, I was emailing back and forth with a few women who had stories similar to mine. One thing they kept on saying was that there were three major places where things distinctly started to feel better: the day after the day everything went wrong last time, viability, and 28 weeks.

For me, everything went wrong just a week and two days short of viability, so I’m starting to find that for all intents and purposes, those two dates kind of blended into each other.

I go to a high-risk OB once every two weeks. He’s really ok with seeing me once a month because that’s the frequency he usually sees women with preventive cerclages, but I asked for every two weeks to ease my mind and he obliged. He’s cool like that.

So yesterday I had another appointment with him. Usually I get nervous before these appointments. Yesterday things were different. I felt anticipation, not nerves.

I at first chalked it up to the fact that Shmerson and I had decided to take my short parole and use it as an excuse to go see “Iron Man 3” and grab some dinner after the appointment since the mall is so close to the high-risk OB. Now I’m not so sure that it was simply looking forward to a few hours of freedom.

I go into the nurse’s office to get weighed in and see that I’ve gained another whopping 4 pounds. My blood pressure is taken and I see that the nurse uses the “fat cuff”. However, I manage to forgive myself and am happy to note that this is the lowest BP reading I’ve had since I started going to the high-risk clinic (my BP is always a bit on the high side).

Then we go into the high-risk OB’s office and I have a date with la wanda to check out my cervix. He pronounces that it’s nice an long and that everything looks “perfectly gorgeous”. He takes a look at B5 too and pronounces her “568 grams and just fine”. She has her back to us in the U/S so we don’t get to see much, but that’s ok.

Then, on his way back to the desk he says the following words: “Yep, I think you are going to be just fine this time around. ”

As in – everything is looking good. I think this is your take-home baby.

At every single doctor’s appointment until now – with him, with a second opinion guy I saw about a month and a half ago, with the Russian – they’ve all kept the same line: “I think you’re fine, but I can’t see the future, and I can’t make any promises.”

And here we are – “I think you’re fine.” With no caveat. With no “but”.

I’m not taking this doc’s word as gospel, but he is a high-risk OB. He’s been around the block so-to-speak. As he said what he said I thought: “Hmm. So this is what viability feels like.”

When Shmerson and I walked out of the clinic, I couldn’t help but high-five him. Something about all of this made it feel like an accomplishment.

When we got to the mall, Shmerson started acting a bit weird. I asked him what was going on with him as I was waiting for my bubble tea to be made and he said that it was as if all of the tension of the last six months was washing over him at once. Like something had come loose.

Then we went into the theater. I kind of let my mind wander for the fist 20 minutes or so of the movie. Then something weird happened. I started having butterflies in my stomach. I felt like someone was giving me electric shock. The thought literally hit me like a ton of bricks: “We might actually have a baby at the end of this. A real, live baby.”

Of course panic set in right after. Then I let it all wash over me and sunk into the movie.

After the movie, over burgers, I described the moment to Shmerson. He was shocked. “You mean that never occurred to you before this? You never thought this would end in a baby?”

“Not really. Not in such a real sense. I guess I was just really emotionally detached from it all. ”

He was in shock. I guess he didn’t know how serious my isolation and depression have been. I don’t blame him. I truly think the depth of it is a bit hard to fathom.

Then I said: “If B5 actually comes out of this healthy, I think my head might explode.”

Pretty much sums it up.

Of course today I’m more or less back to where I was a few days ago, but yes – I think there has been a shift. Yesterday, for the first time, I let hope sneak in. Just a little bit. It’s a scary feeling. But it’s there.

Next thing you know I’ll find myself ordering an “I’m with stupid” maternity shirt.

Ok probably not. Let’s not go overboard. I’m getting a panic attack just sharing yesterday’s events, so probably not any time soon.

One step at a time, I guess.

20 Responses to “A Shift”

  1. Melanie May 10, 2013 at 18:24 #

    Reading this post has made me very happy. I wish you continued mind-blowingly awesome appointments as you squeak up past 28 weeks and beyond.

  2. beruriah May 10, 2013 at 18:40 #

    Your experience reminds me so much of my pregnancy with Samuel, who survived, that I’ve been speechless after reading these two posts. We lost Natan right around the same time, so yeah, while viability was a goal, it felt more like the second or third hurdle in a long line. I think it’s great you’re asking to see the doc every two weeks, I asked for that with Samuel and got it. With Jonah, who’s now 11 months, I just told the OB, I want to do this the exact same as before, and she said, “If you’ve got the recipe that works for you….”

    I want you to order that shirt, even though we all know you’re brilliant.

  3. Angel May 10, 2013 at 18:49 #

    I’m so lookIng forward to the moment where you get to switch from cramming your head full of ways to get and stay pregnant over to the “Holy Crap- we need to get ready for having and caring for a tiny human.”.

    Just a warning- I totally freaked when I figured out that I had like a zillion IF books and blogs and precious little info on actually caring for said baby! But never fear- it is easy to catch up.

    Cannot wait to see you in the “I’m with stupid” shirt!!

  4. Shelley May 10, 2013 at 19:04 #

    I remember that, holy shit we might actually have a live baby at the end of this, moment. The was the first one, and then there were subsequent ones. You reach new milestones and every time you feel just a little bit more comfortable.

    I’m kind of ashamed to admit that, while I’m fairly confident he will come and all will be fine, I still find myself saying “if.” Okay, my case is a little different, but I get mad at myself for doubting him and have to reassure myself of his strength, all he’s already survived. I don’t think it’s possible for it to sink in for real until the moment of birth, or maybe coming home from the hospital, or maybe the first birthday, or maybe when you drop him/her off at college, lol. Who knows.

    B5 has survived a lot too. She’s strong and she’s coming!

  5. missohkay May 10, 2013 at 19:04 #

    Hope is a scary bastard, but I’m glad you got to enjoy a few minutes of it. I expected something to go wrong with our adoption every minute until she got there (let’s not even talk about the plane crash scenarios my fucked up imagination created for special last-minute blows), so I understand going through the motions expecting the worst. I can’t imagine the full release of tension you’ll feel when she actually gets here and lets out her first cry. I’ll be sobbing for hours myself when your odyssey comes to a happy end.

  6. Melanie May 10, 2013 at 19:15 #

    I feel like I’m reading my story! Yes, progress! Thanks for sharing and glad to hear everything is going well. Thinking of you always.

  7. Cristy May 10, 2013 at 19:58 #

    Tears in my eyes from reading this. Oh lady, those words I’ve been waiting to hear for the past 6 months. Obviously neither of us will relax until you’re at the end of all of this, but to know that this hurdle has been cleared brings me so much hope.

    MissOhkay is absolutely right: hope is a scary bitch and anyone who’s walked the ALI path for any amount of time has a dysfunctional relationship with hope. Still, I remember a very wise friend telling me that it’s okay to allow yourself those moments to dream. And as scary is it is, there is a benefit too.

    Hang in there, lady. Count down the next few weeks with you.

  8. Theresa May 10, 2013 at 20:56 #

    Hooray! Here’s a to a healthy B5 and remainder of your pregnancy. I think of you guys often!!

  9. Esperanza May 10, 2013 at 22:00 #

    I’m excited you felt that shift. I can imagine it’s terrifying but I hope it’s also just the slightest bit sweet.

    Abiding with you during this really difficult time.

  10. RelaxedNoMore May 10, 2013 at 22:57 #

    It’s been so good to read this post! Hugs!

  11. Alissa May 11, 2013 at 00:18 #

    Ahh yes. I remember that feeling. It was scary and joyful. I was so excited to finally be able to feel that this could actually happen. It will only get better and those nerves will shrink a little each week that passes. Until you are like “holy shit I have to get ready!”
    Congrats my friend.

  12. tracyturn34 May 11, 2013 at 00:48 #

    So happy for you, Mo, but I totally understand why this is overwhelming right now. I’m continuing to send support and positive vibes for you and B5.

  13. JP May 11, 2013 at 03:16 #

    May there be much awesomeness all round. And also hugs.

  14. Daryl May 11, 2013 at 04:13 #

    I’m so glad you were able to experience just a taste of real hope. It’s scary, but I hope you feel more and more of it as B5 continues to grow and thrive!

  15. ozifrog May 11, 2013 at 04:18 #

    I know about that getting ready for a loss ( nothing like your experience with Nadav, I understand), then being shocked to get ready for a baby…so much so that I felt in shock for weeks after jman arrived. It takes a while to get your head around it. Happy May 14th. It’s a great feeling when you finally feel you can breathe out, but it took me a while. I had weird anxiety for quite a few weeks after his arrival. The hope will eventually hang out with you and sit beside the fear and worry. No buts from here. None.

  16. kel24 May 11, 2013 at 05:03 #

    Oh Mo I am just getting caught up and so glad you are back and B5 is growing stronger every day! I have missed your writing but totally understand the need to step away.

    We are here rooting for you Mo and B5, praying for you and hoping for you when you need it most.

  17. Anna May 11, 2013 at 19:11 #

    I’m so glad B5 is doing well. I am so hoping she continues to grow grow grow!

    I kind of know what you mean. We have been home study approved and are working on our adoption profile but we’re taking forever. I think it’s because i know that once it’s submitted, there will be a baby. There can be one in a day or in a month or in a year but it’s going to happen and we’re going to be parents and that is a little insane to me. After so much loss, it’s scary to me.

  18. Christina Williams May 12, 2013 at 03:06 #

    I’m so happy and sad to read this post. Very happy that you finally are starting to think about B5 arriving safe and sound in a few months. So very very sad that you’ve gone 5m now and through the bed rest, etc without the sliver of hope and dreams that she’d be your take-home-baby. That just tore my heart for you. It does get better, each little milestone. I will admit that I didn’t truly feel confident that Em was finally here to stay until she was about 4m old, and my path wasn’t nearly as difficult or heartbreaking as yours. Hang in there and know that I’m sending you much love and cervix lock down thoughts!


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