“Well, this is the calm before the storm.”
As of Friday, August 1, I’m 37 weeks pregnant. Technically full-term. Our next appointment with the OBGYN is this Friday. If I don’t deliver by then, we will further discuss the possibilities surrounding induction. God has provided several ways for us to begin feeling more prepared for Benjamin’s arrival.
Honestly, I don’t know if you can ever feel completely prepared … but here are several of the little undeserved blessings God has poured out on us….
Tours & Consultations
We had four appointments between Thursday, July 31 and Friday, August 1. All three doctors we met commented that reaching 37 weeks is quite an accomplishment, in light of the polyhydramniosis. (Polyhydramniosis: Since our baby isn’t practicing swallowing, there is more amniotic fluid around him than usual. Mine measured 37; normal is below 25.)
In the past two weeks, we’ve finished consultations with several specialists. Two weeks ago, we met with a neonatologist (a sweet Italian lady) and toured the NICU. The NICU is far more attractive than I had imagined, and it helps to have a picture of where our baby will be the first several weeks of his life. We weren’t able to get a tour of the labor and delivery rooms, but a friend who used to work at the hospital sent me a video tour of them. They are beautiful also.
Last Thursday, we had a fetal echocardiogram and met with a cardiologist (no serious concerns as of now; they will look again after he is born). She asked if I was still sleeping well at night. Later in the day, we met with the pediatric surgeon, Dr. Middlesworth, to discuss common scenarios and what he would likely do. Dr. Middlesworth stood out as more a grandfather-type than a doctor. He sat down with us and explained everything very softly and slowly, using simple terms.
We haven’t met a single doctor who has seemed in a rush to get to the next appointment. Each of them sits down, asks us what we already know about the baby, and proceeds from there. When they finish talking, they sit quietly and wait for us to ask all of our questions. The ultrasound techs and doctors who look at our sonograms laugh as they watch Benjamin move around – like they see him as an adorable baby, not just part of their job. Each of the specialists – the neonatologist, the cardiologist, and the surgeon – has drawn a diagram for us so that they can explain scenarios more clearly. We couldn’t have asked for better care.
A Place to Retreat
The hospital in Manhattan is an hour from where we live in Staten Island. A church in New Jersey graciously agreed to let us use their mission home for the month, which is only 15-20 minutes from the hospital. This alone significantly reduces the stress involved with planning to get to the hospital. It’s a beautiful, fully-furnished house, so we’ve only brought a few living necessities for the month. My sister, a certified professional midwife, is also staying with us for a few weeks. With the extra help and reduced distractions, we’ve been able to focus more on resting, growing in our marriage, and preparing for Benjamin. I’m not supposed to pick up Jonathan (our toddler), so I’m even more thankful for the extra help. My sister has helped tremendously with meals, etc., and I’ve been free to play with Jonathan every day, read, and journal. Jonathan is having a blast here, playing all day and going outside with daddy in the evenings.