Saturday, June 20, 2009

Luke is staying put! (for another couple of weeks)

Originally posted April 15, 2009

We visited with the maternal fetal specialist (MFM) yesterday. David and I went up to Dallas very anxious about what would happen next. At our appointment two weeks ago, the MFM said that the baby was between the lowest 7th and 15th percentile in weight - one computer gave one number and a different computer gave the other number (which makes me question how accurate all this really is, but anyway...). I wasn't sure at the time which number we were going with, but in any case, MFM said that if we measured him in two weeks (yesterday) and he had slipped to the 5th percentile, it would be "time to bail" and we would need to deliver asap to get Luke's heart worked on. The same day after hearing the news, the OB said that it would be wise to pack our bags for staying at the hospital just in case the next time we get him measured it'd be time to deliver, and we wouldn't get the opportunity to go home first. I was really nervous because the books are all saying your baby should weigh between such and such a number by this time, which was way higher than the last figure at 3 lbs 5 oz, and not only had I not gained any weight over the past two weeks, I had LOST a pound. I was pretty certain Luke had slipped to 5% and we would be delivering last night or this morning.
Well, prayer is effective and helpful still, and Luke has only slipped 1%. I found out we were going with the 7% number, and 1% still keeps us away from 5%. Not only that, but Luke has gained a full pound since the last time we measured him (champion lightweight weighing in at 4 lbs 5 oz)! He had to have stolen it from his mommy (which is A-okay with me!). So Luke bought himself another two weeks at least to stay in his comfy cozy warm womb room. We'll measure him again in two weeks and probably go through the same process of packing the bags and the car and ready to deliver if MFM says it's time.
So, now some not so great news. Luke's lungs are concerningly small, and we want him to have lungs of steel by the time he's born so he has the best possible chance of getting through heart surgery soon after he's born. So MFM prescribed that I get some shots of steroids to encourage Luke's faster lung development. Well, my OB (who I saw right after MFM) knew exactly what he was talking about that I needed, but unfortunately didn't have the injection in her office. So she sent me up to Labor and Delivery at Medical City to get the shot there. Annoyingly, they had to admit me to the hospital for about an hour (hospital gown and everything!) so I could get the shot. This treatment is two doses, 24 hours apart. Thankfully, the hospital nurse (who was expert with a needle, I hardly felt the poke) gave me the second vile so I can just take it up to my OB's office this afternoon and they can give it to me there rather than having to be readmitted to the hospital.
I know this is already getting long, I just want to remind everyone how faithful God is--not just at answering our prayers. Many prayers went up for Luke and his parents this week that God's timing would be perfect, and Luke would be born on the perfect day. God has answered those prayers again, and I know he will answer our prayers for stronger lungs (two more weeks will sure be a big help to that). But God is also faithful in taking care of Luke's mommy. Much like earlier in my adult life (college and graduate school), I feel God's nurturing as he takes me gently by the hand and slowly introduces me to things that scare the heck out of me. I'm not going to lie, I've been really anxious about being in the hospital, having surgery, and yes, the pain that all of that means. I'm not a wimp, but to be honest I'm genuinely pretty afraid of how I'm going to manage all of this on top of having a sick baby boy who I probably will not get to hold right away to take away all of those thoughts of pain and discomfort. Yesterday, God answered that unspoken prayer too by introducing me slowly to what's to come. We got a practice day to pack our bags and the car. Practice to breath when anxiety gets overwhelming. And even practice putting on a hospital gown, laying down in bed, and even going through a little pain. It was as God was was saying, "See, you can do ALL things (even have a sick baby) through me because I strengthen you." I am re-aware of God's loving comfort and faithfulness. Was yesterday the most pleasant experience in the world?? No, but neither will Luke's birthday be. But it doesn't matter because I have God strengthening me and a I have David right along beside me. Just wanted to share that with you.
Thank you for your continued prayers as Luke progresses. We could never do this without you!

Rachael & David

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