It's been 26 days since we first went to the hospital.
26 days since I've been home.
26 days of bed rest.
This is day 9 of hospital stay #2.
14 days total spent in the hospital so far.
It's been 7 days since my water broke, and still Samuel is hanging in there!
Today marks 34 weeks of pregnancy!
And the most anticipated, exciting, and nerve-wracking countdown...
Approximately 21 more days until we welcome Samuel David into this world!
The days since we first went into the hospital have been long. Most of the days have seemed to drag by. However, looking back on these numbers now, I can't believe it's already been 26 days! And it's even less than that until we see our precious Samuel David face-to-face, and step into a new part of this journey!
Let me back up to where I left off in my last update, and explain why Samuel's expected arrival date has moved up.
The typical guideline for PPROM (Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes) is to deliver the baby at 34 weeks, because 99% of otherwise healthy babies can survive at this point, and the risk of infection and still birth greatly increases. As has been the case all throughout this pregnancy, our situation is a bit different. Since Samuel is not "otherwise healthy", and at this point will require surgery at birth, the doctors need him to be as big and fully-developed as possible. Because of this they are willing to give us 3 extra weeks! Those 3 extra weeks will put us at 37 weeks, which is considered full-term because the heart and lungs are about as well developed as they can be. This will allow Samuel to continue getting bigger, and allow his heart and lungs longer to develop, in order to give him the best possible chance. They won't allow us to go past 37 weeks because the risk of infection and still birth 4 weeks after PPROM is too great.
While there hasn't been an official induction date scheduled yet, March 16th will be 37 weeks, so hopefully he will be born right around then! It is still possible that I will go into labor before then, as 90% of women who experience PPROM go into labor within the first 2 weeks. It is also possible that they will have to induce me sooner if they see signs of infection, or if Samuel seems to be in any kind of distress.
We are praying fervently against all of those things!
We have learned a few new things this week, after having a growth ultrasound and a doppler ultrasound (which looks at bloodflow):
- Samuel's long bones are still measuring far behind. At our growth ultrasound on January 19th they averaged 22 weeks, now they are averaging 24 weeks. So they have grown some, but are now measuring about 10 weeks behind.
- Other than Samuel's long bones, the rest of him is measuring small, but in the "normal" range of small! This includes his head and chest! So the doctors aren't quite as concerned anymore with his chest restricting the growth of his lungs. That being said, it isn't really possible to assess lung development with an ultrasound, but going off of chest size, they should have enough room to develop. I have also been through 2 rounds of steroid shots for Samuel's lungs, which typically they only give one round of steroids. Perhaps God will use the additional doses to bring Samuel's lungs to maturity! We just keep praying that we will hear a strong cry when he enters the world!
- When they looked at Samuel's stomach during the doppler ultrasound, it appeared partially collapsed. The doctor said they could have just caught it when it was completely empty, or it could mean that there is an obstruction somewhere in the GI tract. An obstruction would actually explain the Polyhydramnios (extra fluid). Typically babies swallow the amniotic fluid, process it, and then urinate it back out. But if the GI tract is not working properly, the fluid will begin to build up around the baby because it is not being processed quick enough. If this is the case with Samuel, then it will likely require surgery after he is born.
- While they were looking at the brain, there was just a moment of increased blood-flow. They're not sure what caused it, and said it could likely be nothing. We are praying that it is nothing!
And here is an ironically unexpected praise!
We had been asking for prayers that the fluid levels would decrease, and that the contractions would stop. With the leak in the amniotic sac, both of those things are happening! My fluid level has dropped from the high 40s to 31, as of yesterday! Anywhere from 5-25 is a normal range, so there is still some fluid that needs to go, but we are praying it will drop to that range and then level out. The loss in extra fluid has also dramatically decreased the amount and intensity of my contractions!
God is working in mysterious ways, and seems to have used this unexpected event to answer some of our specific requests!
Thank you all for following along as God unfolds this story before our eyes, and thank you so much for joining us in lifting up prayers and praises for Samuel David!
This is His story, and it is all for His glory!