The minute the chopper shut down, one of the paramedics handed me my phone and said to call my husband. I did, then got a text from a friend who just *happens* to be in Phoenix until next week. She is on her way to the hospital to meet me. Thank you God, for sending a friend!! Michelle didn’t leave my side until Nathan arrived almost 5 hrs later… SO thankful for her.
The next couple hours were a blur. There was a constant flow of drs, nurses, specialists, and paperwork. The magnesium had done it’s job at that point, so it was turned down from a triple to a regular dose. Contractions had slowed to only 4-5 an hour. Then someone raised my shirt to attach a monitor. My heart broke. My belly is flat. I can barely feel Will moving around, though we had his heartbeat on the monitor. I choked back tears from that moment on as people continued to come in with questions and statistics and more bad news. At 23 weeks 2 days gestation, Will’s chances of survival outside are very slim… one dr said 10%. Within that 10% chance of survival, he is VERY unlikely to escape without major complications such as paralization, blindness, retardation, or any number of other things. I heard the term “age of viability” more times than I could count… because WIll wasn’t there yet. He won’t be there for 5 more days. Until 24 weeks, they don’t even consider him a viable human life. Someone asked how much intervention we wanted…. what??? I don’t understand the question. Are you asking if I want you to save my baby if he comes out right now? OF COURSE!!! He’s my baby!!! Do whatever you have to do! To you, he’s a non-sustainable 23 week old fetus. To me, he’s my son. Somehow, this answer was not definitive enough for them… they would keep pushing.
We spent a few minutes (Michelle and I) asking around for where Nathan would be able to park the travel trailer. Where could they stay? What will they do through all of this process? My nurse says “oh don’t worry about that. The hospital has 5 spaces for trailer hookups. I’ll get you a number.” Sure enough, the guy I call says that 4 of 5 spots are empty, first-come first-serve. All hook-ups are included and free for as long as we need them… water, electric, and sewage. Again, God is providing before we even realize there is a need. I call Nathan with the news and find out that he is still an hour away. I ask my nurse to please ask the ultrasound tech, neonatal specialist, and high-risk OB to hang on just a few minutes…. I need my husband before I can do anything else. It’s safe to say I was overwhelmed at this point. My mom sends a text saying they are boarding their plane and will be in Phoenix in 4 hrs. Again, thank you God.
Of all the smiling doctors who came through that afternoon, one stands out. Dr. Huff. He said that he has had patients who went into labor this early, and he managed to keep them pregnant for many weeks, delivering perfectly healthy babies only slightly pre-term. Ah!! SO glad to finally hear something encouraging!!! Even if it’s only one voice, at least it’s one less voice telling you there is no hope.
Nathan and the girls arrived, and Michelle jumped up to take the littles swimming. Nathan and I headed to the ultrasound. It was a long, silent 30 minutes. The tech could not disclose any information, no matter what question we asked. At one point, towards the end she said “well I don’t know why you’re here. You have plenty of fluid.” THAT got my attention! I had been avoiding seeing the screen, because seeing my baby on there brought the tears. But I looked then. Sure enough… quite a bit of fluid. I looked down at my belly and confirmed… it was getting bigger again. I hadn’t noticed until that moment. Oh the relief that flooded my heart! Even if just for a moment. I tried to focus on the screen and see more, but the mag was still too heavy for my eyes. I couldn’t see. The tech handed me two pictures. Perfect profile shots of my perfect baby boy. Then the tears flowed.
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