Our rainbow baby is 27 weeks now. Last week I had a regular OB appointment as well as an echocardiogram on his heart at the high-risk doctor. Everything looks good so far. The high-risk doctor said they can’t catch everything with ultrasounds, but that they catch 80%. That sounded like pretty good odds to me. However, the odds of having a stillbirth is way lower than that and yet, we had one.
He is thumping away at me with increasing force, which I am glad for. It’s interesting to me that he seems to feel a little different than Luke did (if I’m remembering accurately, my memory stinks), although he is head down as Luke was at each ultrasound. Not totally different, just a little different location of thumps and some weird sensations. Sometimes it feels like he is trying to get out!
I’m looking forward to getting to 28 weeks since that is a marker for viability, although I’m also nervous about each milestone where I know a friend has lost a baby. For 28 weeks, it is Siobhan and I will be thinking of her Taidgh as I reach 28 weeks. So many loss milestones I know about now:( Thankfully, Siobhan is now about 5 weeks past the 28 week milestone with her rainbow baby:)
I have a speech therapy client who was born at 28 weeks. He is healthy, but he does have some cognitive delays and vision issues. I remember meeting him for the first time last year when I was 28 weeks pregnant with Luke and thinking how awesome it was that I was to a point where my baby was likely to live no matter what. I have even recently met a boy who was born at 23 weeks and survived! Now I know it does not always work that way. You can make it all the way to the end or beyond it and still lose that precious life. I still appreciate the points of increased safety as this boy progresses though.
The biggest news at our latest appointment was that the high-risk doctors gave us a delivery mark. They discussed our case at one of their group meetings and decided that we can deliver at 37 weeks. My regular OB has been asking me at each appointment if they had made a decision yet and they finally did. I think this is a good time to deliver? 37 weeks seems to be the cut off for not being considered premature. Josh wanted 36 weeks and I was thinking I was okay with up to 38 weeks. For me, there is a fine line between worrying about lung development and complications from delivering too early and creeping close to the 39 week mark where we lost Luke. Prior to Luke’s loss, I wanted to go as far past my due date as it took for labor to start on it’s own, but I have had to change my thinking on that. 37 weeks puts us around August 14. 10 more weeks to go! Like one quarter of school, I can do it.
The other big thing in my life recently is that I did not accept my teaching contract for next year. I was heading toward resigning, but my principal and special education director suggested I put in for a year’s leave of absence, so I did that. This just leaves the door open in case I want to go back to teaching in a year (without having to reapply, although there always seem to be plenty of special ed openings in my district). For many weeks after finally making this decision, I was super excited and feeling freed from a big burden. Each time I learned about a new challenge that would be added to my class next year, I felt a balloon of joy at it not being my responsibility for once. Each time one of my classroom aides stretched my tolerance, I felt excitement to soon be relieved of that duty of managing 4 other adults. I have been feeling ready for a change for a couple of years. Then the last week of school came and I started to feel sad. I do love my school and my coworkers and it feels like my home. Being a special education teacher has been a huge part of my identity for 12 years. It is hard to let go of. And scary. We cannot pay all of our bills without my making around the same income. So, I’m now on a new journey of trusting God to help me find the right avenues to get enough additional work with my speech pathology assistant license to make ends meet. It’s a risk, but will allow me to work part-time and have more flexibility so that I can be with this baby more. Please send prayers for the right opportunities to come up at the right times. In the meantime, I have a lot more free time, so I can get some projects done and rest, but hopefully it will not give me too much time to worry.
Here is a profile pic of the baby from around 24 weeks:
My friend from junior high/high school gave me this cute onesie when we had lunch last week. ARRRR! 😉