Going with the flow
Today is the beginning of May! Ahhh, almost 90 degrees, and while that temp might not go well with being 29 weeks pregnant, I'll still take it.
We had another ultrasound for baby today. Still breech (or transverse... not head down, in any case), but 3 and a half pounds and a week ahead of schedule.
the mass is a teeeeeny tiny bit smaller.
I read this was possible, was told this was possible, and yet - I didn't think it was possible for us. After reading about the mass and understanding the size of the one we were dealing with, I braced myself for much worse than this.
Now, it's still considered a "no change" scenario. It's not like the mass is a lot smaller or disappeared. It's still one of the first things we see on the ultrasound. But, no change is good. We're staying even, baby will be growing even more rapidly, and everyone has a lot of good things to say about the outcome.
We still don't know exactly what will happen as far as right after birth, but there is a lot less apprehension and the window of the unknown has become a lot smaller.
Our doctor came in and spoke with us, and he told us that although he only spoke with us once before, it seemed like we were going with the flow. We answered that we kind of had to, didn't we? Both he and the nurse answered that not everyone reacts that way.
To be honest, there were a lot of moments where I felt absolute dread, fear, deep sadness, and just flat-out go-into-a-tailspin anxiety. I think back to the first days where I didn't know if this was a death sentence for our baby or if it was something that was going to be much more drawn out and painful. There were moments when I felt actual pain hearing about other women's pregnancies going so well... not because I wasn't happy for them, but because I wished with all of my heart I could focus on my own happiness, and not the fear that was eating me from the inside.
There were moments when all I could talk about with the Hubster was baby. Spit out all of the things bouncing around in my head and hope he could sort them out for me. There were moments when he would clam up and express his sadness in silence. There were moments where I wanted all of the answers RIGHT NOW and waiting one weekend was almost asking too much of me. There were moments when I considered dropping out of school for one semester, because what mom would stay enrolled full-time at a challenging university when she found something like this out? There were moments when I wondered what kind of scar this would leave on me as a mother, and if I was strong enough to face something even remotely bad happening to my child.
Then there were the weeks in between. It's hard to believe there have only been 9 weeks, because they have felt much longer. The doubt and pain changed slowly to acceptance and faith in things turning out. The nights of constant research turned into evenings with my husband, laughing and being thankful for what a crazy beautiful life we have. The moments of mentioning baby with a pang in my heart not knowing if baby would ever see our family turned into laughing fits picking out names and feeling bad for the little guy/girl entering a house of pure madness. Resigning myself to my worst semester has turned into celebrating the fact that I'm getting the best grades of any semester ever, kids or pre-kids. Anticipating ultrasounds went from nauseously counting down the days to looking forward to seeing just how big baby got.
I think back sometimes to losing my dad when I turned 14, and watching it devastate my family, and I'm not just using that phrase poetically. I've been asked many times how I dealt with it. It stumped me. I don't know...? I supposed I could go into some sort of coping mechanisms I used, but to be honest, it was ugly. There are still scars I deal with to this day. But I didn't really have a choice, did I? So many people have been through so much in this world. They wake up with the knowledge of this crushing pain, go to sleep with it, and go through each and every day with it. Somehow, things get better. You do enough to get by and slowly you're laughing and smiling again. Slowly, you're living your life again, albeit one with a little more "experience".
It felt weird for awhile talking so nonchalantly with surgeons, doctors and nurses about baby developing heart failure and to the reality of having an entire lobe of its lung removed at some point. It's not that it doesn't scare me and make me sad, but it's that we have to do this. There is nothing on this planet that I can do to make it go away. There is no amount of bitching that could make the doctors do a better job. There is nothing I can do but go with the flow.
I will admit that a lot of this has been made better by the fact that my baby is not in immediate danger. But just 9 weeks ago I was terrified and questioning my own strength. Today I remember that I know how to get through things. And I know that I have my husband to turn to for support, even when his heart is breaking as much as my own.
I know the kids won't remember much of this. Boy Wonder might have the best recollection when all is said and done, but part of me thinks 3-year-old Sparkles will only register this as a blip on her radar when she's older. What I do hope is they learn something from us about holding on until things start getting lighter. I hope they have the faith in themselves to make it to tomorrow. I hope they see how the Hubster and I turn in to each other, not away, when the going gets tough. Let's be honest, we're about to be a family of 6 making it on one income, in a 100+ year-old-house, a parent enrolled full-time in school.... it's not all sunshine and sugar in our future. But we do have one thing going for us, and that is strength. Going with the flow doesn't mean you're oblivious to all of the jostling and rolling around... you endure it, that's all.