GREAT news at 33 weeks!

33 weeks today. Another ultrasound, and this time they did a growth check on both baby and the mass.

Baby looks big and strong - possibly in the 5 lb range right now. It made us laugh out loud seeing baby's face - HUGE ol' cheeks on that sucker. Crazy what two weeks can do in terms of putting on a little weight!

Baby was also doing the practice breathing consistently the entire time. While it made the tech laugh, it also made her job a lot harder. She spent a TON of time trying to find and measure the mass.

As time went on, it became apparent that it wasn't just the practice breathing making her job difficult.

The mass is smaller!! 

No, it's not disappeared, and it's still a "considerable" size. She could still see it from a certain angle, but she couldn't get the right measurement  because she couldn't exactly tell where it started and ended.

Also, the heart is starting to go back over to the correct side of the body. Meaning... the mass must be getting small enough for this to happen.

These are very, very good signs for us. The doctor came in and told us the mass is smaller, the heart is slightly back on the left side of the chest, but these things could be making it harder to measure the mass. Therefore, I'm still delivering in Milwaukee. If at some point they cannot even FIND the mass, then I'd be in the clear to deliver at my normal hospital. It makes total sense and puts my mind at ease knowing that if there is even a slight chance of baby needing medical care after birth, we're in the right place.

A couple of months ago if someone told me that this mass could shrink to the point of being undetectable, I would have thought, "Yeah, and it could also balloon in size, take over, and cause serious, serious problems." After today's visit, I feel less inclined to look at the very improbable negative side, and start looking at the very improbable positive side.

Part of what made this whole ordeal so overwhelming was that nobody could assure us of anything. They could give us a million outcomes and let us know in each one there were options to help baby. But they could not pinpoint which part of the spectrum we were in. We were given the gamut of outcomes and repeatedly told, "But there's hope. Lots of hope."

After we picked Boy Wonder up from school we stopped for a few groceries. While we were leaving, we saw a donation display for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. I still have no clue if the baby will be there, or when, but I stopped, emptied my purse, and let the kids drop coins into the display. I watched them, and the video that was playing of the sick children and their families, and I saw it differently than I had in the past. In the past I saw families stricken with overwhelming news and obstacles, and my heart broke. Now, my heart still breaks, but I see families who don't always know what tomorrow will bring. They are laden with medical terminology, inundated with information about their child's case, and have slowly reached a place where the unknown is the new normal. While that sounds kind of depressing, the new normal comes with hope. It comes with acceptance and the will to get through the small things just to make it to through to overcoming the big obstacle.

I'm so thankful and a little bit in shock that we're coming through on the other side. I'm a different mom than I used to be, and I definitely have a new outlook on how amazingly fortunate we were in past pregnancies that we had absolutely no complications or scary moments. We still don't know why this happened to baby, and we don't know why it's getting better. Part of what makes this so frustrating is knowing that there are moms and dads out there who are going to have this drop on their heads out of nowhere. That feeling of not knowing whether or not you'd ever get to meet your baby, even after making it through the first trimester unscathed, is something I'll never forget.

So while I'll still think angrily to myself "That's so unfair!" every time I see those poor little munchkins sick in the hospital, I'll still try to remind myself that their parents are choosing hope, even when they have no idea what to expect. It's a weird place to be, but just like everything else, you do come out on the other side in some form or another. In our case, it's definitely in a better place than a couple of months ago!


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