Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baby Plans

I've definitely been on vacation. No updates for more than three weeks. I'm feeling well since I haven't had any chemo for quite a while. I've been cleaning, organizing, giving the kids their achievement tests, doing taxes, even hit a garage sale and got a few items listed on eBay. I haven't taken a nap more than twice over the past three weeks.

Late last week we had another visit with the OB, and we were able to meet the neonatologist and tour the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I will be having steroid shots on May 7th and 8th and then, because of the OB's schedule and because of the schedule they try to observe after steroid shots, our little boy will be delivered on May 10 - Mother's Day. I didn't think they scheduled c-sections for the weekend, but it's a very special day to have this little guy be born.

Our visit with the neonatologist went really well. He was a gentle, grandfatherly man whose own son was born at 34 weeks. The NICU encourages a parent to be with the baby for 22 hours each day, fathers are encouraged to hold their babies, children are allowed to visit ("just don't bring the whole tribe at once" the neonatologist said), and grandparents are allowed to visit as much as they want. We enjoyed our tour immensely. Seeing the other little bitty babies was fun for me. Most people don't get to plan for a premature birth, but I'm glad we've been give a chance to prepare. I'm about as ready as possible, I think. We were told that the baby will be in the NICU for at least a week (best case scenario - no complications, very good growth). Any complications or concerns will extend his stay. I've spent a week in the NICU before, but the circumstances will be very different this time. I'm glad my parents have been able to work out the details to change their tickets and work arrangements. They will be here for two weeks to help.

The oncologist decided to resume chemo two weeks after the c-section instead of the normal four weeks. She's concerned because the longer the delay between treatments, the less effective they tend to be. The good thing is this - the sooner I begin again, the sooner I will be done. Based on the schedule I have right now, I'll be done with the chemo and radiation treatments about the end of August.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baby Update

Monday was the next-to-the-last visit with the high-risk OB. The ultrasound still showed a healthy and growing little boy, although he has lost all of his size advantage. He is now slightly smaller than average. That was expected because of the chemo, but I was disappointed to know that it actually happened. The doctors had hopes that he might actually be near 5 pounds at 34 weeks, but that looks unlikely now. His birth is still tentatively scheduled for May 11.

Next week we meet with the neonatologist and tour the neonatal intensive care unit. I'm looking forward to having my list of questions answered. If you could look at my list, you'd never guess I've already had six children. There are so many details about this situation that are new to me that I almost feel like an inexperienced mom again. And I'll probably act like one too.