Today marks two weeks since I arrived here. Lately I think constantly in terms of how many days are left until delivery and it makes me anxious, and sad. Every morning and throughout the day I see a big giant number flashing like a beacon and reminding me of the time we have left: 19–NINETEEN DAYS….18–EIGHTEEN DAYS. My wishing time would stand still thing isn’t working. I have a dear, sweet friend who actually went through the same thing. Just over a year ago she delivered her monoamniotic twin girls, one with anencephaly.
Lauren with her twin sister Elizabeth’s photo and her special Elizabeth bear.
Since this situation is so very rare, I am beyond blessed to have found her. Anyway, she told me that although she perfectly understood and felt the same way about her time in the hospital, in her words, “I didn’t want my time with Elizabeth to be over but I knew it couldn’t go on forever and Lauren needed to be delivered to have a chance.”
Sweet baby E’s new headstone. Please pray for this family and especially the momma in dealing with her continued grief over the loss of her baby girl.
I needed to hear that. So, yes, the time is going by quickly, too quickly. And yet, we need to do our best for Georgetta and I need to get back to my home and the other beautiful parts of my life.
Monitoring is going well, when we can get the little buggers to cooperate! Laurencia seems to have a rather steady heart rhythm, meaning she doesn’t have accelerations/decelerations like Georgetta does. The accel/decel is healthy so we’re glad to see it with G. Today we had much difficulty getting them to stay on the monitor. I can’t think of a single time we’ve had them hooked up when the nurse hasn’t said, “Wow! They move around so much!” Tonight they were exceptionally wild but still, we got enough to know their heart rates look good. The two ultrasounds this week also showed no signs of any distress. They do have quite a bit of fluid in excess of normal but it’s nothing to worry about. The additional fluid is likely due to Laurencia’s inability to swallow as well as she should. It also makes for more difficulty in finding heart rates and makes for a sore back for the mama. Tomorrow we have a growth ultrasound to see how they are growing. I’m very curious and will let you all know how big our girls have gotten.
On Tuesday, Gabby got to finally have her special day with me and we made sure to do all of the things the other girls got to do. I must say, however, Gabby’s mani/pedi turned out particularly schmancy don’t you think?
Thanks to Laura and Butch, who took the kids for the night, Matt was able to come down here alone after work on Tuesday. He brought real food! Then we talked and he slept, or tried to on that uncomfortable fold-out thingie. It was the best birthday present I think he got, coming down here by himself, not the fold-out couch.
On Wednesday my best friend, Rachie, picked up all the kids from Vacation Bible School (which they LOVE! thanks to Auntie Laura for taking them/picking them up/signing them up for it–Gabby wishes they had it next week too!) and brought them down here to visit. They were WOUND up and had a fun time playing with Rachie’s son on the playground here and generally running around being silly.
My Mae Mae hadn’t had a nap and I got to snuggle Mommy-style with her in my bed while she slept. It was the best. I’m not sure who needed it more, her or me. 🙂
After the kids left I picked up the little devotional book Rachie brought me. The very first line stopped me in my tracks. Here’s why: The night before, when Matt was here with no kids, I pretty much just cried on his shoulder because I needed to and because I never get to be around him anymore. And the one thing I kept saying that I generally refrain from saying or thinking was, “WHY WHY WHY?” Because I just needed to, knowing he wouldn’t offer answers or attempt to make sense of it. Back to the daily devotion. The first line for the day was: “Understanding will never bring you peace.” I almost laughed out loud and thought, “OK! I get the message!” The next line says, “That’s why I’ve instructed you to trust in me, not in your understanding.” Of course, it’s not all as simple as that, I don’t suddenly feel all rose-y about everything. But again, it was just what I needed to hear, just when I needed to hear it.
Yesterday some lovely ladies from my work showed up bearing countless gifts. The greatest was seeing them and just being able to talk. They took so much time away from their VERY busy day to come over here. I’m sensing a theme, and it involves me having so many special people in my life showering our family with blessings and giving us reasons to smile. Here are just some of the goodies they brought:
I’d take a photo of the delicious cookies–my FAVORITE–inside that box, however, I don’t think anyone wants to see a photo of an empty box, or crumbs (fooling no one–I ate the crumbs). These things, along with a very special card bearing a very special gift were from everyone at work . I am just overwhelmed with their kindness and generosity. What made me cry was seeing all of their names on the card. As I told them, it was just too much. My nurse tonight who came in looked over at the orchid and exclaimed, “Oh! That is so cool! Those plants in there–I’ve never seen anything like it.” And she proceeded to inspect the beauty of it up close. It really is so neat and I’m going to transplant one of the plants into a pot at home that coincidentally just last night Polly asked me about. “Mom, why is there an empty yellow pot on your dresser in your room?” “Because, Polly, it used to hold a plant but I killed it.” And what do you know, now we can fill it up!
After that bevy of beauties left, Trina (Mae’s other momma) showed up with Wyatt (THANK YOU TRINA FOR BRINGING HIM DOWN HERE!!!) and he got to have HIS special day. And what a great day we chose for him. The Children’s hospital had an event going on for kids and families. We also had dinner in my room, watched a movie and I taught him how to knit, too!
I am a bit hesitant to let the kids partake in the things offered by the hospital since I would NEVERNEVERNEVER want to take anything away from the children who are patients and their families. The director of the resource center told us to come and assures me that it’s ok for my kids to do these little things since the area I’m in and NICU are part of Amplatz. They do so many good things here for the families who struggle with very sick children. There is a little boy here that we know who is very sick and just the other day a good friend was here with his son for a procedure. These families have been through hell and back, several times. Please say a prayer for them tonight asking for strength in their trials.
If that weren’t enough excitement for the day, my good friend N showed up right as Wyatt was leaving. And because I wasn’t quite spoiled enough for the day, she brought me goodies, too! She also restocked my nail salon for the next round of Mommy spa days with the girls. It was so nice to talk to her that I am sure I kept her here way past what she had planned.
Whew, now here I sit. Reflecting on so much generosity my family has been shown: gift cards from my aunt and uncle which bought a DQ birthday cake for daddy, meals from the “meal train” set up by Laura, a surprise e-card from Georgetta’s godmother, a card from my aunt who lives “up North”, a GIANT box of baked goodies from my old college roommate Squarie–oh how we loved baking even back then!, a big giant bag of goodies from our neighbor, Linda. The things inside are, as I said above, just TOO MUCH, but it isn’t the things that make me feel so overwhelmed, it’s the thought that so many people would go to such trouble or would even think of us, that is what makes me smile and also know that above all, we are loved.
I know that in doing these things, you are all doing the very best things you can do to show your love for us but especially our little Laurencia. And it means so much to us. She is still here, tucked down in there. I saw her yesterday and the sonographer said, “Her cheeks are getting chubby.” I talk a lot about after her birthday and what will have to happen. I have to, we have to prepare. Today I was trying to choose burial garments. This week I also finally completed a “Palliative Care Plan” detailing our wishes for after she is born. The hospital goes to great lengths to ensure our wishes are met with respect to her short life and her death. I noticed right before I sent the filled out documents off to the social worker that at the top she had placed a quote from another family whose infant died shortly after birth:
“Yes Gabriel was going to die, but first he was going to live.”
And so it is with our girl. Thank you for following along with us as we document these days of her life. We know that you are crying, laughing and loving her with us.