Well, we celebrated the day of love... The next night Rob and I went out to dinner and to a hotel nearby for a rare overnight away from the kids. And by sunrise the next morning (Sunday) I got a text from the sitter saying two of our kids were throwing up.
After nursing them for a few hours, with Rob sharing the duties with me, it seemed the worst was over and I went upstairs to lay down. It didn't take long to realize I was probably next on the list to get sick, and so I called my mom who promptly came over just as it started around 6pm. She drove me to the hospital where I knew I would land sooner or later anyways (vomiting = dehydration = contractions = monitoring). As I made my way to triage, suddenly (frighteningly) unable to breathe well, I had to walk through a group of no less than 20 couples on a hospital tour of Labor & Delivery, women all sporting swollen bellies and the menfolk trying to avoid looking at me as I walked right between them all. If I hadn't felt like death I would have laughed so hard. I was quite a miserable sight.
A thousand questions, monitors hooked up, IV's started, zofran administered, blood drawn, a quick check to see if labor was starting (no) and an hour or two went by all while I held my eyes shut tight, just trying to endure the miserable minutes until the stomach bug left me alone. My dr popped his head in (I think? Or maybe just talked to the nurses and they relayed his directives to me?) and I was told I'd be moved to a room to continue treatment and monitoring - most likely overnight. My sweet mom, staying with me and not at all anxious to leave my side, slept on the couch in the hospital room with me and helped me pass the long hours by rubbing my hands, feet, head, anything to bring me comfort. Feeding me ice chips. I am so thankful for her, especially when rob and I have to be separated at times like this, when the kids need one of their parents caring for them and we can't be together.
At some point the pain was great enough that I asked for something to take the edge off. Coupled with the zofran, it allowed me about 2 hours of relief to rest. But sleep was impossible, and by the time it wore off in the wee hours of Monday morning, I had the new sensation of having a heart attack which was disturbing. Pepcid was given through my iv, which had by now pumped 3 or 4 bags of fluid into my dehydrated body, and at some point I was allowed another dose of pain medicine, which actually allowed me to sleep for a few hours.
The entire time, the baby was being monitored. And while I was acutely sick (first 24 hrs or so) her variations in heart rate were watched but somewhat expected. As I hydrated and recovered from the illness, temperature came down, and all contractions slowed, it became apparent that our baby girl was still having dips in her heart rate that could not be linked to anything in particular (they would happen when I was resting, or asleep, and long after contractions had ceased).
So instead of heading home Monday, they kept me hooked up to the monitors to keep an eye on our girl. Through the night Monday / into Tuesday, she had a few more dips in her heart rate and that settled it for my Dr... I would need an evaluation by the high risk dr. First thing Tuesday morning I had a very thorough ultrasound that showed good news (healthy girl! Developed palate, perfect heart with 4 steady chambers, great practice-breathing in the womb, plenty of amniotic fluid, good bloodflow through the umbilical cord, great measurements for her gestation and estimated to weigh over 5lbs) and slightly concerning news (the cord may be getting compressed by its position around the baby, which could be causing her heart rate to dip... But that's not for certain, just a best guess).
I left the ultrasound both thankful and relieved, but with a new set of concerns. With nothing major to point to that is wrong or underdeveloped, we are left wondering what might be causing the dips in her heart rate... Unsure of whether this is cause for concern or not a huge deal. More unknowns than answers and a really big, grey area to bounce around in.
We are left in the difficult position of wondering what is best for our girl. Without knowing how to find the perfect answer for ourselves - trying to ask the right questions, refusing to give in to fear, asking The Lord to give wisdom and discernment - to us but also to our drs as they provide care specifically for our daughter in her particular situation.
For now we plan to see the OB weekly (for monitoring) and the high risk dr weekly (for ultrasounds). Tomorrow begins the conversation of what the risks are for the baby and what our options are. What the dr thinks is best... What we are most comfortable with... What is safest for this sweet babe whom we already love...
And yet I re-read the last post I wrote and let my own words wash over my heart in a new way. We will not fear. We will not attempt to control God's hand. And yet we will do everything we can to call on Him, ask for His wisdom and leading, trust Him in all things at all times, and make the best choices that we can with what we know. We will keep walking by faith.
I will refuse to let the secrecy of my womb scare me, the darkness that seems to hide my daughter from me.