Today I am 22 weeks and 4 days along - a mere nine days from when I went into labor with Samuel. I have had contractions intermittently since coming home from Little Rock, but have tried my VERY best not to dwell on them since doing so only seems to make them worse.
Michael's mother is living with us while I spend my days on strict bedrest What? Didn't know that Michael's parents were in from Zimbabwe? That's because I had planned to write a really sweet post about their arrival and how much Samuel has enjoyed them. For now I will just tell you that the timing of their advent was surely God's perfect plan. They were here barely two weeks before my mother-in-law graciously stepped in to assume all of the parenting duties that I am no longer able to fulfill. AND she does the housework. AND she cooks. AND she puts up with me (which is no small feat!) Sweet lady huh?
This week we have enjoyed a respite from the contractions. I haven't had one since Monday! I can't tell you how good that feels (physically and mentally.) In addition to this wonderful reprieve, we were given some excellent news today.
When we went into Labor and Delivery two weeks ago, they measured my cervical length at a meager 1.8cm. That was down from a consistent measurement of 2.8cm. With such a drastic change, and hours of steady contractions graphed, the doctor had every reason to believe that I was in active labor. He told us a few days later that he had thought delivery was imminent.
Today, I stopped in my local OB's office to make sure everything was stable enough for a trip to Little Rock in a few days. A quick ultrasound gave us the best news we have had in weeks. My dwindling cervical length was actually not dwindling at all! It measured a beautiful 2.8cm - exactly what I have been measuring since Week 16! We will have that confirmed by my doctor in Little Rock soon, but we all felt confident celebrating the news at the clinic today (doctor and ultrasound tech included!)
So what does that mean? It means that although I'm having contractions, they don't seem to be changing my cervix. It means Annalee is a lot safer in there than everyone had thought!
What is the plan now? Now I head to Little Rock for bedrest. Since we are approaching viability, I need to be close to the medical facilities that can best handle extremely premature babies (if, heaven forbid, it comes to that.) I will be placed in "CAMP", a hotel that houses women who have complicated pregnancies, to be monitored closely over the following weeks.
We still really need your prayers. The next few weeks are going to be especially hard for us, being so far apart from each other during such a scary chapter in our lives. I would like nothing more than to be distracted from any contractions and hours of bedrest by Samuel's toddler antics, but I know leaving is the best choice for our little girl. Of course, we also need your continued prayers for fifteen more weeks of contraction-free days!
Thank you so much for all of the sweet messages, comments, calls, and texts. I have read every single one of them, I promise!
And because no post is complete without a few photos:
Michael, Samuel, and Gramps
Michael and I enjoyed a night out before all of this began.
Don't let that face fool you...he's up to no good!
We didn't do much for Halloween this year, but we did manage to carve a pumpkin. Samuel kept saying, "I don't like it!" and "Dirty hands!" (preemie sensory issue or personality quirk?) Needless to say, he left the pumpkin mess to the adults.
Cute huh? Michael did a good job!
Samuel had a great time yelling, "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!" from our front porch. I was THRILLED when his yell was heard by trick-or-treaters a block from our house! That paralyzed vocal cord doesn't seem to be holding him back!