Here are some things I have learned in the past five days.
1. You can’t be a control freak in the hospital. When in the hospital, you are literally in charge of nothing. People wake you up in the middle of the night just to take your temperature, you’re at the mercy of others for when you can shower, eat, change the bedclothes. A doctor just stopped by to tell me that a whole team of doctors knows all about me and are all putting their heads together to figure out the best courses of action for Nora and me. Strangers who know more about my uterus than I do. I’m doing okay with this, but…it is sometimes a little bit difficult.
2. Placenta previa doesn’t actually “move”. Your uterus grows and takes the placenta previa to the right place. Or something. So, in my case, it looked like it “moved” quite a lot, but it didn’t move completely. Which leads me to my new vocabulary word.
3. “Accreta: The abnormal adherence of the chorion of the placenta to the myometrium of the uterus. Normally there is tissue intervening between the chorionic villi and the myometrium, but in ‘placenta accreta, the vascular processes of the chorion grow directly in the myometrium. Placenta accreta can progress into placenta percreta.” I have this problem. And, it is growing into not just my uterus but also my bladder. This will make the day of my surgery tricky. They’re going to take the baby out, then assess if they need to do a hysterectomy (which they are 95% sure they will) and then assess if they need to do bladder reparation. I never knew this word before, in twenty years of baby having…and now it is a major part of the equation.
4. Hospitals are loud and do not run on time, in general. Something that “always” happens at 7:30 might happen at 9:30 tomorrow.
5. Nurses are amazing people. They are the “mothers” of the whole floor. They nurture, they care, they are invested. They listen to me talk about my family. They pore over the pictures that are all around and they act like they don’t mind cleaning up gross things. They are compassionate when giving shots, taking blood, waking me up in the middle of the night. The nurses here have made me feel…in a weird way…secure and welcome. They make it easier.
Today I am 29 weeks and that feels like a milestone. One of the doctors yesterday reminded me that every day is a victory.
I’m reading a book about preemies which I can only stomach about one chapter at a time. I have a ton of peace about Nora and about how she’ll do, but I know she’s beginning her life differently than most little babies. And I know that her first experiences in life won’t be snuggling and nursing and crying…but learning to breathe, working to stay warm…she’s beginning with Hard Things and it’s going to be different. She will spend Christmas here, almost certainly. I’m nervous about the moment when she leaves the womb and faces the world. She is already our precious and cherished daughter…and we so want her to be well.
I’m nervous about the surgery itself. I had a hard time with my previous section, being open for a whole hysterectomy and a bladder surgery following the birth make me quite nervous. It’s all going to be figuring it out as we go along and so there is no reality except that it’s going to be stressful and it must be endured. I keep telling the O.B.’s that the anesthesioligist needs to be prepared to knock me out if I start to lose it.
In general, we’re all holding up well. I love having visitors and it helps with the tedium, the loneliness, the homesickness. It helps SO much. It also helps to know that everyone is home is being well cared for. People have poured out so much love on us.
So, if you want to come and see me, let me know. I try and plan out my visitors so that I wind up with people every day. I’d love to see you!
Keep praying for us. God is always faithful and His steadfast presence is really getting us through all of this.