As soon as Dr. J walked into the room we could tell that was not going to be a problem. He was very sweet, apologetic about the wait, and wanted to make sure we were taken care of and all of our questions were answered before we left. He asked if Thatcher's movement had slowed down and was surprised when I told him no (they all seem to be taken aback that he still has the ability to move). Then, he wanted to clarify that we are wanting to do everything we can to provide Thatcher with the highest chance of survival (a question that always rubs the wrong way, but I'll vent about that later) which we passionately responded with yes we are! We did have one question about his movement. I have noticed over the past couple of days a rhythmic pulsing that will last from 5 pulses to 20 seconds. His whole body seems to pulse but it is much faster than if he were to have hiccups. Dr. J said it sounds as if it might be practice breathing movements based on the speed we were describing, but it could also be seizures. That was the answer we were fearing, but he asked for us to get a video of an episode so he could see for himself. I have dropped a lot since last week and I am 50% effaced and soft, Dr. J even felt Thatcher's head. He was encouraged that my body is doing what it is supposed to and is preparing myself and Thatcher for labor, so yay! He actually mentioned that he thinks vaginal delivery is definitely a major possibility. Don't know what we think about that .... the other doctors seem to think Thatcher won't be able to handle labor, Dr. WCS (worst case scenario) said he is more than 90% sure he will be preforming a C - section. So, once again we have doctors saying opposite things. I guess the part of Dr. J's opinion that makes me nervous is that he asked if I wanted to be monitored or not. I was surprised because I know there is the option of continual or intermittent monitoring, but not to monitor the baby at all during a vaginal delivery at a hospital? When has that ever been an option? How do they know if the baby is in distress? I then realized it went along with his "wanting to make sure we're wanting to try and do everything to help Thatcher live" question. Like I said, more on that later..... We got all our lab results from our week in the hospital, and everything looks good. The brain damage is not from any infection which is further evidence that more brain damage is not currently taking place, Thank You Jesus!!! We were told on Tuesday at the ultrasound that measurements are taken every 3 weeks so they won't measure Thatcher's body or head growth, or his ventricles til I'm 39 weeks... YUCK!! We very timidly asked Dr. J if there was any way we could push those measurements up to next week, just so a) we can have another point of data to go by to see growth or lack there of b) so we can get a clear picture of the ventricles so we know the fluid is not increasing since the only "official" measurement of his ventricles was at the hospital. After explaining why they only do measurements every 3 weeks (babies grow mm at a time and human error can be mm difference) he said if we can get our sonographer to go along with it, he would read it if another dr. had a problem with it. He then told us he is not expecting a change in Thatcher's growth at all. He explained that according to the measurements at the hospital, Thatcher's body has continued to grow (although much smaller than the average baby) his head essentially stopped growing since it is 2 weeks behind the rest of his body growth. His response came as a surprise and left us with more questions than answers. I guess the one good thing is that he expressed if Thatcher makes it to delivery then survival afterwards isn't as much of a concern as his higher level functions. Which is a relief to hear another doctor say he's not concerned with survival after birth, but once again makes us question "if they are so concerned with him making it to delivery, then why aren't we scheduling a C-section today when Thatcher is very much still alive?!?" So like we said in the beginning, we really didn't learn much, we left with more questions than when we walked in, BUT onto the positives .......
- Thatcher is still surprising doctors with his ability to move! We, of course, are not surprised. God has His hand on His child's life and it just makes me smile every time I hear surprise in a doctor's voice. Every time I want to fist bump God as if to say "yup, You remind them who is in charge!".
- My body is doing what it is supposed to be doing to prepare for labor, so hopefully we are on track to no induction (my thinking is: the less medications there are to dope up Thatcher and make breathing harder, the better)
- We have the possibility of a vaginal delivery. Dr. J said we would monitor during contractions next week to "test" Thatcher's ability to handle labor stress. If we can do a vaginal delivery safely without Thatcher being in distress then yay!
- All the test results came back positive.. or negative.. whichever means good
- The rhythmic pulsings might not be seizures
- We have someone to read his measurements if we can get G, our sonographer, to agree to do them.
Although there were many positives, we have to admit we had to have a "come to Jesus meeting". After we got home, Eric was really struggling with the possibility of seizures currently happening, and I couldn't reconcile the confidence in Thatcher's survival with his head not growing. We finally had to stop and just declare out loud that God has written out Thatcher's story and NOTHING we find out comes as a surprise to Him. If we are going to claim we trust God with Thatcher's life then we need to do just that, trust Him in all situations, and with any news!! We are so blessed to have a Father who promises He holds each of our lives in His hand, nothing is a mistake, and nothing is too big for Him. These concerns are not for us to wrestle with, but for us to hand over to our Heavenly Father. He has created Thatcher in His image which makes our child perfect! Thank you, Father for your steadfast promises and for not giving up on us when we begin to struggle. You are so merciful and we are so undeserving!
Just to mention quickly, today has been a great day! It is the first "in between" day that has been good. In between days: days that are in between doctors appointments or other commitments. Days when we have nothing to do other than be left alone with our thoughts. Yes they are good days to sit in the solitude of God's love, but they are also days Satan loves to attack and feed on our fears. On Wednesday, a really bad in between day, our morning devotion mentioned Jesus being tempted for 40 days. Wednesday night, it really hit me and I was left in awe of what Jesus went through during those 40 days. I am left alone and succumb to a puddle of defeat and tears after Satan just whispers in my ear for a couple of hours. Jesus was left alone with Satan for 40 straight days, and Satan was doing a lot more than just whispering. Oh what a sweet savior we have. He endured so much on our behalf! ... Anyways, today was good! No breakdowns, no feelings of abandonment, full of God's peace and lots of kicks and stretches from Thatcher :) oh, and no rhythmic pulsing episodes! Like we have mentioned before, we have to take life one day at a time right now and simply be thankful for each day. (something we will definitely keep up, not be caught up in what tomorrow holds, but simply be thankful for today) God filled today with rest and rejuvenation, He is so merciful! Thank you Lord for today and the calmness you surrounded us with! ... sorry, I guess that wasn't a quick side note, not like any of you are surprised.
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.
- John 16:33
Thank you all for continuing to walk with and encourage us. This is going to be a long journey and God is using you all to help sustain us each day. We beg you to continue to pray boldly and expectantly for Thatcher's healing. We need your prayers now more than ever before!