“The next big number I’d like to get to is 24 weeks. That’s when she becomes viable. Oh, how I’d love for her to stay in another 12 weeks after that yet.”
In comparison to a “normal pregnancy”, few days in this pregnancy were celebrated. We had the joy of announcing our pregnancy before the bulk of the chaos ensued, but nothing else super celebratory happens before week 16, and by then, it was hard to celebrate. Therefore, the mixed emotions of the 20 week ultrasound…
We were excited, heading into the 20 week ultrasound, our third ultrasound, because we would finally learn if our little warrior was a boy or girl. However, we were far from all rainbows and unicorns. We were more like rain and an injured bird. With our gender reveal came the next look at the makeup of my womb. Had anything changed in the past four weeks that might set us on a better trajectory? Or were we right to give up hope that things would return to normal?
Still, we made the conscious decision to celebrate the gender reveal as if the real meat of this ultrasound wasn’t about placental problems. So off we went to the little, local hospital down the road on a Friday morning, my bladder full, my husband praying for a boy. Once on the table, we agreed to let a student look first. She poked and prodded and eventually handed the wand to the certified tech. She then poked and prodded as well, drawing the process out for over an hour before showing us what solidified that inside, there was a healthy baby girl.
My husband was visibly disappointed. I was disappointed for him. I wanted him to have a son more than I wanted myself to have a daughter. But this was uncontrollable. God chose us for that little girl. What a blessing. So we slapped on our “how do I respond to this?” smiles and went on with the ultrasound. I remember telling my husband, “You have to be ok with this,” but we would go on to learn the incredible benefits of having a girl in our situation. If a baby has to fight, you want it to be a girl. Praise God she’s a girl.
As far as the makeup of my womb, we had to wait until the radiologist reviewed the ultrasound, which took longer than usual, given it was a Friday ultrasound. Therefore, massive props to the ultrasound tech, because she looked at my war zone without batting an eye.
We left the hospital with our semi-happy news. It’s a girl. A she. A little lady. I had drawn two hearts – one blue and green, one pink and purple. We tossed the blue and green and snapped a photo we would send to our family and friends… in black and white, making them guess. Eventually, we shared the colored photo as well, and then for the weekend, we clung to the new, good thing we knew, while waiting for the news of what was really going on in there. And in the mean time, we knew we needed our little girl to stay in for at least another four weeks – the milestone of viability.
I can’t recommend this enough: If you find yourself in a situation similar to ours. Celebrate the things you’d imagined celebrating. Do the things you’d dreamed of doing. Cling so tightly to what you’d planned to do for the special moments that you make normal leak out of your abnormal situation.
In the stats:
Gestational Age: 19 weeks, 6 days
Days of blood: 15
Days of bedrest: 30
Doctor’s Appointments: 7