Tuesday, January 27, 2009

38 Weeks and Jenny is Still Pregnant

BabyJ did her usual routine this morning at the doctor appointments: healthy heartrate, lots of movement, and spikes in her heartrate to match her activity level. The US showed normal amniotic fluid around her, and that the blood flows from the placenta and within BabyJ's body are normal. My blood pressure has remained 100/60, and my weight continues to creep up -- I registered 30 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight on the scale. The doctor was content to send me back home, still on rest, though I am now allowed to either a) increase my activity around the house a little, or b) walk around the block twice in a day. I am allowed out of the house for sedentary activities: to go to a movie or to get my hair cut, for example. Progress! We have a growth ultrasound next Tuesday, and if she maintains her growth, I may be allowed to go back to normal activity. If her growth falls off, induction is possible. The waiting game is hard, but knowing we are both healthy and stable is comforting.

I am asked regularly, "How are you doing?" Mentally I'm disappointed and frustrated at this forced rest; I would never choose this lifestyle for myself, and poor Jeff is doing pretty much everything for the household, about which I feel pretty guilty. Emotionally, I am far better off here at home, with Jeff, Abby, Cosmo, and BabyJ's stuff all around me than I was at the hospital. Physically, I am stiff and sore, though I have little water retention in my lower extremities so the painful leg cramps have disappeared completely. My butt hurts from all the sitting and reclining, and there are kinks in my back and ribs that come and go, depending on what resting positions I choose. My overall energy level is lower now that I am so inactive. BabyJ is growing, and breathing after a meal is becoming a challenge. Some nights I struggle for hours to find a comfortable position to sleep, turning from side to side seemingly every hour with frequent trips to the bathroom (since baby's head rests on my bladder). The physical challenges are probably due to being very pregnant rather than the bedrest, and I'm certain what I think is 'normal activity' for me would be impossible at this stage anyway. So I suppose I should be grateful for this opportunity to lay low before our lives get really crazy. But day after day in the same few rooms is getting pretty old.

"What do you do all day?" I read books and magazines, work on jumbles and crossword puzzles, do internet research, send emails, talk on the phone, eat regularly, and occasionally nap. Now and then I get a visitor. Sometimes I watch tv in evening, but the tube just hasn't held much lure for me. I am still monitoring a small group of students reviewing their algebra skills online, so there is some "work" to occupy my time, but it's low stress and most days doesn't take much time. And, of course, there are the doctor appointments to spice up my Tuesday mornings.

Thanks to everyone calling, emailing, asking if they can help, and being there for us during this challenging time. We know that BabyJ will be with us soon, and maybe these ultrasound images from today's check-up can help tide all of us over until her arrival. (These are similar to the ones we posted about 4 weeks ago, the first one being her face profile, and the second one being a frontal view of her face. The profile is certainly easier to make out, and I think it's the cross-section of the umbilical cord that looks a little like bubbles in the upper left part of the image.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009, on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius

Jeff and I headed up to First Hill at daybreak this morning, for our weekly doctor visits. Our appointments were not well-timed with today's inauguration activities, which was disappointing. Of course, BabyJ needs to be our top priority right now, regardless of American politics. However, we do have TiVo, so we'll be able to watch the broadcast later.

We started with a quick ultrasound. BabyJ's blood flows are stable and in normal range. The amniotic fluid volume index has dropped a tiny bit, but it's still in the low end of the normal range, just as it has been for the past several weeks of ultrasounds, so no concern there either. I did have a bout of dizziness and nausea laying flat for the ultrasound. They tell pregnant women not to lay flat for a reason! Then we went up to OB dr's office. Turns out she was over in the hospital delivering a baby, so we waited at bit to see her. But in the mean time I learned I have now gained 26 pounds since the beginning of the pregnancy, and my blood pressure is still quite low, 100/60. After these measurements, we headed to the back of the office for a fetal monitoring session. BabyJ once again was a star on the monitor, and I had one minor contraction during the 40 minutes.

So after a short exam with Dr. F., I was sent home for another week of laying low. I am now allowed to sit up more, but the instructions are still to stay off my feet for another week. I asked about walking around the block to get fresh air, and she said I could sit outside in a chair, but wanted to put off the walking around the block for another week. Sigh. So here I sit, resting. For the next two Tuesdays, I go in for another set of appointments just like today, with the ultrasound in two weeks including more growth measurements. There are no signs that BabyJ is coming any time soon, so we can relax for another week or more, as she grows and we cherish our last few moments as a couple before we become a trio. And there will not be a new Capricorn in the household!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back Home Again

More good news this afternoon when Dr. F. got a break in her schedule to come talk to us. I've been sprung! I am home!

Bedrest is still ordered for the foreseeable future, and I will go to various offices on First Hill next Tuesday for a check-up, fetal monitoring, and an ultrasound. This ultrasound will measure the amniotic fluid volume and monitor blood flows in the umbilical cord and in the baby; it will not measure growth. Dr. F. acknowledged to us that bedrest at home is not as restful as bedrest in a hospital, but now that I've been on hospital bedrest, I do know what I am supposed to do to comply. Plus, here at home, I have Jeff, Chief of the Bedrest Police Force to keep me in line! If I continue to remain pregnant with a healthy BabyJ, it's possible that the bedrest will be phased out over time, but we need to cross that bridge when we get there. For now, it's great to be at home with Jeff and the cats, and all the baby gear surrounding our existence here serves as a stark reminder that this crazy bedrest/monitorings/ultrasounds adventure will end soon with a beautiful baby girl that will change our lives forever. (Not that she hasn't done that already!!!)

More details on the ultrasound results this morning.... The session started with the tech (a different Seattle U grad than last time) telling us they would get in touch with the doctor about the results before we left the room, in case they needed to do an amniocentesis today. That alarmed me a little, because I hadn't heard Dr. F. mention an amnio to us before. However, I know from talking with other drs. that had seen me on rounds and the nurses who took care of me that an amnio would be used to check lung maturity (apparently there is a protein in the amniotic fluid that gives them lung maturity info). I knew we wouldn't need one, though, because I was so sure BabyJ had grown!

The tech spent quite a bit of time taking pictures and measurements, etc. At one point it took 3 or 4 tries to get a good reading on a vein in BabyJ's stomach, because she was moving around so much! When the tech finished her work, the measurements of BabyJ's femur, abdomen, and head were put into a computer model that gives projected weight and percentile figures. Before the report was finalized, the US dr. came in to remeasure BabyJ's abdomen, as she thought the abdomen looked a little pinched (I guess there is a picture that goes with the measurement). She assured us even at that point that we were out of the woods, over the 10th percentile already. She did the measurement 3 more times, and then I heard her say to the tech, "Let's use this one to err on the side of caution." After a few more minutes, she came back with the 16th percentile figure and the 5 pounds, 10 ounces projected weight at this time. So BabyJ is somewhere between 5 and 10 days "behind schedule," so to speak, of a 50th percentile baby. We were told that some of the difference between the 5 and 10 days can be attributed to the different due dates the drs. are using. (Dr. F's due date is 2/11, and the US office I've been to says I'm due either 2/7 or 2/9, depending on which visit's data they use.)

So being above the 10th percentile means that BabyJ is no longer considered IUGR (=growth restricted). Dr. F. told us that either something happened to slow her growth, or she's just a small baby. Dr. F. will continue to keep an eye on the situation, with weekly check-ups, and maybe even another growth ultrasound at 39 weeks (3 weeks from now). She said that usually they wait 3 weeks between growth ultrasounds due to the variability in the measurements, but she went just 2 weeks with us this time because it wasn't worth waiting for better data if the baby wasn't growing. (We agree!) So as of today, BabyJ's arrival date is less certain than it sounded a couple of weeks ago, as Dr. F did not mention inducing me next week when I hit 37 weeks. The current thinking is that if BabyJ's monitorings and blood flow ultrasounds continue to look good over the next few weeks, the bedrest may be phased out, and we may even make it to 40 weeks! She did say that she wasn't sure we'd want to go past that; she may induce labor near the due date if BabyJ hasn't arrived on her own yet.

All of this sounds SO much more positive and sensible that the noise we heard 13 days ago (admittedly without growth data at that time, it was appropriate for the doctors to be cautious). Thank goodness! The plan on the table suggests we'll be adding another Aquarius to the household, though we're back to the possibility that she and I will share a birthday. We'll have to see what the next few weeks bring. But my time in the hospital was well-spent: we have a birth plan and we are about as mentally and emotionally prepared for labor as we can be before it starts. The baby preparations at the house are nearly complete, and we have just a short list of things we still need to get either for us or for BabyJ. We have chosen a pediatrician, and we know a TON of specifics about Swedish's services for us and for BabyJ. In my time on the antepartum unit, I met several nurses who also work in the birthing suites, so I may actually see one of them on the big day. In addition, I know if I do end up getting induced, I will likely start that process in the antepartum unit, maybe with a nurse I've already had, and I can labor there for quite awhile (as long as I don't need pain meds) before heading to the birthing suites for delivery and, hopefully, rooming in with our little girl. So there are a ton of positives to my 13-day "vacation" at "Club Swedish." Right now, though, we are exhausted from the intensity of the last 2 weeks!!! We are looking forward to getting to bed early tonight, together, in our own bed, and facing a new day with far less worry and stress.

Thanks again to everyone who called, emailed, visited, wanted to call and/or visit, did things or offered to do things for us, kept us in their thoughts and prayers, and sent us positive energy of growth. Our network of support is so awesome and we don't take it for granted for one minute!!! Thank you!

A Growth Spurt!

Good news at our ultrasound this morning! BabyJ has grown quite a bit, pulling herself out of the 2nd percentile into the 16th percentile for her gestational age. The US measurements estimate her current weight at 5 pounds, 10 ounces. We are waiting for Dr. F. to come talk to us in person about next steps. Stay tuned!

Thanks to all of you who have sent us your positive thoughts and prayers. It worked!

xxx,
Jeff, Jenny, and BabyJ

Friday, January 9, 2009

Holding Steady

Today's ultrasound (this time conducted by a graduate of the Seattle U ultrasound program) revealed nothing new: blood flows and the amniotic fluid volume index were in the normal range. Her head is still down, face pointing to my body's left side. A few of the blood tests have come back negative, so we still have no clear explanation for BabyJ's small size. Dr. F. popped in around lunchtime to give me her read on the US results, and the doc from the clinic who is officially on rounds today, Dr. Cole, saw me this evening. Dr. C. said that all signs are pointing to a constitutionally small baby, and when I asked why they would induce labor at 37 weeks in this case, she said maybe that wouldn't be necessary (which makes me very relieved). But first, we do need to make sure that BabyJ grows enough to stay on her own 2nd percentile growth curve, and so....

As Tuesday's growth ultrasound grows nearer, I am getting pretty nervous, and the 35 weeks of raging hormones aren't giving me a fighting chance to remain grounded, either. A nurse said to me last week that she knows the women of the ante-partum unit live and die by their ultrasounds, and now I know what she meant. My stress level this afternoon jacked up BabyJ's heartrate and she had her first less than perfect monitor strip. (Interestingly, how this gets fixed is that I just lay there with continual monitoring, occasionally changing positions, until things calm down and look normal again. Unfortunately for me, that took 3.5 hours.) What I need the most is good sleep; rest where I can read and gather information I'll need for labor, delivery, and bringing baby home; and time to work through my stress, which I honestly prefer to do mostly by myself. I promise that if I need you, I'll call or email to ask you for a favor. Otherwise, the best that you can do for me is to keep us all in your thoughts, send us positive energy, and remaining willing to help us out after BabyJ comes home and we become sleep-deprived lunatics (I know THAT'S just around the corner!).

Stay tuned....

Capricorn or Aquarius?

Tonight will be the 9th night that Jenny has spent at Club Swedish. This week has been busier than last, complete with a neonatal doctor consult, more blood flow ultrasounds (Tuesday and Friday), a blood draw, and a frank conversation with Dr. F. Ultimately the news I think most people are interested in is “how long will Jenny be in the hospital?” and “when will we get to meet BabyJ?” While we don’t have definite answers for you, we do have some ideas about what will happen next. Here’s the scoop for the moment.

The growth ultrasound scheduled for next Tuesday morning, 1/13, will provide the missing piece to this puzzle.
a) If BabyJ measures as if she has not grown much, the plans are to induce labor and get her out into this world where she can gain weight without relying on the placenta in Jenny’s body. In this case BabyJ will be a Capricorn!
b) If BabyJ continues on her 2nd percentile growth curve or actually gains enough weight to bump her up to a higher percentile for her gestational age, then the bedrest is working, and Dr. F is likely to decide to have Jenny carry BabyJ to 37 weeks before inducing. In this case BabyJ will be an Aquarius! There will still be bedrest until then, but it’s possible Jenny can rest **at home.** This little carrot has been tossed out in a couple of conversations, but we're not clear what circumstances will allow for that option as an alternative to bedrest in the hospital.

So we’ll have to wait and see what Tuesday’s ultrasound growth measurements show. And then there always remains the possibility that BabyJ will choose to arrive of her own volition sometime before any induction takes place. But in any of these scenarios, BabyJ will arrive well ahead of schedule, in January.

The neonatal doctor who dropped by for a visit on Monday explained some of the issues for small babies who are born a little early. There are three main concerns: lung maturity, body temperature regulation, and feeding without choking. With Jenny just past the 35 week mark now, and with the plans for BabyJ to be born at week 36 or 37, we’ve been assured her lungs will be ready to breathe air. They are not even talking about giving Jenny a steroid shot to help mature BabyJ’s lungs – each OB doctor we ask says her lungs will be fine. Body temperature regulation can be a problem for low birth weight babies because of their lack of body fat, but we were told that this is rarely reason enough for hospitalization in the NICU. It’s the skill of feeding that may keep BabyJ in the hospital a few days. Apparently, sometimes little early babies don’t quite understand the sequence “suck-swallow-breathe.” (You can imagine that the sequence “suck-breathe-swallow” might be problematic! It'd be more like "suck-breathe-choke-get pneumonia." Definitely not good.) But it’s been said that it really only takes a couple of days for babies to sort that out. Then, when Dr. F. was asked on Tuesday what she thought about BabyJ staying in the hospital or coming home with us, she said very definitively, “I think your baby will go home with you.” So BabyJ’s prognosis is very good at this point.

The blood flow ultrasound on Tuesday went well and showed BabyJ’s is still head down, back and rump toward one side of Jenny’s belly, and feet up near Jenny’s ribcage on the other side. At one point BabyJ very demurely stacked her hands on top of one another and tucked them under her chin – it was very cute. The ultrasound technician for Tuesday’s ultrasound explained lots about what she was looking at and measuring in the vessels, which Jenny loves to hear. (The technician graduated from BCC, in fact!) All the blood flow and amniotic fluid measurements were deemed normal, and the ultrasound doctor on staff did not even come in to interpret the results. The next day, Dr. F. said the blood flows looked good and she didn’t expect to see any changes in BabyJ’s condition this week. The monitor strips continue to look great, as every nurse and doctor who sees them says. So we are in a holding pattern. Waiting, resting, and growing.

And then there is one more bit of info that came out this week that was new to us. The ultrasound on 12/30 indicated that BabyJ’s restricted growth is symmetric rather than asymmetric. Symmetric restricted growth means that her head and body are measuring proportionally small; with asymmetric restricted growth, the head circumference is closer to normal gestational size but the rest of the body measures small. It sounds to us that, in general, asymmetric restricted growth is often caused by placental issues late in the pregnancy, while symmetric restricted growth often indicates something like an infection affected the growth rate earlier in the pregnancy, or the baby is just constitutionally small. So Jenny’s blood was sent for some tests (we don’t have the results yet), to see if there is evidence of some kind of infection that may explain what’s going on. As far as we’re concerned, the symmetry of BabyJ’s restricted growth makes us believe even more strongly that we just so happened to make a small baby.

With another blood flow ultrasound to attend in the morning, it is time for this post to come to a close. We’ll try to keep you updated as we get more news. Thank you for all your calls, emails, and positive thoughts. We really appreciate them!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ultrasound Pictures



These pictures are from last Tuesday's ultrasound. She's a whole week older (and hopefully bigger) now! The first one is a profile shot of her face, and the second one is a frontal shot of her face. Look for two eyes, a "snout," and an open mouth. Her right eye is near the top of the image, as that side of her head is resting on the uterus wall, and her forehead is on the right side of the image. She looks a little like she pressed her face against a window!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Upgrade + Update

I am on my 6th day here. Another woman went into labor last night and was transferred out of the unit, so I got to move to her former room -- it's bigger and has a different view, facing due west toward downtown. I can see a slice of the Puget Sound with West Seattle behind it. If the clouds clear before I get out of here, I might get to see a sunset, too! Since the rooms are all bigger on this side of the unit, I am noticing it's a little busier, too. Or maybe that's because my nurse left the door to the room open today.

Last evening it snowed about 2" or so, but it warmed up overnight and the streets (that I can see) are clear. There is still some white on rooftops and grass, but it'll be gone soon. This sure has been a weird winter!

BabyJ continues to be a model patient: super active with a steady strong heartrate and seemingly content to stay in the womb. My blood pressure is holding steady around 105/60 - 110/70, and the Braxton-Hicks contractions seem to be staying just that -- warm-ups for what is to come. I hardly notice them, and would probably not even know I'm having them if I hadn't learned how to read the data on the monitor.

What comes next all depends on how BabyJ responds to me laying around on her behalf. I suspect I'll have blood flow ultrasounds twice this week and then another one the following Tuesday (exactly 2 weeks after the one where they placed her in the 2nd %), at which time they will measure her size and see how much she's grown. We'll see our doctor on rounds tomorrow morning and hopefully get a feel for her thoughts specifically on what next week might bring. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Updates and More Details

So I have now spent 3 nights at "Club Swedish," and I am starting to get to know the routine around here and am settling in to some semblance of one for myself. Vitamins come in the morning about 9 am. My 40 minute fetal monitoring sessions are at 6am, 2pm, and 10pm, but I can ask the nurses to start them a little earlier or later if I want. My vitals are taken at this time as well. It takes 30-45 minutes for food to arrive after I order it, so waiting until I'm really hungry to order is not a good idea. Doctors show up whenever they have a chance, usually in the morning, but there is no guarantee of what time. Nurses are glad to get things for me, but I have to ask. I can go for a ride in a wheelchair once a day, for about an hour, but other than that and personal hygiene, the idea is for me to rest in bed.

I am grateful my room's window faces southwest. I get good light during the day. Yesterday was sunny and I think that helped my mood a lot. Swedish has wireless and I've been using my laptop. Thanks so much to Dad and Pat for this fantastically well-timed Christmas gift. Without it I'm sure my spirits would be much lower. For anyone who has called or emailed and not heard back from me yet, know that I am grateful for your kind thoughts and well wishes. Sometimes too much happens at once and I can't get back to everyone before the next monitoring, or meal, or bedtime.... I talk to friends and family on the phone a lot and have had some visitors, too (thanks Deann, Emma, Kaylin, Pita, Ed, and Marcela for dropping by already). Jeff spends a lot of time with me and is also holding down the fort at home -- he is as steady as a rock and I am so blessed to have him. BabyJ is with me all the time, and her regular movements remind me why we're here.

Jeff resting by the window

So why are we here? To be clear, I do not have preeclampsia (=high blood pressure), nor am I in pre-term labor. The official diagnosis has several names: "intrauterine growth restriction" (IUGR) or "small for gestational age" (SGA). BabyJ's ultrasound (US) on Tuesday included some size measurements as well as Doppler measurements of blood flows and measurements of pockets of amniotic fluid. As I mentioned in the previous post, she measured very small in size, but the good news is the blood flows and amniotic fluid look really good and normal. The US measured blood flows in the arteries of the umbilical cord as well as in some of BabyJ's arteries (in her head, in her abdomen) -- the technology is really amazing! So if BabyJ is getting good blood flow, why is she so small? Well, that is the question we can't yet answer definitively, as we don't have enough data. We may never get a satisfactory explanation. But here are some possibilities, many of which focus on the placenta.

1) Maybe this particular placenta was not engineered to last 40 weeks; it could be nearing the end of its productive life, therefore no longer properly nourishing BabyJ in recent weeks.
2) Maybe this particular placenta has some sort of structural defect, and it has been improperly nourishing BabyJ for some longer period of time.
3) Maybe the umbilical cord is attached to the placenta in a non-optimal position, so that it's not bringing the best nutrition to BabyJ.
4) Maybe the placenta, cord placement, etc. are perfect, yet the genetic information that combined from me and Jeff to become BabyJ resulted in a very small sized person.

The treatment the doctor has prescribed is bedrest and fetal monitoring. If any of 1-3 above are accurate, bedrest may help BabyJ grow by diverting additional amounts of my energy and blood to feeding her. If 4 is really what's going on, then bedrest certainly won't hurt BabyJ, though it challenges her parents, as many of you understand. ;-) So here I sit/lay, waiting to see if bedrest gives her a growth spurt, or at least helps to maintain her rate of growth to date. We won't know if she is growing until the next set of US growth measurements. Unfortunately, though US is great technology, there are still errors in measurements taken by US. As much as 10-20%! So we have to wait long enough for the next US so that if the measurements indicate some growth, that the change in her size is outside the margin of error. We've been told we need to wait 2 weeks for the next growth US. And so that's what we're doing -- waiting. Waiting, resting, and hopefully, growing.

Jenny on the fetal monitor



The monitor in action



In addition, the fetal monitoring measures 3 things: fetal heartrate, fetal movement, and muscle tension (to document any uterine contractions), and I can see graphs of these data sets as they are recorded on a strip of graph paper that rolls out of the monitor next to my bed. BabyJ's heartrate varies between 125 and 150 (very normal), spiking as high as 180+ when she is very active, which is very often (whether she is on or off the monitor). The spikes are a sign of health; just think of what happens to your heartrate when you walk briskly up a flight of stairs. A lethargic baby struggling in her environment wouldn't move much and her heartrate wouldn't vary much, but that's not happening to BabyJ. Last night's nurse, Lynda, claims we're writing a handbook on good "strips" here in my room; all of the nurses and doctors have said how great the monitoring info looks, which is very reassuring. Also, we had an US yesterday to monitor blood flows again and to look closer at the placenta, the umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid, and those results came back looking normal, indicating BabyJ is healthy (except for her size). Here's an article I found on the internet that helped me better understand what's going on (and what the doctors do NOT seem to be worried about). The flow chart towards the end is way cool; it appears to me that we are following the recommendations of the left-most column on this chart.

http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/200509/8694

Another thing I've learned from the monitoring is that I am having Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are "warm-up" contractions that prepare my uterus for the labor contractions that will bring BabyJ into our world. I seem to have a few decent ones each monitoring session. Sometimes I notice them, other times I don't or I attribute the sensations to BabyJ moving around. We'd have cause for concern if BabyJ's heartrate dipped when they occur, but that is not the case. So the monitoring sessions continue to reinforce our confidence that she is healthy in there.

Jeff and I are in a pretty good state of mind because we firmly believe, with the evidence that lies before us, that BabyJ just so happens to be a small yet healthy baby. We do expect that BabyJ will grow in the time I am resting here, but until we know how much, guessing what happens next is a total crapshoot. I have heard to count on staying here for about 3 weeks, getting us to 37 weeks, which is considered full-term, and then they'd induce labor after checking that her lungs are appropriately mature; there is also the possibility that at some point with enough growth and health documented I could go home, probably continuing the bedrest there until it is time for BabyJ to arrive. There hasn't been much talk of a C-section, which is just fine with me. We'll have to give you more information on the possible culminations of my hospital bedrest when we know more. If you want to send positive thoughts, energies, and prayers our way, we'd be grateful; please focus them on BabyJ growing while remaining stable and us maintaining strength as a family unit though we are unfortunately separated far too much right now. We will get through these few weeks and the prize at the end will be worth every minute.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Big changes here in BabyJ-land. So much for my post of three weeks ago when I claimed this pregnancy was smooth sailing! Argh.

At our doctor appointment on Tuesday, December 30, we found that my fundus measurement was way off from what Dr. F expected it would be, and so the she ordered an ultrasound to get a better read on BabyJ's size. The ultrasound measurements indicated BabyJ is very small for a baby who is at 34 weeks. With 6 weeks to go until her due date, she's estimated to be 4.5 pounds, and that is a small baby, compared to the 5.5 pounds they'd expect her to be at this time. So, after reading the ultrasound paperwork, my doctor called me on New Year's Eve afternoon to tell me to check into Swedish Hospital for bedrest and thrice daily fetal monitoring.

So I have been here for almost a day and a half now, and the good news is that each monitoring episode continues to indicate that BabyJ's heartrate is strong, she is age-appropriately active, and I am also perfectly healthy. It's just that she is in the second percentile for her gestational age (yes, that's 2 out of 100!), and while Jeff and I believe it's highly possible and totally reasonable that together our bodies make small babies, the doctors need to react as if the issue is one of infrastructure (the placenta/umbilical cord nutrient delivery system). So I am resting here in a hospital bed at "Club Swedish," where I can read, watch TV, talk to friends and family, and order from the menu 24-hours a day, as opposed to running around with school commitments and making last weeks' preparations for her arrival. My energy and blood need to be focused on delivering nutrients to BabyJ so that she can grow.

We are both disappointed at this turn of events, but we do realize we are very fortunate for all the good things we have going for us at the moment. More details will be forthcoming in future posts, but this is the short version for now. This bedresting momma needs to go to bed!