Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Expectations: a WIP

In case you hadn't noticed the widget on the side of my blog, the Ptown Cottage is expecting a new arrival this fall! Things are going well, I think. There is some debate over the actual due date, as the baby has measured a week behind for 2 ultrasounds. I go back at the end of the month for an official ultrasound. Not sure what the other two were: unofficial?

Anyway, I am a high-risk pregnancy. I had a blood clot when I was 18, the same year my dad had one. Well, that was too freaky to be coincidental, so we went in for genetic testing. Turns out I have a genetic mutation called Factor V Leiden. This is like having 2 risk factors for blood clots, making me more likely than others to develop clots when taking hormones like the birth control pill, smoking, or when pregnant. Hormones go absolutely berserk when you are pregnant, and this fact reeks havoc on my blood. I have to take injections of blood thinners throughout my pregnancy. Without the blood thinners, I could develop another clot or a clot could develop in the placenta or cord, causing miscarraige. Making things just a little more interesting, both of my children were born prematurely. Hokieboy was 2 months early and Hokiegirl was a month and a half early. Thankfully, you would never know looking at them now.

So, the due date of a baby is actually pretty important. A week can make a huge difference in the health of an infant. So much happens in those few weeks. A baby is actually considered full term by most at 37 weeks gestational age. Most of what happens between then and the due date (40 weeks) is putting on the pounds. Hokieboy was born at 32 weeks. This meant that his lungs were underdeveloped, as was the sphincter muscle that is between the stomach and the esophagus. He needed assistance breathing, developed jaundice and then had acid reflux, which caused him to stop breathing and his heart rate dropped too low. When he came home after a month in the NICU, he had a heart monitor to alert us to those events. Hokiegirl was born two weeks older, at 34 weeks. The lungs are generally mature by 34 weeks, which made me breathe easier when I hit that mark. She stayed in the hospital for a week because she also had jaundice. This made her too sleepy to eat, and without food to flush the bilirubin out, she remained jaundiced, which made her too sleepy to eat, and without food... you get the point.

The current due date for the new baby is October 9th, but that may be pushed back to October 16th, depending on the results of the ultrasound. I have grounded the baby, insisting that it not leave its womb until October. We'll see how that goes.

Over here in Ptown, a different kind of knitting is happening. I don't hold the needles at the moment, but God is very busy with creating a new life in me.

Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." NIV

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