28 Week Update {We might have a baby this week}

Okay…where to begin…

The big snowstorm that coated Denver in slush also freed up some appointments at the specialist’s office this morning, and they were able to fit me in. Relief flooded me, as we walked through the doors once again of the same place that confirmed that Abby DIDN’T have spina bifida in November. Unfortunately, today’s news was not quite so cheery.

My placenta and the umbilical cord are failing. Apparently, this happens to couch potatoes and runners alike, mamas who gain very little and mamas who gain 50 pounds. Sometimes, a placenta’s “life span” is just much shorter than normal. Mine happens to be one of those.

Abigail Nichelle has officially been diagnosed with intrauterine growth restrictions; i.e. she has fallen from the 22% for size/weight in December to the 8% as of today. The good news is that the doctors caught this before the placenta failed and Abby ran out of oxygen. The implications of this miracle are huge. We will not be having a stillborn baby. We may be having a tiny, very premature baby; however, she will be very much alive. Thank You, Jesus.

The doctor was able to measure the blood flow in the brain and measure all of her organs. As of right now, she has not suffered a single developmental disadvantage. I’m filled with such gratitude for that. However, we are now “on notice” that at each weekly appointment we will face the question of whether or not to be induced. Next Wednesday they will measure the rate of the placenta’s failure and decide whether or not Abby can make it another week inside of me. We could have a baby by next weekend.

I’m reeling this afternoon. I can “DO” very little to change this outcome. I have been instructed to stop running (LOL) and to add about 300 calories of high protein/healthy fat to attempt to boost the placenta. Apparently, neither bed rest nor a high-calorie diet actually affect this diagnosis. As the specialist explained, “The placenta is like a kitchen. No matter what you supply it with or how much, it has to create and send the food to the baby. The mother can’t actually change that.”

So we wait. And scramble. Pack hospital bags. Look at my registries to figure out what we MUST buy this week just in case. For example, diapers might be helpful. Maybe the rocking chair. I don’t even know right now. My meal planning has gone out the window for now, as have my aspirations to have a fully cleaned/prepared house. I might just hire a maid if we actually get induced next weekend. Sounds silly to even contemplate these things.

We also pray. Pray hard. And ask you to pray. As the days go on, we will probably also need practical things. Like groceries. Meals. Diapers. Cleaning/organizing help. I don’t even know.

I do know that my God is a God of the Impossible. He can create a new placenta or cause this one to function beyond what doctors believe it is capable of. He can protect Abby is bring her to full development. I believe we are in His hands and surrounded by His community.

We need you guys and are so overwhelmed by your love even over the past 24 hours. Until next Wednesday….

14 thoughts on “28 Week Update {We might have a baby this week}

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  1. This all sounds really scary and overwhelming but I am so glad for you that they figured this out now and can keep a very close eye on your little one. It may not be as you had planned (it sounds like it very rarely is!) but your doctors sound great and you are in the best possible care. Good luck for the next week or so. I’m at 28 weeks too, and I can imagine there must be a lot going on in your head in terms of the reality of a baby quite soon. I wouldn’t have nearly enough prepared in your shoes (diapers included!). Good luck and my thoughts are with you.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I’ve read some of your story too, and there are a lot of unexpected twists to these journeys. I don’t know what the days ahead hold, but I’m immeasurably grateful that God showed the doctors this issue (since it can easily be overlooked). We are praying for a miracle, but one way or the other we just want to walk out of this with a healthy baby. I know you understand this prayer. There is a lot to absorb right now, but thankfully I’ve been at peace this weekend. Hugs!

  2. This verse has encouraged me this week as we’ve prayed: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Rom. 8:26-27) God is interceding on Abby’s behalf as we are, and He knows exactly what she needs. I am blessed with time right now, so please let me use that for errands or whatever else would help free you up to just be mom and dad.

  3. I’m up tonight praying for you and your sweet Abby. I’m so encouraged that the growth restriction was caught early. I don’t know if this will be any consolation to you right now, because when situations like these change suddenly you can feel pretty shell shocked for a while. But as a NICU nurse, I wanted to share with you that delivering a baby at 28 weeks is infinitely better than delivering at 24 weeks or even 26 weeks. We nurses have a saying that 28 weeks = sigh of relief. It doesn’t mean there won’t be any complications (there can be many complications with even a term baby), but it does mean that the chances for a really great outcome are statistically much, much higher. I remember feeling relieved when I hit 28 weeks myself.

    Statistics or not, isn’t our God able to work miracles far greater than we can even imagine? Keep placing the uncertainty in His hands. Your Abigail is a miracle, and I know God is molding you more and more into His image through this. I’m praying that you’ll be able to rest in Him during this time. Hang in there!

    PS You still have time to get the rest of Abby’s things in order, even if you do get induced next week. A rule of thumb is that most NICU preemie babies go home near or a little before their due date. Items I would focus on are a good breast pump and pumping supplies (every NICU I’ve worked at supplies containers for storing milk, so I wouldn’t buy too much there) and a small container (lunch box, etc) to transport frozen or cold milk from home to the hospital (this is if you plan on pumping/breast feeding). I have found it’s also nice for parents to bring in some blankets of their own as well as a few preemie clothes, hats or socks.

    Please forgive me is this info is too overwhelming or just plain not helpful!

    Just wanted to let you know I’m praying for you. 🙂

    1. I can’t tell you how much your comments mean to me! I actually told my husband all about my “NICU Nurse Friend.” I have so many questions, but I’m trusting that God has the answers. At this point, we know she will be at least 29 weeks before delivery, but I know that is still sooooooo early. I have always wanted to breastfeed and hadn’t really ever considered another option. However, I have concerns now. From your perspective, if I have to have a C-Section this early, will my milk come in? Is there anything I can do to help it? Anything else you think of would be incredibly appreciated. Love you and hugs!

      1. Yes your milk will come in! Just like after a vaginal delivery. It will be smaller amounts of colostrum initially. Most women have their milk ‘come in’ 2-3 days after delivery, sometimes a little longer. Pumping every two to three hours (although exhausting) and drinking lots of fluids will really help your milk get going. It takes persistence! Your little one won’t be able to nurse or take a bottle until 32-34 weeks, but depending on how she does they will probably start her on small amounts of tube feedings within her first week of life! I saw you have an email address listed on your blog, I will email you with more details tomorrow! 🙂

  4. My son who was born at 27-weeks started high-school this fall and played on the high school soccer team. This must be scarry for you but the advances in neonatal medicine are amazing. If your baby is born this early it will be a bumpy road, lots of ups and downs, our son was hsopitalized for 2 1/2 months, but the statistics for 28+weekers is good. Hang in there and I will pray for your Abby and your family!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! I love stories of hope. I know the road could be quite challenging, but ultimately I have peace that Abby will be okay.

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