"90% of what you worry about never happens" - Jean Barlow
I am a worry wart. Always have been, always likely will be. It's just in my Type A nature to think of everything that could possibly go wrong and then attempt to control it or at least have a plan to deal with the outcome. I am not necessarily proud of this part of my personality and I do believe my life would be easier without it, but after 33 years of life on this planet, I have come to the realization that this is part of me and fighting it is of little use.
So as you can imagine, I have been abusing the good Doctor Google all day. My platelet count this morning came back at 81,000. This wasn't the greatest of news. Although a count of 81,000 in and of itself isn't dangerous, it is showing a trend we were all hoping not to see. So I have been googling things like "average NICU stay for a baby born at 35 weeks" and "how to prepare for your c-section under general anesthesia".
Basically, I will stay hopsitalized until my platelet levels either A) rise or B) fall to 50,000 or below. If they rise, I can go home, though no one has said if going home means to regular activity, bed rest, or what. If they fall to 50,000 or below, it's Baby Time, ready or not.
I am decidedly NOT ready.
Well. I guess that isn't true. We are "ready" in that the nursery furniture is up, the curtains are hung, diapers are in the holder, tiny onesies are folded, and jammies lay in wait. But I still haven't found my breastpump and the car seat isn't installed (both minor things to deal with, really). We had over a month until my scheduled c-section, after all, and I felt as if we were in pretty decent shape. Also, my OB has been pretty calm about this whole thing and I didn't really think it would get to this early delivery business. So I am not mentally prepared to be potentially giving birth in a matter of days, nor I am prepared to think about the reality of a premature baby.
Now every nurse that comes in grimly looks over my file. I have asked their opinions on whether or not they believe the counts will spontaneously rise, and they all just shake their heads and say it would be surprising to them if I was still pregnant by the end of this week.
The end of this week would be great because if we can just get to 36 weeks, then a lot changes in the protocol. A 35-weeker has a mandatory 24-hour NICU stay at my hospital and average length of stay for that gestation is seven days in the United States. A 36-weeker is evaluated at birth and can either go for a short observation after some skin-to-skin contact or possibly even have no NICU time whatsoever. It is all very baby-specific, of course, but the statistics (of which I have never been a fan) improve greatly for outcomes at that 36-week mark. I think that is what we are all aiming for at this point. That is a week away. If my platelets continue to drop at the rate they have been (10,000 in the last day and a half), then we have three days. . . but this isn't an exact science, so it could be more. . . or less. Since nobody knows, I just worry.
I will not be able to be awake for the c-section unless some crazy increase in my platelets bring them back up to over 100,000. Even then, it would still be up to the anesthesiologists, and most of them will not do a spinal if the count has recently been under 90,000, no matter what it currently is at, because it can all change so quickly. It is likely I will need several hours to recover and even if Andrew doesn't have NICU time, I will not be able to do skin to skin and nurse him as I did Emma in recovery. I am saddened by this, though I realize there is no other option. I try to remind myself that Will and I didn't have a ton of bonding time until about 5 hours post birth and that was the first time he attempted nursing, too, and we had no issues with bonding or feeding. It still makes me sad.
I had forgotten what this helpless feeling is like. This feeling that your body, which is supposed to be the safest of havens for nurturing a baby, is failing you and failing miserably. It is not a good feeling.
I do have lots to be thankful for. I am getting excellent care. The nurses on the antepartum unit are AWESOME. Seriously, they bend over backwards for me. I was just delivered a snack of graham crackers and milk and a sodoku book the nurse thought I might enjoy. She also rearranged my pillows and turned the lights on for me. Each nurse has been so caring and kind in their own way.
The kids are with the Gramma and also getting great care. They were able to visit tonight and thought my bed that went up and down was very neat and Will enjoyed using the bathroom so much that he used it twice. They sat on my bed and shared my dinner tray with me and then we watched videos of them when they were newborns. My room also has a beautiful water view and there is an aircraft carrier in port right now, so he was fascinated by watching it.
Also, I was so very tired these past few weeks that it is nice to have nothing to really DO besides just lay here. It is a wee bit frustrating in some aspects, as there is so much that I would like to do as far as getting ready for baby, but I have made a list and lovely friends and family are working on checking off my to dos. A day of watching t.v., napping, reading, catching up on my blog friends, writing a post, and eating would have sounded like heaven if you'd asked me just a couple of days ago. So I should really not look a gift horse in the mouth.
But I am still a wee bit nervous and hoping that my platelet counts miraculously rise tomorrow morning. I'll keep you posted.