Two weeks have passed since we found out the blood flow to Arrow was decreasing. Two weeks and amazingly Arrow is still in utero and growing, meaning we’ve made it to 34 weeks, almost 35 weeks. Two additional weeks is incredible and makes a huge difference. During these last two weeks we have been living Tuesdays in Seattle at Swedish Maternal Fetal Medicine and Friday’s in town having our Non-Stress Tests (NST). These two weeks have allowed me to get more organized and to feel more settled. Her cradle has clean sheets on it, her clothes are organized in her bins, the house has been deep cleaned and all we need is her changing table, but she can come home without that. The two weeks have allowed me to attend my friend’s beautiful wedding, to get to celebrate this amazing step in her journey of life. I also was able to attend my lovely baby shower where people loved on Arrow and me, and celebrated her. It was a beautiful distraction from the worry; it felt lovely to be able to celebrate her, to laugh, and plan on her arrival rather than worry about her heart, her blood flow and when she will arrive and what her journey will be post delivery. The baby shower helped show Aaron and me how many people are surrounding us in this journey, how many people are loving us, caring for us and walking this with us even if they aren’t physically next to us. It showed us how blessed we truly are even in the midst of an intimidating journey.
Last week, July 25th, at our appointment at Swedish MFM, we had our ultrasound, NST and appointment with the provider. As always, I had my hospital bag in the car all packed along with Arrow’s diaper bag, in preparation for being told I needed to be admitted. I now enter these appointments braced for negative news; I was surprised when I was told during my appointment with the provider that everything is looking good. Truly with how things have gone, I wasn’t expecting that. I was told Arrow had gained 13 ounces! That put her at 3 pounds 13 ounces! Little peanut, but we know little can still mean fierce, and well she’s been a fighter through it all, so yes she is a force to be reckoned with. Like her middle name means, she will be "VICTORIOUS". Her ultrasound looked good, good tone, movement and amniotic fluid levels and her NST looked good! This was glorious! News I was not expected to hear, but news I couldn’t have been more thankful to hear! She was growing and gaining… music to my ears!
The day only got better because I got to pick up my oldest son, Zion, from the airport that night as he was arriving home from Germany! It was one of the best days I’d had in a few weeks - I got good news on Arrow and I got to squeeze Zion, have him back state side and know I will have at least 2 of my 3 kids with me when Arrow arrives. The importance of the kids home may seem strange to some, but the kids and I have always been a team; we have always tackled the good and bad, the ups and downs of life, together as a team. As a team we have a strength that gets us through anything; and while I am their mom, they give me a strength at times that I can’t explain. During this pregnancy journey they have spoken God’s truths to me many times and just been a strength by me simply watching their strength and excitement. While I know I could deliver and be okay with whatever occurred following without them, I know it’s a journey we all want to walk together, we want to support and love one another every step of the way; and they have showed Aaron a love and strength through this as well, they have showed him how we are a team, and just had him join our team. The kids text me prior to appointments they are praying for me and they love me; they check in on Aaron and how he is doing as we learn different news. So yes - having Zion arrive home from Germany on the day we learned Arrow was growing and gaining was just an added blessing! It was exactly what this mama’s heart needed to continue on this path.
Tuesday August 1 - my weekly appointment at Swedish MFM. Arrow performed lovely on her NST, good movement and good heart accelerations. Then I met with the provider, Carolyn Ward ARNP. She informed me that Arrow’s NST looked great, Arrow scored a perfect 8 out of 8 on her ultrasound regarding movement and tone; and amniotic fluid levels look good. Then came the bad news - the blood flow from the placenta to Arrow has restricted more. Good news- the blood flow is not absent nor has it reversed; it has simply continued to restrict. Also a positive, Arrow’s belly measurements are good and apparently they watch her belly growth as that could be sign of something negative occurring, and those measurements are remaining good even with the restricted blood flow. What does the increased restriction mean? Increased monitoring - meaning Friday I have to been seen in Seattle, and not just for an NST, but for an ultrasound to check blood flow and another appointment with the doctor. They have to monitor more closely because this change increases my risk of a stillbirth, and we are working hard to avoid that; we are working hard with monitoring to get Arrow as far along as we can, ideally not premature. It’s a delicate balance. It’s nerve wracking on the days I am not being monitored because I am to track her kick counts; and I worry if I miss something at the next appointment we won’t find her heartbeat.
Today - today I travel to Seattle. Today I have my additional ultrasound, my appointment with Dr. Krabill for another echocardiogram on Arrow’s heart, an appointment with a provider at Swedish and another NST. Could today be the day I am told they are admitting us? Could today be the day they decide not to admit but instead to set a date to deliver? Could today be like every other appointment, stating looks good see you Tuesday? I guess within hours we will find out. The beauty is I get to see her again, I get to look at beautiful Arrow on the ultrasound screen, I get to listen to her heartbeat… the silver lining in the unknown journey. Today is another day for God to how his miracles. I know to many it may not look like God is showing Himself, but He is. The weight gain, the additional two weeks, the strength and growth in my family, the surrounding of friends and family to walk along beside us… all blessings from Him. I don’t know the answers to why this is our journey, and truly I can’t say I need to know; what brings me peace is just knowing He is with me regardless, He is carrying my burden with me, He is loving me, my kids, and Aaron. What brings me peace is knowing no matter the outcome He is in control and faithful and He will use our story to for good. I will continue to remember to praise Him in the midst of the storm. I will remember… “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” Romans 8:37.
I'm a single mom of four radiant kids who believes in relationship with Jesus over religion. I'm trying not to battle with fear anymore - instead I am choosing to follow what God has called me to do. With that you'll find me here, trying to be brave, with the goal of being authentic and honest about God, single parenting and the beauty in the mess of my joyful chaos. It's sure to be a journey... and I am blessed to share it with you!