This will be a double post. Last week not much happened. Our ultrasound tech was the sort of abrasive one who seems to rush through, puts Katy flat on her back, and barely allows us to get a word in edge-wise, but whatever. At this point I feel like we have a pretty good grasp of what we're looking at and could almost manipulate that machine myself if they let me. In any event, she did measure all the boys and here's where they stand at 28 weeks 4 days:
David - 29 weeks 4 days, 2 pounds 13 ounces
Samuel - 28 weeks 4 days, 2 pounds 9 ounces
Joshua - 26 weeks 0 days, 1 pound 11 ounces
Once the doc came in, there wasn't much more to say. He asked about our previous meeting with Dr. Turbow, the neonatologist, and we explained what we had learned. What Katy failed to mention last week was that her blood pressure (BP) was slightly elevated so the staff took the time to do a mini-ekg on her to make sure there were no signs of preeclampsia developing. Everything looked normal so that was a plus. At this particular appointment they didn't even concern themselves with it. She saw Dr. Yin later that day and they did check her BP twice as it was somewhere around 130/82 or something like that, but it came back normal the second time.
Yesterday was the other appointment I'll bring you up to speed on. Same as all the previous one's but for one exception. Dr. Shields spent quite a bit of time analyzing Joshua's brain and came to the conclusion that he has what appears to be at least one, maybe more, small cysts on the inner layer of the sac that surrounds his brain. He didn't seem concerned at all though, strange as that may be. When I asked him how serious it was in comparison to the kidney/lung issues, he made some comparison that completely came out of left field. He said it would be like me seeing someone going 66 in a 65 MPH maximum speed limit zone, no big deal. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about and that I go after all the speeders as all cops do of course.
Again, prior to Dr. Shield's appointment Katy had another one with Dr. Yin. Sorry about the lack of chronological order in this post, I do realize it's quite sporadic. Anyway, on our way in to Dr. Yin's office, we actually rode up in the elevator with her as she was on her way back from lunch. We happened to have just finished eating Chipotle and had a bag of chips that Katy was munching on as we walked in. I joked with Dr. Yin that this was how we made Katy seem like she was gaining weight at the rate she wanted her to. Katy quickly jumped in and defended her eating habits, particularly in the past week, claiming she believed she had gained at least five pounds, probably more. Dr. Yin skeptically looked at her and then gave me a look. I said I didn't think so and it was probably only one or two pounds that the babies had gained in that time. Dr. Yin laughed and said we'd have to see. Well, one pound later on the scale, Katy was none too happy once she sat down on the table in the doctor's office. As such, or so she claims, her blood pressure was even more elevated to 140/80. As Dr. Yin was reading her chart, she immediately informed Katy she was now on at-home bed rest consisting of potty breaks, one shower, out on the couch in between and then in bed and if necessary, taking Nick to and from school. No cooking, cleaning, errand running, or anything else outside of this scope.
I have to say that while this wasn't the most welcome news, we were both pleased with how far she had made it without being put on bed rest. That didn't stop Katy from petitioning like a flailing politician in a lost race. She pulled out all the stops and did everything possible with her rhetoric that she could to convince the doctor to not put her on it yet. Dr. Yin quickly put a stop to the debate when she asked Katy if she'd rather be at home or in the hospital. Obviously her answer was home and therefore, the doc said, she could rest at home or lie on a hospital bed for up to five and a half weeks. Katy gave up at this point, at least with Dr. Yin. At the appointment talked about above with Dr. Shields, she held onto a pointless hope that she could convince him to retract Dr. Yin's orders. That obviously didn't happen.
So, here we are. Just shy of 29 weeks and Katy is confined to the house except for doctor's appointments. It probably didn't help that the day before, Nick brought home a picture he drew from Sunday school in which he was asked to draw the paralytic that Jesus healed and he drew a stick figure with a big belly with the word "momma" written above it.
That's the update, so if you want to stop reading and not read my soap box sappy monologue below, feel free, but I'm going to write it anyway.
I've said before, whether in a blog or small group I don't remember, but my wife is my earthly hero. When she was a junior in high school, excelling in swimming and water polo and with a high probability of going somewhere on scholarship, she came down with spinal meningitis and encephalitis. Fortunately, it was not the bacterial kind, merely viral, for if it was bacterial she wouldn't be with us now. The sickness completely incapacitated her, taking away most of her fine motor skills, including writing, coughing, swallowing. It slowed her speech, impaired her movements, and put her through a rigorous recovery process that included months of speech, occupational, and physical therapy. And yet, she came out through it all, not giving up, willing to keep pushing and fighting. There are still residual affects that she suffers from, namely her speech and some lack of control in her balance and hand-eye coordination. And yet, in spite of all that, she graduated high school, went to community college on her own, got two AA's, graduated from Sac State with a BA, all in the face of taking at least three times longer than the average person to write, type, read, and anything similar. My wife is my hero because I don't think I could have done it and maintained the faith that she has. I would have easily been drawn into a world of self-pity, frustration, and anger, and yet Katy came out of it thanking her Father for letting her get sick, for without it she wouldn't have met me, gotten married, have the friends she has, the church she loves, given birth to Nick, been a foster mom to Matty and Zane, and carried David, Samuel, and Joshua. She looked at her adversity as a blessing, not a curse, and did what we all should do, trust that the God of the universe will work all things for good to those who love Him as He promised He would.
I say all that to say this. My wife is amazing. Here she is carrying three babies with joy. Excited at the possibility that God has for her to be a mom to four boys. Never complaining that she didn't get the girl she always wanted. Never complaining about the puking, lack of appetite, sneezing accidents, none of it. Even as we've been trying to figure out how we are going to handle the strong possibility of our son's demise, she maintains a steady course and steady faith. She is the most amazing woman I have ever known and I've known quite a few, but she takes the cake. She said to me tonight as I was packing Nick's school lunch that I needed to slow down or I would get burned out, and yet she had no idea that it's her example of strength in Christ that keeps me motivated daily just to keep up with her. If she begins to waver I will crumble like a house of cards, but I know that won't happen. She is my anchor, my best friend, and the most unbelievable thing to happen to me outside of my salvation. The amazing part is, she is too humble to admit any of this and thinks I exaggerate. That is normally true, but not in this description of her.
The other day, my buddy Kevin and I were talking about marriage and the idea of whether or not we found our identity in our brides. We both sheepishly looked down and admitted we did. Then one of us asked the question as to whether we would be closer to God without our brides and we both confessed we probably would be farther away. Whether or not this is a good or bad thing is a topic for another blog and another day, but the point is that I do find my identity in Katy. She helped mold me into the man I am today. But don't blame her for the bad, immature, and improper parts, she is only human and I am still a work in progress.
My bride is who I aspire to be. The one I see Jesus in. The one I thank God is raising my children. And the one that I don't know how I could do all of this stuff we are going through without, but I'm glad I get to.