I like to the think that this crew is helping me see the end of this pregnancy, or they are just openly expressing how I feel on the inside. Regardless, they make me laugh every time I look at them.
I am literally checking my owner ticker everyday to determine how close I am to hitting the 24 and 25 week mark. You'd think I would know, and I do but I think I check it constantly just in case I forgot and another day has gone by a little faster than I thought. Challenging enough even though all ultrasounds point to being 22 and 2 days, actually date calculations puts me back 3 days. When I go to my doctors they are always using the date calculation to be conservative. Don't want to give me 3 days extra, oh no we have to be conservative.
Recently I was talking to somebody who was pregnant and I asked how far along she was, and she laughed and said she stopped counting weeks a while back. I can understand that for everyone else, but I sure was envious. I am glad that people don't have to face this period of time, with the knowledge and experience that I have. I know that by medical standards I am still not to the point of viability. Prior to 24 weeks, or 25 weeks in some hospitals, the fetus is not considered viable outside the womb.
This is obviously very controversial, and I don't want to go into all that. I know there are 23 weekers, 24 weekers and so on that have gone on to thrive. The statistics for complications and survival though are bleak during this period of time. And if survival statistics are depressing enough the long term severe handicap rates are even worse. I have been here and had the dark conversations with hospital ethics members and I just don't want to do that again.
Another reason at this point I want to get to 24 weeks is so that we can start doing fetal fibronectin testing. This is the next test that we will use to try and predict any problems. I will have these every 2 weeks as well, and more if I start having contractions. The test detects the presence of a glycoprotien found in amniotic fluid, placental tissue, and the extracellular substance next to the placental intervillious space. It is though to be released through mechanical or inflammatory mediated damage to the membranes or placenta before birth. Swabs can be taken from the maternal cervix and determine with pretty good accuracy if preterm delivery will occur in the next 7-10 days.
Obviously it will be a great relief if I get a negative result. If we get a positive result though, we can also be more proactive and discuss the use of steroids for lung development, hospitalized bed rest, etc. But, here I am jumping the gun. I still have a minimum of 2 weeks before the test is even used.
Yeah, I wish I wasn't watching each day pass by. I do my best to not waste my days with worries and thoughts, and I promise to make my next post more positive with pictures of the official pumpkin patch outing. The problem mostly comes at night when its quiet, and the little sprinkle is in bed. When I am left with more rest time on the couch. More time than I could ever imagine normally. Watching another day pass.