Well I know it has been awhile since my last post, so after a lot requests, here is a new update on everything that has been going on these past few weeks.
Two weeks ago yesterday, April 29th, I had my follow-up doctors appointment at CHOP. At my previous appointment, four days earlier,they had said that everything looked great, except that my fluid levels had dropped since the previous week, and if they would continue to do so then I was going to have to be hospitalized. For that reason, my doctor here in Utah did not feel comfortable having me come home quite yet, so we scheduled an appointment for four days later, the 29th, to see if things either stayed the same or improved. Of course I was devastated when they told me I couldn't go home, but I made a deal with myself that I would do everything I possibly could to insure that our baby was ok, even if that meant staying Philadelphia. To be quiet honest, I had a feeling that I wouldn't get to go home that day, but I believe that it was for the best. I don't think my body was ready to spend the entire day traveling and sitting on an airplane. I definitely think that I needed those extra 4 days to prepare for my journey home. So between that appointment and my appointment on the 29th my mom put me on a rigorous schedule of eating every 2 hours and drinking at least 7-8 of my 28 oz hospital mugs a day. WE WERE DETERMINED that by the 29th my fluids would be better so we could come home.
On the morning of the 29th we woke up early packed everything up and went in with the attitude that today was the day. Four days earlier at my previous appointment I was extremely anxious and was basically a huge train wreck the whole time we were there, but this morning I felt calm and comforted that everything was going to be ok. That morning we had Dr. Johnson, I had never met him before, but my mom and I both liked him right from the start. After he looked at my baby and fluid levels, everything still looked good as far as baby went, but my fluid levels had gone from an 8 to an 8.2... so they were still on the very low end of normal. At this point my mom and I were just trying to keep it together. What did that mean? Were we going home? Was it enough for Dr. Ball to feel comfortable taking me on as a patient in Utah?! Dr. Johnson said he was going to call Dr. Ball and see what he thought and that he'd be back in a minute. I got up and went to the bathroom and prayed my heart out that I had done enough to come home. I will admit that I was nervous, but I still felt calm and peaceful that no matter what happened, everything would be ok.
After a few minutes, Dr. Johnson came back in and before my mom or I could say or ask any questions, he just smiled and said, "Dr. Ball says have a nice flight." I couldn't believe it! We were coming home!!! Since my fluid levels had stayed the same and hadn't dropped anymore I was in the clear to leave. : ) I don't want to be misunderstood. Of course Dante and I are so extremely grateful for the opportunity we had to be at CHOP and to have this amazing surgery done to help our son, but I don't think I can truly express how hard it was to be thousands of miles away from my family sitting in a room staring at the same 4 walls every single day. I immediately called Dante and completely lost it telling him that I was coming home. The thought that I would see my husband and son that night made the whole day of traveling in front of me seem easy. I count my blessings every day that we were fortunate enough to have Dr. Ball and to come home. Of the hundreds of fetal surgeries they have done at CHOP, only 4-5 moms (including myself) have been allowed to go home before delivery. So to say the least, I feel extremely lucky and blessed. After my appointment we high tailed it out of there, just in case they decided to change their mind.... Once we got back to the Ronald McDonald house we got a text saying our plane was 2 hours late, which would make us miss our connecting flight in Chicago, so my mom called the airlines and did some sweet talking and within minutes we were on our way to the airport and flying to Denver.These new travel plans meant we'd have a longer overall travel time, but I did not even care. I was ready to do whatever I needed to do to get home to my boys.
The flights weren't actually that bad. The turbulence was probably the worst part because all of the bumping up and down of course hurt my incision, but mostly made me have to pee ALL THE TIME. We also had a lay over in Denver, and if you have been to the Denver airport, you know that there is NOTHING there. I really wanted to lay down and rest before we had another flight, but there weren't any benches or rows of chairs without armrests anywhere, so that was rough as well. It had been over a month since I had sat up in a chair for that long, and I was definitely feeling it. By the time we landed in Utah I felt exhausted, but I felt like I got my second wind as soon as I saw Dante and Noah drive up to get us. I couldn't actually believe that I was here with my family again. It all felt so surreal. I think it took Noah a minute to remember who I was at first, but on the way home he just chatted to me and held my hand and I soaked up every single bit of it. Sleeping in my own bed, next to my husband, knowing that my cute Noah was just a room away and that our sweet new baby was doing well, made for the best night of rest I had had in a while.
Now that I have been home for a couple of weeks, I have been spending my time hanging with Noah all day, sitting on the couch, and I couldn't be happier. Some days are hard just sitting here not really doing anything. I so badly would love pick Noah up and chase him up and down the stairs and go back to the gym and go on walks,and help Dante with things around the house, but for now I am just holding this couch down. There is a walk off deck from our kitchen, so I get to go sit out there most days and get some fresh air, and I have also had a lot of visitors, which has been a great way to help pass the time. :) I feel like the the time has gone by really fast since I have been home, and I pray that these next 9 weeks go by equally as fast. I know that as long as I am obedient to what the doctors tell me to do that I will be able to carry my baby boy for most if not all of the rest of the 9 weeks ahead of me. I can't really express or verbalize the feelings of comfort I have had, but I truly know that everything is going to work out great for both my baby and I. And I am really grateful for that, otherwise I know I would be a complete train wreck through all of this.
Now for the really exciting news. We had another doctors appointment this morning, and it couldn't have gone better! My fluid levels look great and since my last appointment that was 5 days ago, he said they are even looking better then they were before! There isn't any membrane separation or bleeding and my incision looks really good. As for baby we couldn't be happier. Dr.Ball was extremely impressed at how well our baby boy has been doing. He is growing and developing perfectly and he said that his Cerebellum looks, "crazy good." I could tell he was very pleased with how well our little man was looking and doing. Each ultrasound I go to is a little nerve racking for me. I always am so paranoid that they are going to find something else that is wrong. So today's appointment was a huge relief and a major answer to our prayers.
I cannot even being to say how grateful I am for everything that has happened and for how blessed we have been through it all. I am so grateful for all of the help we have had with people staying at the house with me while Dante is at work and helping with Noah and bringing us meals. I know that we still have a long road ahead of us, but I still know that everything is going to work out just fine. I also just have to let Dante know how much I love him and how grateful I am for all that he has does for me between bringing everything I need to me, shaving my legs, helping me in and out of bed and dressing me after my showers, and countless other things. I love you so much babe! I sure am one lucky girl to have you in my life.