Last Thursday (7.7.11) we went to STL again to meet with docs. We "tentatively" set baby's delivery date for August 26th. I keep saying tentative, because I am not ready to believe she will be here in just 7 weeks!
We had an ultrasound at the Fetal Care Institute. And got a pretty good look at our girl. She is getting big, too big to fit all in one screen. She weighs over 4 pounds now, right in the 50-55th percentile for size. She has long legs and lots of hair. Finally, finally after all the ultrasounds they were going to give us a 3D/4D peek at her face. But alas it was not to be. The little stinker was being stubborn and had hands and feet in front of her face the whole time. Darn it!
We met with the brand new (to Cardinal Glennon) head of pediatric neurosurgery, Dr Elbabaa. He will do the surgical repair on baby Rowe's back. We were impressed. He answered all our questions before we even asked. He had been brought up to speed on our case and seems very confident in what he can do for her. He said that the location of her myelomeningocele, low on her back, is very good for future outlook. The fluid in the ventricles in her brain are enlarged. Which we expected. She will almost assuredly need to have a shunt placed sometime in her first year to keep excess fluid from building up in her brain.
We took a tour of the NICU at Cardinal Glennon. It is where baby girl will be spending some time after her surgery. I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed, and I know it showed. Katie who we giving us the tour asked me a couple times if i was doing okay. The floor is really nice. She will have a private room. And Ron or I will be able to stay with her 24 hours a day if we want. There isn't really room for both of us to stay. But, we are candidates for accommodations at the Ronald McDonald House. There are three in the area. The closest one to Glennon is usually pretty full, but if we are willing to stay a little farther away we may get the option to move closer when something opens up. Since it is a charity the room there is available for $5 a day as long as we need. That is a huge relief. There is a kitchen, we can buy and store our own food there and volunteers come and make dinner for families every night. Since I am planning on nursing our little nub, I can get three meals a day provided at the hospital.
One of the most difficult parts of all of this is that baby will be delivered at one hospital and then she will be transferred by ambulance to Cardinal Glennon a few miles away. This leaves mommy (me) at St. Mary's to recover from a C-Section without my baby girl in the same place. I feel pretty strongly that Glennon is the best place for her care, so this is a necessary part of that. But it breaks my heart that I will not be able to hold or even see my sweet baby girl for a few days. And I know daddy is going to be torn as well, wanting to be in two places at once to take care of both his girls.
I've gotten spoiled by all my other doctors and their offices. The new fetal-maternal specialist we met kind of lost me at the shabbiness of the offices. I mean there were pee dribbles on the seat! And another restroom didn't even have any TP. WTH?!? Just one more visit to that office, I guess I can handle it. We were told that the maternity ward at St. Mary's is recently remodeled and really nice. Let's hope so. We'll get a tour when we go back on August 2nd.
So, in our "regular" pre-baby life. Ron is super busy studying for the bar. Coming down to big time crunch time, we are less than two weeks away from that. He was able to stop studying long enough to come to a couple baby showers this week. Our good friends the Pourneys hosted a wonderful shower at their house will a lot of our Columbia friends. Baby girl got lots of books and other necessities. We are really blessed to have great friends. Daddy was happy to receive some of his favorite "chew toys" that he had picked out for the registry. I had to explain why everyone laughed when he said that. When it's for a dog it's okay to call it a chew toy, for babies you usually call it a "teether." :-)
Then we had our final baby shower at my office. Lunch and presents with
We are still crazy cat people. After the Warlock incident we stopped feeding all our friends. But then gray kitty came back...with one little baby in tow. How am I supposed to resist feeding this little furry face?
So it seems that Gray kitty and baby kitty live here pretty much full time. They tend to stay under our cars. And when the little guy gets spooked he runs in to the storm drain near the end of our driveway. So we continue to facilitate the kitty HIV epidemic on Calder Court. There are probably worse things.
Okay, so I think this post has gone on long enough (and taken me long enough to write).
Hope all is well. -carmen