I haven’t updated in a few days for a couple reasons. Firstly, I’ve been inundated with lab work and have been out of my room half the time for ultrasounds. Secondly, I thought we may be at a breaking point with my lab results and I didn’t want to include everyone on the emotional roller coaster we’ve been riding for the past 48 hours.
After 24 hours of steroids, my liver enzymes continued to increase, so Dr. B decided to discontinue that treatment. It’s not for nothing though; my body’s reaction to the steroids almost definitely rules out any kind of Auto-Immune Disease.
While there are still a few VERY rare and peculiar infections and diseases that might explain my increasing liver enzymes (Google “Hepatitis E,” if you’d really like to know how hard they’re searching for a diagnosis), the two main explanations still in the running are Atypical Preeclampsia and Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy. Although I’m not sure that any of the five doctors I’ve visited with are entirely convinced of either diagnosis. My liver enzymes are continuing to increase at a steady rate, but at this moment, it does not seem to affect any other chemistry in my body and I’m still feeling fine (albeit a little worn out).
Because my condition is turning out to be such a medical conundrum, Dr. B has stepped up my monitoring—I’m now doing blood work every 12 hours, having my vitals taken every two hours, and Beckett is monitored three times a day for an hour each time.
Based on the trends on my lab results, I am reaching a point where women usually start to get sick and other components—like blood clotting factors—begin to diminish. But for whatever reason, I’m still hanging in here.
Until recently, we’ve been thinking of delivery as something that will happen when I begin to feel sick or when my lab results take a dramatic turn for the worse. Until last night, we were thinking of this journey as a day-by-day experience. We are now literally working on an hour-by-hour evaluation cycle.
Knowing that I’m coming to the brink of what may be safe for my health and my sanity, the doctors have given us the option to choose to deliver whenever we feel like we’ve had enough. After a long 24 hours of contemplation, John and I have decided to hold out a little bit longer to give Beckett as much time to develop as possible.
I know John is worried about my health. In fact, if this decision was entirely up to him, Beckett would have been born today. But I can’t imagine delivering without a doctor unequivocally telling me “It’s time.” I would feel like I was robbing Beckett of his chances to be as big and strong as he can be. I know it would be such a huge relief to just make the decision to deliver and not have this huge life-changing event hanging over our heads. But I can’t justify delivering my son at 30 weeks without knowing for sure that whatever is going on in my body would be remedied by him being born. And I can’t justify having him just so that we don’t have to deal with this grueling hour-to-hour way-of-life anymore.
Today on my wheelchair ride, my mom took me by the nursery to see the new babies. The ones in the window looked so pink and plump. I can’t trade Beckett’s chances to be one of those plump, pink babies for my selfish desire to be finished with all the tests and tubes and monitors.
So, we’re continuing on with as much precaution as possible. My days now start at about 6 a.m. when the lab tech comes to collect blood for my morning tests. My breakfast is held until my lab results come back—in case I have to deliver right away. I wait around until my results are in and the doctor on call comes to review the findings. When they say it doesn’t have to be today, I eat breakfast. Then I can only have water until 2 p.m. when the lab tech comes back around for the second round of test. I wait again to hear my results and for the doctors to decide whether we’re at the point of delivery. When they say it doesn’t have to be today, I eat dinner. Then nothing to eat or drink after midnight and we start all over again.
I can honestly say this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I am exhausted in every way thinkable, and even in ways I didn’t know existed. But this will all be worth it.
Love is patient. [1 Corinthians 13:4]