January 11, 2009

24 weeks

By the grace of God, both babies are hanging on in there. One of the babies, "B", is without much water, but apparantly he is doing fine anyway: heartbeat, growth, etc - apparently he didn't get the memo. He may still have complications, primarily with his lungs, which is the first concern, but also with muscle contractures from being saran-wrapped and not able to stretch out very much - although there's lots of movement and stretching from both of them as far as I can tell. We'll know better once he's born, which we don't anticipate being too soon. I'm not really looking forward to the consult from the neonatologist, which I should get in the next couple of days. I imagine I'll be informed in gory detail of all the things that will likely or could possibly go wrong once they do deliver.

If something were to begin to happen to Baby B, especially before 28-30 weeks and depending on the specific complication, there may not be much to be done for him. Attempting a cesarian extraction probably wouldn't be of much help to him, and would put his brother at risk of severe prematurity - I guess it's the old "bird in the hand" thing. Of course we'd like to take them both home, or at the very least, get them to be able to receive the sacraments, even if that's all Baby B can manage after he's born.

Again, there's no reason to anticipate their arrival in the next few weeks unless I develop an infection. I'm in the habit of going on a killing spree with the hospital grade "kill-all" germicidal wipes every time I have to enter the bathroom, which I share with a roommate who has a viral stomach infection.

By the way, we do realize that the current names, "A" and "B", are very practical and impersonal but "a rose by any other name" you know, they're still my sweet little guys. However, you will all be happy to know that we do plan on giving them some real names eventually. There has been some discussion, but we haven't settled on anything - and probably won't until we get a good look at 'em. We welcome recommendations: good strong Catholic Saints' names.

So for now I'm just laying around in the hospital and trying to keep myself occupied until the babies come. I've got a laptop and my cell phone with me. I've also got books to read, right now Wife, Mother and Mystic a biography of Blessed Anna-Marie Taigi by Albert Bessieres SJ, then i'll move on to a biography of St. Gerard Magella, and my sister, Shana Metzger, is supplying me with the Twilight series (it's strictly research,- I teach teenaged girls ;). I've also got yarn to crochet and knit, sudoku to master, plus having to eat and go potty every hour, I keep pretty busy.

I am able to receive the sacraments, I can even attend mass in the chapel if I can coerce someone into wheeling me downstairs, so if there are any local volunteers, the Saturday vigil is at 4pm and weekday mass at noon.

I'd also like to thank the academy...
everyone who is helping Ryan out with meals and childcare during his single-fatherhood,
my father-in-law, Gene Iker, who is doing a great job teaching my classes this semester,
all of you who are praying for us, know that you are in our daily prayers as well,
and of course for my wonderful husband, who has been a pillar of strength during this time.

St. Gerard Majella Prayer for a Safe Delivery
O Great St. Gerard, thou hast been raised up by God as the Patron and Protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the children which I now carry, that they may see the light of day and receive the illustrious waters of baptism, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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