September 23, 2009
Tuesdays are the best day of the week: the day the babies’ gestational age turns over. It all started when I had my IUI on a Tuesday, way back when, and since then every Tuesday has been “turnover day.”
On Tuesdays I systematically go through the different online week-by-week fetal development websites, and learn that my babies are now the size of jicamas or that their toenails are fully developed.
On Tuesdays I open the spreadsheet I made to track gestational age and post-birth visitors (which requires all sorts of if/then decision trees). Maybe the best moment of the week is deleting the prior week’s gestational age column — yesterday, goodbye 31w. It simultaneously satisfies my OCD list mentality and also signals that yes, we really have reached a new milestone. The projected NICU stay goes down by one week with each deletion. It’s no longer out of the question that they might have little or no NICU time at all. This little ritual has become even more meaningful since I was hospitalized a month ago for preterm labor. The initial prognosis when I was having contractions 4 minutes apart and dilating quickly was that I might deliver that day (28w0d) but that maximum I’d maybe make it to 31w or 32w. 32 weeks, here I am.
On Tuesdays (and now also Fridays, since I’ve been in the hospital) I have an ultrasound, and every other Tuesday it’s an extended ultrasound to measure their growth. When I’m on the table, I say to myself that this is the best moment of the week. Listening to their heartbeats has lost its novelty after being hooked up to the TOCO and fetal monitors for more than an hour each day (down from over 2 hours per day when I was first hospitalized), but the ultrasound thrills me every time.
Yesterday was an even better every-other-Tuesday than usual, because I came home from the hospital. I was so afraid to leave the hospital a couple of weeks ago, but now it sure is good to be home.