26 weeks. 26 snails’s pace, running-up-a-hill-through-golden-syrup slow weeks. A huge milestone for us. Your lungs are more developed today than they were last week – significantly. Your potential positive outcomes have more than doubled in the last two weeks. It was the first big asterisk on my calendar. I know 5 pregnant friends due before me. So far we’ve beat the due dates of two of them. Big day today. Huge. And I couldn’t be prouder of you.
Prof Morris came in this morning, with his usual chirpy “how are we today?” to which I responded, as I always do, with “still pregnant!’ He discussed clexane with me again. He thinks it’s for the best. Dad and I talked about it and we know there is a risk. I’m happy to do it as long as it’s clearly recorded that we want you to be born by c section. I feel like others may think I am copping out by saying this. I’m not, I promise. It’s just an instinct I must follow.
So I’m willing to have the drug on the understanding that if I go into labour they must knock me out immediately and take you out the sun roof. It is noted with an asterisk. I made the doctor let me watch while he marked it down. They probably think I am crazy, but they are not carrying precious cargo in their bellies. They don’t have the responsibility I do to you. Of course they have some responsibility, but it’s a little different. Once you are born they will go back to their lives with their own families. You are my family. I must, with every single piece of fight I can muster in every cell of my body protect you while I can. I don’t know what it will be like once you are out here with me. But I know I won’t be able to protect you in the same way as I feel like I can now. So I’ll fight for you if you fight for me. Stay here in my belly as long as you can.
Scan day as well today. Dad was with me and we both got a perverse pleasure out of watching the sonographer’s face turn again to disbelief as she stared at the screen.
“You’re less dilated again!”
“Really?” I know this doesn’t solve many problems, but it feels like a win anyway.
She was quick to add “The membranes are still bulging, so it doesn’t change much, but…”
We were all quiet. Our eyes met, (your Dad’s and mine), and we smiled at each other. Quietly proud. I recalled the 19 week scan when we found out you were a girl, and remember the same look of pride on your Dad’s face. I remember how excited he was that he would have a daughter. I feel like we are coming full circle somehow. Like this is a good sign. The sonographer called in the doctor to look at the scan. She didn’t share our optimism.
“Can you take a look at this?
“Yes, what’s the problem?” She handed the doctor the previous scan print out. The doctor looked surprised.
Dad and I shared nervous glances this time. What could possibly kill this surge of hope?
“What is it?” He asked.
“Well,” the doctor sighed as she shook her head in disbelief. “It’s just an anomaly, that’s all. It’s not really possible. Or at least we don’t see it too often. Ever actually. And because we don’t see it we don’t know how it could affect you. It could actually burst your membranes.”
“Oh.” I was silent. My thoughts were swimming, darting around my tired, out of practice brain, and I couldn’t grab one as it flew past.
So it’s good news. Or bad news. We’re not really sure. They are starting the clexane tomorrow though, and I get to cross 26 weeks off the calendar. You made it. Next stop 28 weeks, where you’re almost out of danger. And according to Prof Morris I will be allowed to walk around a bit each day from tomorrow. So I guess in the end things are looking up.
Your first big girl birthday party today and you are a fairy princess. You are so excited you can barely breathe. When you get animated about something, there is a vibrancy you project – a light in your eyes. It’s impossible not to be excited for you too. Like Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights, you cannot hide your passion – it always sets your face ablaze.
You are a dynamo of enthusiasm this morning, bumbling around the house dressed as a fairy princess for hours before the party. The present is wrapped and you are ready to go, and you spread your sparkling spirit around the party like fairy dust.
A few hours and a whole lot of cake later you fall asleep in the car on the way home, and barely wake up for dinner. Some days, being the mum of a fairy princess is a giddy affair, straight from the pages of a storybook.
Before bed Ma and Grandad visit briefly. I’ve told you no more chocolate today, but you’ve found a packet of M&Ms in your lolly bag. You whisper to Ma “I will share this with you if you open it for me!” I turn away so you don’t see me smiling. A few more pieces won’t hurt.