Our worst fear came to pass last night: K went to the emergency room with cramps and they kept her overnight because she was in labor. They stopped it, and at 32 weeks she’s way farther along than Kat was with Tess, but our hearts sank through the floor. She’s still there; they’re keeping her for 1-2 days for observation and loading her up on steroids and magnesium. Small comfort.
Baby deuce seems healthy. He’s big and has a strong heartbeat. Babies born after 32 weeks have great outcomes, and those born after 34 weeks have very few preemie issues if any at all. Mostly worst case scenario, we move into the Ronald McDonald house for 4-6 weeks with Tess and do our thing: rinse, repeat.
I know a lot of you are thinking
How is it even possible that they’re doing this again already?!
We were, too. But it’s not that hard to suss out: young, poor mom; lots of stress; good but not great medical care because it’s what her insurance covers; baby too big for an easy pregnancy. This isn’t K’s fault, the same way it wasn’t Kat’s fault. Premature labor happens to 12% of babies. We just pulled the same rabbit out of the hat, apparently.
Still, we know what we’re getting into this time – for better or for worse. Those NICU skills will come back fast; we just don’t want them to. I’m tired just thinking about it. We’ve been so looking forward to a ‘normal’ pregnancy and delivery that having that possibility taken away again is killing me. I know we’ll all be okay, that he’ll be okay. I just didn’t want to do this again.
I wanted normal!
I lamented to Dave. His answer?
Maggey, be realistic. We don’t seem to do normal.
The hardest thing about preterm labor is they can’t really tell you anything. The doctor doesn’t say
Gee, your baby’s coming early but should make it a few more weeks. I wouldn’t worry too much.
Well, I think you’ll be delivering within the week, so get ready.
No. They say
One day at a time.
ad nauseam until they just can’t anymore because baby is coming. So you worry every single day. You wonder
Should we be going down there?
But you know when you do, it’s for a long time, and you don’t want to make it longer.
Tess, Dave and I will be okay. Baby boy will (hopefully!) be okay. Our plans? Decimated. Rose and Dan can’t live in the Ronald McDonald house with us. We can’t rent an apartment and just enjoy our slightly larger family for a week or so, then hang out with my parents too. Newborn clothes that we have won’t fit him; I have to go dig through the preemie stuff. Inconsequential but annoying? That was my dramatically pink phase. I’m pretty sure there’s no crossover stuff in that pile.
The Preemies book came out again last night as I went through outcomes and risks at this stage. We contacted a friend to make sure Stella would be taken care of. We’ll order the bigger carseat for Tess so we’re ready. Dave is planning to drive our car down with Tess and I’ll fly down for the birth so we’ll have a vehicle for our longer, unintended stay. One of my best and oldest friends is getting married in France in February. Rather than the week of family R&R in Europe we planned before we don’t get any for a long time, I’ll be shooting over alone for a short weekend – as long as Deuce is here and stable.
We’re packing a go bag, getting things pulled together so if we have to leave in a hurry, we’re ready. That means for Tess and Deuce, too. We’re talking to our managers, sorting out work, and trying to stay calm and strong. We’ve discussed scheduling options, caring for Tess and even made a few weak jokes about keeping the leftover high-cal formula for Deuce – at least it’s not wasted. That Irish twins thing? Yeah. No way around that now. Tess turned 10 months old yesterday.
We’ve been asked with some frequency why we even took a match so soon after Tess came. The answer isn’t simple. Adopting may appear more predictable than getting pregnant, but it isn’t. When you get picked is random chance. Think of the dating scene: do you get to choose when the next boyfriend appears on the scene? Never. As for getting ready to file our papers, we were taking our time and slowly gearing up when we got called – not actually ready. Nothing was done!
The international adoption scene is going through some serious growing pains: countries are keeping their orphaned kids ‘at home’ despite being incapable of caring for so many, and Russia just banned US adoptions as a political move. That makes me wonder if adopting domestically is going to get harder and harder in the coming years. You can judge us all you like, but we want to be parents. When presented with a healthy (snort!) match whose only drawback was the age difference, we decided to go for it. Who can plan for two preemies in one year from two different and responsible birthmoms?!
So here we are: waiting breathless and saddened. K is holding up well and the agency is doing everything possible to make sure K and K2 are taken care of. And we? We sit, thinking about all of this as we take care of our daughter (who’s now rolling both ways!), as we try to give work our full attention and abandon the idea of a beautiful family trip we literally finalized two days ago. We’ve been out of the NICU for 6 months. Here we go again.
Mom was a rock star. She left me a supportive message I may never delete for future moments of panic, brought us a cheer-you-up collection of baby presents for a little boy and a ‘happy’ shirt for Dave, and made time for dinner with us at one of our favorite places, Braise. We talked names, rolled our eyes and laughed our asses off. I feel like a different person.
The support poured in from all over: Rose and Dan, our bosses – the incredible people who make up our strange little universe – everyone we needed to talk to reminded us that we can do this…again. Now we just hope that we won’t have to.