We are at 24 weeks today. Viability.
Ever since hearing about this, I thought the concept was odd. Yesterday, neonatologists would likely not have provided intensive intervention to save my daughter, but today a vast majority of them will. Yesterday, her chance of surviving outside the womb was less than 50% but today it is now greater then 50%. Of course, those chances are based on receiving extensive medical intervention and she is still likely to suffer long-term complications. The official recommendation is still that "intensive care should be an optional choice for fetuses at 23 and 24 weeks gestation" but should be offered "to every fetus at 25 weeks or more." (citation) So I suppose I should continue to be nervous until I reach the end of this week?
I'm not particularly nervous. Nor do I want her to come quite yet. She still has a lot of maturing to do and we still have a lot of preparing to do.
We still only have one set of receiving blankets as far as supplies go. There are some other items in the works, but I'm saving that for another post. Our registry is growing, but it is still far from complete. The office is still an office and C still has two more full weeks of nursing school before it can be transformed into a nursery. His last classes are turning out to be much more challenging than we were hoping for, so any physical or mental preparation that is not completely necessary is being put off until after this time.
I am definitely in full-swing pregnancy mode. I look pregnant and people call me out on it all the time. I am beginning to have daily conversations with patients about my maternity plans, although right now it is all very tentative and just meant to reassure them that there are options and plans in place. They will not be forgotten or stranded in psychological distress. That is assuming that I make much closer to my due date of course. Just because I'm viable, doesn't mean that any of us are actually ready for this.
My belly is expanding, but I am still not taking any bump pics. It just seems weird to me and I'm not comfortable with it. I think I'm still not completely comfortable with myself. The other day, C and I had a long conversation about if he still found me attractive... dangerous territory, I know. He said that I'm like, "Special Edition Katie" and that I look different but still good.
I am starting to develop stretch marks near my belly button. I also have a few on my right breast, oddly enough. I think my breasts have held steady at two cup sizes larger then normal, but they feel huge. My feet get very swollen at the end of the day, especially with the heat. I bought a pair of shoes, but then returned them for a larger size because I was nervous about the expanding feet situation.
Other symptoms are still the same. My canned remark is still that "I feel good, except for the days that I don't." I get winded easily. I get super tired at times. The heartburn likes to make itself well known every once in a while. My sense of smell still likes to me gag at random, otherwise mundane, scents. Round ligament pain is still present at times, especially when I have the nerve to stretch, and some days my back gets so sore that I swear I walk as if I were 9 months pregnant instead of just six. I have been getting some leg cramps at night, but nothing major. I am starting to get gassier and my bowel habits are much less consistent.
I have gained about 17-18 pounds, which is higher then I am comfortable with. Between Marv, then the week-long vacation, and then Marv again, I have taken a permanent hiatus of eating for health and have instead been eating for comfort. This week I began making an active effort to change that and am trying to set guidelines and limits for myself without being unreasonable to the fact that I am still pregnant.
The baby is much more active than just a few weeks ago. The sensations are still not especially impressive and I swear I can still buy how some women would just mistake them for bowel movements. She doesn't yet have a name, but we have a few top candidates that we're trying out. In the meanwhile, we've jokingly given her a place-holder name of Beuhla, which was one of C's first nursing patients and apparently a very lovely old woman. The humorous part is that sometimes people think we are serious about this name and try to give us a supportive response but it is very clear that they are stretching to say something nice.
All in all, Baby Beuhla seems well and is officially past the imaginary viability threshold, but she and C and I still have a long way to go until we're all really ready for her arrival.