31 Weeks, 2 Days

Dear Baby Girl,

Today began with an innocent doctor's appointment with an ultrasound. The ultrasound came first. We got to see your beautiful outline and watch your tiny heart beat. The technician offered for us to see you in 3-D and of course, your Dad and I could not resist. During the 3-D shots, you moved your foot in front of your face. I can already tell you are avoiding pictures. Just like your mama.

Next, it was time to see Dr. F. He is the doctor that helped us before you were able to be conceived. As we waited, we studied the print out of the ultrasounds that we just saw. We rejoiced in your good health. We laughed about your foot.

When Dr. F came into the room, we noted immediately how somber he was. He told us in a soft voice that we would need to leave now to go over to the hospital. He said we would be there a few hours so they could monitor me for a while. My blood pressure was very high (especially since it normally runs low) and I was displaying signs of a condition called pre-eclampsia. Urine tests found 3+protein, which is another sign. You were doing so well, and it turns out that I was not.

I began to panic. I had just started a new job, and it was a tough call to make to my manager that I would have to be out for an unknown amount of time. But, you were always the top priority. We would do anything that we could to keep you healthy.

When I think back now, I can see the signs that I thought were meaningless before, or just standard symptoms of pregnancy. I even wrote about a few of them here. According to Dr. F, if I do indeed have pre-eclampsia, we may have caught it early.

Ironically, I feel pretty good.

I walked into the ER with no idea of what to expect. I am not a fan of hospitals. I knew that you were coming, but I honestly had not thought about the delivery very much. I had concentrated so much on you in the present, that I did not really think about the process of you actually getting here.

The volunteer sat me in a wheelchair and wheeled me into Labor & Delivery. Dr. B, who I had met on the rotation, stopped by to talk to us. They began monitoring your heart rate, my blood pressure, reflexes, urine and temperature. The only "cure" for pre-eclampsia is delivery and since you are so very small, we want to keep you in my tummy as long as possible. The nurse gave me the first of two shots of a steroid that would jump start your lungs just in case you were to come early.

Dr. B broke the news to us that I would have to stay overnight. The next shot would need to be done tomorrow, and he wanted to continue to monitor my blood pressure, which would just not drop. My reflexes were on overdrive. (This is the test where they hit your knee and you kick. I was kicking so violently that they had to duck out of the way.) My body is just not co-operating with me anymore.

Your Dad stayed with me all day. Your grandparents also came. So many people love you already, and we all are praying hard that you remain unaffected by my condition.

I have never spent the night in a hospital before. They have given me a private room in the postpartum wing. They will continue to monitor my blood pressure throughout the night. I am scared for you, but we continue to pray to God. He gives me peace through prayer, and we trust Him that you will be alright.

Love Forever,

Your Mom

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