Today marks 29 weeks! Today also marks another visit to the doctor. We saw our specialist today and all is the same. He has begun doing the fetal fibernectin test, which he will do every two weeks. Essentially, this is a swab test that will indicate if there is a protein present which is released when the membranes are leaking or when labor seems imminent. I have had three done and they have all been negative. The ultrasound didn't really reveal anything "new" other than very slight buldging past the stitch, but nothing that seemed "new" or concerning to him above the situation in general. He would love for me to be hospitalized, but is willing to continue as we are since things are working (the bedrest from home). However, at this point, things become a little more risky since she is growing. So, he made me promise that once I get a positive fetal fibernectin test I will agree to be readmitted.
So, the plan now is...I will be 30 weeks on Monday. He has ordered steroid injections to be administered again next Tuesday and Wednesday with my home nurse. He said typically these are administered at 24 weeks and rarely administered twice because most mothers deliver shortly after administering the steroids. However, we have proven this different (well...God has proven this different). So they can be administered 4 to 6 weeks apart because they only last about that long. This will be the last time I receive them. In addition, we see him again Monday afternoon of which he will do another fetal fibernectin test, measurements for the baby, and anatomy scan. Needless to say, next week marks another milestone (30 weeks), as well as a busy week for me and Elizabeth. The further we go with each week is promising and now for Elizabeth it makes the difference in a ventilator or a simple c-pap to supplement oxygen (if she comes early). I'm convinced we will carry her to December! She did show signs of practice breathing and sucking in the ultrasound which made my specialist very happy.
We had a wonderful weekend here at home. I spent much of this morning helping Amber work on her Science project "stuff". I think she and I agree...Science projects are not cool! William decided to experiment using the big boy potty and actually did it! That was hilarious. I figured if he can go get a diaper when he has a stinky then he can begin becoming exposed to the potty! LOL
Amber has her sophmore homecoming this weekend and seems really excited about that. She's really keeping us busy (or better said...keeping Fred busy). I do what I can from the couch, and it isn't always easy! She has a chorus performance next week, Fall Follies for youth choir in 3 weeks, and youth retreat in 3 weeks. Needless to say, I keep a calendar close at hand juggling all her events, my many, many doctor appointments, bills (ewwww), and the wonderful help coming in daily to help me at home. I long for the day when I am once again a BUSY BUSY mommy. I guess I took much of that for granted in the past, and don't foresee that happening again. I can't wait to be "busy" again running errands, grocery shopping, cleaning my house, and chasing my three kids around. It's been a long several months, and our journey isnt' over, however, each day reveals more blessings and answered prayers than I ever thought I would ever deserve. So, for that, I wouldn't change a thing.
That pretty much sums up the Ashford household! As the weeks move forward, we realize how blessed we have been and continue to be. Each of our children teach us so much about patience, love, life, and prayer. I draw much of my strength from the three children God has blessed me with. I have said it before...we continue to be honored God chose us to be Elizabeth's mommy and daddy and chose our family to travel this journey.
I listened to Joel O'steen Sunday. He compared our lives to that of a window in a car. He said the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what has happened in our past is so small compared to looking to our future (along those lines). I truly believe that. I don't discard the "past" few months, however, when I look forward, I see nothing but great things. Great things for my children, my husband, me, and my family. I will forever look back on our journeys and trials and reflect on God's Grace during those times. However, I think looking forward offers so much Hope and Joy!