Well here we are, officially in the third trimester and almost six weeks since the date we found out that our unborn son had a rare tumor growing inside of him that would likely end his life before he was ever born. Since then, we’ve had a lot of time to mentally process the situation. We’ve also had countless tests, ultrasounds, appointments, a hospital stay and we’ve accumulated like, a hundred members of our care team (and they are all amazing). And even though it didn’t feel like it would, life has somewhat returned to “normal” — well, with a little less cooking and a little more takeout involved.
At the urging of my new (amazing) therapist, and because it feels good to me, too, I’m starting to come back around to celebrating the usual pregnancy milestones as I would probably be doing had we not received this diagnosis. I’m thinking about taking my first bump pic in forever (although I don’t think my stomach can be called a bump anymore) when I turn 28 weeks this weekend and I resumed journaling in my Belly Book. We’ve really been carrying on as usual — I still take my prenatal vitamin everyday, don’t eat deli meat, and so on.
Perhaps even more so than early on in the pregnancy, we’re really taking things day by day and week by week. Outcomes for any intervention are still pretty poor right now if Charlie’s condition began to deteriorate, but a few weeks can make a big difference since babies grow so much during this time. So we go in each week hoping that Charlie stays “sick stable” and we can check off another week.
Here are some other random pregnancy milestones:
Reading and playing music – we’ve started reading books and playing music for Charlie. It’s a really fun thing for J and me to do together and it’s totally helping us bond with him.
My mom got me a Snoogle! – I held out for as long as possible, using a body pillow and a million other regular pillows, but my sleep quality has been so poor lately that I got desperate. And the Snoogle (for me, anyways) has been as amazing as others have made it sound.
I took my big belly to a 5K! – J was racing a 5K and Charlie and I cheered him all the way to a second place overall finish! So proud. And speaking of my belly, it’s starting to get in the way a lot. When I drop things (which happens often) I’ve started just leaving them on the floor because picking them up isn’t fun. I’m sure J loves following me around just to pick up the things I’ve dropped.
My belly button – I’ll spare you a photo on this one, but let me tell you, my belly button looks weird It’s no longer an innie, but it’s not an outtie yet, either. Expecting it to pop any day now!
Workouts – Workouts have been pretty nonexistent lately. Especially with the heat and my recent early labor scare, I’ve been advised to take it really, really easy. I’m not on bed rest (yet), but trying to be smart since the goal is to keep this baby where he is for as long as possible! Not working out has been really hard, mentally too, but reminding myself of the reason helps a lot. And if it ever stops raining and we get some cool evenings, I’m looking forward to some very slow walks around the block.
Thanks again for all of the comments and emails. We never know what each day will bring and some are way harder than others — your support means more than you’ll ever know!