Saturday, July 3, 2010

Baby Francis Update


I've been wanting to give an update on baby Francis for several weeks, but I've also been feeling the crunch to become settled in our new home before his arrival! Brendan keeps saying, "Well, by Christmas we should feel pretty settled." I think he's probably right, but I'm pretty sure come late July, I'll be nearly useless in the "getting settled in the home" department as I'll be too busy getting settled with a newborn (which is much more fun, if you ask me!).

Because of our experience with Henry, our wonderful doctor has been very proactive in keeping tabs on sweet Francis' growth and development. I began a second round of twice-weekly progesterone injections at the beginning of my third trimester, which will help to increase blood flow through the placenta. Although we are not sure exactly what caused Henry's passing, certain factors (his size (5 lbs, 11 oz) and the fact that there was no amniotic fluid left at delivery) indicate it is possible that an insufficient placenta may have been to blame. The progesterone will help to ensure sufficient nutrients are getting to Francis.

I have also been visiting the hospital weekly, since week 32, for Bio-Physical Profiling and Non-Stress Tests. During the Bio-Physical Profile, an ultrasound technician watches Francis for fetal movement, "practice breathing", and heart rate, while also measuring fluid levels. Beginning this week, they will also be taking estimated fetal measurements. The Non-Stress Test consists of monitoring Francis' heart rate and movement, particularly how his heart reacts during movement. I'll admit that the Non-Stress Test is the best part of my week. In general, I lay there for an hour sipping cranberry juice over crushed ice. Anyone who has given birth in a hospital knows that hospitals have the best cranberry juice and crushed ice! (I even have a cousin who researched whether it was possible to purchase the particular brand for her consumption at home only to find out that the company only supplies to hospitals!)

We've also started weekly visits with our doctor for the regular end-of-pregnancy care. As of now, the plan is for me to check-in to the hospital to be prepped for induction the evening of July 24. My due date is July 28 and I have gone overdue with our first for children by about eight to ten days. Henry was born at 38.5 weeks. My doctor felt it would be important to reduce risk of a recurrence if I didn't follow my normal pattern of going past my due date. Although, I have become accustomed to making it a couple of extra weeks, I agree that this time my mental and emotional health could compromise Francis' well-being if I were to be overdue.

We have been very blessed by this pregnancy. So far, all has gone as it should and there is nothing to indicate that will change. Sometimes, though, there is no amount of logic or reassurance that can make the anxiety go away completely. Brendan has reminded me several times that we will have to endure a special kind of suffering in this pregnancy and that it is very important that we are able to offer up that suffering and fear. The Lord has been so faithful to us and has recently spoken to my heart as a joyful GIVER. And what a gift He as given to our family in the life of our son and brother.

Here's the most recent photo of Francis' precious face!


Sara said...

Praying for you and baby Francis... he is precious!

Sarah said...

Continued prayers for you and Baby Francis.

(And I agree completely about the cranberry juice and crushed ice =)

Anne said...

Molly-you are constantly in my heart.
Yes, after every birth I make my moms a concoction of cranberry juice and sprite--nothing like it. Praying... anne

Michael said...

Made in the image of God. St. Francis pray for your little name-sake, baby Francis Koop and his parents as he approaches his entry into the world!!)

Kari said...

Molly, I just thought of you randomly yesterday and thought you were probably getting close to Francis' due date. I said some prayers for you and will continue to!