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03 October 2007


SUMMARY: The bun is still in the oven. The presumably successful end of this pregnancy is near.

DETAILS: Needless to say, everyone is happy that said bun is still in said oven. After setting a personal best of nearly eight days of no new labor contractions, Tonya started having contractions again at the end of last week and they have continued on and off through the weekend and sporadically into this week. Thus far, the outstanding team at the hospital continues to do what they do so well… drug the little booger into submission. While that tactic is successful for keeping Ethan at bay in the short term, the effects don’t last very long, and the drugs have detrimental long term effects for the host (our dearest Tonya). In simple terms, the worst that can happen to Tonya by staying on the drugs is worse than can happen to Ethan if he is born now, so the lesser of the two evils is for them to stop fighting back and let Ethan do what is inevitable.

Ethan’s head remains in the ‘go’ position and judging from the sonogram, it appears somewhat misshapen for the effort, including some dramatically chubby cheeks. To those like me trying to comprehend something that seems so unnatural, I think of a rat’s head squishing under a door to escape after stealing a piece of cheese. The medical team assures me however that Ethan’s head will return to a more humanlike shape at ‘some point’ … and that no cheese will be involved. We also got a glimpse of his focus and reaction to the sonogramographer (yes, I made that up) when he tried to get Ethan’s lodged head to move by zapping him with a little Taser like device they playfully call a Fetal Attitude Adjustment machine. No, I am not kidding. Little Ethan barely flinched from his launch position, but did offer a rather distinctive finger wave to us to presumably let us know how he feels about our little prank. Ethan = 1, sonogram guy = 0.

This coming Monday (October 8th) will mark our 34th week, which is worth cheering for. The list of possibly unpleasant outcomes (respiratory issues mainly) drop significantly again; and 34 is of course a step closer to the promised land of 36 weeks. Regretably, there is a systematic lack of willingness for the medical folks to project likely outcomes (thanks to their fear of @*&^$@# lawyers no doubt) but from our various chats with them, Tonya and I have the fervent belief that the worst is behind us and that while an early delivery still seems likely, the chance of defect or other notable issue is statistically improbable.

Later this week we will also have a SITREP of our own with the Captain of our Medical Team. According to her counterparts, and with the recommendation of the perinatalogist, we are somewhat expecting that they will kick Tonya to the curb this weekend or early next week. We expect to hear two reasons: 1) empirically and statistically, there is no difference in preterm delivery for mothers that stay in the hoosegow versus those that ride out their time at home and 2) they will probably not medically intervene to stop any labor that commences after 34 weeks, which thereby reduces the need for 24 hour bedside medical care.

So, If you are planning on a visit after next Monday and you haven’t heard from me yet, I suggest calling her room first {edited for privacy} to make sure she is still there.

LOGISTICS: There have been some real stand out performances by folks helping to get Emily to/from school, to the hospital, special meals, repeat visits to Tonya (in person and by phone), treats, flowers, etc. At this moment, I can’t think of anything that we need that isn’t already in motion.

It is incredible to see and hear of the number of people interested in Tonya’s and Ethan’s welfare and the outpooring of support and offers of support. To quote the literary genius of my favorite 6th grader: “you guys ROCK!”


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