Good evening and Happy December 1st! The Christmas spirit has officially bestowed itself upon the Henshall household, as we put up the tree (well, it took three nights to) and are patiently in the process of teaching Clara that the shiny, sparkly ornaments are meant for show, not play. Wish us luck with this endeavor! Also, I spent three hours last weekend stringing up 14 strands of white twinkle lights on the bushes and shrubs in my front yard. This weekend, I plan on hanging up the real pine wreaths and garland, trying to fix the blown fuse buried somewhere in the aforementioned 14 strands of twinkle lights and filling my house with copious amounts of Christmas decorations (thank you, Christmas Tree Shops). Well, enough about the mundane details of our Christmas preparations and on to more interesting fodder. At the end of last week’s reflection, I alluded to what I thought was going to be the subject of this week’s reflection — Giving Back — but, instead decided I would give you a little run-down of how this pregnancy is stacking up so far. Truth be told, I am completely exhausted this evening and want to give due time and attention to the topic of “Giving Back,” so I will save that one for next week. So, without further adieu, may I present this pregnancy’s current stats (minus my current weight gain, of course):
2.2+: The number of liters of water that I drink per day to protect myself from the severe headaches that IVIG can bring on.
6: The number of classes that I have left to teach at Bridgewater State University. Once the semester is over, I’ll feel a huge sense of relief heading into the final leg of this pregnancy. I have to say, between my three times a week 5:30 a.m. wake-up calls, my 75 students, 150 speeches, 24 papers and the millions of excuses that I’ve heard over the course of the last 13 weeks of the semester, I am not going to miss teaching in the least!
10: The number of IVIG infusions that I’ve had so far. I’m about 1/4 of the way done with my therapy and can’t believe how quickly this part of the pregnancy is going by.
12: The number of weeks (give or take a day or two) until we meet our new addition. Crazy!
18: The number of months that it took me to mentally ready myself for another pregnancy.
24: The number of weeks that I’ve been pregnant. I’ve officially reached the 2/3 mark and am
finally starting to feel as if this is really going to happen. I have spent a great majority of this pregnancy ignoring the little life that’s been growing inside of me for almost six months and it wasn’t until today’s successful Level II ultrasound that I finally let my guard down and started to accept that we are going to welcome another child into our family. Seeing her little face today really put things into perspective for me. I am going to be a mom again. Wow. Speaking of today’s ultrasound, I have a funny story to share. Clara accompanied me to the scan, as she really is quite good during my doctor’s appointments. I guess she’s gotten used to the almost weekly appointment that I have with some doctor or another. During today’s scan, she munched on her Cheerios and just stared at the screen. At one point, she pointed to the monitor, which was displaying some pretty detailed pictures of her soon-to-be little sister, and said, “Froggy. Ribbit.” She did this several times. Apparently she thinks the baby in my belly, which she likes to touch and kiss, resembles a frog. I’ll let you judge for yourselves:
32+: The number of bags of IVIG fluid needed to ensure that this pregnancy is successful.
50+: The number of hours I’ve spent hooked up to an IV bag since the end of October.
600: The number of mL of fluid that get pumped into my body during each infusion.
Thousands and thousands: The number of donors that it takes to make up just one bag of IVIG fluid. More on this next week…
150,000 – 450,000 (per microliter of blood): The platelet count we are hoping our new daughter can sustain. If her platelet counts drop to 20,000 and below, spontaneous bleeding may occur. This level is considered a life-threatening risk. Clara was born with a count of 14,000, which dropped to 4,000. I thank my lucky stars hundreds of times per day that Clara didn’t suffer from any bleeds and is a completely healthy and happy toddler today.
Well, it’s about time for me to try to get at least 7 hours of sleep before my alarm rings early tomorrow morning. Again, thank you for reading and for taking the time to keep up with our lives. I’ve really enjoyed sharing this pregnancy with you and am looking forward to the future reflections that I have planned over the course of the next few months…