Although I was over the moon to hear from Matt that the results from Madeleine’s head ultrasound were good, I was eager to speak to her doctor myself to get the whole story first-hand. And it looks like the whole story is basically that everything we were hoping for is pretty much happening.
Based on the head circumference measurements that had been taken by Madeleine’s nurses prior to her test, we were kind of expecting to hear at best that the ventricles were staying more or less the same size. According to the ultrasound though, not only have they actually decreased, but they have decreased fairly significantly! As a result, it is looking like Madeleine’s brain may indeed be in the process of breaking down the clot on its own – the best case scenario option by far. According to Madeleine’s doctor, this means that the ventricles will most likely continue to decrease with each weekly ultrasound, and that chances are good that she won’t be requiring a shunt after all! While I suppose that technically we won’t know exactly how her brain is doing until much later on when any developmental delays would start to become apparent, it is a massive relief to know that my little girl has likely avoided surgery. (Romains 1, Blood Clot 0).
In other exciting Madeleine news, our tiny warrior has finally surpassed the kilo mark! To celebrate, she took the opportunity to show off her impressive breathing skills to her very proud mother. Throughout the day, Madeleine’s nurses take off her CPAP gear for a few minutes to clean her up and give her head and face and break. I hadn’t actually seen this happen before, and it was a huge shock to see her whole, unobstructed face! There she was, eyes wide open, no breathing tubes or masks, using her lungs to breathe on her own. It was pretty amazing! In fact, it was the first time she really started to look like a “normal” baby, without all the wires and tubes and medical paraphernalia. While I stood there in awe at my little girl, taking breaths on her own like it’s no big deal, Madeleine’s nurse wisely suggested I grab my camera and take a picture.
As if that weren’t enough to make my entire day, Madeleine and I got to have another cuddle! It makes me a little sad that Madeleine has been able to have so many snuggles while her brother has only had two, but at the same time, I am so grateful to have the chance to spend so much time holding my girl and getting to know her. When it became clear during bed rest that the babies would likely be born very early, part of me worried about whether we’d be able to bond the same way that most mums and babes do. Their birth was quick and scary, it was a few hours before I could see them for the first time, and much longer before I could touch them. Once I was discharged, it broke my heart to think of all the hours we’d be spending apart, all the times they would cry that I wouldn’t be there to comfort them, or even know that it was happening.
It still makes me sad to think about, but cuddling with Madeleine gives me hope that maybe I don’t have to worry too much. Even though I wish I could do more for the babies, even though I wish they were at home like normal newborns, there is always that moment when the nurse places Madeleine on my chest and she snuggles right in, as if to say, “oh good, there you are.” I thought it might take time for us to feel comfortable together, that it might feel awkward at first the way I always feel kind of awkward holding other people’s babies, but sitting with Madeleine and Reid, feeling them settle and watching the numbers on their monitors stabilize, feels so different. What I thought would be getting acquainted is really a reunion. My babies and I, together again.