In the past week, I've gotten to experience a lot of "fun" things about pregnancy for the first time. Lovely stretch marks have begun to appear, my right hip has decided to randomly give out on me when I stand up, and on Sunday I woke up in the middle of the night with one of the worst charley horses I've ever had!
More importantly, however, Ted and I also got to visit our hospital's NICU for the first time last week. It was a far cry from the brightly lit beehive of activity that I'd expected: The lights were dim, sounds were muted, and the nurses seemed relaxed and friendly. I'm sure it would have been a different picture if we'd walked in during an emergency, but it was nevertheless comforting to see in what a soothing environment our babies will spending the first days and perhaps weeks of their lives. The nurse in charge also took us into the little room off the C-section rooms, where the babies will be stabilized directly after birth, and she explained a little bit about all the things the nurses will be checking and administering to the babies during that critical time.
Hearing the nurse talk about preemies and the things they have to go through depending on how many weeks they're in the womb before being born was a great reminder to Ted and me about the importance of making it to 34 weeks. According to the nurse, babies born at that stage can usually breathe room air on their own, which means they don't need to be on ventilators or CPAP machines. They also have usually developed the suckling reflex by then, which means that they can feed from breast or bottle instead of via feeding tubes. And, of course, being born at 34 weeks generally means less time in the NICU before going home.
So let's keep praying for a December 29 birthday ... 15 more weeks to go!