Something Nancy posted on facebook led me to do a google image search for preemies at 23 weeks since that’s where I (uhhh, Dillinger) will be tomorrow! I didn’t want to steal any of the pictures I came across since they are obviously people’s children but it was really amazing to see. I’m thankful for insurance, modern medicine and living in America for a whole bunch of reasons (not the least of which are my allergies!) but a baby surviving after being in the womb only 21 weeks? That’s crazy. In the best way possible. Completely in awe of the fact that he could live if he were born tomorrow.
Right now Dillin is kicking (I will blame the three chocolate chip cookies I just made and ate!) and it’s amazing to look at these pictures so that I have an idea of the size of his little feet. I felt what I swear was him tickling me again. That doesn’t happen often but it’s amazing when it does. I am pretty sure he can hear decently at this point, but that could be a coincidence. He tends to kick when his dad is talking.
Thinking back today on 10 weeks ago when I had a big bleed and how completely terrified I was. Honestly, it wasn’t even so much that I might lose Dillin. It was that until that point, I hadn’t loved Dillin. I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt as I realized that I was so upset and depressed about being constantly sick that I couldn’t get myself to love my own child. I don’t know when this happens or how far it extends but scientists say that babies can feel and understand their mothers’ emotions via hormones. I remember praying while on the phone with the hospital, begging God that if he didn’t allow me to keep Poppy, that at the very least Poppy would know that he or she was loved. I can’t imagine many things sadder than a child who isn’t loved.
Funny, it was the next day that I started feeling better.
Still, 23 weeks, the Promised Land – viability! – seemed so far away. There are still no guarantees, life doesn’t come with those (other than death and taxes, I guess) but I still feel more confident now that our odds have gone up. Like I said before, statistics are often my functional god. I don’t know what future holds for our son. But I’m thankful for the few months that I’ve been able to spend with him anyway. If those months turn into years and decades, I’m beyond excited. If they don’t, I can still say I treasured what I had.
I love you, Dillinger! I can’t wait to meet you!