Today was a big day for doctor appointments - the whole week was. Jake had 2 appointments Monday for this cough that just won't leave him alone, I had an appointment Monday with the urologist who will help with my surgery, and with the endocrinologist yesterday and we had 3 appointments today at Evanston. The urologist (who looks a lot like Aaron Rodgers; it's a shame I will only have to see him once more and it'll be while I'm asleep :)) was very reassuring. He has done this procedure 8-10 times in the past year, and has done this at both Evanston and Northwestern - our top 2 choices. He noted that both handle the procedures the same way, which I was happy to hear.
Today we met with our doctor, had an ultrasound, toured the ISCU (Infant Special Care Unit), and met one of the neonatologists. Our doctor noted that all looks to be on track. We discussed the pain I continue to have on my right side, and the new Braxton Hicks that are now accompanying it. We're watching it at this point, but unless there is bleeding, we just wait and see.
The Ultrasound was really great today - we got to see him stretching, and got a great picture of his face. He looks like a 'real baby' now, and not so much like a 'monkey' like Mia thought at our December appointment. He was 2 lbs. 9 oz. today, so he's gained almost one lb. since our last appointment.
The neonatologist gave us a lot of information, mostly reassuring. The baby will be delivered at 34 weeks 5 days, assuming he follows the rules - something he hasn't done to this point. Assuming he does follow the rules, he will be just over 4 lbs. when he is delivered. Babies that are born at this age, called late preterm babies, are considered 'feeders and growers'. The first thing they will want him to master is breathing. At this age, he should only need a nasal canula, or possibly a mask to breathe. Once he has that down, we'll work on eating. If he needs it, he'll have a tube down his nose to his belly to help him eat, but he'll be offered a bottle at every feeding. Once he masters the eating and breathing, at the same time, we'll see if he can maintain his temperature. When he accomplishes all of these things, he can come home. Now for the good news - usually babies master all of these things in tandem between 35-36 weeks. So hopefully, he's only in the ISCU for a week or two! It will all depend on him, and his motivation. He's pretty feisty right now, so we're hoping that's an indication of things to come. Of course, if he comes earlier, none of this is relevant.
We got the downlow on the different floors of the hospital, the rules of visiting the ISCU, and what to expect while we are there. Overall, another good appointment. We go back on the 5th to meet with the interventional radiologist and the gynecological oncologist, who will handle the surgery.