Monday, April 05, 2010

Personally: A Very Happy Sad Day

Today has been a rollercoaster, as trite as that sounds. Excitement, happiness, some heartbreaking news. I'll start with the good stuff.

Today was the ultrasound! Greyson has been measuring very large since week 28 (currently at week 38), so my doc has ordered regular ultrasounds to take an average of his size. That's the best way to foresee size complications over time. The first two ultrasounds placed him in the 90th and 95th percentiles for gestational age. In other words, as I've written here before: Sasquatch baby! Today was the final ultrasound, and it was done in a different office for a second opinion. And the verdict....


64th percentile. About 7 pounds at the moment, and probably 8-8.5 by the time he arrives if I go to my due date. Now, of course, these ultrasounds could still be flat ass wrong. There's always a 30% margin of error, which would put us back at 94th percentile. Bottom line: doctors SUCK at guessing baby size (which a number of you have told me already). So, instead of a c-section they're gonna go with the flow and see what happens. If all goes well he'll be a normal delivery and if my body throws on the breaks and says, "Nuh uh!" it'll be a c-section. My doc was squishing around on my tummy today, holding shoulders in one hand and feet in the other, and she still thinks he's gonna be on the bigger side, but it'll be a surprise for everybody.

Today had a few memorable moments in the doc's office. When I arrived at the prenatal specialist for the ultrasound, they hooked me up to a monitor to check his heartbeat for a bit. They left me in a little room in a very comfy recliner with my book. Heavenly! A few minutes later a nurse came in and said, "Your baby is asleep and we need to wake him up. Have we done this to you before?" She came at me with a little device that looked a lot like an LED flashlight. She put it to my tummy and it beeped and buzzed and sure enough, he started kicking almost immediately. It woke me up a little extra, so I'm sure it scared the crap out of my boy.

When we went in for the ultrasound, the technician described everything she was looking at: heart, kidneys, spine, etc. Old hat after five ultrasounds. Blah blah. At first he was curled into such a ball that we couldn't get a face shot, but pretty soon he moved a hand, and get this...

My sure-to-be genius, future President, nuclear physicist-turned-poet son was SUCKING ON HIS BIG TOE. Chuck asked, "Is that normal?" to which the tech replied, "Nope, I've only seen it mayyybe twice."

He's a talent already.

On the somber side, we had a death in the family today. My uncle--my mom's brother--had a stroke several weeks ago. He lived in Oklahoma, so he was there in the hospital for a bit until he could be moved to a rehab center closer to the family. He was very near my mom's house for a couple of weeks until he had a second stroke, and they moved him to an acute care/rehab facility not too far from where Chuck and I live, and about 45 minutes from my mom. Mom and I have been going to visit on weekends, and this past Saturday was no different. My uncle hasn't been able to speak, but he's been alert, responsive, even pretty darn funny at times.

Today we got the bad news that he'd crashed, and they resuscitated him, but things were not looking good. Sadly, he passed away around 9:35 this evening after multiple close calls throughout the afternoon and evening.

While I was very close to him growing up, I can't say that the relationship was solid for the last five years or so. My uncle weathered a lot of really tough stuff in his life: polio as a child, disability as an adult, depression, drug and alcohol use, and a number of other harrowing issues. I can't say he's always made good decisions along the way, but he was a creative, free-spirited, unique individual. I will miss him a great deal, and I'm thankful that we had this short time to reconnect, make our peace, and find some common ground.

Some people don't get those second chances, and I think it did us all some good.

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