The days went surprisingly fast, despite the fact they were spent watching copious amounts of daytime television, eating copious amounts of sugar and napping every two hours or so. I had periodic visitors and friends would call or email to fill me in on life outside the four walls of my living room. I was receiving message after Facebook message with words of encouragement — people I had never met were telling me they were touched by my story and were praying for our sweet baby. I also had another meeting with Dr. Lantz to look forward to. I had made an appointment with his office for our anatomy ultrasound (the ultrasound we missed the day before Thanksgiving when all of this craziness started) and to see how my cervix was “holding up.” December 10th — I would be 22 weeks pregnant, which was a small milestone in and of itself, and I would also be getting a progress report, which I was praying would be an improvement from the last, impromptu, check up I had.
Having a date to countdown to, a goal to be met, somehow made the bedrest more manageable. When Friday the 10th finally came, I was excited… and SO nervous. It was the first time I would be leaving the couch in nearly 2 weeks. I had only been up to use the bathroom — not even leaving the couch to shower (bathing in bed is very challenging… and NOT fun at all). I had made sure I was in my best sweats, and tried to make myself as presentable as possible, which was inclusive of redoing my ponytail and brushing my teeth. The thing about bedrest is it made my options for readying pretty limited — good thing I never really had the need to “get ready.” So with my hot pink sweats and Ugg boots on, I shuffled my way out the door and off to our appointment.
We waited patiently in the waiting room, for what seemed like hours, and I tried very hard not to panic. I hadn’t been off the couch for more than a few minutes at a time for weeks. Now that I was literally sitting in a waiting room, all I could think about was the pressure it was putting on my cervix and was trying not to think of all the damage I could be doing to myself while waiting. After a LONG time waiting, we finally got called back. The technician walked us back to the ultrasound room and I finally got to lie down. I was starting to feel a small sense of relief as the ultrasound started and I could see my precious baby. The technician pointed out different things, the heartbeat, arms, legs, perfectly round head…. AND BOY PARTS! We were finally told we were expecting a sweet baby BOY. We could not have been more thrilled than at that moment right there. I had a very strong feeling that it was a boy, and it was great to have my suspicions validated once and for all. The technician continued with the exam, and told us we had a very healthy baby boy. She said that she was going to review the ultrasound with Dr. Lantz and he would be in to discuss it with us. Once we were alone, Keith and I couldn’t help but cry. A boy!! A healthy boy!! There was so much to be excited about. Our excitement was still clouted by uncertainty though. We waited for Dr. Lantz to come tell us the prognosis. He came in with a smile on his face, one that was becoming familiar and ever comforting. He did his own quick exam and told us that it looks like our baby boy was developing normally and appeared quite healthy. He also said that from what he could tell there was no change with my cervix and that everything was holding. PHEW. That was the exact news I had been praying for. Dr. Lantz then told us he wanted to discuss our options moving forward. He felt that we were in a good place to make it to the 24 week viability mark, and once we did he felt that we would best be suited to finish bedrest in the hospital. He wanted me to check in for bedrest when I hit 24 weeks. That was Christmas Eve. We joked that I was there for the cerclage on Thanksgiving, why not spend the rest of the holidays in the hospital as well! Dr. Lantz said that he would be in touch as we got closer to December 24, and that I should head home and continue bedrest with the same diligence that I had been so far.
Christmas in the hospital. I was actually, surprisingly, ok with this. More than ok, I was thrilled! Christmas in the hospital meant that I had made it to 24 weeks. It meant that me and my baby would be under 24 hour care and if anything were to happen, we would be in the right place. It meant that Dr. Lantz thought we would make it to 24 weeks and beyond. My baby boy was going to be ok. I always believed this, but it was an unbelievable feeling to finally be validated in what I knew in my heart.
When we got home from the hospital, Keith and I were overcome with a sense of both excitement and relief. Excited that we were going to be parents of a baby boy. Relieved that we had made it to 22 weeks, and just had a few more to go and then we would be under the careful watch of amazing doctors and nurses who had our best interest at heart. Like every parent who finds out the gender of their baby, we immediately started discussing names. We had a few picked out prior to our Thanksgiving fiasco, and none of them seemed appropriate anymore. This baby was special. He needed a name that meant something. He needed a strong name that signified what a fighter he was. After much debate, and throwing around a few names I can’t believe were considered, we settled on Kaleb William. Kaleb means “fearless in the face of overwhelming odds” and William means “the determined warrior.” We couldn’t think of a name more perfect for our beautiful son. A new countdown had begun. In 14 days, I would be checking in for bedrest in the hospital, and receive the greatest Christmas gift I could think of; newfound hope of life and a future for my sweet son. God was answering our prayers and Christmas was almost here. I couldn’t ask for anything more.