22 weeks

Baby bump is healthy and 22 weeks’ gestation! Just about 5 months. More than halfway by any measure, and certainly our timeline.

We confirmed with the maternal-fetal specialist that if Taxol starts on Monday, 9/26/22 (please, blood counts, be good), if 12 weeks of Taxol is possible (we’ll know late October), then bump can have 37 weeks to cook in the oven. In that best-case scenario, we’ll give bump some steroids at 34 weeks to boost her lungs’ development. Today she was already practicing breaths- incredible! (I can tell you that she learned that trick on Friday 9/16/22. Ever since, my belly has been a visible and tangible flurry of movement!)

Alternatively. If 12 weeks of Taxol is not possible, then I’ll have a lumpectomy while I’m pregnant. Lumpectomy will minimize trauma on my body, in comparison to a mastectomy. We’ll get that surgery done before 32 weeks, when we’ll administer the same steroids to boost lung development and deliver at about 34 weeks. I clarified with the MFM doc that I am already receiving steroids with each dose of chemo; Dr. Bolnick clarified that these steroids will be designed to cross the placenta just for the baby to use.

The maternal fetal specialist body scan has a specific and extensive list of body parts to image. So like, all of the body parts. During our first hour-long visit at 18 weeks, we got everything except a clear look at the left kidney, part of the liver, mandible, and tip of the tailbone. At 22 weeks, we got everything except her tailbone. Baby girl is very healthy and quite squirmy.

Our 15-year veteran ultrasound tech as a bag of tricks that our baby exhausted. She has mom lay this way, then that way, legs down, hold my breath, wiggle the wand, take a break. No luck. Couldn’t get the picture. We’ll try again in 4 weeks! No one is worried about the tailbone, its just the last inch of her body that we’re trying to preview. I like to think that she’s asserting some privacy and bodily autonomy for herself. That confidence will serve her well in this world!

Baby bump is measuring over a pound right now. More than double her weight from 4 weeks ago. I can release the last breath from the bottom of my lungs. While I suffered severe anemia, where I couldn’t stand or get off the floor, baby was not especially hurt. Any oxygen that filled my blood went to her, kept her safe and healthy. That’s what mothers’ bodies are designed to do.

I am so relieved that the nightmare I’m living isn’t hindering my baby’s growth and strong development. I’m glad that time is flying by. George’s pregnancy went smoothly enough, but it seemed to take forever. It’s funny how time moves faster with more things packed into a space of time.

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