Ellie Progress 5/21 (34 weeks)

**Sorry to those of you who already got this same message via email. I don't have time to do a unique post about our appointment today so copy/paste it is! :)

Thank you ALL for the prayers. We have decent-ish news and good news and news we can still be praying about (none if it is really new news, though.)

The decent/poor news first so we can end on a good note:
-Ellie's jaw is still recessed, but her stomach bubble is present so they do believe that she is swallowing at least some. We can continue to pray for development and growth here!
-Her hands still appear to be turned in (we didn't look in depth at her feet this time) but she was moving around a LOT--to the point that the ultrasound technician was having to catch her in between big stretches to get good measurements. :) Keep praying for those joints!
-There seems to be slight swelling around her brain still but nothing too concerning at this point

The positive!
-Ellie's heart is looking great. No holes, no abnormalities, blood flow there is great. PRAISE.
-Ellie grew a half a pound! This is the best she's done from appointment to appointment in terms of growth....it's the first appointment that she hasn't fallen further behind!! This is great news..pray that she keeps up this growth and EVEN MORE--pray for growth spurts. It was encouraging to finally hear the doctor say that they've "delivered babies smaller." 

The extra-positive: Today the doctors told us that she is indeed "resilient," a "fighter," and that she's "thrown them a curve ball." This was beautiful to hear as the last two appointments have been filled with more negativity. We are thankful that she has a Father in Heaven who is fighting for her! 

Other positive factors: we got to talk a tad about the birthing portion of things as we're getting close to the end. They are VERY flexible (for a high risk hospital situation) in terms of honoring our desires for the birth--in the way of medication, monitoring, autonomy, etc. We will absolutely have to sacrifice here and there depending on how Ellie does with it all, and we will absolutely tailor what we have to so she has the best outcome, but it was nice to hear that they won't jump in and intervene too proactively.

That being said, the main thing they are looking at to determine if/when I need to be induced is the blood flow and growth. Her growth clearly hasn't given any reason at all to take her out yet--quite the contrary, they want her to stay in as long as possible if her growth keeps up like this. The blood flow (through the cord AND through her body) is the other factor and they will continue to monitor that at each visit. It did not seem as if it was a stretch for the doctor to say that I may indeed be able to go into labor naturally if things keep up and keep stable (HUGE prayer request here.)

Our next appointment is in exactly 2 weeks, at which time I will be 36 weeks along.
KEEP PRAYING-it makes a difference! God hears us! He taught us to pray and ask and keep asking! We are just being obedient to His word. :)

We will never know where she'd be without all these prayers, but I'm telling you--all of the evidence points to the fact that God is sustaining her and covering her every second.
We love you all!

Trusting in the "God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not!"
-the Tate 3!