Praise God! We had a good doctor's appointment today! The perinatologist saw more fluid -still only about 10% of what's normal- but he saw good pockets of it around the baby. He also said the baby is measuring normally which is another huge answer to prayer.
And he said he's not 100% sure but it looks like it's a girl! I have been thinking it is a boy this whole time (so much for gut feelings) but they haven't been able to tell me the sex because the sonogram sees through water and since there is no fluid, they couldn't tell. But I hope it is true because he also said girls have better survival rates as preemies with their lungs maturing faster. So just hearing that the baby is most likely a girl gave me such encouragement as well.
Furthermore, the doctors was still very realistic that our situation is dire and we need to keep praying. He told us specifically what to pray for so I will list them here (and on my prayer list to the side) so those so sweetly praying for this baby can know exactly what to pray for:
1. The lungs: He likened them to an upside down tree with the trachea being the trunk; the bronchi the branches; and the alveoli the leaves (see diagram below). He said we need to pray for the leaves! He said when you blow up a balloon the first thing you do is stretch it. That's what the baby does in the womb as her lungs develop - she is slowly contracting the lungs in preparation for breathing outside the womb. The important thing is that the alveoli (the leaves) are able to stretch out like this, too, and develop perfectly so that she can breathe. The amniotic fluid allows the alveoli to stretch and develop so that's why more fluid is so crucial.
2. The brain: Brain damage is another risk. Right now the brain looks normal. But he said if too much water gets around the brain (1 cm or more) then there is brain damage. So please pray against that and the brain keeps developing normally.
The doctor we saw today was so kind and thorough and his calmness really helped us today. I thank God for him, too!
Thank you Lord for the good news today. You have answered our prayers and given us hope to go on. Thank you for this precious baby. Please let her continue to grow and develop normally. Please keep me healthy so I can go to as close to full term as possible.