Monday, October 31, 2011

Preemie Life - Day 3

Looking a little more like my baby everyday!
If yesterday was the day of tears today is the day of cheers.  I got up this morning and dragged myself to the shower.  Sure it hurts to stand up but it was time.  I couldn't get the iodine off my skin but it felt great to be clean again.  Then I got dressed in pjs and put a bra on for the first time in two weeks.  I pumped, took my medicine and headed down to NICU.  It was the first time I was able to walk into the room without crying and as a reward for my trouble little miss looked great.  Maybe it is love, the sponge bath she had, or maybe the fact that her skin is starting to look not as wrinkled but to me she just looked beautiful.  Her nurses today answered all my questions.  They asked me I wanted to change her diaper.  She screamed and screamed, but I loved that feeling of being able to do something for my daughter.  Wow it was difficult though to get that diaper on.  Funny when you are wearing a preemie diaper and it is swimming on you, makes it a little harder on mama to get is secure.  After sitting with her for an hour I came back to my room and took a nice long nap.  There was something about today, maybe her improved status, her strong little will, the fact that I could see eyelashes coming in, I don't know, but something about today made me feel calm.  When I walked out of the room I just felt like things were going to be ok.  My friend Jamie came in the afternoon and we laughed it up until Dr. J showed up.  He headed down to the NICU and after Jamie left I went down to join him.  He'd asked the nurses if we could hold little miss and they had said sure.  They wanted to know who was going to hold her first and he told them that the privilege should go to me first.  I have to say that I really wanted to take it but I also wanted to see him hold her.  I had experienced this good confirmation period in the morning as I was changing her diaper and I could see in my husbands face that he needed one as well.  I told them, give it to the man, he needs this and my husband took the gift for once.  He sat in the chair and unbuttoned his shirt and they put her on his chest.  It was a magic moment.  My cousin had prepared me for the fact that sometimes preemies aren't ready to handle kangaroo time.  The nurse prepared us for that as well.  She said she thought miss would be happy to be in daddy's arms but we just had to wait and see how she did.  Well let me tell you folks she did amazing!  There was one little cry before she got on to his chest and then she snuggled down onto his chest for the next hour and half and didn't make another peep.  Now sleeping is not unusual for little miss but usually during her sleep there are moments where she cries out, throws her limbs, kicks or pulls things off, so to see her sleep for that long, so content really was amazing.  I also watched my husband visibly relax.  He has held so much tension in his face and body and while he sat there with his youngest child on his chest I actual saw the tension leave his body.  After he put her back in the incubator he told me that he finally felt like he was a father again.  It's been so hard to feel connected to a child that you couldn't touch and only really get to know through a layer of plastic.  Being able to hold her while she slept, to comfort her with his warmth his heart beat finally made the experience real for him.  I know I made the right choice letting him hold her first but I'm excited to get my chance.  Still waiting for my milk to come in.  Each time I have a baby this is always a stressful place for me.  Today the NICU doctor asked me if I have any milk to give her yet.  They pulled little misses chord line tonight and are putting a pic line in that will be followed by a ng tube.  In a few days they are going to be ready to start giving her my milk through the tube.  I need to start making milk.  Think milky thoughts mama, think milky thoughts!  Tonight my old ob resident came to visit me.  It's funny have after two weeks you just start to feel connected to people.  When she told her intern she was coming to see me the intern was like, "Why?"  "Well," she told her, "because I want to."  It was fun and we had a good chat that was interrupted by screaming of the girl in the room next door.  We thought maybe there was a domestic dispute going on but it turns out she just didn't think her dinner was coming fast enough.  Um crazy anyone?  Gave me flash backs to my triage days...boy I don't miss those :)

Daddy and baby.

Look at that little hand reaching out to touch her papa!

I feel like you can actually see that he has relaxed!

So I'm sure this picture is going to embarrass Dr. J but when he went to put her undershirt back on we both had a good laugh over the fact that you could see our baby's print on him.  You see both legs, her arms, and her head.  So funny!  Enjoy :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Preemie Life - Day 2

 So it turns out there are some perks to a for one the fact that I'm almost done with bleeding...hello it is day two!  Also some drugs are pretty darn nice.  I promise I'm not going to go all druggie here and that's all I'm going to say on the matter!  This morning my nurse got me up to help me to the bathroom so I could wash my face and brush my teeth.  She asked me from the room where she was making my bed, "are you feeling dizzy," and at that very moment I did.  So much so that I had to sit down and lean my head against the counter. Power of suggestion?  Who knows.  They helped me back to bed and changed my pad and I couldn't help but think of my own baby daughter having a similar thing done in the NICU.  Oh childbirth :)  Baby girl Slade is doing great.  She moved from being intubated, to CPAP, to just having a little oxygen through a tube that just goes in her nostrils.  I've been down to see her twice today.  This afternoon they let me touch my daughter for the first time.  After washing my hands and then using alcohol hand sanitizer they opened up one of the portholes and let me reach in.  Oh to feel baby skin.  I touched her little feet.  She hated it.  I touched her little arms and she didn't seem to like that either.  I put my finger by her hand and she wrapped her whole hand around it and her fingers didn't even touch her palm.  She held my finger for a couple minutes before she moved.  It is all very emotional for me.  I walk in there and I start to cry.  I wonder how often the NICU nurses see that.  I'm sure I can't be the only one.  They are so positive though, they take all my crying in strides.  And yet I still tear up.  I look at my daughter and I want to pick her up.  I want to hold her, to sooth her, to wrap her in my arms, to put her to my breast and comfort her with my milk, my smell, my warmth.  People come in and congratulate me on her birth and I know this will sound totally unreasonable but it actually hurts.  I'm thankful for her life, I'm grateful for how well she is doing, I'm overwhelmed at how lucky we are to live in a time when a little baby like mine is surrounded by the medical technology that allows her to live, and yet there is a part of me that feels the loss of normal so desperately that it almost takes my breath away to not be able to pick my own child up, to bring her home with me, to show her love in the same way I showed her siblings.  It is an instinctual drive, from thousand and thousand of years of human evolution, and the inability to fill that need puts a little cloud over my happiness.  Bless their hearts, I talked with three other mom's of preemies today.  Two were my favorite nurses, Kim and Lisa, the third was a girl from my ward, Ann, who also happens to be married to a doctor.  All three have had multiple preemies who were all smaller then my little one, born earlier, and spent a lot of time in the NICU who have grown up to be awesome kids.  Lisa's has two teenagers, Kim has a preteen daughter and ten year old twins, and Ann has triplets who are eight and a little boy Gigi's age, and all these kids came through with flying colors.  But as I talked to them about my experience and they told me about theirs, ones that all have happy endings, we all ended up crying together.  I laughingly teased Ann we couldn't talk to each other anymore if she was just going to make me cry.  There is a piece of this experience that is so raw, it apparently stays with you for years, even far after your children are fine, after they come home, after they grow and move out of the baby stage.  I know Dr. J is feeling it as well.  He left it up to me to call family yesterday.  I asked him if he wanted to do it, I told him it was expected and he said, "I just can't do it right now.  I just can't face all the questions everyone has.  I want to be happy but it is so hard."  And I knew exactly what he was talking about.  Sometimes I'm grateful to be a girl.  I can cry my eyes out in front of strangers and friends and while maybe it is awkward or uncomfortable at least it is social acceptable.  I hope I can come to grips with it, but I can't promise I won't mention it again.  And while I'm totally embarrassed I cried in front of so many people today, it was nice to have people to share my burden with.  I only hope I didn't add to theirs.  On a more positive note here is Baby Girl Slade....this child really needs a name.  Feel free to make some suggestions as long as you aren't offend if we do pick it or don't :)

Little Miss is a feisty little thing.  She knows what she likes and what she doesn't and when she is upset  she throws all her limbs around.  I had a suspicion that's what she was doing in the womb.  Now I have the living proof.
A little bit of peace.

Some anger.  This is when I really just ache to hold her, but right now it is just not an option.  

We never did binkies with any of the other kids, but Little Miss is definitely going to keep it.  Mainly because it is a great way to build up those suck muscles so that hopefully she will be able to nurse when she gets bigger.  But also because this little lady is all by herself for so long, if she can have some comfort who am I to deny her that.  This binkie shot cracks me up.  These binkies are apparently special made for NICU, the smallest size they make and yet they are huge.  When she sucks on this it takes up almost her whole face. 
Oh sweet baby, how I long to give you a kiss.

The nurse asked me today if I wanted hand and foot prints.  She was so not happy about this little adventure that mom said, "One hand print is enough, you don't have to get both."  Even with all the crying and fussing though, I will cherish these little prints forever.  I wish I could scan them in to really capture how small they were.
Can you get an idea by looking at my thumb in comparison?

The kids had their first opportunity today to see their sister.  Dr. J took each one in, one at a time to look at her.  I asked them what they though and they all said, "She has the smallest hands and feet we've ever seen!"  I'm with them!  This is going to be my first newborn that actually fits in newborn shoes!  Gigi also asked to see my incision.  Grandma had told her she had to watch out for my belly because I had an ouchie and she said she wanted to see it.  When I showed it to her she threw both her hands on her checks and said, "Oh, oh, oh, oh, ouch!"  It was so funny.

Premature Birth Plan Day 13 - 10 Week Early Preemie Day 1

So was anyone wondering why I didn't post last night?  The answer lies in this sweet little face...

October 29, 2011 our little tiny baby came bursting into the world.  At 29 weeks 5 days baby weighed in at a whooping three pounds even and took our family from a 2:3 ratio to a 1:2...that's right, baby is now officially known to be baby girl!  Mom and dad still need to come up with a name for this little sweetie but last night we were just to tired to think.  So how did this turn of events come to place...Friday I woke up and my back was aching.  I told my nurse and we decided it was probably from lying in this bed almost two weeks.  She brought me some heat packs and Tylenol.  I never felt good but I figured this was just one more sacrifice for the baby.  Then in triage that night I had a little scare when my heart rate was up a smidge as was the babies.  They did a CBC to make sure I didn't have elevated white blood cells, decided I was fine and sent me back to my room.  That night I didn't sleep well.  I felt like a ticking time bomb, the stress of trying to avoid something I couldn't control weighed heavily on my mind, and in spite of the medication and the hot packs my back would not stop hurting.  Saturday morning when Dr. J came to say his good mornings I was a wreck.  My back hurt, my abdominal muscles were hurting, I was tired, and stressed.  Dr. J rubbed my back, listened to my concerns and then decided to crash on my couch rather then go home.  We napped until almost noon when my nurse asked me if I was ready go to triage.  I said yes but that I needed to go to the bathroom first.  After I peed I looked in the toilet and thought, "um that's weird, but it looks a little like bloody show".  At triage they  hooked me up to the monitors and the first half hour was fine, but then the monitor started picking up decelerations in the baby's heart rate.  They moved me onto my side hoping that would get baby off the chord.  I called Dr. J and he rushed over from my room.  After the move, my belly started to really hurt every time the baby moved.  It felt like baby was scratching out my insides and I complained to Dr. J.  The OB came in and decided to check my cervix.  Nothing was happening.  The heart rate continued to decelerate in these regular intervals and that's when I realized that the pains I was having had turned into actual contractions of the uterus, and even though it wasn't being picked up on the monitor I was fairly certain these were real contractions and they were directly related to the deceleration of the baby's heart rate.  I called the OB back over and they had already decided they were going to move me to a labor room so they could monitor the baby more closely.  When we got in the room they set me up with an IV hoping fluids would help me stop contracting and the OB decided to check me again.  1:00 was when she first checked me.  At 1:30 when she checked me again I was now dilated to a 3, 50% effaced, and a -2.  It became glaring obvious to everyone in the room I was in labor, it was progressing fast and a plan needed to be made.  They brought an ultrasound machine in and took a peek.  Two Sunday's ago she was head down, by the next Monday she was breech, by the following Monday she was head down again, so it shouldn't have been a surprise when they announced she was breech again.  Because of her small size, the quick progression of my labor, and the decelerations with so little fluid we had to go with the original plan of the c-section.  I was terrified.  My baby was coming ten weeks early, I've never had/nor wanted a c-section, my body was pushing labor so quickly, and on top of trying to deal with all these issues I had the distraction of contractions.  I am 100% certain that the reason mothers are willing to do it again is that you quickly forget what contractions feel like.  Boy when they really started up I REMEMBERED!  When the OB was ready to go they wheeled me into the operating room and I got up on the table.  The anesthesiologist stood behind me and got ready to do the spinal tap.  A contraction hit and I grabbed my nurses' hands and started to cry.  The anesthesiologist asked if she was hurting me and my nurse who was so loving and kind said, "She's just overwhelmed.  Sweetie you are going to be ok.  Just squeeze my hands a little tighter."  Then I went numb.  They helped me lay down and the team got started on prepping me for surgery.  Dr. J walked in and grabbed my hand.  Then the ob's started their work.  Dr. J stood up and watched most of the surgery.  Between him and my anesthesiologist I got a step by step of what was going down.  When they got to the uterus, initially they started doing a small horizontal cut, but they couldn't get the baby out.  Apparently my uterus was exceptionally low.  Usually by 20 weeks your uterus is at least an inch above the belly button, here I was almost 30 weeks and mine was well below.  They had to start cutting a more classical up and down cut and they still couldn't get the baby out.  Baby's head was jammed up into the top of the uterus, feet jammed way into the bottom.  They had to cut up even higher.  Finally they were able to pull the baby out.  That's when Dr. J said, "It's a girl!"  What a surreal experience.  Our baby girl instantly was handed over to the NICU team and they started working on her.  She started breathing on her own and then I heard this little meow sound like a kitten.  It was our daughter.  After they stabilized her they wheeled her over for us to see.  She was a living baby doll.  At 3lbs she weighs 3 times some of the micro preemies' weights, but to Dr. J and I she is the smallest little thing we'd ever seen.  Then they rushed her off to NICU and I started to cry again.  It took another twenty or so minutes for the two OBs to stitch me up.  Dr. J and anesthesiologist tried to keep my spirits up.  Then Dr. J asked if I minded if he went to check on the baby.  I was like, "Heck yes!" because I wanted to know how she was doing as well.  The OB then gave me a rundown on the c-section.  The surgery went well although he found evidence of my previous surgery and bust appendix.  Apparently I'm no longer pretty on the inside.  Also the OB told me that he knows we aren't really thinking about having any more kids at this moment but if I do there is no VBAC possible for me.  He was really sorry and had tried to do the more conservative cuts but because of the abnormalities in the situation he ended up having to do some drastic cutting.  It is so crazy.  It seems like at every turn there was some kind of challenge. They then sent me to recovery where they kept me warm and drugged and I felt remarkably well, until I saw my poor husbands face.  In the ten years we've been together I have never seen him so shaken.  In some ways I think being in medicine is a curse, because it just opens your mind up to worry.  He told me her right lung was not filling, that while she could still breathe on her own her little body was struggling so much that they had to put her on oxygen and start surfactant.  He was so shaken he asked me to make the calls.  It is a humbling experience to see your husband like that, one that made me feel desperate to see the baby.  When the nurses decided I'd been in recovery long enough they rolled me down to the NICU and placed my bed right next to her incubator.  It was the first time since her birth I got a good look at my daughter.  The doctors asked Dr. J if he wanted to come back and look at her x-rays and stats.  I spent the time trying to memorize every little detail.  She has dark black hair that I'm sure had she been able to stay in the womb would have rivaled any of her siblings for longest and thickest.  It looks curly to me but we'll have to wait.  Her chin belongs to her father, just like all the other kids.  Her noses looks just like Gigi's.  The is just a tiny little button.  Her feet and hands the smallest I've ever seen.  She has a tube in her throat to help her breathe and IV lines in her chord to give her fluids, antibiotics, and food.  Her incubator keeps her nice and warm and while I was there they wrapped her up in a little bumper to keep her more confined feeling with special things to go under and around her head to try to keep her head from going too flat.  They essentially have built a special outside the body womb for her.  Dr J came back, slightly relieved after finding out that both her lungs had inflated.  We watched them wrap up our daughter and cover her up so she could stay warm.  The experience has been so surreal.  We still haven't had the opportunity to even touch our daughter and spend most of our time looking at her through glass.  We are worried and filled with anxiety, but we are grateful things are going as well as they are.  We ask for your continued prayers that baby girl will grow and develop in the best way possible, that momma will be able to deal with going home without baby,  and are so thankful for all the help we've received.  We will try to keep updates and pictures coming   

Typical I'm having a contraction face.  Counting slowly down from ten hoping it will end before I get  to 1.
Trying out some smiles.  I think I should wear a bra in my next pictures :)

Definitely not what I'd planned, but was grateful for all the great staff and thankful they left my arms free. 

Trying to get baby out...took lots of cutting and acrobatics.

Still working!

Baby parts finally making it out!

NICU staff hard at work.

Giving positive pressure to get her breathing.

Clearing lungs.

So tiny, look at those ribs.

I'm winking at you!

Breathe baby!

Deep breaths!

This is when she started to meow.

All bundled up.  A quick look at mom.

Baby leaving the room. I was actually crying at this point but I'm not sure if you can tell.

Being worked on in NICU

IV to umbilical cord added to give her fluids, medicine, and food.  Amazing to think they use the port that mom was using to take care of her just minutes before.

All my wires are attached, just waiting to be bundled up.

Look at my dark hair!

Baby doesn't look so small in these pictures but those little feet and hands are teeny!  Think baby doll feet.  Can't wait to get my hands on this little one, and when they finally let us kangaroo pouch her, that will be a good day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Premature Birth Plan - Day 12

Today in Triage...two woman got into a moaning contest and actually yelled at one another.  I kid you not!  One was 35 weeks along, contracting but not dilating at all.  I don't know much about the other although I'm fairly certain I saw her mother the night before and if that is true then she had been their forever.  I think sometimes there is the belief that doctors are always trying to medical up everything, but in these cases neither the doctors nor the nurses wanted to admit these woman.  One of the woman said to the doctor, "look I'm having contractions, I'm in labor."  And the nurse in the room said "Sweetie labor if when uterine contractions result in cervical effacement and dilation.  We've been watching you for hours, you are not dilating.  We've been monitoring the baby and she is fine.  We are fairly certain these are just braxton hicks preparing your body for labor."  After they left her bed they went across and said almost the same thing to the girl in the bed across the room.  And then they started moaning.  I mean loud, crying, begging for help, begging for nurses, begging for mama, swear words, and the lords name being thrown all over the place.  Sometimes they would moan together, sometimes one would moan something, and there would repeat it, sometimes they would actually yell at each other.  After what seemed like forever the doctor finally came back and admitted both of them for evaluation.  At which point one of them stopped and started asking why they just weren't going to go straight for a c-section since she was obviously in pain and she wanted it to stop.  The doctor said, "you know we are admitting you for observation and that's all I'm going to promise."  I can't help but think they just wanted to separate the two and get them in some private rooms.  Meanwhile I was frantically looking for my call button because I was positive it was long passed my time to get out of there and I wanted freedom from the madness! Besides that my day has been fairly uneventful.  I played my first computer game today.  So far I've avoided it. With almost two weeks under my belt I just needed some variety.  I've also started to get a back ache.  Who knew sitting on my bum day and night was going to end painfully.  I seriously need to find a massage therapist who will make hospital visit calls.  That could help the time go by :).  For now it is Tylenol and heat packs.  Bummed out I'm missing the trunk-or-treat today.  My kids were so excited to put their Halloween costumes on.  I can't wait to see the pictures!  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Premature Birth Plan - Day 11

I FAILED MY TEST!  WHAT????  I mean what is the deal with me this pregnancy?  Seriously if I was at home I'd probably throw my Hypnobabies out the window.  I am so used to being able to "trust my body", and now it's like my body is saying, "Forget everything you thought you knew about me, it is a whole new ball game now baby!"  It just adds on more worry.  After having three kids I felt like I knew what to expect when it came to childbirth...or at least I used to feel like I knew.  It is scary to be in the unknown. I'm an anxiety girl!  The last thing I need is real things to have anxiety about, I make up sufficient numbers of things to have anxiety about...I don't need REAL STUFF!  Ahhh, so back to my test, there is a chance that the steroids they gave me to prepare the babies lung have thrown me off.  So I have one week for my body to get it together and then I have to take another glucose test.  If I don't pass, I'll them be put on a restricted diet.  How am I going to make it without ice cream?  And Andrea come and have a taco date with me before I get put in dietary jail along with residential jail!  I also had a bad spot today when I went looking for research on "resealing of the amniotic sac".  I had this little hope in the back of my mind that might be a possibility, and that if by chance that happened the doctor might be more likely to be willing to let me leave as I got closer to the cut off date.  I think I had my hopes up because I had a bunch of people saying to me, "Well can't it just reseal itself and refill?"  Some claiming they'd heard of people that had happened to.  So being the little former scientist I went looking for studies and it turns out that there is a percentage of woman that do have their sacs reseal and refill....and for woman whose sacks rupture between 26 to 34 weeks that magic percentage is around 2.6%.  So yeah that is pretty much out!  Next time my mother-in-law goes Walmart I will definitely have her pick up the long squarish version of the knifty knitter because today it became glaringly obvious to me that my own far fetched hope of getting out of here had an almost zero chance of happening.  I guess I can thank the internet for that reality check, or curse it.  The positives on my day...still can eat what I want so I'm enjoying crunching on some homemade granola.  I saw my kids today.  They are so cute.  I always enjoy getting an opportunity to be with them.  Captain E brought his new Rippley's Believe it or Not book.  Between that and Genius World Records books I don't think there is better reading material for an almost eight year old boy.  He didn't seem that interested but when we opened it up and started reading some of the inserts he got so excited.  I told him to bring the book back next time he comes to visit and show me the craziest thing in the book.  I think he's going to have a good time looking.  G-bear brought the cutest book about little baby owl's waiting for their mama to come home...a sweet little book from a sweet little girl.  Peach is just a little sweetie.  Her potty training is going great.  Thank you grandma!  Grandma also has organized all the toys and is traded out the clothes in the dressers.  How will I live without Grandma :)  The only funny thing about when Dr. J came by he told me about all the awesome things Grandma is doing but then he mentioned that Grandma makes a lunch for him everyday when she is making lunch for Captain E...and apparently she puts oranges in the bag already peeled, and apples already sliced.  He said, "It feels like my mom is my mom again."  And then he started laughing because the statement was just that silly.  Got to love Grandma :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Premature Birth Plan - Day 10

Today in Triage...a dehydrated teenager 7 months pregnant freaks out when she has to receive a bag of fluid.  "Ow, ow, ow, ow it hurts so much, it hurts so much.  She's trying to kill me.  I swear that white witch is trying to kill me.  Help me, help me, help me!  The nurse is killing me.  I feel funny, I feel funny.  I'm freezing, I'm freezing.  Why am I freezing?"  I have to say it was actually kind of funny.  I mean I'm with her, IV fluid is kind of creepy, coldness creeping up your arm...definitely not the best feeling ever.  That being said wow drama queen.  I wish I could sit outside her room for a bit two months from now :)  And I also saw why the nurses fight over me.  I'm not going to say I never say ow, but I don't accuse the nurses of trying to hurt me on purpose.  I realize they are just trying to do their jobs and for the most part they are trying their hardest to make it go as smoothly as possible for you.  Well at least usually, today I was a little bummed about my glucose test.  Yesterday they took three tubes of blood, one was suppose to start my glucose test, but then they didn't give me the "orange drink of death".  Today they did the whole test right but when it came time to get the results the lab first said they couldn't find them and then accused the nurse of putting them in the wrong type of vial.  So now tomorrow I have to do the glucose test again.  Oh blah!  That drink makes me want to puke.  I'd like to refuse it but because of my altered state it really isn't an option. Speaking of altered state, today I asked my resident gynecologist if it was really medically necessary for me to be here.  I think it was my sleepless night.  Something about not seeing the sun, I'm actually starting to lose my grip on time.  Last night I turned the lights off and just lay in bed.  Finally I got up to go to the bathroom turned the lights on and realized I'd been laying in bed tossing and turning all night.  It was 4:10 in the morning!  I also am losing track of the days.  I was sure tomorrow was going to be Wednesday but I couldn't get around the fact that I knew Dr. J had to pick Captain E up early today and that Gigi had gymnastics.  I kept telling myself, "No those are Wednesday things."  But in my mind Wednesday is still tomorrow.  Like I said, losing track.  So anyway in my crazy state today I asked the resident if I could go home.  "Well she said, do you have a way that we can monitor the baby at home and get the baby out in 5 minutes if we need to?"  This she of course said with a little smile.  "Um, no," I replied while looking at my toes.  "Well sweetie, I'm sorry to say you're going to have to stay."  You think that would have deterred me but when the head OB came by later I asked her as well.  She just chuckled and said, "I wish you could but the maternal fetal high risk doctor insist you stay.  None of the rest of us have any choice in the matter.  Plus can you honestly tell me that you would stay in bed with three little kids running around, honestly?"  Well I don't know if I could honestly tell her that but today I certainly would have been willing to tell it to her, even if it wasn't honest....that's right folks I'm on a sliding slope ;)  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Premature Birth Plan - Day 9

Still prego but unsure on the nurse said 29 weeks 3 days.  I have no idea, and not that it really matters since I still have an 80% chance of having this baby in the next 5 days, but, as of this moment, I'm still preggo! I still don't have contractions, and I still don't have an infection!  So the point is I'm in the best position possible but I guess I really shouldn't worry too much about the day that this baby will be born because who knows if we will even make it there.  I had a fun day today.  This morning Dr. J came by to see me.  We were sitting in bed together when my rounding nurse Karen came by.  She teased me that if I'd been in bed with a different doctor we'd have had to have a talk after he left.  Then when I got back from having the baby monitored my mother in law, Peach and Gigi were here.  Funny little girls both crawled up on my bed, starting feed each other lucky charms, and asked me to turn cartoons on.  There eyes never strayed from there but neither did their bodies stray from my lap.  It feels so good to cuddle my children.  I of course am cursed with the blinders of a mama but I can't think of three kids I'd rather be the mother of.  Gigi brought me a card she's done for me.  It is amazing to me how good her writing is getting.  For two straight years I worried constantly about this girl and if she would be prepared for school.  Now not only do I know she is going to be ready but I'm confident that she is going to enjoy it and do well.  Grandma also brought me mail to sort through and then she had a fun time chatting with my nurse about where to get her fake eyelashes updated and her nails done.  So if anyone in town is curious about where to go to be a well maintained lady, I now know :)  I also had two of the mops girls come.  They brought pizza for lunch which was a welcomed break from hospital food and cupcakes and snickers for any visitors who come by later.  They had their two toddlers and it was fun watching the girls.  Definitely a good day, although in some ways a little hard.  These little visits bring so much joy, that there is always a down when you find yourself alone again :)  It is a weird little roller coaster of that to the days when no one comes.  You are just sort of at a general low.  So no high peak, but then no low either. That being said I'd still take the visit over no visit any day!  It's actually has just been overwhelming how many people have stepped up to take care of my family and have made it a point to keep my spirits up. My whole life I've taken pride in the fact that I can do it on my own.  I've always felt like if I couldn't do it on my own then it shouldn't be done at all.  Rarely do I ever want to ask for help and here I find myself in a position where I have no choice.  There is absolutely no way that Dr. J and I could do this alone.  We have become so vulnerable and yet instead of finding ourselves in a bad spot we have found ourselves completely propped up buy all the love and care.  It is an uncomfortable place for me to be, but I've definitely been eased by how freely the outpouring has been.  I just feel like my family is surrounded by angels!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Premature Birth Plan Day 8

I had another ultrasound today.  Baby looks great!  I finally got someone to pin down baby age so today we are exactly 29 weeks.  That means I've got five more weeks from today to go.  Heaven help us :)  Baby looked great.  They didn't check size, that will be next Monday but they looked for fluid levels.  Normal levels would be around 14 at this point.  Last week I was at 4.  Today I'm 5.7.  So obviously far from normal but baby has more fluid now then he/she did just a week ago.  I just keep drinking and eating ice chips by the bucketful keeping us both hydrated and peeing.  I've been really warm today...not a fever, I know that for sure since they check me every two hours, but just warm.  The plastic bed, plastic pillows, the pads, the squeezers, just leaves me feeling hot.  I decided last night to sleep without underwear to try to stave off too much irritation and when I told Dr. J about it, embarrassed, he laughed and told me, "Sweetie almost all my patients are without underwear."  Good times at the hospital :)  I was a little frustrated today.  I wish I could just know the outcome.  Will I sit in the bed five weeks?  Will the baby come tomorrow and have to be in the NICU for months?  Will it come somewhere in between and only be there weeks?  I feel like if I could just know I could plan my life accordingly, I could mentally prepare for the challenges ahead, I could emotionally prepare.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this.  After all I am the girl who about halfway through a book will often skip to the end and then go back and finish.  I am the girl who avoids most surprises.  I am the girl who looks up movie endings before I go.  Life isn't a movie though and so here I am, waiting it out.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  On a more whimsical note, all of the pieces of Captain E's Harry Potter costume have arrived.  Online shopping, what an amazing world we live in!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Premature Birth Plan - Day 7 Sunday Confessional - Yes I called my honey a stupid boy today!

It is amazing to me to think that just one week ago I was laying in triage crying my eye out, worrying about what was going to happen with my baby, thinking that in a few hours little one was going to join me only to be rushed to the NICU, wondering how Dr. J was going to be able to continue working, and what was going to happen to my children!  It was an overwhelming 31st birthday to be sure.  One week later, only five more weeks to go until we meet our sweet baby and I feel like I've learned so much.  1) it is possible for a baby to be in a womb with amniotic fluid leaking.  Originally I thought that would be an instant birth me now emergency but IT ISN'T!  THAT IS AMAZING!  2) Amniotic fluid is baby pee...which means if it starts leaking out it actually gets replenished, which means it just continues to leak out until baby decides to drop down low enough to block the flow...we aren't there yet.  And how did I miss what amniotic fluid is...for crying out loud my degree is in human biology.  3)  If you want the nurses to love you, just hide out in your room quite and they will call you the biggest sweetie on the floor.  4) Nap when you can.  Last night I didn't get into triage until 1:30am in the morning for my one hour evening baby monitor session.  They had been super busy and that was just the first time they could fit me in.  So nap when you can because you just can't guarantee a good night's rest in the hospital.  5) While on bed rest losing weight is actually more of a concern then gaining weight.  WHAT?  I was pretty sure three meals a day in bed was going to make me heavier...well it hasn't....and it has.  Because I'm pretty sure I'm getting fatter by the day, BUT laying in bed all day means losing losing weight, but not the good kind!  Blah!  6) Having a good relationship with your mother-in-law can pay off dividends greater then the original investment.  From the first time I meet my mother-in-law I thought she was fun to be around.  It has made it easy for me to enjoy time with her and to be able to feel like a member of her family.  I've always tried to be a good daughter in law to her by showing her respect and taking care of her son and grand kids and it has paid off in her taking care of me like any mother would.  Without her there is no way this would be possible!  7) I have great friends and family.  All of their visits really lift my spirits.  Today the bishop and his wife came by, slightly embarrassing when your outfit consist of a t-shirt, hospital gown, and mesh panties.  Thank goodness I had a sheet that I could pull up, but still that was an awkward 30 minutes :)  8) You can save treats and activities given to you by guest and use them to feed and entertain your lovely visiting kids.  My friend Andrea came today with pumpkin doughnut holes and along with those, cookies the nurses gave me, food from the hospital, and some stuff I got from mops and the nurses I kept my kids entertained for almost two hours.  They ate "fun" snacks with mom, colored, and did word puzzles.  It was nice to see them and made me feel good that they think playing at the hospital is actually fun! 9) My husband is a STUPID, STUPID BOY!  At least that is what I told him today when he came to visit.  Every night after work, hubby stops by to chat, today he kicked his shoes off, grabbed a pillow and started to fall asleep beside me.  I turned the lights off and reached my hand out to touch his legs and I swear to you I actually felt electricity build in my fingers and jump out and touch his calf.  And then I started to cry.  And then I told him he was a stupid, stupid boy!  Because for the most part I've been able to stay cool about the whole situation and keep the tears to a minimum but turns out I love that lug so much it actual hurts sometimes to think about.  Ten years and I love the man more than I did the day I married him!  How is that for disgusting and cool all in one :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Premature Birth Plan - Day 6

Day six in the hospital, baby 29 weeks.  I can't believe I've been here almost a full week.  How is that even possible?  This morning I had a little bit of a scare, I was losing more fluid and then I started feeling a little crampy.  Of course I freak.  Sure it wasn't contractions but when you are in the hospital on preterm labor watch it just is a little scary.  I had told Dr. J about the fluid when I called him this morning at 5 but I did want to say anything about the cramps until I knew more.  My nurse came in to help me even though she was on her break.  She got the OB and they took a peak with a speculum and bright fingers that could introduce infection.  Talk about lack of modesty!  My private parts were literally in the spotlight!  But it was worth it because all three of us felt relief that my cervix weren't dilated at all.  Then they sent me to triage to make sure I wasn't having any contractions.  It was definitely a relief!  I felt bad for being so jumpy and overreacting but the ob said she would prefer to do that 100 times over then have me say nothing and walk in after me struggling for hours, take a peak and have a foot hanging out.  Apparently that occasionally happens.  Besides that my day has been fairly uneventful.  I've spent a lot of time watching a TV show about owners tho are killed by their deadly animals.  I think I'm interested because of the the man in Ohio who released all his deadly animals and then killed himself.  Turns out there are more tigers living in captivity in the United States then in the wild in the rest of the world.  Most of them aren't in zoo's but are instead in the hands of private owners, breeders, small mom and pop cat organizations, people who just want them as pets.  Seriously scary!  Then my friends Erin and Hillary showed up.  They brought gifts, deodorant, tweezers, activity books, and books to read :)  I'm so excited and the nurses probably will be as well.  It was so fun to have friends to talk to and they were here long enough that we were able to talk about stuff besides me sitting in this bed.  It was nice to have something normal.  My mother-in-law called me today to get things set up for Halloween, costumes for the kids, pumpkins, Halloween bags.  I love holidays.  It's one of the great joys in my life that part of being a family and a mother is the opportunity to do traditions, to celebrate holidays, to make fun times fun for you children.  I definitely am missing it but am thankful I was able to finish ordering captain E's costume from home.  It makes me feel like I got to contribute in some way :)  Thank heavens for the internet although I do try to stay way from to much online shopping...a bored girl, the internet, and credit card could cause quite a problem if one isn't careful!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Premature Birth Plan - Day 5

5 days since rupture.  28 weeks and 6 or 7 days...trying to get a nurse to look it up for me, so it might actually be 29 weeks! Still pregnant here!  Fluid is leaking, so it hasn't sealed off but no sign of infection and no contractions.  I hadn't had any fluid leak for two days so yesterday I decided to wear regular undies without a pad.  I am so paranoid about getting a dreaded yeast infection, but since I'm leaking again I'm back to pads.  I talked with the OB about it because I thought there was a risk that a yeast infection could cause a problem.  OB said it was OK  that I'd just have to take a anti-fungal pill.  I know this is probably TMI but it was a great release of tension for me.  Baby's heart beat is looking strong.  I don't know how comfortable it can be to be in that womb without the cushion of amniotic fluid but baby is still moving quite a ton.  When I go to triage at night to do my test strips it is almost impossible to get a good reading because baby is kicking and twisting!  Speaking of triage I'm a desperately starting to miss my ipod.  I managed to misplace it several months ago and never got around to looking since I'd been so busy with my itouch.  Now I'm missing it.  You get all types of patients here and some of their situations are frustrating to hear, even just as a patient in the curtain room next door.  Mom's on drugs, mom's who want to run off to smoke while they are in active labor, all types.  Like I said, I miss my IPOD!  Today was a fun day.  My MOPS group sent these beauties and they are truly lovely!  The nurses are keeping me in a steady supply of ice, ice water, and cherry Popsicles.  My friend Stacy came by to see me with pumpkin chocolate cookies.  My insurance agent called and chatted for 1/2 hour.  A friend who moved to Texas gave me a call today.  Two of my nurses from earlier in the week came by to see me today one bringing me a calendar and markers so I could mark down the weeks better and some activities.  I got to see Dr. J for an hour before he headed home and best of all Gigi was better today so my kids came for an hour.  Holy cow how are kids so resilient?  Sure Peach sat on my bed the whole time but everyone was just happy to see me, not clingy or grouchy.  They were well feed, clean, and happy.  What more could a mom hope for?  They were also cute.  Grandma said last night Gigi prayed to Jesus that he would take the bad germs out of her body so that she could come and see her mom.  I mean how like I said, adorable!  I'd ordered some Sierra Mist and they just thought they were the coolest drinking soda pop and getting ice from my little pink ice cups.  The those get a  lot of action.  I drink a ton of water here and eat a ton of ice!  When the nurses ask me if I want anything to drink I always get fresh ice.  Tomorrow I'm going to clock how many times I have to refill them.  I had an orange and banana from the morning and they thought it was fun to eat that.  Then they had fun eating my crinkle fries off my tray.  Kids :)  So I'm showering, but I still haven't managed to get my deodorant here, a bra, or tweezers so if you come in to see me be forewarned....not looking my prettiest.  I guess though we can just be grateful my hair doesn't smell!  Thank goodness for shampoo and conditioner!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Premature Birth Plan - Day 4

Oh the squeezers, aren't these babies lovely looking.  Turns out when you get put on bed rest they try to reduce the chance of blood clots with this lovely machine.  I'm suppose to wear them when I'm sleeping and I wear them occasionally in the day.  They aren't horrible, it almost feels like a massage but at night time they get pretty hot.  I managed to leave them on though and when the resident came in this morning she congratulated me on my compliance.  Dr. J says most patients hate them and it isn't uncommon for them to pull them off in the middle of the night.  He said he often finds them kicked down at the foot of the bed.  Naughty patients :)  Today is just more of the same.  I've now gone to the triage area twice to do baby stress test.  Wow it is amazing the stuff you hear in there.  They make such a big deal about HIPPA in the hospital, especially when it comes to stuff on the computer that you kind of forget that just hearing things is probably a violation.  And yet when someone is giving birth just a curtain away, how are you not going to hear that.  I'm trying to keep myself busy and uninterested by reading.  In two hours though I've almost completed my book for my ward book group.  No More Goodbyes, Circling the Wagons around Our Gay Loved Ones, by Carol Lynn Pearson.  This has been a really interesting book that totally deserves it's own post but I'll have to get to that later.  Meanwhile, I'm going to be looking for some new books to read.  Here are some I'm going to try and get my hands on....

Product DetailsProduct Details
Boomerang: Travels in the New Third WorldUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and RedemptionThe Litigators

Probably a good thing I don't have a kindle...I'd be downloading books like a mad woman :)  Anyone else have any book suggestions?  I'm all eyes and computer this month so let me know!  I got to talk to my kids today.  Grandma was going to bring them in to see me but poor little Gigi has come down with a pretty nasty cold.  So instead we had some phone time.  Gigi was so cute it hurt my heart.  "Mama, I'm so sorry.  I was going to come and see you but I got sick.  And I don't want to get you sick.  I want you to be ok.  So now I can't come see you, but I really did want to see you.  I really want to see you mama.  I love you mama.  I'm sorry mama."  Oh how it hurts even now just to think about.  I hope she gets better soon because I so want to give this little girl a big squeeze!  Then there was Peach.  "Hi mama," she yells, and then "let go, I have the phone."  Then I sing twinkle, twinkle to her and she belts it out.  Then without a goodbye she passes the phone over to Captain E.  "Hi mom."  He tells me.  "Did you get to play wii today I ask him."  "Yes," he says, and then as I start to say, "Awesome," the kid screams out "Awesome!" and then starts laughing hysterically.  Have I gotten so predictable?  Then he tells me Grandma took them to Costco and that she bought him a smoothie and that he left it in the car.  As mom I said, "Um sweetie that's gross, it's going to be all melted."  "Mom," he says, "Don't you know melted smoothies are the best."  Oh kids!  Dr. J stopped by as well before he headed home.  So obviously life is not ideal but what a blessing that honey can stop by for 20 or 30 minutes a night before he heads home to give the kids a little parental love before they go to bed.  I'm so grateful for e-mail, text, and phone that keep me connected to him, but it is also nice to see his face!  We will survive!  Thanks to everyone who is calling, stopping by, dropping off food, and praying for us.  I feel so lucky to have such a strong support group, even with many of you so far away!  We love you guys so much!


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