Monday, May 31, 2010

Did I mention I have major plans this weekend?

So I stayed the night in the hospital; it's now Friday morning (11-20-09). The OB that I had talked to the night before came in at 8am.

"You really gave us a run for our money," she said in humor. Before she could say anything else, I asked how long I'd be in here. After all I needed to be an hour away for my baby shower the next day. My maternity photos were to be taken on Sunday. I had plans. My baby needed to stay put and I needed to get out of here.

She said that, at the very least, I'd be in for 72 hours because of the mag. That left me in until Sunday night.


She said that a neonatologist would be visiting me as well. In the event that my baby would be breaking out at 29 weeks, I needed to be prepared with what to expect.

Meanwhile, the mag makes me feel like someone cloaked me with a lead blanket. I. can't. move.

On the other hand, I had the best night's sleep in 6 months. It was the first night I didn't get up to go to the bathroom 7 times due too the baby hotel built atop my bladder.

At least I'd be out by Sunday night... or so I thought.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't forget to pee before you start reading this (part 2)

Okay, so I left off at them telling me I was in labor.

I should preface this by saying I HAD NO IDEA that "more than four in an hour" equalled LABOR. No idea. I thought it meant that I just had an overactive ute or something. Rusty even asked me what they would do after we got to the hospital. I told him I didn't know, but that I thought they might just give me a pill to calm my uterus down. I didn't actually think that there would be change to my cervix. So when they told me I was three centimeters at 29 weeks, I nearly passed out from shock.

I can't remember if they had already gotten an IV in me, but at some point, they got an IV in (which took SEVEN tries), took blood, and all that jazz. They then told me that they would start me on a bolis of magnesium sulfate.

Some technical stuff I should explain: 1). Magnesium sulfate is actually a blood pressure medication. It has a happy side effect for relaxing 2) A bolis is a concentrated amount of the drug. It essentially gives a two hours dose in a period of 20 minutes. They do this to sort of jump start the process and then take you back down to the normal high dosage until the contractions relax.

So my "BH" were not the fake contractions that everyone talks about. They were 100% real. I am here to tell you that NOT everyone knows when they go into labor. I likely had started having contractions at my 28 week appointment that would have given signs of PTL, but didn't even notice them. They did not hurt. They were not regular (that I could feel anyway).

Going back to Part 1 where they told me that I was having contractions every two minutes, I was having them that often, but I was only feeling them sporadically. They were real contractions, but so soft I didn't even notice them.

This bring me to my next point. The ONLY difference between BH and "real" contractions (THE ONLY) is the change that occurs in your cervix. This can only be determined by a professional. It is not the amount of pain, the timing, none of that. They can feel the EXACT same, but only one changes your cervix. You can have really painful BH or painless contractions. Write that down. (I'll get off my soapbox now. I just got sick and tired of people giving false information concerning this. I had listened to the people that said, "Wait until they hurt," I'd have had my baby at home.)

Back to the story...

So as they were hooking up the mag to my IV, the nurse warned me that I would feel "warm and crappy."


That really was the only way to describe it. I instantly felt hot, which was a relief on that cold November night, but only for about 5 seconds. I immediately felt like I had a fever. I was nauseous, but felt like I just needed a cool wash cloth.

It had been about ten minutes when I REALLY started feeling bad. I felt like I was going to pass out. I asked for a wash cloth again and Rusty looked at me. His face turned grim.

"Um, nurse, she doesn't look right."

The nurse looked at me and I had gone completely white (and I'm a redhead, rosy cheeks come with the territory). She checked the monitors.

An alarm started going off.

She started doing the whole "I'm freaking out, but need to remain calm" thing.

Nurses came rushing in, "Turn it off. Turn it off."

They turned off the mag.

Rusty, of course, is freaking out, "What is going on?!"

"Her BP dropped. Like. A lot."

You see, I have naturally low blood pressure. My bp is regularly around 100/55 anyway. My pregnancy actually kept my blood pressure just a little under that. Let's just say that the risk of HIP or Pre-E was not a concern for me.

When they hooked me up to the bolis of mag, that concentrated amount of a drug that is actually given to patients for high blood pressure, it made my bp nearly crash.

After they turned off the mag, I was pretty much back to normal. I asked her what happened and she said that my BP had gone down to 66/33. I later learned that the alarms go off when your bp drops below 90/50.

They adjusted the mag to give me the normal high amount: 2 units an hour. The bolis was 4 units in 20 minutes.

After things settled down a bit, they told me that my doctor would be coming in to see me in the morning. I was to stay there over night.

Because I was on such a high dose of mag, I was not allowed to get up. They gave me a foley catheter and told me they would know more in the morning. For now, I was tethered to the bed with my bp cuff, my two NST monitors, my catheter, and my IV. I was not going anywhere.

Because of Delilah (our chihuahua for those just joining us), Rusty couldn't stay over night. He made sure I was comfortable, which I was since the mag made me feel like I had a lead blanket over me, and then he left around 1 in the morning.

And so begins the epic adventure of my birth story...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't forget to pee before you start reading this (part 1)

... It's going to be a long post.

I had plans to go tell the story of my pregnancy from the beginning, but today, I just can't. The next post was going to be from August about how Zofran made me so constipated, I felt like I gave birth out of my butt. Lol. I know you're all disappointed that I'm skipping that story for today.

Today marks the 6 month anniversary of when I went into the hospital. On Thursday, November 19, 2009, at 29 weeks 1 day, my life completely turned upside-down. All the other stories from before that just seem meaningless right now.

To sum up earlier stories, I started to show at 17 weeks, felt the baby kick at 19, I had the anatomy ultrasound at 21 weeks (where we stayed team green and did NOT find out the sex of the baby), and had serious morning sickness until 26 weeks.

The entire time, the morning sickness was really bad. I was constantly on Zofran and just miserable. At my 28 week appointment, my doctor was concerned about it. I hadn't gained any weight. In fact, I was 8 pounds under my prepregnancy weight. Considering my baby should weigh almost 4 pounds and I should have additional weight from fluids and all the other junk inside, an 8 pound deficit was concerning enough to get a growth ultrasound. At that appointment, she also asked me if I had any Braxton Hicks (BH). I told her I wasn't sure what they felt like, but every now and then, my belly feels like I'm doing crunches and the top of my belly gets hard. She told me that was them and casually mentioned to call if I get more than four an hour. I didn't really know what that meant, but sure... I'll call if I get more than four an hour.

That appointment was a week before that epic night. On the next Monday, I had my growth ultrasound. The baby looked healthy, fluids looked good, everything was fine. I had noticed sporadic BH all the time, but didn't really think much of them.

Thursday rolls around and I am noticing more and more BH. It never occurred to me to start counting them until around 4 that afternoon. I had a meeting to go to at church that evening, so I figured I would just pay attention to them then. I took a shower and got ready for the meeting. On the way to church, I told Rusty that I was going to start counting how many I had. They weren't painful at all, annoying yes, but painful, no. I was just following what my doctor said and knew to count and call.

Let me pause and say that I am not very good and multitasking. Or at least, I'm not very good at juggling more than one thought at a time. I was aware that I was having these, but too distracted to count them until I was sitting down.

We get to church and we get ready to start the two hour meeting about becoming small group leaders. I get my paper and pen out, set my coat down, and my change falls out of my pocket. I bend down to pick it up, grunting the whole time. I'll mention later why this point is significant.

Throughout the meeting, I start writing down the times I feel my BH. Poor Pastor Brad, he probably thought I was bored out of my mind, checking the time so often.

I wrote down the times, but didn't notice a pattern. 6:51, 7:05, 7:11, 7:28, 7:32, 7:40.... Okay, I'm definitely having more than four an hour. Did I call? No. I waited until the end of the meeting and counted that in a little over an hour and a half, I had noted 14 BH. It's now 8:30pm.

As we walked to the car, I dialed up the answering service for the doctor's office. I told them it wasn't an emergency, but that I was having quite a few BH and was told to call.

The doctor calls me back and mentions that some women often have a higher number of BH and it is no big deal, but that it wouldn't be a bad idea to get checked out.

I look at Rusty. He is in the driver's seat looking totally annoyed. It wasn't that he didn't care about me or the baby. It was nearly 9pm and he just wanted to go home and relax.

If I was going to inconvenience my husband, I wanted to make sure I could blame someone else, lol. So I ask her, "Should I go in to get checked out?" She replies, "Yeah, it couldn't hurt."

Because of her relaxed demeanor, we were in no rush to get there. The church is about 20 minutes to the hospital, but we went 30 minutes out of the way to go home first. I wanted to change into some pajamas and we wanted to take Delilah out and get her settled for the night.

We were driving to the hospital and I am so nervous they are just going to send me home. I kept thinking to myself, "If this is nothing, Rusty is going to shoot me. Maybe we should turn back."

We got to the hospital and I am walking totally fine, felt fine, joking around. I said to Rusty as we walked up to the emergency room doors, "Maybe I should grab a wheel chair so I can feel more like a patient." Bahahaha...

Pause again. Luckily, I had been an overzealous pregnant woman and took a tour of labor and delivery (L&D) at the 20 week mark. Most women take a tour somewhere in the 3rd trimester. K, back to the story.

So the ER nurses ask me if I need L&D to come pick me with a up with a wheelchair or if I can walk there. "Oh, they don't need to get me. I'm fine, this is just a precaution." So I walked (read: waddled) all the way across the hospital and up a floor to L&D.

My doc had let them know I was coming, so they had a room set. They told me that I could undress and pee if I wanted to. They told me to lay down and hooked the non-stress test (NST) monitors to my belly.

The nurse was fiddling around the room and then came back over to look at the NST read out. Her face totally changed.

"Honey, we need to check you."

Ummm.... okay? What does that mean.

They then popped my Internal cherry. OWWWWWW!

Her face changed to be even more concerned. She called another nurse to come in and check me.



Rusty is just looking at me like, what are they doing?

After the second nurse check me, she said, "Yep, she's a three."


"Honey, you're in LABOR. You're three centimeters dilated, 70% effaced. The NST is saying you're having contractions every two minutes."


To be continued...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear food, I miss you

We went to the lake this weekend with our friends. I got to enjoy it every now and then.

Basically, all food that went into my mouth came right back out. I felt like I had baby-induced bulimia. I was alright as long as I ate and went straight to the bathroom. I just kind of stood there and waited for it to come up. It never failed. Over the weekend, I through up 13 times. Yeah. I counted.

Today, I was dead from the moment the sun came up. I couldn't move because I was so nauseous. I finally caved and called my doctor.

I talked to the nurse and she seemed shocked I didn't call in on Friday. She said I risked becoming dehydrated and not getting enough nutrients for me and my baby.


She hung up and talked to the doctor and called back. They called in a prescription for Zofran. It's a pill that is often prescribed for pregnant women and radiation patients... Both types often have uncontrollable nausea.

So far, it's helped me keep food down, but it hasn't stopped the icky feeling I have.

Baby, please be nice to me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Death warmed over

I woke up this morning and didn't feel so hot. Instead of doing my normal routine and hanging out on Facebook, I opted for a movie on TV and some Saltines (breakfast of champions, right?). A commercial came on for a puppy pee pad. It's this little turf pad you can buy and put it in your house for your pup to use instead of going outside to do its business.

I barely had time to get to the bathroom before I tossed my biscuits (or should I say crackers?). I threw up so hard that I peed my pants (I later learned this had a term for it: vomiss). Not exactly something to be proud of. I hopped in the shower and threw up again. I got out of the shower and threw up another time.

This was essentially how the rest of my day went. The puppy pad wasn't what caused me to throw up. I had really dived head first into the wonderful world of morning sickness. Five days since the last time I threw up... I thought I had escaped it.

At 4:30 this afternoon, I found myself praying that I would stop throwing up long enough for us to make our trip out to the lake. You see, Rusty's parents have a cabin on a lake that is about 2 hours away. We had invited our friends to go out and visit and we were leaving at 5 o'clock.

My "all day" sickness was bad enough that I had to sit in the front seat of our friends' minivan. I found myself carsick at nearly every turn. I somehow survived the two hour trip to the lake without yacking all over the dashboard.

I've heard people say at the beginning of their pregnancy, "I wish I had morning sickness so I could just feel pregnant."

No. You. Don't.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dang it!

Yesterday, my mom and I threw a surprise party for our good friends. We had a ton of people over to my childhood home and had cake, played games, and had a bonfire. I stuck to my party beverage of choice - water - while everyone else enjoyed a few cold adult beverages.

This morning, wouldn't you know it...


Of course, I know it's really just a baby hangover, but I'm 11 weeks pregnant... TWO weeks away from it being the end of the 1st trimester and I've only thrown up ONCE. I thought I was going to escape this trimester without the dreaded visit from Mr. Morning Sickness. Dang it!

I'm sure the piece of cake that I had for breakfast didn't help things... (Don't judge me, fool!) At least if you're going to throw up something, I learned that chocolate cake isn't so bad.

I guess I should be thankful that I went this far without morning sickness. At least it goes away in the 2nd trimester, right?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Delirious with excitement.

After spending the last 3.5 weeks worried, stressed, and severely fatigued (Hello, 1st Trimester!), we had our third ultrasound today. We had a great vacation despite the emotions hanging over us. I was lucky that fatigue was my worst problem. I only threw up once early on, but I think it was because I was so constipated (Thanks, prenatal vitamins...). Regardless, I wanted to know if the baby was okay.

When it was time for the appointment, Rusty and I brought my mom, K, and R with us. I told them to wait in the waiting room just in case I heard bad news. Actually, I wanted Rusty in there with me, but the tech told me that he'd have to wait outside. Little did I know that I would later have major issues with this tech.

She gooped me up and turned on the machine. On the screen, I a blob that was starting to look more human-like! The heart rate was at 131 bpm. I couldn't hear it, but I could see the little waves going nuts. She zoomed in and I could see the human-like blob pulsing and she said that's where the heart was.

Little was okay!

Overjoyed, I asked the tech to grab my entourage so they could see this fascinating blob that is K and R's little sibling and NanaBob's (my mom) first biological grandbaby. They came in, I pointed to the screen and the kids broke out in giggles, my mom had an ear to ear grin on her face, and Rusty looked like a weight was off of his shoulders.

We were in the clear now for a happy and healthy pregnancy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don't tell me that.

We had our second ultrasound this morning. They told us good news and bad news.

Part of the good news is that Rusty got to come in with me to see the blurry blob that they said was our offspring. The other good news was that in six days, the baby showed eight days growth.

We even got to see the heartbeat!

The bad news: It was barely beating. A normal baby's heartbeat is between 120 and 180 (give or take). Little (my nickname for the baby inside me) had a heartbeat of only 63 beats per minute.

We were advised to have our third ultrasound in ten days. This time, it was to determine if the heart had sped up. The doctor told us that half the time they speed up, and half the time they slow down.

I just wish they hadn't told me that last half. Not only will I be a wreck until our next ultrasound, but Rusty and I are taking K and R (my almost-7 year old stepdaughter and my 5 year old stepson) on a 3 week roadtrip. Ten days was not possible, and now I'd have a dark cloud overhanging our entire vacation. I guess I just hoped for more optimism.

My new estimated due date is February 3, 2010, so we should meet Little at the end of January or early February. I still can't believe it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Daring to Share

We went to a White Sox game and made our announcement to the world... or at least the park. We made it on the Jumbotron!

It never dawned on me that we might miscarry. I was just too excited to share our news. We had a great time at the game and got congratulated by dozens of strangers as we walked around.

Friday, June 5, 2009


My first appointment was today.

I walked into the office being 7 weeks and 2 days from my last visit from AF. The nurse practitioner asked me all sorts of questions about my habits, when I found out, etc. She gave me a due date of January 20, 2010.

I told her that my LMP was 4/15/09, but I just got my positive this week on day 48, when last week I had a negative on day 41.

Since most women receive their positive results when they take a test a 30 days, she seemed slightly confused as if I hadn't remembered my cycle correctly. Um. No. I remembered right. Because of the 18 day difference, she scheduled an immediate ultrasound to get the age of the baby. So far, it didn't seem as if it was even a viable pregnancy.

Rusty and I walked downstairs to the x-ray department and handed in our paperwork. After waiting a few minutes, they called my name. We walked in, but the nurse sent Rusty back to the waiting room. Apparently for STAT ultrasounds, only the patient can be in the room.

Now I'm alone, confused, and really nervous. She goops the gel on my (relatively) flat belly and begins swooshing around to find the little life inside of me.

All I see on her screen is static and a few blobs that I don't understand. She points out the gestational sac and the fetal pole. The measurements and stage of the baby tell her that instead of being 7 weeks along, I'm only 4 weeks, 5 days.

We go back upstairs to the OB's office. Instead of seeing the NP, we saw one of the three female doctors. We were told to schedule another ultrasound in a week to see if there was growth. The concern was whether the baby had stopped growing two and a half weeks ago, or if I just ovulated late.

We have our next appointment in 6 days.