Monday, September 20, 2010

Not A Proper Update

I'm still here. Still on bed rest. Still terrified but making it. Since I last wrote, I've had 1 appointment with my MFM, 1 OB appointment, and 2 trips to labor and delivery...and the cervix is holding steady as best we can tell. Thank you, Lord! And thank you for the great insurance! (Not having it wouldn't change anything but it would be a lot more expensive.) My last trip to L&D was this morning due to relentless cramping. It lasted for several hours but, naturally, it had pretty much ended by the time I got there but I did freak everyone out a bit with my vomiting (on an empty stomach--so. not. fun.). The rest of the day I was sick and had a headache--oh how I wish those were always my worst symptoms!

My mom came last week after I had a mini-breakdown about how I was starving and we had all our stuff everywhere with no one to put it away. It might have been a hormone-fueled exaggeration but she came and it was wonderful to have her here.

I would write more but my laptop is heavy and large and it's just not comfortable for typing nor do I think it's a good idea for me to lift it very often. I'm trying to convince TOIAW I need an iPad.

This concludes my horrible "update" but I do promise more very soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finding Our Stride

Initially I was going to title this Hitting Our Stride but we're not quite there yet.

I last went to the grocery store a week ago today. I've pretty much eaten all the food we have (had). Ummmm...I'm hungry. When TOIAW brought home falafel last night it was like manna from heaven. But he doesn't get home until late so we clearly need a different plan. Enter the Crock Pot. I am currently compiling a list of recipes that even my cooking-challenged husband can throw together. Also, I will dictate the menus. Remember when he thought pasta was a vegetable because it's made from wheat?

The tricky part to all of this is making sure the majority of the meals are healthy because, let's face it, I'm not burning a lot of calories and I want to make sure that what I do eat counts and isn't just empty calories. And there is one other somewhat tricky part: TOIAW grocery shopping. He's not bad at it, per se, but he buys a lot of junk and spends a lot more money than I do. Oh well.

What I really wish I had were recipes for meals that can be assembled ahead of time. When we lived in D.C. and I was in the midst of debilitating grief, I would go to one of those meal assembly places and stock my freezer with meals that just needed to be thawed and shoved in the oven. If only I could remember any of those recipes. I know casseroles are good for that but TOIAW is not a casserole kind of guy and while he might eat it if it's his only option, it's doubtful he will assemble one. I suppose I will at least get some marinade recipes together and have him freeze some meat in a bag with the marinade so all we have to do is thaw and grill. And really we only need to survive another week or so and then my mom is coming and she can help with some of this also. That is, when she's not unpacking, cleaning, doing laundry, walking the dogs, or grocery shopping (shhh...don't tell her this is my plan for her or she might change her mind).

Speaking of cleaning, I've contacted several cleaning services and have heard back from zero. My house is not that dirty. Oh, and it would be so nice if the dogs could go somewhere at least twice a week to play but Bootsy, the mild-mannered party puppy who gets along with ALL dogs, FAILED the interview at the doggie day care with the best location. They both passed somewhere else but the hours and location just don't work with our current situation.

This has all happened so suddenly and we have ZERO support system here. So far I've met my next door neighbor who is, um, odd and two little boys who come over daily to play with PP. That's it. And I don't think I'll be meeting many people from my perch on the sofa or bed. Since TOIAW doesn't work here on base, he doesn't know anyone here either. I wanted to go to Bible study but it didn't begin until this week so that's not going to happen. Part of the reason I wanted to live here was so I could meet people and be part of a community again. Enough of my pity party, I don't even know why I started on that anyway.

I suppose I'll get back to finding our stride in all of this craziness. The important thing is to stay focused on the main thing: Keeping my cervix happy and our sweet baby nice and snug in there.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A 4.5 Hour Tour

Huge praise: My cervix is responding to bed rest! Hallelujah! I'm unclear on the numbers because we were told 3.3-3.5cm on Friday but yesterday he said 2.8 which he claimed was longer than Friday. He also said I was funnelled almost to my cerclage stitch Friday which no one mentioned (thankfully; if he had said that I would have been on bed rest because I would have been in bed crying all weekend). In any event, the doctor said he was encouraged and the most important thing is not the numbers but that the cervix relaxes and lengthens.

Another huge thing is that we liked the doctor so much better yesterday! He spent more time with us and fully answered our questions. I also met the OB with whom he shares his office because she will be the one who does my delivery. They met with us at the same time which is something we will do for several more weeks until we reach viability and then I will see her more. So I guess I just needed more mollycoddling!

Seriously though, we discussed a trans-abdominal cerclage and P17 shots and rather than quickly saying, "No and no," he explained his answers (to be fair, that's not what he said Friday but he didn't elaborate much on his answers either). As far as the TAC goes, he acknowledges the possible risk and heartache but he does not feel a TAC at this point is worth the risk in someone who has not had a failed trans-vaginal cerclage. I get that and, frankly, I was leaning in that direction anyway but I did email the uber-doctor in Chicago who is the expert TAC guy to ask him his opinion. In regards to the P17, he doesn't think I need it because my uterus--so far--is not irritated. Also, he's very conservative when it comes to medication during pregnancy. Again, I get that and I tend to agree. He did, however, tell us it's up to us and if I want it, he'll give it to me. I thought that was very reasonable and I appreciated his approach. It looks like we're all going to get along.

One possible area of concern yesterday was my blood pressure. After sitting in the waiting room for over an hour, and then the exam room for 15 minutes, my anxiety was sky-high. When the doctors mentioned it after the ultrasound, I asked them to take it one more time. Fortunately, it was just fine then! My next appointment is Tuesday. Until then it's rest, rest, rest!

Thank you so much for all the sweet comments, thoughtful suggestions, advice, encouragement, and prayers. It means so much to me!

And I should explain the title refers to how long we were gone thanks to traffic and an insane waiting room time. It was pretty ridiculous actually. I just sat there thinking, "I can't shower every day but I can sit in the car and the waiting room for hours?" Oh well...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Incompetent

It's official: I have an incompetent cervix. This was diagnosed yesterday during an ultrasound that showed the inside of my cervix is opening. It's obviously not good news. TOIAW and I were pretty much shell-shocked and didn't really have the presence of mind to ask many questions. I am on complete bed rest with instructions to get up and be up as little as possible. The doctor went as far as to mention there have been no studies comparing bed rest patients who have showered daily and those who don't but he recommended I don't.

One of my first thoughts was, "How is this going to help? I'm practically on bed rest now since I'm still so sick. I don't do anything." Of course, after one evening of doing nothing I realized how much I was doing and, granted, it wasn't a staggering amount but I was up more than I thought I was. But she only weighs 4 ounces...how could she be putting pressure on my cervix? I'm so scared. Terrified, actually.

I go back Tuesday afternoon which is soon but he didn't have anything later in the week. I plan on asking a lot of questions then. Questions such as, my cervix is still long (3.3-3.5cm), does that mean anything? Can you do another cerclage stitch higher? Are the low pains and twinges I'm having likely cervical in nature? When do I panic? What are the things that would send me directly to the hospital?

The doctor told us bed rest is a theory and it certainly not proven but nothing is and once the cervix begins to open that's it, it's not going to close but hopefully we can prevent it from opening further. He said he wants to try to get me 4-5 weeks past where I was when I delivered Sarah. So far I've resisted Googling 'babies born at 28-29 weeks;' I just can't go there yet. And, to be honest, right now I'm wondering if we'll make it that far. I'm trying to stay calm but I'm so, so scared.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ugh.

I really wish my appointment had been today. Chances are everything is fine but I just keep having the who-ha pain and it really scares me. I just want to have a normal cervical length and see our beloved Little One. Well, that and I want this pain to GO AWAY. Is that too much to ask?

My appointment is at 2 p.m. EST. Feel free to pray. I'll update afterwards. By the way, I'm 15 weeks today. That's something to celebrate, right?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Moving On Up

My doctor's appointment, that it. I wasn't scheduled to meet my new doctors until next Friday. I had tried to get an appointment earlier in the week but with Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah, it was a crazy week for them. I figured I could just deal with it even though I was used to weekly appointments and they expected me to go nearly 3 weeks before seeing my baby/being reassured that things are still growing nicely in there. I didn't make it, though. Last night I had dull cramping all night and now I feel some pressure/pain way down there which isn't new but it won't seem to go away so I thought I would call and see if I could move up my appointment. Now I'm going on Friday afternoon right about the time the hurricane will be visiting the area. Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend combined with hurricane rain and winds should make for awesome driving conditions. A normal person would wait until next week. I am not normal.

What do you think my doctor will say when I ask him why it feels like someone wearing pointy steel-toed boots kicked me in the crotch and even when I "lay down" as the Internets suggest, it still takes quite some time for the pain to subside? And why is it that when I get up to do go to the bathroom or let the dogs in/out, it begins to feel better but if I am in the sitting position for more than 5 minutes, I'm searching the house for a ghost wearing those darn boots? How long do you think it will take him to find a red marker and write "CRAZY" on my file?