Saturday, November 27, 2010

Who's in charge here anyway?

My scan on Wednesday exceeded my hopes and prayers! The baby is in the 28th percentile in growth and my fluid levels were in the normal range. Low normal but still normal! The nurse who did the scan was amazed at the difference she saw between Friday and Wednesday and she measured the baby several times because she really couldn't believe how much growth there was in 2 weeks. I was am so excited; I finally believe we're going to take a baby home with us. I'm in awe.


Unfortunately, as precious as this little girl is, she is beginning to present with some behavioral issues. Namely, she will not allow me to sleep on my side which, as a stomach sleeper, is already a compromise on my part. I can get by with it for about 5 minutes and then the kicking begins. It makes for a long night because I can get to sleep but I can't stay asleep since I'm not comfortable. If I weren't in a hospital bed that can be manipulated, I probably wouldn't sleep at all. And then there's her championship bladder kicking skills...I don't think I need to spell it out for you but let's just say I give in to those really quickly. Of course I'm thrilled she is an active baby who loves to move I just wish she would do that sans attitude, you know?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful

It's November 23 and I'm still pregnant! I'm not sure I've ever had more occasion for thanks than I do this year! If I get a slice of pumpkin pie, it's going to put me over the edge!!!

Sorry I haven't written much. If it makes you feel better, I have a long list of emails to write and phone calls to make so it's not just the blog. My days are actually a lot busier than you might think. Between monitoring, doctors' rounds, ultrasounds, and the antepartum "mix and mingle" group, there isn't a lot of idle time during the day. The nurses are also very sweet about coming by to chat and keep you company. When I'm home alone with the baby, I'm going to miss all this socialization!

Yesterday I had a great ultrasound! The doctor who pretty much never says anything positive said that the fluid level looks better than she's ever seen it which was really encouraging. [On a side note, she and I are getting to be BFFs, I think.] Tomorrow she will repeat the growth scan and plug all the numbers into the formula to calculate the baby's weight. I'm a little anxious, but not too bad. Even if there is zero growth, they will not deliver me at this point unless the baby is in distress and she certainly doesn't seem to be. I will be very surprised if tomorrow's scan doesn't show at least some growth because those kicks and rolls feel a lot stronger to me! The bottom line is even if there are placental issues, the baby is still developing and the best place for her to develop--based on what we know now--is right where she is. Thursday is 27 weeks; can you believe it?!

Thank you for all the furniture ideas and tips. I check craigslist regularly but never seem to find anything good there; some cities are better about that than others. As you might remember, Botson's craigslist is more infamous than anything else. I'm still pretty sure we won't buy anything until I can go look for myself but I think we have what we need to be able to care for her when she comes home which, no matter when she is born, won't be until February. At some point, we're probably also going to need to decide on a car seat/stroller combo so we can actually take her home and a name might be helpful as well.

For now, however, I'm going to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Hungry

The title of the post has nothing to do with the content but I couldn't think of a title and I'm really hungry at the moment so there you go. I'm hoping my food arrives soon.

So the ultrasounds on Friday and today show that the fluid level is stable. I was praying for a dramatic and miraculous increase but I'll take steady. As long as things remain steady, no decisions will be made until the next time they "weigh" the baby which will be a week from Wednesday. She continues to look good during her monitoring and it's so fun to hear her heartbeat for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Honestly, I think it's better than the ultrasounds.

The other big news of the day is that I ordered a Moses basket! Not terribly exciting for most people but it's a big step for me. I finally found an organic one I like and it was on sale so I bought it. I also want to have a dresser/changing table and some kind of rocker before she comes home but I don't know if that's going to happen. I struggle between the balance of quality and price. If I knew for certain that spending more would mean the pieces would last longer, I wouldn't hesitate but I'm just not so sure. Any thoughts?

My food just arrived so it's goodbye for now. I hope it tastes better than it looks. It doesn't really matter though because I'm going to eat it no matter what.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

But, Wait! There's More!

Yesterday I was super excited to have an ultrasound and find out how much Baby Girl weighs these days. I was warned they just work people in as they have time and I might wait all day so I was really excited when a nurse came shortly after 8 a.m. I was in such a good mood that I didn't even let it bother me when I realized the only doctor I don't really like would be the one doing the scan.

First she looked at my cervix and although she had a lot of difficulty finding the cerclage stitch, she did see it eventually and said she was "pretty sure" I wasn't funneling beyond the stitch. So far, so good. Then she moved on to the baby and began taking measurements. There was a tv monitor I could see but the resolution wasn't very clear so I couldn't clearly see the numbers/dates when she would take a measurement but after the third time I saw 22wXd, I asked her what was going on. She was polite but dismissed me with a, "Just let me finish, and we'll take a look." I remembered why we didn't hit it off last time we met. I was trying so hard not to cry and finally she finished and told me the baby is in the 21st percentile as compared to the last time when she was in the 37th percentile. Also, my amniotic fluid levels are low. She actually said they were in the low-normal range but that's not what the report said. Because she's a fellow, she left the room to consult with the attending and I began to bawl. It was great fun. After what seemed like an eternity, she returned and said she will do a repeat ultrasound on Friday and that a nurse would be there in a few minutes to take me back to my room. Thankfully, it was my nurse and she was armed with tissues and encouraging words. I love the nurses on this floor!

I was pretty upset but I managed to call TOIAW and tell him what happened. He helped me calm down and we agreed not to panic and just wait to speak with my OB who promised to stop by when she had a break (she was working in L&D all day yesterday). That break didn't happen until 9 p.m. but she called several times to tell the nurses to let me know she hadn't forgotten about me. It probably actually for the best because I was much more relaxed by the time I we saw her.

She explained that this is actually more concerning to her than my cervix and she intends to follow me very closely. The indications are that there is a problem with the placenta. TOIAW asked if there was a chance this could turn out the be nothing but she said that the combination the low growth/weight and low fluid levels lead her to believe, "something is brewing." She ordered twice-daily one-hour non-stress tests (basically a really long Doppler that monitors the baby's heartbeat to see if she's active and doesn't have obvious signs of distress) and ultrasounds 3 days a week. If at any time it appears that the baby is in distress, I will have a c-section. For now, it's all about observing the baby and taking cues from her. We are overwhelmingly thankful for every day she stays in my tummy!

We're celebrating 25 weeks today and praying to see more fluid tomorrow!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lock down!

I first planned on writing this post to ask for advice but, praise be to God, the issue seems to be resolved. It all began Saturday night when things got a little stuffy in my room and TOIAW and I decided to open the door. My neighbor across the hall saw us and came over to introduce herself. She's 32 weeks and pregnant with twins. She was feeling very overwhelmed last night and told us her life story which is actually quite sad. I won't go into details but she's in a bad relationship with a man who is much older than her and who has made it clear he does not want these babies (a fact he shares with her often). She also has a 9 year old daughter and a daughter who is 22 months.


Yesterday morning the boyfriend came, dropped off the younger daughter, and left for the day. As you might imagine, that's pretty much against the rules for patients on bed rest. I heard her running up and down the hall all morning. I know it was difficult on the mom and the nurses were getting frustrated as well. Eventually they came to my room and stayed and stayed...and stayed. The daughter wrote on everything with a dry erase marker (I'm serious, the table, the floor, the chairs but fortunately it's a hospital so they're all washable). She pulled latex gloves out of their boxes and had them all over the floor. My nurse came in and I could tell she was mortified. I feel bad for the mom and I know she needs/wants company and I can do that for short periods of time but I can't handle entertaining a toddler and offering free counseling for an hour at a time. I eventually texted TOIAW and told him to call me and if that didn't work, he was supposed to call the nurses and have them rescue me. They left while I was still on the phone and a little while later my nurse came in and asked if I wanted company. I told her the truth: I don't mind in small doses but I have so much going on myself and I'm not in a place to bear burdens for strangers. I know that sounds harsh but fortunately my nurse didn't think so. She was kind enough to brief the night nurse and they both said it would be handled further today with the nurse manager.

This morning my nurse didn't say anything and I didn't either. My nurse was in my room and/or in the hall all three times this morning when my neighbor stopped by (to ask for my iPad which I reluctantly let her borrow the third time she asked because she was very persistent and I did not want an awkward situation to become even more so). A little while later my nurse came in and asked about everything so I told her what had happened and she said they were instituting a new "rule" that there can be no borrowing of property and no visitation unless a patient's door is open. What a relief! I had been praying about how to handle the situation and it was totally resolved without me having to say anything to anyone! My heart really hurts for her and her situation and I told God if this is what I'm supposed to do here, I will but I truly believe He confirmed that this is not a season in which I'm meant to minister in that kind of way.

So, for now, the antepartum wing is on lock down! Hopefully this will conclude this episode of General Hospital and we can all get back to our regularly scheduled bed rest.

The Social Worker Said I'm Normal

First of all, let me just say how awesome you guys are for commenting on my last post which was actually a non-post thanks to iPad/blogger technical difficulties. I think I have figured that out--for the most part--but I'm writing from my laptop today just in case. Also, my neighbor across the hall borrowed my iPad so this is my only writing tool at the moment. And while I'm here I will just mention that I love, love, love my iPad!!!

I wrote a long post Friday but thanks to the funky hospital wi-fi, I lost it and didn't have the energy to rewrite it. I'll just catch you up on the highlights of the hospital thus far...

Check-in Wednesday took forever (like 5+ hours) and I had been sick all morning and was starving so by the time I got to my room I had a wicked headache that prevented me from sleeping very well. My room is at the end of the hallway and it's pretty quiet so I can't even blame hospital noise for that night. I began my glucose tolerance test at 5:00 a.m. and never really fell back asleep after that. Before the test, someone warned me that this hospital uses very strict guidelines when diagnosing gestational diabetes and the only test they use is a 2-hour test as opposed to the more popular 1- and 3-hour tests. Bottom line: I failed the test. I wouldn't have a year ago when they followed the old standards (or at most other facilities in the U.S.) so I guess I just got lucky. It actually hasn't been a big deal because there's a diabetic menu that makes it easy to track what I'm eating and I just call the nurse when it's time to test so there's really nothing special I have to do. I can't say exactly how I'm doing because the steroids I was given to help the baby's lung development interfere with glucose levels but so far mine are well within normal limits (given the circumstances) and both my OB and MFM think it will be a non-issue once they leave my system. Frankly, I think both of them have much bigger concerns when it comes to my treatment. That being said, they're both positive.

On Friday the social worker stopped by. She's straight out of central casting with flowy skirts and artisan jewelery with a distinctive Southwest flair. We chatted for a while during which time the student shadowing her took an alarming amount of notes. She, of course, asked me how I'm doing and I told her I was actually relieved to be here because it meant that 1) I made it to 24 weeks, 2) if I have any questions here, they're easily answered and I don't have to sit at home and wonder and 3) TOIAW has been able to relinquish his role as primary caretaker which is great for him as he nears the end of the semester. Guess what? She said a lot of people feel relief upon admittance to hospital bed rest and she thinks I'm normal! She also told me that 75% of the bed rest patients here are diagnosed with GD which was even more comforting because I'm almost never in the medical majority!

I have more to say but will have to save it for now because my lunch should be here any minute and I don't want to interrupt my schedule. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm bored and/or if I have enough to keep me occupied...the truth is I must just be easily entertained because I have my routine down and the days seem to go by surprisingly fast so far. Let's hope it stays that way!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010