Monday, January 31, 2011

So Close...Yet So Far

I have a miserable cold. Absolutely miserable. I've tried all the over the counter stuff the doctors recommended. I'm drinking lots of fluids. I'm trying my best to get some sleep but that's not so easy when the combination of mouth breathing and drainage in my throat makes it feel like I drank hydrochloric acid. I'm lucky to sleep 4 hours in a 24-hour period including short naps during the day. Last night I began coughing which is good because that way I get a little relief from the super stuffy head. I know I sound like the biggest baby but I truly feel horrible.

Last night around midnight I thought I had a fever so I took my temp and it as a little high but not quite time for the fever reducer so I waited. I checked it again at 3 and it was the same and at 5 it was even a little higher (100.5-101) so I called and of course they wanted to see me. I was put on the monitor as soon as we got there and the baby's heart rate was really high. My heart rate was high also but my blood pressure was fine. My temperature had gone down but was still a little high. I am 4 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and the baby is in -1 position. The resident freaked out and freaked us out as well. We were told an induction was most certain. The attending told us the same thing. She recommended we tell my mom fly in today. I was overwhelmed but I felt so bad it was difficult to focus on what was happening. The concern was that the fever--and the baby's reaction--was due to a brewing uterine infection not the cold. The only way to know 100% is to do an amnio but we didn't want to do that. I remained on the monitor while we waited for my labs to return and slowly the baby's heart rate lowered to the normal range. Shockingly, my white count was 100% normal so TOIAW and I began to question the induction. They suggested I spend the night, get some fluids, feel better, and do the induction tomorrow. I said I wanted to talk to the attending MFM--who is my favorite--so we waited and waited while she did 2 c-sections. I tried to rest a little and relax. Finally she came in, did an ultrasound, and said she saw no reason to do an induction today and I could either spend the night there and go home tomorrow if everything was stable or go home if I was willing to keep my regular appointments tomorrow. I chose option 2.

Perhaps I should have stayed since I've been a little paranoid all day. The baby is moving a lot which is good but I keep wondering if her heart rate is high. I haven't had a fever (that I know of) but I'm still concerned. I'm glad I'm seeing my doctor in the morning. We're supposed to have 2 snow storms back-to-back beginning tomorrow mid-morning. Awesome.

My mom went ahead and kept her plans to come. I'm so grateful, I can't even express it. I worried she would miss too much work but Oklahoma is supposed to get a lot of snow so she probably won't miss much this week. If the baby doesn't arrive, she'll go home this weekend and then come back when we take the baby home. It's probably good for her as well because she won't have to sit alone at home for several days. I have plenty for her to do here!

And because I haven't complained enough in this post, I would also like to add that I burned my tongue yesterday and it is so freaking painful. I already have no appetite and it's certainly not helping matters. It really hurts. So does my throat. I've come so far and I just cannot believe I have to feel like this during these last few weeks. I'm trying to stay positive and keep my eye on the prize. Eye on the prize, eye on the prize...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Officially Incompetent

I no longer have a cerclage! The best news about that? It didn't hurt too bad which was especially wonderful since I dropped off TOIAW at school and drove to the hospital myself. In all the times I've been to the hospital and doctors' appointments, today was the first time I drove but I only made a few wrong turns ; )

So immediately after the stitches were cut, I dilated to 2cm and I was already 50% effaced. Since I dilated so quickly, it looks like I have officially earned an incompetent cervix diagnosis. I had to walk around for a while afterwards (and visit my favorite nurses on the ante partum floor) and then have another manual exam before I was able to go home just to make sure I didn't dilate more. I didn't but I was a little more effaced. She doesn't think I will dilate more without contracting (which I really don't do and that kind of freaks me out). She also thinks I have 2 more weeks at the most. I only need a few more days to finish everything I want to have done before she makes her debut and then she's welcome to come at anytime she wants. But let's be clear: NOT TONIGHT!!! We are having yet another snow storm and our car is in the shop so we have a teeny tiny rental that will barely make it into our garage with 1/2" of snow on the driveway.

I'm super tired after my eventful day. I just wanted to write a quick update. Oh, and I guess I should also mention that she weighs approximately 5 lbs., 10 oz.! She's a moose!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I have approximately 64 personal emails I should be writing but instead I'm going to blog. You're welcome. Actually, I have housework I should be doing before I spend time on the computer but that's another issue entirely.

Last night we attended a birthing class. It was very helpful and informative. I realized there are actual physiological reasons why my back is killing me and I'm so tired and out of breath all the time; I'm not sure any of those things registered with TOIAW. Not that he is pushing me to do anything but sometimes I don't think he realizes how draining it is for me just to make dinner and clean up afterwards. I don't anticipate this changing after the baby is here either. He means well, I know he does, but I think he thinks he paid his dues while I was on bed rest and this semester he's all about focusing on school which includes classes as well as attending various seminars and special events. Admittedly, there is an impressive list of visiting speakers nearly every week but sometimes you have to make choices based on time management. Sorry, I didn't intend for this to be about bashing TOIAW. He's been wonderful throughout this pregnancy. I'm a little frustrated with him currently because he's working on a paper that needs to be done sooner rather than later yet it seems that he's spending a great deal of time in his office looking at our taxes, researching rare books, or any number of other non-paper related topics. Normally I wouldn't care that much but he still needs to pick-up the baby furniture (and assemble the crib although I know we won't use that for quite some time) and I'm at a stand still with the nursery until we have the furniture. I'm trying not to bug him about it but we're getting down to crunch time!

My doctor is going to remove the cerclage Wednesday (TOIAW has class that day so he's just going to drop me off--I find this amusing for some reason) and one of three things could happen: 1) I could go into labor immediately (not very likely) 2) I could go into labor within 1-2 weeks of removal (most likely) 3) I could go to full term and possibly require an induction (somewhat likely). I'm hoping for option 2 but I want everything to be ready by Wednesday just in case! So I made a long list of things I want/need to do before then and I'm tired just looking at it which, I suppose, is why I'm blogging. It is doable, though, especially if I don't have to go out and run errands because that's what really seems to take it out of me.

So I guess it's time to begin tackling the list. It's by no means instinctual so I certainly don't think it can be considered nesting--by the way, thank you to everyone who made me feel better about not nesting!--but it needs to be done. Do you think I have time to buy a steam cleaner and clean the carpets?

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm not complaining, but...

Everyone keeps telling me to "enjoy sleep now." Is this a joke? I know it wasn't very long ago, but I cannot recall my last night of normal sleep. I wake-up EVERY. SINGLE. HOUR. to pee. At first I thought I was waking up because I wasn't comfortable in bed but I no longer believe that's the case. I can usually sleep for an hour and a half from about 5:30-7:00 or somewhere in there but in order for this to happen I must refrain from drinking water every time I wake-up to pee. I know this sounds silly but it's very dry in our house and every night is a thermostat experiment because we're trying to figure it out before we bring a baby home. And one more strange hands swell at night. My feet swell during the day and my hands (and face also) swell at night. It's really a great look. TOIAW helps by saying things like, "Your fingers don't look like little sausages as much as they did yesterday." He only gets to live because he does dishes and lifts heavy things for me.

We had a very active weekend! Saturday we went out to breakfast, bought new lamps (our last ones were great through four moves but the fifth one proved to be too much), returned something at the mall, and saw a movie! Then, when we got home to a cold and dark house, we decided to go to an outlet mall because TOIAW's brother left that day for a somewhat long business trip to an exotic Mideastern locale and we were too sad to sit at home thinking of him, his wife, and their young children. TOIAW bought a "refurbished" home theater system and some clothes but I just walked around thinking of how great I was going to sleep after all the activity of the day. HA!

Yesterday I did some closet/drawer organization (with a substantial bag for Goodwill), laundry, grocery shopping, and made dinner which took me much, much longer than it should have. I guess I'm still a little off my cooking game. I topped off the evening by falling asleep on the couch and deciding to sleep there as well because 1) I was too lazy to go upstairs, 2) it's much easier to get on and off of than our high bed, 3) it's directly under a fan and I'm tired of being hot at night, and 4) TOIAW cannot seem to get it through his head that there is a line down the middle of our headboard that clearly separates his side from my side and he is NOT supposed to breach that boundary.

So, more chores await me today. What does it mean if you don't really feel the urge to 'nest' because I don't. I'm doing things that need to be done but I'd rather be sleeping. I'm 34w4d...does nesting happen closer to birth? Does this mean I can take a day off or is my nester broken?

Friday, January 14, 2011

The M Word

TOIAW just informed me he has received his next assignment. It's a short course (3-4 months) that will begin next January. It's somewhere in Virginia although I don't recall exactly where. We have 355 days before the course begins it's just that I HATE to be reminded that we move more often than people running from the law.

I'm truly dreading finding out where we will go after the aforementioned course. There is a 50% chance we'll go to a Mystery Country (which I'm pretty sure is TOIAW's first choice even though he admits it might not be best for his career) after a stop in D.C. for another course. The other 50% chance would be either D.C. or Germany and both would be nice although D.C. would be nicer, I think. Why am I already worried/upset about this? It's completely out of my control and, as I've seen time and time again, God is always in the details and provides wonderfully for me even when I kick and scream and throw temper tantrums.

On one hand I say what I really want is to live in one place for 2-3 years, but really I want to live in a place of my choosing for 2-3 years. I would really like to blame this on the hormones but history would suggest otherwise. Darn it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Where There's a Will...

I really want to be able to do things but I have absolutely zero stamina. At my appointments yesterday, both the MFM and regular OB said they're fine with me having a few more privileges which is very exciting and it would be even more so if I didn't have to take a 2-hour recovery nap every time I leave the house. And when I do go out, I take it very easy. We went to Costco and I rode in a motorized cart (it was just as pathetic as you might imagine); we went to a baby care class and TOIAW pushed me in a wheelchair; we went to the doctors' appointments and TOIAW dropped me off as close as he could. After the appointments, I slept for 3 hours and then we went to Whole Foods because I needed to go in and our local store is less than half the size of the other options. I wasn't sure I would be able to make it upstairs last night but I did. Yay for small victories! In 5 days, at 34 weeks, I will be off bed rest completely although I can't imagine I'll be able to do more than I am right now. Someone please tell me I'll have more energy once the baby arrives. Lie if you have to.

Today we went to an intro to cloth diapering workshop. It was very informative and we're going to try it even though I'm sure most of you think I'm nuts (although I doubt that assessment is based solely on this decision) but I'm so overwhelmed with the number of choices of diapers and diapering systems there are! I tried to do some research when I got home but I immediately fell asleep...shocking. When I woke-up I looked at it again and quickly rethought my game plan once I saw the prices of the "fancier" diapers. Until she reaches 12ish pounds, I'll probably do a combination unless I find using regular old-fashioned pre-folds much easier than I think I will.

As for our baby update--which is how TOIAW refers to our appointments--she weighed in at a hefty 4.7 pounds and is in th 37th percentile! Go, baby, go! Her abdominal circumference was consistently in the 2nd-3rd percentile but is now in the 30's...or so they say. I can't believe she's grown that much! Both doctors think I Could! Go! All! The! Way! although anything after 36 weeks is more than fine with me. The cerclage will be removed at 36 weeks which happens to coincide with TOIAW's first week of classes which is less than ideal but it's a great problem to have :)

TOIAW brought me Sarah's books today. We read to her several times a day. One of the books was just too painful for me to open because my dad gave it to her, read it to her many times, and wrote a beautiful note to her inside the book. So that will have to keep for another day. What I did draw strength from, however, was a book I often read to her: The Little Engine That Could. As I recover from 19 weeks of bed rest and prepare for child birth and caring for a newborn, it's likely I will be the crazy lady in Target muttering to myself, "I think I can, I think I can..."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm Home!

It took about 12 hours to get released from the hospital. I was so looking forward to being out on a sunny day but it was well past dark when we finally did leave. But who cares?! I'm home! CVS barely managed to bat .500 on my prescriptions and this was after we waited an hour for them even though my nurse faxed them much earlier in the afternoon. But who cares?! I'm home! (But, seriously, you really think most people prefer drawing up their medications from a vial as opposed to pre-filled syringes? Really?)

To be honest, my first night at home was pretty awful. Our room was hot, I had to pee every hour, and despite being exhausted, I just couldn't fall asleep. I realize all this is probably normal pregnancy stuff but when you don't have a normal pregnancy, nothing feels normal. Also, who cares if it's normal, it's really not fun. I mean I'm pretty sure I fell asleep standing up in the shower but I couldn't fall asleep in bed? Thankfully, last night was much, much better.

Now my main issue is still my sugar levels and insulin dosage. My sugars have been pretty low despite the fact that I've been a lot more liberal with my diet. I don't eat very many simple carbs but I've been eating a lot more fruit and yogurt with fruit. Last night I was worried I would go too low at night so I halved my night dosage (after speaking with the doctor) and I still had my lowest ever fasting sugar this morning. I spoke with the doctor shortly afterwards and she attributed it to increased activity and now I'm barely taking 1-2 units before lunch and dinner. It's surprising that such a small amount of activity can make such a difference!

Speaking of activity, we went out for lunch yesterday and I sorted through all the baby clothes we have. It was somewhat difficult to go through Sarah's clothes because if brought back a lot of memories, of course. Tuesday is her second birthday. I have an appointment that day and I haven't decided if that's good or bad. It's not like anything I do that day is going to temper the heartache. It still really, really hurts. But at least the hurt is a confirmation that it was all real: she was my daughter, she was alive, she was and is very, very loved.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"I Lucky"

One day last week I had the best dream. Incidentally, I also had an awesome nap because I was able to sleep 1.5 hours without having to pee! Back to the dream, I remembered it perfectly and I couldn't stop smiling. I was standing on a deck in a backyard with TOIAW and our dogs and a little girl with dark hair crawled up between my legs and proclaimed, "I lucky." I bent down so I was looking at her upside down and assured her that, no, I am the lucky one! I told TOIAW about it later that night and he decided that we're all lucky. I agree!

We had a nice Christmas in the hospital. I really missed my family but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. Honestly, it just kind of felt like a normal day which is pretty much how all the holidays have felt this year. That's okay because this is only a short season in our lives and it will be completely worth it in the end! TOIAW's parents and brothers are currently visiting so they could spend the New Year's holiday together as is their tradition. TOIAW's twin brother and his family came to visit yesterday but his parents and older brother haven't made it yet but they're going to try to stop by before they head back to NYC tomorrow. Their hotel is less than a mile from the hospital. I truly do not care if they come, it's just an odd thing to say, yes? Also, tomorrow isn't a good day because I MIGHT GET TO GO HOME!!!

I'm trying not to get my hopes up but that's easier said than done. My doctor has been on vacation all week but she wrote in my chart that I should be prepared to leave at 32 weeks (which was 3 days ago!!!). The nurses have been kind enough to teach me to check my own blood sugar and administer my injections. This is all very easy for an experienced IVFer :) Interestingly, however, the blood sugar testing may have raised a few issues that could prevent me from leaving tomorrow. I initially practiced testing along with the nurses when they used the hospital's glucometer but I was consistently getting numbers far lower than theirs so I was given a new home meter and the results were the same. They then borrowed a different glucometer from another floor and while it was closer to mine, it was still off by a significant margin so the next step was to do a blood test. Guess what? The hospital meter was WAY off! Nice, huh? It's now pretty clear that I'm on more insulin than I need to be but the holiday/weekend physicians are hesitant to change the dosage because I don't technically have low blood sugar. I'll share a little secret with you though...that's because I'm eating carbs like crazy so I don't spill ketones. My morning sugars are quite low even though I have a healthy (but high in sugar) snack late at night. The doctors suggested that I skip this or lower the carbs but, you know, I'm just not that interested in ending up with low blood sugar because it's easier for them. I don't want to be hypoglycemic at 4 am because it's unhealthy and unnecessary and, in my opinion, this really isn't that difficult to sort out. For what it's worth, all the nurses agree with me and they're concerned about their other patients as well.

One of the reasons I'm so ready to blow this Popsicle stand is that I found out that the UTI I had was caused by a bacteria only found in hospitals. Good times. I didn't blog about it--mainly because I couldn't type--but the regular IV thing wasn't working for me due to the harshness of the antibiotic so I ended up having to get a midline catheter. You can google that if you want but it was gross and a huge pain and I'd prefer not to have to do that again anytime soon. Also, it made my husband's face turn white as my bed sheets and he's not prone to squeamishness. My favorite Christmas gift was "passing" the test after the course of antibiotics and being able to have the line removed! I can't remember a day when showering felt so good...

Anyway, I just really need to get home so I can open all the boxes we've received! Between baby gifts, holiday gifts, and the 1 or 45 things I've ordered for the baby, there's a lot to sort ;)...or should I say inventory? After 36 weeks, I'm officially removing myself from bed rest but I'll still take it easy for the next 3.5 weeks. Thankfully, TOIAW will be home with me until classes begin again so that will easy my anxieties about being alone and needed to get to the hospital quickly. Also, he'll be available to take me to the twice-weekly appointments they've promised me. I don't really look forward to that part but oh well.

I'll close by wishing you all a happy, healthy, and most blessed 2011!!! Your kind words, support, and prayers carried me through many dark days during the past year. Thank you.