Saturday, October 31, 2009

Daddy's turn!

So Elisa has been under the billirubin lights for about 2 days now, but in talking with the nurse practitioner in charge of her care, her numbers are borderline and she feels she will most likely be able to come off the lights. She is still doing excellent, although she did have one instance of brady while we were in the room. But she also corrected herself, so that's good.

Long and short of it is, I was able to change her diaper and give her a quick sponge bath. And then, it was Andrew's turn to hold her! After a few initial moments of wait, who are you, and her looking up at him, she calmed down. She recognized him at this point, and settled down to sleep. I was able to give her a little food in her feeding tube and she's been sleeping ever since. Here's a photo of her recognition:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Welcome Elisa Grace - the birth story


Not only is she a drama queen, but she's impatient and has a mind of her own. As you read, on Monday I was moved back down to L&D as I was having contractions overnight and I also had an increase in labor symptoms. They wanted me to be monitored for 24 hours a day instead of the 2 hours a day they normally do in antepartum. We got a great nurse our first day down there and when we were talking with her about our frustration with the whole doctor shuffle and each one having a different plan of action and attempting to talk me out of the terb pump, etc etc, she managed to work it out that the doc who put me on the terb pump (who is also the one that all of the nurses I've spoken with absolutely LOVE) was my "main" doc and any change in plan for my care would have to go through him first. I was ecstatic. He wanted to check me again as he had a couple of ideas of how to prolong my pregnancy but first needed to see where I was and where the baby was. So he checked, and baby was footling breech again, but he also disagreed with the 6cm that had sent me back down to L&D but felt I was more 4cm. Again with the cervix moving backwards! He also increased the terb as I was still having breakthrough contractions and irritability.

But as the day continued, the terb, even at the increased value, was not stopping things. So he decided to put me back on the mag, even though it had given me a pulmonary edema before. They put me on a lower dose and watched my breathing and lungs very very closely. I also was diligent at doing my breathing exercises. After the first initial doses, I finally quieted down. He had considered moving me up to a higher dose, but after seeing how quiet I became with the smaller dose, he didn't want to increase my risk of the edema. The terb was still on at this point just to provide that extra oomph to help keep me quiet. I was not too concerned at this point, I felt very much like this doctor was going to do all in his power to keep me pregnant as long as he could. He also moved my ultrasound up from November 5th to October 30th as that would have been 3 weeks exactly after the first one! Just so I could see her again and check her size as I knew things were getting close.

Overnight on Tuesday, I began again to have periods of 10 contractions an hour and then down to almost no contractions an hour. The next morning, they took the terb pump out as it also increased my risk of an edema and the doctor knew my body had built up a tolerance for it. The mag was still doing a decent job of calming things down as my periods of lots of contractions weren't that frequent. They also started a motrin regimen as it can help to calm the uterus.

Tuesday went on, but as it did, things began to accelerate. I'd have periods of 6-9 contractions an hour followed by periods of 2-3. They gave me the first dose of a second round of steroids, as there is significant research out there to show that babies who have two rounds of steroids within two weeks in a pre-term labor situation do much better than those who don't. The goal was to get me to atleast Friday so I'd be in the steroid window. They also kept giving me medications, boosts of terb, and something else that I can't remember to calm the uterus down. It would work for a while, but then they'd pick back up. I wasn't too concerned as things didn't seem too bad. Andrew called around 2 Phoenix time, I believe. Here is where things start to get a bit fuzzy. All seemed to be going well, so we told him that and the update and all of that.

3 pm came and suddenly I started feeling lots of cramping and rolling around. I thought that gas had become unbearable and that I was constipated, as I hadn't been to the bathroom for that purpose in 2 days. So I asked for a suppository, thinking that would stop the cramping. The pain was so severe that I was unable to breathe through a few of the contractions. The nurse was in there trying to coach me to keep breathing. The suppository kicked in so I went to the bathroom and when I was done, I noticed that I felt something "down there." At this point, I knew it wasn't good. So we called the nurse back in who called the doctor. They examined me and found I was now 7cm, baby had dropped. With her being so small and me being so dialated, we were now in a situation where she could get her legs stuck down there or her cord could come through and get crimped and she could suffocate. Our only option for her survival was to deliver her immediately, by c-section.

So we had to call Andrew and tell him this. Andrew began a flurry of activity to get here to Phoenix, everything from finding a flight out that night to driving. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of one of his students parents, he was able to fly out first thing Thursday morning. Anyway, this was around 4 pm Phoenix time and things were flying. Nurses coming in and out preparing things, anesthesiologists advising me on spinal blocks, doctors checking things out, preparing the operating room. Of course the contractions are continuing and I'm miserable and seriously at the point of just wanting this to be over. They roll me down to the operating room and I can hardly move. They move me onto the table and I still can hardly move. The pain was just that bad. I could hardly breathe and hardly move. Finally got the epidural in and just things are fuzzy from here. I know mom was in the room with me, I know I felt like I couldn't breathe. I could feel them pulling and tugging at my tummy. It was the oddest sensation. I swear it felt like an hour, but couldn't have been more than 10 minutes when I heard the doctors go "It's a girl and she's big!" They called out the time of 5:06 pm.

Then you wait to hear that first cry of your baby. It never came. I just remember, though, having this incredible peace, I just knew she was ok. Mom couldn't see anything as there was a swarm of doctors and nurses around her, working on her. I kept asking, is she ok, what's going on, and no one would answer me of the medical staff. Mom couldn't see from where she was. She asked if she could go over and check her out and was given permission. So she did. She still couldn't see much but could see that she was pink, meaning she had plenty of oxygen. She also didn't sense a rushing/panic from the medical staff around her, which told her that things were fine and they were just assessing. I don't know how long it was, but they were finally wheeling her by me and stopped so I could see her while they were still sewing me up. She was 2 lbs 13 oz and 15 inches long. I don't know how long it took, but she received an apgar score of 8. She also didn't cry in the beginning because they pretty much grabbed her and put her on a ventilator immediately and gave her surfactant. Turns out she didn't need the ventilator. I don't know when they took it out but they did tell me in the operating room that she was breathing on her own. Mom had to go with her to the NICU as for some reason they didn't want her staying with me, even though I wanted her with me, lol. I knew Elisa was ok so didn't need her to follow the NICU team. But the medical staff insisted, so off she went.

I was sent into the recovery room where I stayed for an hour and was finally moved up to post partum. The room I ended up in is the room right next door to where I spent the last week and a half, lol. It's also closer to the NICU which is why they chose to send me here. They wouldn't let me out of bed until 4 hours post op in the post partum room (which technically was 5 hours post op...would have been around midnight) in order to see her. But I was bound and determined. I couldn't see her at all really lying prone on the operating table. Mom had taken pictures, but still, it's not the same as seeing HER.

At 10:30, 2 hours before my official "release time" the nurses gave me permission to go see her! So mom and I walked (well, I was wheeled) down to the NICU and on we went. All I could think was how gorgeous and how big she was. I was in awe of her breathing on her own and just how excellent she was doing.

Andrew arrived early Thursday morning and we immediately went down to see her. She was still doing excellent. Even her second day of life, she's doing wonderfully. She is breathing room air with the help of flow, no oxygen. She is now under the billirubin lights due to some jaundice.

I did end up overdoing it yesterday and managed to give myself a fever and a high high pain number. So it did mean I haven't been able to see her today. But if I remain fever free for 24 hours, I can go see her tomorrow. So far, I've been good, and resting much more today. I walk after I take the pain meds. I should be discharged on Sunday.

So meet Elisa Grace:

Less than an hour after birth.

Mommy's first touch and view.

Daddy's first touch and view.

Elisa Grace, born 10/28 at 5:06 pm at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital. 2 lbs 13 oz, 15 inches long. I can't wait to take you home and watch you grow up.

Monday, October 26, 2009

More drama

Ugh, this kid is going to be a drama queen!

So it's been a rough few days/hours whatever. Sunday, the doctor came in and begin pushing even harder than some of the others to stop the terbutilene pump. He gave me quite a few scare reasons to stop it and stated that there is no proof that it actually works. He asked me to think about stopping the terb and going with out any anti contraction meds. Well this was like asking me to deliver now! I realize that while, maybe it's not stopping the contractions, it makes ME think it IS. And in many ways, that's worth more than the medicine itself. SO this really shook me up and stressed me out. That, with the combination of missing Andrew and just this utter feeling of lack of control over the situation I am in put me into a fit of depression. Monitoring I think went ok last night. Might have been one or two contractions but nothing worrisome. I took my meds and went to bed. Woke up around 1:30 am and thought, hmm, that feels like contractions? So I called the nurse in and she put me back on the monitor. Sure enough, I had 3 episodes of "irritability" on my monitor so they triggered the terb pump for a demand dose. After about 30 minutes it calmed then down and I dozed back off. Woke up again around 6 am and they had started again. This time I had 3 in 15 minutes. So the nurse triggered the pump again and they calmed down.

So I began my day sleep deprived and still a little stressed out. Doctor came in later in the afternoon, a different one than yesterday, and again attempted to talk me out of the terb pump. They insist my diabetes blood sugar readings are too high. Gave me a whole lot more scare stories, but Andrew and I discussed last night that we were going to stay on the terb, and if the diabetes got worse, re-evaluate then. In the course of the discussion I did mention some additional symptoms I was having and the doctor became concerned that my cervix was changing. So he decided to do a check. Sure enough, I am now 5 cm dialated. I hadn't had but a few odd contractions all day but they put me back on the monitor. I had none, not even any irritability. Also, in my morning monitoring I had none. I feel like I'm having some, but there wasn't anything showing up on the monitor, so who knows. Anyway, they aren't entirely concerned as I really am having none of the other symptoms. So we are back in a wait and see pattern and I most likely will NOT be released at 32 weeks now, if I make it that far.

The "good" news is that I've made it past 28 weeks. That is a huge milestone as far as preemies are concerned and the baby has a good, good chance if she were to come now. Every day past 28 weeks is considered "bonus" days. It means one less week in the NICU. Tomorrow is 29 weeks. Even better. Only three weeks to go until 32 weeks. There is still a chance...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

2 more days down!

And one was eventful and one wasn't!

Friday, they started me on this glibutribe or something like that. I've not actually seen the medication's name and that's what it sounds like, lol. It's supposed to control my "high" blood sugar. And I've been high, yes, but not out of control high, so I was opposed to it. They gave me two options, stop the terbutilene pump and go to another form of contraction control or start on this diabetic drug. As I was NOT stopping the terb, I opted for the diabetic drug. I did ask for a second opinion, but the original doctor did come back in and explain their reasoning for believing I needed to be on this drug, so I reluctantly agreed. My highest reading up to this point was 168. They shoot for 140 and below, optimally 120. All but 4 of the 12 readings I'd had up to this point were below 140. My reading the first day, after the first meal, on this drug? 231. I was livid. And yes, I actually threw a fit. I know that will surprise some of you but I really can put my foot down when I feel it's justified, lol. So they agreed to let me have my "experiment" which was to have another day w/o the diabetic drug and see what my sugars did on their own. I'll get to more of that in a moment.

Later on Friday, I began to feel a few contractions. As it was time for the nightly monitoring anyway, I called the nurse in and they began the monitoring then. Shrimp did well, thankfully, but I apparently had 6 contractions in that one hour (which I didn't feel but for 2) so they gave me a demand dose of the terb. 1 hour later I was still having 6 contractions in an hour. All of them were random, no pattern to it, so while they were concerning, they weren't that big of a problem. But they dosed me with terb again and started an IV thinking maybe I was dehydrated. Did the trick. I stopped with the addition of the IV fluids. I asked the doc how much water I should be drinking as I was having 60+ oz a day, and apparently I need to have 90+. I've had 120 or there abouts today, and I can tell you, I do notice a difference. I did not realize I was that dehydrated.

This morning I woke up and was able to begin my experiment. My first reading after breakfast...175, and lunch was 151. Neither were all that good but dinners was 125! So it's gone down all day. The doctor did, however, "inform" me this morning that they were allowing me this experiment but I "will" be going back on the diabetic drug tomorrow. I didn't say really anything but thought to myself "whatever." I see two doctors a day, a resident in the morning and an attending in the afternoon. The attending came by later in the day and neither advocated for or against the diabetic drug, but did give me the 140 or below number. I think he thought I was of the impression that I wasn't getting good care because he was very concerned with letting me know they were only doing what was best for me. I assured him I was not in anyway upset with their care for me. He has me pegged though. He's like, you are in a situation you can't control and it is driving you nuts, isn't it? Umm, well, ummm, maybe? Dang, didn't think I was that transparent! Anyway, he was nothing but complimentary of me and my attitude throughout all of this, especially given the extremely unique circumstances I'm in and the very rough beginning we had. He said every day that goes by with no issues increases my chances of getting to full term. And he said that he would not have considered the contractions (they call the recording of everything your "strip") on my strip to be as concerning as they thought last night. He said he would have "tolerated" them as they really weren't as dangerous as they were made out to be.

So I now have 24 more days to go till 32 weeks. Shrimp is still baking. And yes, I will still call her Shrimp, even if it is a her. She was Shrimp before we knew if she was a boy or a girl and she will be Shrimp until the day I die, lol.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today's update

Are y'all tired of me yet? I figure I have enough time now to actually update this thing, lol. So I may as well.

Not too much to update today. Doc came and talked to me and said they wanted to place me on a diabetic drug. I don't remember the name. She said it was because my sugar levels were consistently getting worse. But in reality, I've only been over 160 three times since they've tested me. The rest have been 140 and below. And they really just want to see it at 140. They also wanted me to consider stopping the terbutilene to correct the problem and go to another, oral, anti-contraction drug. But my thoughts are...why rock the boat? The terb is working and the diabetes is NOT that bad. In face my last two readings today have been in the low 120's!! Which is just high normal. So that totally refutes the docs statement that the sugar levels are getting worse.

Also, I had a few contractions start up for a little bit again today. Really not contractions, but irritability. So I got an extra monitoring. But it stopped on it's own after about 30 min. And Shrimp didn't behave this morning in her monitoring and had what I thought were too many decels lasting too long. But the nurse explained they weren't as long as I thought and were in fact in normal ranges (never went below 120 but for once). Of course nervous mom doesn't feel the same way.

And, my uncle from Michigan showed up unexpectedly! Here I am just working away this morning, the door opens and I look up to see my uncle and my mind just can't make the connection, lol. It was too early in the morning. He is in Tuscon for business and had free morning so decided to take a trip up to see me. It was definitely a welcome intrusion!!

So anyway, I'll head to bed I think. Atleast do some reading and wait for my evening monitoring and then bedtime. And then it's Friday and then Saturday! Not that it matters as not that it changes much for me, lol. I'll still get woken at 6am by the med student for my morning check up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Things you learn...

1. Hubby means more and provides more comfort than you even realize. Now that Andrew's headed home, I find myself much more nervous, sad, and less confident. Don't know if that's from just being sad that he's gone, or if his presence really does calm me down.

2. Hearing other women complain about how much longer they have till they deliver is kinda annoying. They don't know how well they have it. I'd much rather be in their shoes.

3. PMA can make all the difference.

4. You can do a lot more than you think when you really put your mind to it.

Anyway, as if you can't tell, my mood is a little somber today. Hopefully after a few days I'll re-adjust to not having Andrew here and I'll get back to my relaxed, happy mood.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yay! A new milestone

28 weeks today! Only 28 more days to go until 32 weeks. Doctors are still talking about releasing me at 32 weeks if I am still stable and things still look good. I will, however, not go off of the Terbutiline (thought it was Tributilene, but I've been corrected! :-D) pump as I originally thought. They will keep me on that. I've already developed the gestational diabetes that's a side effect of the pump. My lungs and heart are holding up well, so I don't seem to be having any of those ill effects. And doc even said today that I have a 50% chance of going full term! Not great odds, but still rather good odds! He said I'm stubborn enough to make it happen, lol. Everyone loves what we've done with the room by making it look like "home." Shrimp has also calmed down in her monitoring. We've had 4 successful monitorings where she has stayed off of her cord. She still hates the monitoring. Put up with it rather well this morning until the last 5 minutes when she just went spastic on trying to get it off of her.

So all is looking good. Our little miracle is still cooking. We have the medical staff boggled trying to figure out HOW the cervix went backwards. Of course, we know how, but the medical staff seems unwilling to accept our explanation, lol. They were still discussing my case over the weekend, analyzing, etc.

So where is Shrimp at 28 weeks:

By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open and close her eyes, which now sport lashes. This movement is more of a reflexive blink than a deliberate opening and closing, but it won't be long before she's batting those beauties at you.

Bye for now!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New developments

No no, don't worry. Nothing too big. I just wonder if Shrimp is giving me this much heartburn and she's not even here yet, what it will be like when she gets older. And I don't mean heartburn in the literal sense, I mean worry.

As a lot of you know I'm a chronic worrier to begin with. I had thought the deceleration in Shrimp's heart beat was an equipment malfunction on Friday night what with the numbers they were telling me making it look like the machine became confused over if it was finding my heart beat or Shrimp's. So last night, they brought in a different monitor that also monitor's my heart beat so they could tell the different. Well, last night, Shrimp had the same decels, going from in the 150's to 70's or 90's. Happened twice in an hour then was done. Docs think that Shrimp is resting on her cord and squeezing it, but she moves immediately when the decels occur and the heart beat goes back to normal. Docs also say this is not that uncommon of an occurrence, that any baby at this gestation has a tendency to do that. But they considered sending me back to L&D last night for more constant monitoring. In the end, they got a good hour where Shrimp stayed off her cord so left me in my room. Decels again in the monitoring this morning, but not near as severe, only down into the 120's which is actually a normal deceleration and not at all worrisome. But I did ask the doc when these decels become a concern. The thing is they aren't that frequent so doctors aren't really worried and only 1% of babies showing this end up suffocating themselves. With that being said, they will just monitor Shrimp a bit closer to make sure she continues to move off her cord. They will not really deliver her unless things really look bad as even with these decels, it's safer to leave her in than to deliver her at this point. Doc said if I were 34 weeks plus, they would look much harder at delivering her.

And then the second piece of news is that thanks to the medication I have been placed on to control the meds, I now have gestational diabetes. So now I get to go on a diet. Yes, me, on a diet. BOOO. But whatever it takes. So my meals are about to get interesting, yummy.

So 27 weeks and 5 days now. Only 1 more day until I'm 28 weeks. 30 days to 32 weeks. Bring it on!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Holy Cow, it's a...

GIRL! I am shocked as I thought for sure after docs comments last week that it would be a boy! We ended up with a surprise ultrasound because of, what I think, was some equipment malfunction. The baby monitor was showing frequent deceleration of the heart and they thought me back down to labor and delivery so they could do constant monitoring on both baby and contractions. Of course things cleared up there as there never was a problem. Tech checked baby and normally it takes her forever to get 30 seconds of breathing movement, but Shrimp obliged immediately with that. Baby scored perfect in the ultrasound and had plenty of amniotic fluid. Since it took so little to get the score in, we asked the tech if she could confirm the sex and we got a perfect shot of what were definitely girl parts! I couldn't really believe it because odds were against us on actually having a girl with Andrew having only brothers. We would have been happy either way, but this is definitely a nice surprise! So come on little girl Shrimp, keep baking!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shrimp is an ornery buggar

I believe a lot of you follow me on Facebook so you are somewhat aware of the drama we have experienced this last week. In an effort to document so that we can remember this for when Shrimp does show his/her face, I'll post all the sordid details for you here. Alert, this may be TMI for some so if you don't want to know all the gory details, don't read. So, before I launch entire the entire book I will have to write today, let's get down to business. Shrimp at 27 weeks:

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 lbs (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14.5 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning - with a lot of medical help - if she were born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually only lasts a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

So onto the details.

Saturday, October 4th - Thursday, October 8th

Saturday night, I began to feel a low down pain in my pelvic region. Right near the pelvic bone. It began that evening as we were watching some movies and I just remember how much it ached. I was holding up my belly it was hurting so much but as it was constant and not intermittent, I didn't worry about it too much. We went to bed and woke up Sunday morning and the pain was gone. It did return again that night, and after several glasses of water and laying down in bed, it again went away the next morning. But at this point I was a little concerned as it seemed very symptomatic of the UTI I had a few weeks ago, so I called my doc who pulled me in for a urine test. Preliminary results came back negative and they sent out for more definitive results. Again Monday night, I had this pain that disappeared by morning. Tuesday night, the pain returned but this time I noticed some very strong, what I thought were Braxton Hicks, contractions. There was no pattern to them and after a few big glasses of water, they disappeared entirely. Wednesday was no different. Thursday, I noticed a lot of clear, mucosy discharge that again had me calling the doc. Results had come back on UTI and were negative, and they figured because the discharge was mucosy, there was nothing to worry about. They had no qualms about me getting on the plane. Me, on the other hand, still didn't feel like something was entirely quite right, but as I'd been consistently reassured throughout the week I thought I should trust my doctor.

Friday, October 9th

I got up for my flight that morning and the first thing I noticed was the low pain I'd felt all these last few days was still there. As it was consistent, I just figured that this was just how it was going to be for the rest of the pregnancy. So I continued on the way to the airport, boarded my flight and went on my way. At the end of the 2nd flight, I began to notice that I just didn't feel right. I can't really explain how I felt, but it just wasn't normal. I needed to find a bathroom so decided to find my way down to baggage claim and take care of business while I was waiting for my bag. First thing I noticed was the mucos plug. I wasn't really alarmed at that point, just figured it was something that would grow back but felt I should call my doc anyway. They called back as I was on the shuttle bus to the rental car center and advised me to go straight to a hospital. They weren't overly concerned but thought it was best that I get checked out immediately. So I picked up my car (was a 1.5 hour wait, grr!) and headed immediately to the closest hospital, Banner Good Samaritan. After confirming with my insurance that this hospital was in network, I went in and was immediately sent up to OB Triage. Nurses there were very reassuring and felt for sure they would check me out and send me on my way in 20 minutes. You could see the shock in the nurses' eyes when she checked and found I was 2cm dialated. Asked if I had been feeling contractions, and of course I hadn't. She went immediately and got the doctor who came in about 15 minutes after the nurse originally checked me. Doctor checked and I was in the midst of a contraction (which I didn't feel) and was no dialated to 3cm. On top of that, my bag was bulging and doctor thought she could feel a foot. At this point I think I called Andrew and my parents and told them I wanted Andrew to head down immediately. Mom called my boss and Andrew and they worked out a schedule to come down. Doctor grabbed an ultrasound machine, nurses were flying around me trying to start IV's, give me steroid shots for Shrimp's lungs. It was pandemonium. About the only part I really remember here is the doc looking at me and saying "you know it's a boy, right?" I looked at her and went no. I did not hear a word after, so I don't know if she was in a round about way telling me it's a boy or if she was asking before she saw anything. She also said baby was footling breech, meaning Shrimp's feet were facing the birth canal and were pushing and kicking on the sac. They rushed me to L&D but had to stop in a hallway while waiting for my room to be cleaned, where of course the effects of the magnesium they had started me on began. I started puking in the middle of the hall. Nurses were running all over the place to get bins to catch it all in and start anti vomiting drugs. Finally get me into my room, where my uterus still won't cooperate. I remember one nurse yelling at my uterus to calm down as she gave me quick shots of Tributilene. Finally they had things calmed down. I was on IV magnesium sulfate and was only showing some irritability instead of full blown contractions. They placed me on a catheter as I wasn't allowed out of bed. The neonatologist came to speak to me about the chances of babies born at 26 weeks and 3 days. Survival rates were 75%-89% but babies needed significant help. It was, in a sense, comforting to know that odds were atleast in our favor but still terrifying. Things remained calm for the night.

Saturday, October 10th

Andrew arrived in around 7 am that morning. I was still on the mag and things were still rather calm. Doctors were still uncertain at that point of what really was going on but they were optimistic. They were watching for signs of infection to try to explain the sudden labor and were also concerned about the heart shaped uterus. The doc indicated in a purely diplomatic way that he felt my doc back home was an idiot for allowing me to travel at all with this unique uterus. Things remained quiet however, and we became optimistic that we would atleast make it to 32 weeks. Mom and Dad arrived sometime this day, but I don't remember when. I received the second steroid shot this evening. I needed to get in what they call the "steroid window" when the steroids would have the best effect on the baby if we had to deliver. We went to bed very optimistic.

Sunday, October 11th

Things were still mostly quiet, but then I was still on the mag. I think I would have the occasional contraction, but nothing that worried the docs at this point. At 4:30 I was in the steroid window, so they needed to stop the mag. The reason to stop the mag was it could cause long term effects on me and short term effects on Shrimp. For me it could cause a pulmonar y edema (fluid on the lungs) and an increased risk of osteoperosis. For baby, it can cause additional calcium deposits that could cause issues with Shrimp's baby teeth. All of that would be resolved when the permanent teeth came in. It could also cause more brittle bones for both of us. For the first few hours, things were again calm. Andrew and I settled down to sleep, I was given some Ambien to help me to sleep, and my parents headed to the house they were staying in (childhood friends from Andrew's church in Iowa). Things were really calm and the mag was weaning out of my system. We were confident that my body would hold it's own.

Monday, October 12th

We were woken very early, I think it may have only been 11 pm to midnight. I'm not sure, because I was on the ambien so I had no recollection of being woken up. I was told I was talking about mazes and frogs as the doctor and nurse were trying to talk to me. Andrew was very confused having gone to sleep thinking all was well and was roused from a deep sleep to be told that they had to do an amniocentesis. Bright lights were on everywhere and Andrew was very freaked out as he didn't understand how things went from being perfectly fine to lots of irritation and contractions. Tributilene was not working to stop them and docs were worried that there was an infection in the amniotic fluid that was causing me to contract. Andrew thought with all the activity and the messages he was getting from the medical staff that they were going to deliver the baby right then and there. He called my parents in and they performed the amnio right there in the room. Then the tense wait began to see what the results were. If it turned out there was an infection in the amniotic sac, then they would have to deliver me immediately as it was not safe for the baby. If there was no infection, they would get aggressive on stopping the labor. I had progressed from 3cm dialated to 5cm dialated and was 100% effaced and the sac was still bulging. Baby had moved from footling breech to just standard breech. Results came back from the amnio as negative, there was no infection, so they immediately started the mag. The continuously monitored me and baby through the night, I don't think the nurse really left my side. None of us slept. They checked me again early morning to find I was still 5 cm, 100% and 0 station. Bag had moved up a little bit in that it no longer felt as "tight" as it had in previous checks. Labor had again stopped with the mag.

Later in the morning, after only being on the mag for a few hours, I began developing problems breathing. My lungs were very sore and doctors became concerned I was developing a pulmonary edema. This was very troubling as if I was, then they would need to stop the mag again and there was no telling what my body would do. Would I immediately start laboring again? Doctor prepared us to deliver that day. I was only 26 weeks, 6 days. Results came back that I did, indeed, have a pulmonary edema and they stopped the mag. Then the doctor checked me again, and found out 2 things. 1. Baby had moved back up. I was -2 station and no longer with a bulging bag. 2. I was only 3cm dialated and 40% effaced! He was no longer as concerned that I would deliver that day! We couldn't believe it, things don't go "backwards" in labor. We knew it was God at work and protecting Shrimp, it was the only real explanation. The next miracle was I did not start contracting again. In fact, my uterus remained remarkably calm with no medication bar Motrin! Hope was back alive. They saw no reason I wouldn't make it to atleast 32 weeks.

Tuesday, October 13th

I was removed from the catheter and allowed out of bed to shower and pee. They also discontinued the Motrin therapy as it can reduce the amount of amniotic fluid for Shrimp and decided to place me on a tributilene pump, which would give a continuous stream of the medication into my system. There are no long term or even any effects on baby with this medication. I am at risk for another edema, arrythmia or gestational diabetes. So after 32 weeks they will re-evaluate keeping me on this med. I am still on complete bed rest, however, and am not allowed out of bed really. It was another calm day with 1-2 contractions every 6-8 hours.

Wednesday, October 14th

I graduated! They moved me from labor and delivery to antepartum. Basically this is a reduced level of care and monitoring as I no longer needed to be continuously monitored. I'd been very calm and there is a bit higher of a freedom here, however I am still on the bed rest. We did manage to get a quick ultrasound as Andrew was very concerned since he can't feel all the movement I can. Another miracle...Shrimp was no longer breech, but was instead head down! We couldn't believe it! His/her back was arched but was practicing breathing and wiggling around.

Thursday, October 15th

Still on bed rest, still in antepartum, still no real activity. Shrimp is very active and having regular parties in my uterus. Hates being monitored and will literally push up at the monitor whenever it's on. Is getting big enough that I can literally see my belly move when he/she wriggles. We've had three ultrasounds since the first when the doc said "you know it's a boy, right" and have yet to be able to confirm that. Shrimp has been characteristically stubborn and has kept the legs crossed for each subsequent ultrasound.

Friday, October 16th

Another very quiet night. Doc came in to tell me that I may be released at 32 weeks if things continue this quiet. However, I will not be allowed to leave Phoenix. Airlines will not let me on with how far dialated I am and it's not safe for me to drive 20+ hours into desolate areas.

So anyway, that's where things currently stand. We are still optimistic about 32 weeks. I am in great spirits.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Almost forgot!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I just realized that I almost forgot that today was the weekly anniversary update, eek! Shrimp is now 26 weeks baked, leaving 14 more weeks to go, or 98 more days. And what's been going on? Well, I've been growing. And so has Shrimp. OUCH. I don't think my muscles, stomach, can stretch any more! And honestly, I'm not even that big! I am at the point where people look at me and wonder is she, isn't she, but don't want to ask in case its just weight, lol. But the last few nights, I've ended up in intense pain which doc is telling me is the growing pains based on where they are. Last night, I experienced a few quite painful braxton hicks contractions as well. Lucky the woman who has painless BH's, because let me tell you. As a pre-cursor to labor, I'm going give me the epi! One was so strong I was using my own nails to dig into my own arm to transfer the pain sensation from my hips to my arm, lol!

On Friday, I leave for my annual conference. I do a lot of traveling but this is my "big" show every year and has traditionally required very long, busy, active, stressful days. I'm already wondering how I'm going to do this seeing as how I'm exhausted from just a day at my desk. Everyone keeps telling me to delegate, that I just have to make sure that it gets done, not that I physically do it myself. I keep thinking this is my JOB I can't use pregnancy as an excuse to not do it. So I don't know. Pray for me and Shrimp that I get the rest, water, and food that I need. Since eating also hasn't traditionally been an activity I partake in regularly during this trade show.

So an update on Shrimp:

The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes the first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum - a trip that will take two to three days.

Bring on October 16th!