Archive | September, 2012

yesterday

28 Sep

I know that many are wanting to hear about our day yesterday and I am sorry  because I am just not ready to tell Angel’s story.  I am so broken right now.  I just have no words.  Angel is in a better place and I should be rejoicing, but it is hard to do that when all I want to do is hold my baby.  So, please just pray for me that I will feel some peace and feel Jesus’ love.  I hope to be able to write soon.

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this is the day

27 Sep

For 36 weeks 6 days I have had the opportunity and privilege of carrying Angel in my womb and I praise God for every moment.  This morning that all changes.  I admit that up until now, I have not put my complete trust in God to protect and care for Angel.  I have fooled myself into believing that it is my job to protect Angel, that somehow I am in charge of what happens to Angel.  This morning, I have nothing left to do but to trust in Him.  For He is the one who gave Angel to me and He is in charge of Angel’s life.  He has been from the beginning.  No matter what the outcome, I will praise Him.

I don’t ask for much, but I would ask that you would pray for us today.  Thank you for following us on this journey.

changes

19 Sep

I don’t know when I will learn to stop making plans and depending on those plans to never fail.  The plans I thought were foolproof have now been changed again and I am still trying to deal with the change.

Since I last wrote, I have been to a couple more Doctor’s appointments.  On the 11th, I saw my Doctor here in town.  We listened to Angel’s heartbeat and she measured me.  Angel’s heartbeat was healthy and I was measuring okay.  When they took my blood pressure, it was high, but not too bad.  They took it again before I left and it was better.  I set up a couple appointments to see her after the c-section, but nothing before.

I kept busy the rest of the week with work.  Over the weekend, I spent a full day cooking food to put in the freezer for Arturo to eat while I am recovering from surgery.  I was utterly exhausted by the end of the day, but I am very glad that I did this for him.  On Sunday morning, as we drove to church, Arturo asked me if I had still been feeling the baby move.  I immediately said yes, but then during church I started panicking a little bit when I realized that I couldn’t remember if I had felt Angel move at all on Saturday and I knew I hadn’t felt the baby move yet that morning.  Somewhere in my mind, I have convinced myself that it is my responsibility to protect Angel.  I am convinced that if Angel were to die inside me, it would somehow be my fault, that I hadn’t done enough to protect Angel.

Towards the end of the church service, our Pastor had everyone in the congregation come down to the altar.  We were all gathered there singing praises.  Randomly, a man from our congregation came and prayed for Arturo and I. He prayed many beautiful things for Angel and for us, but what I will never forget is the end of his prayer.  He prayed, “Lord, and just let Amanda be able to feel the baby move to calm her fears.”  Wow.  He had no idea.  I hadn’t told anyone about what was running through my head, terrorizing me that morning.  After church, my dad, Arturo, and I went out to lunch.  During lunch, Angel was moving like crazy.  I became completely overjoyed and knew that there was no way I could deny that God is hearing all the prayers being sent up for Angel.  There is no way to fathom the depth of His love.

That afternoon, my blood pressure was awful high again, so instead of spending the day cleaning the house, I sat around with my feet up.  Arturo and I rented some movies and just hung out together.  It was a nice, relaxing day.

Monday morning, the 17th, we had appointments with our specialist and with palliative care.  I was feeling especially irritable that morning and just generally unsure of what to expect.  When the nurse took my blood pressure, it was very good and so I was very pleased by this.  Before our ultrasound, I had read that Angel should be weighing over 5 lbs by this time.  When the tech put the wand on my belly, the first thing we heard and saw was Angel’s heart beating at 148 bpm.  I was thrilled.  Then, she showed us Angel was breathing.  Those sweet movements of baby’s chest rising and falling brought tears of joy to my eyes.  She tried very hard to see if Angel is a girl or a boy, but baby just doesn’t want us to know, so we will wait.  When she showed us Angel’s head, she said, “You see that white stringy stuff on baby’s head?  That is hair.”  Our baby has hair.  She then told us that Angel is weighing 3 lbs. 7 oz.  This news panicked me.  Angel had only gained 3 oz in 3 weeks.

When our Doctor came in, he told me that if Angel died inside me before October 4, that I would not need to have a c-section.  He said that they would just induce me and I could deliver the baby.  I was very confused why he was telling me this.  Why would Angel die inside me?  With the way our last appointment had gone, I had no reason not to believe that Angel would survive until the c-section.  He told us that while he wasn’t 100% sure Angel’s diagnosis was fatal, he said that Angel was not growing and so was probably not getting the nutrition that was needed.  He said that he didn’t think Angel would grow much bigger before October 4th, and so he would like to offer us the option to reschedule for one week earlier.  I was so confused.  The Doctor would not tell us what we should definitely do.  He said that if we wanted to wait until October 4th that he would be fine with that.  He said that if that was what we were prepared for as far as work and family then we could go ahead with that date.  He said that if that was when I was ready, that is when we should do it.  I started bawling.  I told him, “I don’t think I will ever be ready.”  That is the truth.  I will never be ready to deliver Angel.  As long as Angel is in my womb, I am protecting baby.  Once Angel is born, I cannot do anything more to protect our baby.  It will be completely out of my hands.  Now, logically, I know that this situation is not in my hands at all.  I know that even though Angel is in my womb, God is still in control of what happens to Angel, but it gives me comfort to know that I am providing for our baby.  He said that we didn’t have to decide right then and there.  They left us alone in the room for a few minutes while I cried and tried to collect myself.  Arturo was very quiet.  I told him that I didn’t want to reschedule the date.  He said he agreed.

We then met with the palliative care Doctor and nurse.  We told them about our appointment and I shared with them how I was feeling about the whole situation.  I told them that I just wanted to do what was best for our baby.  I wanted to give our baby the best chance of surviving in this world.  I didn’t want to make the wrong decision, but I didn’t know what the right decision was.  I was afraid that if we continued with the October 4th date, that we wouldn’t get to hold our baby alive and I was afraid that if we rescheduled for a week earlier that Angel would not be prepared to live outside the womb.  The Doctor, who as I have mentioned before, is a strong Christian man, told me that he didn’t think there was any reason to believe that Angel would survive more than a couple hours outside the womb no matter when baby was born.  He said that just because we can see Angel breathing does not mean that lungs are forming.  He said that he was pretty sure that by moving our c-section up a week, we were being offered the best chance of holding our baby alive.  This shattered me.  I had no idea how to respond and I still was completely unsure of the decision that needed to be made.  Arturo, who had been pretty quiet up until this moment, said that in his head, he had also prepared himself for the date of October 4th.  When the Doctor first told us that morning that we might want to reschedule, his initial reaction was that we shouldn’t.  But, he said as he sat there and thought about it, he felt that in his heart, God was telling him it was the right decision to move it up one week.  So, with that said, we decided to move it up.  The palliative care Doctor told us he thought it was the right decision and that he would pray that the Holy Spirit would give us a peace about the decision.

I was still worried about schedules, though.  When we first made the appointment for October 4th, it was a great day on my dad’s constantly busy calendar.  I wasn’t sure what his schedule looked like for one week earlier.  I contacted him right away and he said that while he did have some things going on, it was nothing he couldn’t cancel.  I was also worried about work.  I had it in my mind that I would be at work for another two and a half weeks and have that time to get everything ready for my absence.  Now, this would only give me one and a half weeks and I wasn’t sure that was enough time.  It is just my nature to want to take care of everyone else and make sure that things go smoothly for everyone involved.  Over the past couple days, I have made myself let these things go and try to simply focus on what is best for Angel.

We rescheduled the c-section for September 27th and this date and time seems to work for everyone that is involved.  I still do not feel like I am ready.  I still feel like I probably never will be ready.  I still am not sure if this plan is final, but I am going to just have to trust in God to take care of us all.

I want to mention how grateful I am to all of you who have been following Angel’s story, for praying for Angel and for us.  We are still believing for a miracle and are so grateful for all of you that are too.

hospital

9 Sep

I had a couple scary days this week.

Arturo went back to working nights this week.  With Monday being a holiday, his first night back was Tuesday night.  Wouldn’t you know it, his first night back, I have a problem.  I was feeling fine, watching TV and playing with Zeus.  About 11:00 pm, I was trying to wind down to go to sleep.  I went to the bathroom and became pretty certain that I had lost my “plug.”  Now, from my knowledge of labor and delivery, I was pretty sure that once you lose your plug, the next step is your water breaking, and then labor begins.  I was very freaked out because I don’t have any water to break, so I wasn’t sure how I would know if labor is beginning.  I wasn’t having any contractions, but I knew I had to do my best to avoid this because I cannot deliver this baby.  I didn’t know what to do.  I wasn’t even sure if I had indeed lost my plug.  After a few minutes of debating what to do, I called my mom and told her what had happened.  I told her I would take a picture and send it to her.  After a few minutes, I called her back and she said very calmly, “Yes, it does look like you lost your plug. We need to go to the ER.”  I got dressed and did my best to not freak out while my mom got ahold of the ER for me and her and my dad drove over to pick me up.  I sat on my bed and as I surveyed the room and tried to control my breathing, I noticed some of the clothes hanging in my closet.  I just bought some new maternity clothes and I noticed the three new shirts hanging there that I had not had the opportunity to wear yet.  I let that freak me out a little bit.  I started thinking that I can’t have this baby right now!  I have new clothes to wear still!  I am such a girl.  I then started having all these terrible thoughts about what would happen to Angel if I went into labor.  I couldn’t believe this was happening.  I didn’t want to call and bother Arturo at work until I knew for sure that this was something to be concerned about.

When we got to the ER, they checked me in and sent me straight up to the maternity floor.  I was very surprised and happy with this because in my experience with Emergency Rooms (which if you know my family…we are there a lot) you hardly ever get to head straight to a room without spending several hours in the ER.  The nurse on the maternity floor explained to me that losing your plug does not necessarily mean labor is starting.  She said that some women never even notice they have lost theirs.  She said that it could start right away, or it could be two weeks.  But, she said the best thing to do is to make sure I was not having any contractions that I couldn’t feel.  So, they hooked me up to the monitors to check the baby’s heart and to watch for contractions.

I was feeling very bad that I had dragged my parents out of bed so late.   My dad had to work in the morning, and they spend so many unwanted hours in hospitals already.  Luckily, my dad can sleep pretty much anywhere and he sat down on the couch in my room and was out cold.

I was not having any contractions and Angel’s heart seemed to be doing fine.  There were moments when Angel’s heart dropped under 100 bpm, but it would come right back up.  The nurse said that this was probably due to Angel holding onto the cord when it would dip, but as long as it came back up, it was fine.  When she took my blood pressure, it was 191/109.  This is pretty high.  She took it again a little later and it wasn’t much lower than that.  She talked to my ob on the phone and she thought that since the baby looked to be okay and I wasn’t having any contractions, that I could go home.

I got ahold of Arturo while he was on his break and told him we were in the hospital, but that there was nothing to worry about.  I told him I would be home before he got off work.  The nurse came back in to check my vitals one more time before sending me home, and my blood pressure was still extraordinarily high.  She said she didn’t think I would be going home and left to go call the Doctor.  When she came back, she had a whole list of tests they were going to run and said that no, I would not be going home.  The worry was that I was toxemic.  It was about 2:00 am and I sent my parents home.   There was nothing more they could do, so it made sense for them to go home and get some sleep.

So, the nurse hooked me back up to the monitors to watch baby.  She put a blood pressure cuff on me and set it up to check my blood pressure every 15 minutes.  She had lab come take some blood and set me up to do a 24 hour urine test.  She said that they were going to get IV access in case I had to go to surgery and told me I had to eat the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) also in case I had to go for surgery.

When she came in to start my IV, she asked me if I had my mom’s bad veins.  My mom’s veins are so shot that there really is no place they can get IV access.  Sometimes, someone might get lucky after half a dozen pokes and get a vein to thread, but it won’t be long and it will blow out.  I told her that no, my veins were great.  So, she began to look and was having trouble finding a spot to try.  She eventually did find a spot that she thought would work.  She got the needle in, but it blew before she had even taped my hand.  So, she called me a liar  about my veins and went to call anesthesiology.  When the anesthesist came, he had quite a bit of trouble too.  He tried once and missed then said he would go downstairs and get the ultrasound machine and try with that.  He missed again, even with the ultrasound machine.  On the fourth try, he finally got it and he too said that I had my mom’s veins.  Thanks mom 🙂

Well, once the torture was done, I tried to relax.  I couldn’t sleep at all, though.   I laid awake in the bed and watched TVland, watched the monitors.  I kept waiting for my blood pressure to go down, but it just didn’t seem like it was going to.  Around 4:00 am, the bottom number was in the 90s, so she took the cuff off and said they would just check it periodically.

I fell asleep for about an hour and then woke up again with a list of things running through my mind.  All my plans were failing.  I planned to have a c-section on October 4th and I was not ready to have this baby now.  My dad had some important business meetings coming up and I had planned around them.  I didn’t want him to have to miss his meetings.  I was not ready to be away from work.  I had some things that I still needed to finish up before being gone for six weeks or more.  I didn’t have a bag packed for myself or for  Angel.  I didn’t have a copy of my birthing plan with me.  I still had new clothes to wear for goodness sake!

I was having anxiety about the fact that there were babies being born in the rooms all around me.  Every once in a while, I could hear a mom in labor screaming and then I would hear a baby crying.  My mom told me that she had seen some family of one of my friends.  She was in labor.  The nurses told me that my Doctor had delivered a couple of babies and had performed a c-section that day.  I was trying so hard not to think about those babies, but it was very hard.  It was also very hard when a lab tech or dietary person would come in the room and ask me questions about the baby that I didn’t really want to answer.

I spent the rest of my time in the hospital mostly just waiting.  The Doctor wanted to see the results of my urine test to decide if i was toxemic or not and what the plan would be from there.  The second night there, Wednesday night, Arturo didn’t go to work and instead stayed at the hospital with me.  We were both able to get some rest, even though they came in every two hours to check my blood pressure.  My blood pressure stabilized during the night to around 130/80, so that was good news.  In the morning it was back up again and we continued to wait.

I cannot deny that I was very frustrated.  There were things I needed to be getting done at work.  I was hungry and they just kept bringing me burnt toast with no butter and plain white rice.  I kept thinking that there was no reason for me to be there because if all I needed was bed rest,   I could get that at home.

On Thursday at about 8:30 pm, my Doctor came in to give me the verdict.  She said that my urine and all the other labs they had run came back great.  She said that I was not toxemic, but had gestational hypertension.  She said she had talked to my specialist and they both agreed that I did not need to be on bed rest or work restrictions as long as work was not too stressful for me.  I told her that sometimes work is stressful for me, but it is also stressful for me to not be there, so she said I would have to find the balance between that.  She said that it seemed that my hypertension was being brought on completely by stress and I would have to make decisions about which situations would be too stressful for me and I would need to avoid those.  I asked her when I could go home and she said right away.  I was so happy!

So, I have been taking it easy since then and plan to return to work Monday morning.  My blood pressure has still been high, but I haven’t had any contractions.  I have a Doctor’s appointment here in town this week and with the specialist the week after that.  We continue to pray for a miracle and praise God that I am not toxemic.

 

 

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