Tag Archives: infant loss

birth story

22 Sep

When I posted last on the 30th, I thought I would be pregnant for one more week.  Well, my body and my baby had other plans.

My blood pressure started to elevate again on the 30th and it was well over the numbers that my Dr. was comfortable with.  It stayed high all that day and the next day.  I was also dealing with some killer headaches again.  The next day, September 1st, I had an appointment for our last ultrasound/bpp before our daughter was supposed to be born on September 6th.

I had a feeling that he was going to make me have her that day, such a strong feeling that I thought I should pack my hospital bag and bring it with us.  But, I was so hoping he wouldn’t make that decision so I packed it somewhat and left it at home.  We stopped and had lunch before my appointment and I was sure that it was a mistake for me to eat, but decided to do it anyway.

I was pretty sure that Baby Girl had flipped herself again and I was anxious to find out if that was true.  I felt her turn to head down at 28 weeks.   At my ultrasound at 32 weeks, she was indeed head down.  Since that ultrasound, she has flipped to a completely different position before every appointment.  And, I could always feel her move.  She had been head up at our ultrasound the week previously when I was 35 weeks, 2 days.  And I was pretty sure I had felt her move again a few days after that.  Sure enough, at this ultrasound on September 1st, she was transverse.  I asked the tech if she could take a look at her cord.  With all the moving she was doing, I was a little concerned that she was going to end up having a cord accident.  She spent quite a bit of time looking at the cord and said that because of how she was laying, she couldn’t definitively tell or not if it was around her neck.

My mom, Arturo, and I went in to the exam room immediately after that and waited to see what my Dr. was going to say.  He came in the room and he looked at my blood pressure readings and I told him about my headaches returning.  He asked me to get on the exam table and he did some pressing on my upper abdomen.  It was sore, which is another indication that my pre-eclampsia was getting worse and my liver could be affected.  Without saying anything else, he got on the phone and called over to Labor and Delivery.  He told whoever answered, “I need to mess up your schedule for tonight.  I need to do a C-section this evening.” I started to cry as he gave the nurse instructions for me to come over and be directly admitted and hooked up to Magnesium.

He asked when I had eaten last and I told him 12:30 pm.  It was now 2:30 pm.  He said anesthesia would probably make me wait until 8 hours after my last meal, so the surgery would likely be around 8:30 pm.  I was really upset and so worried about her having to be born at 36 weeks, 2 days.  He handed me a tissue and told me that not only was my health getting worse, but that the blood flow to her umbilical cord was starting to slow down and that it was time to have a baby.  He spent a good amount of time explaining how that could be dangerous for her, but I kind of zoned out at that point.

I asked him if I could go home and get my stuff first and he looked at my mom and Arturo and said, “Can you guys go get her stuff?”  They said yes and so he said, “You need to go straight to the hospital.”

I asked him about being on the Magnesium and he said, “You are going to feel like shit.”  This made me cry some more.  I did not want to feel like shit when I met my daughter for the first time and I have heard so many stories of moms that puke non-stop on it or almost feel paralyzed to the point that they can’t hold or nurse their babies.  I did not want that, but he said I had to be on it to help avoid seizures.

He said that 36 weeks was considered late pre-term and that she wouldn’t need NICU time, but would need time in the special care nursery.

It’s very hard to feel like my body fails me when it comes to pregnancy.  I don’t know why I am so bad at being pregnant, but I just wanted to birth a healthy baby so badly and I couldn’t help but feel like I failed again.

I think I was still having a hard time believing that this was going to be much different from my last C-section.  It was hard to believe that this time I wouldn’t have to say hello and goodbye to my baby on the same day.  Now, today, she is 3 weeks old, and I still can’t believe it.

I was really emotional the next few hours as I waited.

My mom and Arturo stayed with me while they got my IV in.  I had a great nurse who was really sweet, but I still wasn’t going to let her try to stick me, not even once.  After the 3 of us were quite insistent, she called anesthesia to come.  The guy they sent was super funny and his humor helped to calm me down.  He found a spot on the top of my wrist that he was pretty confident with.  He got it in first try!  I was so happy, but he and I were both concerned of the placement and weren’t sure that it would last.  He said I couldn’t bend my wrist at all and I just needed to try not to use that wrist for much at all.  I knew that was going to be challenging over the next few days while I tried to take care of a baby and learn to nurse her.  (It definitely was challenging, but the IV ended up lasting the whole time.)

My mom and Arturo left just after that to go home and get stuff for me and the baby and for Arturo, who would be staying at the hospital with us.

Shortly after that, 3 nurses came in to hook up my Magnesium.  They were so dramatic as they laid my bed flat and started to tell me all the negative side effects I would probably experience within the first 5 minutes of it being hooked up.  I started bawling, like the hard ugly cry.  I was terrified.  I so wanted a positive birth experience and to hear that, “You are going to feel like you’ve been run over by a truck,” while being handed a puke bucket did not reassure me at all that this was going to be the beautiful day I had envisioned for so long.

Much to my and the nurses surprise, I felt fine.  I felt REALLY, REALLY hot and itchy, but that was it.  All the other horrible things they said would most likely happen didn’t.  I asked if it would come later and they said that if I wasn’t feeling any of it now then I wouldn’t.  So, that helped me to calm down some.  They ended up packing me in ice to keep me cool and I had Arturo bring me a fan when he came back.

Also, my dad called me.  He had hopped on his motorcycle and was on his way to be there as soon as he could.  My dad is the absolute best at comic relief and has always known how to make me laugh when I am at my most stressed moments.  Laughter is the best medicine after all.

When Arturo and my mom came back and I saw how thoroughly excited they were, that helped me to calm down too.

The C-section itself was such a completely different experience from when Angel was born.  Some of that was different in a bad way, but most of it was different in a really great way.

Our last picture before the OR!

It started out the same.  They wheeled me into the OR and got my spinal in and then prepped me on the OR table.  After that, they let Arturo come in.  When Angel was born, the drape they had up was low enough that we could see over the top.  This time, the drape was so high, we couldn’t see a thing.  That was frustrating because I could feel all this pressure and had no clue what was going on.

When Angel was born, the Dr told me when he was going to start cutting.  This time, my Dr didn’t say a word.  He just got to work.  I finally said, “Are you going to start cutting?”  I was told, “He’s already almost through your uterus.”  Shortly after that, I started to feel a ton of pressure and it seemed like they were shaking my whole body around.  I had no idea what was going on.  I could hear a few different things like, “There’s a hand, but where’s her head?”  I was starting to get a little panicky and then I heard someone say that she was out.  But…she wasn’t crying.  I immediately asked why she wasn’t crying and was told, “She will.  Don’t worry. ”  Sure enough, soon after, I heard the sweetest cry and I started bawling.

I was later told that all the trouble was because she had moved back to head up in the hours since my ultrasound and whenever my Dr would go in to try and get her out, she would squirm away from him.  He finally had to vacuum her out.  And the reason she didn’t cry right away was because he delayed clamping her cord.  So, once he cut her cord, that was when she started crying.

I never heard Angel cry.  He couldn’t cry. He cooed, but he couldn’t cry.  So, at that moment, that was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.

Through the procedure, Arturo sat at my head, this time on my left side.  When Angel was born, he was on my right side.  He held my hand and I could tell how super excited he was.  I was very nervous, still having trouble believing that she was going to be born healthy.

After she was born, Arturo got to go over to the warmer and cut her cord.  They weighed her and she came in at a perfect 6 pounds and 18 1/2 inches long!  She was born at 8:56 pm.  They let him bring her over to me and I was able to see her and touch her face for a few minutes before Arturo left with her to the nursery.  I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was.

The next hour was one of the loneliest and longest of my life.  I laid there still sort of clueless about what was happening below the drape as my Dr stitched me up.  There was idle chit chat happenning in the room that had nothing to do with my baby or me and it all made me kind of uneasy.  But, then I heard the med student that was with my Doctor mention that he used to live in Grand Forks, North Dakota and I started engaging in the conversation with them.  That relaxed me a little bit.  However, I just wanted to see my daughter, and hold her, and never be apart from her again.  I was never apart from Angel for his whole life.  They kept him in the OR the whole time I was being stitched up.

After I was all stitched up they wheeled me off to recovery where I was still alone and clueless as to what was happening with my husband and daughter over in the nursery.  My pain was pretty great at this point.  When Angel was born, they had me hooked up to a morphine pump that I could push every 10 minutes.  I don’t remember being in a lot of pain because the nurses just kept coming in and pushing my button for me.  This time, the nurse in recovery was administering shots of Fentanyl through my IV at my request every 10 minutes.  I have never been good at asking for pain medicine, so thankfully, she kept asking me if I needed another shot every 10 minutes.

A nurse came in from the nursery and told me that our daughter was doing great and that my mom was in the nursery with Arturo and everyone was crying tears of joy that our baby was healthy.  They said it would be just a short time longer and then they would bring her in to me to try and nurse.

The Fentanyl started to make me nauseous and vomit and so that was even more painful to be vomiting after just being cut open.  So, every time the nurse gave me a shot, I would vomit for a few minutes right after.

FINALLY, Arturo brought her in to me.  The nurse put her on my chest and said that I should see if she wanted to nurse.  She said she might not want to and that if she didn’t that was ok.  She gave me about 5 minutes to try, and it didn’t go well for me or for her.  We had no idea what we were doing.  So, then they whisked her back to the nursery and told me that after I was back in my room, they would bring her to me.

Amor Rose!

I got back to my room and my mom was there and so happy!  It was really late by this point, about 11:30 pm.  While I was talking to my mom and sending pictures to family members, the nurse from the nursery and Arturo came in and said that Amor’s blood sugar was only 41 and that they needed to give her a bottle of formula or start an IV if I didn’t want her to have formula.  I was really frustrated that they hadn’t given me more time to try to feed her, but at this point there was no choice but to let them give her the formula.  My mom and Arturo both thought it was right thing to do, but it made me so emotional.  I already felt like I was failing her.

My mom went home shortly after that.  It was late and she needed to drive almost 30 minutes back to our house.  So, I was alone again, waiting for some news about my daughter.

Truthfully, the first 24 hours of her life were really emotional for me.  I was awake the whole night just staring at her and in total disbelief about how beautiful she was and that she was here and that she was going to live.

Every few hours, the nurse would come in and try to help me nurse her.  But, this nurse…was horrible.  Nursing wasn’t going well and she kept trying to get me to give her more formula.  I really resisted though and said that if we had to, couldn’t I pump some colostrum instead?  She didn’t like that idea and just kept telling me, “I don’t know what to do.”  What do you mean you don’t know what to do?  You are supposed to be teaching me!  I REALLY don’t know what to do.

Finally, the morning came and that meant shift change.  The new nurse that came on from the nursery was amazing.  She was so reassuring and helpful.  She said that I was doing a great job nursing and that I was doing exactly what I needed to be doing.  She said that because she was born a little early it might be a little challenging but that we were doing fine.  She took her to the nursery for a little bit to have the Dr. look her over.

I had to be on the Magnesium for the first 24 hours of her life.  So, I was still very, very hot and itchy.  I itched until I broke all my nails.  But, even though I was really hot, apparently my skin felt cold to the touch.

We had been doing skin to skin before the morning nurse had come in to take her for a check-up and the nurse came back in the room to tell me that she was really cold and needed to be put under the warmer for an hour.  Cue the tears.  All my worst fears were coming true.  I was failing this girl already.

When she was brought back in the room, I told the nurse that we should turn the air off and that I would just have to suffer through it.  She said that wasn’t necessary and this wasn’t my fault.  They didn’t want  get overheated because it could make me sicker.  She had brought her back all wrapped up in a sleep sack and said that this was a good solution until I was off the Magnesium and started to cool off.

It was the first time I truly understood how much this precious baby depended on me for everything.  And because I was so hot, she was cold and wasn’t able to regulate her body temperature yet.  And because I was having trouble nursing, she was not getting what she needed and struggling with low blood sugar.  I could not stop worrying.

Later that day, a Lactation Consultant came in to see us and she was very helpful and encouraging as well.  She agreed with what the Day nurse had told me.  We were doing great and that it was a learning process for both of us.  I am proud to say that she never had to be given another bottle of formula and she never had to go back to the warmer. However, if she had to, I now know that wouldn’t have meant I failed her in any way.

I had another breakdown that evening, though.   After I finally got off the Magnesium and they removed my catheter my nurse let me get up and take a shower.  I didn’t think I was in pain until I finished my shower and got back in bed.  The shower was rough.  I was in so much pain that I was crying.  But, I was trying so hard to not ask for pain medication.  Finally, my nurse came in and convinced me to take something.  I realize now also, that I shouldn’t have resisted.  I just had major surgery a little more than 24 hours ago and of course I was in pain.

They had to keep us a little bit longer to continue to monitor my blood pressure and make sure that I wasn’t showing any signs of any lasting effects.  Everything was looking good so they finally let us go home on Sunday morning.

I can’t count how many times Arturo and I looked at each other in the hospital and asked each other, “Can you believe she’s here and she’s healthy?”  It was so surreal.

I had no idea how much I loved my husband until I saw how amazingly he took care of our daughter and me while we were there in the hospital.  I never changed a diaper until I was getting her dressed to go home.  He did it all.  He burped her after her feedings, he held her when she wouldn’t sleep in her bassinet, he helped me with nursing and calmed me during my anxieties.    I could not be luckier in the husband that God chose for me.

September 19 marked 5 1/2 years of marriage for us.  Honestly, if you had told me 5 1/2 years ago what these years would look like, I might not have been so eager to walk down the aisle.  These years have been hard.  Now, that we’ve walked through it, I know that God designed us for each other and that I could not have weathered these storms without him by my side.

I started crying as we were putting her in the car to go home.  I couldn’t believe we were leaving the hospital with a LIVE baby.  I hope that I will never take her for granted.  I am happier than I have ever been, happier than I knew was possible.  I know what my purpose is on this earth.

Let’s go home!

  

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9 months

30 Aug

Today marks 3 MAJOR milestones.  I am 36 weeks pregnant! I am officially 9 months pregnant!  AND, I am in my last week of pregnancy!

I cannot believe that we have made it this far.  It is so surreal.  I have wanted this for so long and I am just amazed that this dream we have had is finally coming true.  Even though I believed that God would keep His promises, it was so hard to see how that would look and when it would ever happen.  I felt weary and afraid for so long.  I no longer feel that heaviness that weighed me down for such a long time.

Right now, I am feeling crazy for a whole new set of reasons, though.

I had a pretty rough weekend.

When I woke up on Friday, I was having what I thought was contractions pretty consistently, but not really painful.  I feel so clueless about what labor feels like because the only time I have experienced labor or anything similar has been during miscarriage.  This was in no way even similar to the pain of what my miscarriage last summer felt like, but I was having tightening and some very mild cramping, so I assumed that it was contractions.  I wasn’t concerned though because I knew that it was normal to have some contractions and not be in labor.  The contractions stopped after a few hours.  I was really sick all day on Friday as well.  I puked everything I ate and just felt really horrible.

Saturday, I woke up to the same feeling of what I thought was contractions.  They weren’t any stronger than the day before and so I wasn’t worried at all either and again it stopped after a few hours.  I had more stomach issues and felt pretty tough again all day.  Also, I lost some of my mucous plug.  That afternoon, I got one of my crazy headaches.  I tried Tylenol.  I tried a cup of coffee.  I tried a bath.  None of my usual tricks worked at all.  So, finally, I just had to put an ice pack on my head and deal with the pain.  The headache finally went away at about 4:30 am and I was able to get a few hours of sleep.

Sunday, the same contractions.  But, on Sunday, I noticed the cramping pains were not really going away.  It was happening off and on throughout the whole day.  Sometime in the afternoon, I realized that baby wasn’t moving near as much as usual.  Up until this point, she has been moving so much and so forcefully that it is at times painful.  On Sunday, I definitely still felt her move and hiccup every so often, but her moves were much less frequent and forceful.  I was trying to be calm and not be concerned.  I did a lot of things to try and get her moving, but she just wasn’t budging much.

As the evening wore on, I was trying so hard to balance being a crazy person and also not being stupid by not calling the Doctor.  Finally, the emotions of it got to me and I broke down bawling.  I hadn’t told my mom or Arturo up until this point.  They both said I should call the Doctor to be safe.  So, I called his office and they said they would page him.  He called me back in less than 5 minutes and told me to go to Labor and Delivery.  I really didn’t want to go, but in the end, I am glad we went.

As soon as we got there and hooked baby up to the monitors…she started moving like crazy and was doing great.  She is such a stinker.  I felt so much better feeling her move again.

I was having some very small contractions every few minutes, but my cervix was closed, so after a little bit of monitoring baby girl and having me chug some water to slow down the contractions, they let me go home.

We had another appointment yesterday morning and had an NST done.  It was our last NST before she will be born.  Everything went well with her.  My blood pressure is staying pretty stable.  We are getting some high readings from time to time, but in general it is staying under the numbers my Dr. wants.  My labs were a little bit elevated from last week, but not enough that he is making me have her now.    Thursday, we will have our last bio-physical profile ultrasound done and get all the final details about the C-section next week.

I am telling her she HAS to stay put over the weekend because my Dr. is going to be gone for Labor Day and I DO NOT want to have one of the other Doctors in his practice deliver her.  I do not trust them.

So, sometime next Tuesday, we will get to meet this girl who we have been longing for and praying for all these years.  I am unbelievably overwhelmed by the reality of that.  Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.

 

“you’re a hot mess”

17 Aug

Those were my Doctors words to me on Monday evening, “You’re a hot mess.”  I have been laughing about that ever since then.

Over the weekend, my blood pressure started to rise again.   I was so frustrated because I had several days of normal readings and then on Saturday, boom, it was back to being super high again.  I saw no point in calling the Dr. office because my Dr. was out until Monday and I had an appointment to see him then anyway.  So, I just tried to do as little as possible and relax around the house.

Sunday was my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary!   My dad is still at home in Minnesota so we celebrated here with my mom.  My blood pressure was down that evening and I felt really good, so we went to supper to one of my and Arturo’s favorite restaurants, The Melting Pot.  My mom had never been there and had always wanted to, so it was really fun to take her there and celebrate with her.

Monday was appointment day!  Because they had to squeeze me in on the schedule last minute, I had to see my Dr. first and have the ultrasound after.  Arturo was off work so he got bombarded with all three of us!

I was pretty honest with him about my frustrations and I told him how the other Dr. had told me she didn’t know why I had been at the hospital at the first place.  His eyes got really big and he said, “Um, yeah.  You were there because your blood pressures were super high.”  He also said that things probably were going to remain frustrating and confusing because of the “second patient.”  He was referring to baby girl.

He took a look at my blood pressure readings since I had been released from the hospital and gave me orders to increase my medication one more time.  So, now, I am taking 600 mg in the AM and 400 mg in the PM.

He said it was really hard to make a decision as to what should happen because he really didn’t want to have to put my 34 week old baby in the NICU, but he also didn’t want me to get so sick that I could have a seizure, stroke, or some other pre-eclampsia complication.  He said he would like to see what the results of my ultrasound were for the day and then call and consult with the high risk Dr. before making any decisions.  He asked if he could call me later that day.

He is also somewhat concerned about my weight loss.  I am down 17 lbs and he doesn’t want me to lose anymore weight.  Well, I haven’t been trying to lose weight and I can’t really figure out how I am doing it.  I’m for sure not exercising, unless you count my frequent trips to the bathroom.  And I am eating whatever I want really.  So, I don’t know how to stop losing?

I am so grateful to have a Dr. that is caring and smart and humble.  He doesn’t want to make a rash decision either way and is humble enough to admit that it is a hard decision and he seeks a second opinion when he just doesn’t know what is best.

We went in for the ultrasound after that and of course baby girl was stubborn as always. This time, she wouldn’t wake up.  She was sleeping hard and despite the ultrasound tech shaking my belly around until I was extremely nauseous, she just wouldn’t get moving.  Her heart was beating fine and she did make the movements she was supposed to, it just took much longer than it had on Thursday.  We got some cute pictures of her face that included a look at her chubby cheeks.  I can’t wait to kiss them…but I am happy to wait another 3 weeks (hopefully)!

That evening when he called me is when he told me, “You’re a hot mess.”  It was exactly the comic relief I needed.

He said the ultrasound had looked good.  He also said after consulting with the high risk Dr. they came up with a plan that includes me having a non-stress test and labs every Monday and then an ultrasound (bio-physical profile) and labs on Thursday.  He said we are just going to take it day by day and make decisions based on my health and her health.  So far, she is still doing great, so as long as my pre-eclampsia doesn’t get worse, I should be able to stay pregnant until 37 weeks.

He gave me a list of the things that would make him do the C-section immediately. He can’t increase my bp meds any higher, so if this dose doesn’t solve the problem, I can’t continue to stay pregnant.  If I get a crazy headache that won’t go away with Tylenol or caffeine, I will have to have her.  If I get double vision or dizziness, I need to have my C-section.  If I go into labor, he will take that as my body’s way of saying this baby needs to be born.  He won’t stop my labor, especially since I have already had the steroid shots and that she will be born then.  If anything looks off in my twice weekly testing of labs (higher protein in my urine, elevated liver enzymes, etc.) it will be time to have a baby.  And if she doesn’t perform the way she should at the non-stress tests and ultrasounds or if her fluid levels drop, it will be time for her to be born.

So, in a way, this is going to be a lot like waiting for a natural birth.  We don’t know when it will happen.  It could be any day or it could be a few weeks from now still.  It is definitely not the planned birth I was hoping for, but I am for sure willing to comply with his plans and hope that it will keep her in longer than what I was told a few weeks ago.

My blood pressure has still been high from time to time, but I am not sure the higher dose of medication has had a chance to do its job, so we will see what he says on Thursday (tomorrow).

I have been having what I think are Braxton Hicks contractions. I am just not sure because I never had them when I was pregnant with Angel and so I have nothing to compare them to.  It just feels like tightening in my stomach muscles and a lot of pressure.  It is not painful, but uncomfortable.  Standing is really uncomfortable.  Walking is fine, but standing still is nearly impossible.  I had them pretty consistently all day yesterday, but today it feels better.

Also, she has been SUPER active the past couple of days, which definitely is reassuring, but has also become quite painful.  She is running out of room to be as active as she has been.  I’m thinking she is inspired by all the Olympics I have been watching and is practicing to be a gymnast.

I am telling myself every day, several times a day, that whenever she is born will be the perfect time.  God already knows when she will be born and His plan is perfect.  No matter what happens, He is still in charge and I just need to trust Him.  But…fingers crossed for three more weeks 😉

 

rough waters ahead

12 Aug

It’s been a little more than a month since I have posted an update. Every time I have thought to write anything, I realize that everything I have to say is just complaints about how hard this pregnancy has been.  If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I have pre-eclampsia and am just super frustrated with how my Dr.’s are communicating with each other and me.    I have felt certain that no one wants to hear me whine and complain all the time, so I have just not been writing.

This week, though, I was reading a book that my sis-in-law gave me and I came across a passage that really spoke to me and my present situation.  It is from Creating With God by Sarah Jobe.

I know it’s not polite to talk about tomato chunks coming out of my nose or pulling a turd from my behind.  I’ve had to give my good, Southern-woman upbringing five or six valiums just to get the facts down on paper.  But I’ve decided that silence about the suffering of pregnancy just doesn’t help.  I think there is some fear that telling the full truth about pregnancy will be too discouraging to mothers-to-be.  We fear that if we talk about the suffering, no one will ever become a mother again.  But the truth is, no suffering in the world could have kept me from having my babies.  Naming my suffering has helped me learn my own strength.  Naming the suffering of others has helped me see Christ in them.  Telling the truth, even about “indecent” bodily functions, is important, faithful work.

I really love those words and realized that even though the truth about my pregnancy is that it has been really hard, it doesn’t mean I’m not still grateful for the journey.  That is what I have been afraid of, that people will think I’m not grateful.  Because I am.  I really am.

So, here goes.  Some updates since the last time I wrote.

On July 14th, at 29 weeks pregnant, my Dr. decided he wanted to start me on some blood pressure medication due to Gestational Hypertension.  People had been asking me for months why he hadn’t already done this.  I am pretty sure he wanted to wait until I was in my third trimester to start me on anything.  Also, he was unfortunately out of the office quite a bit in the month of June and  I am afraid that my care slipped through the cracks of the other Doctors in his practice.  I will explain some more on that later.  So, he had me start on 100 mg of Labetalol BID.  He told me to continue to take my blood pressure at home 2x/day and that we wanted to try to keep it under 150/100 because when it got higher than that is when I felt truly horrible.  He scheduled me to come see him in 2 weeks and then 2 weeks after that, he scheduled me to come in for weekly ultrasounds until the time that my C-section would take place.  He was still kind of unclear as to when that would be, but it would definitely need to happen by 37 weeks due to my blood pressure situation.

The medication was making no difference whatsoever.  150/100 was a far off dream.  I was more often than not, getting readings much higher than that.  So, I spent the next few weeks feeling really tough.  When my blood pressure was really high, my face would be beat red, my head would pound, and I felt utterly exhausted.  The only time I could get any relief from my headaches was to put an ice pack on my head and sit in complete darkness.  It didn’t take the pain away, but it made it tolerable.  At times, I could hear my pulse pounding in my head and I couldn’t help but be afraid that I was going to have a stroke and our daughter and I would be gravely affected.

My mom was here for a week from July 19-26.  The main reason she came was to attend my baby shower here, which was amazing, and it was so great to have her here for a week to keep my mind occupied.  My shower was such a blessing.  It truly amazes me how many caring people God has blessed me with as friends here in Colorado.  I know I never did anything in my life to be deserving of all the love we have received, but I will gladly accept it all!

On July 28th, I saw the Dr. again.  He took a look at my list of blood pressure readings and gave me a new set of instructions to follow.  He said that if my readings were 160/105 or higher, it was time to treat them with a higher dose of medication.  So, he had me increase to 200 mg BID and after 3-5 days, if it was still higher than 160/105, to double my dose again.  I had an appointment for one last ultrasound at the specialist’s office the next week and he told me to make sure and bring my list of blood pressure readings and get her advice.

Arturo’s parents came for a visit that weekend, and I felt worse than I have felt all pregnancy.  On Sunday during church, I started to get a headache.  I took some Tylenol, which will usually at least take the edge off, and hoped for the best.  While I was cooking lunch,  I told Arturo that after we were done eating, I was going to need to lay down.  I retreated to the darkness of my bedroom and packed my head in ice.  Several hours later, I was still in misery.  I am not used to a headache that won’t go away even after a sleep.  That evening, the pain let up enough that I was able to join everyone to go out for supper, but I was probably silly for pushing myself to do that.

On the 2nd, I took a look at my readings since the increase to 200 mg BID and there was never a reading lower than 150/100 and the higher ones were somewhere around 170/110, so I decided it was time to increase it again per his directions.  So, I started taking 400 mg BID and was just sure that dose had to do the trick!

Later that day I got a horrible headache again.  This one was even worse than the one I had over the weekend.  The pain was pretty similar, but it lasted much longer.  I was seeing double and very dizzy when I would stand up.  It lasted all day and through the night.

A couple of days later is when the real fun began.

We went for our last ultrasound and appointment at the specialist’s office on August 4th.  I was prepared for the crabby ultrasound lady, but luckily, we had someone different who was so wonderful!  She was very friendly and talked to us the whole time.  At 32 weeks, baby girl was weighing 4 lbs 13 oz and in the 73% for growth!  That morning I had read she should be weighing just under 4 lbs, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how well she was growing!  She wouldn’t show us her face, but we got a picture of the back of her head, which was very clearly covered in hair.  No surprise there!

The ultrasound tech took my list of blood pressure readings and seemed very concerned.  She asked if she could take it with her and she went to find the Dr.  When they came back in, the Dr. asked me about other symptoms I had been having.  I told her about my headaches, double vision, and dizziness.  Without running any other tests, she said I had severe pre-eclampsia and that her recommendation would be for me to be admitted to the hospital immediately and to have my C-section at 34 weeks.  I was absolutely shocked.  She asked if I had time to stay and be hooked up for a non-stress test and she said they would also like to give me a steroid shot to help baby’s lungs develop.  I of course agreed.

Baby girl looked good on the NST and so the Dr. said she would call my ob and tell him her recommendations.  She said I would need a second shot 24 hours later and that if they admitted me to the hospital I would be able to get it then.  She said either her or my ob would call me later that day and let me know what to do.

I was pretty scared, not for me, but for my daughter.  I want her to have the best possible start in life and while I know that a baby born at 34 weeks will survive just fine, I didn’t want her to have a NICU stay.  I couldn’t believe that this had progressed so fast.  Just a week ago, looking at my blood pressure readings, my Dr. was still calling it Gestational Hypertension and saying I could most likely have her at 37 weeks.

In my final attempt at nesting, Arturo and I went to Target to get the last things on my list for baby.  That might not have been the smartest decision either, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax at the hospital if I had a list of things that hadn’t been bought yet.  Giving up control has been one of the biggest things I have been struggling with over the last few weeks.  I don’t really know how to do that.

On our drive home, my ob called and said, “I hear you are going to be staying with us for a couple of weeks.”  I was devastated.  I had been hoping that he would think the high risk Dr. was jumping the gun and he would let me stay home.  No such luck.  He told me to pack my bags and bring my computer, my nail polish, my books, whatever I needed to keep busy for an extended stay.  He said to be at the hospital by 5:00 and that he would come up and see me that night.

Packing was an overwhelming task.  I didn’t know what to bring for me and for baby.  If she was born at 34 weeks, it was very likely that I would be leaving the hospital before she did, so I maybe didn’t need to pack anything for her.  But, I optimistically packed a few newborn outfits for her anyway.  For myself, my laptop, my Kindle, 3 or 4 books, and my crocheting were at the top of my list.  Beyond that, I had no real clue what I would need so I just threw in a ton of underwear and socks.

My Dr. came in about an hour after I had gotten settled in on the monitors.  They had been checking my blood pressure every 10 minutes, and of course, it was completely normal.  I mean, every reading was under 130 on the top and under 90 on the bottom.  I became hopeful that if it stayed low like that, he may let me go home.  They were going to be doing a 24 hour urine collection to check the protein level in my urine.  He said I would get a second steroid shot the next morning and he was going to start me on Lovenox shots (blood thinner).  They had taken labs shortly after I had gotten there and he said my glucose level was slightly elevated and my liver enzymes as well.  He wanted to have the nurses check my blood sugar a few times to check on that further and the liver enzymes being elevated are another sign of pre-eclampsia.  When I asked him if I would be able to go home after all the testing, he said not to count on it and that a decision to let me go home would not be made until a conversation was had with the high risk ob.  His words were, “Well, letting you go home would only happen after a fight with Dr. Klein, so don’t count on it.  Plan to be here and have a c-section at 34 weeks.” Then, he dropped a bomb on me.  He was going to be out of the office and one of the other Doctors in his practice would be assuming my care for the next week.  I really hated that because whenever he is gone, the other Doctors he works with are less than fabulous.  I tried not to worry about it though because I was sure that he would leave them very clear instructions of the plan.

I didn’t sleep very much that night mostly due to just being extremely uncomfortable and hot.  I had just fallen asleep pretty deeply when my nurse came in to check my vitals.  I spent the night getting my mind prepared for an early baby and surrendered to whatever God’s will was for her life.


Through the night and the next day, my blood pressure readings remained normal.  I received the second steroid shot, a shot of Lovenox, and had my blood sugar checked a few times.  I was hooked up to the monitors for awhile in the morning and baby girl was still doing great.  When the nurse did an assessment of my feet, ankles, and reflexes, she said I had clonus.  I asked what that meant and she just said it was seen in pre-eclampsia.  I sent a quick text to my sis-in-law who is a Dr. and she said that clonus indicates increased risk of seizures and she suspected they were testing to see if I should be on anti-seizure medication.  So, that was concerning.

My sweet husband was off work again that day so he ran some errands for me.  I made arrangements for him to drop our dogs off at some of our friend’s house.  He had to work 12-14 hour shifts for the next 3 days and that is a long day for them in their kennel.  And I talked him into bringing me up a fan so I could hopefully sleep a little better at night.

The nurses were surprised that a Dr. hadn’t come to visit me at all that morning and said maybe someone would be in around lunchtime.

My parents got in the car and began the drive from Minnesota to Colorado.  My dad planned to bring her here and then he was going to fly home and come back closer to when the baby would be born.  There are no more supportive parents in the world than mine are.  I am so blessed to have them in so many ways.

That afternoon, a Dr. from my ob’s office came in.  She started by introducing herself and then asked me, “What is your understanding of why you are here and how long you will be here?”  I was so shocked by her questions.  I told her what I had been told by the high risk Dr. and my ob and she snapped back, “That’s not what he told me.  He said that if your 24 hour urine comes back fine, you can go home.  I’m not even sure why you are here.”  I was super glad that she thought I could go home, but very surprised by her attitude and that she was so willing to go against what the other two Doctors were reccommending.  She didn’t seem concerned by anything else that was going on, the nurse mentioned the clonus and she disregarded it.  She told them to discontinue checking my blood sugar and said that she would be able to let me go home that evening if my urine was ok.  She said there was no reason I would have to have a c-section at 34 weeks.  The nurse said, “Go home on bed rest.”  The Dr. said, “No.  I don’t want her on bed rest.  She needs to be moving around to prevent blood clots.”

I was so utterly confused.  Arturo was mad and said if something happened to me, he would sue her.

I talked to my parents and they convinvced me to call the high risk Dr. office and check in with them.  The high risk Dr. said that if it were up to her, she would not be sending me home, but if this Dr. discharged me to home that she would advise strict bed rest.

Despite all the conflicting information, my blood pressure was still remaining normal and baby girl was still doing awesome for her non-stress tests.  Two things to be grateful for!

I finished my 24 hour urine collection at 5:00 pm and then Arturo and I just sat waiting for the results and the directions from the Dr.  About 7:00, the nurse came in and said that my lab results had come in and my protein level was over 300 and that I did indeed have pre-eclampsia, but the Dr. said I could still go home and was discharging me.  She said that she wanted to see me in the office the next week and I told her I already had a weekly appointment scheduled.  She said if my blood pressure became 140/90 I should sit down and rest for a few hours and then take it again.  If it was still 140/90, then I should call the office.  If I got an extreme headache again, I should come straight back to Labor and Delivery.

So, we went home, more confused than ever.  We loaded up the luggage and fan that I had and stopped and picked up the dogs.  We had prepared for such a long stay and now everything had been changed.  I decided to try and find a happy medium between the different reccommendations.  I didn’t think strict bedrest was needed, but I also didn’t think it made sense to resume all normal activities.  So, I thought I should attempt modified bedrest, which is pretty much what I had been doing up to this point anyway.

Arturo had to work the next day so I was alone most of the day.  I wasn’t certain my digital blood pressure cuff was giving me correct readings because that morning I got a reading of 160/105.  I didn’t think that seemed correct.  I took it a few hours later and it was still 142/99.  I had some friends come out and bring me a manual cuff they said I could borrow.  While here, he took my blood pressure about 5 times and every time he got a reading of about 150/110.  I was so surprised.  But, I decided to just rest and not call the Dr. I didn’t think there was anything she would do anyway.  At 5:00 pm, I got a reading of 125/90 and was satisfied with that.

My parents got here that evening and my mom was planning to be here for the long-haul.

The next few days were pretty calm.  Check my blood pressure in the morning and rest most of the day.  I had a bad headache on Monday night.  I woke up to go to the bathroom (for the 20th time that night) and I was quite dizzy and almost fell down.  Two nights later, Wednesday night, my head started to get pretty bad so I resorted to drinking a cup of coffee.  I have not drank any coffee my whole pregnancy and while I know a cup of coffee is fine and safe, I found it easier to just avoid it altogether. So, after months without coffee, I had one cup and was wide awake, but headache free!

On Tuesday, I had a meltdown of sorts.  My mom and Arturo went grocery shopping and I agreed to stay home and rest.  That was so hard for me.  I love grocery shopping.  I love to be in charge of what goes in the cart and keeping a running total of what we have spent so that when we get to the register I am prepared within a few dollars of what it will cost.  I found myself crying about it and then mad at myself for crying over something so silly.

Yesterday, my mom came with me to see the Dr. My Dr. is still out so we saw the Dr. who had discharged me from the hospital.  I had an ultrasound first and was pleasantly surprised that the ultrasound tech was in a much better mood than the first time I had seen her for a scan at 12 weeks.  She visited with us the whole time and explained what we were looking at.  She showed us when baby girl was taking practice breaths and pointed out how good she was moving, which is what they were monitoring on this ultrasound.  After she had gotten everything she needed, she spent quite a bit of time trying to give us a good 3D image of her face.  We couldn’t get a clear image of her whole face because she refused to move her arms away from them, but we got some really cute shots of her nose and mouth and then another shot or two of the side of her head.  She is so stubborn and right now, I am really happy for that!  She is gonna need that strong will!

The Dr. was even more confusing than before.  She was very nice, so that was great.  But, she seems to be talking out of both sides of her mouth at this point.  She said that she had taken a look at all my labs and that in June when I did my 24 hour urine catch, it came back with a protein of over 300 and that I have had pre-eclampsia since then.

So….WHAT?  My Dr. had written the order for that test and then he was out of the office for 2 weeks.  So, after I had turned it in, I expected someone to call me if it was bad.  No one did and during that next week was when my blood pressure started to get really bad so I was at labor and delivery.  Still, no one said anything about my 24 hour urine and in fact, when I asked about it at the hospital, they said that they didn’t have access to the result.  I had called my Dr. office to see if someone could tell me something about it and was told that my Dr. had to sign off on it before a nurse could give me the results.  I asked if since he was gone one of the other Dr.s could look at it and finally a few days later, someone called me and told me that the Dr. said the result was fine.  So, I never asked about it again and it was never brought up again.

Now, I don’t know if when my Dr. got back he just saw that the other Dr. had signed off on it and didn’t look at it any closer than that or what happened, but this is obviously a concern that no one told me or realized I have had pre-eclampsia since June!

She said with everything combined, she agreed my pre-eclampsia is a severe case and that I should probably still be in the hospital on bedrest with a C-section at 34 weeks, which would be this coming Tuesday.  But, she also said we are in a gray area since my blood pressure is now controlled with the medication and that if I was her patient, she would probably wait until 37 weeks to deliver me and see me 2 times a week for ultrasounds and non-stress tests until then.

I had already been scheduled to see my Dr. this coming Thursday, but she had me put on his schedule for another ultrasound and appointment on Monday so that he can make the final determination as to whether I need to have the C-section on Tuesday or can wait a few more weeks.

So, we shall see what Monday brings, but Arturo and I have pretty much decided that we are not going to let him deliver her at 34 weeks unless my situation with the pre-eclampsia becomes life-threatening.  I will do whatever it takes to keep this girl in, even if that means not going to the grocery store again for several months.

I will leave you with another passage from the book Creating with God by Sarah Jobe.  I am working on accepting this and believing it to be true!

Pregnant women learn throughout pregnancy to trust others for their basic needs.  They learn their own limits.  They learn to ask for and receive help.  They learn to surround themselves with communities of support, knowing that when they most need to, they might not be able to lift their own legs.  They learn to trust that God will meet their needs through the people around them.  In short, pregnant women learn to live by faith.

Living by faith isn’t easy.  Most of us don’t want to ask for help.  We don’t want to be dependent.  It feels very vulnerable to let others (even our partners!) see our weakness.  We don’t know if they’ll honor that weakness or exploit it-if they’ll help us in our need or dismiss us as high-maintenance nuisances.  It is risky business to believe that God’s grace is sufficient to meet our needs, that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

We like to think that being Christian is about helping other people.  It feels good to meet the needs of others.  But being a Christian is equally about learning to let others help us.  Jesus asks his disciples to leave their jobs and families to follow him, not knowing where their next meal will come from.  God asks Abraham to leave family and homeland on the absurd promise that in his old age he will have a child who will become a great nation.  The Israelites leave slavery in Egypt only to wander around in a desert, depending on God to provide every single meal.  The Bible is full of stories of God asking folks to leave their self-built support systems to live lives of dependence in which God meets their basic daily needs. This sort of seemingly foolish, extremely uncomfortable willingness to lean upon God is at the heart of Christian faith.  Our willingness to be weak, vulnerable, and dependent is truly the space in which God’s power is seen.

 

 

 

 

 

let me be real for a minute

11 Jun

So, I feel guilty for admitting this, but it’s my truth, and so I am going to…

I hate being pregnant.

I do. I really hate it.

image

I feel guilty for feeling that way because I feel like I should be so grateful to be pregnant with all the struggles we have had and also knowing so many women who have never been pregnant and would do anything to be in the position I am in. But, I just can’t make myself feel that way right now.

Right now, I am frustrated. It’s been a super annoying week and I am just ready for September to be here so I can start holding and loving on this baby girl instead of all this stupid pregnancy stuff.

On Monday, I had a checkup with my ob mostly to go over what had been discussed with the specialist. I felt completely calm going to the appointment because I already knew all the results.

They took my bp and it was somewhere around 150/90. We heard her heartbeat right away and it was 148 so that was great. He also asked me about my weight loss. He said he’s not concerned at this point, but doesn’t want me to lose anymore.

He sent me home with a kit to do a 24 hour urine collection to check for preeclampsia and a prescription to go get a blood pressure cuff and check it two times a day.  He also gave me orders to do my glucose test at the end of June to check for gestational diabetes.

I checked my blood pressure at home that night for the first time and it wasn’t good. It was 145/102. I realized then that I never asked him if I should contact their office if it got to a certain number. I decided it was probably ok at this point because the top number wasn’t too bad.

Tuesday, I had somewhere to be in the evening so I decided to do my urine collection on Wednesday instead. My bp got slightly higher every time I checked it, the highest on Tuesday was 153/104.

Wednesday, I hung out at home with my pee jug and relaxed as much as possible. It helped some because my top number was back down to 141 while the bottom number was sticking right around 104.

Thursday, we went to the lab and dropped off my urine and they took blood samples. We then ran a few errands, including buying some shelves and curtains for the nursery. We came home and I supervised while Arturo hung the curtain rod and the shelves in the closet. After doing some organizing in the nursery, I took my bp and it was 153/113. I knew that bottom number was too high, but I had been kind of active before taking it.

I texted my dad to ask him about it. My dad is super calm and level-headed so I knew that I could ask him without getting him too wound up. He said I should call my Dr. They were closed for the day so I told him I would call them in the morning. He said to keep him posted.

So, yesterday morning when I got up I took it and it was 160/116. I called the Dr office right away. My Dr was out so the receptionist said she would page the Dr covering for him. It took almost 2 hours to get a call back from their office. During that time, I checked my bp again and it got as high as 176/127. I was pretty panicked at this point.

That is one of the most annoying parts of having high bp. Being stressed can cause it to go higher. But, seeing a high reading makes me stressed. Ahhh!

So, anyway, a nurse called and said that the Dr wanted me to go straight to labor and delivery at the hospital and she would let them know I was coming.

I got off the phone and broke down crying. Why? Why does this have to be so hard? Not one part of the journey to become parents has been easy. I know that God doesn’t owe me anything, but I can’t help but feel like this is getting a little ridiculous. What is the lesson in all this? What am I supposed to be learning? So far, it’s just frustration.

Luckily, Arturo was off work yesterday so he was able to go with me.

I was at the hospital about 4 hours. They hooked me up to the monitors to listen to her heartbeat, make sure I wasn’t having contractions, and to check my bp every 15 minutes.

Her heartbeat was normal and strong. I wasn’t having any contractions. My bp first read 150/90 and shortly after was down to completely normal. The best reading was 120/70. They took more labs and checked a urine sample again.

I have no way of explaining how my bp could be so high at home for several days in a row and then I go to the hospital and within half an hour it is down to normal readings. A couple times this week I thought maybe the digital cuff was out of whack, but when we checked Arturo’s bp, it was normal. So, no idea. Maybe just listening to her heart and knowing she was ok was enough to calm me down? Or maybe it is the dozens of people that are praying for us.

So far, they don’t think I have preeclampsia so that is great. Seems like gestational hypertension, like I had while pregnant with Angel. With Angel it didn’t start until about 34 weeks though so that is concerning.

They sent me home with instructions to call if the top number gets to 160 or the bottom number gets to 110. No bed rest or other instructions of any kind.

I didn’t take it the rest of the day. I just needed to chill and not think about it.

This morning, it was 157/111. What?!? Why?!? I took it a few hours later and it was 150/101 so I am feeling much better about that number.

I am also down another 2 lbs so a total of 8 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight.

I don’t want to go back to the hospital over the weekend. I can feel her moving, so I know she is ok. I just need to try and be calm.

This girl needs to keep cooking and I need to stay healthy so that can happen. I am concerned about her having to be born early if this blood pressure remains a problem, so that is what I really want to avoid. I mean, I hate being pregnant, but I still want to be pregnant until this girl is fully baked!

So, every day, I am continuing to remind myself that I am too blessed to be stressed and I am so thankful for all the support, love, and prayers.

15 weeks to go!

sweet dreams

20 Apr

The other night I had a dream that I was taking piano lessons from Pharrell Williams.  Ever since then, I have been wanting to buy a piano and get back to playing.  But, also, I realized I have been having some crazy wild dreams and I thought maybe I should compile them into a post and see if I can make some people smile or scratch their heads.  So, here’s a few of the best ones I have had!

My favorite crazy/hilarious dream I have had was that Arturo came to me one day and said he had invented a curling iron and wanted to curl my hair with it.  I thought it was strange because this is the last thing Arturo would ever do…curl my hair?!?  Well, he convinced me to come into the bathroom and sit down for him to curl my hair.  I soon discovered that the “curling iron” he had made was actually just his poop formed into a shape that resembled a curling iron.  I was horrified.  I kept telling him he couldn’t put that in my hair, but he insisted and was so sure my hair would look fabulous once he finished.  I was crying the whole time he was “curling” my hair.  I kept telling him that he wasn’t curling my hair, he was just smearing poop all throughout it, but he was like a crazed madman and just kept going and telling me that it looked fabulous.  So, that was weird.

Another favorite dream starred my mom.  I dreamt that the world was in disarray, run by criminals, and any “good” people that were left were all in hiding terrified to leave their homes.  So, I was hiding my mom because she had military grade weapon technology inside her body and the bad guys were trying to find her to dissect her and obtain the military grade weapon technology.  We were hiding in the house where I grew up in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota.  (This house is no longer even there.)  We stayed in the basement most of the time because there weren’t very many windows and we didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing us.  The only time we went upstairs was to use the bathroom or to get food from the kitchen.  One day while I was upstairs taking a shower, I noticed a huge truck had pulled into our driveway.  I started screaming for my mom to hide because I was sure it was the bad guys.  But, it turned out to be four guys that I went to high school with who were there to help protect my mom.  I’m not exactly sure how the dream ended, but I think my mom stayed safe.

Another great dream combined elements of my past and my present.  I dreamt that I went to eat at The Crossroads, which was a truck stop in my hometown that is no longer in business.  When I went in, the place was packed and I couldn’t get any service.  There were tons of waitresses standing around gossiping with each other and ignoring anyone who came in the restaurant.  I looked and saw that one of my dear friends from Pueblo was waitressing and she was the only one doing anything.  She was running around like crazy trying to get all the customers taken care of.  I kept trying to get the attention of the other waitresses, but they just kept talking amongst themselves and ignoring me.

I heard one of them say, “Oh no.  She did it again.”

I was like, “What?  What happened?”

I then looked over and saw that my friend who was waitressing had puked all over the head of one of the customers.  She was apologizing profusely and trying to help him get cleaned up.

The other waitresses kept talking to each other.  “She does this all the time.  At least once a shift.  So gross.”

I was so disturbed.  I was yelling at them, “You need to help her!  She is overwhelmed! This is too much work for her!”

They continued to ignore me, so I decided to start helping her.

I have also couple of really weird birth dreams just this week.

The first one really upset me even though it is absolutely ridiculous.  I dreamt that I was only 18 weeks pregnant and I went into labor.  They couldn’t stop the labor and rushed me in for an emergency C-section.  Immediately after the baby was born, they rushed the baby off to the NICU and wouldn’t tell me anything about the health or the sex.  In my mind, I knew that a baby born that early could not live, but they wouldn’t tell me anything and I was a complete mess.  The next day, they came and took me to meet Baby.  The nurses were so excited and so I felt that it must all be okay.  They brought me to a six year old boy with a mouth full of teeth who was talking and calling me not mama, but Amanda.  I was so upset and confused.  I kept telling them this wasn’t my baby and they kept saying it was and acting like it was all totally normal.  They were trying to get me to pick him up and cradle him and to nurse him.  I just kept looking at all those teeth and telling them  I couldn’t.  I then woke up and I could hear my mom telling a bunch of my family that she had a dream that I gave birth to a six year old boy.  I was even more upset.  You had the same dream?  It must be true!  But then, I woke up for real and realized that I had a dream within a dream.

Two nights ago I dreamt that we went for a Dr.appointment and we were told that the Baby’s heart had stopped beating.  They were going to induce labor and have me deliver.  They did an ultrasound to check on the position of the baby and we discovered that it wasn’t a baby at all…it was a horse.  So, I gave birth to  a stillborn colt.

Obviously these last two dreams are wildly unrealistic and shouldn’t make me afraid, but to be honest, they both did make me nervous.  So, I was very relieved to go the Dr. yesterday and hear Frijole’s beautiful beating heart.  The Dr. had a hard time finding heartbeat again and by the time he finally did, I was in tears.  He was so patient with me and just kept telling me, “Don’t freak out.  I’ll tell you when it’s time to freak out.”

Other than that, things are going really well.  I am done with the all day nausea.  I am still puking a few times a week (quite a bit this morning) but it’s so much better!  I have had some mild kidney pain off and on, but so far, I haven’t passed anymore stones and I’m hoping not to!!  Physically, I am feeling so much more human, but that also makes me a little bit more anxious.  I NEED my pregnancy symptoms to reassure me that Baby is still growing and everything is fine.  Without all the wild symptoms, I almost don’t feel pregnant and I let my mind wander to all the scary places.

I was exactly 17 weeks at my appointment yesterday and I was really hoping that he would let me schedule my anatomy scan for 18 or 19 weeks.  I had it at 18 weeks with Angel.  But, no, he wants me to schedule it between 21-26 weeks. Ahh!  That feels so far away!!  Also, he wants me to go a specialist for the ultrasound.  He read me notes from the Dr. who did Angel’s C-section that said there is a 3-8% chance of repeat renal agenesis.  Why did he have to tell me that?!?  We were never told that. We were repeatedly told that Angel’s condition would not reoccur in subsequent pregnancies, that there was nothing genetic about his diagnosis and that it was like a strike of lightning, extremely rare and only happens once.  After the appointment, I talked it out with Arturo and reasoned that the Dr. put that in his notes because he probably couldn’t put 0%.  I mean, he can’t actually know for sure that it would NEVER happen again, so he put a very small % in.  I’m trying not to let it freak me out.  Before bed last night, I almost did a google search to see if I could find any stories about moms who have had two babies with the same condition, but I talked myself out of it.  It’s gonna be a long 4-9 weeks of waiting until I know for sure though!  They will call me to schedule the ultrasound sometime in the next week.

We did schedule my C-section yesterday.  I had a C-section with Angel and since this will likely be my last pregnancy, I decided to go that route again.  I am terrified of a failed VBAC.  I don’t want to spend hours laboring only to end in a C-section anyway.  I know there is no way to predict how my labor would go, but I just decided I don’t need anymore reasons to be panicked and am going for the C-section.  And the best part?!?  The C-section is scheduled for my birthday!!!!  So, unless there is a reason to move it up, this year will be the best birthday ever!

 

second trimester fun

30 Mar

It’s been a rough couple of days. But, let me start by saying that Frijole is doing fine.

On Friday, I noticed I was urinating really frequently. It was way more frequently than in my first trimester so I thought that seemed strange. But, I didn’t think too much of it because, hey, I’m pregnant, so I figured it was normal.

On Saturday, the frequent urinating continued and I was also starting to get really crampy. I wasn’t spotting or bleeding so I didn’t think it was baby related. I thought it was related to the fact that I had been very constipated and hadn’t had a normal bowel movement in several days.

Sunday, I was really nauseous and vomiting most of the day. I started to get concerned about my bowels and decided I needed to start a stool softener. So, I took the maximum dose and hoped it would work sooner rather than later.

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Sunday evening, the cramping turned into sharp stabbing pains in my lower left side, almost into my groin. Then, the pain moved into my back. I decided to try a warm bath and see if that would help the pain and maybe get things moving. The pain eased up almost right away.

In the middle of the night, I woke up with the sharp pains again but after tossing and turning for awhile, I was able to get them to stop and go back to sleep.

Monday, I felt pretty much the same. Crampy, urinating frequently, and hoping to move my bowels!

That night, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Woohoo!! It still wasn’t completely normal, but was the first time I had gone to the bathroom in about a week so I was happy.

Tuesday (yesterday) I woke up feeling pretty great. I started working on some much needed housework and was on track to get quite a bit done! Then, at 2:00, things got really bad.

The sharp pains started again. I got in the bath right away hoping that would help again. It didn’t. The pain kept getting worse and worse. I eventually started vomiting from the pain.

I realized this had to be something more than constipation and decided to call my Dr. I was scheduled to see him the next day and had been hoping I could hold off until then, but I was nervous that something was wrong with the baby and decided I better be smart and call.

It took an hour for the receptionist to call me back. That whole hour, I was completely miserable. I kept puking, and rolling around in the bed in misery. I felt like I had a fever and when I checked it was 99.2°, so just real low grade. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what this could be. I called my mom to ask her what gallbladder pain felt like. She said it is usually up higher, under the rib cage. She really encouraged me to go to the ER since the Dr office wasn’t calling me back. I really hate going to the ER, but I knew I had to be seen by someone.

So, I threw some clothes on and started driving. While I was in the vehicle, my Dr office called me back and said to come there right away. Phew.

While I was driving, it finally hit me. I was passing a kidney stone.

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I have passed stones before, but it has been almost 10 years, so I guess I didn’t remember how the pain felt.

The pain started to ease up and was bearable at this point. I had to wait awhile to see the Dr since they were squeezing me in, but I was really grateful that he was seeing me.

This was the first time I was actually even meeting him. My first appointment had been with the Nurse Practitioner. He was recommended to me by a couple of friends and so I was really hoping he would be great.

Well, he was. You know how most Doctors don’t like you to tell them what you think is wrong with you? Well I took a chance and told him I was pretty sure I was passing a kidney stone. He asked why I thought that and when I told him my symptoms he said, “Thanks for diagnosing yourself. You’ve made my job a lot easier.”

Now, he can’t tell 100% if that is what it is because I can’t have an x-ray done but he said it didn’t sound like anything pregnancy related. He said the only other thing it could be is my c-section scar stretching, but he said that from what I was describing, the pain was much worse than what that would be.

He did an exam and it really hurt near my bladder so he was thinking the stone had moved there and would hopefully pass soon.

He got the doppler out to listen to Frijole’s heart beat. At first, he could only find mine and I started to panic a little bit. But, then he found it and I was so relieved. It was 160 bpm.

So, he sent me home with instructions to really push fluids and take Tylenol to keep the fever down. He wants to see me in three weeks.

Last night, I was mostly really sore and exhausted, but nothing like earlier in the day. I slept great and am not in any pain right now. So, I either passed it already or it is just not moving right now. I am definitely hoping I passed it AND that I don’t get any more.

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the little things

16 Mar

Today, even though I have been extremely nauseous and I had to go the dentist (my least favorite place in the whole world) I am thankful!

Today is my last Progesterone injection!! Woohoo!! I am so ready to be done with the shots! But, mostly, thankful that my pregnancy is going well enough that I can quit the shots and baby is fine!

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Also, Arturo and I have a lot to celebrate. This weekend marks 2 years of us living in Colorado, 1 year in our new house, AND it is our 5 year wedding anniversary! Praise God for all our many blessings!

think positive

15 Mar

I haven’t posted for a while.  I haven’t had much of an update on the pregnancy, so I wasn’t sure what to say.  Over the past few days though, I realized I have a lot to say.  So, here goes!

February 2nd was my due date with the Baby I lost over the summer.  It’s very strange to be pregnant when I had originally thought I would have a newborn baby to be taking care of.  I’m not all that sure how I feel about it.  Obviously, I am sad, but I also feel a little like I am betraying Baby by being pregnant again.  I know that sounds crazy, but I can’t help feel that way.

I am also still waiting for something to go wrong with this pregnancy.  It’s this overwhelming feeling that I can’t completely shake no matter how much I pray or tell myself not to worry.  When it comes to pregnancy, all I know is loss.  It’s hard to believe there could possibly be another outcome.  But, I am trying so hard. I fully believe that God wants good things for me. I also believe that He will take care of me no matter what. I know He wants to give me the desires of my heart. But, the problem is that none of those things guarantee me a fully healthy baby. And, that is what scares me.

I find it really ironic that God chose women to be the sex that carries babies. I mean, He created us to be highly emotional, well at least much more emotional than men. And, in my case, I am about 10 times more emotional than Arturo. And, also, I worry 10 times more. I mean, if Arturo was carrying this baby, he wouldn’t worry at all. But, me, I worry and analyze every single little thing.

I was having some pretty horrible nightmares last week, miscarriage nightmares. And, then I began questioning myself, doubting myself. I was asking myself, why am I even doing this? I probably won’t even be a good mother. Why would I go to all this trouble when I most likely have no clue what I am doing as far as raising a baby? I quickly realized that the enemy is just messing with me and I CANNOT allow him to destroy my peace. I wrote out some positive self-talk in my journal and it has really been helping me.

I will be a wonderful mother. I will be better not because of genetics, or money, or because I have read more books, but because I have struggled and longed and waited for this child. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again. Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams. I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life. I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him. I will no longer be crying tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me. I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child. I will not be careless with my love. I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I have known pain. Yet, I have prevailed. I have won. So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and meet them in their pain. I cannot make it better, but I can make it less lonely. I will not be a perfect mother. I will make mistakes. But, I will be a wonderful mother.

I had an ultrasound today. I was pretty nervous about it. I have received some pretty horrible news at ultrasounds in past pregnancies, so I guess I will always have a little anxiety before my ultrasounds. But, today I was really nervous because they were going to be checking if Frijole had any indicators of Down’s Syndrome or other diseases. They do this by measuring the fluid on the back of the baby’s neck. I really don’t want to know. It won’t change anything for me. I will not love Frijole any differently and we would not end the pregnancy, so for me, there is no reason to have any of that kind of testing done. Although, I didn’t want to skip the ultrasound because any chance to see Frijole makes me happy!

So, the tech tried for 30 minutes and she could never get Frijole to move into the correct position to measure the fluid! I was overjoyed! But, she did get all the other important measurements. Frijole’s heart was beating 170 bpm. And, Frijole was measuring at 12 weeks, so right on target!

But, the most beautiful thing I saw on the ultrasound was that Frijole had two legs and two feet that were kicking all around and were separate from each other! Those who have been reading my blog since Angel was born will understand why this is so important to me. Angel was born with sirenomelia, or mermaid’s syndrome. His legs were connected and he only had 9 toes. Because of this, his genitalia never formed and we didn’t know he was a boy until the autopsy was complete. So, to see those two beautiful legs kicking around made me so happy, I was crying! (There’s that highly emotional side to me again!)

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I am in the last week of my first trimester and hoping to start feeling human again soon! I have mastered my morning sickness, well, sort of. I have figured out that as long as I only eat saltines and drink 7Up before 3:00 pm, I can manage not to vomit. Sometimes, I get crazy and drink a Cherry 7Up. Hey, what can I say? I like to live on the wild side.

I will have an anatomy scan at about 20 weeks. Until then, I will just keep praying and believing that Frijole is happy and healthy. Every night before bed, I pray that this child will outlive me. That is my greatest desire.

graduation day

18 Feb

This morning we had our LAST appointment with our RE!! I can’t believe it!

Baby is measuring right on target at 8 weeks and has a heart rate of 176 bpm. The bleed is still there, but Baby Frijole is well protected and they don’t think it will be a problem. So, I am just going to continue resting and drinking lots of water, and believe that is true!!

New this week is all day nausea and puking. Yesterday I didn’t keep anything down all day. It is making it hard to stay hydrated.

I only have a few more weeks of shots and then I will be done with those too! Woohoo!

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I really am rejoicing at how well this is going and I feel so blessed!!

My first appointment with my ob is on March 1st. So, I am just gonna rest up until then!

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