Monday, September 19, 2011

27 weeks 4 days

Still going...
As my last post indicated, Monday's labs showed an improvement in kidney function but a decline in liver. Specifically my ALT was up to 71. My OB isn't in on Wednesdays (when the labs came back) so the covering OB looked them over and sent me immediately back to the lab for repeat blood work. I then saw my OB on Thursday for my regularly scheduled appointment.

She was as wonderful as always, of course. She came in and immediately asked how I was doing, clearly meaning emotionally. I told her that I was holding it together okay, but that the day I had to come for steroid shots really sent me over the edge for a while. She was very sympathetic and hugged me. We kibitzed a while about some really annoying drama with the peri lab (at one point they told me they never got my lab results, but that they didn't care. They then apparently called my OB to yell at her because she had them and they didn't. Even though THEY ordered them and had her CCed on the results.)

Then she asked how my blood pressures had been at home. I was honest and told her that at home, they'd been quite good, a little higher (but not really high) at work. She shook her head and asked how I'd feel about being put off work. I told her it was fine. I certainly can tell a difference in the way I feel at work versus home, I can see it in the numbers, and frankly, when I'm averaging three trips a week to various labs or doctors, getting the time off work was getting challenging. We have short term disability insurance and we went into this knowing we would probably need to use it. I had hoped not to need it until much later, but we were prepared to do it when we needed. She felt it was time. We agreed that I would finish the week part time- I worked 4 hours Thursday and Friday and then be done.

She still thinks we can make it into the 30s for the baby. I told her that I had pretty much given up the idea of 37 (she ruefully agreed) but that I was still holding out for November. November 3 would be 34 weeks. Some 34 weekers go home, and even if they don't, USUALLY it's not a long NICU stay (believe me, I know 34 weekers have complications. Don't send me hate mail, please.) and she agreed. She thinks that's possible. Obviously I'd love to prove everyone (myself included) wrong and go longer, but that seems like a reasonable, hopefully attainable goal.

I spent my last couple of days at work tying up loose ends, getting my projects covered, letting everyone know I would be gone for a while, and doing paperwork. I took it as easy as I could while there and at home. My boss was obviously a little stressed at losing me, but really supportive about going. She is the mom of a former 32 weeker herself, having spent 4 months on hospital bedrest because of an incompetent cervix (she had previously lost a baby at 16 weeks to the same condition) so she is uniquely sensitive to my situation. There was mostly good-natured ribbing from my coworkers about being abandoned (though one particularly lovely soul demanded to know if I was "going to get fixed now" and when I told him that David was going to get a vasectomy, he asked "why, he's not the one whose body is all messed up?" Thanks.) and then I was off.

This weekend has been a little hectic. I had specific permission from the doctor to attend a couple of events I had already planned for, so long as I kept my feet up. Unfortunately my evening plans had to be cut short because my blood pressure was lingering at just barely under 140/90 and I had to get home and try to get get it down. Fortunately once I was really prone and quiet, it did, but it's been around 130/80 pretty much since then.

My OB had warned me that sometime between 25 & 28 weeks, BP tends to resettle closer to a normal pre-pregnancy pressure, which for me was 130/80. (That was my post-Robbie "normal." It never fully recovered after he was born.) I know that's an okayish number, but I have to say, it was a lot more comforting when it was settling at 115/65. I'd gladly take a little light-headedness over increasing numbers.

Tomorrow I have more labs. Dr. G said if my protein was stable these week, she'd give me next week off from the pee-jug (would be just blood work) so I'm really hoping for steady numbers. This week's labs also include my second glucose tolerance test (one of those benefits of being AMA is getting to do it twice.) I also see the peri tomorrow. I have a growth scan and consult with my favorite peri in the practice. She thinks he'll up my growth scans to make sure the baby is responding well to everything going on, so this might get to be an even more regular activity. That is fine, though I hate that no appointment in the peri lab can ever be accomplished in less than 2 hours.

I'm staring down my next milestone, which is 28 weeks. The odds for survival and outcomes increase nicely at 28 weeks, though that's still seriously, seriously early for a baby to be born. Chello is still not allowed to come, but I am still counting every day as a blessing and each week as a celebration. Getting to see a third trimester will be exceptionally fun.

In the meantime, I'm trying to take it as easy as possible. I'm not confined to bed, just was told not to do anything strenuous, to be up no more than an hour at a time, and take it as easy as possible. That leaves a lot of burden on David, who is already feeling the burden of responsibility, which has lead to some tension. We could use some prayers of patience for both of us, I think.

My friends have been amazing. They're already starting to fill up my freezer will meals and provided some reading entertainment to keep me occupied. I might have gotten a little weepy today after a friend whose literary opinions I value brought me a bag of books. Bedrest can be soul-sucking, but the outpouring of love and support has kept it nourished anyway. I'm the luckiest unlucky gal around.



Bridie said...

A) Bed rest is tough, but seriously, let David do the heavy lifting and don't feel bad about it. You can't, look at everything you are doing to have his frickin' baby! Thank him often, and sincerely and put the guilt out of your mind. Accept help graciously, and say yes to every offer. When I was on bed rest with Gavin, pre-hospital, if a friend stopped by to visit, I had no shame in asking her to throw in a load of laundry, do a 5 minute sweep of the kitchen, etc. It's not selfish when you are doing it for your baby, right? And I've found that friends and family are at such a loss as to what they can do, they are actually really happy when you give them a task.

B) Sam - 33w3d. BIG boy at 5 lb, 10 oz. Was born Thurs evening, those first couple days he drank milk like a rock star and they were telling us he would come home Monday - until jaundice hit and he quit drinking. By the time he had any energy back his feeding requirements were so high that it took him a while to get back on track. All told, we were there 17 days, although we escaped a couple days early (less than 24 hrs of ad lib feeding) because we were veterans and the nurses vouched for me that I would most certainly make sure he was eating enough. So that's what you have to look forward to if you can hang on "just" six more weeks!

peesticksandstones said...

Thinking of you, and enjoying getting re-acquainted with your blog after a long absence. Very excited to hear how this goes, and sending lots of love to you and your family.

AmbyLand said...

Thank you so much for keeping us updated. I was away from the computer all weekend and you were in my thoughts alot. I have said a few prayers for you and your family.

Kim said...

D's story is similar to Sam's though he was in the NICU for just over a month and has had longer term complications.

Still, even though I am the biggest proponent of 34 weeks is not enough, I'd never say that to you. That's for the stupid doctor's who are 34 weeks is fine, that's for the stupid pregnant people who are tired of being pregnant and baby is already over 4-5lbs so good enough.

You are rightfully fighting and hoping for every day possible and I am thinking of you daily and so happy to see you back online each day with another day under your belt.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you gave yourself the permission to do what seems best for baby and yourself in terms of taking leave from work. It is commendable that you are able to keep perspective regarding your priorities given the work culture that exists in this country. Baby Chello (and Robbie!) are lucky lucky lucky to have you as a mom! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that you have MANY weeks left in this pregnancy and that they pass uneventfully!


Deep Thinker said...

Will keep the prayers coming. I know you can do it!

Heather said...

You are in my prayers. You're doing all the right stuff, so you are doing everything you can. Hang in there and just know that there are lots of us out there thinking about you. If I was closer, I'd do everything I could to help.

Christine said...

I am very glad you were able to stop work and get a little rest. I know your back and forth to the doctor so you are still on the go but you need to update me more. Yes I am that selfish! I am checking your blog multiple times a day and it is not very productive for me when I should be working! I am praying for you and your baby.

Janet said...

Hi, I've been reading your blog for a while and just want to let you know you are in my thoughts. I hope the next few weeks fly by uneventfully.

I was on bed rest for my son (now 6 months) after a short stint in hospital. I too struggled with the emotional side of it and saw a counsellor there. Something she said really stuck with me. She gave me persmission. Permission to grow this baby as best I could, permission to rest, permission to let the housework go, to leave my daughter in full time daycare, and most of all permission to not feel guilty about it. I hope that you can give yourself that permission too.

Sarah said...

Rooting for you and your little one.

Elizabeth said...

I think about you every single day... seems odd I bet, but it's true.

Too many days are so crazy hectic that I can't even get online to see that you've posted another day pregnant, so I say a little prayer each morning as I take my munchkin to daycare and I hope.

I'm so glad you are taking time off work and though it will be hard, it's the best shot you can give li'l Chello.

Sending you hugs and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Too busy to update?