Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nursing Worries

I'm finding nursing a bit of a love-hate relationship.

I really enjoy nursing her. I'm not really a super crunchy type, but in this case, nursing has been kinda magical for us. I had the same experience with Robbie. The first time he nursed it was perfect. He latched on and looked happy. I sobbed happy tears. It wasn't to last. He didn't have the stamina to take full feedings by breast and then of course, he ended up not eating at all, but for that brief moment in time, it was magic.

Charlotte also had a perfect latch right from the start. She knew what to do immediately and did it well. She was very sleepy and did a lot more sleeping than nursing for a few days. In the hospital, they had me topping her off with a bottle after she nursed, but she never took more than another 1/2 oz (and usually much less than that) and seemed satisfied.

Her pediatrician wanted to make sure she didn't lose too much weight to start because she just didn't have much to give, so that's what we did. She lost the first 2 days, then slowly started to gain again. When we left the hospital, we stopped topping her off. Her first office appointment, she hadn't gained any weight and I was pretty stressed out.

I was still having to wake her to eat, so I moved her feedings up to every 2 hours instead of every 3, and as she slowly started to wake up a little more (waking on her own, I mean) sometimes she'd feed even more often than that. Our next weight check, she had made weight. The doctor wanted 3-5 oz in that time, and she'd gained 3.5.

I have a baby scale at home, so I can also keep track at home. I try not to weigh her obsessively both because I know there are variables that make that unreliable and because I know it will make me crazy. But tonight was a weigh in night.

She's gained 1.5 oz in 4 days putting her back at her birth weight of 5lb 2oz. I wish it were just a bit higher. Right now she's gained 4oz in 6 days. Average is a little more than that. I know she's so small yet. She's still a little over 2 weeks from her due date. I'm almost certain I have plenty of supply. She has a great latch and seems to nurse well. Her diaper outputs are great. All signs point to a happy, healthy baby. But I wish it was a little more.

I know that some of this is Robbie's history bleeding into Charlotte. Some of it is because even though she's my 2nd child, I've never done this before. Some of it is probably Anxiety screwing with my mind. But I'm worried.

I love her so much and I want what is best for her. I want her to have the immunities that breast milk provides. She's so tiny and fragile, I want to do everything I can for her. I keep telling myself that if she needs formula, she does. Or I can pump and supplement her a little. But I honestly don't think I can exclusively pump again like I did with Robbie.

I'm already pulled in 2 directions all day. Robbie is handling the change very well, but at least once a day, he gives me the saddest look like he just misses having me all to himself. I try to immediately devote a little one-on-one time to him and that seems to perk him right up, but I still feel like I'm having to choose between them a lot. Adding having to pump 6 or 8 times a day just isn't going to help that. And it was hard enough the first time... I swore I wouldn't do it again. Of course, never say never, I suppose. But I really don't want to do it again.

I just keep praying that as she gets closer to her due date, she gets bigger and stronger and then it cycles into better weight gain and so on. Hopefully as she gets bigger and can control her temperature better, she'll burn fewer calories as well. We do everything we can to keep her warm, but it's not the same as having that natural internal mechanism. Hopefully more body fat will help with that.

I really just need her to get bigger and stronger all around. I worry so much about her and love her so much. I need her to be okay. I hope that allows me to continue nursing her, but at this point, I just wish I knew what the right answer was.

I would really appreciate prayers for good weight gain and for peace for me. Worrying changes nothing and I know that. But I seem to be incapable of not doing it.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

By the numbers

  • 14: days that Charlotte is old. Where does the time go?  
  • 1: the point drop in Charlotte's bilirubin this week. Not huge, but it's the right direction, so we'll take it. 
  • 3.5: ounces Charlotte gained this week, putting her back up over the 5 pound mark (5lb 0.5oz) and making her pediatrician happy.
  • 23: the number of pounds I'm down from my prepregnancy weight. I'm probably going to need some new pants or risk an embarrassing moment in public. 
  • 10: hours I had to delay taking my last dose of blood pressure medicine (normally taken every 8 hours) because my blood pressures were TOO LOW. Even then, I took a smaller dose in an attempt to keep from bottoming out.
    It's quite a difference to go from "I shouldn't stand up, I could have a stroke" to "I shouldn't stand up, I might get too lightheaded." The latter DEFINITELY being better. Certainly will be talking to the doctor about lowering my dose on Monday. 
  •  26: pounds that Robbie now weighs. I hadn't even realized it, but he has officially regained and surpassed all of the weight he lost during tube-weaning. And frankly- he feels and looks pretty heavy right now. 
  • 2: remaining days until David goes back to work and I'm officially on my own with both kids. NERVOUS. 
  •  95: the percentage by which I feel better than I did even on Monday. As my blood pressures have plummeted, so have my anxiety levels, the baby blues, and even my exhaustion (though I suspect the exhaustion will last a few more months. Totally worth it, but the newborn nights are rough!)
  • 1472: the number of times a day I stop and think about how amazing my kids are. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today is Thanksgiving.
When I found out I was pregnant with Charlotte and figured out my due date, I knew that my goal would really be 37 weeks because of my delivery history with Robbie. That day was today, 11/24/11.
I spent all those months praying for a Thanksgiving baby. While I didn't make it quite as close as I hoped, it's hard to be too upset as I sit here staring at my amazing baby girl. I have so much to be thankful for.

Charlotte is doing great. She had her first pediatrician appointment on Monday. She hadn't gained any weight since leaving the hospital and I panicked a bit. (Okay, a lot.) But she's eating well, and I'm hopeful that at her recheck on Saturday, things will improve. They rechecked her bilirubin that day and it was back up to 11, but we did it again yesterday and it was down to 10, so it's headed in the right direction on its own, which is encouraging.

She's still in the super sleepy phase, though she has a couple of wakeful periods each day. Usually in the morning and then very late at night. The nights can get kinda rough, but such is the way with babies. She is so snuggly and sweet, and even when she's awake for a while, she's pretty happy, so sometimes the nights feel like I'm getting a little something that no one else gets (for now.)

Robbie is also doing very well. He seems to have fallen in love with his sister. When she does fuss, he goes over and talks to her to console her. One day when I'd gone to the bathroom and she started crying, he brought her a paci. He brings her a blanket or a toy if he sees one he thinks she needs. In the mornings when I'm laying in bed nursing her, I'll hear him coming across the house to "say hi to Mommy and baby Charlotte!"

He's really quite gentle with her. We've had a few incidents where he's gotten too wound up and had to be reminded to be careful around her, but they've all been accidents and he's seemed genuinely upset that he had almost hurt her. (Just bouncing on the bed and accidentally knocking into her or something.)

You can see him figuring things out sometimes. Yesterday I was using one of Robbie's fleece blankets on her and he looked a little concerned and told me that was his blanket. I told him that he was right but asked if it was okay if Charlotte used it. He seemed to take that under advisement just repeating "that's Robbie's blanket" but not really seeming upset about it. Then he just wandered off. A little while later, he came up, gave the blanket the same pensive look and said "that's Charlotte's blanket." I guess he bequeathed it to her.

I'll tell ya, nothing makes your three year old look bigger than having a baby in the house, though. I swear it's like he grew a foot and aged a year the day she was born. It's bittersweet. He's not the baby anymore, but man, seeing him as a big brother makes me even more proud of him.

David's been amazing, too. We definitely struggled after Robbie was born. David had no idea what to do with a baby, let alone a preemie with the kind of issues that Robbie had. It was not easy. I worried about us going through that again, so we talked about it a lot before and during my pregnancy with Charlotte. He definitely took it all to heart.

During the weeks in the hospital, he took care of everything at home. He run Robbie back and forth to the hospital, took care of school stuff, home chores. He took vacation time when Charlotte was born, but the nature of his job makes vacation a little bit of a loose term. He was sitting in the NICU the night Charlotte was moved there writing memos for work. Vacation just meant he didn't have to go into the office, but still handled things as they came up. All while taking care of me, Charlotte and Robbie.

We've sniped at each other a time or two, of course. The kind of stress and sleep deprivation that comes with a preterm birth and a newborn can get to anyone. But by and large, we've been a team through all of this. He's taken Charlotte without question whenever I've needed a break, and almost exclusively parented Robbie while I was on bedrest and too sick to get up for a while.

Then there are our parents. My mother-in-law took a leave from work and came to stay at our house the day after I was admitted to the hospital. She took Robbie to and from school, comforted him, fed him, all while keeping my house immaculate (seriously, she is SO much a better housekeeper than me) and doing our laundry.

My dad still works full time but he made sure that my mother-in-law could get around, helped entertain Robbie, shopped for anything we needed, and provided back up care when we needed it.

I honestly don't know what we'd have done without both of them. One day David turned to me and said "if ever my mom gets to the point where we need to take care of her and I ever complain? Smack me." We are both overwhelmed with their generosity. And when we tried to express our gratitude, both of them just waved us off, "eh, we're family." That may be true, but not every family is as supportive as ours.

And friends? I can't even talk about my friends without choking up with tears. As soon as I was put on bedrest, a few friends got together to make freezer meals for me. And bring books and movies and magazines to help keep my mind busy.

They texted and emailed and called and visited me at home and then later in the hospital to stave off off loneliness. They prayed.

Last week, the girls from my preemie board arranged for a mobile shower the likes of which I can't even explain. They conspired with David and my mother-in-law to fill my house with gifts that are beyond generous. They filled my deep freeze all over again. There were gift certificates for photos, and house-cleaning. There was a kindle (!) with a gift card for books. There were clothes and blankets and diapers and a dozen cards with touching messages that made me cry a lot. They made me feel loved.

And of course, there is God. Without his amazing love and caring, I don't know where we'd be. My entire pregnancy was an answer to prayers. That we got as far as we did is another. Charlotte's good health is nothing short of a miracle. That we two infertiles, me being a profoundly crappy gestator on top of it, are sitting at home on this Thanksgiving day with our two beautiful children proves a thousand times that God is a loving and powerful God and I'm grateful every day for His presence in my life.

Everything isn't always sunshine and rainbows and I'm never going to be the person who pretends that it is. But neither do I ever overlook my many, many blessings. I count them daily and try to make sure that those people by whom I'm blessed know how I feel about them.

Today isn't about remembering that I'm lucky. I know that all 365 days a year. But I do think it's a great day to shout it from the rooftops without feeling like a braggart. My life is full. I am blessed. I am filled with thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Actual complaining

Preeclampsia is evil. It isn't enough that it has caused both my babies to come early, but it is the gift that just won't stop giving.

With Robbie, I started feeling better almost immediately after he was delivered. It was nearly 2 weeks until I could focus on eyes again (I really blamed the mag for that, but in retrospect, it was probably the pre-e.) and 3 weeks of BP meds until it started to regulate, but overall, I *FELT* okay.

This time, even though I didn't get nearly as sick, it seems to be lasting longer. First there was the reaction I had to the mag the day after Charlotte was born. God bless the nurse who finally said "that's it! You're done!" and shut it off a little early. I couldn't take much more. I swelled up like a stuffed sausage that day, too. The covering OB kept commenting on how bad my face looked. Good thing I'm not sensitive to that sort of thing. I was more concerned with my feet as they felt like they might actually explode.

And now that I'm at home, my blood pressures are just not cooperating. They were finally a little better the last day and a half and I thought maybe we'd finally started to regulate (at double the dose I was on after Robbie) but tonight around 7:30 I started to feel a little funny. Took my BP- 170/100.

Laid down an hour, 170/105.
Took my BP meds a few hours early, laid down another hour, 165/99.

Had to page the on-call doc. She had me take another 1/2 dose of meds, discussed a few options and waited an hour. Fortunately that got it down to 145/90, which isn't great, but is livable for the time being.

Of course this is all between also tending to a hungry baby and trying to get a toddler to bed. David was great and took care of everything he possibly could, but at one point Robbie starts yelling "need to snuggle mommy!" and Charlotte was gearing up for her nightly cluster feed, so there are some limits.

I was extremely relieved to avoid the E.R. But it's also frustrating and scary. I don't want to have a stroke. I don't want to feel like crap. I am so, so, so, so, blessed to have two mostly healthy, absolutely amazing children at home. I just want to be able to care for them.

Preeclampsia is a condition of pregnancy. It took the end of my pregnancies from me, so why can't it just leave me alone?

I'm praying this was an isolated event. Since my pressures have been decent the last couple of days, maybe it was pre-e's last gasp. A girl can always hope.

In any case, I would appreciate prayers for healing for me and for all of us. Charlotte has been sneezing a bit tonight. It might be normal newborn sneezing, but Robbie's had this never-ending cold (probably more like two colds or even three in a row. Thank you, daycare.) for the last probably 6 weeks, and I'm scared to death that Charlotte is going to get it. She does have the benefit of immunities from my breastmilk (I've never been so happy to have gotten one of Robbie's colds before) but we have no way of knowing how she would handle a cold. Her lungs seemed great when she came out, but she was still born 5 weeks too soon and she's still very small. If we could put off her getting sick for a while, that would be much, much better.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

We're home

We made it!

She passed all her tests, kept her temp up and we were released this afternoon about 3:30.

It's very surreal to be home after nearly 2 weeks gone.

Charlotte seems a little overwhelmed. She's yet to sleep. She ate kinda crappily, then wanted more an hour later and ate well. I was a little worried because I don't even have a pump, so if she doesn't eat, I'm going to HURT. Thankfully she did a great job a little earlier. She almost nodded off, but as soon as I put her down, she woke up again. She seems to be looking around like "whoa. Where AM I?"

Obviously she can't see much, but I'm sure the shapes are different, the smell is different, the sounds are different. She hears Robbie and she seems really curious. I hope she settles in soon. I hope *I* settle in soon. It's just surreal.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need a nap.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Long Version

I swear, I feel like I've been beaten.

This morning, my OB released me. Charlotte had been doing perfectly (eating, maintaining her temp, no breathing trouble, even gained an ounce of weight back last night) so I was confident we were going home. We started packing and had our stuff by the door.

I was pretty sure Charlotte was going to be jaundiced. It's super common anyway, particularly in preemies, even more in breastfed preemies and her bili had gone up the 2 previous days, though not to a concerning level. But it usually peaks between 3-5 days after birth, so I kinda expected it. And then about 2, she started looking pretty yellow to me and didn't eat well at all.. just really sleepy. (Common symptoms of jaundice.)
At 5, she ate well, but was downright orange. The nurse thought the same thing and had did a heel prick to send her serum level off. But I wasn't freaked out or anything. I'd already discussed it with her pediatrician at rounds the day before and knew we could go home with a bili blanket if it came to that.

Well, her pediatrician rounded at 7:30 and said her level had gone up a lot- it was 14. She wanted her on the lights right away and wrote an order for us to get a bili bed at home and a nurse visit for tomorrow to draw her levels again right away.

They took Charlotte to the nursery and brought her back naked on this bili bed. Charlotte was furious. They had a couple of blankets over her, but Charlotte was NOT to be consoled. She was just flailing all over the place. I had only slept 2 hours all night because she'd had a little cluster feed at one point and then all the stuff with the tests and all that, (plus you know, it's the hospital. I swear someone comes in every 10 minutes to wake you up and tell you to go to sleep.) I was hoping to lay down a bit, but it wasn't to be.

David and I both tried to calm her down, but w/o being able to actually hold her, that was difficult.
An hour later, her nurse comes to take her temp. It's 93. Nurse is convinced the thermometer isn't working. Goes and gets another one. Still low.
Takes it rectally. it's actually 93.
Holy shit, that's REALLY bad.

I start to freak out, I want to hold her kangaroo style right away to help get her temp up while the nurse is paging docs. the nurse won't let me. I'm beside myself.
She finally takes her off the nursery under the warmers. (This probably only took 10 minutes, but seriously, I could have increased her temp at least a LITTLE in 10 minutes. I'm still pissed about it. I swear if I never hear the word "policy" again, it's too soon. More on that later.)

She comes back, tells us that the NICU team is coming to evaluate her and she's paged our pediatrician. I pretty much knew then that we were going to have to stay. Our pediatrician is really conservative, and she'd already been nervous about us going home with her bili high.

The NICU NP comes in to talk to us and has the hospital social worker with us. Yeah, that definitely means bad news. She was as nice as could possibly be, she really was (is) but you know, the news still sucked.

She said that with the jaundice and then the temp drop, they wanted to get her into an isolette and under the lights. there was also the CBC they'd done when her temp was so low and her white blood cells were just slightly low, so they wanted to repeat that in the morning to make sure it wasn't the sign of an infection (newborns will often do the opposite of adults and drop their levels instead of raise them.) She doesn't really think it's an infection, but will be cautious.

While I was talking to her, my pediatrician calls my hospital room and she's convinced it IS the sign of infection and definitely thinks she needs to be in the NICU.

They take Charlotte and go. I sob.

And sob.

And sob.

Her nurse takes pity on us and arranges for us to keep our hospital room until 7 tonight and says maybe we can get a courtesy room down by the NICU. That doesn't happen, but I can stay on the couch in Robbie's NICU room. Just means that I'm by myself and still healing from a c-section, which isn't ideal, but it is what it is.

In the midst of all of this, Charlotte has a couple more feedings, which she completely sleeps through. I have to bottle feed her instead of nurse and even that is difficult. It's either the jaundice or the cold (even though she's now warm) or infection.. who knows. I was a wreck.

I managed to pump enough for a few feedings, thankfully, so at least I had that (not that she couldn't have formula but at this point, I'm hanging on to what I can.)

My mother-in-law brought Robbie up for a quick visit, which is a welcome distraction. This gives  Charlotte a little time to get admitted into the NICU, then come down to see her. It's one of my favorite nurses with her, which was a huge relief. As soon as she sees us she just shakes her head. "She didn't want Robbie to have all the stories."

The sight of Charlotte in the isolette is almost more than I can take. Maybe it was PTSD, I don't know, but as soon as I saw her, I started sobbing again. Another one of my babies naked in an isolette in the NICU. My heart was just shredded.

The NP, Dawn, is in and out and says Charlotte's initial labs were good (they'd checked her electrolytes to make sure she wasn't dehydrated since she'd not been eating well for a few hours, but they were fine.).

It's about time for her to eat, so I decide to attempt to nurse her, figuring I'd just bottle feed her anyway. She ends up taking maybe 1/3 of a feeding by breast (improvement) and the rest by bottle. Nikki is off tending another baby who is having a lot of breathing issues, so I just hold Charlotte a while. Nikki comes back and I ask if I have to give her back right away to get her back on the lights.
THEN she tells me "well, you can hold her a little while. her bili really isn't that high." I say something about it having been 14 and she says it wasn't really 14, it was 10.


Yeah, turns out that 14 that everyone quoted was the skin test thing which is notoriously inaccurate. They hadn't even waited for the serum level to come back with the real level, which was 10. I ask what it really should be (pretty sure 10 being below the treatable level because that's what it was on the skin test the day before) and she says that different doctors have different policies, but in the NICU, they don't treat for a level of 10. I make myself proud by NOT starting to cuss. The issue that set off this whole thing wasn't even an issue?!

Of course, I tell myself that maybe it's for the best, Charlotte WAS acting lethargic and there's still the undetermined WBC issue and maybe God has us here for a reason. But I was twitching anyway.

The NP Dawn comes in to chat with us a bit and they discuss if Charlotte even needs to be on the lights. In the end, we all agree to just leave her on the lights as is. She has to be in the isolette for her temperature, may as well make the most of it and get her bili down. It will help her feel better, eat better and will make our pediatrician happy in the morning.

She had discussed the WBC level with the neonatologist on duty and he didn't think it was an issue either, but it will be repeated in the morning either way.

We check Charlotte's temperature and she's WARM. Dawn encourages Nikki to aggressively wean her isolette temp with the goal being to have her back in an open crib by morning.

A few familiar faces come by and catch up on Robbie. Everyone coos over Charlotte. I try not to think too much about how disturbing familiar everything is. I try not to notice the smell of the soap. I hear a ventilator alarm across the hall and my stomach churns, but I stare at length at the silence of Charlotte's monitors to reassure myself.

David and I go to the cafeteria for dinner. He insists I stay in a wheelchair since my blood pressures are still not great and I'm still recovering. He takes me for a "walk" outside. It's the first fresh air I've had in 10 days. All I want to do is get back to the NICU and check on Charlotte.

The night nurse asks if we'd like to bathe her. It's all coming back to me now. I stepped right in to do her weight (up .7oz from the night before, despite all the drama today) and sponge bathe. Then sat down to feed her. She nursed fantastically. I tried to top her off with a bottle and she barely took 5ml. She was full. Definitely improvement. She looks significantly less yellow and her temp is good.

Right now, what we need is for her to have a normal CBC in the morning. If that goes well, there's a good chance we can get out of here tomorrow. Dawn doesn't think it's going to be a problem. But as I told all of them earlier, Hope and I aren't friends right now. I'll believe it when we're walking out the door.

Right now I'm sitting in the NICU waiting for feeding time. I've definitely been here before. At least this time the rooms are private and I can spend the night, so I don't have to leave her behind. If she has to stay past tomorrow, that might change, but right now, I'm just going a few hours at a time. First we get through the night. We'll see what the morning brings.



She's going to the NICU.

Right now the concerns are 1) Jaundice 2) Temp control 3) her white blood cell count was very slightly decreased, which could be a sign of infection.

the plan is to put her in an isolette under phototherapy. They're going to do some blood work and make sure her electrolytes are okay. Since she hasn't been eating well for the last few feedings, she could be a little dry. If so, they'll do an IV for fluids, if not, no IV.
They are planning to nipple her (I'm allowed to come try to nurse her whenever I want, but she hasn't been interested in that at all the last few feedings, so more likely I'll continue to pump and bottle feed her.)
I have pumped over night and have a few ounces in the fridge, so I'm at least a feeding, probably 2 ahead of her, so at least there's that.

The postpartum floor charge nurse has taken pity on us and is letting us stay in our current room until 7 tonight, but then I'm not sure what's going to happen. She has a private room in the NICU, so there is a fold out couch I can stay on overnight, but of course, that means me and my fresh c-section down there alone. There is talk of maybe finding us a hospitality room so both David and I could stay the night at least tonight, but we'll see.
Otherwise, David might just get a hotel room nearby.

The NP from the NICU wasn't overly concerned, but our pediatrician is, so who knows. The hope is that it's only for a night or two. The jaundice isn't severe, but the temp drop was pretty big. And if she has an infection, obviously that's a bigger deal.
Really, we're just in wait and see mode right now.

I'm basically a freakin' wreck.

So.. here we are.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank you.

Thanks for the prayers.

Have had some small improvements today. Still getting random stomach pains when I'm up for very long, but have had the energy to actually hold Charlotte today, which has been a relief. I was feeling like a complete failure yesterday. I simply couldn't even sit up to snuggle her. It was horrible.

They've increased my blood pressure medicine again, but my pressures are still not so great. But my swelling has gone down significantly, so that's at least some improvement.

Charlotte is currently in the nursery getting weighed and will get her car seat test. (She has to spend 1.5 hours in her car seat w/o having breathing trouble.) If that goes well and my OB agrees, we'll all be heading home tomorrow.

She's looking kinda yellow tonight, so we may end up with a bili blanket or something. She's been a little increased the last 2 days but not to a treatable level, so we'll see how it goes. She's nursing great, though, and my milk is definitely in (ouch.) so hopefully that won't be a big issue.

David's planning to take off work through Thanksgiving, so hopefully I'll have plenty of help at home and can rest and just let my body heal. It clearly is taking longer this time than it did with Robbie. Preeclampsia is the devil.

In other good news, Robbie seems to have warmed to Charlotte. My dad took him down to the gift shop tonight and he picked out a toy for Charlotte and he absolutely insisted she have it. It's a lullaby bear. He'd ask one of us to wind it up and then take it to her over and over again and says "it's baby Charlotte's." or he'd cuddle the bear and say "aww... for baby Charlotte.." It was so sweet, it made me cry.

Anyway, time to get some rest. Hopefully my last night in this hospital bed.


Prayers for me, please

Charlotte is doing really, really well, but I am not so much.

My pressures have been up most of the night around 160/80, even with the meds. (obviously the 80 is great, but 160 is the level for severe) I feel just plain horrible. I'm up now for the first time in hours. I had the nursery feed her a bottle. They've brought her for the other feedings and I've had to nurse her and then send her straight back because I just can't handle it.

I'm honestly scared for my own health right now. I really, really could use some prayers to get over the hump and start improving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another quickie

It's been a long, long day. Mag sulfate is evil, let me just say that. Spent the morning feeling really, really, really bad. There was a point where the docs spent some time trying to decide if I was about to seize or just having a bad mag reaction. That's not fun. They settled on bad mag reaction. But they turned it off a little early for me (God bless them) and I started feeling significantly better almost immediately. We moved up to postpartum around 3 this afternoon. It's like Mecca up here.

I'm doing well. I still have the shakes from something (Demerol, maybe?) and of course, my tummy is sore. My feet look like tree trunks from the swelling that finally hit. But overall, I feel pretty good.

Charlotte is doing fantastically. He breathing and temp control have been perfect. We attempt to feed her every 3 hours, she's been successfully nursing about every other session. She lost down to 4lb 12 oz tonight. Our pediatrician was in this morning and warned me that she may want to supplement her a bit if she loses too much because she's so little to start with. The nurses told her I had a ton of colostrum already, so she said she'd keep that in mind, but not to be surprised if it happens.

I do think if we go that route, I'm going to go with an SNS instead of a bottle, though. Charlotte's latch is SO good, she really just needs to stay awake and gain some stamina. I hate for us to lose ground there by introducing an "easy" bottle too soon. Now the question becomes if I want to pump or use formula. I still haven't decided. I feel like I should pump, but 1) I hate pumping and 2) I want my boobs to learn to let down for a baby, not for a pump again.

I'm fine with formula, but I also don't want to confuse her about flavor and of course, the breast milk has the benefit of immunities, which she could definitely use. So I don't know. Please don't start milk wars in my comment feed, either. Anyone who is successfully nourishing their child is doing a good job. Period. Okay?

Our pediatrician did tell me she's going to want Charlotte in 8 weeks of quarantine. AFTER her due date. Meaning we're probably out of the social loop until mid-February. And even then, she's going to want us to keep a low profile until spring. She's doing remarkably well for a 35 weeker, but she is still a 35 weeker. She wasn't done cooking yet. It's going to be a long winter.

Robbie came to visit briefly today with a little more success. He actually looked at her with interest and said hi to her. But he still didn't want to get near her. It's okay. I know he'll adjust eventually. This has been a huge upheaval for him. I've been gone for a week and now he has to share me? My MIL says all he asks for all day is to go to the hospital and see mommy, but then he gets here and wants nothing to do with me. He's clearly angry with me. I can't blame him.

I've had a good cry or 12 about it, but I also know Charlotte needed this week even more than he did. It won't be the last time I'm forced to choose between them, but I sure can't say it's any fun. I don't want to let either of them down.

If you want more pictures, I'm going to be lazy and just point you to facebook. I made the album public, so you should be able to see it without having an account. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's a girl!

Forgive the short post. It's hard to type, you see, because my baby girl is on my chest right now!

Charlotte Corrina was born at 1:03pm on 11/12/11. She weighed 5lb 2oz and is 18.5" long. She did require a little bagging in the O.R. but once they got her going, she took right over and did great. They took her to the regular nursery while I was in recovery and brought her to me to room in about 3 hours later. Completely amazing. She has a head full of hair, the edges of which are blonde.

She has latched on, but is having a hard time staying awake to nurse for any length of time. But right now her blood sugars are good and she wet appropriately, so we're just giving her some time to get it.

We are currently in the world's smallest hospital room in Labor and Delivery as I have to stay on mag for 24 hours. I'm having some insane contractions and had to have an extra dose of pain meds, but other than that, I'm doing great, too.

Robbie met her and was.. well.. not impressed. He hadn't had a nap and had been at the hospital (with our parents) all day, so I'm sure that didn't help. He mostly just did not want to get anywhere near her. That's okay, the whole situation is pretty weird, after all.

Without further ado, meet Charlotte:

Coming back to add another:

It's baby day.

The peri rounded a few minutes ago and he's not happy with my pressures. The calls are being made.

It's baby day.

I'm scared out of my wits.


Small improvements.

Started the day with much better readings then yesterday. My first two BPs of the day were well below 140/90. There was hootin' and hollerin' to be heard.

This afternoon, they were back up in the 155/98 range, but at least they stayed below 160/100 today. And tonight I had another 138/86 reading. The OB partner who rounded today said that as long as I'm getting some lower reading between the high ones, that's a good sign and we can keep truckin'.

The peri didn't have a lot to say today except for usual lecture about how if anything gets worse, the baby comes. Yeah, pretty sure they've mentioned that.

The resident actually rounded first. I told her right away that I have a cold because I could feel the headache coming and I didn't want everyone to freak out about it. It was not a BP headache, it was a sinus headache. She wrote orders for a half dozen cold symptom treatments even though I didn't necessarily need or want them. But at least they're on the books. Really, the worst of it at this point is the sore throat.

I got a flu shot and a massage today. The former was almost as pleasant as the latter. The massage therapist wouldn't use ANY force because she was concerned about my blood pressure. I was frustrated. I swear to you, Robbie could give me a massage with more pressure than what I got today. It was relaxing and I fell asleep, but of course, I woke up just as sore as I went to sleep. Five days in a hospital bed are not too comfortable.

Other than that, it was a pretty quiet day. I had no visitors save for Robbie, David and my MIL for dinner. There was no antepartum floor class today. The floor is 100% full and the nurses are busy, so I barely saw them, either. I spent the day napping and watching TV online, mostly.

Even my NST was quick today. The baby got active just as I got there, so I was in and out in 20 minutes- no jiggling or snacking or repositioning necessary.

Robbie is still doing well, though my MIL said he wanted to come to the hospital instead of going to school this morning, and as soon as they picked him up from school, he wanted to come here immediately. They stopped for gas on the way and I guess he was upset at the interruption. Of course, it's funny because when he gets here, it's like pulling teeth to get him to even acknowledge me. He's more interested in playing in the closet.

I am having a little bit of a hard time that when he's upset he's going to my MIL for comfort and not me. Usually I'm choice #1 but right now, she's his source of comfort. She tries to encourage him to come to me, but he'll cry for grandma instead. I know it's only natural. Probably some part of him feels like I have abandoned him. But it still makes me sad.

At this point, I'm still hoping to make 36 weeks. I don't know if it's going to happen or not. Who knows, maybe we'll make it to Thanksgiving week, but as all the doctors keep telling me (and keep telling me.. and keep telling me.. and keep telling me..) we're day by day now.

I'm just hoping that if things go sideways quickly, there will be time for David to get here first. Living 45 minutes from the hospital makes things pretty tense. If they decide I have to go NOW, I may be alone. I know we'll handle whatever comes, but I don't like that thought much. But David needs to be at home with Robbie sometimes, too, so staying here all the time just isn't an option.

Anyway, today was a better day. The best I can ask for now is another stable day tomorrow and then we'll worry about anything after that as it comes. Please keep up the prayers. I believe they are responsible for our small improvement today.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Still here

Today was a rough day.
My blood pressure started out about 168/100. That's not a good way to start the day. The earned me a visit from the resident right way. fortunately it did come down a little, before spiking back up in the afternoon again.

The peri on today was Dr. Sunshine. I'm certain his face didn't help my BP, either. Yet again, he came in and introduced himself with a "nice to meet you." Never mind that I've met the man umpteen times and presumably he glanced at my chart and could see he own notes on it.

He does not want me on blood pressure meds. His feeling is that because I do not have hypertension outside of pregnancy, if my BP is going up, it's because I'm getting sicker and if i'm getting sicker, the baby needs to come out. At 35 weeks, the good to the baby is smaller than the risk to me. They're not going to let me get as sick as I did with Robbie. As much as I dislike the man, I couldn't argue the point.

Later in the day, my BP stabilized in the 150s/90s. Obviously that's crappy, but the threshold they're looking for is 160/100, so at least it was stabilized at a point that I can stay pregnant at.

Emotionally, I can't say I took it all very well. I'm really beginning to doubt my ability to make it much further. I'm hoping for at least 36, but we'll see. I wish I felt more confident, but I don't.

My NST in the peri center went well. The baby was very sleepy today but we finally got her moving and she passed all her tests. My labs were drawn in the morning and they were all normal/stable.

I went to the floor's daily "class" for what amounted to our social time. One of the moms was being discharged today and everyone was a bit emotional. She obviously wanted to go home, but was nervous, too. Another mom was down in L&D with variables in her baby. My nurse came in at one point to take my blood pressure and it was still crappy.

We started talking about things and before I knew it I'd started crying. I apologized and of course, the other moms were as supportive as could be. "Please, I cry ALL the time." We talked about our feelings of failure. Of guilt over being tired of being here, wanting to be done, but knowing our babies aren't. Both of the moms with me have experienced losses, one of them also infertility. It was good to feel less alone, but also didn't drag me out of my pity party very well.

Back in my room, one of the chaplains came by. As soon as she walked in, I had to fight tears. She is very kind and I guess that was more than I could take. We talked a while about feeling down. She was a comfort, but of course, my pity party continued.

I called home to see how my MIL was doing with Robbie. They were having a nice day, but she told me that at one point they were watching the leaves fall off the trees and blow down the street. Robbie told her that the leaves were going down the street to the hospital- to visit Mommy. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. More tears.

I had eaten lunch but the baby wasn't moving. I tried all the usual tricks to get her going with no luck. Eventually I was so freaked that I called my nurse to come with the Doppler just to ease my mind. Just as she came in, my OB's partner came in for rounds. We talked about my crappy day. She was very kind. She gave me a pep talk. She also said she's going to assist my OB with my C-section and mentioned that they were likely scheduling it for Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving. That would be 36+3or4. I hope I can make it that far.

The evening was a bit better. My dad visited. A friend. Then David and my MIL brought Robbie up for dinner. That actually lead to more panic, though. Robbie is getting yet another cold. He hadn't even finished breathing treatments from his last cold and tonight he was a snotty mess and coughing already.

I'm scared that the baby will need to come in the next few days and Robbie will be sick. If the baby's lungs aren't mature, that's terrifying. If she needs to go to the NICU for any reason, Robbie certainly can't visit. And he could get me sick and lead to problems there as well. I really need this baby to stay in until Robbie's no longer contagious. Preferably another week. I need my body to cooperate a little longer.

At 26 weeks, if you'd have asked me how I'd feel at 35 weeks, I'd have told you that 37 would be better, but 35 was great. But here I sit at 35, still scared out of my wits. I want my baby to have every opportunity for health. I do not want to go to the NICU again. I don't want to live in fear of every cough and sniffle.

I know that even full term babies get sick. Sometimes they end up in the NICU. Sometimes they get asthma. There are no guarantees in parenting. But I want to give this baby the best chance to avoid those things that I possibly can. And it just pisses me off that my body is trying to steal that AGAIN.

I know that I have so many blessings. Being here isn't all bad. The cookies are good. As is the endless supply of hot water. Knowing that I'm minutes from the OR if I need to be is comforting. And I haven't had to fix myself a glass of water in 4 days.

David is proving to be the man of the hour all over again. I worry that he's going to exhaust himself, but he insists on taking care of everything. tonight he even told me he wanted to have a date-night on Saturday. He'll bring Robbie up to visit during the day, but then my MIL will keep him that evening. David will get take-out from somewhere close to the hospital and come watch a movie with me. He couldn't possibly be any more thoughtful or sweet.

And I'm trying to focus on that. My friends with 35ish weekers have shared their stories of success. And those help a lot. I'm focusing on those quite a bit. I just hope that I can be one of them if I have to.

Is it 36 weeks yet?


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Made it to 35!
Today was the busiest day imaginable for a bedrest momma who is technically doing nothing. Between visitors (whom I love, btw!) and my antepartum craft class, 2 visits to the peri center (they forgot to do part of my monitoring the first time), and a visit with Robbie & David tonight, I didn't have more than 20 minutes of down time all day until about 7:30. And then I took a very much needed nap.

Tonight is the first night that after everyone left and the quiet set in that I didn't feel empty and lonely. I guess that means I'm adjusting. Prayers being answered, for sure.

My pressures have been fairly consistently in the 150s/90s. That sucks, but I suppose for now, it's stable. No labs today except the monitoring, which went great. Baby looks good, fluid was almost 14, blood flows perfect. The u/s tech actually gasped at how chubby the baby's cheeks are now. No one has had a good look at her face in a while because she's been so low in my pelvis for so long. I spent some time on my head today to get her to move up a little so she cold get the blood flows, so we got to see her face a bit.

I have not started on BP meds yet. My OB didn't mention it at rounds and I was still so groggy when she came in (I had JUST woke up before she walked in) that I didn't think to ask. I'll ask tomorrow and see what they think. It is my OB's day off, so it will be a partner, but we'll see what she says.

My day nurse was pretty decent, just not overly friendly. She did make me smile tonight, though because she came in for vitals while Robbie was here and seemed impressed with him. He was pointing out all the letters of the alphabet in a book (The boy is currently obsessed with letters) and she was saying that he was doing things that her 6yo is doing now. I'm so used to people pointing out his..um.. deficiencies?.... that it's pretty awesome when someone besides me sees how amazing he is.

I have the same night nurse that I had last night, but she seems a lot better tonight than she was. It might have helped that she was in while my OB was rounding and my OB was also celebrating my 310 protein with me and actually said something about my knowledge of my disease and such. Maybe the nurse works with a lot of people who aren't, and now that she realizes I'm not an idiot, she can stop talking to me like one. We actually had a really nice chat earlier. A friendly nurse sure does ease the dreariness.

Right now the plan is close monitoring and hoping to deliver pretty close to 37 weeks. My OB is fine with the peri's plan of pushing it closer to 37 than 36. She mentioned either the day before or the day after Thanksgiving. I like the idea of the day after Thanksgiving because that would give me an actual term baby, vs being a day shy of it with the day before. But logically I know that the difference of 2 days probably isn't going to matter much and I need to let go of MY plan and just accept God's.

Right now I'm focusing on a day at a time. Thirty five is a great step that I will celebrate. And thirty six will be even better.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hospital day 2

It seems I'm here for the duration- whatever that duration may be.

My blood pressures have continued to be pretty crappy. Consistently in the 150s/~90.
The good news was that my 24 hour catch showed my protein down a bit again to 310. My OB was considering putting me on a low dose blood pressure med as long as my kidneys were looking okay to see if that could help me limp along a little longer.

Shes said that if the meds completely corrected my BP, I might be able to go home, but didn't seem like she thought that was likely. Tonight, the peri said I'm here to stay, period.

They both agree that I'm to deliver in the 36th week. She leaned towards early 36 weeks, he leaned towards later, but both warned me that I am day-to-day and we'll just have to see how it goes. If anything worsens, I deliver, period.

The day was actually fairly busy. David took the morning off and spent part of the day with me, then I had a visitor. Then a trip down to the peri center for a growth scan (baby looked great, measuring about 5lb 5oz) then back just in time to take a breastfeeding in the NICU class here on the antepartum floor. That was mostly 20 minutes of "how to assemble a pump" (a class I could have taught, obviously) and then another 2 hours of chit-chat with the other moms. My nurse had heavily encouraged me to attend more for the social aspects and because she thought the other moms would like to hear my NICU experience, so I went and was glad I did.

This evening another friend came by, and David brought my mother-in-law and Robbie up for a visit and my dad came by and we all had dinner in my room.

It was so good to see Robbie. He has handled everything fine so far. This morning he said on the phone "Mommy is in the hospital. Mommy have a baby!" and seemed to accept that. He seemed more confused that grandma, grandpa and mommy & daddy were all in this hospital with him than anything. When they left for the evening, he said "bye-bye mommy!" pretty cheerfully several times. I sobbed as soon as they walked out the door, but I was relieved he wasn't upset, too.

I don't expect I'll get to see him every day, but hopefully a few days a week, my MIL is going to bring him up after school for a little while. She's staying with him until I get home. We're incredibly fortunate she was able to do so. She does work but is taking a leave to stay with us while we need the help.

Keeping busy during the day was nice, but the quiet after everyone was gone was sort of deafening. My night nurse isn't what I would call perky. Definitely no chit-chat with her. She was pretty sour, honestly. When I asked her for my protein level and was happy it was 310 she was very quick to remind me that 310 is "STILL pre-eclamptic." I explained nicely that I was aware of that, but that's been normal for me since 26 weeks so while it's bad, it's stable and that's what I need for now. Instead of being understanding, she seemed more annoyed "well, I guess it's good we got you this far, then." So I celebrated alone. I suppose I should get used to it. Hospital bedrest isn't for the faint of heart.

I will do what I can to attend the approved activities (the word "activity" used loosely here..) during the day so that I am not sitting in bed wallowing all day. I'm focused on knowing that we're looking at 2 weeks of this and I know these two weeks are more important to the baby than to me or Robbie or David. There is no denying that the situation sucks, though.

Of course, it's the little things right now that make or break me. The maintenance man fixed my air conditioner today and I told him I was naming the baby after him. (Shh.. that might have been a lie.) David found a piece of German chocolate cake in the cafeteria that I'm hoarding for comfort eating at some point.

Beyond the obvious things (my son, my husband) that I miss, I miss my TiVo, my bed and my bathtub. My back is already killing me and I'm only 2 days into this. I'm grateful it's only a few weeks. One of the moms in the group today is 28 weeks with twins, has been here 4 weeks and is expected to be stuck here until delivery. And she has a 2yo at home. She wins the pain Olympics there for sure.

All in all, it was an emotional day, but I'm hoping to settle into a new routine soon so that the whole thing feels a little less surreal. Probably about the time this starts to feel normal, the baby will come and then our whole world will be turned upside down again. Though hopefully in a much better way.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Things I have learned today:

  • The beds in labor and delivery are superior to the beds in triage, but still far inferior to the beds in the antepartum department.

    The smell of the hallway in front of the NICU still makes my stomach churn. 

  • Not every room in the hospital is freezing. In fact, some of them are downright hot. 

Yes, I'm in the hospital. This weekend, my blood pressures were creeping up a little. Not alarmingly, but a little. This morning at my monitoring, my NST was great (fluid and baby both in great shape) but my BP was 140/90.
I saw my OB a few hours later, and it was 152/90. Pretty sure it was the fastest OB appointment in history. She basically came in and said I was misbehaving and had to go to the hospital.

She did let me go home to get my stuff, there was no threat of an ambulance ride like with Robbie. My urine dip was trace, so they weren't freaking out, but with my history, they're not taking any chances.

So I met my dad at home to trade vehicles so that he could get Robbie from school, I threw the few things that haven't been packed for 2 months (phone charger, etc) into a bag, and met David at the hospital. In L&D, my BPs were good, one as low as 132/70, and my labs were okay.

That won me the ability to eat and drink (I was NPO for several hours in case I had to be drug straight off to the O.R.) and got me transferred up to antepartum.

Antepartum is much more comfortable overall, but apparently I can't turn the heat off in here. The thermostat is down to 55, but it's about 80 instead. Pretty sure that's contributing to my higher blood pressures again as well.

My nurse is great and just came in to take it again -156/94 and I told her I think the heat is exacerbating the problem, so my door is open with a fan going and I have an ice pack and she's going to take it again in a little bit, but honestly, 156/94 is pretty crappy.

When my pressures were lower and my labs were okay earlier, I thought there was a better than average chance I was going home tomorrow, but now I'm not so sure.

Either way, 38 weeks is off the table. My OB is now looking at 36-37 weeks. Hopefully I can hold off 2 more weeks. I hope I don't have to be in the hospital for those 2 weeks.

We do have a plan in place for Robbie's care if it comes to that and I know that the baby needs these 2 weeks more than Robbie needs me at home, but this really sucks.

I otherwise feel fine. No epigastric pain, no vision troubles, no headache (started to get one earlier, but food fixed it), no swelling to speak of. I just miss my son and my husband (who went home to be with Robbie.)

What I know is the preeclampsia is an awful bitch and I'm sick of it. My first reaction to my BP this afternoon was anger. I stifled the urge to scream obscenities while in the OB's office, but my internal dialogue all the way home was pretty much "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck this. Fuck." That seemed to sum it up pretty clearly.

It's amazing how a matter of a few hours, I went from daydreaming about a 38 weeker, planning my breastfeeding class (supposed to be tomorrow, btw.), and worrying about juggling two kids to hoping my baby knows how to suck, swallow, AND breathe at the same time.

I know that I'm staring down the barrel of 35 weeks and that's a lot better than the 26 Robbie got. But That's still 5 weeks early and those 5 weeks matter. I'm sick of my body short-changing my babies. (Which I've really got to relive since I've had to give my obstetric history approximately 143 times today, including both miscarriages, the polyp, and apparently they even care that all 4 pregnancies were the result of A.R.T.)

I'm trying to focus on the positive and hope for the best. I haven't cried or thrown anything (yet) but this still sucks.


Thursday, November 3, 2011



I don't even know what to say. November is about gratitude and man do I have it. It's still too early.. this baby deserves as much time to grow and develop as possible- but this was the point my OB was really hoping for. "Every day past 34 is gravy." were her words. When things went kinda haywire at 26, I really don't think she thought we'd see this day, but here we are.

At this point, if the baby came, there's a possibility s/he could come home with us. Not necessarily, hell, things go sideways even with termies, I am keenly aware of that. But it's a possibility. Which is amazing to me.

I'm still nervous about the baby coming early, but things like worries about nursing and handling two kids and surviving those beginning months of exhaustion are starting to top my list. I mean, I'm also dreading c-section pain and magnesium sulfate (which I'm *probably* going to have to have, if not before delivery, then afterward) and things that come with my own situation, but it's part of a bigger picture now.

We're still settling on names. It will be Charlotte or Elliot, but middle names weren't as easily decided. David has the most exhaustive list of exclusions that you can imagine. Sometimes his history-nerdiness is more annoying than others. If the history of a particular name doesn't suit him, or honors some long-lost King I've never heard of that he doesn't like, then it's out. And then he spends so much time making up stupid names to be "funny" that sometimes I want to throttle him. We'll figure it out, though.

We didn't decide on Robbie's name until the delivery room. There is a lot of gray haziness about his birth, but I remember someone (the NICU director, I think) asking "Do we have a name?" and David standing up quietly, looking at Robbie (whom I hadn't seen yet) and declaring "Robert Michael." It was the name he'd wanted to start with, but I wasn't sure and finally we agreed to figure it out when we saw him. He could have been Gregory Michael instead. That seems weird now.

Robbie still doesn't seem to get the concept of brotherhood. We've explained about the baby over and over again, and asked him if he wants a brother or sister. He'll tell you a sister. Until you ask if he wants a sister or brother, and then he wants a brother. He always picks the second choice. I'm told that's some sort of human nature quirk. We're more likely to pick the last choice.

Tonight, however, David asked him if he was going to have a sister or brother and he said very resoundingly, "A SISTER!" That surprised us since it hadn't been the 2nd option and he seemed so sure. Then David asked what his sister's name would be. Robbie grinned and replied, "Ummmm.. FLUFFY CAT!" and then fell down laughing at himself. David and I just rolled. We have a long-haired cat that both David and Robbie call fluffy. Maybe he wants a clone of her. They are pretty good buddies. I don't know if something has finally clicked in Robbie's brain to get what a brother or sister is, but it was an adorable moment. But this baby still better not have whiskers.

I still don't know which way I lean. I say "she" mostly, but I did the same with Robbie and you see how that turned out. I've got both boy and girl newborn clothes ready for the hospital just in case. Buying the girl stuff sure was fun. There are so many more choices for girls. But brothers would be so cute, too. And we already have so much boy stuff. In the end, I really am okay either way. And that's not just politically correct "we just want a healthy baby" talk.

I'm feeling well, really. My blood pressure has still been cooperative. I'm miserable in only the usual ways. The baby presses on my lungs and I can't breathe, or presses on my bladder and I pee 120 times a day. My back and my pelvis both ache. I am not sleeping well at all. I'm still getting morning sickness occasionally. The heartburn has eased up a fair bit, but I had a rough day today anyway. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I still thinking feeling her move around is the coolest thing ever. Even when she is kicking the crap out of my already crabby liver, I think "oh look!" and poke at her to get a response.

Having been at least chubby, and outrightly fat for most of my life, I've never had a fond relationship with my tummy, but now I stare at it in wonder and awe. Sometimes I just lay in bed and stare, waiting for some movement or pondering what's going to happen to my belly button if I make it a few more weeks. I'm still really an innie, but it's taken on a whole new shape lately. It's fascinating.

I know this is the last time I'm going to do this. And truthfully, I'm relieved. The stress both on my body and my mind have not been slight. And there are things that I'm most assuredly looking forward to once the baby comes. (Lunch meat, margaritas, ibuprofen, to name a few.) But I'm also trying to be diligent about enjoying this while I can. Not every one gets this opportunity at all, and I won't again. I know I'll miss it.

The time to miss it is soon. At the outside edge, the baby will be here in 4 weeks. And since I'm pretty much betting we're looking at 37 weeks as a best case scenario, it might only be 3. Or even less. So I really am just trying to take in the last bits of this amazing time and ignore (or..grunt and groan through...) the uncomfortable parts. Today, I celebrate 34 weeks. Time will tell if we get to see 35.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hedging my bets

Mondays have been "doctor days" for a while. For a few months, Monday meant either a visit to the OB, a visit to the peri center or both. From here on out, it means both. That meant spending upwards of 4 hours at the hospital yesterday.

I started at the peri center. They are notoriously slow. I rarely spend less than an hour waiting to be called back. Every Monday I get a story about how it's a "crazy day." Even though I'm often one of only 3 or 4 patients that I see the entire time, so I don't really get it. Whatever, I've learned to bring a book and take a loveseat behind reception instead of a chair across from it. You can't get a cell signal in front, you see.

Things went fine. Had my favorite u/s tech again. Baby is "running out of room" (not news to me!), very low (also not news to me!) and has a lot of hair. (surprise fun!) Fluid looked good, all was well. Off to the NST which I passed in 20 minutes. BP was 118/72, I think. Good and low, anyway.

My OB appt was a short time later. I had to kill a little time, but again- I brought a book! (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. SO GOOD.) Dr. G was very excited, as usual. It's fun that I basically bring good news just by walking in the door every Monday. People are happy to see me like at no other time in life.

We discussed the big question of the moment- when to deliver. I told her that our favorite peri said I could schedule for 38 with the understanding that if anything went sideways, we deliver. She decided to see how my labs went this week, but as long as everything was stable, she was going to schedule me for December 1 - 38 weeks exactly.

There were a few other smaller details, discussing hospital stay time, getting her okay to take the breastfeeding class at the hospital, confirming when to stop taking the aspirin, but after that, I had my labs drawn and was on my way, quite pleased.

And then today, one of the nurses called with my lab results. I don't usually get them until Wednesday, so I was surprised anyway, but then she said my protein was up again. 391. Not horrifying or anything, and my BP is still fine (120ish/80ish most of the day today) and my ALT was actually down even further (34- that's good!) but my blasted kidneys just weren't happy.

As of now, nothing really changes. Dr. G planned to discuss the results with the peri lab and see what they thought. I'm not to do anything differently for the time being and will discuss it further on Monday at my next appointment. I'll be 34 weeks on Thursday, which is a big milestone that I'm happy to see. But I don't know if I'm going to see 38. We'll see what she says on Monday, I suppose.

I'm not freaking out or anything. But I am rather annoyed. I swear it's like my body just doesn't want me to get too excited. I'm still hoping we can make 37. But I'm also finding myself doing a little bargaining "still 37.. or at least 36.. but well.. surely 35, right?" And then I snap myself out of it and remind myself that I won't know until I know and we'll handle it either way.

I had a strong feeling about November before I even got pregnant again, and here we are- November. While I'd love to deliver in the month that I'm due (December) November is a fine month, too. Hell, at least we're getting the season right this time. Robbie would due in the fall and it was still spring when he came.

In any case, feel free to say a few extra prayers for my kidneys to calm down for at least a few more weeks. We're close, but not there yet.

As a reward, I'll offer you Robbie as Prince Charming on Halloween: