Friday, July 31, 2009

Small Window to my sad little World

Here it is...

Status: still pregnant, off all meds, still contracting, mostly miserable, no cervical changes, no active labor, no idea when anything will happen.

Location: still in the big stupid ugly hospital.

Weight gain: loss, actually. total gain is now about 16.5 lbs.

Attitude: depends on the time of the day and how close / strong contractions are.

Baby: looks great. she is happy as a clam. HR is awesome. reactivity is great. no issues at all.

Appetite: varies day to day / throughout the day. not much of one. supplementing overall diet with Ensure for weight gain / weight maintenance.

View: a brick wall, some tree tops, a roof top, and lots of air conditioning and mechanical equipment.

General info: desperately miss my husband, my dog, my house, my bed, driving a car, being outside...and so much more.

Prediction: I will never go into real labor. I will never dilate to 5 cm. I will never have my water break. I will contract for the next 40 years. Finnley will be the first baby to ever actually fully grow up in her mother's womb. Murphy will be laughing wherever it is that he hides out and does evil things to people while working up new tortuous "laws".

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Belly Shot Chronicles - 36 weeks

I have talent. And, apparently I am not modest. This photo was made possible by me using the self-timer on the camera while I am laid up in the hospital. Little pat on the back for me. And, now you all get to "reap the benefits" of my talent by being able to view my burgeoning belly once again. Thrilled? I knew it!

36 weeks is a huge milestone according to the doctors and to the March of Dimes. That is great news for Finnley. She continues to be a trouper and have great reports on her heartrate and reactivity during monitoring. We can't really ask for more than that.

I am miserable. But, that is the price to be paid to bring our sweet miracle into this world...and it is a price that I am willing to pay. I will complain a bit about it. I will moan and groan. I will look bad. I will shower every other day. I will do all sorts of things that are less than appealing, less than attractive...and may come off as less than appreciative. Don't ever read these things the wrong way. I couldn't be more appreciative of the coming gift. It is still our dream come true. It is just being realized a little bit differently than we had imagined. Life has a way of doing that to you, though. So be it.

I was taken off of one of my tocolytics (anti-contraction meds) as of yesterday. That hasn't gone very well. I am still on one of the meds, but it is not enough to keep the contractions at bay. I started contracting every 5 minutes starting at 2:30pm. Those contractions lasted for hours, and the doctors just let them come for a long time. After being checked (a nice term for an "internal"), it showed that I was not having any cervical change. So, the doc decided to shoot me up with sub-Q brethine yet again. This was to stop the contractions so that I could actually get some sleep last night. The contractions had been coming every two to four minutes by the time I got the shot. It was actually a relief, and I did get "some" sleep. Better than nothing, and it was certainly better than enduring the discomfort and pain of the contractions.

I woke up having contractions again today, but they weren't too bad. They eventually moved up to the bad status a little after noon. After a couple of hours, I asked to be monitored. The contractions were coming strongly every 5 the nurse called the doc who once again ordered more sub-Q injections of brethine. Did the trick, once again.

I am coming off of the second tocolytic after my 6am dose tomorrow morning. I am ASSUMING that they will no longer give me brethine injections to stop contractions at that point. I am also ASSUMING that they will let me just contract until cervical changes DO come. I will only know these things after seeing the doc on duty either tonight or tomorrow morning. Finnley could arrive anytime starting tomorrow...or it still could be in another few weeks. We have no way of knowing.

Patience is a virtue. One that I am practicing daily...minute by minute at this point. I should be a master by the time that our little girl does decide to join our family.

Come on Finnley...we can't wait for you to meet your talented and modest parents!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hospital Baby Shower...the only way to roll

For a person who never does anything the easy way or the normal way...what better place to have their baby shower than in the hospital? I mean, really? That is just how I roll!

It was a fantastic afternoon, as I was "sprung free" from my now private single room prison and was let loose in the conference room in the hospital basement. Well, if you can call being "let loose" sitting mostly still in a parked wheelchair at the head of a gigantic oval shaped table for just over two hours. At this point, I do.

It was a small gathering of some close neighbors and friends, and it couldn't have been any better. I got to see people. I got to converse with people. I got to have semi-normal clothing on. I wasn't in a bed. Ahhhhhh! In addition, I got to see my husband for more than fifteen minutes or a half hour at a time...and I got to see him "relax" a bit and just be himself with friends. This whole situation has not been easy on him, and I was happy to see him smile, laugh, and enjoy the room full of company. I am sure it felt good to him. (Or maybe it was the liquor that he smuggled into the hospital that made him feel good...does it matter?) Did I mention how cute he looked today? Well, there was that, too.

The cake was adorable. The gifts were plentiful and beyond generous. The company was outstanding. I really couldn't have asked for more.

So, thank you again to all the friends who were willing to travel to the dreary hospital to spend the better part of an afternoon with us. Thank you for your time and for your generosity. We more than appreciate it.

Now let's get this baby show on the road! I am ready!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Consistent Inconsistency

Well, the good news is that I am not supposed to be on an upped dosage of terbutaline. The bad news? Obviously some people are confused or don't know what is going on. So, I may or may not have had increased meds today...but I swear after my second round of meds this afternoon I felt like a caffeine virgin after an espresso party. nurse told me that I was taking an upped dose and that she had double checked that I had a change order for it. So, I am lead to believe that I did have the upped dose at least once, if not twice, today. Interesting, right?

Well, my night shift nurse is on top of it and says that it ISN'T the case that I should be on the additional 2.5mg. She triple checked...which is better than double checking, apparently. She isn't sure what happened, and she wanted to know if I wanted to file an "incident report". Well, I don't. I am not that person. I just want everyone to be on the same page moving forward, and I want to know that I am getting the right meds in the right amount at the right time. That isn't asking for a lot, right?

I will sleep better tonight on the lesser dose, anyway. And, regardless...the meds are allowing me to attend my baby shower tomorrow. Of course it will be in the conference room at the hospital. And, I will be in a wheelchair. But, nontheless...I will be there.

That is the update. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!


They apparently decided to re-up my dosage of terbutaline today, but they also apparently forgot to mention it until this afternoon! Jerks. I haven't seen the doc on rounds yet today, but my nurse this morning could have said something. I swore I was taking more. I usually take a half of a pill, and I was pretty sure that I took a full pill this morning. Thankfully my nurse for the afternoon recognized the change order and told me. I knew I felt "crazier" than normal. The higher dosage of terbutaline causes a lot of unpleasant side effects: shakes, tremors, increased pulse, more rapid breathing, name it.

My best guess is that they took a disliking to the fact that I was still contracting quite a bit during my monitoring sessions. Yesterday morning I had at least 5 regular contractions, in addition to the the normal "uterine irritability" that I display. I had at least 3 regular contractions along with the irritability last night. These two sessions must have translated themselves into more drugs. Booo!

Outside of just blogging to complain, I suppose I could mention one good note: I got moved into a fully private room this afternoon. I will not have a roommate again during my stay on the antepartum unit. Thankfreakingoodness!!! I am not sure that the private room makes up for the "secret" increase in drugs...but it does help make me a bit less angry of a patient.

A bit...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Belly Shot Chronicles...from the hospital - 35 Weeks 1 Day

So, I said that this would not happen...but I guess I lied. Here I am posting belly shots at 35 weeks and 1 day. (My lovely was kind enough to bring the camera to the hospital and snap a couple of photos this afternoon. Nice husband!) 3 weeks have passed since you last saw the belly, so there should definetly be a noticeable change this time around. Oddly enough, though, my weight remains pretty much unchanged. I still hover around a weight gain total of 18 pounds at this point. Strange, but I am not complaining. The less I put on, the less I have to take off.

Nothing much has changed in the last few days. I still sit here in my hospital prison, eating my hospital food, chatting up my hospital friends (aka, nurses), doing my little hospital routines. I have had a roommate for the last few days, and that has been a challenge. I, of course, prefer my privacy. Who wouldn't, especially having been here so long? But, most roommates would probably be better than this one. She is young. She is white trash (no other nicer way to put this). Her husband and mother are loud and smell like cigarettes. And? My roommate is actually on the NICOTINE patch...because she hasn't had a cigarette since being admitted to the hospital. Did I mention that she is 37 weeks pregnant? WTF? Really, really classy. ugggggh!

The good news? I am pretty sure she is being discharged by tomorrow afternoon. I hope that happens! And, I also hope that I don't get another rooommate anytime soon.

Saturday is the day of my "local baby shower". It is now partially taking place in a conference room at the hospital so that I can be in attendance for an hour. Everyone loves a baby shower at the hospital, right? Well, if not...they will just have to suck it up this once. I am just happy to have something to look forward to and to help break up the monotony of my long prison sentence.

Enjoy the unexpected photos, and stay tuned to "baby watch"!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What day is this???

Really gets hard to tell when every day seems like the exact same one being lived over and over again. Such mundane routines that pass by over the course of 24 hours...the days just start to blend. Such is life in hospital prison, I guess.

I am pretty sure it is Sunday, so that much is good. For whatever reason. Not a whole lot has changed in the past few days. I have been on oral meds for contractions, but I have continued to have "breakthrough" episodes of contractions in pretty good patterns, so I also continued receiving injections of terbutaline (brethine) to stop them. Due to the fact that these episodes started coming more regularly, the docs have now put me on an oral dose of terbutaline so that I don't have to keep having shots, and so that they don't have to keep "chasing" the contractions.

Terbutaline is the devil. I must note this. It makes you feel like you drank a whole pot of coffee, when you normally consume no caffeine. Shakes, tremors, shortness of breath, rapid talking, etc. Not a good time! The doc agreed to lower me to the lowest dose possible to see if it would still be effective. Any relief I can get from feeling "freaky" is so worth it. Seems to be a bit better already, and only very random contractions today. No patterns! Yay!

They feel every day that Finnley stays in utero is a victory. I will continue to be on all meds until 36 weeks. That is another week and a half from now. If I do go into active labor that cannot be stopped, if I dilate to 5 or more centimeters, or if my membranes rupture...regardless of how far along I am, I will be "delivered" immediately. If none of those things happen, we will just wait and see what happens after 36 weeks. So, potentially going to be a long road here.

Right now I have had no further cervical changes, so the docs are happy. I remain at 3 to 4 cm (depending on the doc and the "fingers" being used...doc's words, not mine!).

The hospital is a bore. I am back to having a single room for the moment, and I suppose that really is a highlight. I feel much more sane not having to share like a college freshman in the dorms. Privacy is so taken for granted by most people!

For a sample of my day, peruse here:
4am - nurse wakes me up for oral terbutaline / vitals
6am - nurse wakes me up for oral procardia / vitals
7am - nurse shift change takes place
morning - monitoring of baby and myself takes place (fetal HR, contractions, etc)
8am - room service calls for me to order breakfast
9am - breakfast
10am - another dose of oral terbutaline / vitals
11am or after - on varying days...shower time or sink bath time / pretty self for day
11:30am - room service calls for me to order lunch
12pm - another dose of oral procardia / vitals
12:30pm - eat lunch
afternoon - try not to die of boredom (internet, reading, movies, TV, whatever)
4pm - another dose of oral terbutaline / vitals
4:30pm - room service calls for dinner order
5:30pm - dinner time
6pm - another dose of oral procardia / vitals
7pm - nurse shift change
evening - another hour on the monitors for baby HR / contractions / etc
evening - still trying not to die of boredom
10pm - another dose of oral terbutaline / vitals
12pm - nurse wakes me up to give me dose of oral procardia


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hospital Blues...

Well, life throws you curveballs when you least expect them. At least that is the case with me. And, we already chatted about my relationship with Murphy and his stinkin' no use dwelling on that one, either.

I am in the hospital. I went in to the OB's office on Tuesday because I had been having a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions over the weekend. I would get temporary relief, but there were a lot of times when they would be coming in regular patterns every 1 to 5 minutes for over an hour or two. They wanted to see me, just in case, and do a non-stress test. No big deal. Finnley passed the test without issue. She is a trouper! I then met with the nurse. She, after hearing about the continued contractions, decided to do an internal exam. She "thought" that I had dilated to 2 to 3 cm, which would have been a one to two centimeter change since I had left the hospital. So...she called the OB and nurses on duty at the hospital, and they all agreed I should go over to triage to be montiored / evaluated. So, I did. The doc on duty agreed that I was dialted to 2 to 3 cm. They admitted me. Again. Uggh!

I was put on procardia to diminish contractions. I was also being administered terbutaline injections to stop stronger contractual patterns that broke through the other meds (which happened once a day and once a night, it seems). I was also given the steroid injections to help the baby's lung's mature IN CASE I go into active labor sooner rather than later. The goal was to at least get me the two injections and then move 24 hours beyond that point. That will be at 3:30pm today. Almost there!

At this point, I have dilated to closer to 4 centimeter...still NOT being in active labor. Given Finnley is not going to move from the Frank Breech position (her bottom is sitting way too low for her to be able to move), they feel I am too high risk to send home. I will be in the hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy, basically on bed rest. They will not stop active labor if it happens at this point, they will just take me in for a C-section immediately. If I DON'T go into active labor, then they will do the C-section at 37 weeks regardless. They will not let "us" go beyond that point. So, I could be in the hospital for up to 3 weeks prior to having this little miracle.

Not happy about that.

Miss my husband.

Miss my dog.

Keeping my eye on the prize, though...and since I can't fight the doctors...I guess I just have to make the "best of it". Whatever that might be.

No more belly photo updates. So sorry!!!

Stay tuned for everything else, though...enjoy the ride!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happily Working my way back to Miserable

It is a sad thing to realize that being simply "miserable" isn't so bad afterall. I have had many complaints along my continued path to motherhood, but I don't think I have been whiney to this point. I am saying I don't think I have been. Who knows what other people think! I know that EVERY woman has been through a million and one "issues" during their pregnancy, but I am sure that each and every one of those women complained, too. They might not admit it now, but they did. on you!!!

I have come to realize, though, that there ARE varying degrees of misery. And, as I stumble across and through each degree, I long to go backward in search of just a simple state of being miserable. I thought having SPD might be the death of me, but through chiropractic care I had learned to live through the pain with a smile on my face most days. I thought the persistet Braxton-Hicks contractions might just add enough needling discomfort to do me in, but nah...survived that, too. In the past two weeks, though, my world has flipped upside down, and I have been sucker punched at every crossroads. Today is the first day where I feel like maybe I am taking my first steps backward toward the state of just being simply miserable. I long to just complain about some back and pelvic pain, while wincing through my latest contraction.

Please bring back those "happy" days for me. Let me just be miserable...

Friday, July 10, 2009

An Update...Finally

So, I guess I lied when I said I would update you all "fully" on what transpired last week. Given some other "complications", I have been a bit maligned this week and have been unable to do much of anything. Finally, I am getting around to at least an update. Here we go.

Last Friday I woke up with some stabbing lower right abdominal pain followed by contractions that were coming very frequently and regularly. The pain would just not subside, and I was contracting at least every 5 minutes, so I called the emergency number as the office was closed due to the holiday weekend. The nurse I spoke with sent me straight to the hospital, so off we went. Upon arriving, I was sent to triage where I was asked to change into a gown, put on a belly band to hold the monitors in place, and was hooked up to an IV. They wanted to hydrate me first (and very quickly) to make sure that dehydration wasn't the cause of the contractions. (Which, it wasn't.) When first hooked up to the monitors, my contractions were coming every 5 minutes. Soon after, they were coming every two to three minutes. So, a series of tributaline injections were given to calm the contractions while I was checked and tested for being in pre-term labor. The internal exam was more than uncomfortable given the other stabbing abdominal pain I was having, but all tests showed that I was not in preterm labor. I was dilated 1 cm, but that was all...and the FN test came back negative.

So, I was moved to an L&D room for observation. Well, observation turned into a 3 night hospital stay. The contractions kept coming, and the pain didn't let up until Monday. I was continually given shots of tributaline...and each day was then given a procardia tablet as well. Both kept the contractions to a minimum. They were able to rule out an appendicitis...thank god! And, they ruled out just about everything else. Their best guess? A possible GI viral infection. But really, they don't know anything.

An ultrasound in the antenatal unit proved quite interesting. The baby is still in the Frank Breech position (head up, butt down, feet and legs by the head). She is measuring a full two weeks ahead and already weighs approximately 5 lbs and 4 oz. Holy crap! Can you say C-section??? Oh, and almost forgot to cervix is shortened, too. Not sure by how much, but at this point in the pregnancy, the collective "they" are not worried about it. Ok.

Everything with the baby was more than ok while at the hospital. She continues to have a strong heartbeat, move regularly, have bouts of hiccups...and is just enjoying her uterusland surroundings. Good for her. At least someone is doing well and is happy!

So, coming home from the hospital was supposed to be a good thing. In and of itself, it was. However, all the meds (IV sedation, Percocet, Ambien, etc.) caused me to become constipated. This was not a big deal until after being released when my already pre-existing hemorrhoids decided to completely malfunction. I ended up in excruciating pain and had to call the colorectal surgeon's office on Tuesday morning. They saw me on an "emergency basis". I had at least 4 to 5 prolapsed hemorrhoids, and two of them were thrombosed (meaning they had painful clots formed in them). The doctor needed to surgically excise the clots, so I was given local anesthetic injections (OMG!)...and he went about his cutting. I could barely move off the table, let alone drive myself home. I called my husband to keep him on the phone with me to make sure that I could even get the car out of the parking lot. I managed. Somehow.

After coming home, things continued to go downhill. My body was / is still trying to find a way to re-regulate my GI system. "Going to the bathroom" 5 times in two days did not help me at all as far as trying to heal from my procedure. I was supposed to leave the bandages on for 24 hours...but that just couldn't happen. Nature had other ideas. So, I did my best just to survive and function at all. Matt helped me dress. I slept on the couch for two nights. I took sitz baths 3 to 4 times a day. I cried. I barely moved. Ugggh!

I did have to venture out yesterday to a follow up OB appointment. Let's just say getting into and out of the car wasn't the least bit attractive. I was an invalid. The docs wanted to see me, though, since leaving the hospital and because I had missed my 32 week appt. So, as painful as it was...I made it out. The OB could tell how miserable I was, so after hearing my story, he prescribed me Darvocet to help ease the pain. It is helping take the edge off. I am just starting to feel a bit better, but I still have no desire to go anywhere or do anything. I don't think I will until next week, perhaps.

The OB appointment was fine. I have gained 1.5 lbs in 4.5 weeks. Not my fault. The hospital stay and after issues did not assist in my weight gain efforts. Finnley continues to take what she needs, though. So, in weight gain stands at 18 pounds. Finnley also continues to remain breech, and the OB mentioned that if she is still persistent in her positioning by my next visit in two weeks...they will be talking about scheduling me for a C-section. Stubborn little girl! After all of my "issues", though...a C-section sounds pretty good to me. I am not sure my bottom could handle all the pushing! Yikes!

Anyway...that is the current situation. That is your update. Perhaps too much information? Too bad. I am suffering through it all, so you might as well all know about it. Pregnancy is not always pretty or fun. It can also suck really really bad sometimes. I will keep my eye on the prize, though, and continue to remain confident that it WILL ALL BE WORTH IT! It will, right??? Right???

Note: sorry, but the 33 week belly shot is not going to happen. I was / am in too much pain to bother with it, and now Matt is off to OH for the weekend with the camera in tow. I will update with the 34 week shot next Wednesday, though. promise.

Monday, July 06, 2009


Sorry for the prolonged absence. I "decided" to spend the entire holiday weekend in the hospital. Finally just got released and came home just this evening. Desperately need to shower and spend time with my boys, so I will update you all fully tomorrow.

Thanks for all the support from family and friends! It was much appreciated. And, all is well.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Question for the Day

If everyone keeps telling me "how well I am carrying" or "how little I am for being 8 months pregnant"...then why do I FEEL so freakin' HUGE???

Just wondering.

Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Belly Shot Chronicles - 32 Weeks

8 month marker! Wow...sort of frightening to think about how much time has passed AND how little time we have left to go. I have SOO much left to do to properly prepare to bring our little girl home. I am sure that the "nesting instinct" will help to take care of that in the coming weeks.

Finally a photo that I didn't take myself for the weekly update. My friend(s) might still complain that I don't have a head...but what do you expect? I just rolled out of bed. It isn't even 7am here. No head shot for you! Just enjoy the jolly belly, will ya? 32 weeks and growing...