Friday, August 29, 2008

Biting Sara's numbers post

  • Days on hospital bedrest - 13
  • Number of tests given this week that came back negative - 2 (no gestational diabetes for me!)
  • Number of holes on my arms from IV's, shots and blood draws in the last 4 days - 10 (ouch)
  • Number of times I have had a repeat nurse in 2 weeks - 4 (there must be an army of them)
  • Number of weeks till I breath a little easy - 2
  • Number of times a day the roomie goes on the monitor - 3
  • Number of decelerations he had this week during the monitor that almost gave me a freaking heart attack - 1
  • Maximum number of contractions I can have in an hour before someone rushes in with a needle for of crap that makes me feel like shit - 6
  • Number of times my 10 year old niece went to the salad bar while visit over a 2 day period - 4 (veg junkie)
  • Number of little knitted dolls I have knocked out so far - 4
  • Number of times a day I through a wet towel over my face while napping to fend of the procardia rush - 2 to 3
  • Number of totally rad ladies who have written to me with word of encouragement and stories of success - A lot, enough to make me feel some ease.

Writing this blog and participating in the MA Yahoo group has done more for my sanity than I think I can ever really even know. I haven't had the energy to follow all of you back to your blogs, so I can reciprocate the love, but I hope I can soon. Problem is I need to be on my back to type... And being on my back increases my contractions... So I'll have to focus on the one-handed side type:) I am getting better at it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Never a dull moment

I passed my 24 hour pee test with flying colors. No preeclampsia for me.

But then I failed my initial glucose screen. Not by a lot, but failed none the less. I am in the midst of the three hour test now. I guess it is possible to fail the screen and pass the 3 hour test. Keeping my fingers crossed. There is absolutely NO history of diabetes in my family, gestational or otherwise. I am baffled.

Not sure I can take too many more needles. My arms look like I am drug addict.

DH posted a video of my favorite little man-kitties in the whole world. I miss those little jerks...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The long haul is a bumpy road.

IV in the left hand has stolen my last two pleasures: knitting and typing. So please excuse typos and the brevity of my posts.

Since I last posted.
One bad evening of side effects.
Lightheaded, short of breath, numbness in feet. Thought i might be tachycardic. Gave me oxygen. Settle down.
That was Saturday, our 5 year anniversary.
20 minutes in a wheelchair on Sunday. Went outside. Forgot what a breeze felt like. It was beautiful.
This morning.
Went for u/s.
Cervix dropped from 1.9 - 1.1. Fuck.
Contractions upticked after lunch.
Shot me up with terbutaline.
Makes me feel like shit.
IV fluids along with it. Arms are so beat up they have to needle my hand.
Three days - one hand.
Changing to a day to day outlook.
Each day the roomie stays in is a victory.
Trying to start wrapping my head around the chance of preterm birth and the NICU.
Not that I am resigned to it, just that I prefer to be mildly prepared.
Although I doubt anyone is ever really prepared for that.

In our usual twin-like fashion, my pal Sara had a shot of terb today and has been admitted to the hospital. Go give her the love. We share a due date and bum ute's.

Below, more images of the day to day. Including the dolls my mom and I are knitting. They get sent to a charity in Africa tht works with kids with HI.V/A.IDS. I was finishing one a day prior to the IV. Damn.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday to Thursday - Week one down

It has been one week since we got a round of steroids, one week since I was admitted into the hospital, one week since DH and I did the smartest thing ever in our whole lives by leaving that horrendous hospital, those incompetent Peri's and those inattentive OB's. I can't say what the future would have been, but I shutter to think what may have happened if we had stayed.

Today was not without its trials. I guess Thursdays are just not for me. I woke up after a bad dream, of which I remember little, except the presence of a very, very small baby.

My contractions are being controlled by a medication called Pro.cardia. But for the last 48 hours I was also taking a med called Indo.cin because the Pro.cradia was not quite cutting it and my blood pressure was too low to up the dose. So they added this other drug that I could only take fro 48 hours. That meant that this morning at 6 am I was being "turned loose" again to see if the Pro.cardia alone could control my badly behaved Ute. It was not a good way to start the day.

I was also supposed to me kept company today by my father-in-law and sister-in-law in the absence of DH, who's day was filled with meetings and preparations for a floor refinish. I like my in-laws, but I find that visitors other than DH or my folks can cause my uterus to become more irritable. I was just upset about having them with me, worried I would not be comfortable, that I would have to entertain them. They are great, but no replacement for the comfort of a husband or mom.

So all this came to a teary head once compounded by a phone call from the devil itself: my insurance company. They have been fighting my doctors for a week now on progesterone shots. I was handling the call pretty well till the lady on the end of the line digressed into the same crap that the doctors at the last hospital pulled on me over and over. "Well, you have no history of preterm labor or second trimester loss. Without a history, there is no indication that you should be treated." My standard response is, " So basically you are telling me I have to loose this baby and them you'll prescribe progesterone for my next pregnancy?" They are all total politicians when responding to me, cleverly playing a game with semantics to relieve their own guilt so they can rest easy tonight. This near word for word conversation with the insurance witch was a flashback to the trauma of last week, and finally through me into a sobbing tailspin.

So imagine this. Me, strapped to the bed with a monitor and leg compression boots. Crying furiously. Running out of crappy hospital tissues and ringing the nurse for more crappy tissues. Nurse arrives stunned to find me in hysterics. She asks what it is. It takes me four tries to say the word "insurance" so that she can understand me. She gets me tissues, a cold compress and consoles me by agreeing with how evil insurance is. Cancel the visit from SIL & FIL. Turn on the "mom-signal." Everything calms down as I catch my breath and watch "Tom and Jerry." Take a quick nap as the cartoon music reminds me of spend a sick-day at my grandparents house.

For all of the upset, the Peri's here have now decided that I don't need the progesterone. They feel bedrest and meds to control the contractions is enough for now, and I feel comfortable with that. I love, love, love my doctors here. The doctor I see the most is a resident. She is amazing, attentive, concerned, proactive and willing to fight for me. The issue now is that I still need an OB practice to pick me up and none will because I am a risk. I am fine, actually pleased, to stay with the general practice here at the hospital. Problem is that they primarily handle underserved populations, typically on medicaid. They do not take my insurance, which is thought to be one of the better ones (ha, ha.) So now we are facing the issue if my insurance is going to pay for my stay here (gasp!) My doctor assured me not to worry. She says we will probably get some scary bills in the mail, but that the hospital will duke it out for us. She really just does not want me handling it or worrying about it.

What a mess!!
But the boy is doing great and we are both safe.
In the end, I don't care about anything but cooking him as long as I can.
And the rest will just be what it will be.

I am now told I will be here for the "long haul." Four weeks was just a silly dream.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hospital Bedrest Day 5

Rough night last night.
Took am.bient to sleep but was tussled by the staff nearly every hour for frequent contractions.
Cervical check at 3 am. All was fine.
BP too low for more pro.cardia so they started me on 48 hours of Ind.ocin. Contractions nearly gone.
Insurance is giving me a hard time about paying for the progesterone injections. If the pre-cert does not come through first thing in the morning I will have to pitch a fit.
All in all, we are ok. Roomie is doing good and I am getting used to being bored.

Some pics of my new daily existence.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

hospital bedrest - day 2

After a scary few days, we are finally calming down. I am being treated with procardia for contractions, had 2 steriod shots and am slated for progrstone shots. The current thought is I will be in the hospital for at least four weeks, till I am28 weeks along. But that will be confirmed after the peri's meet to discuss my case on Monday.
I feel good. Worried, but not frightened. I know we did the right thing and feel like it was my first good choice as a mom. Now I just need to learn how to deal with bedrest. My back is jacked and sleep eludes me. I am scared of a whole month without fresh air, or to see a tree. But I will give it all up to have a healthy boy.
That you so much for you kind words. I have been especially encouraged by stories from those of you who had ic and went on to deliver. And thanks to me for getting the word out so I can feel so loved.
I Am Updating when I can via but won' be able to visit all your sites so much. But am thinking abound all of you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I ditched that nasty hospital. Have been admitted to a much much much better hospital. The difference in care is shocking. Being kept overnight for observation. Received first round of steroids. Bleeding is nearly gone. Feeling much better all around.

Thank god for dh's I.phiz-one. Thanks for very kid words. You cats rock my world!

Disastrous night

  • About 5pm my OB called.
  • I gave her the numbers on my cervix. 2.3 and 1.9 when I bear down.
  • She says, "They didn't tell you to go to the hospital?"
  • Nope.
  • So we head to the hospital.
  • 45 minutes and we get a room. Blood splattered on floor from previous patients.
  • I am met by a resident, looks younger than me.
  • Hooked up to monitors. Hooked up to fluids.
  • I am contracting. Most of the time about 5-10 minute apart.
  • Manual exam. She can get one finger in my cervix by refuses to call that 1 cm. Says it is "subjective." Kind of like the difference between getting smacked in the head or punched in the head. Totally subjective, you dumbass.
  • Lay there and panic for three hours getting fluid. Fluids fail to stop contractions. (Duh, I said that would do nothing.)
  • Second check shows no change. I am told I am not in preterm labor. Too late in the game for a cerclage.
  • Cervical exam produced a gush of blood and clots. Fuck. Still spotting this morning.
  • I ask a lot of questions: what about meds to stop the contractions, what about FFN test, what about progesterone injection. Over the course of two weeks my cervix both began to open and shortened. Does this not prove the contractions are "productive" and we should try to stop them?
  • Too many questions makes the dumbass resident bring a very, very, very nasty attending to see me. She starts off the conversation with her voice already elevated. Again, I am told without a previous preterm birth they will not treat me preventatively for preterm labor. I respond with, "so your telling me I have to loose this baby in order to get treated on my next pregnancy?" That really brought out the claws. I am an tears. I tell her I am ready to go home. She and the dumbass resident stare at me while I sob. She "apologizes" for not "telling me what I want to hear" over and over. I get mad and sick of being stared at and yell, "Its fine, I want to go home."
  • The poor nurse goes over my discharge papers in my room. Doc's don't want to have to see me at the desk. 50% of what the paper says to come back in for is already happening to me. Instructions are useless. I tell her the attending is a witch.
  • The attending is at reception when I leave. She won't even look at me.
  • They are sending my home in worse shape then when I arrives and with no treatment at all.
  • This is a fucking nightmare.

I am going to try to get in at my sisters practice up near my mothers house. They treated her aggressively and preventatively under similar circumstances. I will have to be on bedrest at my mom's to be close to the hospital, but I know I will feel safer.

I don't know how to make this switch other than to plead with them. I hope they will have sympathy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Courses of Action for a shortened cervix

So I saw the Peri today for a cervical length check. It has been three and a half weeks since my last check. In that time I have been in triage for a half day with contractions as close as 5 minutes. No treatment other than fluids was provided. I have contractions daily, some days worse than others.

So today my cervix was 2.3, down from 3.6. There was no funneling and it measured 1.9 when I would bear down. I am reading just within the "normal" window. My doctor described my situation as having just "walked into a swamp," that the lead up to preterm labor was a place where obstetrics has not made many advancements. He reiterated what nearly all the doctors have stated, which is, that with out a history of preterm labor they do not get super aggressive with treatment yet. He thought it was too late and too risky for a cerclage. I am 23 and a half weeks.

I was offered a pessary, but declined because I wanted to do a little research and decide on a worse case scenerio game plan of my own. I see the peri for another check in exactly one week.

DH is not sure if he is supposed to wig out yet or not. I told him too hold off. I think we'll know next week if we should freak. For now, no lifting, no sex, no work, no getting too far from the couch. And no hysteria.

Advise is very welcome. I am in uncharted territory.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The call has been made. No more work for me.

My OB is recommending that I not work. She thought we could see how I am doing at about 28 weeks and reexamine it then. Unfortunately, I work on contract from semester to semester, so there is no coming and going - no in-between. I either work the fall, or I wait to work again in the spring.

I am equally bummed and scared to death. I am still too shell shocked to call my poor boss, herself, having given birth to a baby girl a mere 4 days ago. She is scheduled to be out on maternity leave, some of which was my job to cover. Ugh. What a freaking mess. And my guilt over leaving her high and dry doesn't even chip the surface of my real concern. I have no freaking idea how we can possibly live off of my husband's salary alone. Because I work on contract, disability pay is, conveniently, out of my reach-- regardless of whether or not I have paid into it for the 2 years I have worked there. Higher Ed. is jacked up. Yet another reason why I need to stop adjuncting after the roomie arrives.

I keep thinking there must be some way for me to make extra cash. Freelancing web design, piece work, s.ex (that last one was a joke.) But I just don't see it happening. Then I think I can find ways to shave more off of our expenses. Problem is we already live really simply. The only luxury we did have was dining out and we cut that back months ago. The only other thing is the Net.flix and I don't think the extra $14 a month is really going to be the thing that makes us or breaks us. I have already decided if there is some freak heat wave, and there will be, I will be heading to my mom's for as long as needed to be in the A/C. At least that way we can not run the A/C here and save on electric. That is the best I can do. And not turn on the heat till November, and wear lots of wool sweaters..

Last, but not least, our savings has already been depleted by my lack of work this summer. So we have no cash to refinish the floors upstairs which is the first step toward building the roomie's room. I guess in the end it doesn't really mater if the roomie has a room. It just matters that he is here and healthy. We can deal with the rest later.

Ugh. This is all so depressing. I just thought, maybe, just maybe, I would be one of those people who has an easy pregnancy. I thought, so foolishly, that perhaps with all the drama over the last year and a half I would get an easy ride. No - Such - Luck.

Friday, August 8, 2008

In the event of unflattering pictures...

Oh, just post em anyways. What the hell can I do? My body, as I knew it, is gone forever. It looks like I have developed some girth. 22 weeks, 6 days.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Continued modified bedrest

I had faculty meeting both monday and tuesday morning. To each of them I was able to drive, then sit and have productive discussions about work! Woooohoooo! Good news, my brain still works! And no contractions detected..

Yesterday morning I decided to push my new found freedom a little further and venture to the grocery store. I only stayed about 15 minutes after having 2 contractions while pushing the cart and picking out produce. Not good. I resigned myself to bed for the rest of the day. Contractions were light, 1-2 and hour. Although I did have one monster of a big one after attempting to sit up for a while. I also had a major loss of appetite yesterday and a return of my old friend nausea. I think I was probably nauseous from having balled half the day away. Yes, I am an emotional wreck.

I saw one of the OB's at my practice this morning and she was by far the best I have met with yet. I like the other OB's but this doc had a very appropriate response to my condition, one that was much more concerned. Her words, "We don't mess around at 22 weeks!" Manual exam showed a closed cervix and I go in next week to talk with my primary OB about a game plan for the following weeks if the contractions continue. This OB recommended staggering manual cervical checks with ultrasound lengths. She also wants me to continue on modified bedrest till we know more. I agree with the sounds of all this and was very happy to hear it. She seemed very, very aware of the relationship of Mullerian Anomalies to Incompetent Cervix and was honestly the first doc I have met who has been willing to confirm that FACT. I would love for her to be my primary OB, but she is about to go on maternity leave herself. Bummer.

She also indicated that there was real chance that i would have to give up teaching the fall semester. But that is something to be discussed and confirmed with my primary OB next week - although DH would already like to make the call and have me home. This has me pretty distraught. Aside from that fact that I actually really enjoy the work I do, we are not in a survivable position on one income. I can defer my student loans, which is a help, but that is just a small portion of what my salary covers. In the end, I know we will be ok, but I feel so defanged. I can't do the laundry, I can't vacuum, I can't cook dinner, I can't do a damn thing. I can't even add my pittance of a salary to the family pot. I am a useless, flabby incubator.

But today, I am still pregnant and one day closer to December 6th. I just wanna get this little boy good and cooked so I can have a lobotomy to remove the memory portion of my brain that is holding the last two years. I want out. I want to be me again. Well, a little different me - mommy me. But I am sure that me will be more fun that miscarriage/pregnancy me. She is a drag.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mining for names

DH and I are really struggling with the name. We had the girl name totally pinned down, but man.... Boys names are so hard. And, of course, we are having a boy. We have months to go, but I have this vision of us looking at this baby and not knowing what to call him. I even envision bringing him home without a name. How stupid is that?

So here is a little about us that might help. We are both artists, so we lean toward the arty/unusual names, but don't want the name to be totally outragious. We love names from the era of our own grandparents 1920's - 1930's. DH's last name is very beautiful, very french, and often mispronounced. We have a few french names on the list. DH's last name also ends with a "Y" - which makes it sound wierd with first names that are short and end in "y." We also like some German names and are not very fond of Irish names.

Here are some names we have considered but tossed out for various reasons... But it gives an idea: Oscar, Emmitt, Simon, Marcel, Billy, Matthias, Ari, Nigel, Fernando (which you have to say with a very rolled and frisky "r."

No, G, Jerry is not an option:)

I am released from my week of "rest." Yesterday morning I went to a faculty meeting and have another this morning. I feel pretty good and did not have any unusual uterine stuff going on yesterday after my trip out into the world. I still get a little contracty at night, but I think that is just from being tired. So I am just trying to listen to my body's signals and rest throughout the day as I need it.

I have an OB appointment on Thursday. They'll check the cervix digitally - which by the way, more recently, makes me feel like a slab of meat. Never bothered me before, but the resident at triage was pretty rough with me - both with the spectulum and her hands. She was pushing so hard that my whole body way moving towrad the top of the exam table. Ugh. Then next week I go in for a cervical length through ultrasound. I have a feeling it is the last one of these they will write a script for since even "normal" pregnancies start to see shortening in the late 20's. We'll see. I just hope that the rest of this pregnancy is really uneventful.

A shout out to 2 friends. Sara, who is my due date twin, is having some bleeding and could use a little support. And the best news I have gotten in some time, Jenn is knocked up after her first IUI.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Living Horizontally

So I have survived a mere week horizontal. I am counting Sunday to Sunday since even before I went into triage I put myself down... I have to give props to all those ladies out there that find the strength to do this for months on end. You are better women than I! I only got a week! I am not sure what is worse, the boredom or the physical pain of lying down day in and day out. Anyhow, this was my view for the week. Knees blocking the sun through the front window. (I know I am supposed to be on my side! And usually I am. Rolling to my back for a few short minutes is always a treat.)

I decided last night after having had a good day that a walk around the block might be a good test run to see how misbehaven my Ute is gonna be. I only noticed a single contraction when I got home. Not too bad. My latest complaint is that my bladder seems to really only hold about a tablespoon of pee at this point. I feel the urge to go, run to the toilet and a little trickle comes out. It is not a UTI - those I am familiar with. This is just a plain old lack of capacity issue. I have been drinking a ton, so I am sure that worsens the situation. Plus, too much pee in the bladder seems to bug the Ute - so I am taking an "empty often" approach.

Today I have been reclined most of the morning with my laptop trying to work on some logo designs for a friends business. It feels good to be productive, but I am having a little trouble getting started. I noticed after lunch that I had a few contractions - more likely BH though because only the left side of the Ute decided to participate. These are the weirdest. I look like a lopsided freak.

Not much else to update. The start of the semester is closing in on me. Meeting start this week and I will need to start riffling through old lesson plans. My boss is being a superwoman. She has assured me that I can bail anytime I need - that I should not worry about my job and should take care of myself and the roomie. She's saying this while being only a week from her own due date. She rocks. So I feel good entering into the semester and hope to god I can work till the end. We need the income, but more importantly, I need the mental stimulation!!