Thursday, November 14, 2013

Up Dates- Part II

It felt good to be back in my room and to be with Shane. The doctor had already visited him to give him her update but she came back and Shane says we chatted. I'm glad he was there to remember what was said as there were some holes in my recollection. She did say upon getting a closer look, she observed the cervix was very soft and she suspected there had been some imperceptible contracting going on. And possibly nursing was contributing, so that had to stop. I was glad I had woken up and nursed Malachi before we left that morning, but I didn't realize that would be the last time. I was glad he was eating so much already but still sad for him. Other than that, the procedure had gone really well and after 24 hrs of monitoring for contractions we could go home.

There actually were two real contraction in that time period, but they did not feel any different to me  from the occasional cramping and my stomach did not feel hard. So that was weird to have things going on with my body that I was not attuned to.

I felt really crampy and was surprised the regular doses of  Ibuprofen they were giving me didn't make them better. The nurse ordered me up some oxycodone but even then I could still feel them. They weren't contractions, just cramping and complaining about being stretched and sewed. And perfectly normal.

After chatting with the Dr. Shane ran out and got me a latte. At 3:00, finally. And some snacks. I had jokingly asked the nurse that morning if they had some caffeine they could put in my IV. She said yes. But no. Dinner came. Some dry chicken and green beans. And strawberry cake. I ate it all. Shane had to go out to a local restaurant for some dinner and wine. I realized it was only 5:00 and knew I'd be hungry again before bed so I texted him and asked him to bring me a veal parmesan and some tiramisu. And half and half. He did.

That night my mother-in-law texted pictures of the kids and Grandpa rocking Malachi to sleep. Audrey slept in the big bed with the baby and he only woke up at midnight but went back to sleep after a bottle. I was so thankful we didn't have to worry about him being sad and really could 'relax' knowing all the kids were happy. Relax, as much as you can with the contraction monitor running all night, jamming and beeping. Sounding like a fish tank when it  was not jamming,  The antibiotic and ibuprofen  rounds every few hours. The having to unhook every time I had to pee, the monitor and the leg warmers. Luckily they just put in an IV port so I didn't have to take my tail with me anymore. Shane was pushing water on my like crazy but I was tired of having to get up and I finally said 'no more!'.  

Shane had a little blanket and pillow to cozy with on his little day bed. In the morning he ran out to get coffees for us and described how it felt to have slept in a hospital perfectly. Jetlagged. I was so thankful to the staff and hospital and really nothing could have gone better. And if we need to have a hospital birth I would feel comfortable about being at Evergreen. But I was really excited to come home and start my couch rest recovery. Just for a few days, then I could start getting up, but no heavy lifting, or excessive exercising. So not much different from most days.

A week later we went back to the OB. The ultrasound showed everything was staying in place- baby and stitch. She said she won't know until its time to take it out ( usually the 37th week) how much of an ordeal it will be. Could just be a snip in the office, unless its embedded too much and they'd need to put me out again. Then I could wear the squeezy legwarmers again. I might actually try some at home, if possible, if the night spasms get bad again. So, good to know about.

I go back again in a week for another check up. Its kind of fun getting to see the baby so often. And get reassurances  she's doing well.

At the first visit the Dr said there was a 50% of preterm labor if they did nothing. I don't know if that changed when it had thinned again the next visit. According to statistics, the chances of a successful emergent cerclage- meaning it was not planned and the cervix had already started its readying procedures- and successful meaning the baby stays put until at least the 37th week, are 40%-60%. But given that I'm usually overdue, I'm expecting to have this baby some time in July. No. Not really. Maybe she'll just be on time.

But I don't know if we are past most of the hurdles that precipitate preterm labor- breaking the bag during the procedure, the procedure starting contractions, infections etc,  and if that makes a difference in the numbers. I feel like we're all good. But not having history of this and not knowing/understanding the root cause that started it all, if they can even know, I'm anxious to see the weeks go by and know she's getting everything she needs from me. We're 25 weeks right now. Speaking of needs, I've been meaning to put out a post on sleep help. Not offering it. Asking about it. When I'm not too tired.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Up-Date And Lots Of Firsts Part I

Some funky stuff happened so I locked up the blog. Still not sure what I'm going to do, but for the moment I'm over it, and though fingers could still use some help in the nimble department, thought I'd give it a go.

We went in for the 20 week ultrasound. She's a girl! everything else looked good but then came the 'older pregnancy' warnings and Down Syndrome talk. Shane had taken the big kids out by then as the room was feeling increasingly small so only I was there to hear the ramblings "..  older mother are in the blah blah blah..1 in 15 blah blah focus on the 14 in 15 blah blah test thick skin blah blah. Oh and your cervix is short. But we'd like to do an internal ultrasound to get a better picture if  you are OK with that."

I answered as long as baby is fine, which she is, I don't need more tests for her. And she had frizzy hair. So don't knock my cervix. No, not really. Everyone's hair is better than mine these days. But I didn't need any more tests for the baby. And why not the extra ultrasound? After 5 kids, its not like there's room to be prudish. So she did and it confirmed the measurement of 2 cm. Which for 20 weeks was short and different from my previous pregnancies.

Then I saw the midwife.  Then I went home and Binged cerclage and thin cervix. Then I went back three weeks later for another ultrasound and found the cervix was thinning  more and measured 1.3 cm and the dr wanted to get something done about it ASAP. Fortunately there was no dilating or funneling, but it was still all new to me. She said there were two options, to put a stitch in or try progesterone shots for two weeks and see if it helped. Shane was not with me and didn't answer when I called him so I was feeling a bit (lot) overwhelmed. I'm horrible about making decisions, especially if they come up unexpectedly, are out of my experience realm, and could have serious consequences.

So I dropped in on my midwife, who is just around the corner, cried on her shoulder a bit then she sent me back to Evergreen to schedule a cerclage. They asked if I needed to go home first or if they could just admit me then. I said I'd like to run home first. They said come back at 4 or 5. For a noon surgery the next day. I asked if I could go home and sleep and come early in the morning. She said they could do the pre-op stuff right then and sure. Just don't eat after 3AM, be there at 7am.

So I played tag with Shane in the parking lot. He had driven up after not being to get a hold of me by cel phone, tried to catch me in the office, talked to the midwife and gotten the rundown, and just missed me at the OB's.
 We finally found each other and ran home to have a steak dinner and sleep in our own bed.

The next morning, his mom came over and we headed to the hospital. We had the nicest nurse and I was sad when her shift was over. Which was not until dinner time, so that was nice. The Dr came and explained the procedure with her 'not very nice' tool and recommended I go for the general not the spinal. Which was also new for me. I said sure.

After several attempts they finally got an IV going (new again). Blood draws are easy on me so I was surprised it did not translate to an easy IV. Apparently I have lots of nodules?/blockages? or some other name I can't remember that don't allow the needle to thread into the vein very far or easily. So they had to try multiple sites before locating a good one.

So then we just had to sit and wait and play with the adjustable bed and read through baby names. Oh she also said they would keep me over night for monitoring. 
Shane could stay or not. I was not prepared as I had read it was pretty much an out patient procedure, but as long as they gave me a toothbrush and a pair of underwear, we'd be fine.

Surgery was a little late. Then they couldn't find a wheelchair. I said I could walk just fine. But they said no. So we waited. They finally found one so Shane accompanied me and the nurse to the next floor where a host of  people were waiting to each ask me my name, DOB, if I was allergic to latex, etc. It was strange to have all that attention and I was hoping someone would ask which muscle areas needed the most massaging. But no one did. They did however put cool yellow inflatable leg warmers on my calves, which would take turns filling/deflating and felt like a little massage . So they gave me a mask for a little while and wheeled me off to the operating room. And then it went just like the dr said it would. They would tell me they were putting the sleepy stuff in my IV. and then I would wake up and it would be over.

I woke up in a different room. I was screened off from the rest of the recovering patients but I could see them through the small gaps between the movable partitions. I didn't wonder what had happened or where I was but I didn't feel like moving at all. Which was a little distressing when I felt like I had to pee. A nurse was with me the whole time. She asked if I wanted to wait 10 min when I'd be back in my room or if I'd like her to assist me now( aka use a bed pan). I  thought of and totally sympathized with Hank from Breaking Bad as I chose the latter. But it was so nice to be able to just lie there and not nearly as bad as what I knew had just been done to me. Glad I had gone for the general.

Soon they wheeled me back down the hall, into the elevator, and back to my room where Shane was waiting. I felt the mattress beneath me move and realized they were inflating it. Then using it to transfer me to my own bed. 'Wow,'  I thought. 'That's really clever. I wonder who came up with that idea?'