Sunday, September 30, 2012


Let's see how writing a post while on Terbutaline goes...  Is this what speed feels like?

My contractions have gone a bit nuts in the past 24 hours and I've ended up having 3 Terbutaline shots (a muscle relaxer that also speeds up your heart) as well as 2 1 mg Mag boluses.

Last night the contractions started to hurt and they were coming more like every 3 minutes or so (in my less than accurate count).  They made me totally think about how awesome epidurals must be.  The pain was the kind that made me stop listening or doing what I was doing and need to just breathe for a bit.  But not crying pain.  It was kind of a like really bad menstrual cramps - they radiated down and across my upper legs.

The Terb and Mag seem to stop it, but the worrisome thing is that I've now had 3 episodes of frequent painful contractions in the last 24 hours.  That doesn't seem good to me.  I met with a doc this morning, but I'll have a whole host of new questions tomorrow.

The frustrating thing is that I don't have any of the specific issues of preterm labor like a shortened cervix, broken water, I'm not effaced.  I'm just frickin slowly bleeding somewhere (not from baby...maybe from placenta) and either the contractions are causing the bleeding or the bleeding is causing contractions.

This is going to be a super long road if this is what it's going to look like.   But the alternative looks so much worse!  So answers here, just updates.

(I'll write a more coherent post in the morning!)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lots of Tears Today, but Not due to Baby (Day 6)

Today has hands-down been the worst day in the hospital so far.  Well, Saturday might have been worse be cause it's the day I lost my pregnancy freedom, but today definitely sucked.

Here's a picture to start my story:

So IVs are apparently supposed to be switched every 4 days to avoid infection and what not.  They gave me an extra day because mine was comfortable and my veins have been so difficult.  But today was the day.  I asked the nurse early when she expected that we would change it since I was already nervous.  Boy oh boy did I have a need to be.

First, my regular nurse tried.  After she failed, my skin was sticking out in a blob about a half an inch from my inch.  I'm not very squeamish, but I do not like when my arms change shape when they are not supposed to.

So she called an anesthesiologist.  He was a younger guy.  A TCU fan.  We chatted a bit.  Then he missed his stick on one arm and then blew the vein on my other hand.  That gauze in the upper right portion of my wrist is him.

So they called another anesthesiologist.  But he never came.

So this other nurse swore that nurses do it better than anesthesiologists anyway.  She blew one on my right arm and then got the successful stick in the hand of my left.  (The other large gauze is from my previous IV.)

If you're counting, that's 5 sticks, one IV.  Two of the 5 sticks will leave massive bruises, the other 2 were ok (I guess).

I think I was teary after my arm blew up the first time.  Then I really cried after the 3rd one.  Then in the middle of all of this, the resident comes in and turns my Mag up because I'm having so many contractions.  I'm pretty sure most of the contractions were crying and the others were caused by terror and pain.  But now I'm back on 2mg.  I'm holding off the woozy-drunkenness pretty well, but I feel it coming.

So instead of finishing a school project this morning, all I successfully did was get an IV in my hand.

But then my mom came and organized my room (I added a rolling cart to hold all my stuff and a wall calendar to help me keep track of the time) and my good friend came and brought me a small Jamba Juice (since I'm still fluid restricted).

And now The Princess Bride is on and I'm relatively relaxed.

And only lab techs and the most experienced nurses will be touching my veins (as I tearfully asked the Charge Nurse who appeared in the middle of the madness).

The problem is that no one believe that I'm a difficult stick because they can see my veins.  But then they roll or they break because they are fragile.

(Guess I hadn't quite let it go yet.)

Day 6 - Night 7 - Signing off.

(Well...super quick update: I'll be on Mag until Monday because they wanted to get me to 24 weeks (tomorrow), but they don't want to take me off on a weekend when my normal doc is not here.  So on Monday, we wean, then we watch.  For like a week.  If I'm stable after that (and not bleeding at all - it's still lingering) then I could go home.  I don't really see that happening though...)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Keep Baby Inside. No Bleeding. (Hospital Update #3 - Day 5)

I just noticed that my last update says $2, not #2.  Oh well...I'm on meds.

I am pleased to announce that I am now only getting my blood drawn every 12 hours!  WooHoo!  I was on every 6 to check my Magnesium levels and boy is my right arm bruised.  They're only allowed to stick that arm because the IV is in the left.  I don't have cooperative veins.  They're small.  They roll around.  This has been quite fun.  4 different nurses had to stick me twice to actually find blood.  The best one was at 3:30 in the morning.  She turned all of the lights on in the room first, then took a half an hour to stick me twice and keep moving the needle around inside my arm.  It was lovely.

Last night they called the lab tech to take my blood instead.  It turns out that I taught both her daughter and son!  Funny.  I would say small world, but my school is very Philipino and nursing is the #1 most popular profession, so whenever I see a Philipino nurse I check their name tag.

*     *     *     *     *
Medically, I don't have a good update, but not a bad one either.  I'm still bleeding although it's not flowing at all. I find it when I have a BM (bowel movement - I'll just say that one once...).  They can't find a source or cause of the bleeding which is mostly good, but of course this still concerns them.

My contractions have been pretty consistent.  My high is still 6-7 an hour but I have periods with much fewer also.  They are not painful at all, but some cross the line into slightly uncomfortable.  I do feel almost every one.  This means they might decide to put my Magnesium back up (we lowered it because I was pretty stable and it was making me a sick zombie).  

I also started steroid shots today.  I'll get one today one tomorrow.  (Butt shots.  Ow.  I avoided those with my IVF.)  The steroid will help the baby's lungs mature in case he is delivered early.  

*     *     *     *     *

School is all set which is a huge relief.  I felt like I was abandoning all of my kids...just after I really started to get to know them.  But I found a great sub who is going to write all of the plans so I'm off the hook!  And I can feel confident that they are still getting a great education.

My puppy is a bigger worry/stressor.  We've been taking her to day play since Mr. GG doesn't have a lot of time to spend with her in the evening.  Usually I get home around 4...  He doesn't get home until 6 and then he comes to see me.  She's also spending half the week at my sister's with her cousin Roxy : ).  But I know that if I am released to go home (to strict bed rest), I won't be able to have her around all day. She's too rambunctious.  So I guess we will just stick with the day play and then when Mr. GG is home it will be ok.  I miss her : (.  I hope she doesn't think I've abandoned her!

*     *     *     *     *
By my count I'll be 24 weeks tomorrow, but by the hospital's, it's on Friday.  Either way...24 is big.  Viability!  (Although I've learned a lot more about this in the last week and a baby can be viable before 24 AND 24 still has very discomforting odds.)  The goal written on my "Labor and Delivery Plan" (hah) is "Keep Baby Inside.  No Bleeding."  That's what I'll be working on for the time being.

Thanks for all of your support!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hospital Update $2

Thank you so much for all of your well-wishes and success stories. They were just the mental medicine I needed over the last two day!

Yesterday was really tough for me and for Mr. GG although we both dealt with it on our own.  

I cried a lot.  What kept setting me off was picturing all of the scenarios that the neonatologist set in front of us.  They have to have a decision on whether you will intervene to help a severely premature baby. Also, we need to start taking steroids two days before the time that we decide to have interventions.  Hearing the word "comfort" as a type of care after a preemie birth just sent me straight to tears (still almost does).  BUT...I am not going to have a super-premature birth!  (I still could - that's just my positive thinking at work.)

Honestly, we have worked so hard to get this baby into the world that I just cannot imagine the universe would allow us to lose our precious baby.

The other biggest obstacle yesterday was just letting go.  I decided that I needed to make a list of all of the things I need to let go of:
  • being in charge of my day-to-day life
  • teaching this year (until maybe the end)
  • being at Open House
  • going to the AP Conference next month
  • wearing my winter maternity clothes
    • list is comprehensive!  and I was preparing for the worst case scenario - this one might not be a done deal.
  • having a baby shower
    • ditto - feeling more positive about this one now
I did this while crying, but it really helped and I've been totally okay with everything today.  I've just been planning as if I won't leave this room.

I also emailed everyone at school and did the "FB post" which helped make it real.

And then we got some good news.

I was feeling extremely shitty physically this morning.  Magnesium causes hot flashes (or just hot face for me), dizziness, nausea - all of the stuff that makes you be able to do nothing while on bed rest.  I couldn't even focus my eyes if I moved my head too fast.  But since my contractions were well-controlled by that point (only one in half a day), they tried lowering my dose by 25%.  The effect was magnificent!!  I can read.  I can think (kind of - I was trying to explain to my mom where to find the dog food and I couldn't think of the word "furnace" for the life of me...all I got was that thing in the house that heat, you know, with the sister figured it out).  I can laugh.  I can handle this.

Sure my veins are shot from having my blood drawn out of just ONE ARM every 6 hours...  And my butt is killing me from sitting in various positions on this hard bed.

But my contractions have stopped and I can deal with all of the other stuff.

Right now I'm dealing while listening to baby's beautiful, regular, strong 140+ heart rate.

Oh...the good news:
Since the contractions are controlled, they are going to try taking me off of the Mag tomorrow and back onto the oral pills.  They'll watch for 24 hours and if the contractions increase I'll go back on Mag of course. But if they don't...pills mean I can go home!  I've done such a good job preparing myself for staying that I am almost shocked, but now I'm ready for either scenario.

Home will still be 100% strict bed-rest. And I honestly don't think I can have puppy around on bed-rest, but it'll be good.

I'll probably have another update on Tuesday.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My New Home?

(If this post is horribly formatted, I apologize. I'm typing on an iPad.)

Labor and Delivery.  I get to hear a little nursery rhyme chime each time another couple has a healthy baby.  I've counted at least seven today.

I went to meet my friend for dinner last nig since our husbands were out of town.  I peed before I normal.  Then I peed when I got to the restaurant because it had been 20 minutes and of course I needed to go again.  But this time I was bleeding.  Really bleeding.  It was basically like my period.

On the way to the hospital I forced myself not to think about the worst possibilities.  But it was so hard not to.  I had a really tough week - some pink spotting Monday - brown the rest of the week - and a huge dose of tear-inducing anxiety mid-week.  But I felt better yesterday.

I haven't taken any classes or tours (I'm only 23 weeks!) so I had no idea where to go when I got to the hospital.  At this point I could feel wetness between my legs.  A nice random pregnant lady eventually lead me to where I needed to be.

As soon as I heard baby's heartbeat, I felt immediately better.  I was still bleeding, but there was no distress either in baby or me.  All vitals were good.  But I was also having contractions.  My doc said that bleeding can cause contractions and contractions can cause bleeding, so that combined with the ultrasound mean that there is no identifiable cause for my bleeding or contractions.

But contractions are bad because they lead to labor and my baby cannot be born right now! (You can intervene at 23 weeks to try to save the baby but the prognosis is very poor. We need to get to 25 to see a much greater improvement.). I don't know what we'll do if I do go into active labor, buti sure hope it doesn't happen for a long time.

I initially took an oral drug to stop the contractions but it didn't work.  Now I'm on IV Magensium which does seem to be working.

Last night I really thought I'd be out of there in an hour or two.  Now I'm looking at a best case scenario of 3-7 days and a worst case of now through 32 weeks.  I'm most likely done teaching (after only 3 weeks of school!) I won't even get into how stressful that is right now.

My cervix is closed and a decent length.  Bleeding has stopped.  Contractions much less frequent and intense. And baby's heartbeat is perfect (and so nice to hear).

Neither Mr. GG and I are surprised to be where we are even though we never considered it.  This pregnancy is just going to be one extremely difficult thing after another and then at the end, we will have a strong, healthy baby boy that we will cherish.

I'm staying positive.  Please think some positive thoughts for us.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I've been trying really hard to get into some kind of work out rhythm so that I can feel better about the weight gain and hopefully slow the arm and thigh expansion.

Since the last post I've:

  • gone on a 40 minute walk with a friend
  • done free arm weight rotations
  • walked a couple of miles with the dog, down and up the huge hill we live on
I still REALLY want to do yoga.  I'd like to get a DVD like many of you have suggested, but I honestly don't think my dog would allow me to do yoga successfully at home.  (The dog is KILLING me right now.  We did some training, but it's like it has evaporated.  Need so much more.)

So that means I need to find a class.  I know they exist around me.  I just need to do it.  Ok...I'm gonna go do it.  Back in a minute.

Ok.  It's booked!  

I actually found a bunch of options and the studio I picked caters entirely to moms, both prenatal and post.  They even have childcare.  Sounds cool!

I'm feeling so much better in general that I'm really not crazy tired while working out.  In the first tri I couldn't walk around the block without get winded.

I will keep you updated on my progress!  (And thanks for sharing your fears and ideas.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

21 weeks

I haven't shown you a belly pic in ages, but I got a pretty decent one today, so I'll show you.

I feel gigantic (but of all the bump pics I definitely like this one the best.)

I feel like a whiny broken record, but this weight gain thing is really hard for me.

Looking at belly pics on countdown to pregnancy helps a bit though.  I know everyone just seems to gain at different times.  I'm just worried about it coming off again afterwards.  The heat making my feet swell and hurt so bad to stand on is not helping!  But otherwise I feel great.

That's all for now.  I'm back to school and all out of words at the moment...

How was weight gain for you?