Friday, July 29, 2016

Day #5 and Counting

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a hard time sitting still. I like to keep busy. I have that "do everything now and relax later" sort of personality but "later" rarely comes. Well here I am 5 days into bed rest and I think I'm doing pretty well. My amazing husband has been my rock. He has been sleeping on an air mattress and working 8 hours a day from an uncomfortable hospital room chair. He gets me everything I need, takes me on wheelchair rides and makes sure that I am well taken care of. We haven't spent this much time together just the two of us since Brennan was born two and a half years ago. Even with the stress of the situation, the worry over baby snowflake and the less than ideal conditions my husband has been incredible. I miss Brennan like crazy but I think this is great for our marriage. 

I'm 27 weeks 2 days and grateful for a day with fewer contractions. Praying it stays that way and we can get out of here at some point. Dr Newman said he'd like to watch me through the weekend so I'm still not sure when we are getting out of here. But no bleeding, happy baby, good ultrasound and quieter uterus. Things are continuing to look up. 



Whenever we FaceTime Brennan she gets super excited to hear her daddy's voice and sort of indifferent to me. Jealous already?? She tends to resent me when I'm gone a lot for work so I don't think she's happy with me. She is having a blast with Mimi, GG and Micah. She is very well taken care of. Here are the girls at their movie night picnic dinner... Little Mermaid I think. 


Maybe tomorrow I will post a few pictures of our luxurious hospital room. Wait til you see our bathroom! In all seriousness my stay has been very comfortable with great nurses, support staff and doctors. I am glad baby snowflake is in such capable hands. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hospital Day #4

Happy Thursday! We are still on lock-down at MUSC but things are stable. I am taking an oral medication 4 times per day to keep me from contracting. Honestly it doesn't do that much. Every morning I have a non-stress test (NST) to evaluate baby snowflake's heartbeat and my contractions. Every morning I am contracting every 2-3 minutes. They do get better with IV fluids so I've got that going for me. Today they did another NST this afternoon and I was again contracting every 3 minutes. Silly uterus.

Trixie took care of us for most of the day today. When she left Monday evening I told her that I would see her when she was back Thursday and that I would still be pregnant. She confessed today that she didn't think there was a chance I'd still be pregnant. And of course that she was glad we proved her wrong. 

All morning I awaited the arrival of my first little angel. Brennan came down for a visit! I haven't seen her since Monday and was starting to go crazy. I got some snuggles, some laughs, and some ugga mugga's. It was just what I needed.




We had an ultrasound today. Baby Snowflake looks amazing. She was measuring 2 lbs 4 ounces and is head down. We saw her breathing, swallowing amniotic fluid and rolling her umbilical cord between her fingers. My placenta has an extra lobe. The ultrasound tech thought she saw a blood vessel covering my cervix (bad) but baby snowflake's head was in the way. I was able to use my hands to lift her head off of my cervix and she got a good view. Fortunately there was no blood vessel! There does not appear to be any new clots or bleeding so that's a huge relief.


The MFM (high-risk Doctor) is still taking things one day at a time. This morning he had said he hoped to send me home this weekend. He said he'd love for me to stop contracting but was reassured by the fact that they are mild and don't seem to be affecting my cervix. Still no bleeding since Monday. 

The thought of being discharged is bitter sweet. Of course I would rather be in my own bed but at least here I'm a 3 minute sprint to the NICU. At home we are a good 2 hour drive from where baby snowflake needs to be. Praying that God has this all under control. We should be leaving for vacation Saturday with my sisters, brother-in-laws, nieces, nephews and mom. Unfortunately the vacation that was my idea a year ago won't be happening for me. I'm hoping Adam and Brennan will still be able go for part of it. I will do whatever it takes to keep this baby in for as long as possible. 

Thank you again for all of your prayers and well wishes. We are so blessed. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Big Scare

Let me start by saying everything is ok. I guess I will start at the beginning. 

Just after lunch on Friday while at working waiting on a baby to catch I started contracting every 4 mins, very mild. I drank lots of fluids and decided it was best to wait until after her birth to become the patient myself. Around 10 pm I finally got on the monitor and was contracting every 2-3 mins. We did 2 liters of IV fluids in hopes that they would slow down but it didn't touch them. We tried an oral medication which also did nothing followed by a shot of terbutaline which finally stopped the contractions. My cervix was not dilated. I went home and caught a few hours of sleep.

When I woke up Saturday morning the contractions were right back to every 3-4 mins, still mild. Went to the office for an ultrasound to check the length of my cervix (it was great) and I still wasn't dilating. Got another shot to stop the contractions and started taking procardia every 6 hours. Each dose worked for probably 4-5 hours so it seemed like progress. At this point baby snowflake was feet down. 

My back up doc took me off of call for the weekend and my awesome friend and fellow midwife Vanessa covered that night. Felt pretty good all day Sunday. 

Monday morning I was feeling great, took a shower and felt something drip. Looked down to see the one thing any pregnant woman really doesn't want to see... red. It was light and looked like spotting but I knew I needed to be evaluated. When I pulled into the physician lot at work I felt a huge gush. I hurried myself to labor and delivery, tears streaming, and went to the bathroom. It wasn't my water breaking, but it was a lot of blood. On the monitor everything looked fine aside from my regular contractions. We notified my OB and got an ultrasound ordered. 



We were fortunate to have a very capable ultrasound tech to perform my ultrasound. She had worked previously in a high risk OB clinic performing ultrasound. Awesome! She did find a 3 cm bleed (abruption) on the ultrasound. My OB ordered steroids to help mature baby snowflake's lungs and magnesium to stop the contractions and to help protect her brain. 

Fortunately MUSC accepted my transfer and my chariot arrived 30 minutes later. It was a long, hot 2 hour ride to Charleston but my paramedic was very friendly. We finally got to MUSC and up to labor & delivery.



When we turned the corner into Labor & Delivery I was surprised to see a familiar face. Pamela Dosier was opening the door for us. I had worked with her on Labor & Delivery at Georgetown. I was immediately relieved. My nurses have been great. My first nurse Trixie had a similar adoption story to Brennan's adoption. She did labs, another IV and got me on the monitor. 

The 2nd year resident did a speculum exam and didn't see any active bleeding and my cervix was still closed. She did an ultrasound and couldn't see any bleeding. The MFM was in next and did another ultrasound. She too didn't see any active bleeding but could tell where the placenta had previously seperated. I was still contracting every 2 minutes but my blood work was really good. They kept me on the magnesium over night and did repeat labs which were still great. The 1st year resident also stopped in to say hello. Her mother is my boss 😀

The OB attending Monday night was yet another familiar face. Dr Lazenby started a Centering Pregnancy program at the same time as we started ours. She immediately remembered me and I was again at ease. 

After shift change another MFM came in to speak with us. I had met Dr Sullivan last year. He leads a mobile simulation lab for OB emergencies so I remember him as well. Again I was reminded that I am in good hands. He basically said either the contractions will calm down and I will stop bleeding or they will continue and I will eventually start bleeding again or the baby will go into distress. Shortly after a wonderful NICU Nurse Practitioner came in to discuss every possible scenario we could encounter if we delivered a 27 week preemie. I thought Adam's head was going to explode but we were grateful for the information.

Monday night we got almost no sleep thanks to continuous monitoring of our little snowflake, IV's beeping, constant trips to the bathroom and a very restless mama. The good news is that we woke up today (Tuesday) with little to no contractions. I got my second dose of betamethasone, the mag turned off and my lovely nurse got me a bagel with cream cheese from the nurses' lounge. 



I'm starting to feel much better off of the magnesium and am grateful I don't have to call my nurse every hour to escort me to the bathroom. I ate a terrible hospital lunch followed by the best Starbucks Frappachino ever. Fortunately MUSC has a Chick Fil A, Subway and little pizza place. Not to mention Panera is 0.8 miles away. 

As for now no bleeding since 1030 am on Monday, no regular contractions since Monday evening and baby snowflake is quite content on the inside. I was moved over to the antepartum unit around noon and will stay here until they feel it is safe for me to return home. I've heard anywhere from 3-5 days. My first familiar face, Pam is my nurse. 

We are very fortunate that Adam's parents are taking care of Brennan while we are away (for those of you who don't know MUSC is 2 hours from home). She is in the best of hands and sadly doesn't seem to miss us much at all. 

I guess that's it for now. Praying that my uterus stays calm, the placenta stays securely attached and that baby snowflake keeps on growing. It will be a scary couple of weeks knowing that it's not safe for baby snowflake to be delivered at my hospital until 34 weeks but still being 2 hours from MUSC and the NICU. Please pray without ceasing. 

The one thing that is getting me through this, besides the support of my husband) is know mins that this is somehow all a part of God's plan. He brought us to embryo adoption, he helped our donors find us and he put baby snowflake in there the very first try. We have to remain confident in His plan for this baby. I know that He's got a lot in store for her little life and He isn't going to give up on her now. 

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Just For Fun

Here is a little side by side bump comparison for everyone who asks "where's your bump!?" There's no hiding her now.


25 Week Update

Has it really been 5 weeks since my last update? Time is really flying.

First things first, I can finally feel her kick! I was right around 21 and a half weeks when I could feel her for the first time. I was helping an incredible mama through transition and was sitting at the foot of her bed. How fitting that the midwife feels her baby move for the first time while helping welcome another little blessing into the world. Since then her movements have really increased. I don't know if I've ever had someone explain exactly what it feels like but here is my take. Do you ever get a muscle twitch and you can't control it but your muscle just keep sort of flickering? That's what it feels like to me. Pretty amazing. I can't wait to see how it changes with time.

We attempted to get a few photos but baby snowflake was very shy. Still has her arms up by her face and was facing my spine. I can say with full confidence that her right ear is really cute. At one point her knees were up to her chest and she wrapped her arms around them. It looked like she was doing a cannon ball. Maybe she will be a little swimmer like her daddy and big sister.

I probably won't feel 100% confident until we are signing the birth certificate but baby snowflake has a name! We have decided not to share so everyone will just have to be surprised. Let me just say hearing Brennan say her sisters name is one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. This morning Brennan said "I want [baby snowflake] to come out of your belly". I think she's getting excited.

Quick mama update: my carpal tunnel has improved significantly after seeing my chiropractor, wearing my wrist splints consistently at night and an impromptu steroid injection. Dry heaving has become my norm probably 5 days a week, sometimes multiple times a day. I supposed the upside is that I don't ever really feels nauseous it just comes on quickly and leaves just as fast. We hate the SC heat but truthfully I'm sure I'd hate it if I weren't pregnant too!

 2 big prayer requests:

Please help me in praying for Newspring Church. We got news that our pastor was asked to step down last week and our church is in a bit of a tizzy, please pray for his family and our church!

Also please pray for my friend Heather. She did her last IVF with her final 2 frozen embryos earlier this week. Praying her baby (or babies) find her!