Dream you’re mine

The journey from miscarriage to whatever comes next

The induction–from decision to delivery August 23, 2009

So at 7 am on Friday, the pitocin was started.  I don’t remember the quantity that was administered, but they started out upping it 1 per hour and eventually increased it to 1 every half hour.  I was incredibly out of it from the mag.  All I could really do was lay in bed with my eyes closed, drifting in and out of sleep.  I couldn’t focus my eyes enough to read.  I didn’t have the energy to keep my eyes open to watch a movie.  I’d talk a little, but had a hard time thinking of words I wanted to say.

I started feeling some pressure really low in my pelvis.  This was the sensation I had all day.  It was very sporadic, anywhere from a couple of minutes to a half hour apart, and short, usually less than 30 seconds.  It wasn’t really painful, but eventually it got to a point where I’d take a few deep breaths or rock my hips a little (while still laying in bed) or even moan.  Sometimes I’d hold hubby’s hand and, although I felt like I was squeezing so tight, he said there was hardly any pressure.  I was just a mess from all the meds!

I was checked twice that day and had only increased to 3 cm, even after they broke my water.  They decided to stop and restart the pitocin around 6 to see if that would kick start my reaction to it.  At that point, I was up to 24 and 40 was the max.  Our doula was already there–there had been a point earlier in the afternoon where I had a few feelings of pressure that were more intense and within minutes of each other.  I had thought things were kicking into gear.  Then nothing.  So during the time that the pitocin was stopped, I was still occasionally feeling this pressure.  It was just more of the same.

They asked how I planned to handle the pain.  I explained that I wanted to go med free (ironic given all the IVs and interventions I was on at the time!)  They did tell me if I got to a point where I wanted an epi, they would have to do a blood test to determine platelet count and that could take up to an hour.  I talked to my husband and the doula.  I just felt like given the circumstances I was under, with the weakness and my brain feeling like mush, I might not be able to do it.  The doula explained that laboring when you are stuck in bed really sucks and limits your coping mechanisms.  She also said that once a woman decides she wants an epi, she wants it NOW.  They were both very supportive of whatever I decided.  So I had the blood test.

As it got later in the evening and I still just felt this random pressure, a c-section seemed inevitable.  I was told I wasn’t having the type of contractions that cause the cervix to dilate.  Around 10, I asked the big question nobody else was talking about–how long would the doc let this go on before deciding to do a c-section?  I don’t remember the answer.  It looked like there was a really long night ahead of us, so hubby took a nap and I was drifting in and out of sleep whenever I wasn’t feeling the pressure.

Then, really late in the evening, I had to go to the bathroom.  Felt like I had to poo.  So I sit on the toilet for a couple of minutes, but have no energy to actually go.  All the sudden I felt horrible pressure.  I made it back to bed and said “gosh, I just feel a lot of pressure.  It almost makes me want to cry.”  They decided to check me, which was the last thing in the world I wanted at that moment.  It seemed like there were a ton of people in the room at the time–my husband, doula, and maybe two nurses?  So we all were in shock when she said “you are 100% dilated and baby’s head is about an inch from crowning.”  In fact, I didn’t even understand what she said since I was so out of it.

So I’m feeling a little more intense pressure.  I think of the epi and think “no way can I keep going through this for hours.”  But the doula gave me some great advice to just take each moment as it comes and not get into the what ifs, since you don’t know how long it will last or how intense it will be.  So I reminded myself of that.  And also thought of how long it would take to get someone there to administer it.  Although I was in a labor and delivery room, all births before 36 weeks had to be done in the operating room and automatically taken to the special care nursery.  Next thing I know, I’m being wheeled to another room to deliver this kid (which wasn’t great since I’d been pukey all day too and movement didn’t help.)  My brain was still trying to catch up on what was going on.

We get in there.  They tell me when I feel a contraction, I should take a deep breath, blow it out, take another one right away, hold it and push.  So I feel some pressure again and say “I think I’m having a contraction?”  One of the nurses feels my belly and tells me I am.  I honestly had no idea.  I do the breathing and pushing thing.  They tell me to stop pushing because they need to wait for the special care nursery folks to be set up.  So we hang out for a few minutes and then it is more of the same.  Pushing wasn’t painful.  The hard part was holding the breath to push and then taking another deep breath to do it again.  I just wanted to breathe and pause between breaths.  So I said a couple of times “I can’t do this.”  But I didn’t mean from pain perspective, but from a needing to relax and breathe.  I felt like the pushing wasn’t doing anything.  Remember that I had been weak and laying in bed for about 17 hours at this time.

I don’t remember if there were 3 or 4 contractions for pushing, but the whole thing lasted 8 minutes or so.  And then he was here.  Flailing around his arms and legs.  Screaming.  It was such a great sound and so reassuring with a premie.  So they take him to the adjoining room where special nursery assessed him while I work on the placenta.  They bring him back in so we can hold him and get some photos and then whisk him away.  He was 4 lbs, 13 oz, 18 inches long and born at 12:43 am.  He made it to 35w1d…..barely.

So my labor was very strange.  I never felt contractions.  There was no pattern where things were getting closer together or more painful.  I basically was a groggy mess because of the drugs.  I had a 10 minute period where I felt some really intense pressure (even that wasn’t constant though) and worked from 8 minutes to push him out.  So word on the street is that I had some fabulous, easy labor.  Yes, I had a pain free labor.  But just to be clear, it sucked.  I would have preferred more pain and less intervention, less feeling miserable.  Of course it was worth it and I’m so grateful we had the care and direction we did.

Was it all the drugs and meds that made me react this way?  Probably not.  The nurses, doc and doula said they’ve never seen anyone have a labor like this.  They said they’ve seen other people on pitcoin and mag go through typical labors.  Was it the LEEP procedure I had done?  This can cause scar tissue on the cervix and make it harder to dilate, so maybe I just popped in an instant.  Or was it just me?  That is what people seem to think.  This is now the third time I’ve gone through something that is painful for most folks and not me.  Each time, the drugs knock me on my rear, but the pain is fine.  And it isn’t like I feel the pain and say “oh, I must rise above this!”  I just don’t feel it.  The doula wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t been sick and already been in the hospital.  If I had been laboring at home and things never seemed to progress, would I have made it to the hospital in time?

Later that morning, our little guy was transferred to NICU at the children’s hospital.  Luckily our hospital was across the street and there was a tunnel connecting them.  They also have cameras set up in the NICU so you can see your baby on the tv in your room.  He needed extra support, primarily with breathing, but was just transferred back to the special care nursery and all the tubes and IVs have been removed.  YEA!!!!  Now he’s considered a “feeder/grower”, so we just need to get him used to breast and bottle feeding so he can come home.  I have a feeling I’ll be spending even more time at the hospital now that we’ll be trying to breast feed….and it will be awesome!

I’ll write more about the NICU later.  I wish he hadn’t needed it, but it was an amazing experience!

 

34 weeks August 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — agplatters @ 3:57 pm
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I had the first non-stress test (NST) and amniotic fluid check (AFI) this week.  All went well with the big guy.  The AFI was almost 13.  I do have to up my dosage of bp meds as they did several readings and a couple were coming in at 90-92 for the second number.  So that is ok, since I was on the lowest dose possible and she had warned me that I might have to increase the meds along the way.  I did find out more about induction plans.  My doc likes to start with cyrotec (sp?), which is an off-label use, but it ripens the cervix and results in more natural contractions.  Unfortunately, because of my bp, I will have to be on monitors the whole time I’m in labor at the hospital.  That means no walking or birthing tub.  So that is disappointing.

He does seem to have dropped this week.  I’m breathing better and the acid reflux is much better.  I’ve had some pains and pressure in the cervical area.  Plus I felt some contractions earlier this week!  Overall, I still feel really good.  I haven’t been experiencing low back or hip pain that make so many women uncomfortable.

On a bit of a sad note, it was a year ago today that my baby girl stopped growing (m/c #4), although I didn’t find out until several weeks later.  The reason this is etched into my brain is because it is also the day my niece was born.  Every mention of her makes me think of my little girl and there is just a dull sadness there.  It feels really lonely too, because I can’t talk to my family about it.  They can’t know what this day that they celebrate means to me.  And I know I need to surround this little guy who is rolling around in there with positive thoughts and feelings, so hubby and friends will just tell me that.  So today I’m going to work on some things around the house, get my hair cut, pick up a few things at a natural baby store and have a date night with my hubby.

Here is my 34 week belly….

34 weeks

 

Growth u/s July 31, 2009

After the scare of being diagnosed with gestational hypertension and being put on meds, I’m starting to accept my fate.  I’ve had time to process and research and gather all my questions.  I’ve had follow up doctor visits to get answers and a feel for what this all means in the upcoming weeks.  And I’ve started wrapping my brain around a baby who comes early or in a medically invasive way.  Sigh.

The good news is the meds are working great and I’m feeling great from that perspective.  I have weekly appointments where they will do non-stress tests and check amniotic fluid levels starting next week.  My doc said I have a mild case of gestational hypertension and no signs of pre-e.  She doesn’t think it will progress, but she is not going to let me get to my due date.  She said she’d induce during the 39th week and, based on the quick peek at the calendar, it would most likely be 4 days before my due date.  I’ve been looking into non-drug ways to get things moving a bit earlier than that.  I’d really like to avoid pitocin.

We had a growth u/s at 32w3d.  Everything looks perfect, he’s still a boy and he has “lots of hair.”  It is so crazy they can tell that!  They estimated he was 3 lbs 13 oz, give or take a half pound.  With that and the various measurements they took, they put him at the 40th percentile.  Given the fact that hubby and his bros were all 10+ lbs, I’m just fine with him being a little on the smaller side!  And that was approximately 7w before induction date, so even if he grew a half lb per week, he’ll be in the 7 lbs range.  There is the chance that things progress with the hypertension and they will need to pull him earlier.  There is also the possibility that when they do the next growth u/s, he will have dropped down to a lower percentile, which will be a sign that the placenta is breaking down and he’d need to be born then.  So we aren’t out of the woods, but so far things look good.

 

hormonal vent–it’s a doozie July 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — agplatters @ 11:34 pm
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Oh my.  We are supposed to go camping this weekend with a group of people.  Hubby rode his bike out to the site, leaving seven hours ago.  It was going to take a few hours to get there, so I was running errands, went to the gym and the plan was to join him late afternoon/early eve.

I love my husband.  He tried.  He’s just not very detailed or effective at time management.  Add a pregnant wife who can’t remember things and it has been a really trying afternoon.  Went to Target to pick up non-food items, co-op to stock up on yummy fruit and two trips to the neighborhood store for things I forgot.  Took countless trips up and down the stairs doing laundry, packing stuff, taking bathroom breaks, feeding cats, etc.  Also took countless trips back and forth from house to van to get stuff in there.  When you are tired and your lungs are being squeezed and you can’t carry a lot, the trips really add up.  So I’m doing all this and I’m exhausted and crabby.  Little did I know that was the most pleasant I’d be all day.

Then everything is finally in the vehicle, so it is time to try to leave.  Now this vehicle is a VW camper van that belongs to my in-laws.  It is old and I have never driven it.  And I have a history of hitting inanimate objects with larger vehicles that I’m unfamiliar with, but that hasn’t been an issue since I can’t even get it out of the driveway.  First of all, the seat was way too far back for all 5’2″ of me to reach the pedals.  So I move it up, but then my belly is in the steering wheel and I can’t get the seat to move back.  I call hubby and tell him I’m either not coming or will grab the tent and move everything into the Corolla.  He says he’ll call his friend to come over and help.  I proceed to go inside and bawl until friend shows up.  He moves the seat and it is time to go again.  I put the clutch in, turn the key and try to give it some gas to get it going.  Engine won’t turn over.  Did I mention this is OLD???  So call hubby again and he tells me various things to try….the car is finally running.  So then, even though I told him I didn’t want to deal with reverse when he was saying how tricky it is, he left the van in the driveway with only one way out….reverse.  He says to look at the knob to figure out reverse.  First off, knob is upside down, but I did figure that one out before actually trying to reverse.  After correcting this, I try five times to get it into the correct position, but it still moves forward when I give it gas.  Now, this was also occurring at pregnant lady supper time, so you add hunger + hours on feet packing + constant replay of times I’ve said to hubby “I am tired and can’t do what I’ve normally been able to do” + piece of shit vehicle and what do you get???  FUCKING INSANE PREGNANT WIFE!!!  If you are my husband, you think the thing to say is “can’t you try one more time?”  Somehow between sobs I was able to choke out “no, I can’t try one more time.  I’m done.  I can’t do this.”

He said he’s getting a ride from someone back into town and will drive us out there.  That gives me time to eat some dinner at least.  It is only a half hour away.  And then I’ll waddle into the campground with blood shot, puffy eyes just in time to go to bed.  Sigh…..I think it would have been more enjoyable to be at work today.  At least on Monday when the three hour glucose test sucks, I can think “at least it isn’t last Friday.”

 

Almost 29 weeks… July 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — agplatters @ 1:20 am
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Whew.  I’m pooped from everything that has been going on!  First of all, let’s just get it out there that all is fine.

So here’s the update on the blood pressure….

I ended up at the hospital on Sat for labs and assessment since I was having some vision things where that seemed like fireflies in my peripheral vision.  They did labs for pre-e and gestational hypertension and everything came back great.  So that was a relief, but it was still measuring really high at work even when I didn’t feel stressed.  At all.  So I brought in my machine to conduct some experiments against the one at work and there is a difference of 15-20 pts between mine and work.  Then I brought mine into my doc office to calibrate against that and my machine is correct.  So for WEEKS I have been freaking out about my bp, adding more stress to my life, when there was no problem.  I’m so friggin’ irritated.  You’d just expect a bit more when you work at a health insurance company that has a mission of making people healthier.  Meanwhile, who knows how many employees are walking around thinking they have high bp, going to the doc, maybe even going on meds unnecessarily?  Brilliant.  I will be reporting this to human resources.  But the good news is that the big guy is absolutely fine!

28 week appointment…..

Today was my 28 week appointment and the big thing is the one hour glucose tolerance test.  The drink itself didn’t taste bad and it was a smaller quantity than I expected.  It did make me feel like I was going to pass out and made my acid reflux horrible.  I was a little worried about puking.  After waiting an hour, they do the blood draw and I failed by 4 pts.  Dang.  I’m sure the three hour on Monday will be absolutely fine, even though I am a dessert-aholic.  But I wonder if I’ll even make it through without puking or passing out?  Hmmm….

In other appointment news, belly is measuring perfectly and he sounds great.  As soon as I drank the glucose stuff, he was moving like mad!  In fact, while I waited he walloped me a couple of times so strongly that I saw my shirt move!  So it was fun to feel him moving around so much today.  I had a pretty bad sugar crash and felt lousy all afternoon.  So I now have a four day weekend to do the three hour on Monday.  Too bad it will be such an unpleasant experience.  And I’m now up 14 lbs.  I might not be able to keep it to my goal of 15-25 lbs.  Dang.

I was telling the doc that although I still have anxiety, it is much better now that I know he could survive if he’s born tomorrow.  She said that I really just need to get through the next four weeks and the children’s hospital here is so good that, although expensive, he’d be ok.  Obviously neither of us are hoping for that, but that really felt good to hear.

So it has been a bit of a crazy week!  I didn’t complete all our June goals.  Poop.  But the nursery walls are painted, the ceiling is 95% done and I did exercise quite a bit.  I’m going to have to think about what we can get done in July.  We do have a childbirth class and all about babies two different weekends at the hospital.  And now I really, really want to get the nursery done.

 

Hello from third tri! June 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — agplatters @ 11:13 pm
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So, after being pregnant for 63 weeks, I can finally say I’ve made it to third tri.  Unbelievable.  It was a little bittersweet, as it coincided with the due date from the first pregnancy–well, except baby was due in 2008.  I found myself thinking of what my life would have been like with a one year old and all we would have learned in the last year.  But it was actually more upsetting to think of all the babies who never had a chance and the ways it has changed me.  There are good things.  I now know it is ok to say “I don’t know what to say and don’t know what it is like to go through that” when someone is experiencing a tough time.  I truly realize what a miracle it is that there is a little guy kicking around in me.  But there are things I don’t like about myself–how guarded I am, how I can’t fully enjoy being pregnant, how little innocuous questions like “is this your first?” make me tense.  I hate that when people say completely insensitive things, I struggle with a way to educate them and usually just bite my tongue.  I’d like to believe I’ll relax after he’s here, but worry that I will be super overprotective.  And now I find myself thinking that after five losses, how can I possibly have a healthy kid?  That becomes a downward spiral that something is going to go wrong with him being a preemie or not making it through childbirth.

I guess it is all part of the territory when you’ve gone through multiple losses.  I’m not complaining.  Just trying to figure out how to make sense of it all and move forward with as much positive energy as I can muster.

So here I am in third tri….my body freaks me out on a pretty regular basis…I swear my nipples have migrated about 2″ down my boobs and my ass is huge!  I sleep great and usually still just wake up one time per night, but am feeling more tired again.  Time is standing still.  My blood pressure is still high at work, but my doc just wants me to monitor and call them immediately if certain things occur (pre-e signs, although they haven’t put it in those words.)  The heat and humidity has hit.  I guess I have a case of the pregnancy blahs.  Shopping seems to be a good cure.

Here’s a photo from last week.  I can’t find the camera to take a new one, but don’t think there has been a big change.  I’m up 11 lbs now, which may sound low, but I pre-gained a lot.

26 weeks

 

Stress relief tips?? June 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — agplatters @ 1:44 am
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First off, the good news.  I’m 99 days out from my due date–not that it really means much, but still a fun milestone.  Then we got our first CSA box this eve and had lots of yummy food for dinner.  

Now, the bad news.  Work sucks ass.  My boss is too busy with his own stuff to provide any support or direction.  Layoffs are happening in July and I know which employee from my team is being laid off, so that is always fun to act like business as usual when you know it isn’t that way.  Then every couple of days, small, random layoffs occur throughout the company.  Any “decision” that is made is flip flopped within a matter of days.  (A week ago I was told that one of my employees needed to focus on only business tasks and hand off all tool development to IS, including taking away her security to do this.  We had a painful conversation, she’s been completely whiny and high maintenance since then because she doesn’t like the decision and today I’m told to have her go back to doing development work too.  Gee, thanks for flip flopping, putting me through all this crap in the last week and making me look like an incompetent manager.)  

Morale is horrible.  I’m already trying to exercise daily, including yoga a couple of times a week.  I try to tell myself to just let it go and take deep breaths.  Besides being a dessert-aholic, I generally eat pretty well.  But how is my body reacting?  Today my BP was 157/101 at work.  So I’m going to be monitoring that over the next week or two and discussing with my OB.  At home it was 128/84, so almost normal and pretty good considering I’m still going to have a little stress from dealing with work all day.  I don’t know what else to do–I can’t change what is happening there and am trying to change how I react.  The thought of going back tomorrow makes me want to bawl.  I feel so helpless right now!