Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas from the Couch

What an awesome Christmas! I am so incredibly lucky and so happy to be out of the hospital! I hope everyone had a great Christmas as well!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Ultrasound yesterday (called a biophysical profile) was good! Baby girl was moving all around (you can kinda till from the pics even and the tech caught a bit of a smile :)), still practicing breathing, fluid levels stayed normal, and the flow of blood through the cord was back to normal. The perinatologist then checked my cervix and it has stayed at 1cm dilated, and the length seems to have actually gone up to 1.5cm! Bedrest, although pretty hard to deal with physically & emotionally, is definitely working!
Based on those results, and the fact that any contractions have been controlled with the nifedipine (procardia), she ok'd my release to continue strict bedrest at Em's house which is the closest to one of their hospitals with the high-level NICU. So as of yesterday (and a bit of a headache trying to get my prescription at Target on the way home) I am here until 34w or if something happens in the meantime then back to the hospital.
Our first goal was to make it to 28 weeks, because we didn't want to set our hopes too high, and 28w is another big milestone in terms of development and lesser complications for baby. Now I'm not sure what to set a goal at, because obviously our ultimate overall goal is 40w :) It seems impossible, but I have been reading many stories and it has definitely happened before :)
Back home, Josh and Keira have been sick this week :( I'm so glad K was feeling better so Josh could bring her to daycare today. Now hopefully he can get better himself! I am constantly thinking of them, being away and not able to help is torture I tell you. But of course, Josh is incredibly strong and resourceful, and manages to be superdad (not really anything new there, he has always been amazing) :)

I have to also say - Em, Jamie, & Anna are such awesome, gracious hosts. It is nice to have company, good food, and a warm bed. I can't thank them enough!

Friday, December 17, 2010


They ended up doing the ultrasound earlier than scheduled (another patient was running late and I was already here) - they didn't measure the baby because they said they like to do that every 3 weeks, but they had 8 different things they were looking for, the main 2 being the fluid level and whether they could see movement through the nasal passages (which indicates that she's practicing breathing). All were GREAT! Blood was flowing through the cord perfectly, she is head-down, fluid levels are back to normal, it was so cool to actually see the motion of her practicing breathing and such a good sign for when she is an outside baby. I love her so much and I am already such a proud mama!
It is also looking really good that I will be out of here Wed, just before Christmas! They didn't really check my cervix today because they already know it is short and funneling, but Wed I will have another u/s and as long as I don't have contractions and dilation has stayed at 1cm, then I can leave :) The poor Schnick family will have me to deal with, but it will be nice to hang out with them as well :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Sisters in Bedrest"

That was how someone I have never met signed her note to me, enclosed in a care package made especially for women on bedrest. Incredibly humbling, to say the least (she sends these to all of the antepartum women at NMMC, even 11 years since she was here). Each item was labeled with a cute note on how that item helped her in her stay and well wishes throughout.
Here's a quote from the main note that brought tears:
"I hope for at least a minute or two as you open it up, you'll feel better. I hope, too, that you'll feel less alone. You are not alone! There are people pulling for you and praying for you. I am one of them."

I won't list all of the little inspiring notes, but I will share this pic:

It's amazing how something like this can really brighten a day :) I've experienced small acts like this daily - from the nurses here just to give you a hug, to the sweetest faraway friends who get you a gift card and make sure you use it on YOURSELF, and family/friends who stop in to make sure I am not alone and get some good food. And again, I see how many good people there are in this world, always there to lend a hand or an ear. Simply amazing.

(p.s. Sorry for all the mush, I'm a bottle of it nowadays :))

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Visitors in the Snow

I cannot believe the snow we are getting! And I can't believe how awesome my family is to drive right smack through it to come see me! Thank goodness they made it (and back) without getting stuck. It's definitely bad when you hear about all theplows that end up in the ditch :p
Here are a few pics from their visit:
Em drove, poor thing! Anna & Keira were little twins, giggling like crazy. Mom & Dad brought cookies, of which a few have definitely made it into my belly. Yum!
Keira was a little scared of the room (and my big mechanical bed) at first, but came around enough to give me a good squeeze :) Then got a bit comfy on the chair next to me - so cute!

As for my daily update - not a whole lot new today, still holding strong. Baby and I are being monitored twice a day for an hr each time, still taking the procardia every 6 hrs. We finally got some test results from Bemidji for the Group B Strep test and because that was negative, I am now IV-free! The next ultrasound to see if there is any change will be next Friday. Just hearing that they are scheduling that far out gives me more hope. We WILL make it there :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Midmorning Update

Had a good, quiet night, no contractions to worry about. I was wide awake at 3:30am though, figures!
However, this morning's ultrasound and meetings with doctors have brought many mixed emotions...
The good: baby looks great, heart, cord everything flowing the way it should, has my big nose ;p And best of all, baby is measuring at 1lb 14ozs, which is great for 26 weeks.
The bad: the fluid around the baby is fairly high, which can cause some issues for delivery and possibly be why my cervix is giving out from the pressure of it. The other major problem is that my cervix is now measuring 6.8mm.

The prognosis/plan as of now: I will be on strict hospital bedrest here until 28 weeks at least. In that time, they will switch the Procardia to another contraction med that also lowers fluid slightly and shouldn't lower my BP like that one did. After a few days on that, they will do another ultrasound to measure the fluid again. The risk for an emergency c-section is pretty high if I were to go into labor, since the baby moves around so much in that fluid she won't likely stay head-down like needed.

A lot of information to process, and it definitely makes my head spin. But I truly believe we are in a great place and we have a great support system down here with the doctors, numerous friends, and loving family. Thank you all again so very much, it means so much to us!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scary Times

Been a busy, life-changing week this week, thought it would be good to write it all out and keep updates here.

So here's the long of it...

So far this pregnancy has been uneventful, but fairly painful compared to the first time. I mentioned it to my dr and he checked things out and we both assumed it was normal, baby is low, etc. Well, flash-forward to Monday, a day before 26 weeks and I had a new issue - a small amt of bleeding and goo. From my first pregnancy, I knew that this can be a sign of imminent labor and to always call when it happens.
So my dr was able to see me right away in the AM, he checked to see that my cervix was closed and ran a test called Fetal Fibronectin which tests to see if there is evidence of fluid that usually only shows up if your body is gearing up for labor. He called back around 3PM and told me the test was positive and that we needed to get things checked out via ultrasound the next day. So the next day I had an appt at 1:45pm for that, they were mainly checking the length of my cervix. This is where the bad news came, it was very short meaning there wasn't much there to hold Baby girl inside. I was immediately sent to Labor & Delivery where they hooked up all kinds of monitors to make sure I wasn't in labor or having contractions.
My doctor, with all the info said baby would be coming anywhere from that day to 2 weeks from then. My heart dropped as well as the tears of course, this baby needs to keep cooking!

After a bit of observation, baby got steroids to help her develop faster, I got blood draws for more tests, it was showing that baby is great, moving a ton, with only a few sporadic contractions and what they called an irritable uterus/incompetent cervix (for those who care for specifics - it measured 12mm 40-50% effaced dilated 1cm with normal at 26 weeks being 40-50mm 0% effaced and no dilation). It was great to hear that the issues are all with me and not the baby, but of course I wouldn't be human if I didn't feel like there is something I did or didn't do to cause this. I'm trying not to focus on that and just be thankful that we are buying time daily and have so many people who care for us.

Anyway, that night I started contracting every 2-3 min, got the shakes/chills and it just felt all too familiar remembering labor with Keira. Thankfully, the wonderful drug called Terbutilane (sp?) worked to stop them and I felt fantastic after that. Wednesday, my doctor confirmed that I was going to need to be taken to a hospital with a higher level NICU that could take care of the baby since signs kept coming up. More quick tests and a check of my cervix showed that there was no change and I was stable enough to be transferred to the Cities (almost by helicopter which would have been insane!).

After the fun, bumpy ride in the ambulance (um yeah, I have never used a bedpan before, but they are not fun, especially in there!) I was settled in my new room and met by my wonderful sisters ready to help in any way they can. The perinatologist came in and couldn't really give any firm answers since my body is the main predictor, but that they see these situations daily and things look good in his eyes.

Last night was pretty good, I was finally able to sleep (especially knowing we were somewhere that was able to care for our baby), but i did have another early morning bout of random contractions that thankfully were not as bad and subsided. I was able to go back to sleep after even :) Today has been nice and calm, I was able to shower and Josh has been running everywhere to get what we forgot, waiting on me like the great man he is. Only issues so far is that the Procardia they put me on to help with contractions is also a blood pressure med and it made my BP go pretty low. That, and Baby girl (who we are working on names for :)) hates the monitor they put on my belly to check her heartrate. She is already incredibly strong like her sister and kicks the thing right off :p One of the nurses actually said at 26 weeks she usually can't feel those kicks that strong! Also means she probably can hear pretty well already. All such good things!

Just a taste of what I get to taste (looks good, but yeahhhh, not so tasty!)

Tomorrow we should know a bit more - ultrasound in the morning to measure baby and cervix, check fluids and just take a look to see if there may be any signs to WHY this is all happening. Either way, we will most likely be here at North Memorial for at least a week (we welcome visitors by the way, just know I look pretty ragged :)) and if I am stable they will let me leave and go to someone's home closeby for bedrest there. They want me within 20-30 min from here or one of their partnered hospitals until baby comes or until 34 weeks when Bemidji would be able to care for her without the need for the higher-level NICU. We will be ecstatic if we make it that far for sure and will do whatever we have to to make sure she is safe & healthy :)

I have sooooo many people to thank - it is overwhelming how many people offer help without hesitation (I want to list everyone but you all know who you are and I prefer to thank you profusely in person :)). We have received So many thoughts and prayers from all over the country, too. Amazing, really - so many good people out there.