Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 43

10 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 34 4/7

This journey has made me have many realizations and new appreciations. Not that I haven't known or appreciated my mother before, but this is different. I know that I would have other realizations and appreciations if other people had helped us out, but I know that God does everything for a reason and has a purpose for all things. And I want all of you to know how incredible my mom has been. She has become me. She has put her life on hold and been here for almost a month in the selfless act of helping us. And it hasn't been easy. She doesn't get to be the grandma she wants to be to Jackson this summer. She's had to discipline him, listen to his angry tears or his frustrated tears, hear his harsh words he doesn't truly mean. And she hasn't complained about it. (It's not that Jack has been awful, because he hasn't...he has handled this so well, but really, how well would you do if your mom was in the hospital for 4 weeks and has been in her bed since coming home, but he certainly has had his moments.) It's not the summer she wanted. She wanted fun times with Jack...going to the park, scavenger hunts, fun activities. And we're working on that because they both deserve that. She didn't plan on a summer with an emotional daughter who is scared, worried, frustrated and bored. But she's done it...she has been here every day to help me. She has sat and listened to me when I'm all of those things. She has listened and offered much needed advice. She has spoiled me rotten with just about every comfort food that she can think of! (I mean, what mom would make brownie dough, pinwheel cookies, mashed potatoes and gravy, oatsies, homemade ice cream and crispies all summer long for their daughter!) She didn't plan on a summer of being a maid and helping clean our house. She didn't plan on a summer where she'd have to cook for 4 other people rather than just my dad. But she has done it and she is amazing! Today she is outside, staining Jack's swingset because she knows it's a project that Jon wants done, but doesn't have the time. She didn't plan on a summer away from her husband, but she is doing this for us and I will be forever grateful for that. I know that other people are willing and able to help us, but at a time like this, no one can replace your mother. And as I looked outside today, watching her stain our swingset and I have a new cardboard roadmap at the foot of my bed for Jack to decorate and play with, I realize just how lucky I am to have such an amazing mom. Thank you mom, from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for us! Without you, I wouldn't be the woman that I am today and I certainly don't tell you often enough! We love you and thank you for giving up your summer for us!! It will all be worth it in the end!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 42

11 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 34 3/7 weeks

I had a doctor's appointment this morning and everything is looking good. I had a lot of contractions yesterday that were close together, so I called triage and they said to just go back on the Procardia, so that's what we've done. After yesterday, I half expected this to be the start, but nope, not yet. Monkey's heart rate was spectacular in the 160s, so very VERY active today!! He/she has been moving all over the place today. I've still had quite a few contractions today, but no cervical changes so far. A tad bit more effaced (thinned out) but still only 1 cm dilated. But like Dr. Kemper said, it may be tonight, it may be another 5 weeks...no idea! That's the hard part!! It hasn't been easy because I'm not confident to know when I'll actually be in labor. Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, you'll know" but not this woman! I have a feeling that I'll be the one who either goes in way too many times and it won't be the real thing and be sent home over and over and then boom, I'll convince myself that's not what it is, Jon will finally convince me to go in and I'll be 5 cm dilated and ready to go. This is the most frustrating aspect of all this!! So we're just continuing with the waiting game...only 11 more days I have to lay in this bed!! Pray we make it that far!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 39

14 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 34 weeks

We made it!!! Today is 34 weeks!!!! We beat Jackson's record...now we'll see how many days we'll beat him by! I took my last dose of Procardia at 10:00 this morning. We'll see what happens from here. I was searching online last night to see how long it takes for labor to progress after stopping the meds. I found stories anywhere from 24 hours to having to be induced! So far, I haven't noticed any more contractions, as I would have taken a dose at 4:00 and it's now 5:30. Who knows if that will stay this way or not. Many of the stories I've read talked about the meds taking about 24 hours to get out of your system and then things happen...so we'll see! I know I won't be a happy camper if I end up with an induction though!! I haven't sat in a bed for this long to go through all of that!! We'll take whatever time God gives us, I'd just prefer to have all of this happen on my own rather than be drug induced. So we have the potential to be meeting Monkey anytime between tonight and August 5th!! Earlier this week, it all hit me that it could be anytime, so after a bit of a meltdown about not being able to go to Target and get all of the needed supplies, I started getting things together and officially have my bag packed, so we're good to go when the time comes! I have another doctor's appointment on Monday, so our first goal is to get to that appointment!!

I'm hoping it's not for a while because I have a few projects that need to get finished before this little Monkey arrives! I've got Jon and Jackson's Christmas stockings done, now need to work on mine and then I'll make Monkey's after we know what wonderful gender this child is! Here are a few pictures of what has kept me busy!
Jon and Jack's stockings
Brandon Valley hats for Jack's daycare buddies
Hawkeye's hat for Jon

Trying to get the pantry organized!
Pray for at least two more weeks of baby baking!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 35

4 days until 34 weeks
18 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 33 3/7

Here we are...at 33 weeks!!! Obviously, I've mentioned before that I'm shocked we made it this far!! Shocked and thrilled all at the same time...only 4 more days to beat Jack's record!

Last Friday, I ended up going into Triage because my extra dose of Procardia wasn't keeping contractions away. I haven't had to take too many extra doses, but had taken it two days in a row, a few times and since it was Friday, I figured I better call. I wasn't concerned that this was labor and things were happening, but much better to be safe than sorry. Thankfully, no changes and after my 4:00 dose, things slowed down. The weekend was fairly quiet for the most part. Hopefully they continue this way.

This week definitely marks a significant week for us. Four years ago, this was the week that Jack started causing some "issues" and made his grand arrival into this world! We're hoping not to make a repeat of this week this time around. I haven't even had the chance to talk with Dr. Kemper about my birth plan...maybe I should get on that one! :) I did at least ask for the pamphlet/brochure thing they have to fill out today. (And no, I'm not that much of a procrastinator...my birth plan is fully filled out and sitting at my desk at work...waiting for my next dr appt...oops!) I probably should have talked with her about it today, but kind of forgot. Maybe by not talking about it, it will miraculously hold this birth off for a few more weeks. All I can say is...bring it on! Lots of women talk about being scared about labor or being highly anxious about it. Now I'm not saying I'm looking forward to it, I know it's going to be painful and not much fun, but I am looking forward to proving to myself (and a not-as-confident husband) that I can do this without any help. I had minimal drugs with Jack and didn't like how they made me feel, so am planning a natural birth. I know it's not going to be easy, but with the side effects of epidurals and the minimal amount of drugs that do get into baby's system, I know that I need to give this baby his/her best opportunity to thrive, especially if he/she arrives early! Monkey will need every single opportunity possible to succeed. A lot of women get epidurals, which is fine...to each their own...but no one ever talks about the effects it has on the baby. I'm sure it is because the side effects are very minimal, but still side effects. It takes up to 2 weeks for the anesthesia to work it's way out of your system...and that includes baby's system too. So babies are sleepy and don't nurse or bottle well because they have that minimal amount of anesthetics in they're system. It lands a lot of barely term (35-37 weekers) in the NICU because they are too sleepy to eat, drop their blood sugars and buy themselves a week or two in the NICU until they "wake" up. No thanks...I'd rather suffer through a not fun labor to keep my baby nice, alert and not medicated. Women have done it for centuries, so let's keep up the tradition! Ok...I'll get off my soapbox now!! But in all seriousness, I do think that the only reason Jackson did so well in the NICU, bottled right away and only stayed in the NICU for 8 days was because I didn't have an epidural and he was more alert. So here's to giving this baby the exact same opportunity!

So the plan from here is to go off the Procardia on Friday at 34 weeks. We'll see what happens from there I asked Dr. Kemper how long she thought it would be until delivery and we, of course, got the "I have no idea and can't predict that one." So now the matter becomes if these contractions actually do something or if they are just simply contractions. Like Dr. Kemper said, "You may be making a few trips into triage before we know if it is true labor or not." Great...nothing like not really knowing and being sent home over and over! I'm hoping it's obvious and we only have to hit triage one time! I have a feeling I will second guess myself a lot since I didn't go into labor with Jack in a "normal" way. It's almost as if I'm doing this for the first time again and am going in blind! Hopefully it's obvious and we don't have to worry about it.

Best go get my bag packed for the hospital...no wait, best go tell my mom what needs to get packed and where it's at. Thank heaven for my mom...she's been a God-sent to have since I've been home!! I told Jon today that we need to work on Monkey's room...haven't even bought a pack of diapers or wipes yet! Second kid syndrome I guess.

Here's to a quiet week and beating Jack's 34 week record!! I have a few more projects to complete before this baby arrives!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 29

10 days until 34 weeks
24 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 32 4/7 weeks

Not much news from the Burns household! We are holding steady, still pregnant and still on bedrest! I'm going on 4 weeks, which I didn't think ever get to, but sure am thankful that I have. I had an appointment with Dr. Kemper yesterday and everything looks ok. Since I was just checked on Thursday, she wanted to wait until next week to check again. Right now, I still continue to have contractions, but things haven't been a whole lot different than when I was in the hospital. Last Friday night when I got home was a different story, so I had to take my extra dose of Procardia that night, but haven't since. I'm fairly certain that once they take me off this Procardia, things will more than likely progress quickly. I take my doses at 10:00 and 4:00 and on a very regular basis, I start having more contractions about an hour before I need my dose. They've talked about taking me off around 34 weeks, but I may ask and see if we could push it off a week or so. Not really wanting to go into labor at 34 weeks again!! We'll see what they say!

Jack has adjusted fairly well to having me home. He's been good (for the most part) about making sure I stay in bed. Our first night was a bit interesting, as Jon had left for a bachelor party, and he wasn't really wanting Aunt Nikki or Oma to help put him to bed. I'm only allowed bathroom privileges, so getting up to help wasn't much of an option. Besides that night, he's done a great job!

Yesterday, when I got up in the morning to shower and get ready to go to the doctor, Jack was all confused about why I was out of bed. So I told him I had to go see Dr. Kemper and he got very clingy, crawling in my lap and not wanting to budge! Upon further questioning, he finally said, "But I don't want you to go back in the hospital." Smart little squirt! It took a bit to explain that I wouldn't be going to the hospital, just to an appointment. Needless to say, he was glad to see me in my bed when he got home.

While all of this seems like it's been so long, it feels like it was yesterday all at the same time. Every day is another blessing and we'll take all of them that God will grant us! Jon asked me a few days ago if I had any gut instinct about when this baby would arrive...I have none! Not even an inkling...and I sure wish I did! Somewhere between now and then next 59 days...yikes that seems like a long time since we've aleady done 29 days! I guess we'll have one big huge poll about when this baby will arrive...there's a lot of days to guess on!

Thanks for checking in and sending lots of prayers!!

Jon, Libby, Jackson and Monkey

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 25

14 days until 34 weeks
28 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 32 weeks

Well, we made it!! I am officially 32 weeks and am home! Yes, I got to come home...after my second betamethasone shot this morning, we headed out the door around 11:15. So now that we've gotten to 32 weeks, we set a new goal of 34 weeks! We are taking things week by week and figured short goals are easiest to attain, so we'll take it day by day.

Being home is wonderful, but almost bittersweet. It is difficult not being able to jump up and play with Jack and to just sit in bed. It's hard not being able to help him with this and leave absolutely every task to Jon. If Jack is misbehaving (which he does...come on, the kid's only 3 1/2), I can't get up and put him in time out. We all took a nap in our room today and he just wanted me to pick him up when he woke up and I can't. Those things are hard. But flip things around, and I'm home and am so thankful to be able to see Jack and Jon all of the time! Nikki took Jack over to the church parking lot across the street to ride bikes this afternoon. If I scoot to the end of my bed, I can see them and got to watch him ride his bike...and also could see him not have quite enough oomph to get up the little driveway and watch him roll backwards! Quite hilarious!! It's going to take a few days to get into a routine and for Jack to get used to these new restrictions and alterations to our life. But through all of this, we have learned so much about life, not taking advantage of things, not expecting anything, but thankful for the blessings we have received! One of my friends found this video on YouTube and it's pretty perfect!

Thank you again to all of you who have prayed and supported us! Without that, we wouldn't be where we are today. The rule of thumb is that babies have to be 36 weeks to go upstairs to the newborn nursery and skip the NICU. As much as we want 34 weeks, we would be absolutely thrilled with 36 weeks or longer! Please pray your hearts out for this one!! The only way I've been able to get this far is knowing what the consequences are of not staying calm...the NICU...a place that where our baby would have the absolute best care around, but at the same time, not where we'd ideally like to be. So please keep praying! Only 2 weeks of strict bedrest and then I will have fewer restrictions...if I can sit in a hospital for 25 days, I can do anything! After all, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength!!!
To every challenge life throws your way, remember that there are always blessings in disguise...no matter what the situation may be! Maybe it's people that you meet, lessons that you learn, or who knows what. But I challenge all of you, to look at every situation God puts you in and find any type of blessing you can look for, no matter how big or small it may be! I know that God blessed us with 4 more glorious weeks in this pregnancy, along with numerous nurses who listened and gave words of encouragment, reconnecting with old friends who are there to help and support us, as well as all of the friends who stopped by to show us their love and support, parents who are willing and able to help us, Nikki who has become Jack's psuedo-mom for a while...I could go on and on! Some people always think the world is out to get them and that nothing goes their way. Yes, those times are trying...Jon and I have been there and it is nothing fun! But even looking back, there were blessings, even through the worst of times.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 24

1 day until 32 weeks
15 days until 34 weeks
29 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 31 6/7 weeks

YAY!!! The 32 week mark is only 7 hours away!!! I honestly never thought we would get this far with this baby. I thought it would for sure be between 30-32 weeks. I can't even begin to tell you what a sigh of relief this has put on my heart. I know at 32 weeks, this baby has much more of an easier ride if he/she ends up in the NICU. It won't be easy if it is soon, so we're still at the 'every day is a blessing from above' kind of goal for Monkey's sake. But my heart is now at ease...I am 32 weeks tomorrow and things will be okay!

My cervical check this morning was the same, which is also a huge relief. So this bedrest for the past 24 days has done it's job and hopefully will continue that way. Dr. VanEerden felt it was best to give another round of steroids (betamethasone) shots so I got one today, and will get one tomorrow before going home. We won't need to do Magnesium Sulfate at this point, as baby's brain is more developed at 32 weeks than even a week ago and doesn't need the same type of protection as before...another sigh of relief! From here, I will go home on complete bedrest (basically bathroom and shower privileges only...same as here) for the next 2 weeks until 34 weeks. At 34 weeks, I will go off the Procardia, but remain on the progesterone shots until 36 weeks. At this time, bedrest will change to partial bedrest. What does this mean?? It means laying low, but I can get up and help with supper and that's about it. It doesn't mean going back to work. It doesn't mean taking care of Jack by myself. It doesn't mean I can do everything. It just means I can be up and around the house a bit more than before or go sit outside for a while. Like my nurse said tonight, "It means you get to sit around and eat bon bons in the living room as well as upstairs." She's hilarious! Now...if I happen to make it to 36 weeks, then I will stop the progesterone shots and bedrest. Now I'm not 100% sure that means going back to work or not. My guess is that at 36 weeks I can go back for half days, but not full days. Let's hope that's a problem we need to figure out!! My heart tells me that I will deliver sometime between 34-36 weeks. My hope (and faith) is that we well past 36 weeks and I can go into labor naturally and our dream of having a healthy, term baby and all of our hopes in introducing Jackson to this new sibling will happen the way our minds have always imagined. I will have weekly appointments with Dr. Kemper to make sure that everything is still good. Dr. VanEerden felt that now that cervical lengths are done and we are out of the woods on many things, that seeing Dr. Kemper will be enough and we don't need to double up appointments. We talked about doing another ultrasound for growth, but this baby has grown nicely and hasn't been an issue, we won't do another growth until 36 weeks (if we make it that far!). So I have an appointment with Dr. Kemper on Monday and hopefully everything is golden and stable!  

Our one and only hope is that this baby arrives at an appropriate time and can go straight upstairs to the regular newborn nursery, rather than the NICU, and be with us all of the time. That way Jackson can come and meet his new sibling and we can get acquainted and have some good family time! That is the one of the huge things I am so hopeful for! Yes, I'm excited to meet this baby and find out if we'll have another son or a new daughter, but I am even more excited for Jackson. I can't wait for Jack to round the corner and we can all sit on the bed as a family and just love on this baby. We can count fingers and toes. We can figure out who he/she looks like. Jack can hold this baby as long as he'd like. We can try on hats (since we have a few!). We can be a family of four. To sit for hours and just be a family is what I'm looking forward to the most! I mean, this is changing all of our lives immensely, especially Jack's..doesn't he deserve a few hours before having to share this baby with the world! :) Let's hope that is what happens, rather than the NICU setting and we can have this dream come true. After all that happened with Jack, it would be nice to have something "normal" happen with us!

So we would like to thank each and every one of you for the prayers that you have said for us over and over! Each one has helped us get to this point and each prayer going forward will get us through to the end of this! We truly believe in the power of prayer and know that all of these prayers will get us through whatever scenario will happen!! Our faith has been strengthened once again and will continue to grow each and every day. Because as we know, where would we be without faith and God. He is the one who gets us through all times. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 This verse has been the guide for our life and will continue that way for every day until we are called Home. We thank God for what he has given us and thank Him for the wonderful plans he has!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 23

2 days until 32 weeks
16 days until 34 weeks
30 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 31 5/7 weeks

Today is another day...hopefully only 2 more days!! No real news, which is good! Since Monkey and I have had quite a few weeks of just hanging out and getting to know each other...I thought I'd share a few predictions about this babe.

1. This baby will not be a morning person. Monkey doesn't typically start moving around and waking up for the day until around 8:30 or 9:00. Jack was active by the time I was in the shower at 6:30...so maybe, just maybe I'll have a child that will sleep in!
2. Monkey is either going to be very bashful or very stubborn. Whenever I've had an ultrasound and they want to do growth checks and need to look over things to make sure there aren't any problems, Monkey will NOT cooperate! They always try and get some face shots when we do the 4D pictures, but Monkey just doesn't want to be a part of it! He/she will typically put his/her arm right in front of his/her face, making it impossible to get good pictures! And if Monkey is ever moving around and Jack has the possibility of feeling him/her, as soon as Jack's little hand goes on my belly...movement stops...immediately!! So yeah...either very shy or very stubborn...I'm leaning more towards stubborn...look who he/she's coming from!
3. Monkey will probably be a night owl. It can be an hour after I go to bed and Monkey is still moving and grooving around, making it well known that he/she was not ready for bed. We'll see if that continues after arrival!
4. Monkey LOVES being around his/her big brother and daddy. This child could be as active as active can be during the day when it's just us, but as soon as Daddy and Jack show up and start talking to Monkey, it's as if he/she goes, "Ahhhh....they're here, I can relax now!" Let's hope that love continues on!

So we'll see if these predictions hold true after Monkey's arrival. We can't wait (well...yes we can!) to meet Monkey and keep reminding him/her that as much as we want to meet, we can patiently wait until the day he/she is SUPPOSED to arrive! We've (almost) made it to 32 weeks...I'm fairly certain we can get to the end!

Here's a few of the projects I've worked on! And a cute little video of our little skipper...just because our life has been turned upside down doesn't mean that our little man doesn't keep learning new things!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 22

3 days until 32 weeks
17 days until 34 weeks
31 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 31 4/7 weeks

Here we are at Day 22! I've had two of my nurses whom I've had a few times both come and tell me they're so glad to see me still pregnant...not sure if I take that as a good thing or not! Are they surprised that I still am because when I got here, they didn't think I'd get that far or what?? I'm just glad to also be pregnant and still cooking this little Monkey!

The last two evenings have been a bit interesting. I'm currently on 20 mg of Procardia, to help keep these contractions slowed and under control. Well, needless to say, for some reason, around 4:30 (even after a 4:00 dose of procardia!) my contractions have started up again and things stay consistent until after my 10:00 dose. Kind of confusing!! Like I mentioned a few days ago, they put me on the monitor and my contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart...a bit scary if you ask me, but thank goodness, they slowed down soon enough! Well, to have this happen two days in a row makes me a bit nervous!! I keep asking if this is alright and they keep telling me that as long as they slow down, it's alright. I keep having to remind myself that they do this every day and they know when to get excited and change things up! I talked with Dr. Boyle this morning and we decided that we would keep the Procardia at 20 mg at the 4:00 dose and if the contractions keep up, then we will do a 10 mg dose between the 4:00 and 10:00 dose. Hopefully that keeps things under control and nothing exciting happens. The plan is to do another cervical check on Thursday and if nothing has changed, then home. If my cervix is more dilated or thinner (effaced), then that may change the plan. I asked today if I was dilated to 2 cm would that be enough to stay or ok to go home...couldn't really get a straight answer so my guess is that it would be check in a couple days and if it's still the same, then home. So cross our fingers and say lots of prayers that everything is the same, things are stable and I will be home on Friday. We are now almost to 32 weeks, which puts my mind at huge ease and what happens is okay from here. It may mean delivering early, but it may mean that God will grant us 4 more weeks and things will turn out as I imagined. Time will tell!

Jon, Jack and my mom came up tonight and we had supper. Jack is slowly learning that things are different for us right now. He was playing with his friend, Blythe, today and she was going swimming. When I called at 5:30 to see where they were, he was in tears because he really wanted to go swimming too. So after some major persuading and a little improvising, my whirlpool tub quickly became a swimming pool...problem diverted (for now!). I had started yet another hat today and Jon announced that it may be his favorite. So he got curious and laid all of them out. The grand total right now is 24 hats, 2 pairs of mittens, a scarf, and a pair of shoes...and I have quite a few days to go! Wonder how many it will be in the end!! Whatever will keep this baby in, will be fine with me! Jon has requested golf covers for Jack's clubs, so I'm going to try and tackle that in the next few days!!

Please pray for stability for Thursday and that contractions stay under control. So far tonight, things have been somewhat quiet...we'll see if that trend continues!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 20

5 days until 32 weeks
19 days until 34 weeks
33 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 31 2/7 weeks

Well, it had been a quiet weekend here at Hotel Sanford until this afternoon. I've been trying to go to sleep for about half an hour, but needed to vent some frustrations. I had one of my favorite nurses on Friday and Saturday. She must have gotten to stay home today because she wasn't here. Let me tell you, not too impressed with my nurse today. I'm normally very tolerant of many things, but today was frustrating. Thankfully, my mom was around so she could help me out with things, because for some reason, everyone must have thought Sunday was slack day around here.

As many of you know, this dependence on other people is killing me. It's so hard for me not to do things for myself. About the only thing I can do for myself is go to the bathroom, take a shower and get ready. The lack of independence is tough. It would be for anyone (I'm assuming) but I'm also not a person who wants to bother people with piddly things. While I am not as high risk as some patients that are here, I still can't do anything for myself. Things have been relatively quiet, so I have been dubbed the "boring" patient. (In the medical world, boring is good...to the rest of the world, it may be insulting, but to be "boring" is a good thing for me!). But boring doesn't mean ignore! One thing I can't do is get my own water...it is literally across the hall from me, but I can't get water myself. Yesterday, I saw my patient care tech (fancy title for nurse aide) ONE time! And that was to get my vitals at 7:30...nothing like waking up our entire family to get vitals, when I requested waiting until we wake up. Jon and Jack left around 10, so I was by myself the entire day. Not once did this girl come and ask if I needed anything. I'm not one to want to bother and call someone to ask for a glass of water, so I usually wait until someone comes in to check on me. Needless to say, yesterday AND today, I never saw this girl!! Yesterday was ok...my nurse popped in a few times and would get me a refill (she's wonderful...really wish I had her today!). Today, I had a slack aide AND a slack nurse...who rolled her eyes when I asked for more water. This aide must not be too keen about her job because I simply asked if she could wash my water bottle (since it had crystal light in it). One would think that by asking to wash it, it meant filling it up with water as well. I mean, I can't get my own water, so wouldn't that be the logical thing?!? Nope, got an empty water bottle back, and rolled eyes for asking her to fill it. Great start to the day...it's not like I ask for much...simply to fill my water bottle.

So that was a bit frustrating but then to top it off, I had a nurse who wouldn't listen today! I've had her once before and she's just ho-hum...not really the listening type about concerns or questions. Like I've said before, I'm not exactly an exciting patient, but I still have things I need...like my meds on time. Needless to say, I lost track of time today (in a crochet project...go figure) and didn't realize until 4:30 that I needed my dose of Procardia. This med is fairly important, so I called to ask for it..."Oh yeah, I guess you need that" was the response. So I mentioned to her that I was feeling some tightness for the past hour or so (not uncommon when I need my dose) so she said, "It may just be baby moving around a lot or maybe a few contractions...it'll stop in a while after your meds kick in" Well, kinda important to figure out which is which...before I even had the chance to ask to be put on the monitor, she was gone. You'd figure that if your patient mentions something like this, you'd check and see if things changed after the medication, but nope...nothing. Didn't see anyone again until my night nurse came on at 7:30. Maybe it was because Jack and my mom came up, but still...no reason not to pop your head in and check. I seriously saw the lady three times in 12 hours...not exactly excellent patient care if you ask me! It's not like they are crazy busy and don't have time to stop in for a minute and check. I don't know what my contractions actually feel like, so am never 100% sure that's what truly is happening. My night nurse came on and so I mentioned it to her that I had been having this random tightness for a few hours. She immediately puts me on the monitor and, yup, contractions about every 5-6 minutes. So she gave me my procardia dose early and that seemed to slow things down for now. We'll see how the night goes, but so far the contractions have slowed down. So I'm a bit frustrated that I had a nurse aide who couldn't manage to do her job today AND a nurse who blew me off. I'm not typically an assertive person per say, so I know that I should have just called her and asked to be put on the monitor, but at the same time, what kind of nurse doesn't check in at least a few times during a 12 hour shift. I know that HROB isn't exactly the most exciting place to be when you work labor and delivery, but still...kind of important to keep this baby inside and not have labor progress!

So thank you for letting me vent...I'm hoping that things quiet down tonight and my contractions will slow down and stop. My nurse tonight debated checking me to see if I've had any cervical changes, but decided that since they slowed down, to wait until morning and see what Dr. VanEerden thinks. Checking too often can start labor and we definitely don't want that!! Hopefully these contractions don't keep me up tonight (although, the fact that I can't tell the difference leads me to think that I'd sleep through them anyway...they're not painful, just a nuisance, but also not reassuring since I could have them every often enough to cause cervical changes and I wouldn't have any idea) and aren't doing anything crazy!

Other than today, things have been good. My mom got here early this morning so Jon could play in a golf tournament. He didn't play as well as he wanted to, but was glad to get the chance to go out. Jack had a fun day...we finger painted this morning, he and Oma played outside after his nap and then they came back for supper tonight. Hopefully this week is nice and quiet and home on Friday is still the plan! Here's to hoping for a better staff tomorrow!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 18

8 daysuntil 32 weeks
22 days until 34 weeks
36 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 30 6/7 weeks

It's another day in room 3507! Yesterday was a bit stressful, as the on-call doctor had a different plan than what we have created with Dr. VanEerden and Dr. Kemper. Caused some issues, lots of stress and a few too many tears, but things have been ironed out and are much better today. Our current plan is that since we had to increase the Procardia, we're going to keep things quiet for a week and then go home next Friday. Our goal has always been 32 weeks. After 32 weeks, there are fewer interventions that need to happen to help baby. Before 32 weeks, if labor starts, I can get Magnesium Sulfate to help slow down labor and more importantly, help protect baby's brain. The hard part is that this needs to be done about 2 days before delivery to be most effective. I talked with Dr. VanEerden today and while they don't think anything is going to happen in the next week (mainly since it hasn't happened yet), being here is what is best to get any of those necessary interventions if they are needed. This sounds completely off the wall, but one of my major concerns is myself...I don't really have the confidence in myself to know what consititutes going in. The first day, yes I noticed some bleeding, but didn't have anything else and everything was fine. Sunday, I get here, thinking absolutely nothing is different, only to find out that I had been contracting all day and my cervix was changing. I'm so scared that I won't know when I need to come in and that I'll be in every day, thinking something is going on, when nothing is OR that I'll notice something and not think it's important enough to come in...and then we'll miss the opportunity to do the MagSulfate and Monkey will have a tougher course than need be. So with all of those fears and worries, Dr. VanEerden was completely ok with one more week and then home, as long as my cervix has not changed. So there's the plan that we have! The procardia has slowed down my contractions, but I'm still having them here and there. They will check my cervix one last time before I go home next week and we will go from there.

I again have spent my day crocheting. I made a frog hat and another pink-girly hat today. I'm still having a hard time figuring out sizes and how to make patterns bigger, so I'm a bit nervous that the frog hat will be too big for Evan and the pink one will be too small for my friend's daughter...the downfall of not being able to have anyone except Jack try them on! I started a list of hats I want to make, so won't run out of ideas or projects to make! My nurse tonight even put in a request! Everyone keeps telling me to open an Etsy shop, which would be great, if I had any idea of what to price these at! I guess when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade!

Tomorrow is Friday which means another sleep over with Jackson! Can't wait to see him again and have him and Jon with me all night...to finally be a family again, even if it is confined to 4 walls at Sanford Hospital right now!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 17

9 daysuntil 32 weeks
23 days until 34 weeks
37 days until 36 weeks

Currently: 30 5/7 weeks

Today starts Day 17...a day I wasn't sure we'd ever get to. When we started this journey and we had 26 days (rather than 9!), it seemed daunting...it seemed a far fetched hope to get this far. But here we are...and hopefully will continue onward.

I wish I could say that things were staying nice and quiet, but last night they changed just a bit. Nothing drastic, nothing detrimental, but non-the-less, a change. I've started actually feeling my contractions, which in all reality, means that they are just getting stronger. Dr. VanEerden was on yesterday and thought it would be best to check my cervix and see if there had been any changes. Thankfully, no changes...still 1 cm dilated, although maybe a BIT thinner than before (50% effaced, rather than 60%...very minimal and expected). So more than likely, my cervical length has decreased again. Everything was ok...we had talked about possibly going home on Friday if things stayed quiet, but then I started noticing more contractions. Luckily, the medication that I'm on (Procardia) is still on the low-dose, so today we decided to double the dose up to 20 mg every 6 hours and see if that does the trick. These contractions are not consistent, which is key for active labor. Just because they are stronger doesn't mean that they are actually doing anything, like changing my cervix. So I'm not sure Friday is still the plan or not...probably depends on my comfort level and if I feel like I'm having less contractions. It's like as soon as I'm somewhat comfortable with how things have quieted down and we start thinking about home, something else pops up.

We can't complain about this...we've made it 17 more days than I thought! We're just hoping that we will get a few more weeks out of this pregnancy for Monkey's sake...well, and our sake too. It's just hard because this entire pregnancy, all I've thought about is Jack and him getting to meet Monkey for the first time. I bought the big brother t-shirt and the little brother/sister onsie and have just imagined him rounding the corner of my hospital room, all excited to meet Monkey in their adorable matching shirts. There's always been that small part of my brain that kept saying "don't get too excited or hooked on that image...it may not happen" but I didn't really think that would be the case. Now we're having to try and explain the NICU to Jack and how he won't be able to go back and see Monkey until Monkey is ready to come home from the hospital and that we don't know how long that will actually be so it may be a few weeks until he actually gets to meet and hold Monkey. Try explaining THAT to a 3 1/2 year old and see how much they understand!! I guess the only silver lining to this is that he himself was in the NICU, so we have lots of pictures to show him what Monkey's isolette will look like, the monitors he was on and so on. So maybe in his little mind, that's just where babies go after they're born. Hopefully my image will come true and we will get that perfect family moment, like everyone else does. But if we don't, we'll manage and I'm sure Jack will do fine. Thank goodness for Skype and the ability for him to see Monkey and talk with him/her. Pray for us, as this situation will be stressful for all of us. We can't predict the future to know when Monkey's arrival will be...anytime between now and August 5th! That's 65 possible days this could happen...crazy to think about!

We have a few prayer requests (like always!).

1. Please pray that this dose of Procardia will do the trick and keep things calm for a few more weeks.
2. Please pray for Jon and Jack, who thankfully now have the help of Grandma and Oma this summer.
3. Most importantly, please pray for a great high school friend of mine who delivered a little boy, Jaden, at 24 weeks while they were on a long weekend trip over Memorial Day. They are away from home and family and could use even more prayers than us right now!!