Freakishly Fertile…?

We don’t “try” again as much as we decide “to see what happens”. There are no ovulation calendars or planned intimacy sessions. There are no counting days or keeping track of cycles. There is no rush to run out and get pregnancy tests or religiously check my “body temperature”. We also don’t “get it on” more often…

BUT we don’t use protection and I’m trying not to feel terrified…

We don’t expect it and we certainly don’t count on it. I’ve heard the stories how you are most fertile after a loss, but that means right after, right? Not after a couple of months?

“What is meant to be will be…”

Do I believe that?

Me-the planner and organizer, thinker and over-analyzer!?

I thought we had more time…

Did we really, REALLY decide, DECIDE to try again or did we leave it up to chance and was that a “smart”‘decision (if it really wasn’t a decision at all…)

Are we just freakishly fertile? I mean since we just stumbled upon getting pregnant without even trying at all last time (quite the opposite actually) when some people try unsuccessfully for years…
Are we just “lucky” or could you even call it that knowing the end result…?

But what about this time? Was it Luck? A blessing? A choice, a chance, a decision, random happening, fate…
What?

I tell myself to not even check until my period is more than a week late and not even stress about my third cycle after our loss…

Because it IS coming, right?

Except it is NOT…

It is the end of June and I have to face that I’m already six weeks along-fear and excitement and all…

When I try to get an appointment to confirm, they can’t fit me in for another three weeks.

There is no way, I’m a nervous wreck, fragile, vulnerable and obsessed with the fear of blood and yet another loss. I can NOT wait this long.

I don’t want to go through this again..
I’m just not ready!
Why didn’t we wait longer, plan more, DECIDE?

I debate disturbing my very busy doctor (I’m sure) just to tell her the “news” and see if she can squeeze me in sooner.

I have to (I just HAVE to) do it for my own sanity (those around me agree).
My husband tells me that my doctor is human and why don’t I just try to reach out so that I will stop obsessing and feel better.

Except my fear is that she won’t answer…

I don’t want to tell anybody until I’m at least 12 weeks along…and then until my genetic tests come back…

I wish I didn’t have to tell myself, I wish I didn’t have to know.

I text my doctor’s private cell phone (hoping she won’t be upset) and pray for an answer…

My doctor DOES answer and she is completely awesome and can fit me in in a few days. These are the best news in like forever.

I can’t wait…

At the same time I’m dreading the appointment- even entertaining the idea of skipping it all together…

Something I would of course never do…

I’m crossing off days on our fridge calendar.

The hardest part is not telling my mom. She already knows something is up (of course she does).

Even before my appointment I start feeling sick. There is no denying this crippling nausea-something is definitely going on…

But will it continue “to go on this time”??

 

 

The pleasure and the PAIN…

I haven’t talked or singed to you yet, I haven’t felt you kick or gotten huge (but I did pick out a name-of course I did-that is like one of my favorite parts, and I did picture you and planned for you…and I longed for you – we all did).

Again my heart breaks for women who are further along, who might have experienced all of these things. A miscarriage happens if the loss happens before 20 weeks of pregnancy but a loss after 12 weeks is very rare…

I research (mostly by fanatically googling) miscarriage at week ten, eleven…and twelve. Surprisingly and I would say shockingly there is not much information. Especially not from healthcare providers and medical professionals. There are a mostly anecdotal stories from some brave women (that frankly scare the s*it out of me). Had I not talked to my very candid doctor I would not have known what to expect at all…

I have had losses before, very early losses that were more like super heavy periods-somehow I thought this would be the same (especially since I already experienced my heavy bleed because of the internal hemorrhage-preventing us from taking that much needed family vacation…). Women usually experiences the loss early one, right after the positive pregnancy test or even before-not even knowing about the pregnancy OR the loss. In these cases it IS usually like a very heavy period and even if that is also incredibly sad-especially of course if they knew about the pregnancy-these cases are the most common of the “1 in 4” . I still feel at a loss for the lack of documentation of miscarriages in the later weeks of the first trimester.

The personal stories are sometimes horrific and they are all so so sad.

Again, I know I’m lucky in so many ways. Number one of course being having three incredible, amazing, wonderful and healthy children already. My mind goes to women who are trying for their first child, and women who are experiencing this over and over again…
How absolutely devastating…

This is not my first baby (or my second…) I am not further along…
I have amazing doctors and amazing support. I have knowledge and help and healthcare and resources.
I know in my gut that this is absolutely for the best, that something is wrong with the baby and that she wouldn’t have survived anyways (but my heart…)

When the bleeding starts up again, I do exactly as my doctor advices me to. I dump the kids on my husband and lock myself in our bedroom.

I read stories online and cry (okay maybe not the best plan but I tell myself it is “for information only”). I read these terrible stories, especially remembering one about a woman who miscarriages in the shower at 11 weeks describing the pain as unbearable and delivering what actually looked exactly like a tiny baby.

Here is the thing, I did not know miscarriage would look or feel anything like this…

My doctor explains that it feels just like the beginning stages of giving birth. To miscarry at this week in “the game” means contraction-like beginning to mid-stage contractions-and they will hurt. You just have to “power through”. She suggests curling up in bed, trying to get as “comfortable” as possible, riding through and breathing through the pain.

The other thing I was clueless about was what actually comes out of you. It is seriously awful and there is no way to prepare…

The blood I could deal with and even explain away. I mean as women, we bleed every month, and then when we give birth, and don’t get me started about afterwards…

Talking about afterwards (disgusting TMI- do not say I didn’t warn you..) you know the chunks that come out of you…yes, this happens during this stage of miscarriage as well…only this time it will be bigger chunks and clots and eventually the fetus and all that comes with it.

Best idea is not to focus on that and take a “nature gets rid of what is not meant to be” approach. There is not much that you can do other than hoping that God has a better plan in store (or whatever you believe).

I start bleeding heavily in bed, curled up with one of my favorite movies on TV. When I stand up the blood is trickling down my legs.
I cramp exactly like a contraction and limp crunched over to the bathroom. What comes out of me is truly crazy and huge compared to the clots. And then something smaller but very different. I really think that is the worst part and that it is the fetus and that I’m pretty much done.
Please stop reading now if you had enough!!!

I was asked to take pictures by the doctor (please don’t throw up…or think less of me), so I now know that was the placenta…and the sac…

The “fetus”, still tiny of course a not yet a “baby” of course (nature, nature, nature), looks completely different-feels different, is of different consistency and color (think grey…). It has the shape…you can totally see it-it is beyond heartbreaking…
I know I shouldn’t have looked…but it’s pretty much unavoidable…besides I was asked too…

The after clots and chunks keep coming for the next hours, then getting smaller and smaller over the last three days but the bleeding lasts for another two weeks…
There; TMI finished!

I make it back to bed with one of those giant diapers for old people inserted in my mesh underwear (I knew I would somehow need them again…) and catch the end part of the movie…

“My best friend’s wedding” will never be the same…
There, I ruined one of my favorite movies…
Julia Roberts is so beautiful in this one too and Cameron Diaz so young a fresh faced…
And who doesn’t love the music…

My husband texts me for updates…and I send him the pics (come on doesn’t he deserve to be part of this experience…he is saying he can never unsee that and is actually extremely emotional…in a way that I have never seen him before).

The next day he takes off of work as well and drives me to the hospital where they confirm for the first time that the fetus is gone, I am no longer pregnant and everything including the placenta has passed. This is apparently great news…and I did it all on my own and should be very “grateful”…

Now; see it’s like I was never pregnant in the first place…

A follow up with the option of couple’s counseling is scheduled in two weeks…

 

No more perfect destination…

 

Only a couple of days before the safety of the second trimester I’m rushed to the hospital, it’s also the day that we are supposed to go on our vacation (bags packed, dog at grandma and grandpa’s).

At my last ultrasound they discovered-not only the lack of a heartbeat but-several centimeters of blood in my uterus. It’s an internal hemorrhage.

This could have been a disaster if I had gone on the trip apparently…
Think bleeding out on a plane unable to land, or anything happening on a location where the healthcare wouldn’t have been like it is here..

I spent the night in the ER. The nurses and doctor are extremely nice. The eerie thing is that the fetus is still there (whole and there…) but with this much bleeding they can’t send me home until morning. They take every precaution necessary and I’m very thankful.

My discharge papers still don’t say that I miscarried. I stare at the “pregnancy weeks” on the release notes. The diagnosis is internal bleeding/uterus hemorrhage.

I talk to my Obgyn specialty doctor, who is amazing, from my ER bed. She shares that she herself suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks that shook her so much she won’t consider going through pregnancy again (she has a healthy daughter). She describes her experience in detail and tells me what I can expect (even if every case and woman are different). I’m beyond grateful that she is so open and honest (brutally so…this WILL suck!).

I will loose this baby-because that is the “BEST” case scenario…

Since there is no longer a heartbeat, she most have stopped growing along the way (even if this started as a normal pregnancy…as the others…with no signs…no bleeding…nothing “abnormal” at all).
She says to come in on Monday and if nothing happened before then to schedule the surgery…to remove the fetus (my baby who I now have to think about as just one of nature’s mistakes and hope that my body will take care if it naturally…).

I’m a very level headed, logical and grounded person and I must admit I can understand the whole “logical reasoning” that “it’s not a baby yet”, “it’s for the best”, “it’s natural for nature to get rid of the unhealthy” but somehow it’s extremely difficult to wrap your head around all of that so far along when you were so excited about the actual real live baby ahead…

My insides are playing Darwinism at its finest…this one is damaged and won’t survive…

It seems cruel…

So the waiting game begins..

Might I point out that I could have been at a white sandy beach right now…sipping a pina colada (fine; virgin colada…wrestling three kids in the white sand…)

I know I’m lucky though, even if I planned and hoped and dreamed and thought I reached the safety zone-I’m not THAT far along…

I’m so much luckier than many others, I’ve yet to have a noticeable baby bump (even though the bump IS already there and WE can totally already tell…) or felt our baby girl kick yet…

The day before my appointment to schedule my surgery it happens and after googling AND talking in depth with my doctor, I’m prepared!

Or sort of…can you ever be prepared for something like this?

 

Close your eyes or you’ll see it…

We make it to the hospital (even if hubby has to parallel park, leaving the passenger side car door wide open). When security asks where we are headed we both yell “triage” and when he asks if it’s an emergency we answer “YES” at the exact same time.
I can barely walk, between the contractions coming every few minutes and the constant excessive leaking it’s fair to say that I’m a complete mess. I laugh one minute (slightly hysterical) and cry the next (more of a moan really). The elevator floor gets wet and I leave a trail behind me as we first enter the wrong floor. Despite of all of this, I’m only four centimeters dilated when they check. There is no questioning whether what I’m leaking is amniotic fluid however (the whole thing has now definitely ruptured) and since the contraction are so strong and close apart I get bumped up on the list to get a room. I tell my husband to hurry back to the house to get my mom as I wait on the narrow bed alone with my frequent contractions.

They hurt and I do have to stop what I’m doing and concentrate on breathing but it isn’t worse than me managing to text friends and check e-mails and social media in between them.

I answer all the nurse’s routine medical questions, briefly re-living my two previous births and deliveries, sending a wish above that this one will be easier!
The nurses get a laugh from my “pink or blue, either will do” dress.
My blood pressure is just slightly elevated and all my vitals seem fine, so far so good!

The nurses let me know that since my contractions are picking up we don’t have time to wait for my husband to come back with my mom before we head to the delivery room. They actually run me there in a wheel chair, I am six centimeters and things seem to move fast, I’m actually in quite a lot of pain by now.

I get a Russian nurse who is so stern and matter of fact, it’s quite stereotypical and actually exactly what I need right now. She orders me around-go to the bathroom, undress, put on gown, catheter is next-and I just follow her barking orders in a blank pain induced haze trying not to think about how it will get worse before it gets better…

The Russian nurse smacks her lips shaking her head as she reads my pregnancy and birth history. She tells me if anyone deserves a good delivery it’s me (I couldn’t agree more)! My doctor made good on her promise to have an OR prepped even though the nurses checking me in actually tells me that the scheduled Caesarian hasn’t been changed in their computer system (I’m glad I’m able to tell them that the plans have changed and my doctor is able to back me up, I actually feel really good about getting to try another vaginal delivery), she also has a team ready should anything go wrong with my delivery (baby or myself).

I feel so much better when mom finally shows up! I can still talk in between contractions but am not able to once they hit. How come you never remember how bad they really are?
The answer must really be the cliche that then you would never have another baby…ever!

Mom, husband and I share some laughs and talk about boy names before it gets really bad and I return into my fog of pain and there is really nothing else I can focus on, gripping the side rails of the bed tightly as one contraction replaces another.
All I want is my friggin epidural- this time I am all in and I will NOT be denied one that’s for sure!!
The Russian promises that I am next on the list and that anesthesiologist is finishing up with a patient as we speak. Before there is a nurse shift change (I’m sincerely sad she is leaving) she exclaims loudly; “girl; you are BOOMING those contractions”.

Not sure what the word means but 100% agreeing with her I wait while she gets the new nurse (a pretty, petite, brunette American) up to speed, covering my previous pre-eclampsia, baby’s broken clavicle, premature rupture of membranes, premature delivery, baby’s Brady’s, premature lungs and kidneys, the recent hospital stays, leaking, heart palpitations, preventative shots…everything…

The nurse agrees that mom and hubby should eat now while we wait for the epidural and hurry back because the pressure is intensifying and she is guessing that this baby will probably show up before midnight (thinking we have a couple of hours only). She is betting the baby is a boy while my mom bets a girl. As my family leaves my new nurse heads out to check on the anesthesiologist- seriously what is taking him so long??

Turns out, he was waiting for my nurse to call him and he had been done a while ago, now he threatens that it might be too late for the pain meds I so desperately need. While my husband and mother are getting a quick bite my pain level has sky rocketed but luckily this nurse is in my side, apologizing profusely for not calling the epidural guy sooner and rooting for me to get the shot right away.

He mercifully agrees and as the medicine takes affect things calm down and I feel some bliss and a much needed break only now realizing how exhausted I really am.
I haven’t been checked in a while but it is the nurse’s opinion that the epidural slowed things down enough for me to rest some and for husband to go home and put the kids to bed.

Okay, so yes, she is wrong! I can tell that she is wrong (oh I can tell alright), the pressure even WITH the epidural is out of this world. I realize of course that I can’t remember my other two deliveries completely and that you forget, ignore and deny the pain but this is crazy, freaking insane pain. It has to be-must be the worst pressure I have ever felt, it feels like I’m being ripped apart. I can’t communicate, it feels like I’m going to throw up (or you know die..) shatter and break. I’m so pale shifting in green my mom actually gets worried, they give me oxygen and keep checking my pulse and pressure, I’m shaking like a leaf (on a particularly windy day; read hurricane warning).

So no, we don’t have a few hours, no hubby does not have time to go home (forget about saying good night to kids and then come back) we barely have a few minutes. I am ten freaking centimeters! The nurse rushes around prepping the room (my mom later tells me the far end of the room fills with “emergency people” should anything go wrong), the OR is called just in case and the doctor on call is paged.

The doctor barely makes it in time to “catch”, I’m talking three to four pushes here! Fastest delivery ever! I WAS due for one of those!

The baby is out, she expertly turns the shoulder so it won’t get stuck. My mom experiences it all-telling me later that it was quite extraordinary and completely amazing! The dad of this baby hasn’t even made it home as I text “the baby is coming” so naturally he misses it all.

I yell for my mom to see if there is anything wrong with the baby but all we both see at first is “IT”, oh yes there is no denying this…

I have just delivered a screaming, red and shivering baby BOY!!!

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Close calls and crying wolf…

So I’m at the ultrasound, by now more worried about any abnormalities than the sinking water, since by now I’m already over 35 weeks and at every check the fluid is low but always seems to be enough!
I go through the routine of telling the ultrasound tec that “no, thanks, we are not finding out the gender” even though I have seen her before (I know she sees so many patients and she might have forgotten however) because to find out so close to meeting our little one would of course be disappointing.
She doesn’t say anything about the amniotic fluid being TOO low but does ask if I have experience increased leakage lately?
I’m not going to answer that, I know I get to see a doctor later and if she questions the fluid, I will have to go from there!

At the non stress test my baby is sleepy, they give me cold water and then juice to try to wake it up but to no avail. Nobody seems too concerned but I do keep an eye on my clock as my mom has already texted that she boarded the plane in LA and I know I need to be out of here pretty soon…

They try to stir the baby with a buzzer which does worry me a bit- not that it will hurt baby but that it’s seems so unresponsive. After an hour, I’m released and thankfully baby has started kicking! I still need to see the doctor and I officially realize that I will be late to pick my mom up. How ironic since I promised her that I had plenty of time and would be there for sure. I’m thinking about the added time of her getting out of the plane and getting luggage, keeping my fingers crossed, I will get out of here very soon!

Nop….

So, the doctor explains that she is very sorry but she feels that she has to send me on another trip to triage because my fluid IS on the border of dangerously low and of course thinking about the added infection risk and risk to baby (still not ideal delivering the little one at only 35 weeks) I have to admit to the random leaking. She thinks I will be fine if the amniotic sac is still there and full enough but she isn’t willing to take any chances, especially given my history.

I make my way over to triage again feeling somewhat defeated, I made it this far. I text my mom what’s going on, hoping she won’t worry and knowing she will understand. Then I call hubby, explaining that, sorry he has to cancel his last appointments to go pick up his mother in law!

At triage they are busy and I keep feeling bad that there are women in there with way bigger problems (and frighteningly smaller tummies) than I, some in immediate danger of delivering unimaginably early. Of course me and my huge frame, feeling fine, are not prioritized, which prolongs things.

I hope my mom turns on her phone as soon as she lands and that my darling husband will be able to locate her and help her with her bags and to the car, not that she needs any help- a seasonal traveling pro by now!
She might get slightly disappointed I’m not picking her up, thinking about the Starbucks and some mother daughter conversation I promised her but I know she will be more worried about the fact that I was sent to triage, probably or at least hopefully for no reason…

Except, there is (almost) always a reason of course, but I keep feeling that this long emotional pregnancy has been full of close calls but miraculously baby and I have made it this far. Since I still have almost 2 weeks to the safe 37 week zone (and three to the ultimate goal of full-term surviving even that week) I do worry however that if they think I’m leaking to much, thinking about the baby not having enough and the infection risk that they will put me on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy or even (gasp!) decide to take baby out!

Not getting ahead of myself I try to calm down saving my phone battery to hear from mom and husband that she was picked up okay, hoping to be released in time to meet them both at home. I try to focus on how excited I am to be able to show mom our new house and to hopefully get a few stress free weeks of hanging out, a lot more help, yummy home cooked meals and a few outings before this baby comes!

After I have been seen by a register nurse, they monitor my contractions and baby’s heart beat while they wait on the fluid results . She checks me and tells me that, yes! My bag of water is definitely there and from what she can tell intact!
Only there is a slight problem with that…it would all be great, except I’m not like other pregnant women (what else is new…!?).
My water bag was completely intact as my water ruptured with BOTH my other pregnancies as well…

Let me explain! (If I can because it is kinda confusing). My bag was there and seemed intact both times, except it had a small (tiny) tear in the upper quadrant with sweet daughter. It also tore with a little trickle (no gush mind you OR the telltale sign of continuous leaking with darling son) but with me being 37 weeks then and things progressing naturally after a few hours, nobody worried about that. BOTH times I was certain my fluid was NOT broken. BOTH times I thought it was a case of some embarrassing urine leak (or gross; discharge). BOTH times, I didn’t want to be a bother or even mention my wet underwear, because it didn’t follow ANY rules of ruptured membranes found online (don’t even want to admit how many times I have googled this during THIS pregnancy!…talk about embarrassing!)
But I’m glad that my husband and mom urged me to mention the leaking in my previous pregnancies, especially with my daughter!

At 29 weeks, the positive results for amniotic fluid was a big deal and the seriousness of the situation of labor looming beyond real. She was and is truly a miracle, since most (over 80% go into spontaneous labor within 24-48 hours and something like 90 within three days, we were incredibly lucky). They were able to stop my labor back then with drugs (that horrid magnesium) and constant monitoring and every intervention imaginable and it DID work. She was so tiny and underdeveloped when my water broke (read; slowly, randomly trickled) I don’t even want to think about the alternatives to the amazing little girl we are so blessed with!

So as this (know-it-all…sorry I’m sure she deals with neurotic mamas all the time and is in fact very knowledgable) nurse tells me, I most likely came here for no reason, I try to tell her about the quadrants and the small tears and the trickles as well as my previous experience…

Well, that backfires and she snaps “are you trying to tell me how to do my job?”…

Okaaay….

It’s not like I WANT to be right, (actually quite the opposite) but I have so much experience with premature ruptures of membranes at this point, I could probably write a whole new dissertation on this very topic!
I know she doesn’t know this…or me…and feels offended as I ask to talk to the physician on call.
This guy is nice and at least knows what I’m talking about as I red-faced tell him about my soaked underwear and low fluid levels. He agrees about the probability of a tiny tear. I means doctor DID send me here, I’m NOT paranoid NOR crazy!
He turns serious then, since my baby is still considered a preemie he offers to do a more comprehensive test and even suggest the dreaded bed rest at the hospital if the test comes out positive. I try to deliberate with myself, knowing that I know every danger and will know if my water completely breaks, if I start developing an infection and obviously if I go into labor. I also know my mom is probably already at my house and I will be able to, with her help, relax and take it easy following all the doctor’s orders from now on and we are so so close to being okay and out of “preemie-hood”. So I deny further testing and am forced to signs consent form releasing myself from the hospital (against the doc’s recommendation of further testing) but I do (of course) agree to see my doctor the very next day- as well as every day this week to closely monitor baby and the fluid!

I can’t wait to see my mom and my family as I drive home in the darkness and we get a whole week of good days and the fluid levels as well as baby are cooperating before the next close call…

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Making it to 34 weeks and beyond!!!

I will be 34 weeks next week, what a milestone!!!
Most people with “regular pregnancies” would probably not understand. The truth is though that must Moms-to-be have their struggles and no pregnancy should probably be considered or thought of a “easy” or “regular”. Pregnancy for all women is a risky thing and it is probably the “biggest” thing you do in life (I know some women can’t get pregnant and some women choose not to, I’m just simply saying that it is a huge event in a mother’s life, carrying a human being inside your very body for months ending in delivery with the added risks to their own health and wellbeing as well as the baby’s).

As much as this pregnancy has not been easy (read: surprise, disbelief, extreme nausea, low fluid, step B, UTIs, low thyroid function, bed rest at home, mild to moderate preeclampsia with high blood pressure and hear palpitations, two overnights at the ER/hospital and the overhanging fear that something might go wrong at any moment or WORSE; something might be wrong with the baby), it has also taught me a lot and we made it this far, which is such a blessing. We cannot wait until this baby joins our family and as long as he or she is healthy that is all that matters.

I’m finally allowing myself to feel excited! 34 weeks feels like such a special accomplishment, somehow I never believed that I would make it. It is wrong however, somehow to see it like such a feat, like what I did (or didn’t do) last time wasn’t an accomplishment. I’ve heard preemie mom saying that they felt like failures, unable to keep their babies in long enough. Like they kind of didn’t succeed in the whole childbearing/pregnancy thing. Like they had a choice…
What a joke.

What is worse I have heard of OTHER people shaming preemie moms for delivering early! That is not only incredibly stupid but obviously ridiculous and cruel. The ignorance here is beyond words and discussion.

I have a couple of great appointments where my mother-in-law (luckily back from her trip) takes the kids. Baby is kicking and contractions are mild and irregular during my bi-weekly non-stress tests and the fluid is low but stable an manageable (I drink more water than seemingly humanly possible).

I sometimes share a room with the most neurotic of moms-to-be in the non-stress-test rooms, thinking they might go into labor any second like right then and there (I must say some of the nurses are quite amazing in dealing with these situations). But I most remember that I don’t know what these moms have been through before…

I know the drill by now, reading my book, catching up on e-mails and texts, writing or simply resting. If baby is doing excellent the test only takes about twenty minutes to get a good reading but sometimes you have to stay over an hour (not fun on your bladder let me tell you). Baby always does better than mommy, with my blood pressure issue, but luckily over the next few weeks we always get released, on step closer to our desired goal, closer to to full- term and our actual due date!

I joke with everyone that the more time goes by the more certain I become that this lil person inside me is determined to prove momma and her doctors wrong. He or she will stubbornly hang on forever and might decide to never come out. I will probably stay preggers forever!
With that many injected hormones in my body, I wouldn’t be surprised if I will give birth to a 42 week ten ponder!

I’m beyond happy that my mom is arriving in a few days. I’m starting to arrive myself soon in what I call the safe zone of pregnancy! As long as I make it another couple of weeks my baby will no longer be considered a preemie and won’t need the steroid shoots or added care (unless seething else is wrong of course) I have never made it further than 37 weeks and start to fantasize about those last weeks of pregnancy when you turn so huge that everyone says you look like you are “ready to pop”!!
I know, I know it sounds (and is) uncomfortable but as every preemie mommy knows, it is longed for, desirable and so so worth it.

Talking about preemie moms, the young couple with their babies in the NICU are staying with us and even though their little ones are doing better, I feel for them. This is such a tough time for them, full of uncertainties and I almost feel guilty for making it this far parading around with my big belly. I shouldn’t feel bad of course and I know this but it is…hard!
We decide to have a bbq with them and my mom for darling daughter’s second birthday coming up (it still blows my mind that she is almost two, TWO!!! And such an amazing little girl).

The week my mom comes I drive to more appointments than ever, having more ultrasounds in a week than I had in both my previous pregnancies.

I promise my mom to pick her up at the airport and half-jokingly to not have a baby while she is in the air or be in the hospital instead of picking her up!
She missed my son’s birth by a day, thinking she would have over two weeks with me before he was due, and she missed my daughter’s birth because she had to be home watching said son while I was giving birth! I will never be able to thank her enough for rushing to my side when I completely shocked went on hospital bed rest at week 29, two years ago (she took the next flight out…from Sweden!!!)

And now she is coming again, on a plane, ready to be there for me- for us, ready to takle anything for a with me and I am incredible thankful to have her!
Thankful also to my mother- in-law who watches the kids yet again while I head to the doctors office and my bi-weekly fluid check!
I will pick up my mom right after…

 

Dream House!!

They never test my water because I fear they will hospitalize me if the test comes out positive for amniotic fluid. I know the fear of getting an infection but since I now have doctor’s appointment every single day they sure are keeping a close eye on me and I’m also carefully monitoring myself. I do feel like I know my body and of course I’m not stupid and would never put myself and baby at risk. Besides they check fluid levels three times a week (it’s really low but still okay enough not to be admitted to the hospital) I do non stress tests for baby every other day, I do weekly three dimensional ultrasounds and I get triple the dose of hormones (deeming it next to impossible to have this baby early). To get some perspective 2% of women in my situation get the single weekly dose of progesterone, me, twice as much!

The baby us not stressed (doing fine in there) but I sure am! Even if this new house is gorgeous, it’s not only fun and games moving into a bigger property, especially since parts of it is old (and has not been upgraded or maintained) and haven’t been lived in for at least a year and a half (and another year and a half before that). This house might not have the best karma either (if you believe in such thing) because several people have been forced to sell or have even gone bankrupts living here. These things are hard not to think about as everything seems to be going wrong right about now (even things that passed inspection or were fixed prior to us moving in). The four starred handyman that we picked on Yelp was such a disaster that not only did he NOT fix what was wrong he also messed up the stuff he was supposed to fix. This guy must have written his own reviews because he was late, he was loud, he was a sweaty mess and on top of that, he was expensive! Did I mention he didn’t fix a thing? I told family that the only thing he fixed of my list of stuff (things that should not have been complicated for a handyman by the way) was the dishwasher, but he had to come back twice since he ordered the wrong part. The part was a tiny spring helping the dishwasher’s door open smoothly which seems to be working now but fixing it, this joker cut himself on something leaving a blood trail in the kitchen, without cleaning it up! (Which I later put my hand in…wasn’t enough with the dog bleeding all over our new floors??)

I’m not done, even if you won’t believe me, the next day the entire dishwasher completely stopped working and the whole kitchen smelt like burned rubber…
Oh yes, the whole interior basically had to be replaced at our dime. Not even our brand new home warranty will cover it because they don’t even accept claims the first thirty days (which is stupid because this is when you discover everything that is wrong)
I’m glad we payed this handy guy top dollar. We are way too nice and naive and can’t help feeling defeated thinking we chewed off more then we can handle…

This week also included a horrible dental appointment for our son (let me just point out that I didn’t have my first cavity until after 30…and in Sweden you don’t even go to the dentist until age 7, because you know eh…before then…those are your baby teeth…). I tried to stay firm but you know they know how to convince you that your kids needs the most expensive (of course) treatment because otherwise he will be in pain (obviously) AND unless we do this it WILL affect his grown up teeth (naturally)…
So what is a mom supposed to do?
Anyways, more ants…even though we sprayed, and spiders! With our luck they’re probably all black widows and their cousins…
So more spraying, this time inside! Yes, okay the “green harmless stuff” won’t work? Go ahead a spray our house with deadly chemicals, it’s not like I’m pregnant or have two little ones and a dog or anything…
The requirement to be gone for at least six hours feels very safe!

Luckily we have great friends that we can hang with until we get to go back to our “dream house”.

Which feels good until someone mentions rodents in the yard…

A lesser issue but big none the less is this family’s sleeping arrangements. As the birth of our third is looming and getting more real by the week, (wait who is having a baby?) we really don’t have a plan yet. Hubby still sleeps with sonny and princess refuses to sleep with anyone (alone? Ha ha ha, forget it!!) but me (can you say; I’m turning 2 soon and I get my way or I’ll scream until I do…?).
This little lady can scream herself till a freaking frenzy, snot and crocodile tears, head banging, shortness of breath, blue faced mess all included! She won’t give up either, oh no mam! She will rather hurt herself (seriously) or violently throw up to prove her point, than just give up and fall asleep in her brand new pink princess room right next to her parent’s bedroom. I even ordered her a really nice, super comfy bed (of course to no avail).
She is even particular about how we sleep… I have to put my arm around her just right…or she complains…loudly…until I just give in…

Anyways, it’s on my list…
Sleeping arrangements…
(And don’t give in)

On a positive note, I made it to 32 weeks, actually feel okay and am home with my family where I belong and not in a hospital. Social media keeps sending me pictures from two years ago of me in a hospital bed which makes me sad but also feel so lucky and blessed for my daughter, proud of what she has accomplished and beyond appreciative for the outcome and the fact that with this pregnancy baby is still hanging in there (literally).

I know that even though my baby girl made it with me on constant supervision in the hospital barely able to move and under close monitoring until 34 weeks, our issues started at 29 weeks when my water broke. We were lucky that they were able to stop labor not one, but three times and that we had time for the steroid shots and magnesium drop and that we bet all odds after the water started breaking BUT certain organs like the kidneys hadn’t developed fully at birth and baby did suffer because of the lack of water and the difficulty of “practice breathing” and immaturity of lungs and underdeveloped brain function in there. We are truly blessed that she is now such an amazing, charming (stubborn), smart and thriving (right on target) almost two year old!

Hello, week 33, I’m ready for you!!

 

 

Braxton Hicks and surviving week 29!!

Thank God my contractions got fewer and fewer- further and further apart (the meds added to my IV helped- what a scare) and I was finally, finally able to go home!

I promised to monitor any further contractions and my own heart rate and even got cautioned to just call 911 if something were to happen.

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It was so nice crawling in to bed with my family even if the sun is already up and I know that this day will be the longest ever. Even if I have been mostly hanging out in a hospital bed, I’m utterly exhausted.

Week 28 brings me somewhat back to normal. We are packing up the rest of the house with the fear of not finding another house to move into hanging over us. I’m just scared we might have to unpack again- what a nightmare that would be (but I’m keeping positive since at least my pregnancy seems to be progressing for now). The whole week is pretty uneventful. I’m of course supposed to be on bed rest at home and I do my best to rest (I really do- knowing how important it is and terrified to get admitted to the hospital), lining up the nanny and my mother in law to come help while I try to do as little as possible.
I drive my son to preschool everyday still since I was allowed to do that last week (but too scared to ask if I can this week). It’s important that he goes not just for fun but for his development, learning and social interaction (besides he loves it…and so does his mama!) especially now that they say that we are not allowed to hold him back but we have to put him in kindergarten in the fall!

I know it’s just way to unrealistic (without around the clock help) to stay in a bed with a preschooler (with unlimited energy) and a toddler (with attitude to spare) and a dog (who thinks she is a human).

I try to take it easy but the challenges of everyday life are far from that.

As I drive home from dropping off my son, I get my usual “grande decaf java chip frappe” (started off with a “tall”- promising myself it would never be worth the extra calories of a “grande”, usually hate to drink my calories- oh well grande will never-ever turn into a “venti”, promise!!) as the friendly baristas ask me what week I am now and put extra cream on top of my drink (thanks…I think…I will pay for this now AND later, I know).
Then I go home to try to force my almost two year old to nap with mixed results (leading to at least one of us bawling- if not both).
We have a late breakfast together since I’m not allowed to eat anything for one and a half hour after my AM thyroid medication. Yep! This week’s appointment doesn’t give me answers about my racing heart but the test results do come back with a very under active thyroid (which of course can lead to tons of issues including developmental delays for the baby- especially if not treated in time- best cause of action is always to start as soon as you get pregnant…jeez thanks again Google).
I’m also being send to a cardiologist to check on my heart (as soon as they have an appointment available).

As week 29 approaches so do the issues…memories…and fears.

This is now the second week I have to take double the dose of the female hormone progesterone than everyone else in order to keep this babe in (administered straight into my buttocks with a syringe that in and of itself is on steroids…meaning huge)…
The pregnancy hormone floating around in my body is supposed to fool it that I am very preggers and will continue to be for a long long time, (watch: this baby will NEVER come out). Needless to say I’m not feeling great! The feminist Swede in me would never ever blame this added hormone but dare I admit, I’m weepy one minute, pissed the next and laughing manically the third…just saying…

Unfortunately I’m the very definition of hormonal (notice I didn’t say “female” or anything prejudice here…).
I cry hysterically when my husband come home at 7 instead of 6 as promised one night (and forget about those sad puppy commercials and don’t even mention anything about sick kids…)
Talking about my husband- he is just not my favorite right now (except the times I feel an overwhelming love for him and I just want to nurture and take care of his every need…hmm- hopefully I didn’t just admit to that in writing) since I feel that he is gone too much putting a lot more than doable on my plate right now!

I mean I woke him up in the middle of the night one night to talk about what empathy means! (Not popular I might add- but he wasn’t allowed to go back to bed until hours later- none of us satisfied!)

Tuesday night, right before the 30 week mark, contractions hit strong and hard. Again they don’t hurt but are getting really uncomfortable and its in the wee hours so I avoid waking anybody up (worked so well the last time) or calling the OB hotline (paranoid mommy style). Instead I do everything that they usually advice (except going to the hospital). I drink tons of water with electrolytes, I of course rest and try to lay on my left side breathing and timing these Braxton hicks that are unlike anything that I have ever felt before…(there are definitely more than “6 in an hour”)..

Luckily by morning they have subsided and I have an OB appointment that same afternoon.

That ladies and gents mean I just survived week 29!!

Cat scans and flashbacks

imageI’m frantically googling if cat scans are safe while pregnant as I make my way over to the emergency room. No time to comfort another mommy in need, apparently I have to calm down and focus on myself and my unborn child. When my husband finally calls back I’m terribly out of breath and my heart is about to leave my body. I breathlessly explain that they have to rule out blood clots (as well as all the other scary stuff the doctor mentioned) and he seems a little shook up that this is how his wife’s regular check up turned out (but probably not entirely surprised). Once I reach the ER I casually mention that “my pulse is kinda raising”. Luckily there is almost nobody there (I had assumed it would be pretty crazy,busy and unpleasant but it’s empty, clean and calm). They ask me to sit down by a desk (all feels kinda standard) to take down my information.

It all changes when they check my pulse (with one of those white thingies on your finger looking kind of like a hair clip). I see the nurses exchanging looks as they see the numbers climbing. Before I know what’s happening (and I’m the middle of telling them my address) two guys bring out (a very serious looking) gurney and literally lift me from the chair and force me down on it telling me to breathe “normally”, (oh yeah, sure no problem!).

I get an IV right away and my blood drawn as they do an EKG and an ultrasound of my heart. Hours later (after texting my mom, mother in law and husband to make sure they know that; yes, I’m okay but I might have to stay awhile and are my kids okay?) the ER gets a little scary. I hear a man fighting the nurses so security has to be called in, another man having a heart attach and see a teenager rolling by with a gun shot wound. I want so badly to go home and crawl back into bed with my kids and I know for a fact that I would be devastated if they have to admit me (what would I do?). The baby has been looking great so far so I’m still hopeful but next up is the evaluation by the nurses from labor and delivery.

Another two hours go by and they still won’t release me until my heart rate goes under 120. I get to leave urine and more blood and then just wait again. I feel lonely and isolated and like none will tell me anything…

It’s in the middle of the night when the nurses come to check on baby. I’m stiff and uncomfortable in the ER bed and I really have to pee again. The main nurse is older, really stern and definitely not the nice nurturing type. Baby is luckily doing good after a brief scare (trying to match mommy’s heart rate) but then another set back…

Contractions hit and they hit hard. It’s actually uncomfortable and I am starting to worry.
Now there is talk about taking me up to labor and delivery “just in case”…
I am 27 weeks…

Be still my heart and triage terror…

I should really re-visit my old blogs from the beginning now that I almost reached the same week of pregnancy as I was admitted to the hospital last time (two years ago) ELEVEN weeks before my due date!

As I said last week’s appointment didn’t end well…
Actually the whole day through me for a loop (a depressive one).

The morning didn’t start on a high note, I found out that a relative was admitted to the same hospital I was on bed rest. Since I knew I would have my own check up and specialty ultrasound across the street I promised to stop by and asked if there was anything I could bring her. I knew to well the panic and hopelessness she would feel and the seriousness of the situation.

I felt out of sorts as I waited for my ultrasound. It did however turn out well even though I felt faint and extremely tired. The fluid around baby looked average, all the body parts and organs could be seen- the only bad news was that what could be very wrong with this baby still showed up.
The ultrasound technician was male, young, quiet and efficient. This was the shortest specialty ultrasound I had had so far in this pregnancy. I was told to wait out in the lobby for the doctor (my own) to review the ultrasound. I was also told that since there were still some bacteria in my urine as well as protein that she would have to “check me again”.

As I waited I felt worse (I actually felt like I might faint for real), my heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to jump out of my chest, I felt disoriented and out of breath. Forget checking up on e-mails and in with friends and family- I could barely keep my booty on the chair. I noticed the nurse looking at me funny as she called my name. I had a hard time just getting up to follow her into the examination room.

She asked me to lay down right away then asking me how I was feeling which I had to admit wasn’t great. She told me my blood pressure was way to high and my pulse was through the roof. I had to rest for thirty minutes alone in the room, closing my eyes because the room started spinning. After the half hour of rest my blood pressure was better but not my pulse. After another half hour wait my doctor came to see me.¬†Forget about the regular check- up. She explained that I was having severe heart palpitations and that she had no other choice than to send me straight to triage (that dreaded place- just hearing the name sending chills down my spine) since they didn’t seem to resolve on their own.

On my way there I called my husband (who didn’t answer..hmm felt familiar), my mother in law to try to reach him in case I wouldn’t be able to for awhile and the nanny to make sure she could stay another couple of hours with the promise of updates. I also texted our relative that I will be in the same building and that if I have the opportunity- meaning if they DON’T admit myself into the hospital, that I would come check on her.

Everything felt extremely surreal.

The flashbacks as I took the elevator up to triage also knowing that the sweet young mommy to be (nephew’s wife) had been admitted only 29 weeks pregnant, this very morning, were real!

The triage is a scary place whether you are 29 weeks pregnant or 39- you are in for a lot of uncertainty and pain and that is a fact. The difference is the excitement for the outcome is much greater if that tiny human inside you is already fully cooked!
Triage is not only the place where they send you straight to labor and delivery or the perinatal intensive care unit but also the place we went when my body went into full blown sepsis after our daughter was born.

As I reached the triage my doctor calls. She is saying that she is sorry but I need to turn around and go straight to the emergency room to have a CAT scan to rule out a blood clot, also ruling out heart attack and stroke…
Well, that makes me feel a lot better…

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