Be Careful what you wish for: Part 2

D4AA3B48-AFEF-42DA-B129-E4CBD66AFFE5So I actually need to back up a little bit in order to tell the full story. A week or so before my iron infusion I got sick (like really sick, 104 fever, chills, aches, sore throat, ears etc. “doubly” fun when you are hugely pregnant) a couple of nights before my infusion and stress test I felt like I couldn’t breathe (literally), my fever was at its highest and I was hot and cold and shaking. Not being able to breathe actually got to me as I was struggling sitting up in bed propped up by pillows.

I even (embarrassingly enough) recoded my own shallow breathing on my phone (mostly to share with my mom but potentially the doctor. I felt a little like I was overreacting (being Swedish and all) but I was actually scared. I ended up pacing the house for hours that night not being able to even sit up in bed because of the shortened of breath and pressure on my chest.

I called my mom a little “panic-y” in the early morning (afternoon in Sweden). She wasn’t concerned until I told her exactly how freaked out I really was. She diagnosed..heart attack or pneumonia and voted for a doctor’s visit.

Luckily I got an appointment the very same day (they probably considered my pregnancy as well) and luckily it wasn’t my heart (but since my mom is always right) it WAS pneumonia. I had to do an x-ray which is always scary while pregnant but they completely covered my huge bump with that heavy protector blanket and let me know baby would be fine (actually the illness is way more worrisome for the baby than the x-ray procedure). I was so sick that I even had to cancel two stress tests for baby and I .

When I went to my iron infusion that rainy winter morning, I was still  sick. I had to disclose my pneumonia diagnosis to the receptionist as I checked in, despite having been on antibiotics (3 days in and feeling  better). They immediately gave me a mask (making me feel self conscious and like a giant threat amongst all the moms-to-be in the waiting room area).

Fast forward to the week later. I had just been released after my 48 hour stay in the hospital STILL feeling feverish, achy and under the weather, complaining to my mom that my antibiotics must not be working (5+ days and I felt like after some progress I had gone backwards to feeling worse again. I have this issue with antibiotics too-might be since I’ve had a “few” doses in my life, where they sometimes don’t work or I’ll have to switch to a stronger kind, stay in them longer or double the dose). My mother wisely told me that the antibiotics only works for bacterial infection not viral ones…

Anyways, back to what happened after our Skype call. I hang up with my mom and feel instantly better after all the venting (as always) and put our 21 months old down for his nap.

Something wakes me up and it all happens EXACTLY like like last time, a huge fish of water streams down my legs and into the carpet (sorry TMI and about to get worse) as I run towards the tiled bathroom. I yank down my maternity pants and underwear and proceed towards the toilet but something is different…

Something is not “exactly like last time”, something is off and I have feeling that something is not good…

Not good at all…

Blue Christmas: Part 2 “The point of no return”


As I check in at the hospital’s main admittance desk, my tears well up. I know it’s so stupid but I can’t help it. I call my beyond shocked husband telling him that I’m being admitted (feels like I’ve “been here, done that” a “few” times before). I text my mother in law, who has been such a great help through out this pregnancy, as well.

With only a few weeks before Christmas, who knows what will happen…

As I sit and wait for my hospital room to get ready, I know logically that I have to stay put, for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy me and a healthy baby! I’m still starting to entertain the thought that maybe I’ll be released in a day or two (since I’m pretty sure by now my symptoms are NOT pregnancy related) and we can STILL fly “home” to Sweden. But I heard what the PA said, I really did, and I try to turn my thoughts around (being a slight control freak and maniac planer makes that extra hard).

It wouldn’t be the worst to stay home and take it easy over Christmas. I wish I could just snap my fingers and be transferred right to my parents house though, so I can relax there, (wouldn’t that be awesome!) but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. I know the long flight would take a toll on me and my now enormous body and obviously I don’t want to jeopardize anything. The PA is right what IF something goes wrong during the flight! What IF my cyst burst with not only extreme pain following but bleeding- I would think something is wrong with the baby-and so would everyone else. And what IF it wasn’t the cyst at all and something WAS wrong with the baby…

No, definitely better not to take any chances, better safe than sorry and all that…

Not what I was hoping and planned for but…

I have been known to dislike change buuut after a shift in thought process and a clear headed analysis of the situation I have also been know to change my mind, my plans and eventually able to “roll with the punches”.

And I’m also known popularly to make the best of any given situation. This is safe and good and we will just spend a wonderful Christmas here (hopefully not in this hospital) and spend NEXT Christmas in Sweden!!

My room seems oddly familiar, it’s private and behind the nurses station, around the corner from a fridge (which I know hosts yoghurts, cranberry juice, jello and stale peanut butter crackers), a large scale and a storage room for wheelchairs. The room is rather large but the window faces a brick wall and a little bit of black roof…
Even though I’m sure (in fact I know…for a fact) that these rooms pretty much all look the same-I feel like I’ve been here before…
I feel like I “lived” here before- as in the 36 days of hospital bedrest before my daughter was born…

When the nurse comes in I immediately recognize her as well. She doesn’t seem to recognize me but as I glance at her “staff” card hanging around her neck stating her name and her credentials I greet her with a “nice to see you again Eva” in Swedish…

It’s the swedish nurse who took care of me on and off after my water broke only 29 weeks pregnant with my daughter!

I completely bombard her with questions in Swedish and by the time her shift is over we both agree that I have a nasty stomach bug (as evident by the hours of nonstop vomiting and my kid Ss beng just as sick at home) but that it’s NOT pregnancy related, (but since my condition affects the pregnancy and the baby’s condition), I should stay 24 hours for observation, (but be released to be able to re-plan the holidays with my family).

As she checks my temperature and my vitals we chat about everything from family to pregnancy to travel, to various illnesses (she is a nurse and we are in a hospital after all). Of course I see the opportunity to pick apart every part of my four pregnancies (as well as miscarriages) and my different complications (poor woman), seeking out honest, down to earth responses in my first language!
We are really bonding and she is quite interesting. She makes me “promise” not to come back before I’m at least 39 weeks, saying babies actually NEED to stay in that long to be “fully cooked”.

The night nurse seems to resent our closeness and as she is taking over AND is about to set an IV I try to connect with her as well (but no such luck).

It takes five nurses to try to set the IV (my poor arms and hands are bleeding and black and blue by the time they are done-and they still don’t succeed). They fear I’m dehydrated but as they can’t give me fluids and I’m not allowed to eat yet (unable to keep even small sips of water down) they call for the expert!

For him, I have to wait, it’s after midnight when he comes in my room. “Him” being the anesthesiologist, sets the IV like it’s nothing and tells me to call him “Doctor Hurt Less”
“Be sure to ask for ME when this baby is ready to come out, around 39 weeks” (why does everyone keep saying that!?)

I have to spend an agonizing 3 days in the hospital without my family, until my fever is down, I’m no longer dehydrated and until the baby “behaves” on the monitor (being hooked up to the machines yet again checking the baby’s heart rate, fetal kicks and movement and mama’s contractions). After 24 hours I have contractions big enough to suggest preterm labor (probably caused by dehydration) which earns me another 24 hours.

After 48 hours my blood test results come back suggesting “a severe” iron deficiency.

When I finally get release it is with stern orders not to travel, ESPECIALLY out of the country…
They set me up with iron infusions straight through an IV at the “hospital main” twice a week until my iron levels stabilize. With those appointments plus my stress tests at the doctor’s office three times a week – I’m going to need a lot of help watching my other little ones at home!

When I get back to my family and all the packed suitcases, I get sad (and spend a weepy hour Skyping my mom, even entertaining the thought that the family could go to Sweden without me) but we all regroup, talking about the summer and next Christmas.

My family and I take a short vacation to “Knott’s Berry Farm” and spend an amazing Christmas with the family we have here. Not according to plan but definitely cozy, fun, warm and memorable!

It might not be white but it still is wonderful!!

Blue Christmas (part 1)

I know I shouldn’t be upset. This is in MY best interest after all and more importantly the baby’s, but when the PA says I have to be admitted to the HOSPITAL all I feel is dread…

 

A flood of memories wash over me, are they really saying my huge bump and I could be spending the Christmas holidays in a hospital?? and what’s even worse, do they really think the baby could be at risk???
I can’t believe it, as I try to laugh it off when asking if I can still go to Sweden (I can right? Maybe they just want to keep us for a 24 hour observation) the PA (my “friend” Eva, remember her!?) gives me a stern look telling me that this isn’t funny at all but quite serious…
I’m at a loss for words, what is wrong then? I exclaim!
Baby looked great on the ultrasound. The huge doses of pregnancy hormones have wired me shut down there (with no exit in sight for our little guy) and there are no abnormal doses of protein in my urine.
This is the answer I’m given…
“You have a fever, you show signs of pre-e, you are 30 weeks pregnant with a high risk pregnancy…”
Eva hands me the thick orange envelope, sending me on my way to the hospital entrance and admittance window…
I cannot believe it as I stare at the paperwork the words “acute febrile illness”, “cyst on left ovary”, “history of pre-eclampsia”, “history of preterm labor” and “geriatric pregnancy” become blurry.
I know I’m acting like a child, I need to suck it up and take care of myself and ultimately this little innocent life inside of me but…
This pregnancy has been so bad, straight from our miscarriage, I have been feeling so ill from the very first moment, I’m so huge and so hormonal and so alone and right now so sick…
I can’t help it, even if I’m totally “geriatric” (being in my late 30s and all) and already a mother of 3, my tears spill over as I’m asking (more like pleading and begging) the PA Eva one last time…
“If this turns out to be something I ate or a stomach bug instead of pre-e and the baby and I both look good in a few days do I get to go with my family to Sweden?”.
“Honestly, NO”
what??
“You have a blood filled cyst that can rupture any moment and even if it’s unlikely you don’t want that to be on a plane”.
“You could develop pre-eclampsia especially since you had it before or your water can break despite the barrier due to your big baby and this being your fourth- you don’t want any of those or other seriously life threatening scenarios to happen thousands of miles from your doctors or thousands of miles up in the air-trust me!”
“You know, you are not flying to LA BUT Europe, being from Germany, I know just how far and what that trip entails”
Wow, how come nobody had explained it to me like that before?
I was here today under the assumption that I was “allowed” to travel to Sweden, just needing the letter to give to the airline (and my meds, syringes and letter for those).
It feels like me getting sick blew every change of me (and us) going away…
The pouty child in me gets mad at her but after my tearful FaceTime call to my mom as I walk over to the big hospital around the corner I realize that I’m under excellent care, that I should listen to the professionals and that my plans (and dreams for the holidays) and my will means nothing when all that matters is this baby’s health! (And my own since I’m the one cooking him until he is completely [hopefully] done).
Before I even reach the hospital doors, I get the text that the kids at home are throwing up…

Perfect (NOT) timing…

The Friday before we were going home to Sweden for the holidays I have my last doctor’s appointment. This appointment is very important since everything needs to look great (baby and I) for them to let me go on this long trip (and back).
I need a letter from my specialists explaining the syringes and meds I need to bring and another letter explaining that I AM allowed to travel pregnant (being high risk and all…but probably more me being 30-31 weeks but looking like at least 36!). There is rules about traveling internationally after 36 weeks after all…
Of course (and cruelly so) I wake up that Friday feeling more nauseous than ever (and here I thought I was past the worst nausea).
An hour before I have to leave for my appointment I empty out the entire content of my stomach violently, including what I just “tried” to eat, (my mandatory a.m. “grande, decaf java chip frappe” make a come back -yuck!) in the guest bathroom by the kitchen (I didn’t get any further).
My mom and I debate the reason for my sudden “sickness” in a panicky FaceTime call wondering if it could be “baby related” or not…?
As a “curtesy” (more out of fear to be honest because as we know…you never know…), I call my doctor’s office letting them know how I feel, explaining that I must have ate something or it might be a stomach bug (great timing huh!?), could they (pretty please) see me on Monday (the day before we are supposed to leave?) but all they hear is the possibility of pre-eclampsia…
Of course they tell me to “come in right away” …
I dread my appointment while I wait in the waiting room (had to call my husband to come home sooner and cancel his last appointment to rush home to stay with the kids). I really really want to go home for Christmas! It’s all I have been looking forward to for months!! All that kept me going at my sickest most uncomfortable moments (not really bad moments more like weeks-months)…
I feel extremely nauseous but trusting that my stomach is good and empty already (but locating the nearest bathroom OUTSIDE of the office just in case).
I really want to get the “go ahead” (and the letters to show at the airport/s) to go home to Sweden on Tuesday morning, that is after all why I’m here today (I was here just days ago after all).
The nurse takes one look at me before taking a giant step back (do I really look that bad?) asking “How are we feeling today”
I hesitate, do I tell her the truth? That I’m miserable….Could this be something other than “something I ate” or a stomach bug?
Could this somehow affect the baby or have anything to do with my pregnancy? (How are WE feeling might actually refer to me AND baby boy).
Obviously I can’t risk anything.
Here goes nothing… “I AM miserable (disgusting details) but I’m suuure it’s a bug”
The nurse leaves to tell the PA (Our stern German  friend Eva) what is going on …
Eva checks me and my baby- ultrasound, “in and out” she even checks my cervix for dilation (which is NOT recommended so close to a long far away trip…)…
All good, baby nice and cozy in there, exit route rock solid. I keep my fingers crossed and say a little prayer..
And then she checks my urine for protein via the nurse, I get my progesterone shot and then she checks my temperature….

Triple dose of hell…

Thursday night I feel exactly like I felt before my son was born, dizzy, nauseous and achy. My stomach is upset and I feel like I’m coming down with a stomach flu. I’m up all night, throwing up and feeling particularly clammy and sweaty and quite miserable. This is it I think, this most be it!!

No other signs follow however, no mucus plug or bloody show (gross I know, sorry), no big gushes of water or contractions. Since I know I have another doctors’ appointment in the morning to check both fluid and do the stress test I make it through the night. I know that they will take good care of me at the appointment and will take every precaution if something is truly “happening”.

By the time of the appointment I feel shaky and am having what can best be described as bad menstrual cramps. They check my water first and the ultrasound technician is asking again if I’m feeling like I’m leaking?
Next up is the stress test where my contractions start coming about ten minutes apart. The nurse eventually count six in twenty minutes and has to call the doctor, scared that it is the real deal.

My doctor comes to see me from her office on the first floor. She hasn’t been wanting to do an internal exam since the beginning of my pregnancy because of several reasons. I am strep B positive which can transfer to the baby, she doesn’t want the water to completely rupture or start labor in any way. Judging by my contractions however she says that she suspect the labor process might have already begun, so she carefully checks my dilation and cervix. I am at 3 cm!

Well, the doctor announces that I probably won’t make it through the weekend. The nurse rushes to get all my paperwork in order should I need to check into the hospital before Monday and my doc reminds me when to go in; big gush of rest of/whole bag of water breaking, bleeding or feeling sick dizzy etc. Oh, I know the drill by now!

Since I’m only 36 weeks and this baby is still not considered “term”, the doctor tells me to go have another progesterone shot. If we are lucky the shot will prolong labor or stall it for another week at least. She does suggest the steroids for the baby’s lungs as well as magnesium if the contractions pick up.  She adds that if the fluid goes ANY lower this baby will be forced to vacate following my appointment next week, while the nurse whispers “you’ll never make it that far” and my doc agrees, “it’s a miracle that baby is even inside you still!”

I go downstairs for the shot and the contractions start getting uncomfortable in the elevator. I really hope this doesn’t keep getting worse or I will have no other choice than checking myself into triage.

As I reach floor one’s doctors office they want to monitor the baby again while also checking my blood pressure, pulse and vitals. Luckily the numbers have all come down to just a “slightly elevated level”.

The registered nurse taking care of me decides that since I have more progesterone left and it is usually recommended to take these shots until at least week 37, sometimes 38, she will give me what is left in hopes that this will stop the labor process right away and carry us through to full term. At this point I agree since I don’t want another premature baby and I just want us both to be okay!

I get my triple shot and as I lay on my side sipping water, I start to feel better.

It is only on the car ride home that I have time to think; well if one single dose of the shot would win us another week, what would this much do? Will I go past due instead of delivering early? Will the shot not only stop labor but also all the symptoms with it? I certainly hope so!
It is important to know that progesterone is the pure female pregnancy hormone and getting a shot of this very thick, potent “liquid” will trick your body into thinking it is pregnant- even if your pregnancy would have ended otherwise (if you hadn’t taken the shot).this is kind of the whole idea…

It works all right, the injections! If I was “iffy” before that is no longer the case. The goal you see is to PROLONG your pregnancy. The longer, the better. To fool your body with the very hormone essential for and in pregnancy. Except I am still pregnant in week 36 and I almost made the goal, won the race, made it until term when I get this “over dose” of the pregnancy hormone directly into my butt muscle, straight into my system! Yes, my contractions subside, yes things slow down…but this is the start of a very prolonged, drawn out, miserable week of labor trying to start and my body’s natural signals trying to compete with this outside intervention of the triple dose injection…

I come home to two (incredibly cute, blond) siblings fighting. They are usually the best of friends…until they are NOT! The little one adores her big brother to no end but also annoys him until he snaps and he can get quite rough with her. As I tell their father to separate them (the only cure at this point), I also add “we might have a third one before the weekend is over!!!”

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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!!

 

 

Move in Chaos and low Fluid Fears

Week 30 started with the news that I’m already 2 centimeters open (even if that is fine for weeks- this is very early) and my cervix is already thinning. The doctors discuss a procedure that is usually considered too late after 24 weeks but these specialist are willing to find a way to keep my baby in a while longer. The window is closing rapidly though and with all the extra hormones baby and I “should” be okay…
It is really up to me if I want to do something “rather drastic” or wait and continue to see them under heavy monitoring.

Continued bed rest at home is strongly emphasized but easier said than done. This is the week I choose to move in to a new bigger house with the following, not exactly recommended, workload. Escrow closes on Friday (of my 29th week of pregnancy) and we move in on Saturday the following day (living on the edge here people!)
We love our new home and are so happy it all worked out but moving a family of four and a dog is not exactly easy…(especially not during a complicated pregnancy)
Even if family helps it’s impossible not to stress and I can feel my poor heart working overtime.

I also have the under active thyroid to deal with and will continue to eat meds for that (messing with my system as I get used to them), there is still protein in my urine suggesting preeclampsia and I now have to see the cardiologist once a week to try to figure out my heart palpitations. This week they will do an ultrasound on my heart and suggest a monitor that I will have to wear for the next three weeks.

After our niece was forced to deliver twins way too early via emergency c-section last week her and the twins are all I can think about. We go and visit the tiny miracles, walking by where our daughter had her bed, getting major flashbacks. I feel all sorts of emotions and really try to offer my support without imposing on the young couple who I know have a long road ahead. The babies will have ups and downs but are in excellent hands and will get to stay in one of the best NICUs until they are ready to come home with their loving, brand new parents who have already grown up with the responsibility and are facing this unexpected challenge like pros. The twins will be okay and we are all so very proud of both babies and parents!

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Other week 30 highlights include stepping on a wasp (my foot did not need the extra swelling, trust me) when we are already late for my son’s preschool, taking care of our large goofy dog who gets stuck (head) in our new gate and hurts her paws dragging in blood all over our new floors (poor sweetie) and being forced to see my doctors every single day while figuring out childcare when my husband as well as mother in law are out of town.

The house obviously needs unpacking and we are trying to live in the midst of chaos. My son’s school is suddenly far away, I have no idea where the closest grocery store is (and hello Starbucks drive thru?) I even have to google map the hospital and doctors’ offices. Luckily I had expert help unpacking the kitchen and bedroom but it’s still difficult to get into a daily routine. Hubby’s family has been awesome but I still miss my own mom and her expert, calming advice and great organizational and “decoration-al” skills.
Even though this house and yard (loving the pool and palms) is a definite upgrade and I don’t miss our old house at all (except the memories), there are a million things to get done.
I’m starting to feel sick and tired of all the things we need to fix around here and it still feels like unfamiliar territory.

Husband leaving only days after moving in is not ideal and it feels like since I should NOT be lifting, unpacking or even walking stairs I can’t do much to make any progress in the house. I get annoyed by all the driving to school and everyday doctors appointments and while in the house all I do is directing handymen, gardeners, electricians, TV and Internet experts, pool guys and pest control people. To be honest I’m overwhelmed and worried about both my pregnancy and this move working out for the best. I know hubby stresses about all the hidden fees and payments and having him work this much to alleviate that, is not exactly easy on me.

Our dog spends her first nights whining and sad and even if the kiddos love the house, they seem frightened at night and I feel like there are hidden dangers for little kids everywhere. I drive myself crazy with all the lists I am writing of things that need to get done and am hating all the boxes everywhere. This is definitely unfamiliar territory for all of us!

I’m so glad we got this house and I know it will be our dream house after a few cleanings, fixings, screwing-s, tweaking-s changes, upgrades, (as well as getting plenty of unwelcome species to move out) but right now we are in the thick of things.

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After declining the invasive procedure and resting in the fact that I made it another week and that baby looks good and my body is staying the same I feel calmer!
As week 31 progresses and we get more stuff done, unpacking the kid’s rooms and getting accustomed to our yard, the house, the gate and the neighborhood and surrounding areas I feel better and my love and certainty of this house is getting stronger. I get to take an awesome break celebrating this new baby with amazing friends at a fancy afternoon tea at the end of the week which I love!

But the next day I feel the familiar leaking sensation and freak myself out yet again…what if my water just broke…?

What if this time the baby comes right away?
It is still way too early…

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