Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Really is a labor of Love

This has been such a whirlwind for me. My emotions are not in check at all, most days are great, I find that as long as things are maintaining an even (albeit terrifying) keel then I do fine. But as soon as there's a bump in the road (and it seems there have been several), I can't keep it together. It's awful, because I am the kind of person who maintains composure A LOT easier then I have been able to as of late. I realize I have all kinds of preggo hormones raging through my body, plus I am terrified, and am living my life in a vacuum, at the mercy of other people, all things I do not enjoy. I try to cut myself some slack, but realistically I struggle.

Upon being readmitted to the hospital at 24 weeks, I came in terrified. Not as planned, no smooth transition. I had started having pinkish fluid, and was fearful my placenta was tearing away (abrupting), or that something was really wrong. Upon arriving, the drs and nurses were not concerned, its perfectly normal they told me. I was like - well if its perfectly normal then why did it just start today, why hasn't it been pink all along, what happened between today and yesterday to make it pink. I felt like demanding an ultrasound, figuring that would give them and me and better idea of what was going on. All these questions, and no REAL answers, it could be one of many things they tell me. Well that doesn't put my little mind at ease. A full 24 hrs later they did an ultrasound (a biophysical profile which showed not enough measurable fluid as usual....), and sure  enough my placenta was fine and the bleeding wasn't coming from my uterus. A brief sigh of relief ensued. Only to be followed with more questions, ok so why the pink fluid. The answer it's likely coming from your cervix - ok so new fears, why is my cervix bleeding - am I going into labour? And then the pink fluid stops as quickly as it started. Why? It seems I will never know. But I made it to 24 weeks 1 day!

The first couple of days were hard settling into the hospital. I miss home, I miss Hannah, and life outside here. But I know I am in the best place, and I have two babies to worry about, Hannah, and the one inside me fighting for it's chance at life. And I want that chance to be the best chance possible, which means staying here growing this sweet babe for what seems like a very very long long time. Mid February to be exact. Christmas, New Years and Hannah's birthday all need to happen first. Because if they don't then they will all look very different then they do right now. A whole new level of terror will set it. I have seen first hand how terrifying it is to go into labour after your water has broken far to soon. There have been several women, some who came before me and some who came after, that have had there babies. Each and every time my heart aches for them. I count my blessings everyday. Everyday I am still pregnant is a huge blessing.

So, today I ask that you think about all the moms whose babies were born to soon, and have started the second round of the fight of their lives. The mom's whose babies are hooked up to machines, and can't be held. Please give them the strength to endure that. Please give me the strength to endure this.


Friday, December 9, 2011

How I Managed my Stay at Home Between 21 weeks and 24 weeks!!

Just thought I would blog a bit about how I did with my stay at home between being discharged from the hospital, at 21 weeks 5 days, until my return at 24 weeks. I was really torn about going home or staying in the hospital, in one way I was in the very best place I could be for baby and myself, but realistically, they would not doing anything for baby until 24 weeks (viability), and I have a sweet little girl at home who was missing me terribly and I was missing her. We were not prepared for this to become our new reality. Our home was in the midst of being decorated for Christmas, and ironically, my husband was preparing for surgery the very next day (the day after my water broke), for a hernia. So, I let my house go a little figuring I'm going to be housebound taking care of Eric for the next couple of weeks. And then baby pulled trump, surgery was cancelled, and childcare in the form of grandma's and aunts and neighbours was established. I am soo thankful to everyone who has supported us through this process, I feel like I am in a bit of a fog, I cant remember what I said/did ten minutes ago, and the passage of time seems to meld together, but is passing so slowly. I can't keep track of things.

I am so glad I decided to go home for that time period. I missed my home, my baby girl and just seeing her in her element at home. We read lots of books together, and she often came up to me " Mommy I snuggle you". I love those snuggles and cherish every single one of them. I got to spend time with my dogs and cats and enjoyed home cooked food (cuz this hospital food is yucko). i made lists upon lists for how to find Hannah's clothes, how to run the washing machine, how to manage Hannah's daytime routine. I tried to prime myself for the reality that in just a short time I won't be here to oversee that its running smoothly. It was a good thing to do. It has made me feel like at least I have laid the foot prints for her to have some stability. That little girl is my world and I miss her like crazy!!!!!!!!!! I miss checking on her after she's fallen asleep and having her grip my finger in her tiny little fist. Someday I hope she understands how much I love her, and how even though I am not doing this to her, I am doing it for her, and her baby sister or brother who she will cherish for the rest of her life.

We planned an uneventful relaxing day for the Sunday of my return, we were going to just enjoy each others company, have a nice supper and then head up to the hospital. Unfortunately, the transition from home to hospital was not smooth. I ended up having some bleeding and pink amniotic fluid, so the return to hospital was rushed and panicked. I had to do one of the hardest things i have ever had to do, leave the house with my baby girl screaming at the top of her lungs for mommy to stay with her. it was awful. I felt like the worlds worst mom, and yet there was nothing i could do. She came up to visit me later that evening once things had settled down and i was settled in my room, and was really unhappy to leave but was really happy to see me.

They say the pink amniotic fluid is somewhat to be expected, as my water has broken and there's less of a cushion between baby and my uterine lining. However, it still terrifies me. I feel like I am living in perpetual terror. It's very difficult to keep my head on straight and be my normal positive self. I am trying to convince myself that everything is going to be just fine, and to minimize my stress, but it is very difficult with this fear looming over me. But I am making it my goal to stay positive. So please keep me and my family in your thoughts. Thank you soo much.....


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Not So Great Update.... Coming to you from the hospital...

I have to admit, I have been avoiding this blog, and well the computer in general for the past couple of weeks, it's way to tempting to google my symptoms and freak myself out anymore then I am already. The other reason I have been avoiding you all is because I do not want to admit out loud (or type) that this is really happening to me right now. I am literally hanging on by a thread and I am terrified every second of the day. I am grateful for each day though, and am trying my damnedest to stay positive and give this baby every single shot at life I can muster. That said it is completely out of my control.

On the early morning of Tuesday Nov 15th, I was asleep in bed and felt a small gush of fluid. I thought 'hmm that's strange, maybe I have to pee without knowing it and baby just kicked my bladder. So I stood to go to the washroom and experienced a second small gush, and fluid running down my legs, with no urge to pee. I was totally at a loss for what was going on, I never went into labour with my daughter, she was a scheduled c-section. However, surely I was not in labour, I was on 21 weeks and 2 days, way to early for baby to make his/her debut. So, I did what any woman would do, called my mom. She of course advised me to call the hospital, so I did, and they of course advised me to come in and they would determine whether or not I had "just peed myself without knowing it."

So, I called my hubby home from work, got grandma to come watch Hannah (after some much needed snuggles of course), and we headed into the birthing unit at the hospital. They right away had me do a urine sample (it of course was inconclusive), and then whipped out the big guns to do a quick bedside ultrasound to determine my placenta position. As they were scanning me it appeared that my placenta was covering my cervix (placenta previa - which was news to me I just had a perfectly normal ultrasound 3 weeks ago), so they required a more thorough look with one of the fancier machines upstairs (IN AN HOUR - longest hour ever - or so I thought then). So, we were wheeled up to ultrasound, and the technician there (whom I did not love as she was very tight lipped and kept leaving to consult with the dr) at least told me I did not have placenta previa (but something told me this was not good news, I mean it was good, but more bad was coming). I asked her how could it have looked like it downstairs and not up here (as I saw the scan downstairs and this one looked entirely different). She informed me sometimes when we have a contraction, the placenta balls up and occludes the placenta (GREAT SO NOW I'M CONTRACTING!!!! - was what was running through my head"). I have had many many ultrasounds, and while looking at them had never seen what I saw next, I could determine where baby was, and where my super full bladder was, but there was this third pocket of fluid (or organ as I thought it was, but when I asked the technician she simply told me it was part of the ultrasound and the drs would give me the results (it was infuriating - I wasn't asking for details per say I just wondered what part of my anatomy that was). After a few more "go empty your bladders and I will scan again", the ultrasound was wrapped up and I was wheeled back to the birthing unit (without any pictures of my sweet baby, another sign as I look back, that the prognosis was emergent). The drs came in and told me they were going to do an internal to check for any leakage of fluid through my cervix (which was not fun), and naturally produced a rather large 3rd gush of fluid. And it was concluded, I am in Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (or PPROM). F-ING great!!!

I was quickly admitted, and more drs were dispatched to my bedside, one of whom I will call Dr Doom and Gloom. He quickly informed (and scared the crap out of us), us that I would go into labour within the next 48 hrs, and since baby is not viable til 24 weeks they would not making any attempts to save baby, but that he (my hero), could terminate my pregnancy. As he was speaking those words to me, the very life inside me he was kicking and flailing around. I did not even look at my husband, but quickly stated that would not be happening. I'd gone from "did I pee myself, to sheer confusion, to utter panic and now to sheer terror - all in one morning." I called my mom and she came to the hospital immediately. I did not even know I was crying when she same in, that's how much shock I was in, the tears didn't stop despite no effort on my behalf to start them.

My poor sweet husband, equally terrified, watching his wife and his world fall apart. Thankfully, once they settled me in my room, Dr Doom and Gloom was relieved of his duties, as he was not being called in to deliver the baby, and a Maternal Fetal Medicine Dr came in to talk to us. She was great, honest, but gave us that little piece of hope we needed to cling to like a life preserver. She told us yes I could go into labour in the next 48 hours and so they would monitor me for infection here at the hospital, but I could also carry on and be pregnant for another 16 weeks. There are no guarantees baby will make it those 16 weeks, and even if it does, it may never have the lung capacity to breathe on its own, but it is a possibility. All the while this baby inside me was kicking around, showing me it's up for the fight (and probably protesting its diminishing accommodations). She said that if I did not go into labour in the next 48 hrs (which was a real possibility as I was dilated 1 cm) and did not develop an infection this would be a great sign, and I could then go home and continue monitoring for signs of infection and be on bed rest at home, and then at 24 weeks be re-admitted and monitored much more frequently and treated much more aggressively. There were things they could do then, as she put it.

So we waited, had another ultrasound the next morning, and the fluid levels were diminished from the previous days, but not what they expected to see, they figured I would have little to no fluid. This helped them determine the hole/tear in my amniotic sac must be a "high leak", which apparently is a good kind of leak, because it will be more difficult for an infection to get all the way up there. And as an added bonus baby still has some much needed fluid. Luckily for us, labour was not imminent, and I was able to go home for those two and a half weeks to try and imagine my world, and how things were needing to transform. More details on how that looked next update.

As of right now, I have some requests, I need all the prayers and positive thoughts you can sum up to rally around this baby, and me and my family and friends who are supporting us through all of this. It has been one hell of a ride (and not in a good way), but somehow we are getting through it. I need to remain calm and positive, and really focus on that and making it through this one day at a time. I also need you to pray that I do not go into labor, or develop and infection. These are all very critical things. I will try and update as I can but the nights are long for me, as this is when I seem to leak more, so I tire easily during the day.

Thank you for your prayers and good vibes