Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bed rest.

I don't think I've posted this frequently in...well...probably ever. It feels a little weird. haha. But since there are so many of you praying and following the twists and turns of this pregnancy, I figured I should update again.

I don't remember if I mentioned it in a previous post, but the rest of my prenatal visits are set up with the Dept Head of the OB clinic. It's not the civilian care I wanted, but so far this doc has been wonderful.

I saw her again yesterday at 30 weeks. Little guy is doing awesome, but my cervix is funneling. It has been shortening a lot the past two months or so, but none of the other docs wanted to do anything because "there's still enough." A week and a half ago, it was 3.25. Yesterday, the funneling had opened it up quite a bit and the length was just barely over 2. Little guy is also head down and has dropped a bit. So now I'm on bed rest. At my next visit, she will re-evaluate the cervix. If it looks like it's stabilized, I will probably stay on bed rest but can possibly get out and move around some more. If it's not, I will probably go on hospital bed rest soon.

Doc is hoping to keep him in there for at least 5 more weeks. I honestly don't think that will happen, but I'm still hoping. The longer, the better, right?

These guys seem to be loving this bed rest stuff. They both have to sniff me when they get on the bed before they will lay down, and they will rarely leave my side. At least I'm in good company. :-)

We knew from the beginning that this pregnancy most likely wouldn't go full term. I prepared myself for the possibility of losing another baby. I also made sure to prepare myself for stuff like bed rest, preterm birth, and NICU stays. I don't think one is ever truly prepared for anything that goes wrong in pregnancy, but I at least feel a little better knowing the possibilities, knowing what kinds of questions to ask, and knowing what other people have done in these situations.

I am surprised at how calm I am through all of this. (For now, at least.) I'm so thankful to have the little one stick around this long, so I don't know what else to be other than calm. I just wish everyone else would try to be a bit more calm. I can't stand hysterical and over dramatic calls/texts/emails, especially from people that haven't been particularly supportive in the first place. I'm actually glad I live so far away from everyone so that I don't have to deal with them in person. Someone would get punched.

I'm working on getting our hospital bag together this week. I've got a pretty good idea of most of the things I should have. Knowing that some hospital bed rest and a NICU stay are very possible, what are some things yall would suggest making sure I have? Or things I should probably expect during the stay? (I know some of you have been through this, so I really value your input. All those hospital bag lists on Pinterest aren't really doing it for me.)

I'll try to do a post with some pictures soon. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Baby showers.

I went to a baby shower yesterday.

Just the thought of it made me feel like my chest would explode. But it didn't. And I didn't cry. Or cringe. Or feel out of place.

Actually, the mother at this shower was a fellow loss momma. Regardless of how nervous I was, I really wanted to be there to support her and celebrate their new little one. And I surprisingly felt more at home than I have anywhere else in a quite some time. (Her awesome mother and mother-in-law and their delicious chocolate cake might have helped with that. :-) )

Last year, her son Matthew was born at 35 weeks 4 days. He had low amniotic fluid that led to some complications with his lungs and kidneys. She had been flown across the country to see a world-renown specialist, but it wasn't enough to save him.

Earlier this month she gave birth to his gorgeous little sister, Kate. She was in the hospital for almost a week under observation for low fluid and questionable NSTs. After a few days of not getting the results they wanted, the doctors sent her in for emergency 35 weeks 4 days.

(She's at home now, and they are both doing great, by the way.)

While I was holding Kate, I was amazed by how tiny she is. All 5 pounds of her. It was especially amazing when realizing that our little guy is just about that size already.

And then the reality of this motherhood thing actually started to sink in. Sure, I've technically been a mother for almost two years. But I haven't felt like much of one. Holding her and watching her tiny little smile and hearing her tiny little grunts gave me a completely different look at the little guy growing in my belly. For the first time since I peed on that stick 7.5 months ago, I feel like I'm really bringing a tiny, perfect little person into this world and bringing him home with me.

It's actually pretty terrifying....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Bryan finally convinced me to get the house ready for our little guy.

After he actually got me into the store, it wasn't quite as bad as I had been telling myself it was. I actually got a little excited about it. Honestly, his excitement probably helped fuel my own....especially when he started picking out some of his clothes.

I want to keep him in our bedroom for the first few months. So I picked out a corner for his crib and worked out how I wanted that space to look. And then, naturally, all this new stuff made me want new stuff. I had to have a new bed set for our bed. (By "had to", I mean that I literally threw a childish fit until I had picked out the perfect one and threw an even bigger childish fit until it was actually on the bed.) If we're gonna pretty up the room, we should just go for the whole room, right?

A few nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and stared at the empty crib. I cried. Deep inside, something in my heart tells me that this baby is coming home with us. But I know so much about all the things that can and do go wrong, about all the babies that don't make it home, and it's hard to not think about the fact that this baby could die too. So I just laid there, wide awake, wondering if this will ever really happen, if I will ever have more than just an empty crib.

My supervisor scheduled an appointment for me to meet with the Dept Head of the OB clinic last week. I started crying when I tried talking about all the things that have gone wrong in their care. So I just stopped talking about it. I didn't get the referral to the civilian facility I wanted, but I did get her attention at least. And the rest of my appointments are booked with her, so that takes care of some of the issues. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't handle it the way I had wanted, but since I stopped myself short of a really bad breakdown, I guess that's what really matters.

As of last week at 28 weeks, little guy weighs about 3 pounds, which I think she said was about 67% on their growth chart. I have a slight bicornuate shape to my uterus, so she said they would be closely watching his growth to make sure the uterus doesn't cause any restrictions. My cervix has been shortening quite a bit the last few weeks, and it's starting to....dip, I think is the word she used. She mentioned a possible induction if a growth restriction does happen, but I have a feeling he will show up before that happens. I will be surprised if we make it to August.

I'm trying really hard to stay positive.

Pictures coming soon.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Check up.

I had a checkup with the doctor last week. My regular OB was on leave, so instead of just letting me wait another week, she told the receptionist to schedule me with another doctor.

I knew things were off to a bad start when the blood pressure cuff malfunctioned and bruised the shit out of my arm. I still have a pretty solid band of purple around my left arm.

I knew things were getting even crazier when the nurse came back in with anesthesia and epidural paperwork. I was 26 weeks to the day and no where near going into labor. But they were already shoving papers in my face for something that I had already told them I didn't want.

I let the nurse know that I had been having a few contractions throughout the week. She said the doctor would want to check my cervix, so she handed me one of those horrible pieces of paper to cover myself with and had me undress.

At this point, I had been there for almost 2 hours. There were issues getting my progesterone from the pharmacy. Then there was just a long wait time. Then the blood pressure cuff and the paperwork. I was tired. I was hungry. I was frustrated.

The doctor finally came in.

I saw him for exactly 3.5 minutes. "Well, there's a lot of mucus, but it looks fine. And your cervix is still closed. Come back in a couple weeks and we'll check again." And out the door he walked.

He was in such a hurry that he actually tore me while checking my cervix. I was in tears. I tried to kick him, and it only made it worse. I was actually shrieking in pain. Not yelling. Not screaming. Shrieking. Like an injured animal. And the louder I got, the harder he pushed. Then he just said his piece and walked out.

To say I was pissed would be a huge understatement.

And then today I talked to the Tricare reps about giving birth in the local birth center instead of the hospital. Once again I was told that I wasn't allowed because I'm active duty. Even though the Tricare website says otherwise. I've been told I can't do so many things over the past year because of being active duty that I'm starting to wonder just what I CAN do.  (No genetic testing. No fertility specialist. No second opinions, for three different things. No high risk specialist. No birth center.)

I've had some really bad experiences in this place, but I've tried to let them go. I've tried switching doctors. I've tried to remind myself that this is almost over. I've tried to remain positive and calm.

But I can't do it anymore. I refuse.

Next week I will tear that place apart. I will raise whatever hell is necessary at every level possible until I get the answers and the treatment that I want. My uniform means a lot of things, but it definitely does not mean that I have to settle for subpar health care, especially when it comes to my baby.