"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

29 weeks pregnant today

Day 30 of bedrest
77 days left until my EDD
21 days left until 32 weeks

No major changes today. They did another 24 hour urine but we won't know the results until the morning. Yesterday I was hyperreflexive which meant that when they were checking my reflexes they were too reflexive but today it's better. There were a few times when they were a bit hyperreflexive but nothing like yesterday. That can be a warning sign of seizures so hyperreflexive=bad news bears. The doctor and nurses said that they are really really trying for a week but they anticipate it to be within the next few days...which we already knew but they said it again. I have been retaining a lot of water and gaining anywhere from 1-3 lbs a day. Between last night and this afternoon, I'd gained 3 lbs in about 12 hours. So I'm really retaining a lot of water and not doing well these days...

The bright side is that my headaches and vision issues haven't gotten worse. The bad news is they haven't gotten any better. My BP will occasionally come down a little bit but it always seems to jump back up. I get bad headaches but they have found that percocet takes the major edge off. If any of this gets any worse, it will be time to do a c-section. 

And yes, you read that right. A C-section. I was informed today, after all of my planning for an attempted VBAC that I will not be allowed to have a VBAC. To be honest, it was extremely difficult news to be told and I don't especially want to blog about it. I am feeling a lot of loss over this and trying to move past it and work on accepting the fact that my last baby will have to be born via c-section and I'll never know what  it's like to have a regular vaginal delivery. I've worked on a plan for the c-section with my doula to try and make my birth as much MINE as we can and am coming around to acceptance. 

On the bright side, some my dear friends are coming to the hospital tomorrow night for a girls night and to do a belly cast. I'm looking forward to that and will definitely take some pictures! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things are slowly getting worse unfortunately

Day 29 of bedrest
78 days left until my EDD
22 days left until 32 weeks

Today my doctor came and spoke to me about transferring to Abbott Hospital. The deal with Abbott is that they are directly connected to Children's Hospital, which has a Level III NICU. A Level III NICU is set up to take babies that are born before 32 weeks gestation. My doctor says that with the symptoms I'm experiencing as well as the very high levels of protein in my urine, my preeclampsia has slipped from mild to severe preeclampsia. With the mag sulfate and the constant flow of fluids they are putting into me through IV, my kidneys are functioning a little better but they are still struggling and spilling protein into my urine. The preeclampsia is just getting worse as we go along and one of these days, sooner rather then later unfortunately, it's going to come to the point where it could be deadly for me to continue carrying Ella. 

So, this afternoon, an ambulance brought me over to Abbott. It was an extremely rough and emotional afternoon. My mag sulfate was tuned up to an extremely high dosage and I was non functional. I was unable to walk to the bathroom without falling, carry a conversation without falling asleep or messing up my words or even answer basic questions. By the time I got to Abbott Hospital, I was unable to even sign paperwork or verify the information on my wrist band for admission. Shane had to sign my paperwork and they read the information out loud to me to verify it. I assume they said the right thing since my wrist band has the correct information on it! Thank GOD, the doctors here decided to turn the Mag Sulfate down quite a bit. I'm still struggling on the mag of course, it's a very difficult drug to be on but I'm able to walk with assistance, carry a conversation and I even managed to yell at Shane a few times for annoying me. Good sign right? :) :) 

This is, has been and will continue to be the most emotional journey. I can't describe what I'm feeling right now as I prepare to deliver this baby so extremely early. We are SO blessed with the amazing people in our lives who are praying for us, sending us positive thoughts and helping us out. We have NO idea what tomorrow brings, they don't anticipate tomorrow being the day, or even the day after that but there is absolutely no way to tell. 

I do know that I am so just so blessed with such wonderful family and friends. Wow, I can't describe to you all how many messages and texts we've received today. Being this incredibly ill really brings out the true colors in people. While I've unfortuntaly  had to find out the hard way that a few friends were not the best friend material during this process, just as I did with Olivia, I would say that the majority of the people in our lives have gone so way above and beyond my expectations and shown such incredible love and support.

PS. Keep in mind that I am on an incredibly strong drug that keeps me pretty dopey. If I've repeated myself or I seem redundant or something doesn't make sense, that's why. If you call me, and I don't answer, please don't be offended. I've had Shane return many phone calls because it's very difficult for me to carry a conversation without A. drifting off and B. sobbing my eyes out. 

PPS. Once Ella is born, this blog will become the "beyond" part and we will use it to keep everyone updated on what's going on with her. Please do let us know that people are actually reading it. I've really worked hard on ensuring that I keep our familly and friends updated and want to make sure my hard work is paying off! :) 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I wish this was going to be a more positive post

A sweet little video of Olivia to help ease the news of this post. 

Day 28 of bedrest
79 days left until my EDD
23 days left until 32 weeks

As you all know, yesterday I was hospitalized. We had originally hoped that maybe they could stabilize me and I'd get to go home in a few days but that's not going to be happening. Today, my doctor came and saw me early this afternoon. She said if my symptoms don't improve that they would have to put me on magnesium sulfate, which is a drug to help with BP, lower risk of seizure and help prevent pre-e from becoming eclampsia. Well, I ate my lunch and while I was sitting up, my eyes got all kinds of wonky. I had floaters going across them and bright streaks of lights flashing across them. I laid down and after an hour or two they hadn't gotten better, which hadn't happened before. I told the nurse, who contacted the oncall doctor. The on call doctor was concerned of course and decided to put me on the mag sulfate. I had TRULY hoped to be able to avoid the mag sulfate but unfortunately that wasn't the case. It has terrible side effects and really is just a nasty drug. 

So I was put on the mag and immediately I could feel it. I was burning up, it felt like my skin was melting off my bones. My brain fellt like it was melting out of my skull and I got CRANKY!! Like I was snapping at EVERYONE. Once they turned it down, I felt much better. I was still extremely cranky, and definitely spacey but I think the crankiness was in direct correlation with the idea of having mag sulfate. The other bad thing about mag sulfate is that once you're on it, you're usually on it for good so unfortunately, I won't be going anywhere out of this hospital unless I'm no longer pregnant or being transferred over to Abbott Hospital before 32 weeks. :(  

JUST when I thought this day couldn't get much worse, the results of my 24 hour urine came back. My protein in my urine has more then quadrupled in a weeks time. A week ago it was 494 mg, which pushed me into the pre-eclamptic range. NOW, it's well over 2000 mg. I'm not sure if that means it's switched from mild pre-e to severe pre-e though. I'll find out tomorrow. When they told me that number (I wish I could remember the exact number but like I said, mag makes you VERY spacey), I. COMPLETELY. LOST. IT. I mean it. I started SOBBING uncontrollably. I could barely talk. I literally snorted a few times while I was trying to breathe. I am so glad that the nurses who were with me were so wonderful. They were quiet when needed, and said the right things. Not the junk things that people say to you to TRY to make you feel better but just end up sounding kind of lame (no offense to anyone..). 

After I had my 30 minute  break down, i got up to use the bathroom and decided I'd have ENOUGH of the hospital gown so I put on the one pair of pajamas I had in my bag. The nurse had to help me because of my IV but wow. i can't TELL you how much better it made me feel. I mean it. I felt a MILLION times better. My butt wasn't hanging out, it came off my shoulders...well most of you know how hospital gowns are! They suck!! So now I need more jammies because I am NOT putting that hospital gown on until I give birth! 

Speaking of giving birth, we have NO idea when that will happen. We are doing EVERYTHING we can to push it out until 32 weeks. They are hopeful but it just depends on what my body does. Luckilly, Ella is doing great and my liver is completely functional. My kidneys are not doing so great (which is why i'm spilling so much protein). The mag is helping with that though. I've already seen a vast improvement in my urine outtake since the mag and constant fluids have started. But at this point, we're counting days. I have been given the steroids so by tomorrow, Ella's lungs will be doing well. Every SINGLE day at this point will help. I'm 2 days from turning 29 weeks so if we can make it last 3 weeks and 2 days that would be splendid but like I said, every single day counts right now. Heck, even hours count. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

In the hospital

But hopefully not too soon!

Day 27 of bedrest
80 days left until my EDD
Today I went to my doctors visit and they sent me into the hospital. My BP meds aren't working and I'm having some nasty symptoms (ones I mentioned a few days ago) so they want to try different meds to see if they can get things under control. It's possible I'll be here a few days or it's possible I'll be here until I deliver. They started betamethozone shots (steroids) to help mature Ella's lungs just to be on the safe side. I did a lot of crying, but I'm trying to make my peace with it. We knew this day would come and there is still a chance I'll get to go back home. We're still praying for 32 weeks but there is something comforting about knowing that the steroids have been started and her lungs are developing as I type this. I certainly don't want our baby to be born 3 months early, but if she is, I feel as emotionally prepared as I possibly could be at this point. That doesn't mean I'm not mourning the loss of this pregnancy, or that there won't be lots of tears, worries, stressful moments and panic but I think I'm Handel this okay, considering everything. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who needs bedrooms?? :)

Day 26 of bedrest
81 days left until my EDD

Today we talked about it and decided to give a trial run of putting our bed in our living room. I'm very uncomfortable on the couch, plus the simple act of sitting up raises my BP up to pretty dangerous levels. We were originally going to put the couch in our bedroom but our hallway is pretty narrow, plus it has a weird angle so our couch wouldn't fit in there. My friend Deanna suggested that we put it in the dining area and move the dining room table and chairs into our bedroom. I wanted to still have our table and chairs so we decided to put the couch up against the wall in the dining area and put the table in front of it. As long as no one sits on my cream colored couch to eat (which I'll physically injure anyone who does ha ha), I think it will be okay. It's a bit more crowded in here, without a doubt, but it's not actually as bad as I originally thought it would be. Olivia still has playing room, and we still have the chair for people to sit on, plus the bed for people to sit on if they were so inclined. The way we figure is that A. the more comfortable I am, the lower my BP is (hopefully...) and B. the only people who are coming to our place these days are people we know and like and what do they care if our bed is in our living room (okay, Shane didn't care about that, only I did ha ha...what can I say, I'm slightly neurotic!). I do know this, I am much more comfortable and it's better then laying in our bedroom all day with nothing to do! 

Of course Olivia thought it was just the best thing EVER! She was jumping up onto the bed, running across it, getting down, running back over to the other side...lather rinse repeat. I got a short video clip of it that I'm including with this blog post. It was funny at first, except it was WAY past her bedtime. Until she gets used to having the bed in our living room, I have a feeling that bedtime is going to be prettttty tricky! Hopefully it doesn't take TOO long! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How Preemie Moms are Chosen

Olivia in utero

Ella, in utero

How Preemie Moms Are Chosen
(Adapted from Erma Bombeck)

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments
for propagation with great care and deliberation.
As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
"Beth Armstrong, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Marjorie Forrest, daughter.
Patron Saint, Celia. Carrie Rutledge, twins. Patron Saint ... give her Gerard.
He's used to profanity."
Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie."
The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter?
That would be cruel." "But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it.
I watched her today.
She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother.
You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own.
She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."
"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect.
She has just the right amount of selfishness."
The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive.
Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.
She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied.
She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary.
When her child says 'mama' for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see – ignorance, cruelty, prejudice – and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone.
I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.
God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Yet another hospital visit..

I just realized, you can hear Ella's heartbeat in the background of this!!

Day 25 of bedrest
82 days left until my EDD

Yesterday (Friday 9-24), my BP went up to 178/111 while laying down. I figured it was a fluke so I waited 15 minutes and checked it again. This time it was 166/104. I'm supposed to call if it's over 160/100. So I called into L&D and of course, they wanted me to come in. Shane came and picked Olivia and I up and we all trooped over to L&D. When we got there, I was sitting on the bed and my eyes started bugging out. It felt almost like I was looking through a kalaidescope except everything was how it should be. Or like when you see on cartoons how ants see? All the different facets? That's how the room looked. Kind of spotty. Very bad sign. I laid down and the nurses came in and took my BP. It was still pretty high, I believe high 140's/100 or something like that. They waited about 15 minutes and took it again and it was in the mid 150's/high 90's so essentially the same. They checked my urine (all this talk about pee in this blog!!) and the protein was +3--very bad. 

One of the doctors came in and started talking about options. She said that at some point soon, maybe today (as in yesterday), we were going to need to start Magnesium Sulfate. Now, I was on mag when I was pregnant with Olivia and those of you who came in and saw me at the hospital, or who spoke to me on the phone may remember how totally spaced out I was. NOT my idea of a good time.  A little later, my BP came down a little bit (must safer numbers, or at least for me) and another doctor came in. He said that they were going to take another urine sample directly from my bladder and check it. If the protein didn't show up as trace or +1, he would call my doctor over at Abbott Hospital (where I'll have to deliver if I deliver before 32 weeks) and that essentially I wasn't going home. We were extremely nervous at that point. They did a catheter speciman (I wont go into the details of this but pretty much on of the worst things EVER..and keep in mind that I have had a baby!!) and sent it to the lab. Everyone was holding their breath, even our nurses. My main nurse was literally checking the lab results every few minutes waiting for them to get the results back to us. She finally called and had them tell her over the phone. Thank GOD, the protein was showing up as +1. It was a pretty nerve wracking night. 

After about 6 hours in L&D, after having almost been admitted and quite possibly had Ella, we were able to go home. Same old strict bedrest and they doubled my BP meds. The unfortunate thing is that my preeclampsia seems to be getting worse a little at a time. Today, I was sitting up for about 15 minutes and I started getting the spotty vision again. For the first half of the day, my fingers were swollen to the point where I had a difficult time closing them and that was just with laying down. 

I added a video that Shane took of Olivia being super silly at the hospital last night as a kind of bright spot in the post. It's definitely worth watching. She was being pretty adorable (up until bedtime when she got SUPER cranky!!). 

Just keep sending prayers and positive thoughts our way...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

28 weeks!!

Day 23 of bedrest
84 days left until my EDD

Today I turned 28 weeks and am starting the third trimester. This is a milestone in preparing for a premature birth. Even though it's incredibly early, and most DEFINITELY not when you want baby born, the chances of survival are 90-95%. Plus, MN has some world renown hospitals, including the level III NICU at at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, which is where Ella would be if she were born before 32 weeks. This is what the March of Dimes has to say on babies born between 28-31 weeks: 
"These babies look quite similar to babies born earlier, although they are larger (usually between 2 and 4 pounds) and even more likely to survive (about 96 percent) (13). Many require treatment with oxygen, surfactant and assistance to help them breathe. Some of these babies can be fed breastmilk or formula through a tube placed through their nose or mouth into the stomach, although others need to be fed intravenously.
Some of these babies can cry. They can move, although their movements may be jerky. A baby born at this time can grasp a person’s finger. These babies can open their eyes, and they begin to stay awake and alert for short periods.
Babies born at 28 to 31 weeks are at risk for the complications discussed above. When complications occur, however, they may not be as severe as in babies born earlier. Babies born with very low birthweight (less than 3 pounds, 4 ounces) remain at risk for serious disabilities."
Because we're facing the possibility of Ella being born soon, on Monday at my doctors appointment I'm going to discuss when we would consider doing steroid shots to help develop Ella's lungs. If I remember with Olivia, it takes 2 days for them to be effective so we would want to do them at least a few days prior to delivery. We had them a week before Olivia was born and she was born with 100% lung capacity. I'm praying that Ella will be just as lucky. 

Keep praying for 32 (OR MORE!!) weeks! But we're preparing for the possibility that it could happen much sooner. Every day, even HOUR counts at this point. Weeks are golden!! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

3 weeks to the day

Day 22 of bedrest
85 days left until my EDD

3 weeks ago today, I went into the doctors office with a high blood pressure reading of 149/92. When I got to the doctors, it was 162/102. I had +1 protein in my urine and was put on immediate bed rest with orders to follow up with my primary OB the following Friday after being given a diagnosis of PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension). 

Exactly 3 weeks later, on the day before I turned 28 weeks, I find out that it is no longer PIH but now it is mild preeclampsia. I knew this day was going to come, and after all the symptoms from this weekend as well as my 24 hour urine, I wasn't surprised. That doesn't make me any less happy about it. I know, I should be thrilled that I am still pregnant but I knew at 24 weeks, when I wasn't put on bed rest that I wasn't going to be induced. PIH isn't something that they induce for as far as I'm aware. Or at least not at 24 weeks they don't. It's been a waiting game up until now for it to turn into preeclampsia. With the hypertension, there was a hope, even a good chance that the BP meds and the bed rest would get me to full term. Of course, there is a chance that I could get to full term with preeclampsia but with my history of severe preeclampsia, the chances of that happening are pretty slim. I would say at this point, I'm praying to make it an extra 4 weeks to get to 32 weeks. 

I know that people are going to read this and think I'm just being pessimistic. That is not the case. I'm simply preparing myself for the likelihood of what could happen. And if I'm wrong, I will completely allow everyone to laugh at me and say "I told you so!" (but, so you know, you can fully expect a snotty remark and me to stick my tongue out at you because I'm super mature like that!). If you mix in the fact that the protein in my urine has literally tripled in the last two weeks, the fact that my ankles and hands swell if I'm upright for longer then about 10 minutes (sometimes shorter) and the fact that I've had daily headaches since Saturday, things aren't looking the brightest. Right now, I'm working on trying to emotionally and physically prepare myself for a preemie who could potentially spend a very long time in the NICU and spending each day thanking God that Ella is still in my belly. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A post about pee

No, that is not mine. ;-) 

Day 21 of bedrest
86 days left until my EDD

Is that title completely inappropriate? Sure, but that's what this is! It's all about pee. I got the results back from my 24 hour urine test today...definitely not good. :( There is 494 mg of protein spilling into my urine from my kidneys. According to the Mayo Clinic's fact sheet on preeclampsia, 300 mg or more of protein is a sign of pre-e. I have also been having a lot of swelling as well as headaches everyday since Saturday. Last night when I got up to use the bathroom and brush my teeth, my feet swelled up in the short amount of time I was doing that. While my blood pressure is being controlled within reason by the BP drugs and bed rest, I am concerned about the levels of protein that my kidneys are spilling. I spoke to the nurse today and she said that the levels are high but "not high enough to take action--YET". I can't help but focus on the YET part of that sentence. I'll be 28 weeks on Thursday and while 9 out of 10 babies born at 28 weeks survive, it's obviously not the choice time for baby to be born. I'm still praying for at least 32 weeks, but the protein spilling in my urine has almost tripled in the last 2 weeks. 

So needless to say, I feel like at this point we're playing a waiting game. There is just NO way to know when Ella will be here. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

One step forward, two steps back

Ella, 27w 4d
 If you click on the pictures, you can see them much larger.

Day 20 of bedrest
87 days left until my EDD

I had my doctors appointment today and had lots of news. Some bad news was I gained 3.5 pounds since Thursday which means I'm retaining A LOT of water. Which I kind of knew because I'm not peeing nearly as much as I should be in spite of drinking more then enough. I have A LOT of swelling in my ankles and hands today, so much that they hurt.

Because my drive to my doctors is a minimum of 30 minutes and then being up so much causes my BP to spike so drastically, one of my bi-weekly appointments will now be done at home with a home care nurse. She'll come out on Thursdays and do my biophysical profile, NST and check up. They can actually do an ultrasound at your home...isn't that CRAZY?! I was shocked to hear that. When they dipped my urine sample, it was only +1 which is less then it was at labor and delivery yesterday (it was +2 yesterday) but the real numbers will come from my 24 hour urine test. I'll probably hear back about that tomorrow. They always call me back with my test results, good or bad. I guess that's what's good about being such a high risk patient. Special treatment ha ha ha. 

I got a 10/10 on my bio physical profile and NST, which is great. Today my ultrasound was actually super neat. I got to see Ella's face straight on because of how she was positioned and I saw her eyelids opening and closing, her mouth opening and closing and her brow moving up and down! She was extremely expressive today. I've never seen so much on a 2D ultrasound. It was really cool. They gave me some pictures of her face but they are not nearly as neat as it was seeing it live, and you can barely tell it's her face on the ultrasound. 

All in all, I would say there was more good news then bad, or at least neutral news. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My two year old can climb a ladder, but I can't

Day 18 of bedrest
89 days left until my EDD

Shane brought Olivia to the park today. The poor girl has been inside pretty much all week without going outside to play and I told him he has to spend lots of time playing outside with her. Tomorrow they are going to go to the Children's Museum. Anyways, he brought her to the playground today, which she LOVES to do, and she climbed the thin ladder bars all by herself!! I'm pretty sure this is some kind of milestone. She could climb stairs okay but these are those thin pole ladders that are always in the playgrounds and she's never been able to climb them before. They don't have any support in the back and they are widely spaced apart so it was pretty neat to hear about and see a video of it from Shane. I love that when he takes her places without me, he tries to get videos on his phone (which takes amazing videos) so that I can see them later. Last weekend, when they went to the Zoo, he even had her say hi to mama from the zoo. I have to say, the title for this blog post came from Shane. We thought it was pretty silly and a fun little title for today.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My amazing support system

Of course I had to have the corny picture to go along with my corny blog!! :)

Day 17 of bedrest
90 days left until my EDD

I was trying to think about what I should blog about today. Since I don't have any updates to share, I got to thinking about how incredibly lucky we are this time around with our excellent support system. Aside from all of the well wishes, and the constant prayers, we have a lot of people who are working everyday of the week to help us out by cooking, cleaning, coming over and playing with Olivia, shopping etc. We have friends who have driven from out of town to cook for us and just keep us company. My mom and my two friends Deanna and Meghan take turns coming over every day of the week after Shane is gone and take care of Olivia and I. They have cooked large meals for us, done our laundry, changed Olivia's diapers, given her bathes, played with her...everything that I am completely unable to do. They come over and listen to me complain, whine, cry my eyes out...they hug me, and comfort me when I'm feeling completely down in the dumps. They drive me to doctors appointments when I need it, or run to the store for chapstick when I'm out. Without them, I don't know HOW Shane, Olivia and I would be getting through this. It's amazing to me that all of the people in our lives are willing to make the room for us and fit our needs into their busy schedules. They have lives, and children and meals to cook for their own families. They have errands to run and other things they'd rather do. They assure us it's not a big deal, and even if it's not for them, for us....we can't even put into words the appreciation we feel for all of the people in our lives who have given us so much support in the last few weeks, and will continue giving us support. They already have a game plan for what will happen when I go into the hospital. I complain and whine about being on bedrest but when it comes down to it, I'm eternally grateful to these amazing people in our life who are standing behind us and taking care of my family while I have to lay on the couch and watch from the sidelines. 

NOTE: I don't want to discount all of the people who have been praying for us, checking up on us etc. Just because I didn't mention every single person who has given us support through this doesn't mean that this blog isn't meant for them as well. All of our family and friends have played a role in supporting us through this so I don't any offense to be taken. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another week down, 13 left to go

Baby Ella sucking on her hand inutero

Day 16 of bedrest
91 days left until my EDD

I'm exactly 27 weeks today. I was put on bed rest at 24w6d so we're doing good! I had a doctors appointment today with an ultrasound and a non stress test (NST), which will be occurring bi-weekly. The baby is doing well and she scored a 10 out of 10 on the biophysical test. From WebMD: A biophysical profile (BPP) test measures the health of your baby during pregnancy. A BPP test may include a nonstress test with electronic fetal heart monitoring and a fetal ultrasound. The BPP measures your baby's heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. A 10 out of 10 is a perfect score. So that was good news. I will be getting those twice a week (which, by the way, ends up being a 2 hour appointment...goooood times!). The meds I'm on are controlling my BP pretty well so everything looks okay except the fact that the protein in my urine increased and I was really swollen in my ankles and fingers today. Levels of 300 mg or more of protein in the urine is considered preeclampsia and my levels went up to 200 mg, whereas before they were around 100-150. I'm just hoping they don't keep going up and I end up on hospital bedrest with preeclampsia! 

On another note, today my mom took Olivia to see my grandma and Olivia told my grandma that mama was sick. It really made me kind of sad to hear that. I mean in a way it's a good thing that she understands but I also feel that she's just too young to have to understand that mama is sick. We tell her that mama is sick and that's why she (as in me) can't do certain things, like dance or go outside and play. But it breaks my heart that I'm missing this stuff with her. I know, it's a short period in her life and she'll forget it eventually but that doesn't make it any easier right now. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lost and Found Kitty!! (And our hero neighbors!)

Day 15 of bedrest
92 days left till my EDD

Last night, our 4 month old kitten Zilly ran out the door and I didn't notice it. When Shane got home I realized that I hadn't seen him in quite a while so we searched the house high and low. He was definitely NOT here. By 3 AM, Shane went out and searched the neighborhood and didn't find him. By that time I was so exhausted but I was so upset that all I could do was lay in bed and cry. All we could do was hope that one of our neighbors had taken him in or that he'd come home. This morning, we did another search of the hallways and another round of the neighborhood but no such luck. I made some signs to put on the doors and when we went to put them up, we found a sign from a guy who had found him!!!! We called him and also left a note. 

By this afternoon, one of the roommates dropped Zil off just after Olivia fell asleep and he ran back into our bedroom and jumped on the bed, butting against her head and my hand. He got about 10 minutes of petting before finally curling up beside Olivia's head, with my hand touching his body, and fell asleep with us. The first thing Olivia saw when she woke up was her catty cat snuggled beside her head! We were sooo happy to have him back!

When we woke up, I called the guy who had actually found him. He had bought Zil some food and I told him I wanted to reimburse him for it and let Olivia say thank you to him for finding her cat. He came down when he got home (after I'd argued with him about taking the money on the phone ha ha) and I gave him $25. He tried to argue and I told him I was on bedrest for high blood pressure and if he didn't take the money, my BP would rise and it'd be his fault! ;-) (obviously I was kidding) He was a paramedic so he appreciated the joke and he took the money. He had also bought a cat toy and kept going on and on about how much him and his roommates just loved Zil. I told him if he ever needed anything, to let us know and he said the same thing. I was SO impressed by this guys character and kindness. Not only did he take our cat in, but he went out in the middle of the night to get Zil cat food AND toys and had a box set up for Zil to go to the bathroom in. They played with Zil and gave him a comfortable place to be when we didn't know where he was. I was just...SO beyond impressed by this young guy and his two roommates. I told him they were DEFINITELY getting Christmas cookies from me ha-ha-ha! He also wanted to assure me that if I, as someone on bedrest with medical needs, EVER needed ANYTHING, he was there to help out. 

What a sweetheart!!!!!!!!!!! 

So that was the excitement of our day. Not really BP related but I had to tell the story of ourhero neighbors. I'm thinking about having Olivia make them a card. :) 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What is Christa doing with all this extra time?

Day 14 of bedrest
93 days left till my EDD

I'm about 15 minutes away from checking my BP and then having to call my doctor to report in. I decided I was going to make a more fun blog post before that happens and then I'll just do another one later with an update. It gives me something to do while waiting for this time to pass by.

So you may ask, what is it that I do all day? I am constantly looking for new, fun things but unfortunately, laying on you side is not conducive to a lot of fun activities. I've decided to reread the Chronicles of Narnia which have been my favorite series since I was a little girl. I'm just about at the end of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which makes me want to watch the movie again! Have you seen that movie? It was SO amazingly done. I was in awe. I believe I went to see it 3 times in the theater. The soundtrack was phenomenal and I actually used one of the main theme songs in my wedding! I'm also watching TV series on Netflix. I just finished Weeds and now I'm watching The L Word. I play lots of online Scrabble, because that's one of my favorite games ever! (I am becoming a Scrabble MASTER!!) and I also spend FAR too much time on facebook. I wish I knew how to crochet or knit but so far, no such luck. When I was on bedrest with Olivia, my grandma tried to teach me how to knit and I managed to do it--sort of. I accidentally made what looked like a shawl for a 18" doll and now it sits in a box, around the shoulders of my American Girl doll Molly. ha-ha I've also found some support boards for pre-exlampsia/hypertension and bedrest but they aren't exactly hopping so I only go to them about once a day. And of course, I have friends and family who keep me company. I wish we could play more games but unfortunately, with kids around, they would get into the game while we tried to play it!! And of course, I do what I can to interact with Olivia. She'll bring me books and sit up on my hip while I read to her. She's not really interested in bringing me her blocks or anything. We watch Elmo and Mickey Mouse together (the two men in her life). It sounds like an awful lot, I know. But when it's 24 hours a day, those things get old fast! 

If you were stuck on bedrest, what would *you* do to keep yourself busy? I'd love to hear more ideas. It's going to (HOPEFULLY!!) be a long haul!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another day closer

Olivia came over for a snuggle while I was on bedrest.

Day 13 of bedrest
94 days left till my EDD

I had a doctors appointment this morning with my periontologist. I was really swollen and my BPs were pretty high. I also had a headache and was spilling protein in my urine. None of which are great signs. They decided to start me on BP meds right away and if they don't lower my BP to a safe level, they are going to admit me into the hospital tomorrow morning for what I HOPE will only be 24-48 hours of monitoring my BP and playing with the medication dosage to find exactly what I need. So far today, my BPs have been pretty high though and I've had a headache all day long. UGH! So here's to hoping they lower overnight and if they don't then I really only do have to be in the hospital for a day or two for monitoring!

I have been thinking about the best way to handle tomorrow if I DO get hospitalized. I was trying to decide if I should leave Olivia with my mom while Shane brings me or if we should bring her with to the hospital. While it will add a bit more stress into the trip, I ultimately decided the best decision would be to bring her with and then Shane can bring her home before he goes to work. That way, she isn't being "abandoned" by mommy and daddy, neither of whom would be coming home. She'll have to leave me behind which will be tough, but at least she'll be going home with daddy. No matter what, if I'm admitted into the hospital tomorrow, it's going to be extremely rough on Olivia. She is very much a mamas girl and I'm sure there will be a lot of tears involved from both mommy and Olivia.

Today is going to be kept short. I'm hoping that eventually I'll have other things to blog about other then updates from going to the doctor or L&D but for now, that seems to be the all consuming events in my life! 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A lot of emotions flying around today!

Day 12 of bedrest
95 days left till my EDD (estimated due date)

Today has been a rollercoaster. Last night, my BP went up, up, up and I had a headache so I called Labor and Delivery. The nurse, who was the same nurse I had seen last Tuesday night, told me to take an extra tylenol, take a relaxing bath, focus on being relaxed and then take two BP readings and to call her back no matter what. I did all that and by 11:30 my BP had shot up to 169/109. Sigh. So I called in and of course I had to go into L&D. I got there and they hooked me up. My BP came down a little and the baby was doing okay. I had a different nurse then I'd spoken to on the phone and she was really rude. We were extremely unhappy with her. She essentially made me feel like it was my fault (despite the fact that I'm on very strict bedrest) and that I'd overreacted. Even Shane felt that way so that's not my crazy pregnancy hormones talking! Finally around 3 am, we were sent home.

Fast forward to about 4:30 am. My phone rings and it's the hospital!! Apparently, shortly before we left baby Ella's heart rate had dropped down to the high 70's and then went way way up and stayed there for 10 minutes. Somehow they hadn't seen this before sending me home and they wanted us to COME BACK IN. I can't even express to you how annoyed we were. We'd only been asleep for about 45 minutes and now we had to go back in, and even worse, bring Olivia with us. So we trudged back in and they hooked me up on the monitors to monitor baby Ella's heart rate. Olivia was super cranky so she ended up getting into the bed with me and we slept a few hours. Finally around 8:30 we were given the go ahead to go home. We'd slept about 3.5 hours and were super cranky and tired to say the least. Thankfully, this afternoon we all napped together and Olivia slept almost 2 hours so we all got a decent nap but we are completely exhausted, both physically and emotionally.

BUT, something super exciting happened today as well!! I was going potty (a very exciting event for a woman on strict bedrest in and of itself...) and Olivia came into the bathroom and wanted to go potty too. So, she pulled off her pants and diaper and sat on her potty.

AND SHE POOPED IN THE POTTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my gosh, I can't TELL you how excited I was...heck, I still am!!!! I was SO proud of her!! Her and Shane had to go to Costco today so I told him to let her pick out a new toy or book as a first time potty toy. We were so unbelievably proud of her that she pooped in the potty. I just wish she wasn't indicating she was ready to potty train when I'm on bedrest!

All in all, today was a crazy day. I had a blur of emotions. Lots of resentment, irritation, exhaustion and then, mainly, a ton of pride watching my beautiful little girl go potty in the potty seat today!