Countoff Day 6 & 5 – Screaming Days

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Day 6 anecdote:  Officially, day 6 started with my nurse giving me IV antibiotics at around 1:00 am.  She was a really nice lady and we chatted for a while until it was time for the medicine and bags to be removed.  It took me another hour or so to finally drift off to sleep, around 2:00 am.  I awoke suddenly out of a deep sleep by the sound of a woman yelling the most horrible gut wrenching scream I have ever heard in my entire life.  No kidding.  NO.  I mean really.  The stuff in the best horror movie was a mere squeak compared to this sound.  It lasted for about 30 very long seconds.  Since I had been awaken from a deep REM sleep, I was immediately disoriented and confused.  I didn’t realize where I was (Oh yeah, I’m still in the hospital), what was going on, why was a woman screaming and then I remembered that I AM in the Labor and Delivery section of the hospital.  The grrl monsters were also woken by the scream and started squirming around, kinda like “Holy shit Mom, what was THAT?!?” About 5 minutes after I heard the scream, I heard the sound of a cheap $5 china town gong.  I lay there in the dark hospital room and was genuinely happy for her.  It took another hour or so to get back to sleep.  My nerves were a bit frazzled, the babies took a while to settle down and honestly it is hard to ignore the impulse to go to the aid of someone who just yelled like that.  The idea of a c-section suddenly didn’t seem so bad after all.  I mean I know that they hurt for a longer amount of time, but I doubt I’d be making any scream like THAT.

Day 5 was mostly a day to catch up on sleep, snuggle up with MrBeep and take it easy at home.  We did spend many great hours watching the 2010 Olympics Canada vs. USA hockey gold medal finals game.  MrBeep was a hockey player in college and post-grad (go mighty beavers).  We enjoy watching games.  We invited his Dad to come over and we all had a blast.  When the US finally made their first goal we all screamed “YEAH!” and twin B "aka “Pip” started to squirm along.  When the second goal with 24 seconds left in the game happened, there were more screams of excitement.  The Canadian team did a fabulous job and honestly played a superior game, well deserving of a gold medal.  It’s cool that they also did it at their home country Olympic games.  Congrats to all my Canadian buddies!  Oh and remember my Photo challenge pic?

WhatIsIt

As a tribute to the truly awesome 2010 Olympics held in one of my favorite cities, Vancouver BC Canada.  It is actually a macro lens photo of my night light, a gorgeous bronzed maple leaf.

LightOff

LightOn

A last big scream for day 5 gone and for my bloggidy pals from up north.  WWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  CANADA ROCKS!

Countoff Day 6 - Released from Hospital AOK

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Day 6 isn't done yet, but I wanted to post an update.  We took a look at the grrl monsters via ultrasound and both babies and sacs are perfectly normal. Both have plenty of fluid, I haven't had any other bad spells since Thursday night.  DrGav did the ultrasound and saw a blood clot behind the internal os of the cervix.  He thinks this may have caused the bleeding and watery leakage because some clots as they are compressed can express excess water and plasma.  I know, eww gross TMI.  Also the previa is still moving and created a pocket for that clot and liquid to pool.  Hopefully it will be gone soon (damned pesky thing). DrGav did emphasize that the next 5 weeks are really critical for the babies, so I will take it VERY EASY.  MrBeep is a happy grinning little sweetie.  I am overjoyed.  

More on day 6 later. :-)

Countoff Day 8 & 7 – In the hospital

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Day 8:  Well, I was really excited about Day 8 and was going to write all about it.  The weather was gorgeous in Seattle, I had a friend call and invite me out for lunch.  She drove and we had a great time, nice conversation and excellent fried calamari with a site of hummus and pita bread.  We came home and I relaxed laying on the couch for a couple of hours.  I was invited out to dinner at a local pub with 6 friends and since I was feeling fine and given the green light by the docs I went along.

Bad move.

I ate, laughed, and generally felt fine.  I will say that the wooden chair I was sitting on was uncomfortable after a while.  I got up after about an hour to use the bathroom and there it was…pink on the TP.  Dangit.  No problem, I thought, I’ll just call it an evening.  Dinner was over we were all just hanging around and chatting anyway.

So I got my hugs, excused myself and drove the 2 miles home.  No big deal.  When I got in the door, I felt a wetness and headed straight to the bathroom.  More pink, now redder and things were…wet.  Too wet,  Not a lot, not a gush, but something very unusual.  I went straight to bed, lay down on my left side and called my ObDoc’s office.  My doc was on call, I explained what was going on.  I let her know that I didn’t feel any more wetness since the initial event but needed advice.  She told me to get myself to labor and delivery.  MrBeep came home about 20 minutes later and off to the hospital we went.  I could feel my little sweetie monsters squirming around, we got their heartbeats so I knew that for now they were doing fine. My ObDoc was the one to take care of my examination, take a sample and check the slide.  She couldn’t find any conclusive evidence in the sample that there was any amniotic fluid leakage, but she didn’t like the description of the event or how much blood and moisture she saw.  I was monitored for contractions all night and only had one or two after the pelvic.  I was admitted for getting IV anitbiotics and monitoring.  MrBeep stayed with me the whole time, took care of my every need.  He held my hand, kissed my forehead and helped me make it through the night.  I was so scared that a membrane had ruptured, but there was no evidence of any other leakage.  Both my ObDoc and the L&D nurses said that this was a very good sign.

Day 7:  MrBeep slept in the little bed next to me in a labor and delivery suite.  Today I’ve had no additional leakage or watery bizarreness.  I’ve had no contractions all day.  I had barely any spotting.  I’ve received doses of IV antibiotics (just in case) and was supposed to get an ultrasound to check the fluid levels of the babies to see if that would show any evidence of leakage.  Unfortunately, there was some mix up and I will get that scan tomorrow.  I talked with the TopDoc from my MFM clinic.  He apologized for the ultrasound mix up but suggested another day for observation and antibiotics was pretty standard given the fact that I am only at 23 weeks.  He did say that he felt very good that there was no other episodes after the first report, that the sample slide didn’t show anything to indicate amniotic fluid and he felt it would be extraordinarily unusual to rupture a membrane behind a cerclage that was looking good the day before.  After speaking with him, I felt about a thousand percent better.  This entire episode may just be another bizarre result of the previa.  Everyone (ObDoc, TopDoc, L&D nurses, MrBeep) has told me that this unusual thing was not my fault and that I didn’t do anything wrong to cause it, but man…it is very hard to let go of that guilt and worry.

I will be seen on Saturday (day 6) by DrGav who will take a look with ultrasound see if everything is looking good.  If so, then I will be discharged from hospital.  MrBeep needed my computer for work, so I was unable to read or update.  He put several hours of the Olympics we recorded on Tivo to DVD, so we watched them together.  I will try to catch up and update tomorrow.  The most important thing is the babies are fine, I am fine. A couple of more days down and more lessons learned the hard way.

Countoff Day 9 –Dr Appts & Photo Challenge

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Good news!  I went to both DrGav and my ObDoc today.  First the Peri/MFM appointment:  The cervix check shows all is looking great, staying a steady 3.5 cm and the cerclage is still looking good.  Both grrl monsters had good heart rates and bloodflow.  I have been taken off my medication and don’t need to come back for 2 weeks (where I will get my 24 week growth ultrasound).  His take on my Friday achiness and spotting is that it is nothing to be worried about.  Then I went to my ObDoc  for a routine check.  Blood pressure, pee in a cup, weight check , and doppler.  Wiggles kicked the doppler when the nurse was trying to get a reading.  We both laughed.  My awesome ObDoc arrived all smiles. I got an internal pelvic exam **YOWCH!** where she proclaimed things seemed long and were holding well.  When I told her about my Friday scare she was a little more concerned.  She told me if I begin to feel uncomfortable to lay down on my left side, drink some water and take things easy.  If things don’t seem to get better after an hour to call them.  She said that the next 7 weeks were really critical and she’d rather know that I am resting easily at home with some liberties rather than being a “long term guest” at the hospital.  I completely agree.  All in all very good results, maybe I spooked myself a bit, but I’d rather be cautious than sorry.  It is just another thing that will really help me make it through the rest of my countdown.

And now for something completely different…I had an idea for this week’s Photo Challenge, so I pulled out my fab macro lens. 

Photo Challenge this week's theme: WHAT IS IT?

WhatIsIt

Take a guess about what this photograph is.  To see a larger version, click on the pic.  My only hint is that it is more than what you think at first glance. I'll post the answer Friday with the other folks who took the challenge. I’m horrible at guessing but found it a fun little inspiration for photography.  Rotten – why aren’t you getting into the challenge!  C’mon!

(The Photo Challenge aims to allow creative ways to explore a weekly theme through photography).  The Weekly Photo Challenge is brought to you by The Steadfast Warrior (aka Lindsay) who also gave me this advice for dealing with my fears:

The reality is, you've got a lot going on and it's okay to be scared, hell if you weren't terrified a little, I'd think you were in denial. The only advice I have is to take solace in the movements and the special moments that come up.

She also said a little extra to warm my heart and offered a present to dry my eyes:

You are a lovely and strong woman. You and the Monsters WILL be okay. I can keep repeating it if you like? ;) (HUGS) to you, since sometimes that is what we need the most. I've left a little present for you at my blog…

Her gift was an absolutely stunning photograph taken from her balcony in beautiful Vancouver, BC.  You have to go over and see it.  I saved it as my desktop wallpaper for this 10 day countdown.  Every time my computer boots up I see it and smile.  Lindsay has a little girl, born just a little while ago, she is taking things one day at a time and writes with such honesty that I feel truly privileged to read and support her.  Thanks so much Lindsay.

I ended my Day 9 with “Weekly Series Night” – a special evening MrBeep and I spend with friends watching though a TV series together.  We finished watching The Venture Brothers – Season 3.  It was also really fun to have some company, laugh and joke around.  I love counting off a great day.

Countoff Day 10 - Superawesomethanksalot

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I wanted to thank you all so very much for all of the wonderful support and advice I received from my prior post, “Overwhelming Fear.”  I don’t like it that many of you also have had to cope with this awful consuming fear, but I was glad to know that I am not alone and for many of you who had problems during your 2nd trimester that you are just a few days or weeks away from meeting your sons and daughters very close or at full term.  It gives me so much hope to know that you’ve made it so far despite the bedrest and irritable uterus mayhem and uncooperative cervixes. 

When I hit last Friday and had a bad day, it really struck me as so hard and unfair and well…you read about it.  Because of my two surgeries to remove the big fibroid, carrying to term has been something in the back of my mind that has always made me extra nervous.  I’ve had a half-dozen awesome OB/GYNs assure me that it’s no big deal, the surgery was a great success and everything looks really good, but still…I get scared and doubt fills me until it all bubbles over into a freakout.  Then I am a little better afterward.  I am feeling better because of the rest I took and because of the encouragement and support I received from you all and my best friend MrBeep.

After my emergency cerclage at 18 weeks I had made a countdown ticker on my igoogle home page.  Setting the goal date to my due date was just too far away, so I set the countdown for 24 weeks.  My new big goal, make it to viability and then set a new goal.  It is much easier to take in manageable chunks.  Today my ticker said “10 days until viability,” I’ve decided to do 10 posts in 10 days to help me get through it.  I’m taking all of your excellent advice along the way.  I promise to give you props when your special countdown advice day hits. ;-)

Today I wanted spotlight K at Waiting for Sunflower who wrote this advice:

“How do I cope? I literally tell myself one day at a time. I have a lilypie counter and each day that passes is a victory. It's a countdown to the end of the week.  I cannot look at the end, I look at it in weekly increments.”

Also Sunny in Seattle, who is holding in there with much stricter bedrest demands than whiney ole me said:

Milestones are nice, but I also try to appreciate every day for what it is. I know you aren't quite at viability yet, but when you get there, every day you stay pregnant is worth TWO days less in the NICU. My boys…are strong, they are fighters, and we ARE all going to get through this.

Hitting Day 10 inspired me to take the advice about and really focus on each good day at a time. I spent resting for most of the day.  I re-read all of your excellent comments on my post aloud to the grrl monsters, we are all touched and I cried a few tears of appreciation, they wiggled their approval.  I’ve been watching the series Ballykissangel on Netflix Watch Instantly and have finished Season 1.  Today I started Season 2.  I ordered some things online to help with organization that I can do while on the couch (Yay nesting fantasies!).  I finished off some web design work that made me some extra dough.  I made my meals, washed the dishes (well, put them in the dishwasher), played gems swap II on face.book, planned a girls movie night at my house for some time in the next couple of weeks.  I’ve got to say that Day 10 went well.  Keeping busy but not physically overdoing anything really helped my day.

I get to go to two separate doctors appointments tomorrow, one with my Perinatologist, DrGav for a cervix check and amniotic fluid update, then straight off to my ObDoc for a routine checkup. I’ll talk to them about my bad day on Friday. I hope to get some good news to set my mind at ease.  Already I am looking forward to Day 9.  Stay tuned…

Overwhelming Fear

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I haven’t written much lately, although I have tried to keep up with reading and commenting on blogs.  I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the emotions I have swimming in my soul.  The truth is that I am all at once overjoyed and terrified.  My hopes soar and then they are dragged down by the weight of my fears.  I daydream of holding my sweet little girls next to my skin, kissing their heads and fingers and bellies and toes…then the worry and doubt, like nightmares, start to consume me. 

It has all become so much worse since sometime in week 20. I think it is because of a many reasons.  The main one is that I can feel my grrl monsters pushing and kicking and wiggling many times throughout the day.  Gone are the little flutters that I question are real.  MrBeep has even been able to feel them kick when his hand is on my belly.  Feeling these little beings gives me such great elation and hope.  They are so much more real to me now than they had ever been before.  Not just images on a screen or results of a test or fantasies of children to be.  Now I feel their presence, they are tangible in a new way that my heart cannot describe.  The thought of losing it all fills me with dread.

I know I should “just relax” and that most women will end up having healthy babies.  I know that my weekly checkups have been encouraging.  The babies are growing well, the stitch seems to be doing it’s job.  I begin to breathe.  I begin to let hope ease my worried mind.  Then I read from the LFCA, or other wonderful bloggers who ask for words of support and sympathy for others who lose their little ones.  All at once I crash back to the land of nightmares and I don’t know how to escape. I know many of you have/had these fears, how do/did you cope? 

Yesterday I think I overdid it a bit.  Sat in a chair for too long, did a few extra chores and by the evening I was feeling a new kind of achiness in my lower abdomen. Just before bedtime I had the smallest tinge of pink on the TP.  I was so afraid as I went to sleep that something was wrong and all would be lost.  I have now had a very full night’s sleep.  I have put myself back on strict bedrest, just laying on the couch or in bed with only bathroom breaks.  I have had no other achy feelings or pink since last night.  I have felt each little grrl monster wiggle and thrash and kick. My achiness could have just been ligament pains, it could have been from the previa moving (it has been moving and may clear completely).  I just don’t know. I actually feel fine…and sometimes that’s a problem too.  Every time I had complications, there was no warning.  Feeling fine and then all at once, the big bleed or the cervix almost fails.  My problems seem to come out of the blue and that deals a lot of anxiety that fuels these overwhelming fears…and I don’t know how to conquer them.  Only time can help, but it drags and lags and taunts me.

Today I am 22w1d.  At 22 weeks if something terrible goes wrong, my baby girls will not be saved.  It is too early for any hope.  Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and lay in the dark.  I watch the clock, my mind racing.  I feel I am so close but so far away.  2 weeks to viability, 8 weeks to likely survival, 16 weeks to “full term” and these are indeed markers to celebrate.  The numbers as weeks look so small, but as hours in the dark of night they stretch to what feels like infinity – 312, 1,344, 2,688 hours.  I have been so fearful and sad today.  I have cried so much.  I feel defective.  I feel weak because of my worry.  MrBeep has been an incredible comfort, he soothes my soul.  I am lucky to know and love him.  I know that I will come out of this eventually, I will build myself back again…but in the meantime…my friends, can you help?  Any advice? 

UPDATE:  OK my friends, I have just read mekate’s post and am again overwhelmed.  I won’t give anything away, but please please go read and send her love.

2 Monster Scoops – The Big Reveal

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HintIt has taken sooooooooo long to get all of the results from amnio, but I’ll explain about that later.  The most important thing is that they are both healthy with no known issues.  I can’t express how relieved I am, how much of a heavy weight has held my heart down.  Now my heart is light and full of joy.

So now the Big Reveal…I posted a poll to see if you could guess the gender of the monsters. 

The poll question was: 
What flavor are the monsters?

A:   Strawberry (2 girls)
B:   Boysenberry (2 boys)
C:   A scoop of each (1 boy, 1 girl)

Did you guess correctly?
Can you tell from the photo?
Give up yet?

Yes, that my friends is two scoops of STRAWBERRY ice cream.  We are pregnant with two little girls, or as I call them “Grrrl Monsters”.

We had a great appointment at the MFM for my 20 week ultrasound.  They are measuring in the 70th percentile, way up from a month ago’s 40th percentile.  Their weight is estimated at 14 ounces. Here are the latest ultrasound pics

Wiggles Pip

For more good news, I have been taken off of bed rest!  The cervix is looking good and closed at about 3.1 cm. The previa continues to migrate away from the cervix but we aren’t done yet. I’ve had no cramping or bleeding or complications.  I am still advised to take it easy, but at least I can sit up, use a chair, cook dinner, run a couple of errands if I need to.  DrGav told me to use good judgment and try to stay off my feet as much as possible.  I go back again for another quick check in a week and then I may get to every other week afterwards. 

Bellymekate asked if there were going to be any belly shots.  I have decided to post, but I have to say that I am normally apple shaped and big breasted too.  As an added bonus these two have surely blossomed that into a OMG I’M HUGE! situation. 

Twin B “Pip” is currently laying sideways across the top and is and making the belly extra huge.  I am happy about this, but was a little shocked when I saw the photo myself. :-)

I’m just so happy right now because there is really a lot of great news this week with many of my bloggidy friends. 

Oh, and the strawberry ice cream?

The best I have ever ate.

OXXO to you all – Traci aka “IF Optimist”.

Photo Challenge #2: Variety

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He he.  Was able to sneak downstairs for about 10 minutes to grab a photo from the big computer for this week’s challenge.  This is my favorite fish store at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Pure Food Fish Market.  The seafood is all so fresh, it smells like the briny sea and all eyes that watch you are bright and clear.  When I want the best in variety and quality to make Ciopinno, I head here.  If you are ever visiting in Seattle, they can prep some fish covered in ice in a leak-proof cooler to take home on the plane.  Oh, I can’t wait until Sockeye Salmon is back fresh in season.  Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Variety-FishMarket The Pure Food Fish Market in Seattle, WA, USA

To see the picture in greater detail, just click on the photo.  I love that our pal Lindsay, the Steadfast Warrior set up the weekly photo challenge.  Being stuck on the couch for now, it will be tough to get new shots (depending on the theme), but I can go and dig through my archives and this makes me very happy indeed.  Now head on over and check out the other fab photos that are being shared.

A wholly different kind of nesting

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First off, my first doctor’s visit after the cerclage update:  Everything looks good.  Cervix is stitched closed and this has created a measurement of about 2.8 cm.  DrGav thinks that it should stay that way given where he placed the stitch (good and high).  No new discomforts, no new bleeding, no new cramping.  In fact, I feel absolutely fine.  I let DrGav know that I was very good and stayed almost entirely prone on my back or on my side for the entire week.  He said that was excellent, he was pleased at how well my post-surgical recovery is going.  He recommended that I do the same thing for another week to continue to help in the healing process.  He hinted that after a few weeks of doing the same, I may be able to get off bed rest.

Each morning starts as I:

  • Get out of bed
  • Have a pee
  • Brush my teeth
  • Get dressed

Then I:

  • Grab my ipod
  • Laptop
  • Current book(s) I am reading
  • Puzzle book, pen and pencils

Afterwards I:

  • Gently head downstairs (yes I’m allowed)
  • Climb on the couch
  • Arrange pillows and blankets on said couch for maximum comfort options
  • MrBeep brings me breakfast, water, Tivo remote, cordless phone, cell phone
  • He gives me a smootch once I am settled, then he is off to work for the day

My “couch nesting” day has begun.  I call the couch and it’s surroundings “My Nest” because that is what I have made it over the last week.  I am not a very good bed rest patient.  I hate being idle for hours and days at a time.  So I build up a nest of shiny bits, plenty of things to keep me busy and my mind active, but it’s not what I WANT to be doing right now.  I WANT to be cleaning out my pantry.  I WANT to be getting rid of the excess books in my library.  I WANT to be editing video on my big computer downstairs.  I WANT to be cleaning out my closets of excess junk.  However, if I am a very good girl, I may be lucky enough to only have to do this for a few more weeks and then I can get to a few of the other things in due time.  <sigh>  I shouldn’t whine or bitch or moan.  I am very lucky to be here, but I don’t even want to THINK about the idea of 16 more weeks of bed rest.  I’ll do it if I have to, but I would much rather be extra good now and hopefully be allowed to gently putter around the house later.

I don’t like regular TV that much.  It’s hard for me to kill much time watching the tube.  I especially hate talk shows, most reality shows, 85% of cooking/home improvement/fashion-sense shows, and sitcoms.  I can get into a few really good series.  My friend Tiff offered to bring by Sex and the City and the L-word.  She also mentioned Californication as a good show.  I told her that #1-she is a perv and #2-that I have already watched Sex in the City plus #3-I have been on strict orders for no sex (aka “pelvic rest”) since December and now with the cerclage going forward for the rest of the pregnancy.  Um yeah, don’t really want to watch any show that is a daily source of soft pr0n.  Frustrated enough for now.  Thankyouverymuch.

I did manage to stumble across this show called “Clean House” where a crew of people come in to clean up these places stuffed with a gajillion pounds of stuff/crap/junk.  A current member of my family’s house is like this, my grandfather who passed a few years ago was like this too.  When it gets really bad, it is truly an illness or a compulsion for hoarding and not merely a matter of organization.  Even though the cast make jokes from time to time, they generally treat the homeowners with compassion and respect.  I liked that, so I Tivo’d a few episodes…plus watching THOSE houses get cleaned up and organized somehow eases my need for nesting. :-)

Any good series YOU recommend I order from Netflix?

 

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