Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My 8 Months (1 of 3)


This is mostly for personal journal reasons, but I have had some people asking questions so I thought I would just get it all out there. Besides, when have I been one to hold back :)
My 8 months have consisted of 3 separate but intertwining parts: Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical challenges and growths. I'm finding it impossible to write it all out at once so I will separate it as best I can.

Post 1 of 3

From the Beginning to 33 Weeks: 

We found out we were expecting in late November. After a couple of early unsuccessful pregnancies we decided to hold off telling our families for a little while, which proved to be difficult because we were visiting them for Pre-Christmas (a couple of week before) and I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Something was different this time. I was actually hungry. All. The. Time. This made me a little nervous because I didn't really feel like I was experiencing pregnancy the "normal" way (my past normal was puking from the start). Also, the recent unsuccessful pregnancies made me pretty skeptical about what was going on.
While we were visiting family the fatigue hit harder than the hunger had. Don't worry, though. I ate 2 of every meal before I took a nap. David was my superhero (and still is!). He made sure I was fed, happy, and rested. We hid some of the symptoms by designating me as the official nighttime aid to Grace. I would get her ready for bed then "fall asleep while putting her down." But lets be honest, my mom probably knew what was up. Any way, we had a lovely Christmas celebration with my family and enjoyed our time in Washington.
Shortly after arriving home from WA the nausea and vomiting hit, along with what was the start of (get personal!) a 5 week trial with diarrhea. Here it was! The NORMAL pregnancy! Since David's family was about to visit for the actual week of Christmas, we decided to let the cat out of the bag for both of our families before the Scotts arrived. This way nobody would know sooner than the other and also, it was impossible to hide my excessive projectile events. The Scotts arrived just in time to rescue our little family from its almost motherless state. They were able to watch Grace during my ER visits (4 total) and take care of me on the days that David had to work. At this point I was participating in 3 infusions of nutrients weekly. I had to go to the hospital for a few hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to be pumped full of liquids that had some life saving properties! As awesome as these infusions were, they still hurt. Some of the ingredients in my infusions burned as they went in and they made it difficult for the IV to last longer than a day. That means I had to receive a new IV every time I went. Getting a PIC line was a no-go because my Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors were worried about blood clotting and risk of infection. These infusions lasted until I finished my 16th week of pregnancy (3 weeks shorter than with Grace!).

Wait a second! Let me back up to my first experience with the MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine). At 7 weeks pregnant my OBGYN sent me to IMC to have an ultrasound and some tests done to make sure my hyperemesis wasn't going to impact the pregnancy. Since there was going to be an ultrasound, I told David to come with me so we could see the baby for the first time together. Also, it is hard to drive when your insides want to be your outsides. We were joking with the ultrasound tech (me with my exceptionally loud plastic blue barf bag in hand) about twins. She quickly told us that we were, in fact, having twins. David's reaction? "Yeah! We are having twins! Oh my gosh! Yeah!" My reaction? "We are having twins... (hand on forehead/covering my eyes) twins. Oh my gosh. Twins." Our reactions switched from last time, that is for sure. We set up times for me to get infusions in Tooele, sent the info to my OB, and finished up our appointment. We couldn't even wait to get to our car before we started calling our families, who had very positive and excited reactions. Duh. We were having twins. David and I had just entered family celebrity status. Not only do we make extremely cute babies (Grace), but we were going to have 2 at the same time.

Any how, the adventure was just beginning. During the course of the next 16 weeks we had four ER visits. Three of those visits were for dehydration and one was for bleeding. My first ER visit took over 5 hours, 5 different nurses, 13 needles (some in my feet), and an ultrasound tech to get the IV into my vein. I was pretty dehydrated. The next two were just routine I'm-so-dehydrated-I-can't-function visits (ending in overnight stays at the hospital), and the last one (around 13 weeks) was for bleeding. After the early miscarriages you better believe this messed with my brain. Luckily my mom was in town helping with Grace at the time and she rushed me to the ER. We did some tests and had an ultrasound. The babies were fine but I had a subchorionic hematoma (not sure if that is even spelled right). A harmless pocket of blood between one of the sacs and my uterus wall. This was the first of my experiences where I was told to "take it easy." No lifting Grace and no strenuous activity for 2 weeks. Easy breezy.

From the start of my pregnancy until now, we have had continuous help. David's parents, DAVID, my parents, other family members, and ward members have been more than generous. The weeks following the ER visits were filled with family and friends who were supportive and helpful.
{A quick story about David being amazing: One night I was up puking and had diarrhea. I would sit on the toilet and vomit in a bucket. Obviously I was crying (was I capable of showing emotion any other way? Uh, no). I kept pathetically muttering to myself "I can do hard things. I can do hard things. I can do hard things." David came in, turned on a hot bath, helped me get in, got me a toothbrush and toothpaste, and stayed up with me for hours even though he had to go to work in the morning. There were countless times that he did this for me and many other ways that he has been generous.}

Time after time David has proved to be an amazing husband. I could write a collection of short stories that would all be about David being the best guy a girl could ask for. Even with all his help and extra work, he never complained about our never ending disastrous house, no meals most nights, and an extremely grumpy wife. The weeks were long and full of of hard times, but he always stuck by my side.

When I turned 25 weeks pregnant I went in for a routine appointment. They detected that I had a "dynamic cervix" and said I was in labor. The contractions weren't that close together but when I did have them, my cervix disappeared. Weird, I know. Typically I would consider being dynamic a good personality trait, but not for a cervix. I was immediately rushed to labor and delivery, hooked up to monitors, given medication to slow contractions, and told to sign C-section papers because the babies would be too small to deliver any other way. I was given steroid shots to help their lungs develop faster and since the contractions went away after a few hours we were able to do both doses. After being monitored at the hospital for 3 days with no changes, I was sent home on modified bedrest. You better believe it was hard. I wasn't always the best at following the rules (laundry must be done) but I was able to make it another 8 weeks without any incidents. My mother came and deep cleaned my house (she is freaking amazing) and David's mom came and took care of Grace multiple times. I can't thank either of them enough. My house hadn't been really cleaned since I got pregnant (besides the usual dishes and toilet cleanings) and I was so grateful and embarrassed with the help. I couldn't help clean so I just watched as my mother and David destroyed piles of dust, laundry, and other unmentionable problems with our house. I cried because I felt guilty. I cried because I was grateful. I cried because I was crazy. But seriously, I am still crazy...

One of my great friends, Elise, offered to help with Grace when our families weren't able to be here. But for real, she is amazing. Every day for a week she would bring over a blow up pool, her cute little girl, and some fun toys and make sure that Grace was having a good summer. Did I mention she is pregnant too? Yeah, a saintly woman. Grace had such a great time with her daughter, who is adorable, and I was able to sit on a chair on our porch while they played. Thank you, Elise!

33 Weeks to Present (36 weeks and 5 days!): Hospital Chronicles

Weeelllllll, 33 weeks hit and I had my 3rd round of diarrhea and vomiting (If you are wondering, yes, they tested my poop. Nothing ever came up). I called labor and deliver (no more ER after 20 weeks) to let them know I was coming in for an IV because my dehydration was causing contractions. Thinking it was no big deal, I had my brother, Jensen, drive me to the hospital so David could spend some time with Grace. Turns out they weren't just contractions. This was actual labor. I was dilating and it was happening fast. Things started getting really painful which was pretty different than my labor with Grace, which was almost painless. Seriously.
So the contractions were right on top of each other so they gave me an epidural. (Side note: I thought about going natural this time, but after they told me we might have to do a breech extraction I decided an epidural would be great!). David still hadn't arrived and I was 5cm dilated. I had the IV pumping me full of fluid and the very painful epidural in place before he was able to get there. The anesthesiologist was not gentle and didn't end up administering enough medicine so I could still feel contractions, still felt the catheter going in, and still felt everything until he decided to come back and dose me up again. For some reason this caused my heart rate to take a nose dive (just like it did with Grace) so I had to have a different injection of something to bring it back up. Crazy things happening, people! My nurses were amazing and so supportive while David was gone. They started another round of steroid shots since the last ones were so far in the past. PS, those shots don't feel good and they go in your behind. Along with the IV and epidural, I was given 5 rounds of penicillin and lots of other meds to stop the contractions. David arrived and FINALLY after 8 liters of fluid, the IV, and all the meds, the contractions stopped. It was a miracle and a blessing for these babies to not be born so early. I was dilated to a 7 but when the contractions and pressure stopped, went back down to a steady 6 where I have stayed for the past 4 weeks.

After they turned off the epidural and waited a few hours for it to wear off, they removed the urine catheter. For some reason, my legs still didn't work. Turns out, the urine bag only had a half a liter of fluid in it. That means the rest of the 8 liters had decided to sit in my bloodstream and camp out in my legs. It wasn't the epidural that was causing problems, it was edema. They decided to leave the epidural catheter in my back for a couple more days just in case I went into labor. This was pretty painful because I wasn't actually receiving any medicine, it was just there. As my body slowly filtered out the water that I had been pumped full of, I was forced to take about a million trips to the bathroom. Typically this would just be annoying but since I had a tube in my back it was both annoying and painful. After 2.5 days I demanded that it be removed because I had a feeling these babies weren't coming for a while. Some guy came in, whipped it out, and left without saying more than two words. Ahhhh, I could finally shower again. You see, showers aren't allowed when there is a tube going into your spinal area.
Even though they removed the epidural, they still wouldn't take out the IV. That was SO annoying. I hate having to flush it all the time and take care of it. They made me keep it for over a week, replacing it every time it went bad. One time it wouldn't flush and I was super angry because the resident said I was, once again, going to have to get a new one (even though my doctor said after the current one went bad they wouldn't replace them anymore). I told them no, so an anesthesiologist came in and shot a flush of lidocaine through it. Man, I liked that guy. The one ended up lasting a few more days. I still have bruises from IV's that were attempted 3 weeks ago. So glad that's over.

Now, about hospital bedrest... it makes you go crazy. Sometimes you want visitors and sometimes you just want to wallow in misery by yourself. Sometimes you are overwhelmingly grateful for never ending food, and sometimes you wish you never had to eat again. Sometimes you want to get out of bed and run home, and sometimes, no...wait...that's all the time. Every day I wake up and go to sleep wishing it was in my own house, my own bed, with my own family, eating my own food. Nurses, doctors, and aids are constantly in and out of the room checking on me and asking me the same questions over and over. I have a button I can push if there is a problem... leave me alone. For the first couple of weeks I was being woken up at least every 2 hours during the night and asked if my water had broken or if I was having painful contractions. Did they think that I would just choose to birth these babies silently in a room by myself and not tell anyone? For Pete's sake! Then, the residents come in at 6 am to check on you. Breakfast is served at 7. Aids come around at 8 to take vitals. Nurses come at 9 to check fetal heart tones. Doctors come at 10 to discuss the daily plan. Cleaning ladies come at 11 to clean the room. Lunch is at noon. Busy mornings? Yes. Time to fall back asleep? No. 2 weeks into my stay I was going absolutely nuts. Its hard not to feel like a toddler in eternal time out when you never get any sleep and can't choose times to see people. A GEM of a nurse ordered me a fan for white noise (there are lots of crying babies and lots of commotion during the night on maternity floors) and said to me "You know, you could refuse for me to check on you at some point... *wink*" This was my first realization that I may be in prison, but I have rights! I asked her not to come in during the night and she didn't. She must have told other nurses and even the residents because they stopped bothering me after that point. I still have an occasional nurse or aid that is really loud when they do peek in on me during the night, but its not nearly as bad as it was.  I guess there was one instance where a nurse came in at 4 am to change the date on my whiteboard. Really, lady? 4? You woke me up for that? My MIL complained because I was too much of a wimp, and I haven't had problems since.
Besides being stuck in a place without my family and having very limited freedom, the most annoying thing is being checked on ALL the time during the day. Its the same routine. Its like I'm in daycare and can't be left alone or I will draw on the walls or something. Don't leave Addison alone for too long! She might stick a crayon up her nose!
Through all the annoying stuff, I really have met some amazing people. A lot of the nurses, aids, and residents are extremely kind and helpful. I have gotten to know quite a few of them and I'm so grateful that I have. Not only do I have family cheerleaders, but now I have nurses cheering me on as my family goes through this as well. They get excited when I'm excited and talk with me when I'm sad. Its been a roller coaster, no doubt.
Now I'm just a couple days away from the glorious induction date and there are nurses that aren't even assigned to me that come in to congratulate me and see how my family is doing. I won't soon forget these amazing women!

Well, there ya have it. My very long, first post out of 3.

(This is just my point of view. If anyone is wondering what David has to say, don't ask him. He might tell you how psycho I really am.)