Thursday, December 27, 2012

Roller coaster

We have good days and bad. On the good days, I think we'll go full term or maybe even a week or so past. I think all this bedrest will seem excessive. I feel guilty for putting everyone out. There is a part of me that thinks it's all in my head, that if I just ignore it, the contractions will go away on their own.

Then, I have nights like Wednesday when contractions picked up to every 5 minutes and hurt. bad. I can't help but cry on the bad ones; it's like they are so strong, they just push the tears out my eyes. I know the routine: drink more water, take a bath, change positions, and now take Procardia. Thankfully it seems to work. But it leaves me sore, like an extreme ab workout, and tired.

Thankfully baby doesn't seem to mind, still pounding away in there. S/he is growing right on schedule. And, in a couple weeks, we'll get another sneak peek at little one, make sure everything looks good.

We've reached 30 weeks. That's the point when we started bedrest with Maggie, following our car accident. Our next goal is 32 weeks.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

One Year Celebration

As of midnight Christmas Day, Lainie is officially one year seizure free. Definitely celebrating that one, and thankful for Trileptal, for controlling her epilepsy without the side effects of Zonegran.
Our Christmas Angel

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Did too much

I guess I was getting a little cocky, thinking I could get off the couch. Yesterday's contractions -- that are carrying over today -- proved me wrong. I guess I did too much.

What is "too much"? Wednesday morning I drove to my doctor's appointment, picked up a part for my car, dropped off insurance paperwork, and drove home. Wednesday night, I went up and down the stairs probably 4 times after our power was out, to make sure the kids were all adequately covered and everything vital was unplugged. Thursday morning, I stood at the griddle long enough to cook a dozen pieces of french toast, after the girls had made the batter and set the table and plugged in the griddle.

And that's it. Too much. Couch bound I am, remote in hand, cell phone in reach, iced tea and little brother on the way to be my gopher. Some people have pool boys, I have a laundry boy. God bless Him! (Remind me of this month when I complain about helping him maintain his apartment or filling meds or whatever else. He's been wonderful.)

And, hey, at least I'll have plenty of time to make more phone calls regarding FMLA, AFLAC (still praying they'll accept this claim), and so much more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Breeder

I've been feeling pretty guilty, guilty about our decision to take the parenthood path one more time. If only we hadn't decided on one more babe, we wouldn't be in this situation. I, or we, brought this situation upon ourselves. I know that. And I'm sure there are others who are saying that, too.

I know God and my faith asks us to welcome children into our family with open arms. But I was wondering, with the difficulty we are having, if it was less God's will and more my own wish for a large boisterous family that I was listening to. I wondered if it was God's will, why He is making the path so hard. Is God making this pregnancy fragile to make us appreciate this baby more, or to say, "You should have listened to me!" With weeks of bedrest, I've had lots of time to think.

Those thoughts were racing through my head on my way home from a doctor's appointment Wednesday, while listening to KJIL Christian radio. And then I gasped as heard the topic of the day:
"In Praise of Large Families" (The related article is here: The Case for Kids: A defense of the large family by a six-time 'breeder'")

No joking. The featured speaker was a woman who is a mother of five and used to work at university. She told of her boss saying snidely, when she announced her fifth pregnancy, "What is this? Nine or ten?" She also told of the many people who asked her, "You know what causes this, right?" Let's just say I can relate.

But I can also relate to her explanation as to why she chose to have a large family. To paraphrase her, she envisioned her family, gathered around the dining room table, holding hands in prayer, and it's a large circle. That large circle, that circle of love, is what I crave, what I love. In a large family, there is conflicting personalities sometimes, less resources sometimes, but there is more love, more people to support you, more of so very much that you don't miss what you have less of.

My immediate family wasn't very large -- I have two siblings -- but my parents both came from large families and I have always loved those family gatherings, the family network. I want that for my kids and grandkids.

So, back to my doubts. I laughed, thinking God must be trying to tell me something, and I felt like I was enveloped in His trusting hug. And it was only further reinforced when the next segment on the radio began. I can't remember what program it was, but the message tells of a little kid on an airplane throwing a fit because he can't be a pilot. The radio host then compared that to our relationship with God. We can throw a fit about our situation all we want, but God is still the pilot because He is the one who really knows how to navigate us the correct way.

And so, I'm going to try my best to stop throwing a tantrum like a five-year-old and let God pilot us, even if He is leading us through some serious turbulence right now.

Good report today

Doc appointment today went well, as in no news is good news. Baby looks good, growing right on schedule. I feel better, contractions are weaker, and the strict bedrest and drugs seem to be doing the trick. Emotionally, I'm less pouty than I was on Sunday.  It isn't about me; it's about the baby. If this works, then I can suck it up.

Wow- even as I wrote that, I had to laugh. I just told Jay Monday night that this is frustrating because normally if I don't feel well, I can just suck it up and get over it. I can't suck it up on this one, because it's not my health that's the problem -- it's the baby's health and long-term well-being. But, as I wrote that, I realized I DO have to suck it up, emotionally. No whining. Find ways to be entertained. Get over your own problems.

And really, do you have any idea how blessed we are? A college roomie and BFF drove 2 hours to bring me movies and just sit with me for 7 hours, just to talk. This friend taking kids to church, another taking them to religion, another making sure they get home and get to activities. My little bro bringing me lunch or drinks or running errands for us; he even went grocery shopping for us Monday. (That's a big accomplishment for my handicapped brother.) Family and friends bringing us meals, and mom driving up for two days just to transport Natalie and drive me to-from my doctor appointment. And then there are the online well-wishes and running advice from experienced moms and nurses and all the many prayers. Yes, we are blessed.

Thank you, everyone. Sincerely. Things have stabilized, we are doing better, we'll be okay.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Seriously. I am sitting in a recliner. I haven't been upright for more than meals and showers for almost 3 days. And here come the blankity-blankin' contractions. In a RECLINER!

And I'm in the recliner so I can try to figure out some of the financial and insurance stuff. I am so thankful I have the time to do that, truly. And it will all work out, with God's help; it always has. I'm just not sure I'm up for the hardships between now and our happily ever after.

Maybe it's the news, the shootings, the deaths. Probably more it's the response to it, the hatred voiced between anti-gun and pro-gun, blaming each other, blaming media, blaming so many.

Maybe it's just the frustration of being helpless, laying here while Jay runs circles to get done all he wants to do plus all that needs done.

And, really, NOW is when you decide that three of our four kiddos need to be sick? Right before Christmas? When I can't take them to the doctor? The doctor's office is NOT Jay's favorite place. That's pretty much been my territory since Katie was born.

I know there are good points, things to be thankful for. And I'll list them another time when I'm not ready to break. But right now, I need a little breakdown. A pout-fest. And maybe some quiet prayer time.

Goodness knows I'll have plenty of that in the days to come.

So, I hit submit, then went to my church's Web site to see what today's readings were. You know, since I haven't gotten to go to mass for three weeks -- refer back to the horizontal thing. And the following was the second reading. Huh. Guess that is a pretty clear message with some seriously great timing. Thanks for little miracles.

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Settled in

Months without posting, and now look! Well, what can I say -- I need somewhere to chronicle this, for Baby Jalapeno.

I'm settled in for the day, with my dear college roomie on the way with Amigos and conversation. Kids and Jay are away. I have my cell phone, a laptop, the remote, and a 32 oz drink. Thanks to facebook and texting, I even have a resident expert preemie-mama veteran just within reach. Not only is she helping guide me through this process and make sure all preventative steps are taken, she's also showed me how faith can carry you through the scariest of times. (Thanks, Mandy!)

Contractions have settled down, post procardia dose for the morning. I have never taken a med that I could so clearly see the effect. About 20-30 minutes after the dose, the contractions get weaker, if not more infrequent. Of course, I get weaker too, but that's worth it and only temporary.

I've still got this touch of optimism that says we're going to snuggle in here for the duration and deliver in March. I've also got a strong dose of reality that says, don't count on it. But, at least January seems much more attainable than it did a week ago.

Friday, December 14, 2012

28 weeks

Good news:
I passed the gestational diabetes test.
Baby's heartbeat returned to baseline after the terbutaline from last week.
Still no dilation.
Baby should be about 10 inches long and about 2 1/2 pounds long.
I got to talk to my doctor today, feel reassured we are doing all we can and trust in our plan. And, frankly, less terrified.

Bad news:
Still contracting.
Tired. Hurting.
Today, I rode to the doctor, sat their 2 hours for the GD test, ate lunch, walked into ONE store (I only needed one more to finish my Christmas shopping and really, really wanted to pick those out), and rode home, back to the couch. Tonight, I'm contracting every 5-6 minutes, lasting 60 seconds.
Bedrest continues.

Plan is to increase procardia dose to three times a day, continue bed rest. I got the steroid shots to mature baby's lungs, or at least stimulate surfactant levels. Plan on hanging out for a few more weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A bit better

Today I got to sit up. The contractions only increased to every 7 to 10 minutes, we're only 45 to 60 seconds long, and aren't near as intense. They don't scare me like last week's contractions did. They did intensify when I went to the doctor's office, just from walking into the office, confirming that I probably won't be heading back to work any day soon.

I still have lots of worries but can feel God's presence and trust in His plan.

But, I did cry to Jay last night,"Haven't we been tested enough already?" Apparently not.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bed bound and down

27 weeks gestation
Gravida 7 Para 5
Contractions started
Procardia on board

I am frustrated. Grouchy. Hate the unknown -- will these stop? will I get to be up and about in the next few days? weeks? Will these contractions start making change, because at the point, we all get a lot more serious.

Is baby tolerating the squeezing and drugs? I know last week his/her heart rate increased 20 bpm and stayed there. I know the movements aren't quite as dramatic as before, but s/he's also running out of room to do that full flips. Still getting kicked aplenty.

I hate the helplessness. Our girls have been great, go-fer-ing all sorts of stuff. They made breakfast yesterday, and brownies in the afternoon. Right before all this kicked up, we had cleaned the house top to bottom, nesting I called it. We even got the laundry put away. Now, my requests to them are mostly just trying to keep the house picked up, maintained. Lainie's learned how to do to the dryer; Natalie is great at picking up and at unloading parts of the dishwasher. Maggie and Katie both now know how to load the washer and dishwasher.

Jay is of course a prince. He's gone grocery shopping, getting girls where they need to be, and not freaking at the longer term situation.

On the bright side, I do have disability insurance that may pay me my salary while I'm down...maybe. I'm still hoping I can get back to work and won't have to worry about that. We'll see what the week brings.