Friday, May 27, 2011

That was a Contraction?


Image courtesy of Google

Our latest appointment started like any other appointment; How are you feeling, is the baby kicking, etc.  We had our ultrasound and got to see our beautiful boy.  He looks more like a real baby than I expected.  Even the tech said he has really filled out in the face.  He has precious chubby cheeks, pouty lips, and a perfectly chiseled chin. He is just a picture perfect baby.  Yes, I have already become the insanely bias momma that thinks knows she has the most beautiful, perfect, smart baby in the world.  I used to swear that if I had kids, I would not become one of those delusional women...yet here I am in full delusional glory.
As the Dr. measured my cervix and snapped various ultra-sound shots she asked, "Is there anything you need to tell me?"  In a confused voice I said, "I don't think so?"  This is when she informed me that I was having contractions.  As in, my body had started the process of going into labor.  Suddenly I had movie scenes flashing before my eyes of women going into labor and screaming bloody murder as they felt a contraction.  I didn't feel so much as a tickle, cramp, or gas pain.  Yet here I am on the table and the Dr. is telling me my body is contracting.  Not only was I contracting, but the length of my cervix has already shortened meaning baby was closer to the outside world than ever been.  My cervix had also begun to funnel as it was making room for the baby to pass through.  Immediately I was administered a steroid injection to prepare for Baby P to join this world.  The specialist said she was admitting me to labor and delivery and with that, we were headed upstairs.

On a side note, the steroid shot burned just a little, but it was over in seconds.  I was thankful it was quick!  They dressed me in a lovely hospital gown and hooked me up to various monitors.  One monitor watched my contractions and the other monitor watched to make sure Baby P was doing OK.  Let me stress, we were not prepared to be put into the hospital on this evening.  We thought it would be a normal appointment and then we would both head back at work for the day.  I didn't so much have a toothbrush or hairbrush with me.

As word got out that I had been admitted, my door quickly flew open to find Momma and sister standing there.  After the shock of learning that P was making his way out and I was being put into the hospital, seeing them was the most normal moment I could have had.  I convinced Scott to get some fresh air and he ran to Kipplees to pick us up a Strom-B-Que.  I wasn't ready to enter the world of hospital food yet.  Scott also decided since I had company he was going to run home and get us our toiletries as well as pick up clothes for him to wear to work the next day.  I tried to convince him he didn't need to come back, but he refused to even listen to that suggestion.

Image courtesy of Google
The nursing staff was so nice and checked my monitors frequently for updates.  My contractions continued to come in about 3 an hour and they continued to ask me, "Are you sure you aren't feeling anything?"  It was like they thought I was either lying to them or in denial that I could possibly be having a baby, but seriously, if I was in pain, they would be the first people I tell.

As the night wore on, Scott and I ate our Stromboli and momma and sister headed home.  Scott and I talked about our situation and realized that it is completely out of our hands right now.  It is very hard to give up that feeling of having control of a situation, but it was the only way we could keep our minds from driving us crazy.  Our room was a very nice size and had a couch that pulled into a bed.  Scott curled up on that and I was in the hospital bed.  I wanted to lay in his bed so bad...but the cords from my monitors wouldn't reach that far. 

Throughout the night, the nurses would come in and check on me.  I didn't get to sleep much...maybe 3 hours.  I had too many thoughts running rampant in my mind.  I was secretly happy to see the sun starting to peek through the windows.  It meant that we had all survived the night and a new day was upon us.   Scott's alarm went off and with a heavy heart, he headed off to work.  I convinced him that it was pointless to take a day off when I was in the best hands possible and there would be days down the road that will be more critical for him to be with me. 

My Dr. showed up bright and early to check my monitors.  With a happy tone she said the contractions were on a drastic decline and that baby was doing great.  His heartbeat had maintained a very steady rate throughout the night and was showing zero signs of stress.  She said I would get my 2nd steroid shot this evening at 5 and as long as everything remains on the up and up, I would be home before nightfall.  Those were great words to hear. 

Shortly after, my sweet friend Alice and her daughter showed up to help pass the time.  They brought snacks of every kind, DVDs, a beautiful African violet, and entertained me with stories and happy thoughts.  It was much needed and so appreciated.  I couldn't escape the weird feeling of just laying in a hospital bed...it was my first overnight in a hospital and it was just a helpless/bizarre feeling.  I was thankful that Alice's visit helped get my mind off that.

Image courtesy of Google
I had to bite the bullet and experience hospital food.  It wasn't awful...but it wasn't exactly great.  The breakfast was good but lunch left a lot to be desired.  I was happy that one of the snacks Alice brought was a plate of fresh baked brownies.  Now that is a way to make a confined girl feel good!!

As the evening closed in and Alice headed home, Scott showed after work.  He had checked in numerous times throughout the day and knew there was a good chance we would be going home shortly.  The 2nd shot was administered and they confirmed my contractions had stopped completely.  GREAT News!!!!!  I was put on strict bed rest with bathroom/shower breaks being the only time I could get out of bed or off the couch.   

Carefully, we packed up our items and I was discharged.  An appointment had been set up for Fri. morning which meant I got at least the next 2 nights in my own bed, at my own house, with our stuff.  They instructed me to come back if I started having "more intense contractions."  Since I haven't felt a single twinge of contractions thus far....I'm not sure how successful I'll be at noticing future contractions?

Getting in the car and going home felt great.  Scott got me settled at home and he reiterated what the Dr. said-No unnecessary movement.  There truly is no place like home. 

While Scott and I were relieved to be home, our hearts were heavy and nervous as we didn't know how much time we actually had before P continued his pursuit to the outside world.  We asked our friends and family for prayers because we don't know what else to do.  At this point, our next step will depend on the appointment Fri. morning.  If cervix shortening continues, I will be admitted until P is born.  If shortening has stopped completely, I will be monitored on a weekly basis to make sure we catch the moment when the labor process starts again. 

Our goals are as follows; We must get the baby to 28 weeks in utero.  This is a critical time frame as the mortality and morbidity rate decline drastically.  If we can make it to 28 weeks, we will push for 32 weeks.  Every week on top of 32 is icing on the cake.  We will do whatever it takes to make it to our first goal and then whatever it takes to make it to 32. 

Thank you for following us on this journey and keeping us close to your hearts and in your prayers.  Please continue to do.  I look forward to the day I can announce we are welcoming our little boy into the world and that he is healthy and we are headed home as the Fisher Family of 3.  As much as I want that day to be here, I hope it isn't for at least another 10 weeks!!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Long Way to go and a Short Time to Get There!

Happy 24 weeks to our precious papaya sized Baby P! The weeks are literally flying past our eyes which is a good and bad thing.

23 wks and completely dressed in maternity wear!
 The most important update is that our little guy is doing extremely well. As of May 10th, he was 1lb 2oz. He has long fingers and toes and is very active. I told Scott we either have a piano player or a quarterback. Scott wishes for the latter. I’ve learned the little guy’s schedule. He isn’t much of a morning baby other than he must be fed between 6-8am. He prefers chocolate milk with pancakes or a bowl of chocolate Cheerios. After breakfast he is fairly quiet until around noon. I’m convinced that he has karate class at this time because I get served with some serious kicks and punches. After karate is over he quiets down until I get home from work. I’ll lie on the couch as Scott and I catch up on our day and discuss dinner options. I am 100% convinced P loves listening to us talk because he goes crazy. Scott can visibly watch our baby appear to swim from one side of his womb to the other. This will go on about 25 minutes before he gets all worn out and falls back asleep. Then he’s fairly quiet until it’s my bedtime. Night after night Scott can feel little kicks as I sleep with my stomach against Scott’s back. There is no doubt we have a very strong and active baby.

Our timeline of events has drastically changed over the past couple of weeks. At our last appointment the Dr. diagnosed me with Vasa Previa. Basically this means my placenta is directly over the birthing canal and has no intention of moving to a more convenient spot. The umbilical cord is also attached in this same location and not protected from the baby smashing it as he gets heavier and therefore cutting off his own blood/oxygen/lifeline.  Due to the large amount of blood that is contained in the membrane covering the birthing canal, if Vasa Previa is not detected prior to the start of labor, it is 100% fatal due to the amount of blood that would be lost at a rapid pace. If caught early, there is a 95%-100% chance that everything will be fine.
Looking exhausted at 24 wks

For the Fisher family, this means the following; I am being monitored by our perientologist every two weeks. Between 28-30 weeks, I will be admitted into the hospital for monitoring. The only reason they would admit me prior to 28 weeks would be if my body decides to naturally begin the labor process. Fingers crossed, it does not. Once in the hospital, they will begin administering steroids to get our little guys lungs ready for the real world. I will have a planned C-Section between weeks 35-36. The only way my C-Section would be bumped up is if our little guy tries to come early. Hopefully he stays put and we can make it to 36 weeks. At that point, we deliver our little guy.

This was not ideal news for us to learn, however, we are dealing with it. As the Dr. was delivering the news, my only concern was that our baby is thriving, which he is. I think the medical difficulties that Scott and I have faced for the past 9 months have prepared us for this moment. Had our lives been smooth and bump free, I may have a case of the “why-me’s.” Since we have seen dark days, we are in a mental place that as long as the baby is fine, we can keep going forward. That being said, this entire process is mind-numbing and scary. I worry about going into labor prior to being admitted into the hospital. I worry about the time spent in the hospital and my poor husband feeling helpless as I’m “confined” for 5 weeks. I worry about the C-section and if we will be able to make it to week 35. I worry about Baby P coming early and what long-term effects could come as a result. I worry about my husband and all that he has experienced in the past year. Physically, I am feeling fine and getting bigger by the day. Mentally I have my good days and bad days. 9 days out of 10, I can look at this in a positive light and just thank God that this was discovered when it was.

In the meantime, my nesting instincts have hit me full force. When Scott and I learned of my upcoming vacation in the local hospital, we didn’t have anything close to a nursery in our home. Since then, we have ordered and received a crib & mattress. We have completely emptied out our spare bedroom and bought paint and a new ceiling fan. And all the baby clothes that we have received from friends and family have been washed and folded (Thanks Momma!). We have a busy few weeks ahead of us as we paint walls, shampoo carpets, and mentally get ready to have a baby before fall. I say “we” however my activity is limited to as little movement as possible. I told Scott I’m the contractor of this job because I lay on the couch and tell him what to do and how to do it. I’m very good at being a contractor and he is very good at being a laborer.

Due to the short time we have had to prepare for baby and the exact date of our hospital stay being up in the air my sweet friends and sister are planning a post-baby shower in early September. This way out-of-town family/friends have time to make plans to attend as well as ensure that I won’t be cooped up in a hospital bed on the day the shower happens. And hoping all goes well with Baby P and his time in the NICU is limited; he will be able to briefly join us at the shower.

If you’re reading this blog, I have 2 favors to ask of you;

1. Pray. Pray for Scott and I to keep the strength and positive attitude we need to get through this time. Pray Baby P continues to thrive and stays in his apartment until he hits 35 weeks. Pray the Drs. are able to perform a successful C-section that leads to the healthy (and quick) recovery for me and delivery of Baby P. Pray that after all this is over, Scott and I get to take the most wonderful prize on earth home…a healthy baby boy.

2. Recommend a book, DVD, website, or another way to pass the time while I am in the hospital. I am hoping those 5 weeks go by quickly but I’m also a little worried about developing cabin hospital fever. If you had 5 weeks to do nothing but think (and you weren’t on a beach) how would you pass the time?

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Holy Emotions!

I'm sure it's a combination of a crazy Drs. appointment on Tuesday, Scott being out of town all week, and a sprinkle of pregnancy hormones, but I just lost it.  Sitting at my desk, warm tears streaming down my cheeks like they've got somewhere to be, and the inability to make it stop. 

The song "Anyway" by Martina McBride just came on my IPOD.  I listened to the words closely for the first time ever and they hit me like a ton of bricks. The chorus could be our theme for our experience with being pregnant.  With tissue in hand, I give you the lyrics...


You can spend your whole life buildin'
Something from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great
But sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy
It's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
In a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway

God is great
But sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah - I do it anyway

You can pour your soul out singing
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yea, sing it anyway
Yeah, yeah!

I sing
I dream
I love
anyway

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo!

Image courtesy of Google
Recently I blogged about Scott and my first date 4 years ago. However, we must confess that not all of our dates were always fluffy clouds and pink fuzzy bunnies. One such date happened 4 years ago today, Cinco de Mayo.


I was at my sister’s house waiting for Scott to pick me up and Rhea decided she wanted to meet him. It was only our 2nd date and I knew the chances of Rhea embarrassing me were high. There wasn’t a snowballs chance in Mexico that I was going to let that happen.

As Scott’s truck pulled into the drive, I launched myself out the door quick as could be. Both Scott and my sister (who was now standing at the door looking out) were surprised by my quick move. Due to the puzzled expression on Scott’s face as I jumped into the passenger side and slammed the door, I felt the need to explain that my sister was a little goofy and he could meet her later. *Note: we’re all a little goofy. I just wasn’t ready for Scott to meet the family yet.

As we drove to a local Mexican restaurant, the conversation was good and I was happy to be out with this fantastic person. At dinner, I enjoyed 1 margarita. It was good and I felt completely fine post-margarita. After dinner, Scott mentioned heading to a friend’s house as it was his birthday and he was throwing a party.
Photo courtesy of Google

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a little ankle-biting dog. Except, this dog didn’t just bite ankles, it got a hold of Scott’s nose. Yes, the dog bit Scott’s nose and drew blood. Not to mention, I have a small fear of dogs anyway, so it was just an awkward situation. Throw in the fact that this is our second date and I was meeting a room full of people I had never met before in my life.

Scott’s friend, (the birthday boy) offered to make me a drink. “Sure!” I replied. Famous last words as it must have been the strongest White Russian in the history of White Russian’s. After finishing the drink (not forgetting the 1 margarita I had with dinner) I sat down on the couch and the world was slowly spinning. As the world spun, I sank lower and lower into the cushions as my world went dark.

Photo courtesy of Google
I woke up much later to an empty apartment except for Scott sitting next to me on the couch watching tv. Apparently the two drinks were more than I could handle and I had passed out cold on the couch. The party had decided to head into town to some of the local establishments to continue on with their festivities. Sweet Scott, not wanting to leave his passed out date, stayed with me while I slept off my 2 beverages. After slowly coming back to reality, Scott drove me back to my sister’s house. I was mortified and Scott had teeth marks on his nose. Not the best night for either of us.

A couple crucial factors were realized by both of us that night:

1. I am not allowed more than 1 adult beverage ever again.

2. Scott will keep his face out of biting distance from canines.

3. Should I ever pass out again, I know that Scott will be at my side when I wake up.

4. Even though the date sucked at the time, we can now look back on it and laugh.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Half Baked!

20 weeks down!
(or should I say Out)

Baby Fish is 20 weeks through his 40 week lease on his 1 bedwomb/1 bathwomb unit.  (No pregnancy didn't make me this cheesy, I've always been this cheesy!) He's about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (A super cute and squirmy banana)


Currently Baby Fish is in LOVE with bologna sandwiches. Now this isn't completely strange because I've always enjoyed a bologna, mustard and cheese sandwich. BUT, now I actually want them more than once throughout the day. I've found the best local place to get a German Bologna sandwich is the Nisbet Inn. While their slogan is "Coldest Beer in the World," it should be "Pregnant girls LOVE our Bologna!" There is not much better than having a craving, eating the item, and it being everything you wanted it to be!

Mmmm....


Does the moon and pull of the tide have any say in the gender of a baby at conception? These days…I’m starting to believe that it just may. My reason for this is Scott and I are due September 12 and are having a boy. I have one friend that is due the exact same day and she is also having a boy. I have another friend that is due September 9, and she is also having a boy. While this is only 3 people, it is the only 3 people I know due right around that time meaning we all conceived right around the same time. And now…we are all having boys. So, does the moon and tides have influence on if we have   a boy or girl?
As I mentioned previously, we have a night owl among us. He's still good about only waking me up once a night, but sometimes once I'm awake, I'm really awake. The mistake happened the other night that I let my brain turn on for just a few minutes. Those few minutes stretched into about 45 minutes. What you may ask could I possibly think of at 2:15 in the morning that would keep me up until 3? Life with Baby P after my maternity leave is over. We have yet to finalize any sort of daycare or work arrangements that includes our little guy. Scott and I have discussed every possibility under the sun and thus far, we haven't decided what option is the best for us. It's such a huge decision and we want to make sure we are doing what is best for the 3 of us. We just haven't figured out what that is yet. Until we do…that is what keeps me up at night.
Photo courtesy of Google
I think this will be the last week that I will "Just Say No" to maternity clothes. I'm just about ready to wear pants with a soft and flexible mid-section. Dear God, please don't let this be the last time I ever wear my pre-pregnancy clothes. Just because I am sacrificing body for baby does not mean I am destined to have a mommy-figure post baby, right? I admit that I am nervous about my expanding bust and mid-section. 

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