Friday, January 30, 2009

More of the same

Monday's doctor appointment went fine, just more orders for continued bed rest.  Our next appointment will include the first cervical length measurement.  This will hopefully set me free from my present confinement.  

Unlike many recent comments, bed rest is not fun or relaxing in the traditional sense of the word.  Not for the body or for the mind.  In the past three weeks my muscles have started wasting and I get dizzy from just standing.  My hips are sore and I perpetually look like I've forgotten how to dress myself.  Many other discomforts plague me that I will spare you from.

I don't mean to complain.  I would have Gladly and most thankfully done this for Abby before she was born if I could have.  This is continually at the fore front of my mind when I feel tired of the process.  I suppose this venue is a safe place to vent the reality of pregnancy after a preemie.

We have been overwhelmed by our family and friends who have jumped in to help!  Thank you Grandma and Papa!  Thank you Mom, for coming all the way from China to "work" in our house.  Thank you friends for meals, flowers, cards and encouragement.  It keeps us going.

I find myself going to look at pictures like these, reminding me of all the secret joys a full term baby brings.

And the miracles of a micro-preemie...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bed Rest Continued...

(15 weeks- face, feet, hands)

This past week has been more involved than we had expected.

I meant to update the blog and just didn't get to it until today.  (Warning: long and personal post)

It all started last Thursday night.  After being a "good girl" for 4 full days after the cerclage procedure (1-9-09), and staying on the couch except for bathroom trips, we felt like everything looked good.  Even our doc was encouraged when she checked on Monday (last).  So we went back to life as normal for the most part.   I took Abby to therapy but tried to minimize lifting at home. Patrick and I went out to dinner Wed. night for our date and did a little shopping.

Turned out a little lifting and shopping was too much.  Thursday night I just felt bad.  I couldn't pin down what exactly wasn't feeling good, but I figured I feel bad most days anyway and the nausea is usually to blame.  Went to bed early after having a little spotting.  The next morning there was enough bleeding for me to be worried.  We called the doc who told us to go to L&D to get checked out.

(15 weeks- profile; hand touching face)

Baby's heart rate sounded good.  But the bleeding got worse.  The doc checked things to make sure my water wasn't broken, and that the bleeding was from the cerclage site.  It was, so she admitted me for 24 hr complete bed rest.  'Complete' meaning: IV fluids, antibiotics, pain meds (for cramping), nausea meds, catheter, TED hose and pumps for my legs.  It was less than pleasant.  She said she wanted to make sure the inflammation/bleeding didn't cause my water to break or for labor to start.  This made us really nervous.

(not an attractive shot, but part of the memory non the less)

She also did an ultrasound to check for the health of the baby, placenta placement etc.  Everything looked ok.  (She even thinks it's a boy!)  We got a few pictures.

Saturday went ok with minimal bleeding.  The first time I really sat up to eat, I knew I had made a mistake.  The nurse checked and seemed concerned.  She called the doc who then ordered for me to stay another night to give the surgical site more quiet healing time.  So, I endured another night of minimal movement, eating/drinking on my side (not as easy as it looks) and some cramping.  Patrick stayed with me and helped me, which made the little sleep I did get more peaceful.

Sunday was a good day.  Very little bleeding and I slowly was freed from all the tubes, tape, wires and obnoxious pumping stockings!  We were home before supper.

The doc had ordered for continued bed rest this week to make SURE the cerclage site was healed up and that no more problems would arise.  

My wonderful sister came to our rescue Saturday night and kept our kids, cleaned our house, fixed us meals, made us laugh and just encouraged our socks off!  Despite the unpleasant circumstances, the Lord always shows His compassion in the perfect way.  He knew I needed my sis!  She brought her 3 month old son Jack with her, and of course he was such a joy.  It gave us a sweet reminder of what we are hoping to enjoy 5 months from now.

To top it off, she made us laugh till our sides hurt while I was trying to give my first P-17 (17 Alpha Hydroxyprogesterone) shot.  It was quite a site!

Thanks Chris and Jack!!  You'll never know how much you saved us!

Now Grandma is here from TN to save the day... and just in time too.  Early this morning the bleeding started up again.  After having several good days of hopeful healing, this was a big surprise.  Plus the fact that I've been on my back, except for bathroom breaks.  It was still dark out so I thought I'd give it some time before calling the doc.  At around 7 am it was worse and the cramping was back, so I called.  They told us to go to L&D at the hospital again.  My heart really sank.  I didn't want another experience like last weekend!

Fortunately things calmed down and the baby sounded great.  We bonded with our nurse who ended up praying with us while holding our hands.  The Lord touched us through her.  I got two sticks and an IV but didn't keep it long.  I only had a little bleeding while we were there so we got to go home around lunch time.  

So, as you can imagine I'm BACK IN BED.  Not on the couch, but in bed.  The kids are both sick.  Abby has a fever and runny nose.  Josiah has green gunk coming out of his eyes, and a runny nose.  Thank goodness for loving family!!  (we miss you Papa)

My mom is coming back from China on Monday.  She just went back after a long visit here in the States, but is turning around to help us.  We will certainly need it.

Thanks to all the friends who have brought meals, come for a visit and prayed for our baby during this crazy time.  I'm enjoying some beautiful flowers too!

We are so blessed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


For some this word has very little meaning.  For others, it has changed the course of their lives.

Everyday as we try to reach Abby in her little world, it's difficult not to get discouraged at the vast amount of "life" experiences that we aren't able to share with her.

In our time of waiting for an evaluation at Perkins School for the Blind, it is encouraging to see others who share in the same struggle.  

A little over a year ago I heard about the Deafblind triplets who live in Texas.  Their parents have started a Deafblind Children's Fund to raise money for Interveners to help children like Abby learn to explore their world and to communicate.  The Dunn's have had an Intervener working with one of their girls for over a year now.  Zoe is learning new concepts and expanding her language every day.

Abby is on the Fund's current waiting list for an Intervener.  These special people are trained to work with DB children, but sadly there are very few of them since this disability is rare.

I found this recent video of the Dunn family and thought I would share it.  These girls are amazing!

The Dunn Triplest are featured in a DVD called "Through Your Eyes."  All proceeds go towards the DBC Fund. (click link to see movie trailer)

If you haven't heard of the Dunn Triplets, here is a video of their story.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Day of Rest

(getting started)

I'm lying on the couch in the quiet, thinking of how thankful I am.  Thankful that yesterday's procedure went well.  Thankful that it's over and now I can concentrate on growing a baby.  Thankful for a husband who walks this road with me and takes care of me.  Thankful for Grandparents willing to keep our munchkins for the Whole weekend so I can really rest.

For the most part things went very smoothly yesterday.  My spinal didn't quite take enough effect so they put me to sleep instead.  Honestly, I was so glad.  Although the whole thing took less than 20 minutes, it's not a fun experience to remember.  Instead I had the best sleep I've had in 5 years!!  It might have only been 15 minutes but I woke up feeling so rested!!  

My doctor thought I was crazy for saying this... she just doesn't know how true it is.  

I had two doctors in there to perform the procedure...  made me feel pretty special!  When it was over she told me she was glad they did it now.  She said my cervix is short.  Not sure what that means at this point except that we don't want it to change!

I took Cow with me for the day.  Mostly for Josiah's sake, he'll think it's fun to see cow on the blog!  Cow does have sentimental value for me as well.  He's been near by for all of the most stressful events in my life.  This is actually the real cow's twin... J has the real one in TN.

I go to the office for ultrasounds every 2 weeks for the rest of the pregnancy.  She told us it could be every week depending on how things go.

We are optimistic and excited to carry this new baby to term.  That is our prayer.  If we can make it to June that will be excellent!!  Our due date is July 5th.


None of this has felt real (except the nausea/vomiting) until now.

Patrick and I will continue to enjoy our little vacation together, feeling like newlyweds in our very quiet house.  We miss our children a lot and look forward to getting them back on Monday.  They are having too much fun to miss us.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New Year Has Begun...

This year we welcomed the new year with Patrick getting the stomach virus.  It was a bad one too!  Poor guy.  The kids and I stayed far away from him as much as possible in hopes of avoiding the germs.

Although our anniversary came and went without much excitement we are determined to celebrate as soon as we are ALL healthy.

This week started out with Josiah getting sick with the nasty virus.  His stomach was mostly empty (thank goodness) when his symptoms started so we didn't have to do too much laundry.  He did have a high fever for 2 days and felt pretty lousy. Even today he is complaining of his tummy hurting after he eats.  Yuck!  

We are really praying that Abby dodges this one... and me too.

The kids are off to Papa and Grandma's today for the Whole Weekend!!  I know they will have a blast, but we will miss them.  I've never been away from them this long.

My cerclage procedure is scheduled for 8 am tomorrow morning.  Although my mind has tried to ignore the worries creeping up, I can't help but wonder how the next 6 months will go.  The cerclage puts me at higher likely hood of having more contractions during the next several months, even though the plan is for it to keep everything (and everybody) where it should be.

The certain type of cerclage (Shirodkar) my doctor will put in is more involved than the one I had last time.  It cannot be taken out in the office but will require another outpatient visit and spinal for pain control.  Most likely she will remove it before the baby is delivered by c-section.  It does have slightly higher risks.  After discussing the pros and cons of both methods, she explained that she has seen the best results with this type.

So here we go...