Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oh, Pregnancy...

I figured that since I'm on bed rest now, and haven't blogged or journaled at all this entire pregnancy (other than the occasional facebook status), I would start, to fill some of the spare time.

I found out I was pregnant the morning of May 8. I had been starving, and just didn’t have a ton of energy, so I took a test. Positive. After a miscarriage in January, I wasn’t sure I wanted to try again, especially not so soon, and it was an absolute ‘oops.’ It took me a while to be ok with it, even longer to get happy about the fact that I was pregnant.

I had been incredibly sick in the beginning - at one point, I lost over 5lb in less than 5 days. After spending an afternoon in the ER getting fluids and IV meds, and being sent home with a prescription for nausea meds, I was able to eat, and sort of hold food/water down, and I gained the weight back.

It was so frustrating though. I had enrolled in classes at the community college, and was planning on finishing my AA in Photography. Thanks to being so sick all of the time, I was forced to drop the classes.

In the midst of being sick constantly, we also found out that we were moving. We had known for about a year that Superman would be moving to Arizona, but we had been told that due to lack of medical services in the small town where the base was located, the kids and I wouldn’t be authorized to go with him. Since January, we had been trying to get information on whether they would be paying for our housing, in addition to giving him a housing allowance. Seven months later, on July 3, we were told that they would only pay for one home, and that the person/people who told him he wasn’t authorized to take his family didn’t know what they were talking about and didn’t have the authority to make that decision. So he could either move his family with him, or we could pay for his living costs out of pocket. We couldn’t afford that, and he had to report by August 3. So we had less than a month to get the move scheduled and planned, find a house, get everything in order, and move to Arizona.

We got it all figured out, after lots of stress, and we left Colorado on July 31 to head down here. In the car on the way, I thought I was feeling the baby move, but I wasn’t sure. A few days later, though, it was obvious - it was definitely the baby!

Around 16 weeks I started feeling cramping and contractions. I tried to make an appointment with an OB office, but it was difficult to get in. They wanted to do an ultrasound ‘to confirm viability’ (yes, they said that) before I could see a doctor. Even though I was having contractions. I had the ultrasound on August 8th. And it’s a BOY!

Then, since they’re based in Tucson and just come down to Sierra Vista twice a week, I had to be seen IN Tucson for my first appointment, meaning I could either take my kids out of school during their first week in, or I could wait two weeks to be seen. They also only deliver in Tucson. I wasn’t too worried, just frustrated. Then, the contractions started getting a lot worse, and they were incredibly rude, telling me that there was nothing they could/would do if I was contracting this early (not true), and that I was probably just going to miscarry, so just hang out, and go to the ER if I was really that worried.

I promptly changed doctors to another OB who is local, and delivers here in Sierra Vista. They were able to get me in the next morning to see the PA. She was HORRIBLE! Didn’t make eye contact more than twice the entire visit, didn’t smile once, NO bedside manner, no manners, period. Definitely NOT someone who should be working with nervous pregnant women. I also asked her about starting Progesterone injections, which  my OB from Colorado (whom I absolutely LOVED) had wanted to start around 14 weeks, to try to prevent preterm labor, but didn’t start because I was moving. She told me that they wouldn’t start until after 20 weeks.

Three weeks later, on August 28, I was finally able to see the OB. He said I should have started the injections earlier (obviously). I wasn’t dilating at all, so contractions weren’t doing anything, thank goodness.

I had been having contractions a lot. The ‘protocol’ for contractions is more than 6 an hour, you’re supposed to call the dr’s office, and they usually send you in to be monitored, but since I’d had the same issues with Brother Bear and Little Miss, I didn’t get too concerned unless I’d been having them more than 6 minutes apart for a few hours. Finally, on September 10, I decided to call. It had been a pretty rough day, contraction-wise, and I was starting to get concerned. They sent me to L&D to be monitored, and, of course, as soon as I got there, the contractions slowed down a lot. Plus, they didn’t have the monitors set up right, so the contractions I WAS having weren’t even showing up. They told me to go home, take it easy, basically modified bed rest - lie down as much as possible, and call with any issues.

I had an appt the next week (September 18), and they did a cervical ultrasound. My cervix had shortened since my last ultrasound, but it was still in the ‘normal’ range, so the dr wasn’t too concerned. He said we’d do another one at my next appointment and to call with any issues. I was measuring at 23cm, which, for almost 23 weeks, is perfect.

Then, on September 24, I went back to L&D. I had been having contractions all day, which wasn’t abnormal, but nothing was making them stop, and they were getting more and more painful. I was on the monitor for a few hours, contracting ever 6-8 minutes. They weren’t incredibly strong, but they were consistent. They gave me a pill that’s used to stop contractions, and it worked to slow them down to about 15 minutes apart. They also did a Fetal Fibronectin test (which is basically a swab for the protein that binds the amniotic sac to the inside of the uterus). The test isn’t absolute - and a negative result is a lot more important than a positive result. If it’s negative, the chances of going into labor/delivering in the next two weeks is less than 5%. If positive, the chances are about 50%. So, obviously, they’re hoping for a negative. It was positive. The nurse checked for dilation, and I was starting to dilate… So the result of that is… Bed Rest. Until my next appointment, on October 16th. Three weeks.

The earliest they will deliver a baby in the hospital here is 34 weeks. Obviously, the closer to 40 weeks, the better. Brother Bear was born at 37, Little Miss was born at 35. I’m hoping this time, to just get far enough to not have to go to Tucson to deliver, and  not have the baby have to be transferred to the NICU in Tucson.

As of today, I am 24 weeks and 2 days, and on day 5 of bed rest. It is the hardest thing to stay down. There is so much that needs to be done, boxes that need to be unpacked, a house that needs to be cleaned… And I feel SO guilty. Guilty for not being able to play with the kids, or help them really do much of anything. Guilty for them having to basically fend for themselves after school (and Little Miss, before school). Guilty for Superman having to get up at 4:30am to go to PT early, so he can come home, help get Brother Bear ready for school, make lunches for him and Brother Bear , drop him off at school, and get to work on time. Guilty for Superman having to work all day, then come home, feed the kids, clean the house, bathe and get the kids ready for bed, and then work on whatever homework he has. Guilty for having to ask him to do EVERYTHING for me - from getting me snacks, filling up  my water bottle, washing the laundry. Guilty for not being able to help, literally, at all. (even sitting up for more than 15 minutes to fold laundry causes contractions). Guilty for having people from church bringing meals to us every day. Guilty for having to ask people to pick my kids up from school. Incredibly guilty for not being able to go with Little Miss on her first field trip ever. Logically, I know that I’m doing what I have to do to keep this baby healthy and growing, and that it’s less stressful to be in bed than it would be to have to be in Tucson at the NICU for months with a preemie… But it’s hard for me to let people help.

I am so thankful for the amazing help we’ve been getting… I just can’t wait to be able to help myself, and actually be a mom to my kids, instead of a lump on the couch.

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