So I figured that short facebook updates were probably not enough to fill everyone in on what my days have been like lately. So I thought I should write a post to fill everyone in on what our lives are these days as we prepare for the baby.
It all started on February 7. I had an appointment with the obgyn that morning, with ultrasound. The ultrasound went great, baby looked fine. I was at 30 weeks pregnancy, starting to worry somewhat because that is the point in the pregnancy when Jonah died. But this entire pregnancy has been an exercise in trusting God for me, so I was doing ok. Then we went back to the exam room, and my blood pressure was pretty high, 150s over 90s I believe. The doctor was concerned, so she sent us home with instructions to collect my urine for 24 hours starting the next morning and to take my blood pressure every few hours and to REST. We did have to stop at a couple of stores before heading home but I sat as much as possible and took it easy. Then when we got home I took my bp again, still high. So I grabbed a couple of movies and went to lay down in the bedroom and watch them. A couple of hours later I took my bp again. This time it was 169/101. Yikes. Travis called my doctor’s office and talked to the nurse about my bp going up, what should we do? They recommended I head for the hospital. By the time we gathered up our stuff (we hadn’t packed for the hospital yet) and headed down here, and then waited for triage in labor and delivery, it was probably 7 pm. I was taken back to a triage room and then went through blood work and more bp checks. Still high. So they admitted me. They put me on a magnesium drip (awful stuff, gave me horrible hot flashes) and hooked me up to monitors. That lasted until Wednesday morning when they stopped the magnesium and put me on a higher dose of my bp medicine (I had high bp going into this pregnancy but it was controlled until all of this happened). In the meantime we got the fun of collecting my urine for that 24 hour test for protein (yuck, I know). The protein test showed some elevation, not enough to come up in a regular pee-in-the-cup test in the doctors office but higher than it should be. So the diagnosis is more or less pre-eclampsia, otherwise known as pregnancy-induced hypertension. Because I am already predisposed to it I’m kind of on the border of that and just my regular bp issues rearing their head. Either way, the doctor decided to keep me here until the baby comes.
Thursday morning (February 10) I was moved from the labor and delivery floor up to the floor where they keep high risk pregnancy patients along with women’s health misc. Some days I’m the only one in my section, other times there are lots of other moms-to-be. But we’ve been here the longest so far. We aren’t the record, the nurses tell us about a couple who were here for two months and the husband moved in a dresser, treadmill, and desk. We’re a bit more minimalist than that, although we’ve got the laptop, extra pillows, and a pile of movies (thank God they have a dvd player in the room).
My routine is pretty boring, too. More or less, this is how my day goes, though the times vary by about a half hour either way.
8:00am Wake for meds and vitals check
10:00am Get put on the monitor to check baby’s heart rate and see if I have any contractions (only a few small ones documented thus far)
12:00pm Vitals check (bp and temp mostly)
4:00pm Vitals and meds
8:00pm Vitals (they do this every four hours round the clock), back on monitor
12:00pm Vitals and meds
Thankfully I get lots of sleep. I’m surprised that they don’t wake me up earlier for breakfast but I’m quite thankful for that. I’d probably sleep even later if the baby and my bladder didn’t demand I wake up when they bring the tray. I spend my days in bed and only get up to use the bathroom and to shower once a day. The doctor did allow for me to go out in a wheelchair if I want, but when we tried it the one day I felt really awful and lightheaded so I’ve opted to stay put. We’re working our way through borrowed seasons of Friends on dvd in the evenings, and I check facebook and blogs every day on my phone. Some days my energy levels are ok, some days not as much. The longer I’m here the more tired I get, probably a combo of getting more pregnant each day and also the sitting and resting which means I’m just not as energetic.
We had an almost-scare this week when they did another 24-hour urine analysis, there was a mixup in the ratios and the nurse implied to the doctor that my protein counts were insanely high when they were actually slightly lower than they were when I first got here. During the misunderstanding, we were told that I was moving downstairs to prepare for delivery the next day. But they realized the mistake before we even had our stuff gathered up, and I’m staying put. This pregnancy is now at 32 weeks, 4 days (for those of you not in this lingo, 40 weeks is full term). My doctor is aiming for 34 weeks to induce me, and she said if I happen to go into labor naturally before that she won’t try to stop it. So I have about another week and a half left, after being here 2 1/2 weeks. It’s not as bad as it sounds, I actually do ok having lots of down time. This past year has been so crazy for us, I spent much of it waiting for something to calm down to feel like things were normal, so I think this time is a gift from God for me to resettled my brain and body before we embark on the biggest adventure of our lives – parenthood. People keep asking me if I’m getting stir-crazy, but thankfully being in Texas there’s plenty of sunshine and it makes this easier. I have trouble believing it’s as warm outside as everyone keeps saying, but it will be a nice surprise when I finally get to leave here. The only thing I’m really tired of is hospital food. Breakfast is fine, but the other meals just all taste blah to me.
Travis has been staying with me the whole time – they have a couch in the rooms that doubles as a bed, so he works from here on the laptop and returns to Huntsville for services on Sunday and sometimes one other day during the week to catch up on office things and home stuff. He’s had to endure a lot from me, from mood swings to collecting my pee, but he’s taken it in stride. My mom is down here again, helping out with Allison and Mark or staying with me during the days when Travis has to be gone. Several folks have come to visit us, which is always a nice diversion. And the nurses have been wonderful – I’ve only had a couple rub me the wrong way, which is more about my personality than them doing anything wrong. We’ve seen just about every nurse who works in this department, I’m sure. They go above and beyond, just amazing people who do so much. My doctor stops in every day except on the weekends unless she’s on call, then I see her even Saturday and Sunday. It helps me feel safer about this pregnancy and my health knowing that they are being so careful watching over it all.
I’ve also learned that you can get mail at the hospital! Didn’t know you could mail cards to people in a hospital, but then again how often is someone there long enough to receive mail? I’ve gotten cards, and sometimes when people come they’ve brought cards, flowers, magazines, and candy. I think I’ve appreciated the company most, but it’s all so nice. I think the only bummer for me is that because of being hospitalized, I don’t get to have a baby shower. Well, there may still be something after, but not before. Oh well.
God is taking care of us, and I am just trying to remember to thank Him for that every day. Thank you all for your comments on facebook, your prayers, your visits, all of it. It all means so much to me! Take care, and God bless you all.