Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hello Third Trimester...


Boy am I glad to see the third trimester being pregnant! No one...doctors, nurses, etc...thought that my little fighter and I would make it this far, but here we are! Woohoo!!!

Within the last week, our baby boy still seems to be doing well. On Thursday we had an ultrasound to check baby's growth. Overall, he is growing and had gained 6 oz in 3 weeks making him 1 pound 11 ounces. His abdomen did to show as much growth as the rest of him. While this is some cause for concern, we aren't worry about it as of yet. It is extremely difficult to get accurate measurements on him, specifically any organs, due to the lack of amniotic fluid....which when I mean lack, I mean none. Nada. Zilch. Zero. There is zero amniotic fluid. He is still producing the fluid, however it constantly leaks out.
  The good news is that he continues to produce the fluid. The down side of having no fluid is that there is a higher chance of the umbilical cord becoming compressed. This could in many different ways from him sitting on it, getting wrapped up in it, or in rare occasions him holding onto it and squeezing it (my doctor said the last way is rare, but she has seen it happen).  How would we know if this happens? His heart rate take a dip and it would show up when his heart rate is being monitored.
  Well, this has started to happen. Last night and this morning while being monitored, his heart rate took a dip. I was kept on the monitor longer the frequency that this wold happen. Luckily, it only happened 1-2 times in the 2 hours of being monitored each time. It could have happened simple because of his positioning. He still continues to move, more like trying to get in a comfortable position rather than kicking.  Any movement is good...and we are all good there! However, this movement can cause the cord compression, but he usually moves and his rate goes back to the normal range.
post signature What happens next? Baby's heart rate is monitored more frequently and watched more closely.  We will have a repeat ultrasound in 2 weeks instead of 3 weeks. Also, next week I will receive my second and final doses of steroid injections to help baby boy develop.

  I'm still hanging in. The nurses, doctors, and staff at the hospital are so sweet and have been spoiling! At different times during the day, you can find nurses popping in my room to say hi and chat with me, often staying about 30-45 minutes. Nurses will cheer when I am one of their patients for the day...they are just phenomenal!

   I continue to feel so blessed...yes, even in this unimaginable situation. My husband and I now have hope. Hope that our baby will overcome this situation and our family will become the family of 5 we have prayed for. I am continuously grateful for the out pouring of support, generous gifts, cards, emails, texts, and phone calls from family and friends. It is because of all of you that we are able to continue to be strong and are making it day by day. Please continue to pray for our baby boy and pray for my husband. His strength, love, and devotion is awe inspiring. I continue to fall even deeper in love with him as I see him being so strong for me, our children, and himself. He is amazing!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Milestones


Well, here we are. Each member of our family has hit a major milestone(s) over the week. Here's the roll call...

Clayton is still loving school. I couldn't be happier that his transition into school routine has been so seamless for him, especially since I have not been around for it.  This continues to break my heart, but I'm learning to deal. Getting to see the papers he brings home and hear his stories from his day are help to give me a glimmer into his new activities. This past week, he started his third season of soccer. He loves it! I can't wait to watch him play!

Lacey has had a little bit of a rough time adjusting to me being away. She was ok at first, but as me absence grows longer, she has a harder time adjusting.  Today, she was able to visit with me for a few hours and spent the whole time laying with me in bed and cuddling. She was in tears when it was time for her to leave, even with the promise that she could visit tomorrow.  Lacey's big milestone was that she had her follow up appointment with her cardiologist at Riley Children's Hospital and received a clean bill! Her heart looks perfect and she won't have to go back for 4 years!

The baby and I are still in the hospital...2 weeks after being admitted.  Over the past weekend, the baby had a rough 24 hours.  His heart dropped and he was monitored for 24 hours continuously. It's means that I was hooked up to a heart rate monitor and contraction monitor the whole time. I was not permitted to get out of bed for any reason. Luckily, baby did much better and we are back to being monitored 3 times a day and bathroom privileges have been restored. Saturday marks a major milestone...we have made it to 26 weeks pregnant! He now has a survival rate of 75% and a health complication risk that has gone down to about 70%.  I've also been granted daily wheelchair rides for 30 minutes a day and can go outside! I save these for when Clayton and Lacey come to visit so that they aren't confined to the hospital room. This also gives them an opportunity to see me out of the bed in hopes to give them confidence that Mommy will be ok. I continue to keep taking this journey day by day. I do keep a daily count to help keep the days separate. When you spend 22-23 hours of your day in one room, one bed, your days tend to run together.

My husband continues to be daddy, mommy, bread-winner, house keeper, laundry-person, dog(s) caretaker, etc...all independently. His strength through this difficult journey is nothing short of impressive.

Thank you all so much for your support, emails, phone calls, texts, gift cards, cards, care packages, and especially your prayers! This journey would be so itch more difficult without your loving support! I don't know how I could ever begin to repay everyone for your kindness, but I sure will try!
post signature

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Numbers


1

    I have been in the hospital now for 1 week.  Baby boy and I were admitted last Thursday and will remain here until the end of the pregnancy. He is stable and seems to be doing well. He gets monitored 3 times a day to check his heart rate and to detect any contractions that I may have. Luckily, no contractions and I remain pregnant. What a blessing!

9

    The ultimate goal is for me to remain pregnant for another 9 weeks and then deliver then. However, this goal is best case scenario and not really realistic...but that doesn't mean I won't try and make that my goal. Whenever the baby starts showing sign of stress or a health decline in me, delivery will be necessary.  We discovered through an ultrasound the my placenta is covering my cervix. Discovering this along with our baby being breech means that a cesarean section will be the way that I will need to deliver.

25

   On Saturday, I will be 25 weeks pregnant. It is a true miracle that I am still pregnant after the amniotic membranes ruptured three weeks ago. Most women go in to labor within 48 hours after their membranes rupture and very rarely stay pregnant after a week.

65

   Making it to 25 weeks pregnant gives our baby boy a 65% chance of survival.  This is HUGE considering just a few weeks ago we were given 0% chance!

80

   If delivering at 25 weeks ( which I won't!) our baby has a 80 % chance that he will live with some complication.  Now, there are a wide range and variety of complications he might have. This could be any where from needing to wear glasses to more severe such as cerebral palsy. We won't know anything until birth and maybe not even then.

100

     I am 100% grateful for all of the comments, emails, texts, phone calls, flowers, and care packages I have received. Everyone's support and encouragement helps me to remain strong and feel like I am not alone. My faith remains unshaken that God will take care of us. I have not lost my bags on this leg of my life journey.
post signature

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

School, Dress Up, and Update


    Our little man is surviving his first few days of Kindergarten, even if he is exhausted.  The highlight of my "bedridden" day is when everyone comes home.  Lacey comes running in the house yelling, "Mommy! Mommy!" Clayton comes in, slings his book bag...backpack....err, whatever you call it....on the couch for me to look through his papers, gets his iPad and headphones, and tunes us out!

 Exhibit A: 

 WAIT! I am all for him going to Kindergarten, but not for this!  How did he grow up so much in just a short period of time!  *SIGH....*

Meanwhile, while Big Bro is at school doing this:


Little Sis is at her "school" doing this:


They could not be more different from one another and I could not be more thrilled for their individuality and uniqueness!  BUT...how did SHE grow up so fast too! 


 No matter how different they are, my heart is happy because they sure do love each other.  Even though they enjoy totally different things and have different interests, they still will choose to play together and help one another.  I just pray this lasts through their teenage years! 


As for the me and the youngest member of the family, we are still doing the same, which is not necessarily bad.  Each day that I stay pregnant is hopefully giving him a better chance of surviving.  I pray that there is enough fluid surrounding him so that his lungs can continue to develop.  Tomorrow is our big day...the second time I will be off of the couch and out of the house in 2 weeks.  I hope my husband drives slow so I can enjoy it!  I have a vision of me hanging my head out of the window yellling, "WHEEEEE"  like the pig in the GEICO commercial: 




The reason for leaving the house is a doctor's appointment.  Tomorrow is a big day, we will get an in depth ultrasound to determine the baby's growth, meet with high risk pregnancy doctors, and a NICU doctor and team.  Hopefully, we will learn if our baby's chance of survival has improved from 0% chance and determine a plan or course of action.  Thank you all for your prayers, comments,  and text messages.  This has not gotten any easier, but we have been comforted so much by all of your support.



post signature

Monday, August 5, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Life's Journey



         Today, I'm consumed with thinking about God's plan and the different life journeys that we sometimes find ourselves on. My family and I have been hanging on tight for this wild ride that is our life journey as of lately.  The only constants that we have on this journey is our faith in God and our love and commitment to one another.  
       I've been blessed with a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful, amazing children.  We felt very blessed to be able to add one more child to our family.  In February, we were over the moon thrilled to find out that we would be expecting.   Shortly after, I began bleeding.  Once consulting with our doctor, we discovered that there was a significant blood clot in my uterus.  Thankfully, there was no harm to the baby.  The baby continued to grow bigger and remain healthy.  
      At the end of April, we discovered that our feisty little girl had a heart murmur. At first, we thought that there must be some sort of mistake.  Of course, we consulted with a cardiologist and multiple tests later, it was determined that Lacey had a whole in the major artery and vein in her heart.  She was officially diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).  Due to her age and the strain that this was putting on her heart, corrective surgery was needed.  In June, we headed to Riley Children's Hospital to correct her PDA.  This was our first experience like this of any kind.  Our little girl handled it like...well, someone older and wiser behind her 3 years of age.  The amazing doctors and nurses took excellent care of Lacey and her surgery was perfect.  About 4 hours after surgery, we were released home to recover and spoil our baby girl until she felt better.  Well, in true Lacey form, this didn't take long.  The morning after her surgery, I took that bandage off and it was like she never had the surgery! She was dancing around the house and getting into everything as usual. The doctors said she could have more energy...and she does!  What a blessing!!  She is truly our little fighter (and princess)! 


    Her next follow up appointment isn't until August and we are sure she will receive a clean bill of health! We just couldn't help but feel so relieved and grateful that our little girl was so lucky.  This was one life journey that we never expected, but we trusted that God would keep her safe and He did.   Now, the only doctors appointments over the summer included regular appointments to check on Baby 3. 
      In June, at a scheduled ultrasound we discovered that this baby is going to be a boy! Again, we were so grateful and feeling so blessed for the gifts we have received.  Clayton and Lacey were starting to get more comfortable with the idea that there was going to be another baby.  They helped me decorate the nursery, would ask how the baby was doing, and Lacey would raise up my shirt to "tickle" the baby.  


   The summer was quickly coming to an end.  The nursery was all put together and I was starting to work in my classroom to prepare for the upcoming school year.  One morning in late July, I woke up in a puddle of water.  My first thought was that I had peed the bed...my second thought was one of panic.  I was afraid that I had leaked amniotic fluid.  After a phone call to my doctor's office, Curt and I were off to the hospital.  The whole way, I kept hoping and praying that they would send me home saying, "Gosh, Lindsay doesn't have control of her bladder...heehee."  I would have been thrilled with that...unfortunately, that was not case. After ultrasounds and tests, we discovered that my amniotic membranes had in fact ruptured.  I was only 21 weeks and 5 days pregnant. The doctors gave us a 0% chance of our baby surviving. For a pregnancy to be considered viable, the baby has to reach 24 weeks.  At my present condition, our baby boy was not developed enough to survive outside of my body.  If I was to go into labor, he would only be alive for a few hours.  I was released to go home, but was put on 100% bed rest. Other than to go to the restroom, I was to remain laying down and drink as much water as I can. Essentially, we were sent home to wait for me to go into labor. 

     That was one week ago. 

  Now, I am still pregnant, 22 weeks and 6 days.  There has been no change since last week.  I continue to be on bed rest, drinking 8 liters of water of day.  Each day, I continue  to leak amniotic fluid.  After an ultrasound this week, baby boy still seems to be doing ok, but it is unknown how he is developing. We are afraid due to the dangerously low amniotic fluid, that his lungs are 'frozen' at this stage of development.  So, now we find ourselves on another unplanned, unimaginable journey.  We are trusting in God and His plan, but to be honest, some days this is harder than others.  
     While I'm doing what I can to protect this pregnancy and Baby #3, I'm consistently struggling not being able to do all of the things for Clayton and Lacey that I used to because of the bed rest. Explaining to them about this situation was definitely hard and I didn't think I could do it without crying.  My amazing husband...which I find myself at a lose of words of how wonderful and supporting he has been and continues to be...talked with Clayton and Lacey and explained that the baby is very sick and Mommy is has to stay laying down to help him get better.  Clayton is such a sensitive little guy...he is so careful around me as to not hurt the baby.  Lacey loves with her whole being.  She snuggles right up to me on the couch to lay with me.  Clayton comes and perches close to me and with all of my babies close by I can't help but feel the faith that all will work out and God will keep us safe.  
     As we continue to travel this unexpected journey, Clayton gets ready to begin his own journey...Kindergarten. I find myself once again, putting my trust in God that we have prepared him and helped him as much as we can in order for him to be confident and independent.  This is the first step in his journey.  His first chance to make completely independent choices and deal with those consequences...I couldn't be more terrified and proud.  "They" say that having children is like having your heart walk around outside of your body....but it really is so much more than that.   At least, I will be here to witness his first days...I can't wait to hear his stories, see his excitement, and receive his hugs at the end of the day. 



  So...I find myself on this unexpected life journey.  My bags are packed with my faith in God and the love, support, and commitment from my family.  While it is a scary journey, as long as my bags are not lost, I'll be ok. 


post signature