Friday, April 22, 2011

Is the heater broken?

I haven't turned the heater on much lately, despite mornings of it being 61-65 degrees in our house.  However, yesterday morning, it was 63 and the sun was refusing to shine.  I decided to turn on the heat to warm the house up to 65-66 degrees (which feels like a heat wave to me, but keeps everyone else mostly thawed out).  I turned it on, heard the click of the heater starting, and then warm air. 

My mom gave it a try.  Nothing.  I took the batteries out of the thermostat and put them back in...nothing.  I knew the batteries had just been replaced in the past week, so dead batteries wasn't the problem.  I started getting frustrated.  I got in touch with my husband and he told me to call the heat/air company for them to come check it out. 

The heat/air guy showed up within a few hours and discovered the problem, although he wasn't sure who caused the problem.  For a mere $86 service call, he let me know that the problem was the gas had been shut off at the unit by the switch.  There is a lever on the gas line that runs to the unit (right beside it and very near the ground) and the lever had been switched to not allow the gas to flow through the line.  Hmmm, I just wonder who might have touched that lever?  I know I sure didn't and that the last thing my mom or husband would do would be sabotage any opportunity to have the heat on during cold mornings/days.  So, that leaves one culprit.  Yep, for $86 I found out that my son had turned off the gas to our heat/air unit...when he has been told several times not to mess with the heat/air unit.

I don't remember doing such things when I was little or hearing stories of me doing such things.  So, my guess is that this is just more proof that Kale is his daddy's boy and is following in his footsteps because I do know I have heard similar stories about his daddy's shenanigans. We are in deep trouble!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another Dr Visit and May

So, today was Thursday and a trip to visit the doctor.  I didn't see my regular doc because he had some kind of emergency.  The doc who checked me out decided to skip the NST (non-stress test), which was fine with me.  I had one on Monday and the sassy pants did perfect. 

Today, my bp was so low that I blurted out "wow, thats awesome!", which got the nurses attention.  She decided to take my bp on my other arm just to be wasn't quite so low on that arm, but it was still in good range!  Then I saw the doc, who measured my belly and listened to the sassy pant's heartbeat.  All was well and he sent me on my way. 

Not a lot to share about the appointment today, and that is definitely how I like it. 

My current goal is to keep growing sassy pants to 36 weeks.  That means growing her for at least 8 more days.  If I can get to 37 without my body going bonkers, that would be full term and be even more wonderful. 

My husband and I have both been living by a mantra that a friend taught me 10 years ago as I struggled through a transition.  He told me to take it one day at a time and to keep myself focused on that goal with this mantra:  "If I make it through today, I can make it until May." 

Ten years ago, I made it to May.  I am determined to do it again, albeit for a much more important reason.  My husband is going to make his May goal as well.  Who knew that such a simple statement from a friend would be so helpful not once, but twice and that my husband would benefit from it as well.  Funny how God works. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Doc Appointment

I had another doc appointment today. For once, my bp behaved while I was there. That was the good news.

The doc is fairly sure that I am starting to show more than a trace of protein in my urine (sorry, no ungross way to say that). They sent off the 24 hour jug to the lab and I probably won't know anything on that until Wednesday morning. I asked what would happen if they found protein in my urine jig and they said they weren't sure yet. I guess or depends on what they find and also how much they find.

The great news is that sassy pants is doing just fine. They hooked me up for 20 minutes to a monitor (NST) for her heartbeat and movement. It didn't take but minute or so for her to find the straps around my belly and start pushing on them with her legs, knees, and feet. She likes her space and for people/things to stay out of her space. Yes, she is our child for sure!

I go back on Thursday for another NST and for them to check my bp and urine.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Idea

Kale was asking some questions about his baby sister. He wanted to know what she is doing. I told him that she is just growing. He asked if she was "wewaxin" (relaxing). I laughed and said yes.

Then he made a comment about her being a boy. I told him that she will be a girl...he will be my boy and she will be my girl.

His reply? Mommy, I think that is a good idea.

Me too Kale, me too!

The TorMado

Late Thursday night, severe weather was headed our way.  Thursday night shifted into Friday morning as I watched the severe weather approach.  I woke my mom up and had her bring a very confused and still mostly asleep Kale to my bed.  She then crawled in with us.  The tornado threat had seemingly diminished and the biggest threat was straight line winds, but they were expected to be 60-80mph as they moved through our area.  Yikes! 

As the storms closed in, a tornado warning was suddenly issued for several different locations along the stomr line.  One of those areas was ours and we were smack in the middle of the area of concern.  I asked my mom if she could move fast.  She headed to get her shoes, some shoes for Kale, and then came back to grab him out of my bed.  He was one confused little boy at that point. 

We were quite the spectable as we made our way out onto our deck to take shelter in our room under the house.  We got drenched.  My mom was carrying Kale, who was crying because he was getting wet.  The wind was going crazy.  The rain was pouring down.  We made our way down the deck 8+ months pregnant and all. 

When we decided the rough part of the storm had passsed, we made our way back upstairs.  As we came inside, Kale asked what was the noise he heard.  I told him it was the tornado siren, which was still going off at the time for other storms in the area which were not a threat to us.  He was ready to crawl back into bed with me and go to sleep...and I was ready for some sleep as well, given that it was 3am!

The next morning, I heard Kale having a conversation with my mom.  He said something about the tormado siren.  I heard him...tormado...not tornado.  Then, I nearly fell out of bed laughing as I heard him tell her that he could show her a tormado.  He took her to the kitchen counter and pointed to the tomato on the counter.  He then told her that the tormado siren was for that tormado...and pointed to the tomato on the counter. 

So, the next time your local tornado siren goes off, take cover...but watch out for those tomatoes!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The reality of my daily life right now is not appealing, although I am VERY aware that it could be so much worse. 

This is my 10th day of being on home bed rest.  Yesterday, I stepped out on the front porch for about 3 minutes.  I am doing my best to be more careful and cautious (read: stricter with myself) this time around.  Its hard to keep laying on your hiney when you feel there is so much that you need to be doing around the house.  I just have to remind myself what is more this baby longer or getting that stuff done?  Yeah, I will go with cooking the baby.  There is still a weird sense of guilt that hovers around me though, as I watch my mom taking care of so many things that my brain says I should be doing.

When the doctor mentioned the onset of pre-eclampsia on Tuesday, there was a small section of my brain that still said...maybe not?  God took care of that doubt for me yesterday.  I made some poor food choices yesterday and my bp reacted to that.  It was up most of the day, but not to the new level that would require a hospital visit or phone call to my doctor.  I won't did inch close a few times.  I did what I was supposed to do...laid down on my left side and chilled out, which resulted in a 2 hour nap.  So, now I am on board with the doc's diagnosis.  Not only am I tired from just the reality of growing a baby, but I am also dealing with pre-e. 

I am also coming to terms with the fact that a repeat c-section is most likely in my future.  I am thankful for an online conversation with a good friend yesterday.  She is a former L&D (labor/delivery) nurse and I have known her since we were about 7 years old when she walked into our class and stole the heart of every boy there!  Anyway, she shared her helpful point of view and answered some questions--that really helped and I am thankful for her support and conversation.  One of the biggest struggles I had with the delivery of Kale is wondering if I had made the right choices or asked the right questions.  The whole experience left me feeling like I had been completely unprepared for the road we took.  I just did whatever the doc's and nurses's said.  I didn't ask a lot of questions and felt completely out of control with what wa happening to my body.  I know God was watching over us all and that it turned out fine, but the wonder and guilt lasted in my head for quite a while.  Part of that problem was not realizing how sick I was at the time.  I was truly on a "see as we go" type of path and I had no idea how it would all turn out.  This time, through my entire pregnancy, I have asked more questions.  My doc has talked to me about different paths that we might take.  So, I am arming myself with a new set of questions for him next week, since I now know that a c-section is my most likely path. 

So, this is my reality right now.  A lot of sitting and laying.  I don't watch a lot of tv during the day.  I am working 4 hours each day from home on my computer with my feet propped up on the couch or the ottoman.  I am sick of just about every type of food we have in this house.  My hospital bag is slowly coming together...ok, its more of a hospital pile at the moment.  I keep the thermostat on 65-67 and my mom/husband think I am trying to freeze them to death.  Then they will feel my hands or feet and realize that I am still sweating.  Fun stuff! 

I am so ready to meet this tough little girl growing inside me.  However, I am not so anxious to meet her for the next few weeks (at least)!  I wonder about her daily--what color will her eyes be and what color will her hair be?  My biggest prayer is that when they pull her out of me, she screams at all of us just like her big brother did when he was born.  We don't have one single birth picture of him where he isn't either screaming or puckering up his lips in a pout.  I also hope and pray that she will be big and strong enough to completely avoid the NICU.  One of the biggest concerns with early delivery is lung maturity.  Oh, and I also wonder what her name will be, because we have yet to decide on that!  We have a working list that we narrowed down some recently...but we are still undecided about her name. 

If you are wondering about specific prayer requests, here they are:
  • My blood pressure to stay down and for me to monitor it closely enough to do the right things if it starts creeping up.
  • The protein stays out of my urine.  I can't do anything to prevent or control this.  I am pretty sure if protein shows up in my urine, my new home will be the hospital until delivery.
  • That baby girl continues to grow and thrive as long as possible in my belly. 
  • That I don't go stir crazy from all the sitting/laying all day long.
  • That my husband is able to focus on his training and not be distracted by worrying about me and baby girl (or Kale). 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

33 weeks

I had my doctor's appt today.  There was good news and not so good news.

The good news:  I get to stay on bed rest at home.  Last week, that wouldn't seem like good news, but as opposed to hospital bed rest, this is good news. I am able to work from my computer at home for up to four hours each day, which is a blessing.  TMI alert...don't read the next sentence if you don't want to know about my urine.  They test my urine at each appt and once again, there was no protein in my urine, which is great news! 

The bad news:  my blood pressure (bp) was 140/90 at the doctor's office.  The doctor said the dreaded sentence:  this is the onset of pre-eclampsia (which is the same thing I had with Kale). 

For a few minutes, I really thought I was going to be hospitalized today.  Instead, my doc told me that if I kept closely monitoring my bp and such, then I could stay at home for now.  I am pretty sure that if I end up with protein in the wrong place, that will be when I am put in the hospital....or if my bp goes over 155/95, which is the new magical number. 

The final chat that I had with my doc went like this. 
Me: I will be happy if I can make it to 36 weeks
Doc:  I will be happy if you make it to 35 weeks

For the record, today I am 33 week and 4 days. 

This means it is very likely that I will have a repeat c-section.  I have been hoping for a vbac (baby coming into the world on the normal route, not through an incision in my belly, despite there previously being an incision there).  However, I can not be induced (previous c-section prevents this) and will most likely need to deliver a c-section is most likey for me now.  I am ok with that and have tried to keep an open mind to all options this time around. 

I left the doc's office with an appt for next week (meaning I am now going to be seeing him weekly), a urine collection jug to bring with me after "collecting" for 24 hours prior to my appt, and also an appt for a NST (non stress test) where they will just monitor the baby for a while to make sure she is moving around and being active enough and not in any distress.  There is no reason to think she is distress right now, so nobody should worry about that.  This is just standard for my situation right now.  They did this with Kale.  He never showed one sign of distress (on the NST or anytime he was monitored after my hospitalization).  I am hoping that his sister completely ignores the chaos going on in my body as well!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kale and the Humidifier

So, one of the items I scored for cheap a few weeks ago was a vaporizer for Kale's room.  He is congested tonight, so we have decided to see how well the vaporizer helps. 

Kale saw Mema come in with the box and asked what it was.  Of course, he HAD to know what was in the box.  We told him it was a humidifier.  No matter how many times we told him it wasn't a toy, he was bound and determined to inspect it to be sure. 

So, as Mema sat there reading the instructions, Kale informed us that he wanted to plug it in and watch it shoot fire.  It took me a minute to figure out why he thought it would shoot fire.  It took a few more moments for Mema to catch on.  Have you figured it out yet?

Come on....its a humidifier....which sounds a lot like humidiFIRE to a 3 year old who can't spell!  He took one look at the top of the humidifier/vaporizer, saw the openings for the steam, and deducted that the fire MUST come out there! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

32 weeks

I am writing this mostly for I can look back at it in the future, if I so wish.  However, it can also help bring you up to speed on me and what is going on in my pregnancy right now. 

The good news is that I am past the 32 week point in my pregnancy. 

At this point in my pregnancy with Kale, I was on full bed rest at home.  I later flunked home bed rest and was grounded to the hospital for 3 days before my body told the doctors that it was time to deliver.  Kale never showed any signs of distress and the ultrasound completed 3 days before he was born showed he weighed 4lbs, 11oz.  The reason he was born at 33 weeks and 6 days was because my blood pressure continued upward and the protein in my body was showing up in places it shouldn't.  It wasn't a matter of if my liver would start to have issues or if I would have a stroke or seizure, it was a matter of when.  So, Kale was born when the doctors felt they could no longer wait and put me at any higher risk.

So, back to now.  I started swelling in my right foot and lower right leg over a week ago.  However, the doctor was not that concerned with the swelling simply because it is no longer considered a key indicator of pre-e (what I had with Kale).  I was told to keep taking my blood pressure (bp) at home and go to the hospital if I got a reading of 140/90 or higher.  Over the weekend, I was aware that the top number on my blood pressure was rising and was over 140 at times.  My lower bp number was fine though, so I stayed put. 

On Monday, I had taken a vacation day.  I wouldn't exactly call the day my idea of a vacation day.  I woke up and knew something was not quite right.  It was strorming and I was hoping that after the storms passed, the pressure in my head would lighten.  I took my bp and the reading was higher than 140/90.  Ugh.  What happened next was a typical me response.  I eventually took Kale to school and went to the hospital for a tour since I hadn't yet seen the new labor/delivery wing.  While I was there, I asked if they could take my bp.  Since I was not a patient, they were not allowed and they told me to call my doc.  My doc said I could come by to have a nurse check my bp.  I went there, they checked my bp....and sent me right back to the hospital for observation. 

I spent 4 hours being observed.  They took blood, tested my urine, and took my bp every someodd minutes.  Each reading went lower and lower.  During that four hours, I made the most of my time.  I rested.  I also made a mental list of what I needed to do in the event I go on bed rest.  At the top of the list is get my hospital stuff together for me and for baby girl....

When I left the hospital, I got to take a jug with me to collect urine.  Fun stuff.  Or not.  At least it was only a 12 hour collection and not a 24 hour one.  Its the little things!  They told me to take it to my doctor in the morning (Tuesday).  So that is what I did.  I was hoping I could go to work from there...nope.  They sent me home on bed rest until they get my labs back.  My intial reaction was to just look at the nurse and say a quiet Nooooooo.  She promptly looked at me and told me Yes and that she wasn't above tanning my backside if I didn't follow directions.  She knows how everything went last time and has a pretty good grip on me and my tendencies.  I told her "yes ma'am" and headed home.  Ok, I ran two errands before heading home. 

I am hoping that tomorrow they will release me and let me return to work and just take it easy until I go in for my next appointment (next week). 

So...that is 32 weeks.  One good thing I learned yesterday was that the ultrasound estimates that baby girl already weighs 4lbs, 13oz.  That is 2oz more than her big brother weighed at birth.  However, the estimate can be off up to 12oz, so she could be as small as 4lbs, 1oz or as big as 5lbs, 9oz.  They were on target with Kale's estimate, so I am just going with the idea that they are on target for baby girl as well.