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Monday, November 29, 2010

22 weeks and venting again...

Just after Thanksgiving and I don't want to appear ungrateful. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for so many things right now. Here are a few, for example. First, I am thankful that I am still pregnant. I think all of my doctors are too because they both said so. It is a miracle in itself that this is even possible. Generally 9 out of 10 cases of women whose membranes rupture, usually all end in the loss of their pregnancy. So I am indeed thankful that I am one of the lucky ones that has made it this far. The next thing I have to be thankful for is that I am 22 weeks along this journey today. 22 weeks is a magic number because Ryleigh is on the brink of viability (for lack of a better term). There are some known cases of babies who have survived being born at 22 weeks. Every day after this is a huge blessing. When we get to 24 weeks, chances are even better for us. I have so many other blessings in my life that there are just too many to mention. I could literally, go on forever.

Now the reason I am so angry today. My uncle Jim who lives in Quincy is very sick and it is not looking good right now that he will make it. He had a stroke a few weeks ago and has now developed pneumonia. He is back in ICU and there has apparently been discussions of putting him on a ventilator. Basically, this means life support. Now, I am really close to my aunt and uncle. They are my mom's only living relatives that I know. So basically they have, in a way, taken some role as parents to me. I want to be at home right now to be there for him. I am stuck on this stupid couch and cannot go anywhere. If something bad happens, how can I get home? It would require me travelling 2 hours to Quincy which I am sure my doctors would frown upon with good reason and if something happened to me while I am at home, there is no hospital there that could take care of me or Ryleigh. So this really sucks and once again, I am feeling very helpless. I want to go home but for the sake of my baby, I can't. Now, I know that everyone says that God never gives you more than you can handle. But come on, really??? What impeccable timing God has here. Can't we just please have one crisis at a time??? Excuse me if I am a little angry right now but I just can't seem to help it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

21 weeks + 1 day - today's doctor appointment

Today has been a very good day. Let me throw a few technical terms out there first.

First and largest SVP 26 mm!!!!!!!! Crazy good!! Second smaller SVP 12 mm!! Very good too considering anything above 10 is awesome! That is by far the most fluid the baby has had since this whole nightmare began!!

Second and most important. While my wonderful girl, whose name I am not sure of yet but will find out soon, was scanning me this morning we actually watched the baby's chest moving. Know what that means, folks?? She is practicing breathing!! Apparently something that is unheard of at 21 weeks. Normally she said that they don't see that until around 28 weeks. My child is an overachiever already!! What a good girl! Way to go, Ryleigh!! She was also doing some sort of swimming/dance routine in there. Moving around like crazy! Also another excellent sign. So as of now, her chest is not squished and she is able to change positions. Right now both doctors are saying that for her living conditions, she is behaving like a perfectly normal baby! Can you understand how that makes me feel?!?! I wish I could go to the doctor for a scan every day. I think it would give me a little more piece of mind :) Dr. Grant is hoping that I make it to 30 weeks which makes me feel a whole lot better than 28 weeks. We will just have to play it by ear and once we hit 28 weeks, we will see how she is doing. I would like to keep her baking as long as possible. 3 more weeks until I go into the hospital. 9 more weeks and hopefully this whole ordeal will be over and we will have a healthy baby.

Now since I have neglected mentioning Ethan lately, here are some cute and funny things he has been saying and doing.

Last week he tells me "Mommy, I tired. I need coppee (aka coffee)" Today he says "Kelley, zip it". Sure he heard that from daddy. I asked him where baby Ryleigh is. He says "Wiley in mommy's tummy", Wiley in Etan tummy", or "Wiley in daddy's tummy". As he was acting up one day, I asked him if he wanted to go to time out. He says "yes, mommy, I go time out". Guess I will need to come up with something new for time out. He is still the cutest little boy on the planet and I cannot wait until I can pick him up and just squeeze the love right out of him! Can't wait!

Monday, November 22, 2010

21 weeks today!! WOO HOO!!

Today is Monday which means that I have survived another weekend. Oh, how I used to look forward to weekends. Time off from work, time to spend doing fun things with family and especially Ethan. Looking forward to hearing what others did with their time off. Now, I hate the weekends. I actually dread them. I look forward to Monday when I can say that I am another week farther along in this hellish pregnancy. I know every woman on bedrest can relate to this.

This weekend for whatever reason, was by far the worst. I hate being stuck in here when everyone else is outside or doing family things. I miss the holiday parades, getting ready for Thanksgiving, putting up Christmas decorations and I hear everyone else talking about it. It feels like people are being rude or something by telling me those things. Now, I know that is not the case because obviously, I loved to tell people how much I accomplished over the weekends and the fun things that we did with Ethan, etc. So I did it too. It just makes me jealous, I guess. I am sitting here on the couch, trying to save my baby and feeling selfish that I don't want to be stuck here. So there were a lot of mixed emotions going on this weekend. I think the closer the holidays get, the worse it may become. I am also not looking forward to spending 4 weeks worth of nights away from my son. I have never been away from him overnight and now I have to do it for 4 weeks??? That is almost asking too much. Well, it is asking too much.

Last night, I had a reprieve, though. My husband who has been feeling bad for me all weekend, took me for a ride in the car last night. I wasn't exerting myself, just sitting back enjoying the ride with my window open and Ethan chattering in the back seat. I LOVED THAT!! Next we decided to stop and pick up some dinner to take home. It just so happened that we drove by our church which I haven't set foot in for 6 weeks. He pulled into the driveway and asked if I wanted to go in and just sit for a little bit. Well, of course I did. So as the tears welled up, I made my way inside and just sat there and soaked up every moment. Then we all went into the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and prayed together. For a moment, I had gone to heaven.

By the time we got home it was like the weight of the world had been lifted off of me even for just a moment. Bless my husband for everything he has had to put up with. He is truly a rock for me. I don't know what I would do without him and I am positive that if this had happened in my first marriage, the baby probably would not have survived and neither would I. I would have gotten 0% support there.

So for this week of Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for even though I am in this predicament. First, I am thankful that my baby is still alive. Second, I am thankful for the support and strength of my husband and for his strong faith. I am also thankful for my faith which upholds me during this time. Next, I am extremely thankful for my support system beyond my family which includes my friends, my long distance family who do not live here and all of their kind words, deeds and prayers. I am very truly blessed for this Thanksgiving. More so this year than ever before.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

20 weeks, 3 days

Today, I am half way through week 20. Feels like a milestone to at least know that if this were a normal pregnancy, I would be half-way there. This pregnancy unfortunately, has been anything but normal. As my dr. would say, we passed normal a long time ago. But, I still have faith that this is all going to turn out ok. Now, at least I can start to feel little Ryleigh moving around a bit. Every time I feel one of her little kicks, I am completely reassured that she is still ok and still with me. Sometimes I just try to lay as still as I can just so I can feel here movements.

Our ultrasound this week was good. They took measurements of everything. Head, chest, belly and all long bones. According to her measurements, she is right at the 50th percentile. Perfect! They estimated her weight at 12 oz. So not even a pound yet. She is such a strong little girl already. However, one setback that happened is that I had a huge leak right before my appointment. A leak very comparable to the first one. So everything I had saved up the last two weeks was gone right before my ultrasound. But, the doctors are happy that she at least had two weeks of good fluid that she could swim around in so all was not lost and my fluid measurements were not much different than the week before. I had a minor leak this morning but nothing big to speak of. It is a little disappointing though because I think that after 2 weeks of no leaking at all that maybe I am part of that lucky 1% that has resealed. Well, that definitely didn't happen.

Last week, I was crying because I will have to go into the hospital in a couple of weeks. I have completely changed my attitude about all that. I realize that when I get to the hospital, if she is born early, there is a good chance she will still make it. I think once I am there, it will almost be a relief now, in a way. Then, just 4 weeks after that, she will be here.

I have been communicating with another woman who had been through this exact same thing. My doctor was kind enough to get us both connected and she has been more than willing to share her experiences with me. I have found this to be extremely helpful since she had the same doctors and was in the same hospital. She has a cute little 4 year old boy to show for all their hard work and tears. She sent me a picture of him that I keep in my inbox so I will be reminded of the goal at the end of all this. I am very thankful to have found her.

I still count all my blessings and there have been so many. I still thank God every day for all of my friends and family who are supporting us and lifting us up in prayer. Also, so many people have stepped up to help out with cleaning and cooking and errands and some babysitting. It is the little things that make the hugest difference. Just knowing that everyone is behind us and that we are not in this alone.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Random thoughts..

Well, today is day #31 of house arrest. Still feeling cautiously optimistic but also still not sure of what the outcome of this will be. Dwaine and I met with the neonatologist yesterday. He was very nice, very intelligent and seemed to be very caring. Of course, we learned more gloom and doom yesterday also. I now know what the terms hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension are, I know a little about respirators, ventilators and feeding tubes. I know about how difficult it will be to get an airway into my baby, I know about underdeveloped lung tissue and I know about how the heart can take over the chest leaving not much room for lungs. I know the uterus compresses against the baby's chest. I know a lot of things now that I may have been better off not knowing, but we need to know these things just in case. We need to make decisions on how much and how soon we think the baby will be "viable" How soon is too soon and can the baby live if it is too soon or do we let her go? That is the most cruel decision of all. We also learned how technology has developed in even the last couple of years. We learned how much more they know about this problem than before. I know if this had happened with Ethan, there is a really good chance, he wouldn't be here just by how far they have come in the last 2 years. Those are the good things. I will try to focus on these and I will try to focus on those PROM women who have succeeded in having healthy babies. The ones who seemed to have more difficulties than me. The little ones that made it. Those babies are my heroes.

My prayer now is that I can give this situation over to God and let Him handle it. Worry does me no good and it doesn't benefit Ryleigh either. Now, I am praying for patience, acceptance and trust.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pity party

Ok so if you don't want to listen to me feel sorry for myself, it's best not to read this but I have to get it out so that it will go away. So here goes.

First, we will preface this with some good news though. My appointment yesterday went really well again. Everything still looks great as far as the baby goes. Fluid is hanging in there, not quite as good as last week but not bad either. So all in all, good news.

Here comes the "I feel sorry for myself" part. In talking with the dr. yesterday, I made the mistake of asking him if I would be spending any time in the hospital before this was all over with and he of course, told me "yes". It looks like I will be heading to the hospital to spend the rest of my pregnancy when I hit 24 weeks. That's 5 weeks from now. The exact date would be during the week of Dec. 13. So what does this mean? Well, it means I will spend Christmas in the hospital, that's what it means. It means I won't be able to participate in the holidays at all, really. It means no Christmas cards will be sent out, no shopping will be done, and the part that makes me most sad is no Mass on Christmas eve and no family time on Christmas Day. Now, maybe I would be able to handle this if I knew I would be getting out shortly after that. No, I won't deliver until the last week of January. Won't be going home until February and will more than likely have a sick baby in the NICU until Spring. By the time this is all said and done, about half a year of my life will have slipped by. Half a year of Ethan's life will have slipped by and I am not a very good part of it right now as it is.

I can't even take care of my little boy now. I asked Dwaine to leave him home with me this morning while he went to work and I couldn't even take care of him. I am scared and I am starting to question myself as a useful person and a mom. I know that what I am doing is best for our little girl. I am scared there is a pretty good chance she still won't make it. Then all of this time, all of this effort will be for nothing. It makes me furious just to think about it.

It has been forever since I have even had real clothes on. No makeup, hair looks like crap and sweats all the time. Makes me feel really pretty. Every day makes me think that this has been one more day that I have kept my baby. But could this be the day where it all ends? I think about that all the time. Is this the last day I'll have my baby with me? It scares the crap out of me.

I know I am not looking at the big picture right now either. I actually do believe that this will have a positive outcome. I feel like it will anyway. I hope God is not going to disappoint me. I feel like every time I learn to trust, something is taken away from me. It happened when my mom died, then my dad died, now I am afraid of losing a baby. I really don't think I can handle that.

Ok, I think I have purged enough and hopefully I will begin to feel better now. Just needed to get it out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Doctor's report

Well, I had my weekly doctor visits yesterday. I am now seeing both doctors once a week. Dr. Grant, my high risk specialist, and Dr. Moreton my regular OB. Dr. Grant has pretty much taken over my case but the two communicate and share reports weekly. Dr. Grant does an ultrasound weekly and checks the baby and the fluid levels. Dr. Moreton has taken over the role of counselor which is very helpful to me at this time.

So first, I had my weekly ultrasound. Here's how the fluid levels go. They find the largest pocket of fluid and measure its length in mm. I have two pockets of fluid (bonus!) I ruptured on Oct. 12th and have no idea how much fluid I had and at the time, I was in no state of mind to even think to ask. I just knew it wasn't enough. The next week, that single pocket of fluid measured 13 mm. The bottom of the range is 10mm so that is great! And that is when they found the second pocket of fluid. Not sure what it measured that week. The next week, 10/26, That large pocket went down to 11 mm and the second pocket was 6 mm. One close to normal range, the other one, far from it. This week 11/2, the large packet measured 18 and the smaller one measured 13!! YIPPEE!! I drank like a fish this week (water, that is) so I like to think I had a hand in helping things along - besides what God did. Little sis was moving around and swallowing with a full stomach and bladder. All excellent signs. The doctor congratulated us on a job well done this week and told us he would see us next week. So good report!

Next was Dr. Moreton (my counselor). He always makes sure my mind can handle all of these things. He also knew how excited I was about such a good report. He also helps me to become aware of reality. We aren't out of the woods yet. I know this may still end up with a bad result, then he tells me that God has a plan in all of this and whatever happens, he says he is proud of me for trying to do the best thing for this baby. He also vows to do everything in his power to see that this baby gets every chance for survival. How many doctors would say that? How many doctors would tell you that they are proud of you for choosing life for your child? How many doctors would tell you that God is watching over you? I don't know of a single one, except for him. I have a new respect for him and I trust in everything he says and does. I am so blessed this week.

November is the month of Thanksgiving. Right now, even in this inconvenient circumstance, I have so much to be thankful for.