Month: November 2014
Status

Thankful.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014.  35w 6d.

I know… I have owed everyone an update for nearly two weeks now, especially after my last cliffhanger of a post.  In my defense, I did actually write one, and while I was wrapping up the last of it, my browser crashed and I lost the whole thing.  And then I was mad, and I was tired, and just felt so defeated by technology that I didn’t come back to it till now.

Anyway, here I am, with updates galore!

When I last posted, the doctors were worried that baby girl was becoming anemic, due to the rapid pulse in her brain.  I was scheduled for a follow-up scan and instructed to report any noticeably decreased movement.  The anemia could be very dangerous and would warrant a quick delivery to ensure our girl didn’t suffer any decline in health.

At the follow-up, the doctor said that she didn’t see anything concerning like she had the week before.

*audible sigh of relief*

She also said that she was very pleased with everything she saw, and that she felt comfortable keeping me pregnant, at least for a couple more weeks.

*WHEW*

So… wait.  What does a couple more weeks mean, exactly?

Turns out she wants us to deliver around 37 weeks, and no later than 38 weeks.  Baby will be in better hands on the outside as far as treatment and testing, and once we are past the pre-term stage, her odds of being a healthy kid greatly increase.

The plan is this:  we will check into the hospital late next week, arriving in the evening to start the induction process.  We’ll start with a cervix-softening medication overnight, which can take some time to work, and then once that has made the progress they like to see, they’ll give me medication to help induce contractions and labor.

It can, and likely will be, a long and drawn out process.  We are hoping for a baby by December 7th, but I’m not placing any bets.  Our girl seems to do everything at her own pace, and she likes to keep us guessing… I don’t see that changing any time soon.  😉

Since that appointment, I’ve had another NST at my OB’s office in Toledo, which looked great.  I also had a second follow-up at UofM yesterday, which was part NST and part ultrasound, both of which also looked beautiful.

While we still don’t know if or how the infection will impact Jelly Bean, we do know that she’s active and growing and looking great on all of the testing we have in place so far.  What will be once she’s born remains yet to be seen.

What I can say with certainty is that this year has been one of extreme joy and, at times, extreme fear for the husband and I, and while things have not always been sunshine and roses, we are extremely thankful for what we have:  an amazingly supportive family and group of friends all over the world – including all of YOU, access to medical care and facilities that support and treat us like the most important patients they have, and finally, our little growing family and our miracle baby.

And so even in the face of some uncertainty, we are so, so thankful.

May this Thanksgiving holiday be a time of appreciation for the things you have, in spite of the curveballs life may be throwing your way.

And may there be pie.  Always, always pie.

 

Pumpkin_pie_slice_H

Status

The Futility of Planning

Friday, November 14th, 2014.  34w 1d.

This is going to be largely just an update, because I both don’t have a whole lot of time to spend blogging these days, and because my mind is enormously preoccupied with trying to re-prioritize basically EVERYTHING.

So I’ve been having twice weekly non-stress tests with my OB’s office here in Toledo.  Things have been looking just fine with those, and during the Tuesday appointments, I get to see Jelly Bean on the big screen because we have what’s called a biophysical profile done along with the NST – the sonographer watches baby by ultrasound looking for certain movements within a certain period of time.  She’s been a little stubborn here and there, but mostly she passes with flying colors.

During one of these appointments about two weeks ago, the sonographer did an unofficial glance at baby’s measurements.  As usual, her head and femur measurement are about two weeks behind, which is consistent with her growth since the 20 week scan.  She could come by that genetically, or there’s also the possibility that it has something to do with the CMV infection – either way, they’re keeping a close eye on things at my OB’s office, and I’ve felt pretty content that baby girl is strong and growing and responding to the treatments.

Yesterday was my first trip back to the University of Michigan since my first infusion treatment.  It was a big, really long day, as I had many appointments scheduled throughout the day, and adding being large and out of breath, and relatively sleepless of late, made the day feel even longer.

I had my infusion appointment first.  Things went smoothly – I sat and did some work on my laptop, and the nice medical assistant brought me snacks.  I held off on snacks toward the end of the usually four hour treatment thinking I’d have time to get lunch between noon and my 1pm orientation with the UofM OB Department, but treatment went long, and I was forced to skip lunch in order to make it to that appointment – I took a grape juice to go, and still made it to OB twenty minutes late.  Ugh.

That orientation didn’t take too long, and they were able to usher me off to my next appointment – an ultrasound with Fetal Diagnostics, the specialists who have been managing my and baby girl’s care – on time.  The husband even made it in time to meet me for this portion, so it was nice to have him there for support.

The ultrasound was pretty routine.  The sonographer was nice, the measurements she took were what I expected, and then she went to run over her scans with the doctor, promising to send someone back to see me shortly.

It took a while, and I started to get nervous.

When my doctor finally came back to see us, she had me pull my shirt up so she could re-scan a particular area.  EVEN MORE NERVOUS NOW, DOC.

It turned out that what she was looking for was the baby’s heart rate measured in a certain area of the brain.  When this heart rate is very fast, it can signal that baby is anemic.  Sometimes it’s mild, and other times it can be moderate to severe.  My doctor said she was concerned, and wanted to watch this closely.

She scheduled me back to see her in a week, and told me to keep a close eye on baby’s movements – if they slow down significantly, it could signal that baby’s heart is having to work too hard due to the low blood count – something we don’t want to happen, and something that could spell even more issues for our little one.

We discussed some options, one of which being a blood transfusion for Jelly Bean in utero.  This is done occasionally, but because of its risks, it’s usually done earlier in pregnancy when the benefits of keeping baby inside outweigh the risks of taking baby out a little early.  Because I’m 34 weeks at this point, my doctor said that if things start to decline, she would probably want to deliver me early.

As early as next week, potentially.

I never planned on a 35 week baby… But then again, nothing about this pregnancy has been planned or expected.  I suppose I’m being prepared for parenthood in that way.  Yeesh.

So in preparation for this possible change in delivery plans, I was given a steroid shot (RIGHT IN THE BUM!) yesterday at the hospital, and another this morning in my Toledo OB’s office (IN THE OTHER CHEEK!).  These shots will help baby’s lungs develop a little more quickly, and have been shown to improve lung function, among some other benefits, to babies born preterm.

After all of that, and with no real time to process what we had just been told, we were off to our next appointment – again, without food – to tour the hospital’s birthing center and learn about the labor and delivery process.  It all seemed a little bit of a moot point to me, considering that I may end up skipping all of the valet car/special elevator to triage/private birthing and recovery suite business in lieu of heading straight to a delivery room or the OR as early as next Wednesday…

It was also hard for me to concentrate because I HAD NOT EATEN SOLID FOOD SINCE 10AM.  By this point it was after 6pm, and I was seeing stars.  A little apple juice and some water just wasn’t doing the trick.  The husband and I headed home (luckily he had a spare apple in his car I could eat – my hero!), and finally had some real food with honest to Jeebus protein in it.

The day then caught up to me and I promptly passed out… Oh, but not before watching last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy wherein a pregnant mother needs to either have a transfusion for her baby or deliver early.  The doctor chooses early delivery, and while the baby ends up fine, the mother dies in surgery.  SPOILER ALERT, by the way, if you still watch this trainwreck of a show (says the girl who STILL WATCHES IT).

So yeah.   Bad choices in skipping opportunities for food yesterday, AND bad choices in evening programming.

I went to bed shortly thereafter, where I slept about two hours or so, and then woke up and just kind of hung out online for another three.  Sleep is a hot commodity these days, but try telling my anxious, preoccupied, steroid-wired brain THAT.

So anyway, that’s the update.

Things are not going as planned… but were they ever?

I’m completely unprepared to have a baby.  You’d think that after trying for so long, that would not be the case, but seriously… I’m not ready.

I mean, I have to shave my legs… somehow!!  And the baby’s room is just wrapping up the painting TODAY.  We don’t even have furniture put together in there yet.  I don’t have a hospital bag packed, but you can bet your ass I will by the end of this weekend.  Same thing with getting a car seat installed.

My anxiety is primarily over Jelly Bean’s health, however it’s obvious that there are some basic loose ends to tie up.  I’m working my hiney off trying to get that all handled while some how “relaxing” since that’s become something I’ve told I need to do more.  LOL… Sure.  Let me just try to fit that in somehow.

I apologize for the scattered-ness of this post, but again, I’m just trying to get the information out there as best, and as quickly as I can.

Thank you all for your continued prayers, healing thoughts, good juju, and kind words and emails.  They are appreciated more than you can ever know.  ❤

 

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