Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I thought of you and closed my eyes
But God, can you be a Mother
I just don't understand this, God
My Mommy loved me oh so much
So you see my dear sweet one
So now you see what makes a Mother
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
I know that many people feel awkward around us not knowing what to say or how to act, so I thought I would let you know what helps me deal. Know that I LOVE to talk about Brody. I could talk about him all day. Like any mother, you want the whole world to know about your precious baby, so please- bring him up in conversation, let me talk about him and my experiences, I enjoy it. I am a mom without a baby to take care of, so talking about him is all I got. Know that I am grieving still, every minute is different. One minute I am at such peace, and the next minute I am asking "why me?" I may not always answer phone calls depending on the time, but know that the cards, calls, and facebook messages help me out so much. Thanks to all.
I am a part of an online group filled with other pPROM queens (yep-thats what we call ourselves!), some have had happy outcomes, others have lost their babies like me. One woman emailed a wonderful poem to the group, so thats how I will close this out:
My Mom is a Survivor
My Mom is a survivor,
or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear her cry at night,
When all others are in bed.
I watch her lay awake at night
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her
to help her understand.
But like the sands on the beach
that never wash away,
I watch over my surviving mom,
who thinks of me each day.
She wears a smile for others,
a smile of disguise.
But through Heaven's door
I see tears flowing from her eyes.
My mom tries to cope with death
to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
it's her way to survive.
As I watch over my surviving mom
through Heaven's open door.
I try to tell her
that angels protect me forever more.
I know that doesn't help her,
or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her
and show her that you care.
For no matter what she says,
no matter what she feels,
my surviving mom has a broken heart
that time won't ever heal.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Love and thanks to all of you who have been so wonderful..................
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
We need your prayers......................
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
This morning I had another ultrasound. I talked to one of the high risk doctors about it already and he said that I do have more pockets of fluid. Unfortunately they are not able to measure these pockets because they contain the chord. This isn't a big deal, it just prevents me from telling you an exact amount. He did tell me that it looked like there was more than last time. We are showing progress, so I'm happy.
So far I have outlasted all the other girls in the "preemie" wing of labor and delivery. St. V's is a level 3 (3 is the best) high risk hospital, so they get a lot of different cases of odd pregnancies like mine. One girl was in at 28 weeks because her baby's heart rate was off the charts, another was in because she was 24 weeks and completely dialated but hadn't broken her water yet. Different girls are coming and going, but the baby and I are very competetive and enjoy outlasting everyone else.
Also, I have been asked a lot lately about what this little guy's name is. As long as he is a boy when he comes out, his name will be Brody. So from now on, I wont tell you about "the baby" I'll tell you about Brody :)
My sister is in the hospital right now, so hopefully today I will be an aunt! Check back tomorrow because I will post the details of his arrival for everyone (as long as he comes). That little stinker is a week late, but I think he is conspiring with Brody so they can get their birthdays as close together as they can.
Alright thats all for now, keep up the prayers- you guys are great!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Since my mom has posted last, we have only really had one scare. Monday night I started having contractions again and the baby's heart rate started increasing. It got up to about 170 bpm, when his usually falls between 145-150. The doctors said they were going to just watch it, hoping that it went down when the contractions stopped. I ended up falling asleep, but they had to wake me up on two different occasions to make me change my sleeping position because his heart rate was all over the place. Once again they flooded me with fluids, and everything eventually went back to normal. It wasn't really a big deal, but had the possibility of being a problem. The MFM doctor later told me that contractions put pressure on the chord, thus slowing down blood flow to the baby. They just wanted to put me in the best position possible, to let blood flow through the chord as easy as possible.
Due to the fact that I've been here for a week-and-a-half I have become pretty close to the nurses here. One advantage to this is that they fill me in on the doctor's game plans. Yesterday one told me that the doctors are talking about using a catheter-type of balloon to go in and fill my cervix to prevent fluid from coming out. As the baby pees, the fluid will fill up and he will be one happy baby drinking and swimming around. The problem with this is that the pressure that is put on my cervix will most likely cause me to dilate and go into labor. Right now it is just way too risky to try, but they might try it later on around 27 or 28 weeks. This is just coming from one of my nurses though, and is not any sort of definite plan.
This little one is still up to all his old tricks. He is finally letting the nurses trace his heart rate for extended periods of time, but he doesn't always make it easy. Twice now he has kicked the monitor as soon as the nurses place it on my belly. We all get a kick out of it because it shows us how ornery he is. He hiccups at least once a day (for about 20 mins), which just lights up my face. He actually has them right now!
Alright so I just had to put the computer up to get my IV switched (they like to take mine out and put a new one in every few days to prevent infection). Six tries and one new IV later, I'm hooked back up. Thats right, I have really crappy veins, and it took three nurses to try to find a vein that would work. Ouuuuuuuuch.
Tomorrow I get another ultrasound- pray for fluid!!!! I'm going to go rest my arms now because they are a little sore from all the poking.
Monday, November 3, 2008
According to Sophia Levis, hiccups in the unborn baby are just a fetal reflex that is remarkably similar to our own. Only the more mature fetuses will hiccup, as hiccups rely on the development of the central nervous system. Some experts think that hiccups in utero are a response to fetal drinking or fetal breathing, which causes the flow of amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs, stimulating the diaphragm to contract.
The hiccups have really helped bolster Abby's spirits as have the visits and messages from family and friends. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers. A special thank you to Di and Larry Weber and Grandma Rupp for the floral arrangement. It sure brightens the room. Thanks also to Megs Tameling for the beautiful cookie basket arrangement and to Joe and Nancy Dolan for the huge basket of goodies, slippers, books and magazines and especially your visit. Thanks to Jeremy's mom and sister for everything you have done. You have been amazing! Thanks to everyone who has sent a card or e-mailed, too. Abby really loves getting mail.
During the ultrasound visit this morning Abby was able to meet with one of the MFM Drs. He told her that even with the bleeding they do not want to take the baby yet if they don't have to as the chance of survival at this point would not be good. Keep praying they the bleeding will stop and that she will not have any contractions. It was decided after yesterday's scare that Abby's case will be managed primarily by the MFM Drs. as opposed to her regular OB-GYN. We think this makes sense as they are the high risk specialists and final decisions will now be left up to them.
One other bit of information......the nurses here have now given the little guy a name. They call him "Dennis the Menace" as they think he is very ornery. Whenever they try to find his heartbeat he moves as soon as they find it. He apparently doesn't like them pushing the monitor on her belly and finds a way, with no fluid, to move away. They can't imagine how he does this but somehow he finds a way! I can't say enough for the staff here at St. V's. They are the best and they help keep us going when things get rough.
Update on the bed rest situation. Abby is still confined to her bed. She is still a little bummed by this but has managed to find her usual sense of humor. She has come to the conclusion that pregnancy robs you of any and all dignity. I even heard her tell her sister today, "Just think, all you have to do is push your baby out your vagina." I knew we had a little bit of our Abby back.
Those of you who know her will relate to this.................. the rest of you I hope I didn't offend.
Thanks again for your prayers. We keep dodging bullets and I know that is the reason.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
ps- I should be an aunt any day now, Allie is due tomorrow!!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Right now I am getting my last dose of antibiotics by IV, and will be put on oral antibiotics from here on out. My IV will stay in my arm, but will only be flushed every few hours or so to prevent blood clots from forming in it. Therefore I am not getting continuous fluid in my arm. This will make trips to the bathroom a whole lot easier!
Also, I found out that I have an anterior placenta, which is why the nurses are having such trouble listening to the baby's heart rate (this really stinks when they can't find it at 3 am). This just means that my placenta is located in front of the baby. This is not the reason that I am having problems with the baby. Here is what one website said about this: "Most of the time, a fertilized egg will situate itself in the posterior uterus — the part closest to your spine, which is where the placenta eventually develops, too. Sometimes, though, the egg implants on the opposite side of the uterus, closest to your abdomen. When the placenta develops, it grows on the front (or anterior) side of your uterus, with the baby behind it. Does the location of your placenta make any difference? Not to your baby, who doesn't care which side of the uterus he or she is lying on, and it certainly makes no difference to him or her where the placenta lies." This just makes it harder for me to feel him move in the front, but I think those steroid shots have really started working on him, because he has been moving quite a bit. The nurses and the MFM doctors have both told me that this means he is very strong because he really doesn't have any room to move in there. I told you he was a fighter :)
They might be moving my room sometime here since I am staying so stable. So there is the possibility that I will move over to Post Partum sometime in the future. I have no idea when this will be, no one really knows, they just tell me that it might happen. So this means that that my room number and phone number will change, so keep checking back to see where I am! Coincidently, my cell phone broke yesterday so I have been unable to receive any calls or messages that might have been left for me. Thankfully my lovely mother took care of everything and I will be getting my new phone tonight. Still, the hospital wants me to use my room phone, so just keep calling that.
I want to thank everyone for the messages of support and everyone for following our story. As you know this is a very difficult time for us, but hopefully we will get a wonderful gift out of all of this in the end.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We have completed our first goal- make it long enough to get admitted into the hospital. Our next goal- stay stable until at least 27 weeks. Obviously 27 weeks isn't some magic week, but from the "research" that I have done, most babies make it through after 27 weeks. Nothing is promised, but I like setting these little goals to have something to work for. Alright so here is what went on today:
Jeremy and I arrived at Maternal Fetal Medicine to get an ultrasound to check the size of the baby and the fluid. Right now there is still no measureable amount of fluid (boo) but that was no new surprise. He currently weighs 1 lb 6 oz, give or take 3 ounces (right where he should be). That is big enough for me! I will be very excited when he reaches two pounds. They also checked the pressure of blood flowing through his chord, also very good (sometimes the chord collapses due to the lack or room and the pressure on the chord in the womb). He was moving all around, looking more precious than ever.
After MFM I was admitted into my new temporary home in labor and delivery. All the nurses were so amazing and told me that it is a miracle I haven't gone into labor yet. They informed me that we are fighters, so they are going to fight all they can along with us to help this baby. How wonderful! Initially I was supposed to be hooked up to a heart rate monitor for the baby and be checked every two hours for my temperature and blood pressure, but at this point we know nothing can be that easy. The baby is being very ornery right now and making it very hard to keep a steady heart rate on him. The doctors decided that instead of the constant monitoring, a nurse will come in every hour to check the baby's heart rate. So yes- I will be woken up every hour throughout the night. His heart rate is staying between 145-150, very good! (Some say if the heart rate is over 140, its a girl- remember that we don't know for sure if this is a boy!)
Despite that one little "issue" everything else has gone according to plan. I got my first steroid shot this morning, my first of two. This was somewhat unpleasant, but the nurses told me that these shots make the world of difference in these type of situations. These shots are an asset in the development of our baby's lungs. Unfortunately, there is nothing that they can do to help his digestive system, which apparently can be a whole new issue. But God won't give him anything he can't handle! I also am getting antibiotics through an IV every six hours for one hour at a time. Eventually I will take these orally, they just want to get it fully flushed into my system to start me out. Preventing infection is essential! So please, please, please do not come visit me if you feel ill or even have a stuffy nose. Thank you in advance :) I also have these cool little leg warmer looking things on my legs that constantly inflate and deflate with air. This prevents me from getting blood clots into my legs due to the fact that I am barely moving my legs through the day.
We also got a visit from the neonatologist in the NICU, where our baby will be staying after he is born. She was extremely nice, preparing us for all the complications the baby might have once he is born. She told us that most preemie babies are jaundiced, which is really no big deal when treated. There were also other things she told us that were easy to understand when she explained them, but too difficult (confusing, not emotionally) to explain. Know that pretty much everything if fixable over time! He will also get antibiotics once he is born and be fed through an IV because he will be too small to eat on his own.
Now, on to my information. I am at St. Vincent's in the labor and delivery wing room 701. There are no visiting hours, come as you please, but know that I will probably want you gone by 10 pm. Also, I am not technically supposed to use my cell phone, so you can call my room at 419-251-5370 if you want to call and check up on me. I really really really would love if you would come and visit me- as long as you are healthy! Alright well I think that is it, check back soon!!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I know that I said I was going to update everything on Monday, but I was a little unsure about what my internet situation in the hospital would be, and I also wanted to share some pictures. I'm pretty sure I will be able to get online once I am settled in the afternoon, so we will see!
Tonight Jeremy and I went out to dinner because he thought I might need one last night out of the house with some good food before I'm couped up in the hospital with their food. But I can promise you that no food can be worse than the food I had to eat at Flagler freshman year, so I am not too worried.
Today the baby is officially viable which means that they must fight for him once he is born. YAY! We are just one step closer, which is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Check back soon!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Hello all! First of all I want to thank all of you for listening to our story and praying for us, and we encourage you to keep doing so. Many of you don't really know all that is going on, so this blog was started to keep everyone as informed and up-to-date as possible. This first entry is going to be a lot longer than others because I have to catch everyone up on what has been going on these past months, and explain how these events have affected one another, so please bear with me!
When I was twelve weeks pregnant (Aug 8), I started bleeding very heavily. I was very scared that I had lost the baby, so I rushed to the emergency room to get everything checked out. I was there for six hours being monitored, getting blood work taken, and getting my first ultrasound. In the end I was told that everything looked good and normal, and whatever happened didn't affect the baby, and that the baby was fine. Nothing was explained to me as to why the bleeding happened; I was just relieved that he was alright. I am still being told by other doctors that bleeding in the first trimester is pretty normal.
At nineteen weeks (Sep 17) I began bleeding again, this time no where near the extent as the first. I was concerned, so my doctor scheduled me an appointment at Toledo Hospital. She told me that they have great technology there that could spot exactly where the bleeding was coming from, and that they were also going to do another ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing alright. This is when we found out that we are probably going to have a boy. They sent the pictures to my doctor to examine them; she called me and told me everything looked fine. Once again, as long as the baby was doing alright, then I was at ease.
At twenty-one weeks (Oct 6) Jeremy and I went in to get another ultrasound. This one was scheduled, and they wanted me to keep it because there are certain specific things they look at in an ultrasound after 20 weeks. Once the ultrasound was done, she told us that she was going to have the head doctor check out the pictures because it looked like there was fluid lacking around the baby, and in ultrasounds that fluid acts like a window to see the baby more clearly, and she was having a little trouble viewing everything she needed to. Jeremy and I waited patiently to see the doctor, laughing and giggling about how cute he looked opening and closing his mouth and wiggling his fingers. We were never prepared for the news we were about to get. He sat us down and told us that the lack of fluid prevents the baby from getting the nourishment that he needs, and without fluid his lungs will not develop. We were basically given two options: 1. Termination 2. Go full term, but he wouldn't make it long after I gave birth. This was by far the worst day of my entire life. I just didn't understand how there wasn't anything else I could do to try to help him make it. We knew we couldn't give up on him, and termination was just not an option for us. Our baby is a fighter, and we could not just live our lives wondering if he could have made it. So we decided for a second opinion.
The next day (Oct 7) my mom, Jeremy, and I went to see my doctor to see what she had to say. She was as surprised as we were, because less than two weeks ago everything was fine. She said that this is a wanted baby, so why not try all that we can. She referred us over to St. Vincent's, and got us an appointment later that day. I was given another ultrasound, and their doctor came in to talk to us. He told us that I have pPROM (preterm premature rupture of the membranes) something that happens in about 1% of pregnant women. This means that my water had broken some time in between my 19 week ultrasound and my 21 week ultrasound. This was most likely caused by the bleeding that I had previously. This is bad for two reasons: 1. That fluid is something that helps the baby's lungs to develop (this we knew) and 2. My risk of infection is very high. Due to the fact that there is no mucus plug protecting the baby now, the tear in the amniotic sac could easily get infected. This is not good for either me or the baby. So now I must take my temperature at least twice a day, to make sure that it has not risen. This doctor provided me with a different option (way better than Toledo Hospital). He said I needed to take it easy (bed rest) and drink an overabundance of water until I could be admitted at 24 weeks (at 24 weeks the baby is viable, that is why we must wait until then). There I would be monitored more closely, given antibiotics to prevent infection, and the baby would be given steroids to help speed up his lung development. Until then I would be monitored weekly to make sure my hormone levels are up, my temperature is down, my blood pressure is down, and the baby is still going strong. He also said that on the ultrasound that everything else looked like it was developing well, but there were some things (his lips and things in the brain) that he couldn't see, but he saw them on my 19 week pictures, so all is well there. I know many of you might be thinking- Abby why can't they go in and inject more fluid into you to see if it will stay? The doctor said that this increases my chances of going into labor, and it is like trying to blow up a balloon with a hole in it. With all of my bleeding that I have had, this process would be more detrimental to the baby than anything. We were also told that they are going to do all that they can, but if 100 women came in with this problem, about 10-15 of them would have a baby that made it out alive. But we have God and your prayers on our side so I am very optimistic.
Yesterday (October 15) I went in with my mom for my weekly checkup. There is still only a small pocket of fluid, but hormone levels are good, along with his heartbeat. So no new news is good news to me. We saw a new doctor, who said that the baby is breech (he kind of looks like he is folded in half with his legs up by his head) and that he has seen in a few cases where the baby's rear end kind of plugs up the hole as he grows and lets the fluid regain itself. We are hoping something like that will happen. He also asked when I would be 24 weeks (Oct 25) and he told me he would get me admitted the day before- Friday, October 24th and start steroids at midnight. I thought that was pretty amazing of him. He told us that faith and staying stress-free would also be very helpful to the baby...so I am doing just that.
Alright well I think that is it for now, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and stay tuned for more to come!