Thursday, May 28, 2009

Updates and Some Good News

So, I am writing this from my OB's waiting area where I am awaiting a second blood glucose test. Fun! I still have some pretty nasty bruises from what the phlebotomist at Loudoun did to me, so it should be interesting to figure out where they are going to get this blood from in thirty minutes. Apparently, the office did the test too early at my last routine appointment and they need to check my platelet count, as it has been low on the last two tests. From what the doctor said, there will be a lot more blood tests in my future.... and if my platelets dip any further down than what they were at my visit last week, they will have to start me on steroids. We are hoping it doesn't come to that...  In the short term, I am hoping that the phlebotomist here is more competent than the one I encountered last week.

So on to the important stuff... (and the good news)... my OB disagrees with the OB from Loudoun and does not think I need to be on bed rest. Praise God! (And I do.)  However, I am still on restriction from certain activities, which is not so thrilling. Nevertheless, I will be able to live life normally for the most part and that makes me happy... especially because at this moment, my family is on their way from N.Y. (lost in D.C.). Guess I will be able to go to the Carter's Outlet with them this afternoon after-all!  

My OB called what happened pre-term contractions (a little different from Braxton Hicks and not pre-term labor, which is what the OB doc told me) but said that the most important thing is that my cervix was completely closed so until further notice, I can cease worrying. That is very good news indeed.  She also told me that her best advice to me was that I never go to either of those hospitals again and next time get to Fairfax where one of my doctors can see me.  Note taken (not that I needed to be told that!).

To end off on a funny note: When my OB put the fetal doppler on my belly today, Noah kicked her and then proceeded to run away from her all over my belly as she chased him back and forth for a few minutes. This is his new thing now. He does not want anything touching my belly. At the ER, when they had the monitor attached to my belly to chart my contractions, he kicked it repeatedly. When I go to bed at night and finally get comfortable, he begins kicking the side of my belly that is touching the bed. And today, on the way over, he was kicking my seatbelt.  I find it really comical that my nutty baby doesn't just move to the other side, but rather, tries to get rid of whatever is inconveniencing him at the moment.  So funny how I am already learning so much about him...

Thanks so much for all your prayers.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Worst Week Yet

This week – week 25 - has by far been the most difficult and trying of my pregnancy. If not for the fact that I committed to keeping this blog up-to-date, I would just as soon forget all of it and not even put it into words. Nevertheless, this will at least prevent me from having to speak about it any more than I already have had to, which has already been too much in my opinion.

I’ve been in a funk for a week or so now with my back-pain increasing daily as my belly grows and the migraines starting up again. Early this week, I decided I would try to stop being such a recluse and go outside on the bedroom balcony to stretch and get some fresh air early in the morning after Michael had already left for work. Little did I know that when I closed the door behind me to keep the bugs out, the door would lock in the frame behind me.

To make a long story short, after an hour and a half of screaming for someone to hear me, I was able to get back inside (My grandfather-in-law who walks in the woods most mornings eventually came out and heard me!). My in-laws were set to move in at noon that day and I was terrified that I would have to wait outside in the cold for hours on end wearing a thin t-shirt until they arrived, especially once the bees started buzzing around me! Fortunately, I got inside before I could get bit and live out any of the worst-case-scenarios that had been racing through my mind.

There were some moments of humor for me at least, when our outdoor cat, Stripes, stood down in the grass below and meowed up at me each time I yelled Gene’s name, wagging his tail. We “conversed” for quite a while before he ran and started meowing outside Gene’s door, which I could just barely see from where I was standing. It was like Lassie trying to rescue Timmy from the well, but he eventually gave up and went his own way after he heard noises in the woods…

The two days that followed --these last two-- were much less of a laughing matter…

On Thursday, we had a “’problem visit” with the OB due to some complications and I was given some strict instructions (regarding the number and severity of contractions I’ve been having lately), which I never thought I’d have to follow so soon… In a nut shell: I spent most of my day and night in the hospital yesterday.

After having very bad contractions all day yesterday, I was given instructions by my OB to go to Fairfax hospital at around 2pm. But no sooner than I could get out the door did the contractions start coming increasingly close together and lasting longer and longer. I knew I’d never make the hour drive to my doctor’s hospital so my mother-in-law raced me over to Cornwall, which erroneously informed us on the phone that they had a Labor & Delivery Unit. Long story short, after a very bad experience in their ER which included a nurse botching two IVs in my arm after telling me that he’d been giving them for 25 years and never misses (right after I informed him he’d never make the vein in that arm), and having to stop a nurse from injecting me with morphine of all things(!), I was transferred by ambulance to the hospital that actually has L&D. Once we got there, we played the waiting game for many hours as the staff tried to figure out what was wrong with me.

The monitors showed that I was having constant tiny contractions followed by much bigger ones, but fortunately, the doctor’s were able to confirm that my water had not broken and my cervix was still closed, which was a relief. They were never able to tell me what had caused them but after hours and hours of lying there hooked to monitors, they were able to give me an injection that stopped them. The side effects of the medicine were brutal and I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so sick or in such distress from a medicine as I did right afterwards, but I was assured that the medicine was for the baby’s benefit and not for mine. (I had to have a talk with the doctor in L&D about my preference that medicine be given only for Noah’s benefit and not my comfort, after the experience at Cornwall.)

Vanessa was with me in the ultrasound room immediately after the medicine was administered and got to see her brother for the first time. (Michael went to pick her up during all of this and my mother-in-law, Sue, stayed with me.) Nessa was thrilled and the technician was very kind to her, explaining everything along the way. I was suffering the side effects of the medicine during this test so I was turned away and trying to stay calm and taking solace in the fact that Nessa was at least distracted and enjoying herself (quite audibly). Near the end, I did have to ask the tech to please hurry as I did not think I could lay there any longer. I did get to see three quick images: one of Noah's nose and mouth (he has his daddy's bowed lips!), another of his boy parts (why the techs keep feeling the need to show me is beyond me!), and one of him sitting on his knees with his toes interlaced. It was nice to see him again in spite of all that was surrounding this ultrasound.

It was not long after the ultrasound was done that I realized I had been bleeding when they took me down to the ultrasound room by wheelchair and that it was still happening, so they raced me back upstairs to L&D where the doctors and nurses did... absolutely nothing. Seriously. They asked a question or two and then left me laying on the gurney for a couple more hours without so much as checking on me. They pretty much took my word that my water had not broken and I had little choice but to take theirs that it was caused from the very unpleasant exams I'd went through at the two hospitals. Needless to say Michael and I were very unhappy and have no immediate plans to ever return to that (or the previous) facility again.

It was an extremely long day and night but we made it through with God’s help. I had a couple of contractions once we got home but nothing serious and Noah was moving around like the happy baby he is. While we don’t know what yesterday was all about, we do know that Noah is completely fine and unaffected by any of it.

So, as of now, I am on a form of bed rest and am banned from shopping or doing anything that requires me to be on my feet for more than a set period of time. That should be interesting today as we are having a BBQ for Vanessa’s birthday today, but fortunately I trust Michael is competent to handle what needs to be done. This is the first time we have ever had Vanessa on her actual birthday and I hope it’s a day she’ll remember – and that yesterday is one we can all soon forget…

Monday, May 11, 2009

Follow-up Ultrasound and my Flashing Baby

Well... today was the day we anxiously waited for, for the last four weeks: another chance to see little Noah. So did Noah cooperate for the "camera?"

In case you are wondering what this picture is depicting, it's Noah... hiding his face. Yes, Noah had his arms crossed in front of his face and his hands were somehow resting on the top of his head. No amount of turning was able to get him to face front...

I was feeling very sick and lightheaded today for some reason which made me have to stop the ultrasound a couple of times. Now that my belly is so much bigger, it is very very difficult for me to lay on my back and the pain was unbearable today. 
I don't know what was up with me but I was having very very bad "hot pains" down my neck, terrible pressure in my head, my head was spinning and I felt like I was going to throw up. (Anyone who has ever had to have morphine can relate because that is exactly what it felt like. Very unsettling.) In all my excitement to see Noah today, I didn't take time to have a healthy breakfast so I guess that could be it... In any case, I see the OB on Wednesday so it might be worth mentioning. It was upsetting to say the least (especially because I was feeling so sick at several points that I had to turn on my side and close my eyes which made me miss out on the precious few moments I got to see him) but fortunately Noah seemed to be doing well and was moving around like crazy when I was watching. It was nearly impossible to get still images of him.  The technician said he looked like a very happy baby and assured us that he will be beautiful. I have no doubt. 

While we did not get to see baby's face (maybe a tiny bit here--  though if you look closely you can still see his hands up on his head), we did get to see that he has his Daddy's long legs...

And that he apparently shares his Mommy's love of Pilates! 

In case you are confused by what you are seeing in this picture, Noah somehow has his legs up over his head (which you can see a small bit of at the bottom right -- under his hands which are still blocking his face).  When he got in this position, I couldn't help but laugh. It's so amazing to watch my little guy doing gymnastics, especially now that I can feel it as I'm watching. I'm slowly getting better at being able to decipher what Noah's movements are when I feel them. (Lately, he has been rolling a lot! That is always a fun feeling. lol)

The ultrasound tech gave us a good laugh by noting that while Noah was very shy about showing his face, he was not at all shy about showing off that he is a boy. (She called him a "flasher." lol) Yes, that is my son in all his glory... Seems this is a photo he does not mind taking as it's very similar to what happened at the last ultrasound when he also was breach and not cooperative in facing front.  For some reason he likes to moon us, I guess.  Boys will be boys...

It was good to see that he is doing OK in there though it would have been nice to have a face-shot. He is growing right on target... And the good news is that the cyst that was found in his brain at the last ultrasound is now completely gone! Thank God -- And I do!  Though this may mean it will be the last ultrasound we'll have... I am glad to know that whatever it was - it really was nothing to worry about. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Mother's Day Surprise

This Mother's Day, I am reminded of just how blessed I am to have such a loving (and beautiful!) stepdaughter and husband.

Michael, Vanessa and I just got back from my sister-in-law Jen's wedding, which was absolutely wonderful (a longer post and pics to follow soon!)... Because Vanessa goes home to her mom early tomorrow morning --we are giving her back an hour earlier this year than we usually do so that we can see precious Tyler Gibson get dedicated-- she gave me my Mother's Day card and gift tonight. I thought I'd share as it was exceptionally cute!

Presented in a beautiful gift bag was the softest teddy bear ever with a balloon and a box of chocolates and candy... and two cards.... I not only got a card from Vanessa for Mother's Day this year, but from my unborn son, Noah, as well! You can imagine my surprise.

As she does every year, Vanessa wrote me a beautiful card... I could really see how much she has grown up by what she wrote this year all on her own...

As for "Noah's card," I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to share it with you....

If you click any of the images above, you will be able to see it much more clearly, but just in case you can't see the blue writing in particular (my dear husband's), I just had to reproduce it below:

"Roses are Red, Violets are blue
I am in your belly, nauseating you!
I am growing really big
and am doing just fine
Wishing you the very best
Mother of mine :)"

This Mother's Day, I cannot thank God enough for my beautiful growing family... I could not love Vanessa any more if she were my own and I am so glad and feel so privileged to be able to give her a baby brother and to be able to give my dear husband a son! It amazes me to think that (God-willing) at this time next year, I'll not only be "Ma," I'll be "Mommy!"


Love, Nan<3

Thursday, May 7, 2009

State of Our Union: The First 1,000 Days :)

Yes, yes, I am a little lame (I covered this in my last post), but I couldn’t let today go by without mentioning that today marks a milestone in our marriage. Michael and I have now been married for 1,000 days. J I cannot believe how far we both have come in such a short period of time and how much God has done in our lives.  God-willing we will be seeing our family grow when we welcome Baby Noah in just a few more months. Time has been flying! 

 I was looking through our pictures this week and I can’t believe how much we have gone through since we met each other and how much we have overcome… not to mention how many different hairstyles and colors I have had over the years! LOL

 (If I were to post ALL of our pics, I’d be here for another 1,000 days so here are a few from the archives J)

Marriage is a true blessing. Like any couple, we have shared ups and downs but the important thing is that all of it has made us stronger. I truly believe that God uses marriage to grow people and I know that God has been growing us especially as of late (especially me, quite physically!)

Just thought I’d share that today... 2 days before my sister-in-law walks down the aisle and starts her own countdown! (Marriage brings out the corn dog in us all, I'm sure she'll have one!)

Countdown until we see Noah again: 4 more days!  I cannot wait!