Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Heading back to the hospital...

Well, despite my overwhelming desire to stay home, when Anthony wakes up from his nap, we are going to head to the hospital. I'm having lots of contractions, some of which are very uncomfortable, and I just can't keep ignoring them. So keep us all in your prayers!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Today's appointment - cervical changes

I had an appt with the perinatologist today. Unfortunately, my cervix has shortened considerably. Normal is 3-5 cm, and my last measurement was 3.5 cm relaxed and 3.15 cm during a contraction. Today it measured 2.74 cm, which means that these contractions I've been having are starting to effect change in my cervix - not a good thing. It's not critical yet - they get really concerned when it's under 2.5 cm. I have woken up during the night several times lately in the midst of a painful contraction, but they haven't persisted in a pattern, so I haven't gone to the hospital. But now I need to pay a little closer attention to them.

My blood sugars have also been on the rise again, so I'm back on insulin - long-acting at bedtime, and short-acting before breakfast. I'm starting to make up for lost time on the weight gain issue - up 3.5 lbs in 2 weeks - yikes!!! But the doc and dietician weren't concerned - didn't even comment on it - probably since that still only puts me at 8 lbs for the whole pregnancy so far.

I'm continuing to have issues with cramping throughout my body, and the peri did feel my potassium was a little low, so agreed with me taking a potassium supplement.

The painful nerves have still been bothering me, but I'm just trying to take it a day at a time and waiting to get my new prescription from my OB next Monday. I'm supposed to get a call about the pain management and neurology referrals in 7-10 days.

I guess that's about all for now. Thanks everyone for your continued prayers and support. Tomorrow is 26 weeks - yay!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I need hugs! Hit a wall today...

Not literally (hit a wall), but emotionally. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to have these babies, but the bottom line is that my body just does not handle pg well, and I am so done. I am tired of bedrest and contractions and heartburn and hip pain and pubic bone pain. I am tired of not being able to eat sweets when I crave them constantly. I am tired of injections and accu-checks and migraines and not sleeping and chronic pain and constipation. I am so sad every time my 2.5 yr old DS holds my face in his hands and says, "Mama? Happy? Anthony happy!" because he's not used to seeing me so bummed out all the time. I am tired of just feeling like crap all the time. And I still have so far to go.

A little background about my medical history - I was born with a genetic condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome, which is a sensory and motor neuropathy. Basically, your nerves have a lining around them called myelin, which acts like the plastic on electrical wire - it helps conduct electricity and protects the wire. Anyway, with CMT, the gene that codes for the protein that produces myelin is mutated, and the myelin around the nerves is in a constant state of breaking down and rebuilding. The result is that my nerves are often very demyelinated and don't properly conduct electrical impulses from my brain to my muscles and back. This causes muscle weakness, fatigue, and a tremendous amount of pain. Any kind of stress can aggravate it. I also have Restless Leg Syndrome, which can cause both irritation and pain in the legs.

Now, normally, I take Neurontin for the pain caused by this, but it's not considered safe during pregnancy. So throughout the pregnancy, I've had some pain, mostly in my legs. I have complained about it to my OB and peri, and they gave me some Vicodin. Unfortunately, the vicodin doesn't really take the pain away; it just relaxes me enough that I can rest some. But it wears off after about 3 hours, and since they didn't give me much, I would find myself watching the clock and rationing it so that I wouldn't run out "too soon," lest they think I'm a drug addict!! I was only taking it like once a day, but am in pain all the time.

Anyway, over the last week or so, the pain has gotten SO much worse, to the point that even Ambien doesn't allow me to sleep at night, and I am literally in tears every night. Pregnancy can aggravate the CMT, and I think that's what's happening. I ran out of Vicodin a few days ago, but hadn't called to request a refill (there weren't refills, and I was afraid to call b/c it had only been about 30 days since I got the last one filled). Last night was the worst; I was up all night, in tears, and nothing I did helped the pain - relaxing music, warm bath, hypnosis CD, prayer, etc. By this morning, I was a complete wreck, totally frustrated.

So I finally called my OB, in tears, and told her what was going on. I am SO glad I called. When I said, "I've been rationing the vicodin b/c I feel like a drug addict and it's not even really working," she said, "Oh, honey, you don't need to ration it; if you're in pain, I need to give you more medicine!" It was such a surprise and so refreshing to hear, compared to the response from most non-pain-management docs. The end result was that she will give me a prescription for something stronger at my next appt, like percocet or dilaudid, but they have to be on a triplicate prescription pad, so in the meantime, she was calling in a script for more vicodin for me to tide me over. So now I just have to wait for Darrell to get out of an appointment so he can go pick it up for me.

I felt so much better after talking to her, but I still just feel like I am so ready for this pg to be over (thought I definitely don't want the babies to come yet!). Thanks for letting me vent!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Late post - October 15th

Many of you may not know, but October 15th was international Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Women across the world lit candles at 7:00 p.m. in their local time zone, so that for 24 hours, candles were burning in remembrance all of the children who have died during pregnancy or infancy. I lit 3 candles for good measure!! Someone on one of my message boards posted this poem in honor that day - it's beautiful, and I wanted to pass it on.

"A Pair of Shoes"

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some woman are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author unknown

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Appointment update

We saw the perinatologist today. All the news was good - yay! The doc did ask me if I was "being good," i.e. staying on bedrest. I said, "Of course," but then he had to check with Darrell to make sure I was telling the truth!! Darrell assured him I was staying down. My blood sugars have been remarkably good since I got home from the hospital, so for now, I'm not on any meds or insulin for them - just the diabetic diet. My cervix is still nice and long, which is good. And the babies are growing right on schedule. Baby A (yes, she remains nameless) weighs in at 1 lb, 9 oz, and Baby B (Mackenzie) is a bit smaller at 1 lb, 5 oz. And I finally gained a bit of weight - still only 4 lbs since my very first peri appt in July, but better than I was doing previously - probably b/c I'm on bedrest and not really expending any extra calories! My friends who come to visit keep telling me that I'm disappearing! Hey, as long as the babies are growing, I figure it's a good thing - just imagine how quickly I'll lose the weight after they're born!!

Darrell remains off work on FMLA until November 5th, and hopefully my mom will be coming by then to stay for a while to help out. Anthony goes to daycare 3 days/week, which he loves, but I can't take care of him when he's home. Friends have started taking turns bringing dinners to us to help take some of the stress off Darrell, which is so nice. Someone from Darrell's work made us a yummy lasagna yesterday - mmmmm.... One of my friends is going to make us a no-sugar-added apple crisp, which I've been craving since it's apple-picking time! I can hardly wait!

If you want a good laugh, you have to check out my sister's blog to see some of their house-remodeling tales! There's a link over on the right - Savage Family. The entry about trying to replace the toilet is especially fun!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Update - home from hospital

Yikes, it's been a long, scary, miserable couple of weeks!!! On Sunday, Sept. 30, I started having a lot of contractions and ended up having to go to the hospital. When they put me on the monitor, I was contracting every 2-5 minutes. They checked my cervix and said I was a fingertip dilated. I was only 21 weeks, 5 days pregnant. The doctor who was on call for my OB was not very nice - didn't want to put on the right medication to stop labor b/c I wasn't even far enough for viability yet (which makes no sense - isn't that the whole point??), and wouldn't give me any pain medication despite the fact that my contractions were becoming quite painful.

Fortunately, when my OB came on Monday morning, he immediately ordered some pain meds and got me on the right medication - magnesium sulfate - to stop the contractions. Unfortunately, this drug is quite miserable to be on - makes you feel like total crap. For one thing, it gives you severe cotton mouth and makes you feel all hot inside, yet they have to restrict your fluid intake while you're on it - so you feel like you're dying of thirst, yet have to beg for mere ice chips. So I was on the mag sulfate until Tuesday night, then they took me off. I managed to stay fairly contraction-free for over 24 hours, so Thursday morning they moved me out of labor & delivery to a regular room (with a much comfier bed!).

Alas, I was only in my new comfy bed for about 8 hours when I started contracting again, and they had to move me back to L&D and put me back on the mag sulfate. Oh, did I cry! I was so discouraged!

Meanwhile, they really messed with my blood sugars, and one day I would be high, and then there was a day this week when I could hardly lift my head off the bed b/c my blood sugar was so low all day. Since I've been home, my blood sugars have been perfect, without any insulin or medication. So hopefully they will continue to stay where they're supposed to be. Also, one of the meds I'm on to stop contractions makes my migraines worse, so I've had to have pain med shots several times in the past 2 weeks!

I was back on the mag from Thursday night to Monday morning, when they took me off it again. Tuesday afternoon they moved me to a regular room, and finally, Thursday night, I got to come home.

The good news is that the babies seem to be doing well, and they both look good on ultrasound. The day I turned 22 weeks, they each measured just over a pound, which is a good size. So I guess it doesn't matter that I'm still not gaining weight! The day I got discharged from the hospital, I was still a pound under what I weighed at my first appointment with the perinatologist.

Anthony and Darrell were both thrilled to have me home. They both slept so well that first night, after 2 weeks of not sleeping well. Darrell is doing a great job of keeping me fed. The doc said I could get up to prepare light meals for myself, but I tried this the first day home, and after being up for only about 10 minutes, I had contractions for about an hour. Pretty much anytime I stand up at all, I have contractions. Also, my arms are covered in hives/rash from my tape allergy, as well as countless bruises from the many IV sticks and blood draws. I look kind of scary!! Anthony makes a daily routine of kissing all of my "owies."

Thanks for everyone's continued prayers - we need 'em!!! I'm 23 weeks 5 days today, and these babies really need to stay put at least until 28 weeks so they have a fighting chance at being healthy and not having any long term disabilities. Even at 28 weeks, they'd have to spend weeks to months in the NICU, but their prognosis would be much better then. I will likely have to get steroid shots sometime in the next several weeks to help their lung development, in case I do deliver early.

I go back to the perinatologist on Wednesday to check my cervix and address my blood sugars, then I see my regular OB the following Monday. I will continue to have weekly appointments throughout the pregnancy.


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