Friday, December 17, 2010

In the Hospital

So last night I was pretty sick, puking and whatnot and of course I had a fever the entire time which would not go away. So once the dr's office opened, I called them and told them about my fevers and new sickness. The nurse called me back and said that the dr wanted me to go to the ER because I might be bleeding in my GI tract. Well, I asked what he said about the fevers and the nurse said he didn't even mention them so I told her to ask him. She called me back while Tony was driving me to the ER (my favorite place on earth) and said the dr said they'd evaluate my fever in the ER. Wow, he's really helpful.

Once at the ER they took me in right away and the dr was nice and helpful. She ran blood tests, a urinalysis, and did a chest xray. Basically my blood count has dropped since I had Nola, so that leads them to believe I am bleeding internally somewhere. It could be around the lung, but they can't tell that yet because it's in a bunch of fluid and collapsed. It could also be somewhere in my GI tract, but they don't want to put me under anesthesia while I'm having trouble breathing to begin with in order to do the tests to find GI bleeding.

They admitted me and told me I'd be here at least a couple of days (sat is the soonest I could go home). I talked to a pulmenologist and the GI guy. The lung guy is giving me some vitamin K supplements to get my blood level up so they can suck the fluid off of my lung in the morning. Then the lung should re-inflate pretty instantaneously. He thinks I have an infarction which means the blood clot got lodged in a vessel which caused a bit of the lung to die which was irritating and caused all the fluid to build up and collapse the lung. He said this would cause my fevers if it was the case. He also said once the fluid is gone (which he said was a LOT whereas my dr said it was hardly any) I will start feeling better almost right away. :) I don't want to get my hopes up, but yay! Also once the lung is inflated then I'll start hacking up whatever was stuck in there and they'll be able to tell from that if it was actually infected (pneumonia) or not.

Then while my lung is ok and I'm off the blood thinners, the GI guy wants to do some endo-something where they put me under and run a camera down into my stomach to check things out.

So that's what's on the agenda for today. Hopefully nothing will hurt too bad and we'll get some answers. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nola is 7 Weeks old

7 Weeks Old
Taken 12/14/10

The girls with Santa on 12/13/10,
Embry wasn't very happy about it.

Well, we figured out what's wrong with me, my OB was right and deserves an award for best Dr ever because she actually gives a rip. After I left my 6 week ob appt and had told her my symptoms, she calls me right away and says that it is very unlikely but it might be a blood clot in my lung and I should have my primary dr look into it. So I called the dr and told him what she said and he replied that my symptoms did not indicate a blood clot whatsoever, but he'd send me in for a blood test which if was negative then it was unlikely I had one and if it was positive, it was probably a false positive. I had the blood test done on Thursday I believe. Yesterday the dr's office called and said it was positive and if I had any significant shortness of breath (which I'd been having for like a week already) that I should go to the ER (where of course they will do absolutely nothing). So they scheduled me for a contrast dye CT scan for 12:30 yesterday. Once it was done I was laying there and I could hear the tech whispering and then leaving and coming back in a bunch, so I figured something was up. Then he came over finally and said that their dr was on the phone with my dr discussing the results and he wanted to talk to me before I left. Then the dr came in and said that my dr would be calling me within the hour to discuss the treatment and I was like 'treatment for what? Or can you not tell me anything either?' (Because when I was talking to the tech before the test I asked if he could tell me anything afterwards and he said no). So the dr goes, 'well your right lung has a blood clot in the lower right quadrant, it has some fluid in it, and it's partially collapsed. Your doctor is going to prescribe some medications and call you with further instructions.' Then the tech made me a copy of the scan on a cd, which I just looked at, and woah, like half of my right lung is completely wonder I can't breath.

The dr wasn't in the office, so I talked to the nurse. The dr prescribed an oral blood thinner and a twice daily injectable blood thinner. I asked the nurse how I was spos to know how to give myself shots, so I waited for the script to get filled then took it to the dr office where the nurse injected me. Holy cow, that hurt. I was like, 'I thought they weren't spos to hurt in your stomach?!' and she said things like insulin don't but since this drug is thick, it hurts like the dickens. Great, and I'm spos to do this to myself twice a day for 10 days?

I went in to see the actual dr this morning and I made it pretty clear that I was really ticked at him. He started out saying that he was so surprised since my symptoms didn't indicate a pulmonary embolism. So I said, 'well I didn't tell you all my symptoms of shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat etc because the second time I came in here for my back pain you guys called me beforehand and asked if my pain had changed at all because if it hadn't then I didn't need to come in again. Implying that I would just come in here for the heck of it. I wouldn't come in unless there was something really wrong so there was no way I was going to call you when my symptoms started changing again.' He didn't really have anything to say about that. I also told him that I had called and talked to the nurse when I was in so much pain and crying on the phone and she told me if it was so bad, I should just go to the ER and I told him what a disaster that was. I asked if I could take percocet with these meds because I can't sleep unless I take it since I can't sleep on either side or toss at all, all my joints are in pain, and he goes, 'where'd you get percocet?' Like I'm buying it on the black market or something. I told him I had some left over from having Nola, some left over from my root canal, and that the oh-so-helpful ER dr gave me a prescription for some too. He wrote me out a prescription for more and since I can't take NSAIDS (like naproxen or ibuprofen for joint pain) while on blood thinners, he told me not to exceed 4000 mgs of tylenol per day (since percocet also has acetaminophen in it). This brought up the fact that I've had fevers over 102 everyday for at least the past week. I asked if this could cause fevers and he said only really low grade fevers so if mine persist, then I should come back in. Um, right, I can tell you're really concerned.

He acted like I might be on the oral blood thinner for a long time, but he's sending me to a hematologist to test me for blood clotting disorders. He said the hematologist would go over the risks of stopping the oral meds in order to run the tests, like if I'm off the meds then I'll suddenly develop more clots. Oh and the meds don't help the current clot to dissolve, supposedly it will do that on it's own, the fluid will be reabsorbed, and the lung will re-inflate. The meds are just so I don't produce anymore clots.

Oooh we also had a nice convo where my mom says, 'how is she supposed to take care of 2 kids like this?' and he goes 'you should be able to take care of them just fine.' So I say, 'umm for 3 weeks I've been telling you how much pain I'm in and now I can barely breath on top of it, it's a little hard to take care of my kids.' I mean really, is he even listening at all?! I get my blood retested on Fri to see if I can stop the injections, then again on Monday. I'm really hoping I can stop them sooner than 10 days.

Oh, Nola's face/chest/back all have that rash which I thought was baby acne. Apparently it's something dermatitis which is a type of eczema and we're supposed to put Eucerin cream on it every night and it should get better.

So in other events, I took the girls to the mom's group Christmas party with the help of my mom. Luckily we were in the first group to see Santa cuz I really wasn't feeling too well and we left right after that. Embry was very excited to see santa while waiting in line, but once she got up to him, she put on her 'sad face' and tried to get away. Nola was perfectly content probably cuz she didn't know what was going on. I got a picture and that's all I cared about, so whatever.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nola is 6 Weeks Old!

6 Weeks Old

Yep, I'm late, I know. Although this time it's not due to laziness, it's because I've been sick. Went in for the HIDA scan yesterday which was ok except it took 4 hours instead of 2 hours because they needed to prove that I wasn't pregnant. I told them there was no way I could be seeing as I just had my 6 week OB appt on Monday, but they needed a blood test. The lab took forever to process it. Then it took quite a while to find a vein for the IV since I had been fasting they were all collapsed. They had me lay flat on my back on this hard plastic thing for the 1.5 hour test and it was excruciatingly painful. Plus, I was freezing and when I finally got home my fever was 102.4. I've been getting fevers like that everyday for the past week. This morning I called my mom around 7 to see if she could come over to help me since I was feeling so horrible and I ended up puking and taking quite a few percocet to make it through the day. The problem with taking percocet when I don't have anyone here to help me is that it makes me so tired I have to go to bed. So I spent half the day sleeping and half the day sitting downstairs feeding Nola and pumping. Oh, bonus is that I have to pump and dump until Saturday because of the radiation they put in my IV for the HIDA scan. I just want to know what's wrong with me and get it fixed. I'm very scared that they're just going to say something like, 'oh it's arthritis, you just have to deal with it.' I can't possibly imagine living the rest of my life like this.

So, onto Nola. She's doing good. She's not fighting about taking the bottle or drinking formula which is a relief since we have no other options for a few days. She has developed quite the case of baby acne, but it probably didn't help that we didn't bathe her for like 2 weeks since I can't do it by myself with 2 kids while I'm sick. She seems more interested in her bouncer and her swing and particularly likes the vibrating feature on the bouncer, but then it broke. We replaced it with one from craigslist for $15.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nola is 5 Weeks Old!

5 Weeks old
Taken 12/1/10

Oy, this week has been one for the books. There is something wrong with me. First it was just my back, then it was only the right side of my back and right shoulder with something weird going all spazzy when I ate. Then since I could only sleep on my left side, that whole side ended up getting very sore from arthritis. The dr sent me in for an ultrasound of my gallbladder which looked totally normal and now is trying to get me in for a HIDA scan which checks the functionality of the gallbladder instead of just looking for stones and infection. Problem is, we have to wait for the insurance to authorize it and in the meantime, I'm in pain. Lots of pain. I've tried ice, I've tried heat, I've tried stretching, I've tried massage...anything is just a temporary fix, if a fix at all. Yesterday out of desperation, I went to the ER. The dr there pretty much sucked. He said he didn't think it was my gallbladder so he wouldn't do the HIDA scan and he thought it was muscular. Basically they did blood work and a urinalysis (which just showed my potassium and sodium are low) and sent me home. It was rather infuriating.

I can't believe Nola is over a month old already. I swear, I feel like I just got home from the hospital with her. Nola seems to be sleeping slightly better and we're trying out a new plan. Tony gets up with her once during the night to feed her formula because I'm thinking she might sleep longer that way. Last night was the first night trying it out and it went fine, so we'll see if my plan has any merit. Either way, I'll be getting more sleep because I'll be skipping a feeding during the night and that alone is a huge blessing. Weird thing is that since having Nola, Embry has been waking up screaming at night, like she's having a nightmare. She probably gets that from me because I have nightmares all the time...poor thing.

The first month or so that Nola was home, she was pretty easy going. She hardly ever cried and just kinda whimpered when she needed something. I thought maybe she'd be the laid-back baby that Embry wasn't...I was wrong. She's started crying a TON over the last week or so. It seems that the only way to keep her calm (and sometimes that doesn't even work) is to either feed her or hold her. Oh, but a good thing is that she enjoys riding in the car most of the time. So the crying thing has not helped my daytime sleeping ability. Today was the first time in a week that I've gotten a nap, and boy was it heavenly!

Ha, I almost forgot, Nola had her first Thanksgiving! It was lots of fun besides the fact that I was upstairs half the time trying to fix my back. Anyhow, Tony's mom, Allison, Alex, and his dad came over as well as my parents, Donny, Oasis, and Maisie. The food was delicious (thanks to Tony, his mom, and my mom...cuz all I made was the monkey bread) and we got some really cute pictures of the family outside. I also got a picture that I have envisioned for a while...our girls with both sets of grandparents! :) Then that night Tony's mom, Allison, and I went over to our friend's house to play games which was hysterically fun, I love games and friends. The day after Thanksgiving Allison and I went to do a bit of shopping and then Saturday Allison got the flu that Embry had and so did my mom. Then Donny and Oasis also got it as well as tony's mom. Apparently it's a very strong strain. Saturday before Tony's family left we took the girls with Alex and Doro to the desert museum which was really fun and I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nola is 4 Weeks Old!

4 weeks old
on 11/23/10

It was a big hassle to get retested in the carseat on 11/18 (her due date). I had an appt to come into the hospital on the 18th at noon and after my mom came in and all 4 of us went to the hospital, they said they had no idea what I was talking about. The lady who was down at the newborn checkup with me (which we had 2 days after we left the hospital) said she vaguely might have remembered something about the fact that we talked to someone from the nursery who said we should come back on her due date. So, she said she'd get someone to do the test for me (mind you this is already 1.5 hours past our appt time) and then all the nurses were busy with deliveries or feeding babies. We finally started the carseat test at 2:30 and realized that the Graco carseat straps wouldn't tighten enough to be safe for travel. She said they could still do the test in that seat but I wouldn't be able to take her home in that one. So I took my mom and Embry home (cuz it was way past her naptime) and picked up the chicco carseat to take back to the hospital. The carseat test was over by the time I got back and she had passed! Woohoo! They had also weighed her and she was up to 7lbs 3oz already! I said it must be all of the halloween candy I've been eating while nursing at night trying to stay awake. ;) I gave them the carbed back and said good riddance and finally left to run errands.

Other news is that Embry has the stomach flu, again. She started throwing up at 11pm last night (of course I was up feeding Nola, because when am I not?) and so I heard her whining on the monitor and sent Tony to see what was going on. I set up the guest bedroom for them and had him sleep in there with her for the rest of the night. She threw up about 8 times over the course of 12 hours and we thought she was over it for a while because she had a cracker and some bread and kept it down for a few hours, but then it reappeared around lunchtime. She took a long nap (like 3 hours) and seems to be doing better now, but we'll just have to wait and see. Tony stayed home with her today while Nola and I stayed in our bedroom all day to avoid getting sick. I'm not sure what this says about us hosting Thanksgiving on Thursday because I'm guessing even if she is all over it, she's probably still contagious for a while. Hmmmm.

I was thinking that Nola was doing really well sleeping at night, then it backfired on me. She went for about a week doing 3-5 hour stretches between eating and then a few days ago she started eating every 2 hours again. This is ridiculous! She eats for an hour at time, so I'll be up for an hour doing that, then sleep for an hour and then she's up again to eat. Really, is someone supposed to be able to survive on one hour stretches of sleep?! I think not.

Sunday morning I had some insanely bad back pain. It started in my spine near my bra line and radiated around to the front of my ribs. I took some percocet and it got better. I went to the dr yesterday and he said it seemed muscular, which really doesn't sound right to me, and is sending me to physical therapy. That means a lot of hassle and if they just tell me to do stretches for an hour while I'm there and I go to all the work of finding someone to watch the kids etc, then I'm just going to tell them to forget it. I can stretch at home, thanks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nola is 3 Weeks Old!

3 Weeks Old
Taken on 11/16/10

So this week has been a bit interesting.

Embry's birthday was Sunday so we had her open her presents from us and then Tony and I took her to lakeside park and to see 'Despicable Me' while my mom watched Nola. We thought it would be nice to spend some time with her alone since Nola's been getting a lot of attention since she came along (obviously). The park was lots of fun. We had a picnic and played with Embry on the playground. Then went down to feed the ducks, which she loved! We left and went to the cheap theater to see the movie. Embry was pretty good until the last 1/2 hour. Then I let her out of her stroller and she would not sit in either of our laps or in a regular seat, so I went to the back of the theater with her and let her go up and down the steps where nobody was sitting for about 20 min. During this time a teenage boy and his fam (mom, dad, and sis) quickly gathered all their stuff and left the theater while reeking of puke, come to find out, the boy had thrown up all over the floor and seat where he was sitting. Anyhow, then Embry was just non-compliant and needed her diaper changed so I took her out of the theater and to the bathroom.

This was when my headache started getting really bad. I had a slight headache for a couple days but thought nothing of it since that's normal for me. So when we got home I pumped and that was weird because the one boob that normal gives the most milk hardly gave any and it kinda hurt. I figured it was just extra full from not being home to feed nola, maybe clogged or something. So then I went upstairs to take a nap. Over the next couple hours my fever went from about 99 to 104.3 and I was sweating, shivering, ached all over, and my boob was hurting like no other. I told Tony I thought maybe it was Mastitis and he looked up the symptoms and how to help it and it seemed like it all matched. Then I called my OB and told her what was going on and luckily she didn't make me go to the hospital cuz I'm pretty sure I couldn't have made it down to the car without being carried. After figuring out that our walgreens, frys, and safeway pharmacies all closed before 6pm on Sunday she called in a prescription for an antibiotic to a Walgreens further away.

This posed another problem since Tony can't take both kids in the car with him alone since someone is supposed to be watching Nola in the carbed. So he reluctantly left her upstairs in bed with me and took Embry to pick up my prescription and a heating pad. It all worked out ok and luckily Nola wasn't fussy when she was with me alone. I took a bunch of tylenol, naproxen, ibuprofen etc to get my fever down and it started going down slowly overnight so it was only slightly elevated the next morning. My mom came in to help watch the kids yesterday when Tony was at work which was a lifesaver and then I was alone with them today. I'm feeling better now, but not 'good' so it's a bit trying to deal with both of them at one time.

Today went all right. Nothing really majorly horrible happened, but I swear, Embry could outlast the energizer bunny any day of the week! She just never stops, NEVER. Although I decided to take my nap downstairs (where Nola was finally asleep in the pack n play rather than moving her upstairs to her crib) and I got to sleep for about 2 hours until some guy knocked really loudly on the door and rang the doorbell. This woke me up, woke Nola up, and Embry was either already awake or woke up because then she kept yelling for me to let her out of her room. I never answer the door when I'm home alone unless I already know who's coming so all that was for nothing anyway because I didn't answer the door.

Nola's due date is this coming Thursday. I bet she's about 6&1/2 lbs now, but maybe they'll be kind enough to weigh her at the hospital when we're there on thursday. Her 2nd carseat test is at noon on Thurs. Can't wait. I'll be really glad to get her out of that stupid carbed, but there is the possibility that she won't pass the test again and then I'll be very disheartened.

Added to all this is the fact that Embry has decided to be potty trained right now. Starting when Tony's mom was here after Nola came home she slowly began to use the potty. As of now she's going pee-pee in it about 3-5 times a day and she's gone poo-poo in it once of her own accord and once when I quick threw her on when she was kinda already going. She's making quite a bit of progress and not needing much prompting to do so. I'm very happy for this, but the timing could have been a bit better (like before I had a newborn to look after as well), oh well.

Nola is ok at night time. She tends to wake up when I put her down in the pack n play after feeding her. Usually once a night I'll stand there and rock her until she is sleeping, put her down, and then tip toe back into bed praying she won't wake up. Tony was having us get up every 3 hours to feed her (since she's preterm) but we've been sleeping through those alarms lately. Even though I haven't been getting much sleep, I still don't feel quite as, um, off kilter as I did with Embry at this point. I guess having a toddler to take care of actually keeps you slightly sane?!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nola is 2 Weeks Old!

2 weeks old
on 11/9/10

Tony's mom left yesterday morning. Tony went back to work this morning. My mom came over at 7:30 am to watch Embry while I got to sleep in, which was very nice. She'll be back tomorrow morning for the same thing except she's bringing my dad along too. I don't think I'd be nearly as tired if Nola would just eat and be done with it, but it seems like it takes her an hour for each feeding. That means I'm up for an hour every 3 hours, meaning I only get 2 hours of sleep at a time. I'm tired.

Embry is really testing us. It's driving me insane. My mom and I took the girls to get pictures taken at Target today and Embry was less than cooperative until I bribed her with the promise of candy. Then once my mom left after Tony got home, Embry tried to do everything possible that would be 'bad' and I think her sole purpose was to send me to the insane asylum. She's cute, but dang, she's strong willed.

I'd like to go to bed at a reasonable hour, but I can't just leave the house in a state of disarray and actually get to sleep at night. So, up I stay, putting things away, doing little things that need to get done. Not to mention the entire list of things that I had to do before I had Nola, well...those things still need to get done. Oh and add in, thank you cards for my birthday, for the baby shower, and for Embry's birthday, plus Christmas cards and baby announcements. Tony's mom helped with the announcements while she was down, so those are actually mostly assembled and just need to be addressed/stamped/etc.

Embry's 2nd birthday party was on Sunday. It was lots of fun! I feel like when I host something, I never actually get to talk to people as much as I would like, oh well. Embry actually behaved rather well during the whole thing which was very impressive considering she declined to take a nap that day. The Elmo jumping castle/slide combo was a big hit and Embry played on it till the very moment they had to take it away. Only problem was that the little kids (and myself) had a very hard time getting up the rope/ladder to go down the slide. Basically an adult would end up pushing a kid up over the top instead of having them try to climb up, it worked out ok. I'm pretty sure I over-did it a bit though, feeling better now, but I think bouncing is not recommended for someone who had a baby 1.5 weeks earlier. Yes, now you can all say, 'I told you so.'

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birth Story and 1 Week Old!

Mama and Baby Nola

Baby Nola makes kissy lips a lot

Nola and her parents at Sears before her first photo session on 11/2/10

Align CenterNola is 1 Week Old!

Hanging onto Grandma Dorothea's Hand

Birth Story: (warning, I'm not leaving anything out, so reader beware, it's gonna be graphic)

I had my baby shower on Sunday, it was absolutely FANTASTIC! I can't believe how much work must have gone into making it so special and I felt incredibly blessed. It was Hello Kitty themed and everything was so cute! Then when I got home that night, I tried out my new Moby wrap and put Embry in it. Oddly, she really liked it and I decided to take a 'jog' around the kitchen/living room and jokingly said 'oooh, let's make baby Nola come out to meet us!' I didn't really realize how true those words would become, God has such a funny sense of humor. On Monday morning at 8:30 I went in for my normal NST. Tony's mom and sister Allison were still here to watch Embry for my appointment. The NST was ok, Nola wasn't quite as active as they would have liked, so they had to buzz her with the soundwave machine a couple of times to get her heartrate elevated properly. At the end of every NST, they take your blood pressure before sending you home. Mine was slightly elevated. It had been getting slightly higher over the previous few weeks, but was never actually 'high'. They turned me on my left side and took the blood pressure again and it had increased (we're talking maybe like 130/85 or something like that, so not incredibly high). The nurse decided to call my dr and let her know, to which she said she wanted me sent to triage to be monitored and have some blood and urine tests done.

I was wheeled over to triage where they took my BP every 15 minutes and it kept getting higher. They also did a urine test which showed no protien spilling into the urine (or an insignificant amount) and a blood test. The blood test came back and showed that my blood platelets were low, really low, and apparently they make your blood clot. So the nurse decided to run the test again to see if maybe it was a mistake. They said they like to see the platelet count above 150, but they'll accept it above 100...mine was 47. The nurse then told me that I would definitely be staying for at least 24 hours get a 24 hour urine collection (to see how much protien spilled in 24 hours) and that if I did end up having a baby, I would not be able to get an epidural because of the platelet count being so low. To that I said, 'you've got to be kidding me, that is my absolute worst nightmare come to life.' She also checked my cervix sometime while I was there and it was 2cm and 60% effaced which was quite an improvement from the Thursday before when I was 1cm. I was having some random contractions while being monitored, but nothing consistent.

Dr Golden said to admit me to labor and delivery for at least 24 hours. Tony had showed up slightly before this decision was made (he had to pack a bag etc since I hadn't gotten that far yet) and I got wheeled over to L&D. It was already around 5pm and my dr showed up and said that since my BP kept increasing and my platelet count kept dropping, I would have to be induced and that I definitely would not be able to get an epidural, but I could have IV narcotics (fentenol to be exact). The anestesiologist wouldn't do an epidural because when the platelet count is low, the likelyhood of blood leaking into the spinal fluid (rather than clotting around the catheter like it normally does) is so much higher. I asked if there were any other options at all, like ANYTHING! She basically said, no. I could have had a c-section under general anesthesia, but they wanted to minimize all bleeding and cutting someone open doesn't really bode well when you're blood isn't clotting. So, I just went with it and said ok, cuz really, what else could I do?

They gave me some IV antibiotics (since they hadn't gotten the result of my GBS test back yet), IV steroids, and then started the incredibly evil IV magnesium sulfate for high blood pressure. Then the dr broke my water around 7pm. I have to confess, I think this might have actually been one of the worst parts of the whole experience. I literally scooted backwards on the bed until my whole head was pressed into my chest because it was smashed against the head of the bed while I was saying 'ouch ouch ouch!' and clawing into the nurse's hand. After that, the water leaked out very slowly, the dr left to go get changed, and the IV pitocin was started probably about an hour later.

The contractions steadily got more painful as the hours passed, but were never nearly as bad as I had expected. Even once I was ready to push, I could still handle them with breathing and holding onto something (ie, the bed rail). I was even able to get some sleep between contractions for a while. At some point I threw up quite a bit, but I'd only had 'clear liquids' so it wasn't too terribly bad. Around 4:30 am, I was having strong contractions really close together and I looked over at Tony and said, 'ummm, I literally can't NOT push!' So I started pushing involuntarily. The nurse got the dr (who had gone home after breaking the water and changed and stayed the entire night at the hospital in case I needed her for that's a good Dr) and switched the bed out to 'pushing mode'. They checked me and sure enough the head was right there, so pushing commenced.

We had them bring in the mirror so I could see the progress and Tony got all the cameras set up on the tray for when Nola arrived. I pushed for about an hour, but it was an incredibly weird experience. At first it wasn't so bad. The dr gave me some lidocaine shots down there in the perineal area and the pushing didn't necessarily hurt for a while. Then it got pretty bad. My back basically felt like it was breaking in half. I kept asking if they could do anything else, like anything, to get her out. I asked if they could use the vacuum, they said no cuz they didn't want me to tear (ie bleed) any more than necessary. I also told them that my IV narcotics must not be working, haha, always a jokester. I was completely exhausted and inbetween contractions I would fall asleep and actually have little dreams until the pain got so bad to wake me up again for more pushing. The nurse (who was awesome) and the dr kept saying how close I was to getting her out and I repeatedly said, 'are you kidding me?' as in, I could see how close it was and I knew I still had a long way to go. I kept remembering on those birth shows how everyone says to just push through the pain, so that's what I did. I figured she had to come out eventually and it was up to me to make it happen. At 5:54 am, I finally got her head to come out (which was sunny side up), then pushed her body out and felt complete immediate relief from pain.

They set her on my chest for about 20 seconds and she wasn't crying too much, so they took her over to the warmer to get her stimulated. I pushed out the placenta (which was super easy after pushing out the baby) and then the dr gave me two stitches for a small tear. Everyone said that I did a really great job and that I was super nice and I am pretty proud of myself. It actually feels really surreal, like did I actually have a baby without an epidural? Me? I did that? And I didn't yell or scream or hurt someone? Wow.

After the birth I continued to bleed quite a bit for about 5 hours. I kept passing clots which is what they want to avoid after delivery. Then around 10 am, Tony had left to go pick up the family to visit us and I looked over at the nurse and said, 'I'm not feeling so well, maybe I have to poo.' So she grabbed the bed pan and put it under me, then I said 'ummm, I'm gonna need that bucket' and proceeded to throw up the pancake breakfast I had about 2 hours earlier. While puking, my stomach muscles would contract and just pushed tons of stuff of my uterus. The nurse wisked Nola out of the room while this was going on and I was apologizing saying I couldn't help it and I kinda saw this look of, well, horror on the nurse's face. While this was happnening, apparently my BP was down to around 60/35. After I was done, there was a pool of blood at least a couple inches deep in the bed pan. This was not good.

About 10 min after my mom, Embry, Tony's mom, and Allison arrived to visit the nurse came over to me and told me that they needed to do a D & C on me right away to clean out my uterus. The Dr explained everything to the family and said that they were ready for me in surgery and they needed to take me back. It was kinda funny though cuz the nurse stated it like I had an option, when really, I didn't. So I was like 'oh um, ok I guess.' Then they wheeled me out. This was rather heartbreaking because Embry was scared and screaming 'mamaaaaaaaaa' and I could hear her as I was wheeled further and further away and I could hear my mom trying to comort her. Oh, I just wanted to give her a big hug, poor baby.

The surgery went well, but seemed to take longer than expected and I had to stay an hour in recovery alone. I was put under general anesthesia for the surgery which meant I had a breathing tube and when I woke up they pulled it out and I couldn't talk and kept gagging on the mucous in the back of my throat. I managed to croak 'ice chips' to the nurse who kept telling me she couldn't give me any. I swear, I could have strangled her. Then she proceeded to smash my uterus (which just had a bunch of stuff scraped out of it) while watching blood come out and saying 'I'm not really sure what I'm looking for (smash uterus smash uterus) maybe we should get the labor and delivery nurse up here.' Um yeh, no kidding freak face, get someone who knows what they're doing instead of hurting me for no good reason! I was clearly ticked at her and everyone knew it. The L&D nurse was super gentle and nice and said everything was fine and gave me ice chips as soon as we were away from the post-op nurse. Oh, I could have kissed that woman. Apparently the dr got out a huge handful of clots and possibly leftover membranes which was sent in for evaluation.

After the D&C they cut my dose of Magnesium Sulfate in half and then stopped in completely 24 hours after delivery. This really cut down on the nausea and I started feeling much better. My platelet count slowly started to increase and was up to 80something by the time we left the hospital on Thursday. Although my blood count was incredibly low due to all the blood loss, so I was told to eat a lot of iron and the dr now wants me to start an iron supplement. My blood pressure was stable shortly after delivery and has stayed that way since. Woohoo!

Coming Home:
As we were trying to leave on Thursday 10/28/10, Nola had to have a carseat test since she was preterm. She failed. I guess her oxygen level dropped too low while she was in the carseat for an hour being monitored. So they loaned us a carbed which is huge and has to go sideways in the backseat, so the end of that story is, we bought a van. It's an 02 Honda Odyssey with 86k miles, 7 seater, dvd player, and navigation system. We got in from craigslist, the guy seemed kinda shady on the phone, but we ran the carfax and it was fine, so we ended up buying it. I like it a lot, the carbed fits really well, and we can all go places as a family now :)

When we finally got home from the hospital at 6pm on Thurs night, we had an incredibly bad experience. Embry basically did an hour long screaming freakout. I think it was a combo of her missing us and then not getting all the attention once we got home. Anyhow, once she went to bed she was fine and then the next day all was well. She does want to cuddle with me when I feed Nola which doesn't work out so well most of the time. We've let her hold Nola a few times which she LOVES but then when we try to take Nola away, she freaks out and screams, 'miiiiiiiiiiiiine!' Embry really does love her baby sister though, it's very heartwarming.

The First Week:
Nola had a check up at the hospital on Sat (10/30/10) and weighed 5lbs9oz which was up 5oz from the 5lbs 4oz she weighed when we left the hospital on Thurs. We tried to get them to redo the carseat test in our other infant carseat but they said she can't be retested till her due date, so I made an appt for 11/18, bleh. Then she had a dr appt with her regular ped on Monday and was up to 5lbs 13oz which was an ounce more than her birth weight so yay!

I had a 1 week post delivery appt with my OB on Monday which went fine. I told her my back hurt the most since delivery and she said the prescription strength Ibuprofen should help with that. My BP was normal and she had me go in for more bloodwork which showed that my blood count is still really low (=even more exhausted than I'd be otherwise) and that my platelet count is up to 155...soooo I say, BRING ON THE EPIDURAL! Oh wait, it's a little late for that now, oh well. I asked if this same thing is likely to happen if I were to get pregnant again and she pretty much said yes. Not that the low platelet count is necessarily correlated with the high BP, but she'd be surprised if I didn't get pregnancy induced hypertension again in subsequent pregnancies. So, that means we're gonna have to think long and hard about having more kids. She asked us about birth control and we figure if we were to get pregnant without trying really hard, then it must just be meant to be and who are we to question God's plans?

Nola is doing really well and she is just a perfect little baby. I love her so much, I can't even describe it. When you have a child, you think you can't possibly love anyone as much and then when you have another one, your heart just grows to accomodate an overwhelming amount of love for both really is amazing. Nursing is going really well, no complaints there, my milk came in the Fri after we got home from the hospital. Nola eats about every 3-4 hours which is pretty standard and I'm so thankful for all the help I've had since coming home. I'm trying not to think about what will happen on Tuesday once tony's mom is gone and tony goes back to work, but I'm sure I'll manage somehow.

This whole experience has just reaffirmed for me how much God loves us. He is watching over us all the time and I am so greatful for his grace and mercy. I think of how much I love Embry and Nola and then just try to imagine how much God loves each of his children, it's simply amazing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nola Madison is Here!

In short:
Nola Madison arrived at 5:54am on Monday Oct 26. She weighed 5lbs 12oz and was 19" long. She had a full head of dark brown hair and looks very similar to big sister Embry.

I will have to write this blog post later since it is already 10pm, but I know some people don't have facebook and might want to see here they are!

We had some good pics taken in the hospital before we left and here is the link to those:
newborn photos Password is: 626001341572772
I normally would never order anything like this because it's a rip off, but I loved them, so I got a few.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

36 Weeks

We went pumpkin picking last Sunday at Apple Annies and got a million great pictures, so I'm sharing our newest family picture. :)

36 Weeks
Taken 10/21/10

Good news came today! I'm 1 cm dilated! Woooo! Ok so I know this means absolutely nothing, but I'll take anything I can get at this point! I had my normal NST and then went to the OB who I told about all my pain issues. Basically Nola's head is up against my cervix (which is a good thing except for all the pressure in the nether-regions) and then her body is curled on the right side of my stomach with her butt smashed into my ribs. This means that my back is in a lot of pain and is the reason I feel like I'm being suffocated when I have a contraction. I told the dr that she probably wouldn't like it, but I've been self medicating with percocet that was left over from my root canal so I could actually sleep at night. She said it was fine and actually wrote me out another prescription for it since I was running low. She did my group beta strep test which means I'll get the restults in a few days. I asked her thoughts on tearing vs episiotomy and she said she hardly ever gives an episiotomy, so that was the right answer in my opinion. She did want to schedule another ultrasound for around 11/11, but we're both kind of hoping I don't actually make it that long.

We had our ultrasound on Tuesday morning. It went really well and I got an adorably cute 3D pic of Nola's face. I can't wait to meet her! During the U/S I had the tech look at my cervix and it was completely closed and she tried to jostle Nola in order to get her head to move off of it and she wouldn't budge. So apparently I've dilated 1cm in the last 2 days. She estimated her weight to be 6 lbs and the cysts in the placenta are pretty much all considered 'venus lakes' now which are apparently completely normal. The tech said Nola's head was on the small side but her belly was measuring like a week ahead of schedule. It also looks like she has pretty chubby cheeks from the 3D I guess we'll have to wait and see!

My baby shower is this Sunday. I'm so excited! I can't wait to hang out with everyone and just get to chat and eat and have fun and relax. Tony's mom and sis will be here tomorrow morning and leave on Monday morning, so hopefully that means more nap time for me...but I have a ton of stuff to do anyhow. Let's make a list:
1. sew halloween costumes (umm let's state also that I have no idea what I'm doing)
2. move bookshelf into Embry's room and paint it pink
3. move embry's name letters into her room and hang them
4. put up Nola's name letters in the nursery
5. finish unpacking 0-3 month clothes in nursery
6. put away all of Embry's laundry (in other words, like 50 outfits)
7. wash, peel labels from, and cut up the rest of these stupid milk jugs :)
8. prep the angel ornament fabric (cut into 2 size circles with pinking shears)
9. cut cereal boxes into 3.5"x3.5" squares
10. finish decorations for Embry's bday party
11. put together gift bags for party
12. get stuff for Embry's bday cake and figure out what in the world I'm doing
13. sew hello kitty bib, boppy cover, burp cloth, swaddle blanket, and carseat handle cover
14. take Embry's 2 year pics

Friday, October 15, 2010

35 Weeks

35 Weeks
Taken 10/14/10

Ok so let me just say, my back is killing me. There's got to be a nerve getting pinched or something. I've been taking tylenol, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to need something a little stronger than that. The bonus is I'm having lots of contractions, so I'm not much good for anything lately. To prove that point, I have about 6 loads of laundry waiting to be put away in my bedroom. It's kind of ridiculous. Oh and in additon to my cankles, my hands are now swelling too. Dr said it was fine and normal.

The NST's are all still normal, last fluid check was 12, and we have (probably our last) ultrasound on Tuesday morning before mops. That means Embry will be attending an ultrasound for her first time, wish us luck! I'm assuming she'll be fine since it's an eclosed area, but I've seen other moms bring their kids along for their NST's and everytime I imagine what a disaster it would be if I brought Embry to one of those. Hmmm, maybe Nola will be a super calm child...hahaha.

I had an OB appt on Thurs, everything was fine, but I thought she was going to start checking me and do the group beta strep test and she didn't. She said she'd start checking me next week (at 36 weeks) which I guess is the norm, so whatever. My body is definitely ready to be done with this pregnancy, but in my mind I know what comes next (ie, no sleep, total exhaustion, wanting to kill someone) and that kinda makes me want to never give birth. Oy.

I had my 27th birthday on Sunday. It was pretty uneventful. We went to see 'Life as we Know It' on Saturday night which was good, although I think she ended up with the wrong guy. Here's a pic of us before going to the movie.
Tony and friends from young marrieds spent pretty much the whole day on Saturday getting this swingset and setting it up. The getting it was the easy part, the setting it up is what took forever. I was very glad for all the volunteers though because it would have been almost an insurmountable task otherwise. We're still working on it actually. My mom came over the past 2 days to sand it and then stain it and Tony will be moving the rest of the rock to the front yard this weekend and then laying down the rubber mulch. We also had 2 people give us estimates for making a walkway from the grass to the swingset and enclosing the pool area in fencing. The iron fence is slightly cheaper, but not by much and the mesh fencing won't match the current fence, is slightly more expensive, but I think it's much sturdier and it has a lifetime warranty. I think eventually we'll have to replace the current fence anyway because it's all wobbly and then we can do the whole thing with mesh so it will match. I want the pool and swingset separated before Embry's birthday party on Nov that's a tight timeline. I'll have to post a picture when the whole project is completed, but let me just say, Embry LOVES it! I'm sure we'll get way more than our money's worth out of it.
So I need to get Embry's 2 year pictures done and I think I want to try doing them myself. This proves to be a lot of work. I got a large piece of white blizzard fleece to hang from the back porch and use as a backdrop, but I'm worried about it getting dirty and also about how to make Embry not run all over the place. I think it's more than a 1 person project. I really want to get some maternity and family pics taken before Nola arrives, but that's going to be complicated and expensive. Maybe we'll just go somewhere like Target and hope for the best.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

34 Weeks

34 Weeks
Taken 10/7/10

My contractions are becoming more frequent/intense. I'm guessing they're braxton hicks, but what the heck do I know? Basically my stomach/back get all tight and I feel like I'm being suffocated. It's not a pleasant feeling but I wouldn't really say it 'hurts' either. Anyhow, so I thought I was going nuts and just imagining stuff until the NST's this week finally started picking them up! On Monday it showed I was having moderate contractions every 5 minutes while I was there. You'd think someone would have been like, ooh why's that going on, but my nurse didn't even mention it while the other nurse said 'oh, looks like you're having contractions' to which I said, 'yes I feel that.' Then at my NST today, I only had one but it was a huge one, like to the top of the contraction box and lasted for about 1.5 minutes. Anyhow, if they're not concerned then I'm guessing it's nothing to lose sleep over. Especially when I'm gonna have a newborn in about a month.

Eeeeeeek! I'm gonna have a newborn in about a month!!! I don't know if I'm ready for this. That happens to be a popular question these days...'are you ready?' The answer: 'of course not!' Are you ever really ready for something like that?! You can't possibly be prepared because there's no possible way to know what it's going to be like, or what your baby will be like, or how your daughter will like/dislike/act as an older sibling. There are tons of variables and the most I'm hoping for out of it is to get some sleep...which in itself is a rather tall order. I'd like to sleep when the baby sleeps, but unless there's someone else here to take care of Embry, well then, I won't be sleeping unless they're both sleeping at the same time. Just thinking about this is stressing me out.

We got Embry a play house, which she loves, from a neighbor's garage sale last weekend. Good timing too because I'm sure we'll be spending lots of time in the backyard now that it's starting to cool off. I really don't like all the dramatics of leaving the park when we go to play at the park. I really love watching her have fun, but leaving is a whole other story. I can hear it now, Embry buckled into the carseat, screaming, 'sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide! *sniffle sniffle* sliiiiiiiiiiiiiide!' Yep, I don't like it. Sooo, we bought a swingset off of craigslist. It's pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Here's a link to it on the toys r us website. We got it used (18 months old) for $450, so really, how could I possibly pass up a deal like that? Now the issue is getting it disassembled, into a truck, across town, and set up in our yard. Oh and moving all the rocks that are now occupying the area where it will be placed. Then after that is all done, we'll have to figure out something to do with the pool fence so the swingset and grass area can both be accessed at the same time without entering into the pool area. Luckily some of the guys from our young marrieds group have volunteered to help Tony on Sat morning with all of that stuff so at least it will be set up and ready to play on. The fence thing we can figure out later. Oh and I found out that 2 tons of rubber mulch is incredibly expensive, just an fyi.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

33 Weeks

33 Weeks
Taken 9/30/10

This week has been pretty uneventful, at least compared to last week...which is fine by me! Tony never ended up getting sick thank goodness. I did have an incredibly horrible (worst feeling of my life) back pain in the middle of the night a couple days ago. I seriously have never felt anything like that before and never want to again. I felt like a soreness in my back, near my spine, where it always hurts so I pressed on it to massage it and it completely freaked out. I was clutching the wall while yelling for Tony and writhing in pain. Luckily it only lasted for about a minute and hasn't returned since (knock on wood).

My twice weekly NST's are going fine, nothing weird ever happens, so no news there.

Our next ultrasound is scheduled for Oct 19 and that will probably be the last one I have before delivering.

Embry is super cute. She says I love you, which actually comes out 'yuv yoooo!' and she's amazingly gentle (for the most part) around babies. That gives me hope. This whole having 2 kids thing is sneaking up on me way too fast. Ooh, also when you ask what's in my tummy, she will say 'baby Nola' and she'll rub my tummy or give it a kissy. I can't wait to see her interact with her little sister, I might just explode with happiness.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

32 week pics

32 weeks
taken 9/25/10

Embry got sick last night. Her fever was about 103, then at around midnight she threw up. I brought her into our bed while Tony cleaned up and went to sleep in the guest bedroom to avoid getting sick and she threw up again. She's been eating pretty normally today and hasn't gotten sick again, but her fever is still lingering so we've been giving her a pedialyte/gatorade mix along with alternating ibuprofen and tylenol. Hopefully she'll be all better by tomorrow and we could all use a good night's sleep tonight.

My next NST is on Monday (I cancelled the one for last Thurs) and I also have another dentist appt on Monday. Joy. Oh yes, so eating a cinnamon roll during MOPS on tues, the back 1/4 of my temp root canal crown broke off and I swallowed it. The remaining portion was extremely sharp and was slicing into my tongue. I called the dentist who got me in 'after hours' on Tuesday to place the permanent crown on. So Monday they'll be drilling etc a tooth on the other side and putting a temp crown on it. Hopefully this one will last longer than 4 days before breaking.

Friday, September 24, 2010

32 Weeks

Wed night I got sick. We're talking like stomach flu kind of stuff. So I thought maybe I was ok and I could tell Tony didn't want to take Embry to our Love and Logic class without me, so I went. Halfway through went to the bathroom and luckily I had thought to grab a grocery bag on my way out of the house because, let's just say, it came in very handy. So we left. Once at home I laid down and was still sick but figured it would pass until I started having contractions. That promted me to call my OB who said I should go to labor and delivery to be monitored and that she would call to let them know I was on my way. I called my mom to come spend the night and Sarah stopped over to wait for my mom to arrive so we could leave. To make a long story short, the monitors showed that Nola was totally fine but that I was having contractions about 5 min apart. They believe this was due to being severely dehydrated. They also think it was food poisoning rather than a virus based on the fact that I didn't have any aches (besides bad back pain with the contractions) and no fever. So they pumped me full of fluids through my IV and eventually gave me some antinausea meds that way as well (apparently their orders were to not give me the anti-nausea stuff until I threw up there, so that's what they were waiting for). After that I started to feel slightly better. My dr was there for a delivery so she stopped by on her way out to see how I was doing, basically said stay hydrated, try the BRAT diet minus the applesauce, and hopefully everything would calm down. They sent me home about an hour later.

Yesterday I was awake for a total of about 3 hours, but luckily didn't throw up anymore. I ate a couple of graham crackers, some crackers and cheese, white rice and gravy, and of course water. This morning I had an OB appt, so I had about a half a bowl of cereal and some milk. Then went to the appt, got an eegee and a sub and took Embry to the playground. I'm still not feeling 'normal' but besides a killer headache, I'm doing much better. Embry had a fever tonight and was obviously not feeling well. Not sure what that's about, but now she's sleeping on the couch and after ibuprofen she feels much cooler.

We had our ultrasound on Monday which went really well. They cysts are still there but the tech said they look more like 'venus lakes' now. I'm thinking the difference is that cysts are fluid filled and venus lakes have nothing in them. I could be wrong, I don't know, but she said they're fine. Baby Nola is 4lbs and the fluid levels look great, so all is well. She was moving all over the place and even did a flip, oh and she kept pursing her cute!

Here's the photo break down:
1) girl parts
2) feet
3) foot
1) 3D with hand in front of face
2) 3D with hand and foot in front of face (yeh I know, looks like she's wearing an eyepatch)
3) profile with pursed lips
Today at the OB she asked what we planned to do after having Nola, as in, having another baby etc. So I said with our fertility stuff we just planned on letting whatever happen unless by some miracle I decided I did want a 3rd baby and then we'd actively 'try'. I did mention how long I bled after having Embry (16 weeks) and she recommended using the mini-pill which she said would not affect my ovulation. I'm highly skeptical of any hormone use since it's not 'natural' and tends to affect lupus symptoms quite a bit. I highly doubt I'll be going that route.

Oh this is a big deal. I made the matching dresses! The piping part could have gone a lot better, but hey, whatever.
Ok so, not feeling so hot. Headache is getting worse, going to bed. I'll take and post belly pics tomorrow. I know, the suspense is killing you.