Sunday, December 30, 2012

{Pre} Birth Story

Hello again to the blog world.  I'm sure I have lost my readers by now since it has almost been a year since posting.  But, this is really more for me than for anyone else, so still I write.  But, if you are reading, I suggest getting comfy.  Its a long story.  I will apologize in advance for how lengthy it is, but I really want to remember as much detail as I can.  I won't be offended if you ditch out part way through.

I need to post about Jaxon's Birth Story, however since the 10 days prior to his birth were so exciting crazy, I should probably start there.

I left work on Monday October 15th to go to my appointment. Since my entire pregnancy had been such a textbook pregnancy that I had no reason to believe that this appointment would be anything but routine.  Boy, was I wrong.

Three things to preface: First, my mom had pre-eclampsia with me and my grandma had it with her. (We are both the oldest in our families)  Pre-eclampsia is most common with first pregnancies and can be but isn't always hereditary.  I was mildly concerned about developing it, but wasn't too worried. Second, knowing my family history, my doctor was making sure to monitor my blood pressure and had done a couple lab tests at my last appointment to check my kidney and liver function.  Those tests all came back normal and they just told me to call if I got a bad headache that wouldn't go away with Tylenol.  I didn't have one, so I didn't call.  The only ways I was feeling different were that I was pretty tired, my feet were swollen and my hands would swell and tingle a little.  I just chalked that up to being in my third trimester and thought everything was great.  And last, I NEVER thought or worried about him being born early, in fact, I was positive that he would be late and I would have to be induced.

So, I go to my appointment and they routinely check my blood pressure.  Without saying anything, the nurse calmly checked it again on my other arm.  She hadn't ever done that before so I knew something was up.  I asked her if it was a little high and she simply said that it was.  Come to find out, it was 170/110.  I don't know much about blood pressure or how it works, but I knew that was really high.  I started to worry, but still didn't think much of it.  She had me lie down on my side and came back to check it.  It went down.  I was relieved and thought earlier must have just been a fluke. She informed my doctor and I heard my doctor say "Whoa!" through the door, so I started to get nervous.

When my doctor came in, she was concerned and asked me if I had a blood pressure cuff at home.  I told her I had one at work so I would use that.  She said "I don't want you at work, I want you on bed rest for the next couple days".  I was less than thrilled and immediately started thinking of all the things I needed to do at work for the next couple days and how I really didn't want to be on bed rest. But, I figured if it was just for a couple days then I could tolerate it.  She then told me she was going to do my strep test that day just to have it done even though she normally doesn't do it until 37 weeks and I was 35 weeks.  I was then sent down to have more lab work done and told to come back up to be monitored.

When I came back up, they did a Non stress test.  Thankfully, Jaxon was doing great.  The nurse even said "He doesn't care what is going on, he sounds great"  I was very relieved.

I was sent home on strict bed rest for the day with medication for my blood pressure.  I was instructed to monitor my blood pressure and call to report in the morning.

I was so excited because I felt like the medication was working and I thought I would be back to my normal routine in no time.  That changed quickly when I called the office in the morning and after hearing my blood pressure report, the nurse said "Oh, well it seems like the medication isn't working"  I was so bummed.  I guess it just wasn't enough.  She talked to my doctor and then told me that my doctor wanted me to come in to the office for more tests and to get a steroid shot for the baby's lungs.  Just the thought of the shot made my blood pressure rise.  I'm a huge baby about needles.  Oh, and lets not forget, the nurse told me that my doctor wanted me to be on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy....5 weeks.  I was crushed. I held back tears as I got the rest of my instructions before coming to the office and then broke down after hanging up.  Lets just say that I am not good  terrible with change.

I immediately tried to get a hold of Cam to let him know and continued to cry by myself until he could call me back.  I was a sad sight.  He immediately headed home so he could take me to my appointment.  Bless him. I was in no condition to do it alone.

I got myself together physically and emotionally and we headed in to the office.  I was given many instructions about my medication, blood pressure monitoring, 24 hour urine collection (so glamorous), and then the dreaded shot.  I was worked up about nothing.  It was not bad at all.  My doctor then came in and let me know that she did not think I would make it to my 37 week mark.  I was at 35.5 weeks at that point.  And then she went on to inform me that if my blood pressure did not improve, I would be spending my bed rest time in the hospital.  That was almost the last thing I wanted to hear.  I shouldn't have been surprised though, things were changing by the minute around here.  I had just gotten my mind around being on bed rest for 5 weeks and now I hear I might be in the hospital and my baby would most likely be coming within a week and a half not 4 and a half weeks.  Oh wow.  We then headed home for a roaring anniversary celebration.  Did I mention that it was our 4th anniversary?  I must have forgotten :).  It was incredibly exciting with me not allowed to leave the couch or bed and Cam working on the house.  Jen was kind enough to bring us Cafe Rio and Marc Farnsworth and Steve Swenson came over to help Cam.  It wasn't romantic, but we are so grateful for everyone's support and help.

The next morning, I called the office again to report my blood pressure.  I mentioned that I had a headache, but felt that it was a side effect of the medication they put me on.  The nurse did not agree.  She spoke to the on call doctor who wanted me to come in earlier than my originally appointed time.  Why was I surprised, nothing was going according to plan.  I hurried to get ready, not showering because I planned to when I got home and my mom came to get me.  I felt so sick on the way and ended up throwing up as we pulled into the parking lot.

The non stress test looked great, they gave me some juice and granola bar to help me feel better and it seemed as though I would be headed home quickly.  Not so fast.  Since I had to do a full 24 hours of urine collection and also wait a full 24 hours to have my second steroid shot, we decided we would go to lunch and come back instead of going all the way home.  Before we left I ran to the restroom and threw up again.  When I came out of the bathroom, Stephanie, my nurse, told me I wasn't going anywhere.  They put me in a room and let me lay down until I could have my shot.  My mom got me lunch, I drank a coke, had a shot for nausea (wow that one hurt) and I was feeling a little better, but my headache was still lingering.  My doctor then came in and suddenly told me that she was sending me to the hospital to be on bed rest.  I was again, crushed.  I was trying so hard to avoid having to do that.  I tried talking her out of it and she did not budge.  I  was told I would be there through the weekend (it was Wednesday), I may be allowed to go home for a couple days the next week and then most likely right back to have the baby.  That was if she didn't deliver the baby while I was there.  My baby shower that was scheduled for Saturday would need to be postponed and I had strict instructions to not even go home first, but to go directly to the hospital.

Again, I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was and I had a hard time.  All the staff and my nurse were so sweet when I was leaving.  They gave me hugs and reassured me that I would be well taken care of.  They couldn't have been sweeter.  I made a phone call to Cam to tell him the change of plans (I had already told him things looked good and thought I was going home) and my mom and I headed up the hill to the hospital.

The hospital was expecting me and I was quickly put in a very nice room with the absolute best nurse I could have asked for.  I changed and was hooked up to the NST machine and then she put my IV in (I can't believe how bad that hurt), and then I was left to rest.  By that time Cam was off work and came right up to the hospital and my mom, who had not planned on spending the whole day at the doctors office and hospital, headed home.  I'm so grateful my mom insisted on taking me to my appointment that day, it was so comforting to have someone with me with all the changes.  And its hard to beat the comfort of your mom being there for you.

They monitored me and had me on the IV in Labor and Delivery for 8 hours.  Jen and Wade were nice enough to come keep us company.  Cam ran home to grab everything that I put on a list.  Mostly anything that would help me pass the time.  After an uneventful few hours I was moved to postpartum.  I'm almost certain they put me in the tiniest room in the very back corner of the floor.  However, since I only saw outside of my room 2 times during my entire stay, it didn't really matter where it was.

Basically, I just sat in that room for Thursday and Friday.  The CNA checked my blood pressure every 2-3 hours and the nurse checked my reflexes and made sure I didn't have a headache or abdominal pain a few times a day.  I was only allowed to use the restroom which was 2 feet from my bed.  I wasn't even allowed to really get up and walk around my room and I was most definitely not allowed to walk the halls.  The two times I left the room, I was taken to another room to first, do a Non Stress test, and the other for an ultrasound.  I couldn't believe how much my blood pressure would rise when I would just get up for the restroom and even the wheelchair.  It would shoot up and take about a half hour to come back down.
Just a side note, during the ultrasound, they measured Jaxon to estimate his weight.  They thought he weighed 5 lbs 14 oz at that time.

I was so excited when Dr. Macy came in on Thursday and told me that I could shower she might let me go home on Friday and I was even more thrilled on Friday when she gave me the OK to for surely go home.  It was a welcome surprise given that I thought I would be there through the weekend.  She was contemplating just letting me go home for 24 hours so I could go to my baby shower, but she felt that my blood pressure and labs looked good enough to just see me in the office on Tuesday.  I was ecstatic!  Things were finally going my way :) I was still on very strict bed rest, but I could be at home!

While I was at the hospital, Cam would come at night to sleep so I wouldn't have to be alone. The rest of the time he was either at work or working on the house.  So many people came to help while I was there, people I haven't even met from our ward, friends, and family.  They all worked so hard to get things done for us and I couldn't be more grateful.  The funny thing is, that when I got home from the hospital from my first stay, our house was all torn apart. It was much worse than when I left.  The entire family room was filled with tools, old fridge and furniture.  You couldn't walk around or sit anywhere.  The floor was torn out and there was dust everywhere.  It was almost comical how crazy it was, but I knew it had to get worse before it got better.

Cam came straight from work on Friday to pick me up and we came home and I went right to bed.  Its amazing how tiring it was to just ride in the car.  I was so worn out.  The next morning I went to my baby shower at my Grandma's house.  My sister-in-law, Emilee and my sisters threw it for me.  My mom and grandma also helped a lot with it.  They did such a cute job!  It was so fun to get so many nice things especially because I really had nothing for him yet.  And it was especially fun to see everyone and so nice to be out of the hospital.  I was a good girl and stayed sitting the entire time and I didn't even drive to or from there.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were all spent in bed.  I kept thinking that most likely Jaxon would be born at the end of the week.  I had heard that Dr. Macy was going out of town the next week and I didn't want to have someone else deliver him and I kinda guessed she felt the same way, so I was really hoping for that next weekend.  But, I tried to not plan on anything because of how things had gone already.

During the weekend, I monitored my blood pressure by checking it every 3 hours.  I had to call Dr. Macy on Sunday to report them and she was very pleased with how they were looking.  I was proud of myself because I was trying to hard not to do too much or get up at all and it seemed to be working.

Surprisingly, bed rest wasn't as bad as I was thinking.  It actually went by pretty quickly because I had so many people checking up on me with phone calls or coming to visit.  I made many phone calls to work to update them on what was going on and to let them know what things needed to be done. I was also busy ordering things online. Did I mention that we didn't even have a carseat yet?  Even more surprisingly, I actually didn't mind being in the hospital for part of it.  My nurses and CNA were amazing, the food was great, and the room was nice.  I was actually looking forward to going back and if you know me at all, that is saying a lot!  I'm actually kind of grateful I had to be there just for bed rest because it made my nerves about delivery really calm down.

I guess I will stop there.  If you read this whole thing, you deserve some kind of reward.  You wouldn't think it, but I feel like I could say so much more.  I really just want this for journal keeping purposes, so I didn't put much effort into the entertainment factor and I'm sure you could tell :)  I continue the rest of the story in a different post.