Friday, February 24, 2012

Birth Story - Abbreviated Because I'm Tired!

We did it! Evangeline Skye was born on 2/22 at 8:44pm weighing 5lb 10oz and 19 inches long! I wanted to write my birth story down before I forgot any of the details, but I have to issue a warning that it's not for the faint of heart, and probably not for people about to give birth.

We got the call at 6:45pm on Tuesday that E's lungs were mature and we'd be starting the induction that night at 7:30. We were running behind and didn't actually get there until 8:30 but that was ok. We got hooked up to monitors and the doctor put the Cervidil in pretty soon after we got there, and I got my IV. It hurt like a son of a bitch to get the cervidil put in because my cervix was so high, but she got it done and left me alone for the night. I felt like I had to pee every 4 seconds, so I only managed to get a little bit of sleep. When they took the Cervidil out they said I was 30% effaced, and closed. We then started Pitocin at around 9:30, and supposedly I was 50% and a fingertip. I started getting contractions on the Pitocin, but they weren't bad, so over the course of the next 8 hours they kept upping it. By 4:30 we were at the highest dose, and I was having regular contractions, but still not much pain. My regular OB came in at 5 to talk to me and check me. He said I was 505, but I was actually still closed. After almost 24 hours of attempting to induce and 8 of Pitocin. We also checked my creatinine and it was back to 1.7. He gave me the option of cutting off the Pit and trying again the next day, or getting a C section, and I chose the C section. I didn't want to go through another 24 hours being that uncomfortable if nothing was going to happen.

They prepped me, which meant getting the monitors off (yay!) but we got pushed back so it was about 8:00 by the time I went to the OR. And that's where the night of hell began. The anesthesiologist I'd been talking to was off at this point so I had someone different. I was really nervous, and when they took my BP in the OR it was 220/110, so she put something in the IV to relax me. It didn't. She gave me a local, and immediately put in the needle for the catheter, which I could feel going into my spine and it sucked. Then I felt one on the other side. Then 2 more. Then another local, and then another catheter needle. That's 7 sticks if you're paying attention. A was waiting outside the whole time. He says people kept coming out and saying "Oh we're doing the epidural now" until one woman came in and said "You're still in here!?". A said he knew something was wrong then. And it felt wrong. I don't know how to explain it. I was not relaxed in any way, my BP was not coming down, and I could feel a lot.

I told them I could feel a lot, so they kept giving me more medicine, and gave me an oxygen mask. It finally worked and I could feel pressure, but not pain, and they started the C section. They say the surgery only takes a few minutes but it felt like an eternity, and at some point I started feeling like I couldn't breathe. I kept telling them that and they kept telling me I was fine. By the time they got E out, A went to go look at her and kept telling me how beautiful she was, but I couldn't concentrate because something was WRONG. I felt like my mask was choking me, and I realized I couldn't feel either of my arms. And then I got sick. I kept feeling like I had to throw up, but everything was numb, so I couldn't, and instead spit started coming out and sliding down my face. They had a vomit basket thing next to me but I couldn't use it, so I just kept spitting up. I told them to take the mask off of me and they did, but they kept telling me to put my arms over my chest. I kept saying "I can't move my arms" but it was like they didn't believe me. I said (in probably the nastiest tone imaginable) "I SAID I CANT MOVE MY ARMS" but it wasn't a yell because I wasn't breathing right.

I told A to go with E to take photos so he did, but he was terrified for me. When he came back to recovery I still couldn't feel my arms, and my BP was I think 80/40 or something. At one point, because I have a cold, I got some stuff stuck in my airways, but because I was numb, I couldn't cough it out, and I couldn't breathe. I gurgled out "Please help me" to the nurse and she said she couldn't. I was choking, with the absolute tiniest bit of air coming in, but not enough, and I kept trying to cough, and she kept saying she couldn't cough for me. I'm pretty sure if I could've moved my arms I would've socked her.

Somehow I managed to get the stuff out of my throat, and eventually regained movement in my arms, and they moved me to the Maternal Child ward, and I got to see my baby through a window in the nursery, but they wouldn't give her to me because I was so out of it.

I got into the room and said I didn't feel good and proceeded to vomit all over myself, so A and the tech had to change my sheets and give me anti-nausea meds. They didn't work too well because I did it again, but I made it into the bucket that time. They finally brought E in to me in the middle of the night and I got to hold her. I'm pretty sure she's the most beautiful baby that ever lived.

We had a rough few nights and they had to bottle feed her at first. She's taking to the breast now, but there isn't anything for her, so she was super fussy. I started supplementing after giving her time at the breast, and she's much happier now, and so are mommy and daddy. We're trying to get my milk to come in but at least she's eating.

She's worth it... completely. But it was a horrendous experience and I hope if we have more kids we don't have to deal with that again. Anyway, without further adieu, meet Evangeline!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The (hopefully) Last Survey

How far along? 36 weeks 1 day

Next Appointment: Tuesday - an amnio and hopefully induction!

Weight gain/loss: I think it's 20 or 21. I can't remember exactly where I started.

Maternity clothes? Uhm.. yes.

Stretch marks? Yes

Sleep? I gave up on sleeping in my bed. If I lay on my side for more than 15 minutes it just hurts too much. I'm in the recliner, and it's not as comfortable and a lot more restless. Last night I slept for 7 straight hours though! I didn't even get up to pee.

Best moment this week? The last few weeks have had a lot of ups and downs. I've been really sick and it's been tough. Honestly I think the best moment is any moment when A comes over and stands behind the recliner and leans down and kisses my forehead. We can't snuggle because I can't lay with him on the couch or bed, and I miss it SO MUCH. I also think when I leave work in about an hour, that will be a great one because I'll be out for 11 weeks!

Food cravings: Still the damn Burger King hamburgers. A real soda, which I did have once only because my stomach was hurting pretty badly. I can't wait until I have E and I can have Easter candy. I miss sugar.

Odd pregnancy symptom of the week: Not much of anything, really. E still does this bladder dance thing that is so uncomfortable, but I don't think I'd call it odd.

Gender: Girl

Belly button in or out? It's REALLY flat, but honestly it's still in. The top pops out a little but you can't see it unless my belly is bare. It's definitely behaving better than I expected.

Movement? For sure. She got crazy for a few days, but she's calmed down a little bit.

What I miss? CUDDLING. I can't wait until E is here and I can sleep in the bed and A sleeps with me. He's such a couch fall asleep guy, but he'll be up there when his little girl is in the bassinet.

What I'm looking forward to: Delivering a baby. I'm praying to God her lungs are mature and I get to have her Tuesday!

Weekly wisdom: None. I feel very unwise.

Milestones: 36 weeks seems huge. And I still don't have Pre-E. Seriously that's awesome.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Random Thoughts

Random thought #1: So E does this thing where she presses really hard against me from the inside. When I tried to describe it to A, the closest analogy I could come up with for it was that it felt like she was snuggling (awww). She's been doing this today where her little feet are, and I watched her move them and rubbed my belly where her teeny baby girl feet were pressing. And I realized that this time next week I'll be holding those little feet for real!!! Holy shit. I'm having a baby. Soon!

Random thought #2: I found some boy clothes when I was going through E's closet, from back when everyone was sooooo sure she was going to be a he (confirmed via ultrasound #17 - she is absolutely, positively a girl. If she is a boy I will crap myself because we've had at least 4 or 5 very clear shots). I brought them to A and told him we would put it away for if we have another baby. He looked up at me and asked, in this sad little voice, "If?". I said "When." And put them by the hope chest. A wants another baby, and has even said he wants it soon. And I'll go through the aches and pains of pregnancy again, no sweat. But I really need to know that my kidneys are getting better. The doctors are hopeful and have their fingers crossed. And I'm praying it was the infection, not the pregnancy causing the problem since the creatinine dropped once I started antibiotics. But we don't know, and we won't until E is here. I do, however, have a plan for total kidney fix-a-tation (I know. I made up that awesomeness) once E is here. So hopefully things will be looking good on that front, and we will be able to have another baby so I don't have to hear that sad voice again. I don't want to fail my little embies on ice, so.. kidneys don't fail me now!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Freaking Nursery

So I'm finally feeling a little better and got home at a decent time. We're celebrating Valentine's next Monday instead of today since we have to work tomorrow and have a lot to get done. In lieu of a date, I decided to work on the nursery while A worked on our bedroom. I spent a good hour up there trying to go through things and get things done, and I feel like I accomplished basically nothing. And I realized just how much stuff my kid has. I put the donated clothes away in the dresser, so now I have all her little pants folded and ready, and the few onesies she has. I think the one thing I might need to get is a pack of onesies for when she's teeny to put under her sleepers when it's cold in February and March. It looks pretty and organized right now, but I'm pretty sure once I finish washing the rest of her mountainous pile of clothes it'll just get shoved in there in any order. I'm going to be hanging up her sleepers and dresses, but anything with pants is going in the dresser, and there're a lot of outfits like that. I seriously can't get over how much stuff she has, and I'm not sure that she's going to get the chance to wear some of it!

I have a drawer dedicated to accessories, too, because I just don't have anywhere else to put them. For that matter, my kid has a lot of toys, and I don't have anywhere to put those either, so I'm going to have to get a toy box or some sort of storage cubbies. A lot of the toys are things to hang on her stroller or rattles and things, but they can't just.. sit there. They have to go somewhere, and I'm running out of ideas. I have the sheets, blankets, towels, swaddles, and those things all stored in a closet organizer that I'm almost out of room in! I have a basket of towels and wash cloths and bath stuff, and a basket of diapering stuff on the changing table, and a ton of stuff just sitting on the book shelf. I really feel like I've gotten nothing done, and I haven't made any progress. I know I cleaned a ton of stuff out of the closet but it feels like the piles that remain are endless. And I don't have a lot of time to get it done because I don't want to be organizing with a newborn!

And, because it seems I always have news when I have an appointment, I found out something interesting today. It seems that MFM notified my OB practice about my amnio and induction, and they scheduled it without telling me... for Tuesday night! So I think when I go in at 1:00, I'm staying, but I guess they might send me away for a few hours to just come back later that night. I hope anyway. I really don't want them to tell me we have to wait another week. I told Andy he could work all day, and my mom's going to stay with me until he gets there, so we'll just go out and have a big meal if we have to leave and come back. Apparently they decided they want to start me on Cervadil Tuesday night for the induction Wednesday. Which I guess makes sense, but it would have been nice of them to tell me! So... this time next week I'll be in the hospital getting a pill and going to sleep getting ready for my baby girl!

And I just discovered something I'm really excited about. My husband told me his mom was staying with us for a few days when the baby came. I love his mom, but I'd had this plan of us getting some family time when we first bring her home. Well apparently she's coming down when E is born, then going home and coming back to the area for a day or so when we bring her home, but she's staying with my mom, not us. So we get the grandmoms to come help out during the days and we get to still have our family time! AND, Andy is planning on being off from Wed the 22 through Thursday the 1, so he'll be with me for an actual entire week, and can help me get used to feeding her at night, and take shifts so we can try to get some sleep.

All in all it's been an interesting, positive, and productive day. But I still feel like I haven't done anything I need to do. And I really hope that with my parents coming to clean and help put up shelves and things on Sunday, and my brother coming to help A move furniture, and A getting the pack n play together, we'll be pretty close to ready. Just a few more hours in the nursery and a few more storage bins and I'm on my way.

Love, and How it Changes

I'm not a big Valentine's Day person. I think it's kind of silly to have to be reminded to tell someone you love them. But I just got really sappy for a few moments thinking about my relationship with A, how it's changed, and all we've been through over the years.

Our first Valentine's Day together, we'd been together about 5 months. Neither of us had much money so we didn't do much for gifts. We were living 2 hours apart, and it was really tough, so we decided that just being together was going to be our present. It sounds silly, but that year, A got me the sweetest little thing. He bought a heart-shaped box of chocolates, emptied it out, and filled it with strawberry mentos, knowing they were my favorite. It's a little thing, but when I sit here and think about him unraveling all those packages of mentos... remembering they were my favorite... and putting that together for me... it just makes me all emotional. I still have that empty box. And 7 years later I still have him, and now we have a little girl.

Back in those days things were so different. All we did or wanted to do was listen to music, go to shows, hang out with our friends, and drink. And we were in love but we were also confused and unsure and young. I was 23 when we met, and A was 21. We'd never been through anything together, and we only saw each other on weekends.

It's sort of strange what 7 years can do. A moved out of his house, his state, his comfort zone, and in with me in a brand new place he'd only visited. He'd never lived on his own or with friends. It was an adjustment. I got diagnosed with kidney disease, and we did the best we could through hospital visits and fear. We got married... my OCD went from 0-60 in no time flat... and now we're about to have a baby girl. We're stable. We make about 3 times as much money as we did then. We own cars and have 401Ks and stay in and watch movies. And love is completely different. It was this exciting thing that I was desperate to hold on to because it felt so good! And now... it's so deep I don't  feel it in any particular way. It's communication, working together, figuring out our next steps. Raising a baby, making tough choices, and always, always, always being able to come home at the end of the day to a hug that means more than anything in the world. Having arms to retire to that know you. That know all of your flaws and love you despite.. and maybe because of them. It's doing what you know you need to for your partner as hard as it might be for you to muster up the courage to do. It's the fact that hearing his voice instantly makes things OK. It's feeling safe, and having problems and working through them and knowing that neither of you will ever give up. It used to be missing him when I couldn't see him, and being happy around him. Now it's a foundation. It's the thing that holds us both up and helps us to get through things, and to want to try to get through them. To want to make each other happy.. and better.

I will never say my marriage is perfect. It can't be, because we're not perfect. We're flawed, and we have been, and we will continue to be. But sometimes I think that deep down in my very soul, A is a piece that I was built without. That he's everything I need, even if I don't always want it. I guess this whole thing is sappy, but this is the last Valentine's Day we'll be alone. Next year (next WEEK) we'll be a family of three. And before I reflect on life with a new baby, I want to reflect on life with just us. And that's how it's been. And I'd like to post part of a song that fits exactly how I feel most of the time about A. That he's a part of me that I was always supposed to have, and couldn't be happier that I found.

Origin of Love

Last time I saw you

We had just split in two.

You were looking at me.

I was looking at you.

You had a way so familiar,

But I could not recognize,

Cause you had blood on your face;

I had blood in my eyes.

But I could swear by your expression

That the pain down in your soul

Was the same as the one down in mine.

That's the pain,

Cuts a straight line

Down through the heart;

We called it love.

So we wrapped our arms around each other,

Trying to shove ourselves back together.

We were making love,

Making love.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm having trouble believing I'm 35 weeks and 2 days pregnant. As difficult as things have been, I'm feeling incredibly fortunate to be here waiting on the arrival of our sweet baby girl. I'm very sick right now (I'm thinking it wasn't a reaction, but a jackass of a virus) so I haven't gotten anything done that I wanted to, and I even told my parents not to come today because I'm feeling so crappy. I'm about to start my last week of work before E comes, and I hope I can get everything done that I need to. Here's the short list:

  • Re submit leave requests with new dates
  • Finish doing my actual work
  • Make sure my backups are caught up and have all the information they need
  • Contact insurance about making sure my delivery is covered and E is added
  • Organize the damn nursery
  • Organize the bedroom and put the bassinet in it
  • Install the car seats and have them inspected
  • Clean. A lot.
  • Move the desk upstairs
  • Put together the pack n play
  • Finish packing my hospital bag

And that's pretty much it! Thank God I have A to help me. Now if only I could kick this freaking virus. It would be fantastic to get  a few good nights of rest in since I'm going to be up so much with E in just a week and a half.

As I mentioned, though, I'm fortunate to be where I am. With all the issues I was supposed to have, I know I'm fortunate to have a healthy baby. And my kidneys, while still not looking great, don't seem to be in official rapid decline anymore, so hopefully the infection was causing a lot of the problem. Unfortunately, my very good friend, Mrs. E is having a difficult time, so if you could take a moment to send some positivity and prayers her way I know she'd appreciate it. She's just over 26 weeks with twins and 2CM dilated and contracting, so we want those contractions to stop and those babies to keep growing!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How We Came to the Decision Not to Worry

Yesterday's appointment did not go as planned. Although, do they ever? Evie's NST and ultrasound were fine, but then I met with the doctor. I gave her my glucose readings for the week and they were still pretty high. At that point she started talking about the induction and how she didn't want to do the amnio next week, but closer to 37 weeks. At this point I'm thinking "WTF? You wouldn't stop labor at this point, why are you being a crazy woman?" She said babies with moms with GD don't reach lung maturity as soon as other babies. So we scheduled the amnio for Tuesday the 21, 5 days later than intended. This scared the crap out of me because my nephrologist had said that two weeks wouldn't make a difference, but a month could, and here we were with an induction at 36+6. I cried the entire way home. I want this baby out. I do... this is my place to write how I'm feeling and that, currently, is how I'm feeling. And it's not because I don't care about her health, but because I'm her momma and I KNOW she'll be fine. At that point I had no idea if my kidneys would make it or if they'd gotten worse in the 4 days since we tested them. But I just knew E would be ok. So of course they made me feel like a terrible mother saying "I'm not comfortable delivering this baby due to a little bump in creatinine without more time".

Now... I'm not a nephrologist, but I'm freaking intelligent, and incredibly knowledgeable. 1.1 - 1.6 is NOT a "little bump" in creatinine. It drops my GFR (glomerular filtration rate) into Stage 3 range. There are only 4 stages of kidney disease. And, thanks for making me feel like I don't care about my own kid, asshole. Of course I do. But I also know in my heart she's fine. I want her out, sure, but I want her out SAFELY. I love this kid and I won't let anything happen to her. I also want her to have a mother. And with my kidneys in rapid decline.. it's freaking terrifying. I don't want to leave her and my husband alone. So I got pretty mad. My husband and my mom felt the same way. And the kicker was she said "If you had pre-e or HELLP" we'd deliver you. Uhm.. hello? The problem with those is organ failure, which mine are doing just fine with all by themselves.

So I cried all the way home. I know I keep saying this, but this creatinine thing is SCARY. It is, and I feel bad every time I worry about it because I know E's health is dependent on me but I just... I know she's alright. Yes, I know I've said that like 4 times.

So we talked last night and sent something to my nephrologist to get his take. And I went to sleep, feeling like I was getting a cold. Despite sleeping in the recliner partly sitting up, I woke up at 4am and I couldn't breathe. I knew I was getting oxygen if I took shallow breaths, but there was so much stuff in the way and I freaked out. This has happened to me when I got sick before, and I started yelling for Andy in this half voice filled with all kinds of crap. I woke him up and he shot up and came over and tried to calm me down, but it didn't help, so we went to the ER. Again. They took me back and.. basically annoyed the shit out of me. My O2 was fine, and I knew it would be because I could technically breathe, but I felt like I couldn't. The oxygen they gave me helped because I could get enough air with shallow breaths and didn't have to breathe deeply. The nurses said it might have been a reaction to the Keflex I got on Friday, and the doctor basically tried to say I was full of shit. The nurse said it was clear I was having trouble because she could hear me breathing. They gave me prednisone to open my lungs up and it helped some. They also gave me a new antibiotic and sent me to L&D to monitor E. She was fine. Then they got my urine culture back and said I still had an infection and the Keflex wasn't helping, so they were putting me on Macrobid. Fine. So I have some sort of infection the antibiotics weren't helping (which the OB at this hospital said were not preferred for pregnant women anyway), I have either a virus or a reaction to that medicine, and I'm out of work. Again.

It hasn't been a good week. But, I did do one thing right. Our nurse at this hospital (not the one I usually go to. That one's actually further away) was really nice, and they'd taken blood earlier, so I told her I figured they'd done a comprehensive metabolic panel, and could she check my creatinine. They had, and she did. 1.3. That's down quite a bit from Friday! It's a different lab, but I like to think they wouldn't be THAT far off. So in all of this, that was a piece of great news. And my nephrologist seemed to be OK with waiting when we heard. So now we're all OK with baby girl getting a few extra days. She'll be soooo close to full term, and that's good news. As much as this week has sucked, and as much as it hurts to breathe right now, I still only have two weeks until my baby comes, and with any luck, I won't see the inside of a hospital until then!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oh Yeah, And...

We FINALLY have a middle name! We discovered it by accident in the hour long waiting period of "If we have this baby today she's going to need a name". A was tossing out joke names and this one popped up and then we were both like "wait.. we like that...". It's going to remain a surprise until her birth, but I'm just glad we haveone. I just sent A a text that said "I really like Evangeline (insert middle name)" and I think we should keep it. He said "me too". So there you have it. Baby girl has a full name.

Money Matters

Trying to sort out monetary issues for maternity leave is a big deal. It's an even bigger deal when baby doesn't give you as much time to plan as you expected. Although her early arrival means I actually get a holiday (yay!) it seems I miscalculated in other areas, so I'm going to use up every last stitch of leave I had. It's about this point where I want to kidney punch myself, just to give them a good "what-for". I used a LOT of time in my first year here going to kidney doctors and getting treatment, so I'm left with very little leave and it's a pain in the butt. Fortunately I can borrow 6 weeks, so I'll be getting full paychecks for a little while before I go completely for broke. Of course I won't earn any sick leave for 2 years attempting to pay it back. You've got to love the maternity leave we get in this country - oh wait, we don't. And I can't even get a short term disability policy through work. So I'm exhausting (well into the negative) my leave and using leave without pay. I am, however, extremely grateful that I make enough money that we could get some into savings to prepare, and so I can still take 11 full weeks off to be with my daughter. Would it be easier monetarily to take less time? Yes. Hell yes. But I'm not sacrificing that time that she and I get to spend together just being mommy and daughter.

And, as he's wont to do, the Lord has blessed us with a 3 paycheck month for me in March! So while it's a pain that we owe the government $1200, we've been provided an opportunity to pay for it without taking nearly as much of a hit. And, A paid off all but 1 of his credit cards, and I paid off most of mine, so we have some wiggle room there. And after fighting since AUGUST we FINALLY got our reimbursement from Aetna for some of the medications from our IVF cycle. May is going to be tight, and who knows what's going to happen after that with A and his job. We're still not planning on putting E in daycare, but if they give him enough incentive we might do 2 day a week, with my mom watching her two days, and A watching her one week day, and me on the weekends and at night. I don't mind putting her in daycare part time. I like the structure at the school near our house, and the activities and interaction she'll get, but I don't want her to go full time because I want to have the most influence on her. That's not to say I find anything at all wrong with putting your kids in daycare full time, but it's cost-prohibitive for us anyway.

Another positive is that because we're so incredibly blessed with loving friends and family, pretty much all of our big ticket items have been purchased, and so we won't be shelling out hundreds and hundreds of dollars a week for furniture and things like we have been. We're getting the monitor (with gift cards and other money we were given as gifts) this week, and that's the last big necessity. I still want a rocker and a better carrier, but those can wait. It'll be nice to have that money to sit in the bank and maybe, once we pick brands, stock up on diapers and formula to get us through the upcoming times when we don't have a lot of extra. Aaaaand to take E on fun excursions like the zoo when the weather warms up.

It wasn't too long ago that I was awful with money. We don't have a ton in savings now, but we do have some. I was overdrawing my bank account on the regular (something I haven't done in well over a year). We were absolutely living paycheck to paycheck, checking the account every time we made a purchase. A few times leaving the account with number like $0.04 as a balance. Things have definitely changed, and I'm proud of myself and A for coming as far as we have. I feel like we're a lot more responsible which makes me feel a little more prepared for E. We're far from perfect, but we're making strides. And I guess when it comes down to it we're lucky. I know sometimes I seem like such a pessimist. The timing of my kidney problem seemed so terrible, but I think it's really not so bad after all. And we can definitely make the best of it because we've worked so hard to get to a point where if we needed money we could make things work. I think that's something to be thankful for. Yeah, I might sing a little bit of a different tune in the end of April when we're not able to go spend willy-nilly... but we'll get through it, and with some good plans in place.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Winding Down

Today I'm trying my hardest to appreciate the last few days I have with Evie on the inside. She just did the cutest little roll thing where I could just feel her all over, and I'm going to miss it when she's not in there anymore. A and I are going on a date on Saturday and I'm pretty excited about it. It's going to be our Valentine's dinner, since Valentines day will be the day before my amnio, or before my last day of work, and we want to be able to go out and then have the next day to ourselves. It's hard to wrap my brain around the fact that it will be our last Saturday as a couple instead of a family. We are planning to go out for a nice dinner and then go to a movie, which I'm thinking I won't be able to do for a while. I'm trying to enjoy all of the time we get to spend alone. It's so strange that we won't have that for a while... or that in order to go on a date we'll need a babysitter, and we'll need to put Evie to bed before we can curl up and watch a movie. I'm excited for it but it's just... weird. There were so many times I never thought I'd be at this point... coming up on having a baby in the next week and a half. And I'm not sure I really let myself get to the point where this is REALLY happening.

I feel like for most of my pregnancy I was waiting for 38 weeks and just wanting this baby and feeling like it was so far away. Now that we're here I feel silly for feeling like 36 weeks is so incredibly different than 38.. but it is. I want to have everything done before she arrives so that all I have to do is hold her all day every day. I know that's not how it works, but I have wanted her so much for so long I feel like I'm never going to put her down when she's here. I don't want to organize things in her room when I can be snuggling her sweet cheeks (that I'm pretty sure are like her daddy's!).

I'm really trying to deal with how overwhelming everything is. I feel like the anxiety and stress is sitting just below the surface, and everything is irritating me. I've had a headache all day and I think it's from stress. I'm wondering if I'm ever going to sleep again, and it worries me a bit because sleep is so helpful to me when I'm stressed out. I know things will settle down to some degree soon. I'll be dealing with all the stresses of having a newborn and waking up constantly and always having something to do for her, but I feel like I'm ready for that. As ready as I can be. I wasn't ready for the mental toll that my kidney problem would take, and I'm still struggling to adapt to that. I do have a lot of support and A has been great at keeping me in better spirits. I'm not sure I could get through all of this without him.

I guess the bottom line is that ready or not, I have to deal with my kidneys and a newborn and we're going to do whatever we have to to get it all sorted out. We're fortunate to have both grandmoms coming over every day the first week to help clean and do laundry and cook and watch E so I can shower (and nap?). I'm usually quite good with dealing with change, but I don't know how to not worry that my kidneys won't get better, but I guess we'll see what happens. I need to find a way to let it go enough to enjoy this time with Evie, and to enjoy her birth without worrying about what happens later. I know I'll regret it if I don't cherish every moment, so I'm doing the best I can. I really can't wait for my daughter, I just want to be the best, healthiest mom I can be for her.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

More Picture-Free Posts About Feelings

As each day passes, I'm thinking I'm getting a little more stressed out. I feel broken-down. I am exhausted... really exhausted, and I think it's a cross between having to sleep in the recliner, which is not in any way a restful sleep, and being mentally tired from dealing with so much at once. After an argument with A, I finally broke down over the dresser. I wanted it done so badly so I could finally organize things, but it wasn't working. The directions were horrible, the holes weren't lining up, and A finally had to give up. And I started bawling. Looking forward to the nursery was something that I think was blocking everything else out - like a dam I'd built to keep the negativity away, that, when broken, allowed all the other feelings in.

A came over and hugged me and we tried again to make things work with the dresser, and it simply wouldn't work, so we gave up. My dad is going to come down and try to see if he can make some sense of it on Tuesday. And I'm OK with that, I just wanted to organize. I did take a bunch of E's things out of the packages to get ready to wash, and did a load that included her swaddles, sheets, and changing pad cover. I'm excited to put that on for some reason. There's still more "stuff" than I ever imagined in the closet, but a decent amount of it is baby pants that need to go in the dresser, or toys, which I'm still unsure of. The good news is the dresser is no longer in my car so I can get the car seat installed.

I'm not really ready for the work week to start. I'm glad I get to work from home tomorrow, but I don't want to work. I want to de-stress, and I want to get things done. I have my NST on Tuesday and I'll be scheduling everything for E's delivery. I want to know when everything is going to happen, but I'm so incredibly stressed out. On the bright side, I think the antibiotics are helping because I'm feeling less like I have to pee RIGHT NOW and then nothing actually comes out. That's pretty uncomfortable so I'm happy to not be dealing with it as much.

I can't believe I only have about 8 work days left before I have my baby. I'm looking forward to the time off, I am just having some trouble adjusting to the whole idea of this baby coming early. And for some reason I have this urge to get the nursery done that I can't control. I want everything in its place, and I want it done now. And I can't have it because of the freaking dresser.

I'm rambling now. I don't really know what I'm thinking and feeling except I just want some rest and some peace. I'm so unsure of everything... I don't even know what to say.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


The drama that is my life this week continues. I had an NST scheduled with my regular doctor on Friday morning, and I was super excited to finally see him. He said he had just looked at my chart because he thought maybe I'd delivered since he hadn't seen me in a while. I did the NST which Evie passed within like 2 minutes because she was so incredibly active. My BP was a bit elevated and I told him I was concerned with the creatinine rise. Rather than get the tests done Saturday and wait until Tuesday to find out what was going on, he wanted to send me to the hospital next door for monitoring, so I went. I'd called my boss to tell her I was going to be a little longer and headed over, expecting to get some blood pressure readings and find out my creatinine was still 1.4. This time I had Andy come down on the off chance that the news was bad - I didn't want to be alone.

I got over there and got into the hospital gown and my BP was checked and they took some blood. A got there we sat and talked for a little bit just waiting for things to happen. I was not happy with the doctor on call that day. She came in to talk to me about a conversation I'd had with MFM three days prior, and then was like "Translation..." and went into it and I'm sitting there thinking "I'm the one that had the conversation. I knew what she meant. WTF." I was irritated, and I hate being patronized and talked down to. So I was annoyed with that anyway, and then she comes in with my blood work and says "What was your creatinine before?" and I told her it was 1.4. She responded by "It was 1.6".

So I sat there and just stared at her for a minute, because I honestly didn't believe it was going to get worse. So I was scared, and I told her I was scared, and I didn't want to wait to 38 weeks if my kidneys were going to fail. I had her contact my nephrologist and MFM, but she was on her way to surgery, so A and I sat there talking while she did a C-Section and then tried to contact other doctors. It was a difficult hour, as before she left, she'd said "We might be having this baby today". 

We got pretty scared at that point because we were not ready for this baby yet. We were supposed to have 4 more weeks and we had a lot to do. But I didn't know if my kidneys would decline too rapidly and we had to sit there trying to figure out WTF to do.

She came back after a little while and she'd gotten hold of MFM, and she spoke with my nephrologist shortly thereafter. Together, they all decided that the best course of action was to induce at 36 weeks. I didn't trust the on call doctor, but my nephrologist said he didn't think 2 more weeks would make much of a difference, but that we shouldn't wait much longer, so together we agreed to this plan.

I don't have the pre-eclampsia they kept warning me about, but we're inducing before full term because my kidneys are seriously failing. It scares the shit out of me. We also discovered I have some sort of bladder infection or something, which might affect my creatinine a little, but not much. I'm on antibiotics for that, though, which is nice because it does feel a little better. So the problem is there's no way to know if this kidney function loss is permanent or not, and we won't know until a bit after E is born. We do know that right now it's definitely getting worse, and we're just praying it's temporary and my kidneys are just overworked.

For right now the plan is to go in for my NST on Tuesday and schedule an amnio for the following week to determine lung function. Assuming it comes back saying E's lungs are mature, I'll be induced the next day. Right now it's looking like it'll be about the 17th, so less than 2 weeks.

We have so much to do at this point, and I'm glad we know when she's coming so we can get everything done, but it's less time than we thought and getting less by the day. I have a lot of paperwork to finish at work for my leave, and a lot of loose ends to tie up. We still have things to do in the nursery, and we need to get the car seats installed. There's a lot to do and we're excited but it's such a weird time. We can't wait to meet E, but we want my kidneys to be OK, and we have a lot to accomplish. It's tough and it's scary and I wasn't expecting to hear that my kidneys were really getting worse. So now we wait.. but not too long.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Other Shoe

It dropped, and I need to vent about it. Yesterday's vent wasn't enough. I have real feelings behind what's happening to me, and as numb as I've become to it... it's not always possible to take it in stride. My mom was telling me yesterday to be positive. A was telling me things would be OK. And I used to think that way. Until thinking that way repeatedly got me nothing but heartbreak when things WEREN'T OK. A said if he was me, he'd be numb. "Why?" I asked him. "Because if I got as much bad medical news as you do I'd kill myself" was his answer. And don't take that to mean he's some sort of insensitive jerk. It makes me laugh because it's true. And for A.. he HAS to think things are OK, because he can't think something could happen to me.

But I can. Medical problems have made me such a realist and I think, in some ways, has changed who I am. I'm not the perpetual optimist because bad things can and do happen. Sometimes a lot of them, and sometimes to the same person over and over. Because life.. is just not fair. Sorry, Charlie. Better you learn that now. And that's not to say I can never look on the bright side or see the silver lining. But sometimes I get run down... when I'm smacked in the face with unfortunate realities.

So what's the truth of how I'm feeling right this second? I'm scared. And I'm pissed. I'm pissed because I did everything "right". Because I took care of my health and saw all the doctors and did IVF before a lot of people would have because I knew it was the healthiest time for it. Because with mild kidney disease, the chance of worsening renal function was so low. Because at some point, I might hit that magical 1.4 creatinine at which point the chance of worsening renal function jumps 30%. Because I got approval from a nephrologist and MFM. Because I did a YEAR of steroids hoping to improve my kidneys further. Because none of it worked, and, as usual, I fall into that small perccentage of people who still get screwed.

Why am I scared? Because I don't want my kidneys to fail. Because I want to be around for my daughter and my husband. Because I don't want to be on dialysis, I don't want a transplant, and I want to live. I'm 31 years old. I have a lot to do, and I don't want to be held down and miserable because of something I have no control over. Because my creatinine was 1.4. And I might never be able to have another baby. Because I promised myself, my husband, and anyone who would listen that I'd give those 3 embies on ice a shot at life. And I don't  want to fail them. I don't want to fail Andy. He deserves more kids. Evangeline deserves siblings, and a mom who is healthy enough to take care of her. Because what if it IS permanent? And it gets worse?

And I still get freaked out by how healthy I look on the outside. No one takes my emotions over this seriously because I don't look or sound sick. Because I'm not yet on dialysis or in need of a transplant. But the reality is, if something doesn't change, I will be. Without question. And so I DO have emotions. I get scared and sad and I'm tired of hearing it will be OK. I want it to actually BE OK. I want validation of how I feel. A says it's his job to be positive and to try to keep me positive. And he's right. But sometimes I still just want someone to say "It's OK to be sad and scared. But we'll do whatever we have to do to get through this." I want to be told it's OK.

I don't know what else to say. I just want to be healthy for once. I couldn't be more grateful that E is OK. I'm trying not to take that for granted. But I want to be healthy, too, like 99% of the people I know or have ever met. Or are having babies right now. I don't think that's wrong. I just want to be alright.