Thursday, June 26
Wednesday, June 25
Dad, I will miss you until my dying day. You weren't perfect but you were my dad. Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work, loyalty and being a kind person. You are missed so much. I know you are watching over us. I'm glad you are just a prayer away. I love you so much!
Saturday, June 21
We are free. From the hospital at least. We are 33 weeks and 3 days today.
Last night contractions were irregular but seemed stronger. I requested to be put back on the monitor to check late last night and the nurse wasn't too concerned even though contractions were TWO minutes apart. Sheesh. Enough already. I was able to go right to sleep and slept well, so they obviously weren't too bad.
This morning they started talking about sending me home today or tomorrow. They checked my cervix and I was still at a 4 but 60% effaced. Since all these contractions aren't dilating me and after a lengthy conversation with the Perinatologist, they put me on a medication that should eliminate the "minor" contractions but not labor if that is what my body needs to do. So basically, treating the contraction symptoms but not preventing labor.
Given all that, Jim and I were fine with going home. The short term goal is to get me to Wed at which time I will be 34 weeks and it is likely Babygan can stay at Buffalo with me (it is a level 2 NICU). The next goal would be to make it to 35 weeks at which time baby statistically has considerably fewer complications with breathing and eating. After that, the goal is 37 weeks and beyond. We will take whatever we can get.
It feels so good to be home, even if it feels empty without the kiddos here. They went back with mom on Friday for the weekend and a family reunion. I have my next Dr appt on Thursday so I really hope there is nothing to report before then. Will update before if events warrant it.
Thank you Kristine, Stacey, Dillon, DeAnn, and Laura for visiting. It was a long three days and company always makes it go by faster. And double thank you to Laura for bringing Jim lunch. Options are limited. Until next time.
Friday, June 20
This morning, it sounded like they are not comfortable sending me home as long as I'm contracting until I'm 34 weeks, which is when we would be able to deliver baby at Buffalo Hospital. So, worse case scenario, we will be here until Wednesday. Again, not sure what best case scenario is...a healthy baby, I guess!
Jim and I are catching up on Orange in the New Black. I'm so thankful for my husband for a million reasons but one is how tech savvy he is! You should see the cords he rigged to get Netflix on the hospital TV!
So, to elaborate on Jim's eloquent post from last night, we are currently at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Here are the details leading up to this unplanned stay. As you know, since last Friday, I was told to ignore the "tightening" contractions and only pay attention to "painful" ones that were regular. I was contracting all week but nothing had really changed.
Until Wednesday (which feels like Friday to me for some reason!). We had a busy day, which I'm sure didn't help. On and off I noticed that I was contracting but with our schedule I just kept moving. Finally around 7:30, when I sat down for dinner, I definitely noticed the contractions felt "different." Over the course of the evening, I was having some difficulties but the kids had to get to bed (which I don't think ever happened!). Jim and I sat down in bed, he noticed I was struggling and asked me to call the Birth Center. I agreed because I knew he wouldn't leave me alone if I didn't. The nurse basically said to come in right away. Argh!
Thankfully, Stacey was just waiting at home for our call and came right over! The kids were still up when we left around 10:30pm (poor Stacey!) but I'm sure they crashed shortly after. We got to the hospital around 11pm. I was definitely contracting. The first thing that I really liked and appreciated was that the charge nurse took the time to give us a summary of what to expect for the next few hours and different scenarios that could play out. VERY helpful for us. They started with a cervical exam that was also repeated an hour later. Knowing I had been dilated to 1 cm and 25% effaced with the cervix/baby being really high, the nurse did an exam and I could tell things were different. She said, "Well, you aren't a 1 any more." My first thought? Oh, it closed back up! Nope. She said the baby's head was low, and I was now dilated to a 3. They put me on the monitors and would check me again in an hour.
The details are a bit sketchy to me now, but an hour later, she checked me again and I was to a 4 and 30% effaced. Time to call the doctor in, who just happens to be the husband of my doctor. They decided to transfer me to Abbott and against my pleading, they put me on magnesium to slow the contraction for the trip. Yes, for those keeping track, that is three pregnancies with three doses of magnesium. Yuck. It took a while for the ambulance to get to Buffalo. Jim headed home to pick some things up and meet me at Abbott. The hour long trip was very bumpy...I think my new crusade is going to be making sure shocks are installed in all ambulances! Sheesh.
We arrived around 3am and the perinatologist immediately discontinued the magnesium! Thank God! They haven't checked my cervix since arriving at Abbott because it really wouldn't have changed their actions and they wanted to avoid stimulating labor. Contractions have been somewhat consistent but after the magnesium, less intense. The goal was to watch me yesterday and then send me home today if nothing changed or labor wasn't imminent.
So first thing this morning, I asked to go on the monitor...and they weren't happy with what they saw. While the contractions aren't painful for the most part (except one that was at my tail bone and had me nearly in tears), they are 3-4 minutes apart. So, I'm staying on the monitor for a couple hours and then they will assess my progress and whether or not I can go home.
I'm not sure exactly WHAT scenario we are praying for (staying here and having baby or going home) but just that baby is healthy regardless of what happens. The limbo is killing me. So thankful for Stacey and my mom for helping us in so many ways. Being grateful doesn't even come close to how we feel. Will update again when we know more!
Wednesday, June 18
Like I told Jim when I got home last night, I don't think either of our children will end up being world-class athletes by any means, but it is so much fun to seem them participating in activities that they enjoy so much and do so well. I'm just thankful they both have SOME ability, so they might actually stick with something.
New bed (kind of) arrived yesterday! It was supposed to be here when we got home from baseball but there was a mix up on inventory and scheduling the delivery, so they fixed the problem and delivered our mattresses and we are "borrowing" their bases until ours arrive. The bad part is only half of the bed adjusts but this morning was the first morning in a long time where my feet actually weren't swollen (or bad at least!). The kids love it. It is higher than I thought it would be but once the other base comes and the headboard and frame arrive, it should look pretty good. So happy.
Tuesday, June 17
Yesterday was Finn's first day of baseball. We weren't given much information beforehand but figured out what to bring and where to go. Jim took the day off and was able to go with us, which was really nice. They worked on catching and throwing. The coach's "rules" are to 1. learn 2. safety and 3. have fun. I like that! Finn had a blast and did really well! There are about 15 kids aged 5 to 6. I know Finn has been looking forward to baseball but for those of you who remember his participation issues in the past, I wasn't sure what the expect. He did GREAT! He partially listened (there may have been some playing in the dirt between catches), his skills were par or above average (which surprised us since catching and throwing are his weaker skills) and most importantly, he participated right away, all the way and with a happy heart! I think Jim and I told him 20 times how proud we were of him for his good attitude. I think it helps that it is something he LOVES to do but even that doesn't guarantee a good outcome. He's the one by home plate, squatting down.
The field is at Waverly Lake which has a public beach and playground! Huh, how long have we lived here and didn't know about this? So the kids are excited to play at the park and go swimming but I found out yesterday that baseball is Mon-Thurs from 1-2 pm until the end of July! I was told those were the beginning hours and once games started, it would be less of a time commitment. Oh, well. We'll figured it out.
We got Finn a new, little bigger glove for this year, so Korri got to have Finn's old one. Since daddy was there, he played catch with her, which I thought was super cute. It didn't hold her attention too long, but this momma would LOVE for her to play softball someday! Gotta love the dress and all!
And finally, today is the day! This morning was our last morning snuggling in our old, small bed! Our new, king sized, adjustable bed is being delivered today. Me and my feet can't wait! The kids are excited too because it has a remote...I think we will have to set clear rules right away with that. Finding high quality Twin XL sheets has proven nearly impossible, so we just got cheap ones at Walmart yesterday so at least we have sheets. Oh, the problems we have! LOL. Here's hoping for an amazing night's sleep tonight and comfy snuggles in the morning!
Saturday, June 14
Well, Friday (32 weeks, 2 days; Friday the 13th AND a full moon!) was a lazy day, which was good, but not good enough. By the time I got the kids down for nap around 2:30, I finally was able to rest and put my feet up, at which time I realized I'd been contracting. Since I was in bed, I was able to time the contractions, which I don't think is an easy thing to do (when does it stop, start, how long, how painful, etc). Right away they were 6 minutes apart but they seemed to fluctuate between 6 and 10 minutes. I finally called in at 4:15 because I was afraid my doctor had gone home for the day. She hadn't gone home yet but they transferred me to the Birth Center, I think for expedience sake. I talked to the charge nurse and she said without monitoring me, she couldn't be sure what was happening. Well, since I just happened to be going in at 5:30 for my second steroid shot, we both agree that I should be monitored when I got in.
Thank God, Angie and Erica were already going to come over and were so kind and flexible to meet us at the hospital instead. I was expecting a quick shot and maybe 20 minutes on the contractions monitor. That didn't happen as my contractions were actually 5-6 minutes apart NOT 6-10 like I thought (see I was missing one every so often!). And they continued to intensify and shorten to 4 minutes while I was there. Argh. Angie took the kids to dinner (again, THANK YOU!), Stacey came to pick kids up to bring to our house, as Angie was actually on her way back to Benson. DeAnn headed to our house to help put the kids to bed and Jim's flight finally landed and he came straight to the hospital. Talk about a lot of coordinating. And yet again, makes us realize what amazing, supportive people we have in our lives. Thank you so much each of you for changing your plans, dropping everything and helping us out.
Selfie waiting to see what the contractions were going to do (I think my face says it all):
Back to the contractions, eventually, they gave me Terbutaline around 8:15 pm to stop the contractions and it worked in 10 minutes. They sent us home with instructions for me to "do nothing" the rest of the night and monitor any changes. Well, around 9:30, I started noticing contractions again, so I went up to bed and they were around 4.5 minutes apart over the next two hours. I decided to go to sleep but wasn't able to STAY asleep, which is when I called back. (BTW: Jim said he is very proud of me for not only calling in once but twice!) Back in we go at 12:30 am to see what these were about. Again, thank God, Erica was staying over, so she could stay at the house with the kids (who were obviously sleeping but still need somebody there with them). We stayed at the hospital for about an hour and a half at which time the doctor basically said there isn't much they can do, especially since my cervix isn't changing (which is good news). So they gave me something to basically make me sleep and sent us home around 2:30 am, with the new instructions to call or come in when the contractions are "painful" and consistent and to just "ignore" the tightening ones that aren't changing my cervix. Easier said than done.
Talk about a whirl wind day. I know we need Babygan to "cook" at least a few more weeks but this up and down and not knowing and having to coordinate the kids is really tough on me (and probably Jim, too, but he can speak for himself). I think back to when all that happened with Finn and while it was the hardest thing I've ever been through, the part that was "easier" is we didn't have any other kids and it all happened at the beginning so there wasn't this back and forth (or at least it happened at the hospital so it wasn't on me to figure it out at home). I guess there really is a silver lining in every situation!
Basically, they want me to take it easy, which they've been telling me to do for several weeks now anyway. Limit stress as much as possible and keep track of how I'm feeling and any changes. So, all that hullabaloo with nothing to show for it. The bright side? Babygan and I are healthy and doing well, physically at least! My dreams of a "normal" pregnancy are officially over, but then again, they were just dreams as I knew it most likely wouldn't be the case. Oh, well. We'll figure it out. What's next?
Friday, June 13
While I was trying to schedule that and figure out what to do with the kids, the results of my FFN test came back as positive. A positive FFN means you have a 25% chance that you will deliver the baby in the next 2 weeks. It isn't the worse results to get only because there is a high false positive with this test (BUT I had a negative result with Korri and still went into preterm labor, so it is what it is). Anyway, considering my history and recent developments, she had me come in last night for the first of two steroid shots. These shots are given 24 hours apart and help the baby's lungs mature. I'll go back in tonight for my second. Jim was happy to hear the steroids were being given as he's been asking about it as a precautionary measure for several weeks. Contractions continue but are not regular, however, are getting more "noticeable" than they have been the last few weeks!
After my shot, we went in for my ultrasound. I am SO thankful that Stacey and Dillon were able to meet us at the hospital for the ultrasound. The tech was needed in the ER, which means we were over half an hour late getting into the appt; so having company was much appreciated. Also, since Dillon was there and he is so grown up and mature at the ripe old age of 10, he "babysat" Finn in the lobby while Stacey, Korri and I went in for the ultrasound. That was a huge help, as Korri had enough questions on her own! I think she thought it was cool, even if she probably didn't really understand what she saw on the screen.
Basically, the doctor thought I was measuring 4.5 weeks big at my OB check, but based on the ultrasound, it is closer to 2.5 weeks, which is a big difference. Still, it makes sense that I'm measuring so large because my fluid levels is measuring at the 90% and baby is 86%! Big baby with lots of extra fluid makes for mommy having a big tummy! My goal is to actually make real efforts to eat as close to the diabetic diet (high protein; high fiber) as I can so that my eating habits don't contribute to an even bigger baby, but there is no guarantee this change will affect much.
Mentally and emotionally, I'm doing okay. I was pretty flustered yesterday when the FFN results came in, especially since Jim was in Chicago, but I felt better after the ultrasound. Even though we are still early, we know we can handle whatever comes our way at this point (thanks, Finn!). I'm so thankful that we continue to hear that baby is healthy and has no health risks. The hardest part for me, especially over the last couple of weeks, is not knowing. If somebody could just tell me when I'll go into labor and what complications I may have...it would be so much easier. Duh! I guess every pregnant lady probably wishes that...most just don't have to start wishing that as early as I legitimately do. Anyway, here's hoping for at least 2 more weeks but ideally 4 - 5 more weeks before baby decides to arrive.
I have pictures from the ultrasound but can't figure out how to install the scanner's drivers on Jim's computer. I guess that will have to wait for another day...I don't need the added stress! Technology. Argh.
And because I like posts with a picture, mommy and Gangan snuggling this morning:
Thursday, June 5
This diagnosis isn't necessarily "bad" news, just what happens after is what matters. Well, I woke up Friday at 6:45 with consistent contractions about 15-20 minutes apart and finally called the doctor at 8:30. They weren't overly concerned and by 9:30 or so, they were further apart and seemed to be going away. I was a little disappointed with the response time by my doctor but I'd spoken with her nurse so I knew my doctor was aware of the situation. Basically, they went away and there was no reason for me to go in for monitoring.
All week I've had what I call consistently inconsistent contractions. Not overly painful but definitely noticeable. I was NOT expecting a good appointment today for my recheck. Jim was able to go with for this appt, which means the two rugrats got to come along again (they are getting to be professional helpers!). She checked me again and THANK GOD there has been no change...which is what we wanted to see. While she is aware that checking my cervix can actually cause contractions, the benefit of knowing my progress was more important, at least at this point in the pregnancy. So, basically status quo for now. I feel a lot better that there hasn't been any progress toward labor and feel like I can breathe a little bit (I didn't realize I'd been proverbially holding it all week!).
I'm schedule for my "regular" 2 week check next week, so I guess we'll see then! For now, it seems that baby is staying put. I'm still measuring 3 weeks bigger than I should be but it is staying consistent so she isn't overly concerned. We will know more about that at my 34 week ultrasound.
Tuesday, June 3
This afternoon Korri had her 6 month eye check. The last one we had was great so I wasn't expecting much different this time. That is when they always get you isn't it? When you are least prepared.
Anyway, Korri was a champ and did everything that was asked of her despite her distracting brother being in the room. This was not a dilation appt so basically they were just looking to see how her prescription was doing. That is fine.
However, her right eye has worsened since her last appointment, which means her brain is starting to favor her left eye again! Argh. For now, they didn't think it was necessary to start patching again but stressed how important it is that she wear her glasses every waking moment, which she is pretty good about doing. We will reassess in 6 months at which time they will do the full appointment including dilation. I really really hope it doesn't come to that but I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world and we will cross that bridge if/when we get to it.
Since we were in town (i.e. the Cities area) we had a play date with our friends Ms. Sharon, Laena, Braeland, Ms. Pam, Lilly, Levi, Ms. Mary Pat, and Bennie at a park near our eye clinic in SLP. It was beautiful weather and a great time was had by all. Hope we can do more of those this summer.
Monday, June 2
On Friday I got clearance from my doctor that I was cleared to walk with the stipulation that I didn't try to beat anyone! LOL. So on that note, we decided not to bring a stroller because Korri would probably go about the pace that I would need to set for myself. She struggled a bit with the heat and distance but with a group effort, she made it just fine...as did I. Although my fingers were super swollen by the time we finished. Oh, well.
After the walk, they host a party for the walkers including lunch, Radio Disney and lots of games, activities and bouncy houses. Jim and I decided it was best for me to just sit and watch but the kids had a lot of fun on the activities. I felt like this was the first year where they were big enough (or maybe brave enough?) to actually participate.
We've said it so much in the past and we will most likely say it many times in the future, but we are so thankful and appreciative of our family and friends who have and continue to support us. Thank you so much for each and every donation and for those that weren't able to donate but joined us in spirit...we are grateful. This year was a bit reflective for me since we are trying to make sure that Babygan doesn't need these services...yet it is so reassuring and a good reminder that they are available, if we do.
Here are a few pics from the wonderful event:
If you planned on donating and never got around to it, there is still time: Team Finnegan's website