Friday, September 9, 2011

What a Ride

Today is day 10.  Day 10 of flat on my back, on my couch or in my bed, not leaving the house (except to go to the hospital or Doctor’s office), other people catering to my every, single need.  Day 10 of wondering how long we are going to go this, how much is too much, and what else can I do.  Day 10 of a ride I never EVER thought I would be on (have you heard that a lot since April from me?  I know...)  I have good days and bad days.  Good moments and bad moments.  Periods of unwavering faith, and pure doubt and fear.  This is one crazy roller coaster!  But, I am keeping my eye on the prize, and the finish line will SO be worth it!  Christmas with my newborn son, Finn!  Let’s go back to the beginning - Monday the 29th (the last day I blogged!)

Monday, August 29 - I had a regular OB appointment that afternoon.  Typical in and out appointment: urine check, weight, BP, Doppler for the heartbeat, out the door.  I was told I would have to do the icky orange drink to test for gestational diabetes next time, and that would be in 4 weeks.  Easy-peasy.  See you then.

Tuesday, August 30   - normal Tuesday for most of the day.  There was a PTA meeting that evening at our elementary school, so we went.  Although sitting in the small, hard aluminum folding chair was not the most comfortable thing on the planet, it was working fine.  The meeting us running a few minutes long, and I needed to pee, so I had told Britt the minute it adjourned, I was out the door to the potty.  He had actually gotten up a few minutes before it was over to stand in the back and be ready to assist with putting the chairs away when we were done.  So, the gavel sounded, I stood up, and headed towards the exit to the hall. That’s when I felt something warm and wet running down my leg.  I thought Oh, S^*#!  I just peed myself!  But, I was headed towards my husband, his eyes were bigger than half dollars, he called my name in a panicked voice I never hear, and it prompted me to look down.  BLOOD.  Everywhere.  Initially, The 2 main feelings were embarrassment and shock.  That quickly turned to panic and fear!  Fast Forward through some details, and we were in the ER about 15 minutes after that (would have been a bit faster but we had to find out kids on the playground).  Once in the ER reception area, they asked how pregnant I was (21 weeks) and had nurses from Labor & Delivery come get my in a wheel chair.  After a stressful evening of poking, prodding, doctor visits, prayer vigils in the parking lot, visitors to my room, lots of monitoring and very little sleep, it was finally morning and time for an ultrasound.

Wednesday, August 31 - started off with an ultrasound first thing in the morning.  GREAT news - Finn is fine.  Growing steadily, perfect heart rate, fluid levels are great, kicking, flipping, and being cute as every on the fuzzy little screen.  Placenta is right where is should be and attached all the way across as it should be; cervix is long and closed.  The technician did find a small blood clot near the cervix (remnants of “The Spot” perhaps?  Britt and I believe so) that looked to be a few small dark areas, but she didn’t seem too concerned about them.  Unfortunately, I was also having MANY strong contractions that morning, and that is bad news.  We had to get them under control, but they cannot medicate for those if you are actively bleeding.  So, it was rest, water, rest and relax to get them to stop.  They lasted pretty steadily though lunch, but were done by early afternoon.  Spent the rest of the day in the hospital.  My Doctor came by in the early afternoon and said I should stay another night.

Thursday, September 1 - Bleeding was getting much better, I was feeling better, and the Doctor said if I could get up and walk the halls without it causing more bleeding, I could go home that afternoon.  I spent the morning in bed, but after lunch one of the AMAZING nurses that had been with me over the course of this adventure took me and my IV pole on a walk.  While I was still bleeding a little bit, the trip didn’t cause any major bleeding, so after a phone call to my doctor, I got to go home - to strict bed rest - that afternoon.  Made an appointment to follow up with my doctor in a week.  Once I got home (I took a shower) and started settling in, it really hit me how hard this was going to be.  My kids had been with my parents this whole time, and I know it is stressful for EVERYONE!  I was definitely overwhelmed by the reality that was setting in.

Friday, September 2 - the kids didn’t have school this day, and I ignorantly thought I could handle it.  By 10 am I was begging Britt to find something for them to do in the afternoon.  Sweet friends rescued me!  The kids went on a play date, then my mom took them back to her house after she got off work, so I got a solid afternoon of sleep.  This was the night food started rolling in, and we met with our life group leaders to come up with a plan for helping us.  My husband is taking on SO MUCH MORE responsibility with all of this, and I fear he will hit a wall, so we are trying to keep him going, and keep me gestating!  I felt better emotionally after Friday night's meeting - I felt like there was a plan, and people to help, and things would be OK!

Saturday, September 3 - While I made myself cozy on the couch, the kids found games to play, rode bikes, and generally behaved pretty well.  Britt started cleaning the house, and rearranging furniture, trying to make this place work for our new reality.  He even got Jake’s old crib out and set it up for Finn!  The kids had another swimming play date this afternoon, too, so I got to rest while Britt worked around the house.  Pretty uneventful day - medically.  Later that evening, my bleeding increased a bit, but we weren’t too worried, as the nurses had told us I would still bleed for awhile, so I went to bed, satisfied with the day.

Sunday, September 4 - Everyone slept in, thankfully!  We were lazing around in bed, thinking about getting up so Britt and the kids could get ready to go to church in about an hour.  I got up to go to the bathroom, and while in there, I had another HUGE bleeding incident, including large clots. It scared me, alarmed Britt, and back to the hospital and L&D we went!  Called my mom to come sit with the kids while we loaded the car, told Emma she was in charge, and out the door we went!  Again, so impressed with the care I received.  It was not 5 minutes from the time we got out of our car in the parking lot that I was in a gown in a bed with a baby monitor strapped to my belly!  I was again having a few mild contractions - caused by the bleeding making my uterus “hostile,” but nothing like earlier in the week.  My doctor was out of town, but the on-call doctor was the one who discharged us a few years ago when Jake was born, and we know him socially as well.  He ordered an ultrasound, which again showed Finn and his environment to be perfect.  He, too, saw some even smaller clots near the cervix (“The Spot?”), but he saw them smaller and fewer than what was seen earlier in the week.  The on-call doctor decided to keep me about 6 hours for observation.  Spent the day resting, drinking water and greeting visitors, then got to go home around 5pm.  Home again, home again!  Settled back in to my bed rest, and just trying to stay flat.

Monday, September 5 - Thursday, September 8 - BED REST!  Monday was a holiday, so again, ALL my people were home with me.  So glad for the time with my kids and my husband, but this day was emotionally hard for me as the physical realities of my restrictions really set in.  I couldn’t help the kids do the things they wanted to do.  It seemed like every 5 minutes there was something just beyond my reach that I wanted or needed.  But, we were all figuring out the ways to best help me.  Again, my kids were surprisingly well behaved, and have adjusted so well.  The girls are really being helpful and considerate, and I think it finally clicked with Jake on Wednesday that I literally can’t get up and help him.  Lara is always checking my water cup and asking if I need refills!  Things started to fall in to a routine, and the highs and lows began to even out a bit.  We are by no means experts at our new routine, but better than the first 4 days of pure chaos!  I think one of the main stresses for Britt and I right now is trying to figure out my job situation and the paperwork process.  You only have a few days after being admitted to the hospital to file certain things.  That’s a little hard when you are SICK and on BED REST and can’t DO anything, plus the holiday weekend, and we are now in a bit of a scramble to meet deadlines.  Plus, we are not sure how long this will last and what to apply for, so it has been a bit of a maze (as well as a headache!) for us - and mainly Britt since he is the one having to DO everything.  Wednesday evening we squeezed 19 people in our tiny living room for Life Group - they came to me since I can't go to them!  So blessed!  Then, I had an appointment with my regular OB Thursday afternoon.  Such a blessing to hear Finn’s heartbeat on the Doppler!  This had been the longest I had gone without hearing or seeing him in awhile!  He’s still doing great!  I, am still not.  LOL!  My doctor recommended going back to the specialist in 10-14 days (when I am 25 weeks along) to discuss next steps and baby viability (According to data years 2003-2005, 20 to 35 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of gestation survive, while 50 to 70 percent of babies born at 24 to 25 weeks, and more than 90 percent born at 26 to 27 weeks, survive. ~ Wikipedia).  So, we left our paper work with him, made a return appointment with him for next week, and came home to bed.  My appointment with the specialist in the city in on the 26th (I will be 25 weeks and 3 days pregnant).

So, here I lay!  Typing this has been a mess - it is hard to type laying down!  Plus, it brings all my emotions back to the surface.  My prayers are for strength for my husband, understanding for my children, patience for me, and growth, safety and stability for Finn.  Also, for the physicians, nurses, technicians, and all medical professionals involved in our care.  I pray for my employers and the decisions they have to make, as well as the insurance companies handling my case.  This reminds me so much of where were were in April when my brother died.  It is the WORST moment of your life, and you have to make a MILLION decisions in the middle of your grief and pain.  Here I am being told to rest and relax, again, while my whole world is in a complete whirlwind - so many needs that need to be met!  I saw God show off this week with a sweet friend who has cancer and was faced with more complications, but multitudes of people prayed Sun Stand Still prayers with her and for her, and it worked.  I’ve seen His miracles over and over and over with this pregnancy, and I know He will continue to provide!  You just watch!


  1. Big hugs, and LOTS of prayers headed your way. And, ya know, Alex survived me being in the hospital for 67 days when Leo was only 19 months old. His work wanted him there, I wanted him to visit with me in the hospital, Leo wanted him at home with him... the poor guy kept all the balls in the air for months, and then continued to do so once I got home. Strong men are an amazing blessing to the women lucky enough to marry them. :) I'm so happy that you are one of the lucky ones.
    Hang in there Betsey. Take care of yourself and Finn.

  2. With our last son I was on bed rest for 5 weeks (he was born 9 weeks early.) and with this pregnancy on Sunday I was again in the hospital with contractions and my water leaking so I am right here with ya! I am keepin' yall in my thoughts and prayers!! take it easy, it is hard and it is BORING and it is DEPRESSING but it is WORTH IT.