Showing posts with label hospital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hospital. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I don't have bugs down there

Since I have arrived at the hospital 16 (or is it 17?) days ago every doctor and nurse I've seen has given me the same three pieces of advice.

1. Drink a lot of water.
2. Rest a lot.
3. Keep your perineum clean.

I'm fine with the first two pieces of advice but the last one always makes me a little uncomfortable. First off because the word is awkward and always evokes and image that I am not really at ease with. Secondly because it makes me wonder if they're saying that because I look like the sort of woman who would neglect her hygiene in that one very particular area. It makes me feel very defensive and I want to say "Oh, believe me! I keep my perineum clean! There is no slacking in that department!" but I have a sneaking suspicion that would only make things worse.

So I try to look very serious and interested and totally unoffended when I get The Perineum Talk. I'm an adult. I am completely at ease discussing the area between my you-know-what and my whoo-ha. I've even developed what I call Perineum Face which is similar to Poker Face in that it doesn't give away what I am really thinking. ("Shut up shut up shut up oh my god shut up!")

Then! Last night the humiliation reached a new high. Or low. Whatever humiliation reaches. A nurse who I do not like came walking into my room. (Back story - I love 99% of the nurses here but this one in particular really gets under my skin. In fact I have asked for her to not be assigned to me which created a lot of Uncomfortable Feelings for me and made me be a lot more assertive than I usually like to be but it had to be done. The first time I met this nurse was when she barged into my room without knocking, called me by the wrong name and ignored my protests that I was not, in fact, Cecily and started to give me discharge instructions.) So the fact that this nurse was even in my room (again without knocking) annoyed me. The fact without any preface she handed me a small water bottle confused me. I was horrified by what she said next.

"You can use this to clean up after you go to the bathroom. It will help keep all the bugs off your vagina."

I made a noise like this "Uhhhhg... bu....va.....gah!"

The nurse smiled and left the room.

Now I've been here two weeks and no one has given me any advice like this up to this point. I would kind of think that if I needed Vagina Bug Repellent someone would have mentioned it already. So I am choosing to believe that the water bottle was actually meant for someone else, Cecily perhaps, and this afternoon I used it to water my plants.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Parenting from afar

Elle is hovering around my bed and eying the food on my tray. "What's that taste like Mama?" she asks about the cheesy noodle casserole I've been served for dinner. I give her a taste and she smiles and hops back and forth from one foot to another. Before you know it she's eaten half of my dinner. Casserole, broccoli and a dinner roll served on a tray in bed are fun when you're six. After I let her finish my butterscotch pudding she climbs up onto my bed and curls up around me.

Joseph has no interest in my dinner but he sits in the chair next to my bed and keeps up an endless stream of chatter about cartoons and Big Nate books and this girl in his class who tries to boss him around. In the middle of his speech he pauses and says "I like being around you" and then goes right back to what he was saying.

It is breaking my heart to be away from the kids. I know that they're ok, that they're taken care of. Jesse and my parents are taking care of everything they need. It's not the same though. They need me. I need to be there for them. I'm missing end of school year events. As I type this Joseph is doing a stand up routine in his school talent show and I have to be here in bed. If I was there I could cheer him on and wave to Elle when she searched the auditorium for me.

In theory I could be in this room for another five weeks. That's the best case scenario. I give Baby A plenty of time to grow big and strong and then I deliver when I'm 34 weeks pregnant. I can't help but hate it a little bit that in order to give this baby the best I have to be away from my babies. Of course I do the best I can from this bed. My parents and Jesse had brought the kids to visit several times. We talk on the phone. We've skyped. It's not the same though. I want to be home. I want to be the one to brush Elle's hair in the morning. I want to be the one to remind Joseph that it's 80 degrees out and that he doesn't need a long sleeved shirt on. I want to be the one to make dinner and then hear the whines about the weird new vegetable I'm serving.  I want to smell Elle when she comes inside from playing in the garden and she smells like dirt and chives. I want to hear Joseph when he finds a funny Harry Potter mash up video on youtube that makes him do his crazy falling down giggle.

I want to go home to my children,

Monday, May 28, 2012

I never wanted to go to the PROM in high school either

I am in the hospital. Blargh.

On Saturday, just a day short of 28 weeks pregnant I noticed that I seemed to be well, leaking. I chalked it up to the fact that I have had a lot of babies and I probably don't have a lot of bladder control left. I went to bed that night and at some point I rolled over in my sleep and woke up when a rather large puddle formed under me. I woke Jesse up and made him sniff it (because I'm nice like that) and we both agreed it wasn't pee so off to the hospital we went. (We woke the poor kids up and put them in the car and each of them rode to the hospital with a blanket over their heads.)  Jesse dropped me off and left to take the kids back home. I joked that I would call him in ten minutes when I was being sent home and laughed at for peeing my pants.

Oh so funny! Within ten minutes I had been given two tests that confirmed the liquid leaking out of me was not pee, but amniotic fluid. Just a day short of 28 weeks pregnant and I was diagnosed with PROM or preterm rupture or membranes.

Freaking A right?

It's not a great situation. Every doctor and nurse I see reassures me that this wasn't caused by anything I did or didn't do. It's just a freak thing that happens. Maybe there's a defect in the amniotic sac. Maybe there was an infection of some kind. Maybe one of the two embryos that passed caused some dysfunction in the system. It's nice to hear that it's not my fault but when you're the one charged with growing and protecting a child and it's your body that's leaking amniotic fluid it's hard not to feel like you're failing. I'm trying not to focus on that right now. The great news is that we have a lot of reasons to feel really positive about this is all turning out.

Most women who have PROM will go into labor within 24-48 hours. I'm past both those check points and I haven't had a single contraction. Not one. Of course that can change in an instant and there's really no way to predict what will happen but this is a great sign. I was able to get two doses of steroids to help Baby A's lungs develop and I'm now on massive doses of antibiotics to keep infections away.

Baby A is doing so, so well. I had an ultrasound the day I got here and although her fluid levels were low they were still within the normal range. When they do an ultrasound they score the babies in four areas and give them a score of 0-2 in each category. Baby A scored a perfect 8! She's still very active, moving a lot and getting hiccups and being her usual busy self. I have to be on monitors for an hour four times a day and each time she tries to wiggle away from the monitor but when we manage to catch her when she's quiet her heart rate is always perfect. As long as she continues to do well and I continue to do well we'll keep trucking along.

The goal is to get to 34 weeks pregnant. That seems both way too soon and unimaginably far away. If we succeed it will mean I'm here in the hospital on bedrest for 6 weeks. It will be a small price to pay though if it means giving this little fighter the best chance at being healthy and strong. Right now I'm looking at each day as a victory. Reaching 28 weeks is a HUGE developmental milestone. Babies born at 28 weeks have a much better chance of surviving and being healthy than babies born just a couple of weeks earlier. Every day we can give her just helps her all the more. This baby is a fighter and a drama queen. She's going to make sure all eyes are on her and then she's gonna kick ass and take names.

The down side is that I miss Jesse and the kids like crazy. I'm sure Jesse doesn't miss me as much since I send him texts all day long with instructions like "Put a new filter in the fish tank!" and "Bring me a clean pillow case when you come!".  Elle misses me because I am her best buddy. When she comes to see me she crawls on my bed and gently rests her head on me and tells me about 100 times that she loves me. Joseph seems to miss having me home to cook and run the house and keep the routine that he's used to. It's hard for him to visit because he doesn't like the sights, sounds and smells of the hospital. I want to be with them and they want me with them so while I'm thinking "Come on! We can do this! Six more weeks!" I'm also thinking "Oh no! Six more weeks? I can't do this."

My IPs are being wonderful about this. I was worried they might be upset with me over this but they're supportive and so, so great. They want me to focus on resting and giving Baby A the best chance I can. We've decided that they won't jump on a plane just yet but that we'll keep in close contact and re-evaluate when the situation changes. Obviously this means delivering in CA is out and that's a huge pain in the butt because now we have to do a lot of scrambling to get all the legal stuff done here in MN and that's a lot more difficult.  It will all be worth it in the end.

So please, if you're a good wisher, a prayer, a vibe sender, a mojo believer, whatever, send some of that good stuff to Baby A. Let her keep growing and getting stronger and give her the patience to stick with me for a while longer. Send some to my IPs so they can know that their baby girl is safe and they'll be holding her soon (but not too soon!). Send some to my family so that they can all get along and get through this without too many hard times. Send some to me so that I can get through the day without leaking too much fluid or climbing the hospital walls.