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Friday, March 31, 2006

It's day 19 here in the hospital, but who's counting, right? Uh, me. Yesterday, Doctor Anton said, "Wow! It's gone really fast, hasn't it? It seems like you just got here." No, actually I beg to differ. It doesn't go really fast if you're the one lying in the bed staring at the clock slowly ticking by. It feels like I've been here for three months not almost three weeks. But hey! Three weeks is still a big accomplishment. I do realize that, and I promise that I don't stare at the clock...that often.

I have a new friend in my room! Vern the Fern is now hanging from the ceiling by the window. Thankfully, while he is a cheerful, friendly plant, I haven't started talking to him for company...not yet anyway.

Perhaps one of the best parts of this pregnancy has been meeting Dr. Kevin Case. He is the specialist that performed all of our high-tech, 3-D ultrasounds. Dr. Case is unlike any doctor that I have ever met -- and I have met quite a few and they've all been good. Dr. Case, however, is phenomenal. He has been giving mothers and fathers their first view of their children for many, many years, and yet he has not become at all desensitized to what he's looking at. At all of our appointments, Dr. Case thanked me for allowing him to share in those amazing first images of our son. He applauded our decision to pass up some of the prenatal testing done to determine the likelihood of disability in the baby (and some people do have terminations based on the often inaccurate results). He said something to the effect of, " Your decision tells me that you will love this baby unconditionally and I thoroughly agree with that choice." I just recently wrote Dr. Case a note to thank him for being such a compassionate, caring doctor. He wrote a note back to me saying, "Good morning, Jenny. Thank you for your beautiful note. You are a kind and compassionate soul. Zachary is such a beautiful baby...You have enriched my life. With warmest regards, Kevin Case. I'll bet we get to late May!" Isn't that impressive? What an incredible doctor to go so far above and beyond the call of duty! With his note, Dr. Case included a couple of quotes. Enjoy:

"She leaned closer to look at the baby lying on the blanket on the grass. They knew nothing about her, whether her mother was young or old, rich or poor. But Mrs. Blessing could see that this baby was beloved, and in the soft grass, with the breeze blowing the crippled limbs of the old apple trees, that seemed to be all that mattered." -- Anna Quindlen, 'Blessings'

"Where there is great love there are always miracles. One might almost say that an apparition is a human vision corrected by divine love. I do not see you as you really are, I see you through my affection for you. Miracles seem to me to rest not so much upon our faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always." -- Willa Cather, 'Death Comes For The Archbishop"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today is a happy day! I survived yesterday -- which was a fairly 'contracty' day -- with the help of three extra doses of Terbutaline! Doctor Anton said this morning that my limit is 5 mg. of Terb. every four hours and then 20mg. of Nifetipine every six hours. So, if it gets to the point where I'm getting that much and the contractions still haven't slowed down then it'll be time to put me back on the IV of Magnesium. She also reassured me that while the specialists that do the ultrasounds say they'd send me home at 32 weeks, she's in no rush to kick me out. While they supposedly don't see that much of a change in the cervix between 32-34 weeks (if I were to go home for bed rest and contractions didn't pick up), from a Preemie-development perspective, it's much smarter to keep me here until at least 34. Anyway, it's all speculation at this point and we do need to take it one day at a time, but it's nice to have an extra cautious doctor who won't send me home before it's really safe.

So, back to today being a happy day. Matthew is having a fun playdate this morning at a friend's house, and Mike is here working on his laptop (as I work ever so diligently on mine -- updating my blog, emailing, and maybe getting some EE database entry done too). So, we're in the same room for a few hours! Then, he'll go pick up Matthew and bring him here so that we can have some time together before he goes to nap and spend the rest of the day and night at 'Grandma & D-Dad's' [that's how Matthew says Grandad and the nickname has stuck]. Mike and I get to have our dinner and date night tonight, so no calls, please! :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Exactly a year ago I had a goal calendar on the wall. Just like the one up in my hospital room now, I would put big X's on it when I had completed a day. Unlike the calendar this year, that one had things written on it like: "65 minute hill work-out" or "15 mile run". I'm doing a VERY different kind of training right now. Instead of icing my feet after running on them for hours, I would now like to ice my hips from laying on them for hours. I took drugs to help with muscle soreness then, now I take drugs to try to keep my muscles from working. Last Spring, I was gaining muscle mass and losing fat. This Spring, I'm losing what muscle I'd gained running and am becoming more and more of a chubster everyday! On May 1st, 2005 I ran 26.2 miles, and it was by far the hardest thing I had ever done. On May 1st, 2006, I hope to be lying in a bed, feeling like a beached whale after nine weeks on bed rest. I'm pretty certain that in terms of physical and emotional difficulty nine weeks on bed rest may win over months of training and five hours of non-stop running. We'll see...hopefully I will be celebrating my Marathon Anniversary as a horizontal -- and still pregnant -- Mommy!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Today was an interesting day. From the moment I woke up I just felt completely ready for a pity party... so I had one off and on all morning! Last night, Mike and Matthew came for a visit and it was a fairly stressful one. Matthew was pretty cranky, wouldn't eat anything, and then tripped on my contraction monitor cord and did a complete face plant on the hard floor. He cried for quite a while and the last thing he wanted was to be comforted by me which of course was then hard for me. Poor Mike had two of us in tears to deal with. It's also been hard on Mike and I as we haven't been able to have any quality time in about 5-6 days. If he brings Matthew with him, then he has to be busy chasing after him. Thankfully, my parents have offered to watch Matthew for us on Thursday night so that Mike and I can have a date night. We're both counting down the days! We'll probably do dinner and a in my room, of course.

I had my ultrasound today and not too much has changed from last week. I'm 'very stable' but definitely need to be on bed rest as my cervix still measures quite short and shorter with any pressure applied to it. The doctor who saw me today said that I had a 'beautiful amount' of amniotic fluid. Huh! So, I've got that going for me. She didn't do a full growth measuring for Zachary today (that will be next week), but Dr. Kline did point out that he has a fair amount of hair already! She said that they can't usually see it this early on. Once again, we're not surprised that a son of ours is ahead of the norm. We make geniuses, you see -- very advanced little boys who are just eager to make an early appearance. No, that's not true. It's not their fault. Apparently I'm just too eager to have them make an early appearnce! Thank goodness for the drugs that are keeping me pregnant!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Nothing major to report today. I'm here and I'm pregnant, so that's good news! I've had a few more times where contractions have started to pick up, but so far the meds they have me on seem to work. And if I do have to get an extra shot of Terbutaline to calm things down, it's not the end of the world and so far, has gotten things slowed down. I was supposed to have an ultrasound today but got bumped as Dr. Walker was running behind schedule. So, I'll hopefully get one tomorrow. Dr. Anton has agreed not to tell me to behave/be boring anymore since my rebellious uterus hears that (uh, yes, it has ears, apparently) and decides to act up shortly thereafter. I did get a high five from her for making it to 30 weeks, and she's confident that we'll be able to keep on going. Ever the optimist, she's now decided we should shoot for making it to 39 weeks. The 'goal/visualize success calendar' in here only goes up to week 36!

It's a beautiful day outside, and while I can't really enjoy it, I'm happy for those who get to. Matthew had a great time this morning playing with pal Cassie in her backyard. Thank you, Erika for watching him for us today! I know that he had a great time digging in your dirt -- doesn't take much to keep that kid happy!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I've had a stressful morning. I woke up to the nurse telling me that I'd had five fairly major contractions in less than an hour (all of which I'd slept through thanks to my sleep aid and new friend Ambien) and giving me an 'emergency' shot of the Terbutaline. I was definitely having lower back pain (the same feeling I'd had the afternoon when I went into labor two weeks ago). The on-call doctor came to see me and said that if things didn't settle down they'd start me back on the IV of Magnesium (which I knew was the plan should I keep misbehaving). The shot didn't take, so then I had a pill of the Terb. and my regular dose of Nyphetipine. THANKFULLY it appears that the combination of drugs did end up working to slow things down, and we've bought ourselves another day. Tomorrow I'll have been here for two whole weeks and will reach my 30 week mark. It's definitely an accomplishment but I'm REALLY hoping to get to 32 weeks. Obviously, anything beyond that would be better but the deal in here seems to be you have to look at the big picture but also have small goals at the same time otherwise it's just too overwhelming. I'm definitely less stressed out now than I was earlier today. I know that this could -- and probably will -- be the way things go (the back and forth and ups and downs trying different meds.) but it's hard not to panic when you start having contractions like that.

I had my first little unpleasant experience of having laboring mothers as neighbors last night. So far, I've only heard the occasional cry of a newborn NOT the disturbing cry of a woman about to have a newborn. Last night though, I could hear this woman's screams coming in through the window. It really is a very unpleasant thing to listen to. I don't recommend it. When my nurse came in, I asked her if there was any way that I could sign this woman up for an epidural! A gift from me to her. Apparently she was 'one of those' that wanted to go a natural. I'm sure impressed -- but yet also intrigued and confused -- by those strong women. I say, why choose pain when you can choose totally, blissfully pain-free?! My nurse said that one of the nurses on the floor (who has yet to have children) was totally freaked out by this lady's warrior-cries and said she would never ever procreate. All of the nurses assured her that it's not that bad....especially if you get the drugs!! Amen to that.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Same old, same old. Lots of lying around, lots of bed hair, a fair amount of reading, computering (when I feel up to it) and movies/tv...though, once again I'd like you all to know that I have not fallen into the depressing trap that is daytime TV and I really refuse to go there! No Judge Judy for me, darn it! I haven't even watched Ellen Degeneres or Oprah and I occasionally watch those when I'm home!

The drug dose dance is still on. Yesterday, I received the Terb. pill in the morning (a lower dose) and by late afternoon/evening was starting to contract again, so I was given a higher dose. (Fun! Racing heart and the jitters right before bedtime...though really all the time is bedtime right now in my world). So, it's looking like that might be the pattern/regiment for a while. However, Dr. Anton said it's not ideal for me to get regular doses of the Terbuatline as you can build up immunity to it after a while. So, as always we'll just have to see! Big day this weekend though -- on Sunday I'll be 30 weeks! It's considered a bit of a preemie/pregnancy milestone to get out of the 20's. And just as every pregnant day is a victory day, preemies born after 30 weeks tend to do better than those born in the 20's.

My hospital neighbor/penpal has a 20 month old boy who was born at 30 weeks. He had to spend two months in the NICU and still has some emotional/developmental/speech delays (though they do say most early preemies get caught up to their peers before they start school). We definitely want to keep on keepin' on. It's been fun passing the notepad back and forth with her (via our wonderful nurses/mail carriers!), we can certainly connect, sympathize and relate to one another as we share this experience. And it really is a strange, unique experience. I've been in the hospital 12 days already. Time flies (and yet doesn't) when you're lying down!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Things are better today -- quieter in the uterine activity department. The increased dose of Nyphetepine seems to have worked to slow things down, and now instead of getting a shot of Terbertaline, I'm given a pill (when contractions start picking up). The pill version isn't quite as bad as the shot but it still makes my heart race and makes me feel shakey. That combined with the Nyph. (which lower blood pressure and gives me a headache) is going to take some getting used to. Yesterday, I didn't even feel up to reading my book. I spent the day in a serious vegetative state watching TV. At least I've got a remote control for the dvd player/vcr in here, so I can watch movies now. I'm bound and determined not to give in to daytime tv!

Mike is here this morning working on his laptop while Matthew plays at a friend's house. It's so nice just to have him here for a bit. I sure do miss by boys and enjoy every chance I get to see them!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Well, not so great news today...after taking me off the Magnesium IV yesterday morning and starting me on oral meds, I began having some fairly serious contracting last night (at least way more than what I'd been having). I went from four smallish contractions an hour (that I usually didn't even feel) to ten fairly big ones in an hour. So, I had to be given an 'emergency' shot of Tributaline which makes your heart race and you feel all shakey. That combined with the other drug -- Nyphetipine, which lowers your blood pressure -- left me feeling pretty weird. I, thankfully, slept well through the night and didn't awaken to contractions, though they did start back up again later this morning. SO...I got another shot and they increased my dose of the oral meds. Now, it's just a matter of watching, waiting and hopefully coming up with the right cocktail of drugs and doses to keep things stabilized. If things really don't settle down, I'll be put back on the Magnesium IV which would be a real bummer, but if it buys us some more time than that's what we'll have to do. We shall see, and I'll do my best to keep you posted. (As will Mike with a briefer version of news at Love to all!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Life without an IV is bliss! Who knew how easy getting up to go to the bathroom or taking a shower sans plastic covering and arm apparatus could be?! I'd certainly forgotten! So, that's the big news today -- I'm off the Magnesium IV drip (woohoo!) and have been put on oral meds that I'm given every six hours to keep those contractions down. Dr. Anton came to see me this morning and said that she definitely agrees with Dr. Walker that I need to be here on monitored bed rest at least until/through week 32. They'll be monitoring me along the way and if there are any changes, then obviously the plan will change. On average my graph/monitor reading shows that I have four contractions an hour (though they're very little and I don't usually feel them). The doctors said that they'd be OK with up to six an hour as long as they weren't getting painful or long. It's interesting to have the nurses explain my graph though. They can look back along the squiggly line and say, "Ahh, yes, and at 12:23 you had a contraction that lasted for 17 seconds." When we monitor Zach, they can look at his graph and tell me when he is in a sleep cycle, when he's awake, when he flips over thus accelerating his heartbeat, when he settles back down, and when he has the hiccups (which they don't need to tell me as I definitely feel those)! He's a very active little guy, that's for sure. Today Matthew had a good time bumping my tummy monitor (that was tracking Zachary) and making a big thumping noise come through the speakers over the sound of Zach's heartbeat. So, poor little Zachy is already getting abuse from his big brother! When Matthew first heard the baby monitor the other day he looked so confused. I said, "That's baby Zach in Mommy's tummy. It sounds like horses galloping, huh?" Matthew responded, "Yeah, horses in Mommy's tummy." So, now the already confused little man, thinks that I'll be having a horse-baby! As if this whole ordeal wasn't weird enough already. Guess we better start saving up for therapy. Who needs college, anyway?!

Monday, March 20, 2006

So, here's the news for today:

I passed the gluclose test -- though not by much which means that might limit at least one of the drugs that they might put me on eventually (because it increases the sugar levels). We then had our ultrasound later. Zachary was very much a monkey and was moving around so much it was a bit tricky for the doctor to get his measurements and get pictures of him (probably thanks to the pure sugar 'glu-cola' drink for breakfast). He practically had his hand over his face like 'please, no pictures...really'. Anyway, he weighs 3lbs.3oz. which is fantastic -- just above average for size and we passed the 3 pound mark! My cervix was also fairly cooperative. It's longer than it was which means that my body has definitely responded to the Magnesium and is getting better, but it also means I'm in the right place and being on bed rest is the right move since it's still fairly short and changes w/pressure. (Sorry for the detail for those of you not interested). Dr. Walker said he'd like to see me off the IV maybe as early as tomorrow, and then I'll be put on oral meds and we'll see how I do with those. He says there's no magic number really, and it all depends on how my body behaves, but he'd like to see me here until at least 32 weeks -- which is still FOUR weeks from now. I bet that my ob/gyn will want me here even longer -- she always errs on the side of caution, but we'll see. At this point though, it really is easier having me here being waited on and looked after by phenomenal nurses. If/when they want to send me home I might just have to chain myself to the bed and protest! It's hard on Mike and Matthew (and me) having me here, but if I head home I'll need full-time care as well as Matthew! It would take a lot of discipline to actually stay down and not get up to grab that quick snack for myself or what-have-you. But if that's what I gotta do, that's what I gotta do!

It's funny how things work out here. On Thursday, for example I had five visitors (plus the parentals and Mike) and the phone was ringing off the hook -- I couldn't even answer it half the time. Then Friday -- no visitors and very few calls. (Not that I'm complaining -- just funny how it comes in waves). Today was another busy day, so I certainly haven't had time to get bored or even read my book(s) much! It will come though...we're looking at a minimum of four weeks of this fun down time!
Here I thought that I'd have nothing but time to blog, blog, blog, and I haven't blogged on in a few days! I'm currently undergoing my Gluclose test (to determine if I have Gestational Diabetes). I fasted all night, just had my pre-gluclose blood draw, then chugged my "Glu-Cola" (not very pleasant drinking a pure sugar, Dimatapp-imitation soda first thing in the morning!), and now I continue fasting for three more hours and get a blood-draw every hour. It will be good to get this test done and get the results. If I d0 have Gest. Diabetes, they'll be putting me on a strict diet and continuing to closely monitor Zachary's growth. It could also affect/determine which drugs/cocktail mix they choose to give me in the future.

The last few days have been pretty good. Things here seem to be a bit cyclical -- just like life, I suppose -- ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Thursday I had quite a few visitors and couldn't answer the phone every time it rang, and then on Friday no one called or came by. It still turned out to be a busy day with a visit from the massage therapist, physical therapist and social worker. I have been so beyond impressed with the quality of care here. For every patient that's here at least three days (and looking at a longer stay), they have a care meeting where a nurse, social worker, and representative from your insurance company all sit down to discuss your needs, prognosis, plan for treatment, why you need to be here, and why insurance needs to pay for it. Linda, the social worker, came by to see me and is essentially just here for 'me' -- for 'us' to help us get through this whole ordeal in anyway she can, to make sure we have resources about Premature Birth, to understand everything that's going on behind the scenes, etc. VERY impressive. I also have to just say again that the nurses and doctors have not ceased to amaze me -- every single one of them has gone out of her way to make sure I'm comfortable, to listen when I need it, and provide any support that she can.

I've made a new friend in the last few days! Apparently there are three of us long-term rebel moms here trying to have babies before we should, and we all have little boys (Matthew is the oldest of the group, I'm told) and we're all expecting boys. Joanne, my next door neighbor has a 20month-old Jackson who I could hear the other day was obviously cranky and not feeling well. It broke my heart for her -- it's hard enough not being able to take care of our little guys when they're feeling well! So, I sent over a note and some applesauce. We have since become penpals as neither of us is allowed out of bed for longer than a trip to the bathroom (and one glorious shower a day). It's very interesting how this experience -- while at times very lame and crappy -- has provided me with constant little reminders of what to be thankful for in life and to not take anything for granted. She had their son Jackson at 30 weeks (still a week away for me) and had to go through two months of him being in the NICU. She's currently 33 weeks, so she's at least gotten past that point but is still terrified of having another preemie. The poor girl has been on bed rest for 9 weeks -- SEVEN of them being here in the hospital. She reassures me that somehow the weeks do go by and any week on bedrest is better than a week with a baby in the NICU. So far, we've been able to learn about each other's pregnancy stories and have also tried to cheer each other up (with our lists of why this isn't SO bad...i.e. 'After suffering from perma-bed hair for months, I may never complain about a bad hair day ever again' to stories of hospital/pregnancy living: Thinking your water broke and freaking out, then realizing that your water bottle just spilled on the bed or thinking you're having contractions and labor is starting up only to be told by the nurse that she bets that you just need to 'break wind'....ahhh, hospital living...where every BM is a cause for celebration!).

I have had some MUCH better experiences with Matthew here in the last few days. He now comes up on the bed and cuddles with me (yes, it usually involves bribes of chocolate and watching 'Thomas the Train', but I don't care)! Mike told me that last night after church, when driving home, Matthew actually asked to 'See Mommy'. They'd already visited for the day though, but at least he wants to come see me now! HUGE progress. My amazing neighbor and friend Linda watched Matthew for us Friday morning and will provide a regular playdate for Matthew on Monday mornings. Matthew LOVEs going to their house and playing with his great pal Stephi. Linda took pictures of them, documented their playdate and made a poster for me to have in here. Matthew was just as excited as I was to see pictures of himself up on the wall. She also left a dump truck stamp here, so that Matthew can get a truck on his hand when he comes to visit! Thanks to everyone for making this whole experience as pain-free as possible! I don't know what we'd do without our amazing support system!!

Mike's doing pretty well -- being an incredible father -- but did have a bit of a rough weekend. I think he finally had time to have this all sink in a bit. While I've had nothing BUT time to lay here and think about how strange and difficult it is to be away from my family, he's been going nonstop between work, watching Matthew, and coming to the hospital. So, this weekend was a realization for him that while this is a temporary situation it's also a bit long-term at the same time. And we've certainly had a glimpse of how hard it is to be a single parent all the time. We both still need to figure out how best to say yes to all the offers of help we've received and how/where we really NEED help going through this situation. I think we're still in the transition phase, getting used to this as a new way of life -- at least for a while anyway. Thanks again to EVERYONE of you who has taken the time to pray, call, visit, send an email, or is waiting 'til the boredom sets into do the above! We appreciate it more than we can ever truly say!

Friday, March 17, 2006

I had a much better night's sleep last night. (Thanks in part to the beauty of modern medicine sleep-aids). And another pleasant surprise was not having to wake up at 7am to a blood-draw. Apparently the levels of Magnesium in my blood have been very stable, so they gave me the day off. How nice of them! Dr. Anton came into see me this morning and our plan is as follows: since the Magnesium Solfate is working and I'm handling it fairly well (I'm not TOO loopy on it), they're going to keep me on it (at 2 grams an hour, I believe) through Monday morning. I have to repeat my Glucose/Gestational Diabetes test on Monday morning, so after that, they'll probably wean me down to 1gram of the Magnesium. Monday, I'll also have another ultrasound -- both to measure Zach and my cervix. So, that'll be a big day.

They are monitoring my contractions around the clock and yesterday, I only had a handful of small ones (this was after taking me off the Motrin, so that's a good sign). They're also monitoring Zachary's heartbeat and activitiy for two hours a few times each day. The nurses have all said that they're very happy with how he looks, and that he's even advanced (not that that's a surprise to US!), doing things that a 32 weeker does (like a very good heart acceleration and then settling himself back down). He's a bit of a mischievious one though, and from time to time it's been difficult to track him because he's either a.) been swimming laps and moving around too much or b.) has had performance anxiety and has been playing hide-and-seek with the monitor/microphone. What a little monkey! And little indeed, as of a week ago today he weighed approx. 2.5 lbs., had a 9 inch waist, and was 13 inches long. So, he's a wee one, but exactly where he needs to be development-wise. AND exactly where he needs to be location-wise!

We've been in here for five days already which seems fast and slow at the same time. Thankfully, I haven't had time to be bored yet. What would I do without all of our amazing friends here?!!?! (And my parents, of course, too)! I've been blessed with a whole army of angels bringing things like a laptop (THANK YOU, Alice and Reiner!!), desk organizer with supplies and snacks (also, Alice), books, magazines, movies, flowers, toys for Matthew for when he's here, etc., etc. Not to mention the nonstop flow of love and support that we've been getting via emails and phone calls (when I'm able to answer!) . I promise that everyone will get a chance to get in on the spoiling of the Martin clan! We're looking at a few months (hopefully) of needing help, support and dinners and care for the boys at home. So, never fret, my friends, you'll all get in on the fun!

I have been SO unbelievably impressed with the doctors and especially the nurses here at Overlake. With the exception of one nurse who, while very nice, was quite loud and into chewing Sour Apple Bubblegum, I've had nothing but superior service!!! I got another massage today and also had a visit from the physical therapist to go over the exercises that I can be doing to keep from getting too sore or atrophied from laying in bed. Really, if I'd known that massages twice a week were part of the gig here, I may have checked in a while ago.

I'm hoping that this weekend, we can have Matthew come and spend a bit more time here -- watching a movie and cuddling. We'll see. I understand now how people feel when they don't see him that often -- going from seeing him nonstop to only about 30 minutes a day has been crazy. Everyday he has learned something new and is talking more and more. It also looks like he grows about an inch a day. Last night, when my parents arrived with him (to do the hand-off to Mike), I was sitting on the bed having my lungs listened to by the nurse. Matthew looked at me and said, "Mommy, diaper change?!" This whole business of Mommy laying on a bed with stuff in her arm sure does look strange, but luckily it hasn't come to that yet!!! Making trips to the bathroom is one of the highlights of my day!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

One of the fantastic doctors came in to see me a little bit ago, and said that they'll be gradually weaning me off one drug at a time and just seeing how my body responds over the next several days. (Starting with the Motrin today, and then cutting back on the Magnesium tomorrow). The good news is if it's not working (and contractions start back up) they can boost my drugs back up or try me on a number of different mixed drink/drug/cocktails. Fun times. She said that there is the SLIGHT possibility that eventually if my body stabilized and we got to a safer place (say 30-32 weeks, which is still 2-4 weeks from now) they MIGHT be able to send me home for bed rest...but we'll see. In some ways, while it stinks being here, it's easier. If I were at home, Mike would have to be looking after me AND Matthew 24-7. He's doing such an amazing job taking care of everything already while I'm in here that it would be hard feeling like a burden to him at home. Obviously, it would be nice being at home but...hmmm...would I get a massage twice a week? Could I push a button and have snacks brought to me? Could I tell you how traffic is on 405 looking out my window? I don't think so!
Looking back...Some highlights/interesting aspects of this journey thus far:

On Thursday, I had a test done at the doctor's office that came back negative, thus telling us I had a less than 2% chance of going into labor in the next seven days. Hmmm...shouldn't this have been an indication to us Martins-with-the-unique-medical-needs that we should've just packed the hospital bag right then? It was only two days later that I started having contractions!

On Sunday, when they had me on a very high dose of the Magnesium, I got to experience some interesting side effects. When looking, at my dad's face, for example, I commented groggily 'Hey! you look like a Picasso painting! your eye ball is on your cheek and your mouth is above your nose. Wooooahhh.' Thanks, Dad, for providing me with some entertainment. Also, later when hearing the cries of newborn babies, I thought there were birds of prey flying right outside my window trying to communicate to me. It really is interesting how the cries of a newborn sound very similar to that of say, an eagle.

Thankfully, they took me off of the crazy high dose of Magnesium, and I'm now able to see straight, and hold (in my opinion) a semi-normal conversation. I've also managed to start looking at the bright sides of this whole situation. How many moms in the world would LOVE to trade places with me for a day?! I get to lounge in bed (A LOT, A LOT, A LOT), read, watch tv, even get on the computer occasionally, talk on the phone. I got a massage yesterday! And perhaps most magical of all, at the push of a button, very nice people will bring me graham crackers, peanut butter, and milk in the middle of the night. Is it really THAT bad?! Well, kind of. The hardest part of all, the part that makes me break down (so far, on average three times a day) is not being able to see Mike and Matthew more. The REALLY hard part is when Matthew has been here. He's obviously so confused and freaked out by this whole ordeal. He doesn't know what to think of Mommy laying in a strange bed in a weird place with tubes coming out of her arm. Yesterday, he called me 'scary Mommy' and said 'Don't like it, Mommy' when Mike tried to lay him on the bed with me. It broke my heart, but I know it's what's to be expected at this point. I didn't want to push him either. Hopefully, if we really are looking at this being a long-term ordeal (and that IS the goal), he'll eventually get used to things a bit. I'm thinking that maybe this weekend, we can bring one of his movies and his teddy bear from home and see if he'll get up on the bed and watch it with me. That would make this much easier to handle.
Tales of a Terrorist Cervix...

So, for the moment, we've got a really weak internet connection, but I'll take whatever I can get! Today is Day Four...I've been here at Overlake since early Sunday morning, March 12th. The great news is that the Magnesium Solfate that I'm on is definitely working -- slowing/stopping contractions -- and that Zachary looks great. Everytime they monitor him they've commented on how great he sounds/looks and that he's doing exactly what he needs to be doing. We just need to hope that my darn terrorist/incompetent cervix does the same! We've got to keep this kid cooking for quite some time. I'm propped up in my hospital bed now looking at the count-down calendar that one of the fantastic nurses made for me (that only goes up to week 36) -- there are four days with X's on them already, and the goal is to see lots and lots of them! Funny to think that the best case scenario is that I'm laying in this hospital bed for weeks and weeks and weeks. But hopefully that is what happens. I do feel comforted knowing that even if Mr. Zachary does decide to arrive early, it WILL be OK. It will be hard, but it will be OK. But one day at a time, and our motto for this whole situation (thanks, to Dr. British-Handsome-Pants Walker) is, "Everyday is a victory!" Everyday that I'm still pregnant, that I'm still being the INCUBATOR is another great day.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Testing...testing with this ridiculously slow hospital internet connection. Can I be a bed rest blogger?!