Total Pageviews

Saturday, April 29, 2006

So, who says just 'cuz I had a baby yesterday I have to stop blogging?! Well, it's only a matter of time 'til the whole toddler, infant, post-partum, nursing, bedrest recovery, sleep deprivation catches up with me, and then maybe, just maybe, I won't be quite the avid blogger that I am now.

We are all doing really, really well. Zachary is just such a cutie! He was doing great this morning. They turned off the oxygen in his tent, so he was breathing room air, and they even moved him to a crib. However, it turned out to be too much too soon. He had his pacifier privileges revoked as he was too busy sucking and not remembering to breathe all the time. So, he was given a CPAP nasal tube to help and was also moved into an isolette to maintain his temperature (he just doesn’t have enough baby chubs to do it on his own). Our nurse this morning kept making comments about how he got ‘very grumpy’ when the pacifier was taken away and ‘really mad’ when his diaper was dirty and ‘pretty upset’ when…whatever whatever. I don’t know if it’s just her opinion or if he just didn’t like her much, but I’m SURE that no child of mine would be impolite or difficult! We do like a spirited fellow, but I’m sure that any trouble-maker traits will be taken care of before he comes home with us! J

Before Zach was put into the isolette, I was able to hold him for a bit this morning. For the first time, he opened his eyes, turned towards my voice and looked at me for the longest time. It was amazing, and we got a fantastic picture! (Hopefully Mike can get the pictures up on the website sometime soonish). Since Zach wasn’t hooked up to too much machinery, Mike brought Matthew in to meet his baby brother. Matthew got a huge smile on his face, gently patted the hat on Zach’s head and said, “I love you ‘Zach-ry’ and ‘Silly baby Zach…sleeping on Mommy!’ Later today, Matthew and I had a really good talk about Zach. He said that Zach was born and is not in Mommy’s tummy. He’s sleeping in a little bed.’ He also said he wanted to see him again. Very sweet!! (Yes, ignorance is bliss. Matthew has no idea how much his life is going to change once this little Zachy joins us at home).

Mike held Zachary later today too and reported that he had the hiccups. We’ll both spend the night here tonight and then head home tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will mark my 7th week/49th day of being in this hospital, and I finally get to check outta this joint! I’m excited to go home, though I know that the back and forth to the hospital will be challenging...especially with getting my land legs back. Walking to and from the NICU has been good exercise for me today, and I’ve done surprisingly well. My legs start to feel really weak and shaky if I stand still, but otherwise, moving around has been OK.

Best sign off and get some rest.

Thanks again for all your love and support. We couldn’t have gotten through without you!

Friday, April 28, 2006

ITS A BOY! Zachary James Martin was born Friday, April 28th, 2006 at 7:05 PM. He weighed 5 lbs 2 oz and was 18 1/2 inches long. He is half an inch taller than Matthew was, but quite a bit smaller. Contractions started to pick up a bit up around 1:00 PM but they weren't too bad. I received my beloved epidural around 1:45 PM, however only my left leg got numb, and when they examined me I could still feel it. As we all know, I LOVE that epidural, so I was pretty upset when it wasn't working. Thankfully, the anesthesiologist came back and readjusted things. I was delightfully numb in no time. Around 3 PM Dr. Anton came in and broke my water. Shortly after that Zach had a big drop in heart rate and I ended up wearing the oxygen mask for the majority of the labor. At 6:45 PM things really began to pick up. It took 3 big pushes and out came Zachary with a good hearty cry. It turns out that I had a freakishly long umbilical chord that was draped around his neck and around his arm. We wanted to donate the chord blood but Dr. Anton wasn't sure there would be enough to do that and have some for pathology to analyze, but then she saw we had more than enough so it worked out. Zachary looked really good and is unbelievably cute. He started doing the little whimper/grunt cry that is common to preemies trying to breath. So after getting to hold him for a couple of minutes he was taken into the NICU accompanied by Daddy. He is doing pretty well. He had a chest X-ray that showed some fluid in his lungs, but they look good he just needs a little bit of help breathing, so he is in an Oxygen tent. He also has an IV with some antibiotics and will most likely start feeding either with a tube or bottle of my pumped milk in the next few days. Just like with Matthew, we should assume that he will most likely be in the NICU for at least a couple of weeks. He is tiny, beautiful, and a fighter and we look forward to introducing him to all of you someday. Time to sleep.

We're going to have a baby....soonish! They've just started Pitocin through my IV, so it's just a matter of hours. After weeks of trying to keep me pregnant, they're now being really proactive to get things a-moving. Zachary had some pretty scary decels in his heart rate last night. At one point it lasted for a couple of minutes. The nurse had me roll to the other side, started pushing on my tummy to try to get him to snap out of it, and even pulled out the oxygen mask (to put on me to get more oxygen to him). Luckily he did pick his heart rate back up on his own, but it was really scary. This whole incident happened again at 6am. So, when I told Dr. Anton about it at 8:30 this morning she was very concerned. She called over to the specialists to see if we could do an Amnio today, but they all concurred that at this point that was neither necessary or appropriate. Even if his lungs aren't 100% mature, he's obviously telling us that he's had enough and needs to come out. While he looks great most of the time, we really don't want to wait until things get too scary too fast. SO....we're making things happen. We're still hoping not to have to do a C-Section, but it's always a possibility. I have been promised an early epidural though!!! I love having seniority at this place. I also get to pick my nurses as if there's a buffet of assistants laid out before me or a police-type line-up. Wouldn't you know though that all of my 'regulars' are off for the evening shift, so I'm having a gal that I've only had once, but she is really great. I know I'm in good hands no matter what. So, contractions are starting to pick up a little bit, but still aren't bad. Who knows how long this will all take, but we'll be sure to post/call people with news as soon as we're able!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I have lots of nicknames for Mike, but now I must add 'umbrella' to the list. You know how if you have an umbrella it won't rain? Well, Mike is my umbrella. He stayed over last night just in case things happened, and wouldn't you know, we had our first quiet, uneventful night in a few nights. I didn't contract too much and Zachary was a very good boy -- he only had one brief dip in his heartrate which is fairly normal. So, apparently he behaves when Daddy's here.

Dr. Anton did an ultrasound this morning to check my amniotic fluid level (looks good) and the umbilical cord (also good). It has been decided that if I'm still pregnant on Monday, May 1st (in five days!), we'll have an Amniocentisis to see if Zach's lungs are mature. If they are, then we'll induce labor on Tuesday, May 2nd!! Normally at 35 weeks they'd just go ahead and send me home, but since I have such a high likelihood of delivering soon anyway, they don't want to send me home and then have me deliver in the car, etc. Not to mention, it'd be pretty lame to give up my luxury suite here and then come back only to discover that there's no room at the inn, and I have to be in some extra, ghetto shared-labor room next to a howler monkey woman. These things worry me, you see.

One of my nurses (really, I like to refer to them now as my P.A.'s -- Personal Assistants), so anyway, one of my lovely P.A.'s and I were discussing the whole epidural situation. We feel that there should be some added bonuses that come with the feeling of complete numbess from the waist down. For example, they really should offer complimentary leg and bikini waxing while they're down there. Seeing as you can't experience pain at that point, they might as well be productive for you! Also, during a C-Section...I'm thinking tummy-tuck while they're at it!

I get to have my first wheelchair excursion in almost two weeks today. It's even sunny for the event!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I've said it before and I'll probably say it again -- I feel like a ticking time bomb! It really just feels like every night that we get through I think...OK, is today the day? We had another interesting night. Zachary did more misbehaving causing several nurses to come in and out a few times to move the monitor to try to pick up the dippy-doos (I've been told this is a technical term as most nurses use it!) in his heartrate. Dr. Anton decided this morning that at this point, we should just stop one of my oral meds -- Niphetipine -- that lowers blood pressure (in addition to supposedly slowing contractions). So, all I'm on is the oral Turb and if that doesn't hold they might not even try to stop things with the emergency Turb shots anymore. Needless-to-say that with the way Zach's been showing occasional, moderate signs of unhappiness and rebellion and the fact that we're weaning off drugs, I feel like things could happen at anytime. We're all feeling this so much, that Matthew's just going to go ahead and spend the night with my least for the next couple nights lest things take place in the middle of the night. Mike's going to crash here for the next few nights as well. It just seems like things really pick up at night, and while I don't want to feel like the 'never cry wolf boy' I would rather have Mike here if/when things happen especially if they have to happen fast.

Even my blogging habits have changed! I now try to post in the morning since I don't know what the rest of the day will bring. Once your blogging habits change, you know things are different!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

We're still baking the bun in the oven here. It is interesting. Now that I'm off the heavy meds I feel a bit like a ticking time bomb and everytime things start to pick up I get all excited/ this it? Is it time? Do I call Mike yet? etc.

Last night was kind of unique. We kept Zachary on the monitor all night, and I woke up at 6am to three nurses running in here adjusting the monitor to see if it had moved and was picking up my heart-rate or if Zach's heart really had slowed that much. Turns out it was him, and he did it a few more times this morning. He'd had two bigger dips back to back and my nurse said if he'd continued and had a few more I would've been wisked off to a c-section to get him out of there. A little scary, but so far things seem to be looking better. They'll just be watching him a lot more (probably around the clock) and watching to see if it's getting to the point where he's just not handling things which point, though it's still fairly early, it'd be better out than in. It's strange to think that if I were having a normal pregnancy this stuff would be going on without us knowing about it. It's comforting to know that I'm exactly where I need to be
-- especially should things happen fast, I'm already here!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Well, Zachary won't have an April 24th birthday. I was starting to get a bit anxious...for 45 minutes this afternoon I had contractions every 2-3 minutes, but thankfully the Turb shot and pill did slow things down. I'm definitely crampy and will most likely get Turb shots regularly (at most every four hours) until we just reach a point where they no longer work.

I got to see Matthew tonight!!!! He was apparently VERY excited to come see me and was pulling on the door handle way before Mom and Dad were ready to leave. Once he was here he was busy seeing the trucks 0n-hand, but as soon as we started talking about going home for bedtime, he begged to lie down on the bed with me. He said he wants me to come home! Thank goodness, I'm no longer on the Mag juice or I would've been a weeping fool. It will be SO good once I do get to go home, that's for sure!
Yea for today! The day started with an interesting horizontal hairwash in a bedpan (a never-used one, or so I was told). In a serious effort to counteract the damage of perma-bedhair, we managed to give my 'do' a new bed-do (it doesn't take long for that hair to moosh back down, but at least it's clean!) And then as if clean hair wasn't exciting enough, we had a great ultrasound -- Zachary is weighing in at approximately 5lbs.9oz!!! That's just two ounces smaller than Matthew (which is still a week away from our current gestational age). Zach is still just above average for size and looks really great. There was a chance today that Dr. Walker was going to do an Amniocentisis to check for infection, but my white blood cell count looked good as did the tenderness of my tummy, so he didn't think it was worth it. I've been taken off the Magnesium Solfate -- woohoo!!!!, have been told that I can walk to and from the bathroom again -- yippee!, and have been put back on the oral meds -- yea! They kept the IV line in 'just in case' things pick up in the next 24 hours. That way I'll be all set for an epidural. I really don't see why I can't just get one now!! Just kidding...but kind of not. There's a fairly good chance that nature will run its course now that the heavier duty drugs have been stopped. At this point, I'll be given a Turb shot when things start to pick up but if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Dr. Walker said there's no proof that the Magnesium after 34 weeks does anything to stop really just messes up the Mom. So, here we are. Pretty much in the waiting game. We'll be sure to keep you posted of any major develoments!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

All of us here on Team Incubate Zachary seem to be feeling like his arrival is going to be sooner rather than later. It really is a team effort though -- family, friends, my parents, Mike and Matthew and the doctors and nurses are all doing there best to buy us more time, but activity is definitely picking up. It's still amazing that we've gotten to 34 weeks! I've been in the hospital for exactly six weeks!

Last night I had to get a Turbutaline shot to try to slow things down and another this morning. Last night's contractions were pretty strong, and I started to wonder, OK at what point is it time to call my parents to watch Matthew and for Mike to come and be with me. I suppose when it's really time, we'll really know. It seems though that my body's just not responding to the drugs like it used to. I think we're all starting to ask ourselves : at what point do we just give in and let nature take its course or will it still do that even while we try to slow it down with meds. My white blood cell count has been slowly getting higher -- which is what happened through my whole pregnancy leading up to my water breaking with Matthew. So, they have me on antibotics in the IV to try to slow down any infection. I'm defnitely full of fluid. I've gained around 5-7 pounds since they put me back on the Mag six days ago, and my face is starting to get a little puffy with fluid. I'm still 'outputting' enough fluid that they're not concerned about Magnesium Toxicity though, but I'm defnitely looking and feeling like a Mag patient.

I'm sad to report my latest ailment -- my HAIR hurts. My hair has been so perma-bed-head-smashed into the same position for so long that it PHYSICALLY hurts to try to get it to lay flat in the opposite direction. I never thought I would have hair pain. Ahh, woah is me. Just when you thought things couldn't possibly get worse...! :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Well, yesterday the on-call OB came by and said I looked really great -- that I obviously handled being on the Mag really well. Today when he came in he said, "Woah, you definitely look more like a Mag patient now. What happened?" Good to know that I look as bad as I feel! I definitely feel 'Mag-ed out'. I can't get my eyes to focus entirely, and I can't open them all the way either. I'm really hoping that I'll be coming off of this on Monday! I think I'll just wait to see Matthew until then too. He's still very congested and while I'm sure he's no longer contagious, I think it'd be best to avoid him having to see me like this if we can help it. I don't want him learning to say, "Mommy's on drugs!" I did get to see Mike tonight while Matthew went to play at Grandma and Grandad's house for a little while.

I've said before that we've been so blessed with all the help and support we've received from friends and family, and that certainly hasn't worn down while this ordeal has dragged on. Yesterday afternoon, Mike called to say that there was a lawn crew out cutting our grass! Turns out our next door neighbors sent them over to help us out. It was absolutely a PERFECT gesture to help us right now -- cutting the grass was just another thing on Mike's list to do when he has a couple of spare hours. So, that was SUCH a blessing!

34 weeks tomorrow!!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Yea for a currently-working internet connection! Here are the updates:

Matthew still has a bad cold, so it's now been FIVE days since I've seen him. He does at least talk to me on the phone, though his 'Hi Mommy' sounds like ' Hi Bobby' due to his congestion. Mike has had to miss a fair amount of work this week staying home with Matthew but still managed to give a well-received presentation at work on Wednesday. The man is phenomenal.

Last night was a rough one. I woke up to a woman screaming like she was being murdered. I thought 'Oh great! This'll be a long one.' Turns out she was only having an IV put in. My goodness! If that's how she handles an IV start I DO NOT want to be around while she has the baby. I ended up staying awake much of the night with bad contractions...things seem to be picking up a bit. They increased my IV Mag dosage this morning. At one point, I'd had nine contractions in 45 minutes. I've still been fairly crampy throughout the day even with the extra loopy drugs. Could be a sign that my body's starting to fight the drugs and tell us that maybe we've done all we can to slow things down. We'll see. But I do feel confident that if things do happen soon, we've really had a lot of success with 'Project Incubate Zachary' thus far. We're almost to 34 weeks. Matthew was born at 35 weeks, and although he had to do two weeks in the NICU obviously turned out perfectly! At least Zach has received three doses of steroid for his lung development, so we might be able to less NICU time. Regardless though, all would be well in the long run!

My penpal/former hospital neighbor had her baby! She made it to 37 weeks after 12 weeks on bedrest (including 8 in the hospital!). They had a totally healthy boy weighing in at 6lbs.7oz. It was great to get to see her upright and to meet their little guy. I guess there is life after bedrest.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I'm dictating this to Mike over the phone since my internet connection didn't work at all today. I'm still here! The plan is to keep me on the Magnesium IV until Monday at which point they will put me back on the oral meds. Matthew still has a bad cold and I haven't seen him since Sunday, which is the longest I have ever been away from him. Hopefully we will all be feeling better and reunited soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Still here! Still on the IV and super strict bedrest. I'm not even supposed to sit up for meals or laptopping right now (so I'm doing this in a rather uncomfortable, reclined position). Matthew is still working on a bad cold, so unfortunately he'll have to stay away again. I haven't seen him since Sunday which is hard though perhaps for the best since I'm still not feeling great myself. At least he does occasionally talk to me on the phone. Yesterday, I asked him what he and and Daddy were going to do and he said, "Watch Finding Nemo." With his cold it sounded like, "Watch Finding Debo." Mike is doing such an incredible job of balancing work, being a single Dad and visiting me at the hospital right now. I always knew he was amazing but Man!...What a man! We’re also SO blessed that my parents are here, healthy and able to help out with Matthew. Quite frankly, I think they enjoy all the extra time with the kid! And it’s certainly nice to know that he’s in such good hands. Other than having a very selfish uterus, I think I turned out fairly OK after all!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I'm hanging in there. Today was pretty rough -- the Magnesium IV makes me feel lame...headache, lightheaded, a bit nauseous, not to mention the emotions of all of this sudden change finally kicking in. But good news! We had an ultrasound this morning and it looks like the pep talks worked -- Zachary's feet are currently out of the way. I also graduated from the bedpan to a potty chair next to the bed...what a big girl I am; I get my very own potty chair! So, that's a major improvement to my quality of life here.

Matthew's still working on a bad cold, so it was probably for the best that Mike wasn't going to bring him to see me today. Unfortunately, I think we're back to the 'scary mommy' stage. He's used to the hospital now, but I've got tubes in my arm again, so that'll probably set us back a bit.

One more victory day! I'm 33 weeks and 2 days and counting...

Monday, April 17, 2006

What a difference a few hours can make! Just this morning I blogged about how well things were going and that I was worried they might boot me outta here early...well, don't have to worry about that any more!

My ultrasound showed that my cervix is only a centimeter long and that I'm already dilated two centimeters. During the ultrasound I had my first big contraction in a few days (I've had them but not big ones), showing that things are definitely more 'precarious' than we'd thought. Dr. Walker predicted (always the optimist) that my water will break in the next 2-5 days. He also checked to be sure that Zachary is head-down, which he is. Unfortunately he also has his feet down by his head, so if those don't move out of the way and my water breaks, I'll have to have a C-Section. Let's pray this kiddo moves his feet up!

Not at all what I was expecting to hear today. Within a couple of hours after Dr. Walker left, I had my first shot of Turb in several days and for the first time in weeks it didn't work to slow things down. SO....I'm back on the IV of Magnesium, I got another shot of Betamethasone (steroid shot for Zachary's lungs), and perhaps lamest of all, I'm not allowed out of bed for at least the next 24 hours...yes, that's right, NOT AT ALL. So, it's the fun of the bedpan for me.

Truly amazing how drastically and quickly things changed here for me! It's a darn good thing they hadn't sent me home early, that's for sure!
Happy Easter, yesterday! Hope you had a good one. We had a great Easter dinner and celebration here. Definitely an Easter we'll never forget! We were also celebrating five full weeks here and 33 weeks of pregnancy!

Last night after our celebrations, Mike and I had a date night of which the highlight was my first walk outside the room! We walked (slowly and carefully) all the way past the nurse's station to the snack pantry and back. I'm starting to worry though that by getting up on my feet more the nurses will start telling me to 'Fill your own water bottle, you lazy bum!' There goes my room service. No, it'll be a while before I can do it all. Just that brief walk was enough to tire me out!

All this freedom has even brainwashed Dr. Anton! She said today that if my cervix ultrasound shows that things are very stable, maybe I could go home this week instead of waiting until next Monday. Now, that's just plain crazy talk! It's not that I don't want to go home, it's just that I've mentally prepared for so long that I wouldn't head home until 34 weeks. I'm sure if things really are stable, it'll be fine, but it's still a little nerve-wracking. There's still the worry that if contractions really pick up once I'm home, the oral meds won't slow them down the way a shot would. I think Mike'll want to leave with a stash of them. He's also confirmed my fears that once home, I won't get clean sheets everyday like I do here. Man! There's also no little button to push for my snacking (and non-snacking) needs at home. I think the cooler stocked with food next to the bed will be the compromise!

Can you believe I've been here for five full weeks and JUST got around to watching 'The Price is Right' this morning?! Hello! What have I been doing with my time?

I'll have my ultrasound today or tomorrow...I'll keep you posted, as always.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Random thought for the day: Hospital towels are like sandpaper, but they do serve the purpose of exfoliating your skin whilst you dry off.

I had an ultrasound this morning...on my leg. My left leg started to hurt yesterday afternoon (behind my knee-ish). It feels a little bit like a pulled muscle, but I don't see how that's possible seeing as I have no muscle left. Dr. Anton wanted to be sure that it isn't a blood clot, and luckily it isn’t. However, Dr. Anton does want me to start moving around a little bit more to help with circulation. She even said I should walk a bit everyday – for fifteen minutes! That’s huge! I still have at least two ultrasounds before they’ll think about sending me home, so if being upright changes things too much, they’ll reel me back in. They’ve also decided that I don’t need to be on the contraction monitor all the time. I know when I’m contracting, so if things pick up, I’ll be put back on to watch the pattern and see if I need a shot. The idea is to start weaning me off hospital life for this last week in the hospital, that way when I do go home it won’t be too scary to be machine-less.

Upon returning to my humble abode from my ultrasound, I discovered the fam in the act of Easter-decorating my room -- complete with a pair of bunny ears on my pillow. Matthew said, “Rabbit Mommy!” when he saw me in them for our Easter Egg dyeing party. Somehow we successfully managed to keep more dye on the eggs than on Matthew!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Last night was a rough one. I had a new neighbor move in next door – she was admitted in the late evening and apparently had to move the family in too. They have a toddler who, I would imagine, is around two years old. I guess they don’t have any family around or friends that they could call, so they had to bring little kiddo with them while Mom came in for preterm labor. Anyway, as I know, it’s hard enough (especially in the beginning) to have a toddler here when they’re awake and not cranky. So, needless-to-say for this little person to be pulled from his/her bed and taken to a scary hospital room where things are being done to his/her mother would obviously be upsetting. Yeah, I didn’t get much sleep. And I’m sure they got even less next door and I do feel for them, but in the middle of the night, my perspective wasn’t quite as caring or clear. My main concern was: is this a long term neighbor and is the whole family moving in forever?! I do really feel bad for them, but I live here!! Anywhoo, my nurse ended up bringing me an Ambien at 3am and a fan to put on for some sound-muffling action. The fan really added to my room’s reputation as ‘The Ice Box’. Zachary, the bun in the oven, works as my own personal heater, you see.

Despite the rough night, I had a good day today. I had a massage this morning, then lunch and a movie matinee with Mike and Matthew, followed by a lovely visit from Mo (best friend from high school). The afternoon concluded with a wheelchair outing with Mom and Dad. Dad did a decent job of not running me into too many walls! J

As we know, I’ve been on the bulk-up-baby diet since I arrived at this fat farm, and it is proving to be a smashing success. I have proof to back up this claim. I’ve had a few nurses stop by to visit (ones that I haven’t seen in a couple weeks), and they always go on and on about how “great” I’m looking. Of course their declaration of my ‘greatness’ comes accompanied by statements such as: “You’re really blossoming!” “You’re looking so robust!” And my personal favorite: “You’ve sure put on weight – it especially shows in your face.” Yes, just where EVERY woman wants to be putting on weight. Great. Oh well, I’m taking one for the team – Team Zachary! It’ll be very exciting to get to use my new dream double jogging stroller this summer to try lose the weight (apparently in my chin and cheeks first!). Since I’ll hopefully be going home for bedrest in nine-ish days, maybe we should get the double stroller soon so Mike can take Matthew and ME out for a ride!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I have recently started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Up until this week, I've been too busy just trying to survive the present. Now that I only have approximately another week and half here, and then two-ish weeks of bedrest at home, the end is in sight. After six weeks of bedrest in the hospital, what's a couple more at home?! When all is said and done, if Zachary doesn't come earlier than 36 weeks, I will have put in nine weeks of bedrest. That's two months and one week of perma-bed hair. 63 days of being horizontal. 1,512 hours of lying around while muscles atrophy, I eat and gain weight...lots and lots of weight. What a pretty picture I paint, indeed.

HOWEVER, it does sound like post-bedrest could be worse than the bedrest itself. Could the worst really be yet to come? Yesterday, the physical therapist came by to discuss life after bedrest with me. Once I’m given the go-ahead to join the upright Homo sapien world, the transition most certainly will not be immediate or easy. The P.T. told me that for most women, recovery from bedrest takes as long as the bedrest itself – that’d be nine weeks, people. Or (even more uplifting), in many cases, it takes two days for everyday that a woman was on bedrest. I could do the math (with the help of a calculator) to tell you how long that would be, but I’d really rather not. Of course, this is worst case scenario, and hopefully it won’t be my scenario, but it’s a bit daunting all the same. Especially when you consider that my very slow return to being vertical and walking on shakey legs will be whilst I recover postpartumly (yes, I’m making that a word), look after an active toddler and an infant all the while suffering the wrath of sleep deprivation.

While this is all very bleak and pessimistic, I really do like to prepare for the worst case scenario, that way, whatever happens – even if it’s really hard – is better than what you expected!

So, I guess running a half or full marathon this summer is out of the question, huh? Walking around the block will be accomplishment enough!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I had a pretty dizzy day -- a lot of lightheadedness when I get up, which sadly is probably just the fun of long-term bedrest setting in. So, no outing in the wheelchair for me today as just sitting up made me quite whoozy. I'm hoping to get out tomorrow though. Mike will be here working on his laptop, so it'd be great to get to head out of the room together for fifteen minutes of freedom.

So, a brief anecdote for you: Alright, so I wear the contraction monitor all the time, and it's constantly recording a graph on to a long strip of paper. The strip has eight hours worth of recording time. There is always a little squiggly line on the paper except when I get up to use the restroom when I unplug myself from the machinery. So, I had a night nurse come on at 11ish one night who was really studying my graph. There was a large gap in the line when I'd gotten up to use the bathroom, brush my teeth, and get ready for bed. Anyway, she was intently investigating my strip, and then she asks me all accusingly, "Where were you right here?!" Um, hello. Where could I go?? I hardly have the strength to walk across the room. Did she think that I'd high-tailed it out of here and had gone out dancing or something? I don't get to go anywhere but the bathroom. Is nothing sacred? No, there are no secrets here.

What I really enjoy is if I'm leaving someone a message I automatically say something like, 'So call me back when you have a chance. I should be around. HA! 'Cuz where else would I be?! I'm not allowed to go anywhere!' True, I don't get out much, but we still have the problem, people, that everything seems to happen at once. I'll get a visitor, then phone calls, nurses, doctors, everybody, everything happens at once, and then a little bit later it'll be nothing but me and a book or a Sudoku puzzle! We've gotta figure out a way to spread out the love, people, but hey, I'll take it whenever I can get it. Thanks for it!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What a day! And unlike yesterday, today was a really good one! The highlight of the morning was getting to go on my 15 minute field trip to the outside hospital patio area. It was the first time I've experienced fresh air in 32 days!!! It was magnificent. I felt pretty wiped afterwards though. Being vertical for fifteen minutes to shower and then fifteen minutes sitting upright in the wheelchair was enough to tire out this horizontal mama!

After lunch, I had my ultrasound. Mom was here and got to see Zachary moving around and waving to the 'camera'. It was pretty incredible. For a while Zach had his hands up by his face, then he brought his foot up to his face and was practically sucking his big toe! Dr. Rutherford was trying to get a good picture to print off for Mom to keep and went in for a close up of his face. We were looking directly at him, and he opened his eyes and looked right back at us! It was very neat. Dr. Rutherford was able to print off a really great picture for Mom to keep.

The ultrasound, other than being amusing, also showed us good news. Zach's umbilical cord was draped over his shoulder and then bunched up in front of his face, so it's not around his neck. Most likely the dips in his monitored heart rate are due to him playing with the cord. Apparently sometimes if babies get a good hold of it, they even put it in their mouths and gnaw on it -- luckily they don't have teeth yet! The other good news is that my cervix was very stable again today -- not much change between resting and pressure measurements. So, bedrest is paying off (GOOD! 'cuz it's hard work!), but Dr. Rutherford did say that fifteen minutes in the wheelchair was a great idea and that we could gradually increase my time to help me get reacquainted with being upright.

The rest of the day was filled with WONDERFUL friends visiting! The nurses were also very fun tonight. I'm -- for the first time ever and for not very long -- the only patient in the labor and delivery wing. So, the nurses have all been in and out and to analyze American Idol. If they have so much time on their hands I don't see why they aren't all in here to give me massages, etc. Either that or we should pop some popcorn and have ourselves a chic flic party! Or maybe have wheelchair races in the hall. Hmmm...the possibilities are endless!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Oye. What a day! Today was a bit of a rollercoaster. I had a FUN wake-up call at 6am -- a shot of Terbutaline in my arm. A couple hours after the shot, contractions started picking up again so I got my Terbutaline pill early. Then we put Zachary on the monitor and he, like big brother Matthew, tends to be a late sleeper in the AM, so he wasn't responding quite the way they wanted him to...didn't have the heart accerlerations that they're required to see every session of monitoring. It was determined that we would do another monitoring in the afternoon. I got up to take my shower and probably from a combination of my Niphetipine (that lowers blood pressure) and being on my feet for too long, I suddenly felt very nauseous, dizzy, and light-headed. So, after freaking out my nurse for a bit, that aspect of the day settled down. We also spent all morning waiting to find out if I'd have my scheduled ultrasound...and once again found out that it won't happen until Tuesday.

The afternoon was an unexpected show of pregnancy waterworks (meaning tears). Funny how sometimes the floodgates just open and I can't get them shut and I wonder what's wrong with me. Then I remember, ahhh, yes, I am Jenny AND I am pregnant. Right.

We did quite a bit more of monitoring Zach in the evening. Dr. Anton came by to do a very quick and basic ultrasound to make sure that there was enough amniotic fluid for him, and that he didn't have the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Matthew and Mike were here during the ultrasound and Matthew seemed to think it was pretty cool that 'Zach on TV!' Everything looked fine with the littlest Martin boy. Dr. Anton thinks that the dips in his chart were probably him grabbing the umbilical cord and then realizing 'Doh! I don't like that! Better let go!' Another Martin genius.

The really big news is that Dr. Anton gave the a-OK for me to get a 15 minute ride in a wheelchair everyday. I can even go outside for fresh air! Fresh air? What is that? I don't remember, but I'll find out tomorrow morning when I venture out beyond these walls!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lie vs. Lay. It is, in my opinion, one of the most commonly confused rules of grammar out there. I have always prided myself on my grammatical skills; I know when to use 'good' and when to use 'well' and I do so accordingly. However, when it comes to the enigma that is lie vs. lay, I, like the rest of the masses, am a bit befuddled. Since I am currently using this verb most frequently, I felt it important to educate myself in order to speak in a grammatically correct fashion and to share my new-found knowledge with you...lucky you. I had some help in doing research on the subject -- actually, I did none, just asked my friend Kate, a high school English teacher, to clarify. And here is the conclusion: Most of us want to say that I am laying in a bed. That I have lain in a hospital bed for one month. That is partially true. I HAVE lain in a hospital bed for, to be specific, 29 days. However, I am currently lying. No, I AM telling the truth; I am not lying about my lying. See how this is confusing? I lie in a bed around the clock. I am in the habit of lying and by that I don't me that I am not a constant fibber, I mean that I am prone to being horizontal.

Today marks the conclusion of my 32nd week of pregnancy -- a huge milestone for preemie development! And I ain't lyin'. Though I am lying.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Woah. Tomorrow will mark the commencement of my fifth week here. I had not been out of my room in almost exactly a month...until this morning. I told, Pat, my nurse today that I didn't sleep real well last night due to the loud partying of the nurses in the break room (located next door to my room). These women are amazing and work extremely hard and certainly deserve to have some fun but at 1am, 3am, 5am, 7am?! If you're not going to invite me to the festivities, at least keep it down to a dull roar! Apparently last night was one of the first nights in a couple of weeks that the floor hasn't been packed with laboring mamas. Pat responded to my subtle complaints with an immediate and overwhelming response. She decided that since the floor was so quiet, it was time that I have a change of scenery...a permament change of scenery. I've been moved into the room next door (my discharged pen pal's room for those of you closely following the Jenny-in-hospital Saga). What's scary is that in only one month's time I've turned into one of those weird recluse people who hasn't left their house in over a year. I started to feel really unsettled and nervous as she began moving my piled-up belongings out of the room. I suppose that when you've stared at the same surroundings for 28 days, it's normal to feel all discombobulated when you're chucked out of that space with no time to mentally prepare. That's understandable, right? Yeah, but still weird.

I got to WALK out of my room and around the corner into my next room. Sadly, that's the longest distance that I've walked in a month. Dad asked if I had to have a security escort to make sure that I didn't try to make a break for it. Sadly, no -- the thought didn't even cross my mind as I was too busy trying to take in my brief view of the foreign 'outside world' (i.e. the hospital hallway).

Anyway, I have a new phone number which I shan't share with you here as any old freaky could read my blog and decide to become my new bestfriend. So, if you do want that info you can get it from Mike or my parental units. My new digs are nice -- actually bigger and better than my previous room. But it's totally flipped around! My bed is facing the opposite direction, and the bathroom is located on the 'wrong' side of the room! (Hey! I fully admitted that it's weird how I'm all 'off' because of this). But I do have more storage space and TWO big windows with a view of Mt. Rainier (if it were clear and not grey and rainy then I could actually see it!) and a much better view of the construction crane (which will not only provide me with some entertainment but Matthew as well). There are two foot pedals to turn the water on in the sink which has proved to be exciting for Matthew and stressful and mildly annoying for the rest of us. When the boys came to see me today for lunch, Matthew looked a bit confused. I said, 'It's a different room, isn't it?' And Matthew responded, 'Different mommy!' I reassured him that I'm the same mommy just in a different room, but perhaps he could see through my calm facade to how 'different' my new digs make me feel! No worries. I think I'm handling the change fairly well and will not be requiring a visit from the hospital psychiatrist anytime soon. Besides, if moving to the room next door makes me feel this wonky, imagine what a trip to the psych ward would do!

Friday, April 07, 2006

I have an idea. Since I'm just stuck in this bed in the hospital, I really don't see why I can't be put to good use. My thought is that every morning the nurses could roll my bed and machinery (contraction monitor, etc.) out into the lobby and I could be the greeter for the childbirth center. Just like they have greeters at Walmart, I could welcome all to the 6th floor with a smile. In addition, I would also recommend that all preggo gals say YES to the drugs. And I'm thinking that we really missed out on a great April Fool's joke. I could've been parked out there telling the expectant couples that unfortunately, all the rooms are full at the inn, and they'll get to join me out in the lobby for their baby delivering fun! Bummer we passed up that opportunity.

So the theme lately is that I tend to start contracting first thing in the morning and/or around...hmmm...what time is it now? 9:30pm. The last two days I've actually started up in the early afternoon, and then my 6pm pill tends slows things down for a bit, but then things start picking up after a couple of hours. I wouldn't be surprised if I get myself another shot here soon. If I do start contracting in a clear pattern then they'll probably think about increasing the frequencing or dosage of my pills so that I don't always have to get the shot. Whatever works!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Despite the early morning Terbutaline shot, today was a really good day. I had a few visitors this morning -- including Matthew's little pal Jack (and his Mom, my good friend, Megan) sporting a very cool knight helmet, plastic sword, shield, and green dragon-themed rubber boots. He made quite an impression on the nurses here, as you can imagine!

This evening my oldest friend (not in age, but in how long we've known each other -- since we were six), Rachel brought me dinner tonight. Matthew and Mike also joined in for the festivities and Matthew wowed us all by counting from 1-10 for the first time! He's been very close before, just needed to put it all together. It was very cute as we made such a big deal about it that he'd count from 1-4 or 1-5 and then throw his hands in the air and shout, 'Yea!' and clap like crazy. He was very proud of himself!

Tonight, I had the most incredible experience of receiving my first singing telegram -- over the telephone! Mike's coworker and friend Kevin (husband of my good friend Erika) is in a PHENOMENAL Barbershop Quartet. The four of them are practicing like mad for their competition this weekend to try to make it into the International competition. All I have to say is even over the lame hospital phone they sure sound like they're ready for Internationals to me!

I have never doubted how blessed we are in the friends, family, love and support department. But just incase I start to forget, not a day goes by here that I don't have constant reminders of just how lucky and spoiled we are! Thank you!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wouldn't you know that as soon as I start saying things like 'I haven't had a shot of Terb since Saturday!' my rebellious uterus decides to kick things up a notch. It's as if I'm just asking for a reminder to be reassured that yes, I do need to be here, and yes, I do need to be a lazy bum. So, I got to have a shot this afternoon. But at least I am still responding to the drugs, and eventually the contractions do taper off.

I told Mike to take a day off today from visiting me in the hospital. Of course I want to see my boys, and it's good for them to see me too, but with all the back and forth and constant upheaval I really thought the guys should have a quiet evening at home. I have to admit that I wasn't all that surprised when they walked into my room at 7 this evening. Mike, being the amazing one that he is, with arms full, came in carrying the diaper bag, Matthew, and some clean laundry for me (I'm still trying to resist the whole hospital gown look). I told him that he shouldn't have come since a.) he really needs some down-time and b.) now I'm always going to think that they'll show up even when he says they probably won't come! Needless to say, I was ecstatic to see them. And Matthew was very fun tonight -- we had a good little tickle and giggle fest which certainly lifted my spirits. I'm telling you, if I could find a way to can and sell the sound of baby/toddler laughter, I'd be a millionaire!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ultrasound day today! We, the Martin/Buckley fam here, had all made guesses as to what Zachary's weight would be today. And gosh darnit! Why didn't we have some money riding on these bets? Mike would have cleaned up! He guessed Zach's exact current weight which is (drumroll, please) 3lbs. 15oz. The little guy is just shy of four pounds. That puts him still a little above average for weight, and based on size puts his due date at May 26th (as opposed to the 'calculated due date' of June 3rd).

The cervix part of my ultrasound today showed that I'm more stable than I have been with very little change between the resting measurement and the measurement with pressure. From a cervix viewpoint only, they would send me home next week, but seeing how I'm still almost constantly having contractions, and with the possibility of going into pre-term labor still high, they'll not likely send me home until a safer gestational age (probably 34 weeks). If that does turn out to be the course of action (and nothing changes), that means I'm currently about half way through my stay here in the hospital!

This whole situation seems to have really started to wear on Matthew. The novelty of getting to have lots of playdates and going to Grandma and D'Dad's house often is starting to run out. This week, he has become more clingy to Mike (and he's never been a shy one), and he's just getting, quite frankly, a bit wild and goofy. But hey! We'll take wild and goofy over tantrums and cranky (though we've had some of those too) anyday. Considering that he's two-and-a-half, he has done really well with being so flexible during the upheaval of his daily routine. It sure kills me not to be able to help out Mike or my parents with him -- I definitely feel helpless, and it's so frustrating. Of course, this only foreshadows how much more difficult it would be to be home and not allowed to do anything for myself or take care of my family. I guess it's a good thing that I'm trapped in this hospital room for a few more weeks.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Nothing major to report. I'm waiting to find out if I do get to have my ultrasound today or if I got bumped...yet again.

My penpal was sent home today for bedrest (she's at 35 weeks). I can hear them next door cleaning her room like crazy so the next rebel trying-to-have-her-baby-too-early mom can move in. I guess there are quite a few of us, so the beds don't stay cold for long. I went from being the rookie in this wing to now being the most 'senior' on the block.

The boys came to see me yesterday at lunchtime. Matthew was so tired that he fell asleep in the car on the way here. Mike was able to carry him in without waking him too much. He fell back asleep and napped on the bed next to me for over an hour. It was wonderful!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Today is my Dad's birthday. Yes, April Fool's. No, I don't mean that as a joke, I mean that it's true his birthday is April Fool's Day. Yesterday I asked Matthew if he knew who had a birthday today, and he said, "Happy Birthday, Zach?" We all emphatically said, "No! No! We hope not!"

Well, turns out Zach did want to kick off April Fool's Day with a bang. I woke up to some of the worst contractions I've had since I got here. Now, as I've said, all of my nurses here have been wonderful, and I still stand by that. My nurse last night, however, while still VERY nice, sort of made me nervous. She's an older gal and quite a large gal. When she came into my room she was sweating and panting and holding on to any stationary object for support as she walked. She was so shakey when taking my temperature that I thought I might have permanent hearing loss from how hard she pushed the thermometer (all the while a-quivering like mad!) into my ear. So, when I woke up with fairly bad, regular contractions at 6am I was disappointed (but maybe not all that surprised) that she hadn't been monitoring them well enough from the nurse's station to come in, wake me up, and give me something to slow them down. I paged her to the room ( she didn't respond the first time...or maybe it just took her that long to walk down the hall), and after watching the contractions for an additional 10 minutes, she agreed that I needed the Terbutaline shot. The woman was a-shaking so badly I thought she would miss my arm and stab me in the face with the needle. Mind you, my arm is a fairly large target now-a-days as the regiment of 'bulk-up-baby-Zachary' (and therefore moi) is underway and has proven to be quite successful thus far. (Both of my dimples have started to fill in with extra chub -- going, going, gone). So, once again, I had an interesting start to my Saturday. The day ended well with cupcakes and ice cream (more of that important bulking up) to celebrate Dad's birthday. Matthew was convinced that -- just as all gifts -- Dad's present had a "truck inside...funjunjun truck" (that's the phoenetic spelling for how Matthew says fire engine). Needless to say, he was a little disappointed with the computer scanner.