Thursday, October 24, 2013
Time sure does fly epecially with a healthy newborn that you are able to do normal and typical daily activities with. Well not sure taking him along to all of Abe's appointments is considered normal or typical for most families but it is for us. When Abe was 3 months old he was still in NICU and was not considered "full term yet" since he was born 3 1/2 months too early. I looked back at some blog posting from April 2009 and I briefly read that I finally noticed Abe's dimple, well nurse Sarah pointed it out to us. We finally noticed it because the ET tube was out and he was on CPAP. I must say I never believed the every kid has a different personality theory but it is so true. Luke is an awesome sleeper but can't stand car rides especially the trip to church. He just screams loudly and cries like crazy. Abe has always loved car rides and to this day still does. Luke slept for 12 hours the other night and I did not wake him up to breast feed and I did not pump. Man was I in pain from the milk building up but I did not want to wake a sleeping baby. He looks so peaceful. He sleeps with is hands above his head. Abe on the other hand is not a great sleeper but rarely screams or cries while on a car ride. I guess I would rather have a screaming baby while driving then in the middle of the night. Luke is growing like a weed. At his 2 month check he was 15 lbs 12 oz so almost 16lbs. He appears to be developing as expected,social smiles, flirts, puts both hands in this mouth and grabs and pulls my hair. Might be time for a haircut, my last one was August 2012. I know Luke understands what I am saying to him because he will cry and I was say do you need a diaper change and he will smile, laugh and move his eyes. It is so precious that he communicates with me. Another big difference is I let Luke go to the nursery at MOPS today. I did check on him once because I thought for sure he would want to eat but nope he was enjoying the grandma cuddles there. Abe is 31 lbs but still under weight but is wearing size 4T to 5T. Tonight he said to us "Mommy I want some food to eat please". So proud that he is speaking in sentences. AWANA cubbies has been difficult the last 4 weeks. He just throws major fits there and does not want to participate until the kids are being picked up at the end. It is frustrating because Glenn and I are both volunteers with it. Last year he did pretty well but it was at a different church and a smaller group of kids. We switched churches in July a few weeks before Luke was born. The other church was over 40 minutes away so that is 80 minutes total of driving with 2 kids. The new church is 20 minutes away.He will do his verses and sing the songs so we know he is gaining some knowledge there. Abe is practicing maneuvering a power wheel chair and some days is more successful than other days. It does require a trip over the bridge to Tacoma so lots of gas and the bridge fee. Abe got his first buzz hair cut by daddy. I am still getting used to it. I miss his pretty hair but he is a boy. Glenn will be 40 next month and I am planning a party in the tree house for him. Just hope it is not too cold., My mother in law Linda passed away a few weeks ago from cancer, diabetes and heart problems. I know that she is not suffering any longer but I am sad that she won't meet her grandsons until they go to heaven. I will continue to periodically update this but most information and pictures are on facebook.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
This blog was originally created to update everyone about Abraham Goddard's status since you can't use cell phones in NICU and to maximize the time for mom and dad to update everyone in one sport. Abraham is a big brother now although Luke's birth weight far exceeded Abe's, he is still the big brother. Luke Noah was born at 39 weeks 4 days,July 22,2013 at 0832am 8lbs 8 oz, 21.3 cm by vacuum assisted VBAC without any medication or epidural. Both of my boys were born on a Monday. It was a full moon too apparently. I came in dilated to 7-8cm and pushed for 4 hours without success. He had shoulder dsytonia for 50 seconds too but he finally made his way into the world. He had subgateal hemorrhage and we both were transferred to Madigan. It was very traumatic experience but I am thankful he made it to full term.I had grade 4 tearing too and had complications as a result. We were both discharged on day 3 but he was re-admitted to Naval on day 5 for jaundice, bili level was 17 and I had surgical repair of the tears in the OR due to complications. He stayed over night for jaundice therapy but is home now. We both seem to be better. He goes back today for weight check and bilirubin level. Other wise he is healthy, breastfeeding, pooping, peeing and sleeping. We won't know any long term effects of the hemorrhage until he gets older but we are hopeful he will be just fine. Please continue to pray for Luke's development and my recovery.I was hoping and praying for a less traumatic experience this time around for healing but it is exactly what God had intended to happen. I did have some PTSD symptoms at Madigan, even thought I was being discharged on day 2 without Luke. I panicked thinking how am I am going to feed him since I have no breast pump on hand. I also thought how am I am going to get to him in the middle of the night. Although I did not have a c-section I had pain and pressure from the grade 4 tears and complications too.Thankfully we were discharged together. I have two handsome boys under my care now. The NICU nurses were awesome at Madigan but on the postpartum unit I received less than ideal care. Housekeeping did not even clean or mop the floor until day 3 when I asked and even then it was only the bathroom that was cleaned. Thanks to the furlough hospitals are providing substandard care that has already resulted in re-admission and an additional surgical procedures. In the long run it is costing hospitals more and might be difficult to maintain accreditation if visible body fluids are not even being cleaned up off the floor for 3 days and only because the patient requested it.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Can't believe I am already 36 weeks so 9 months pregnant. I have never been this pregnant before but everything seems fine. The diabetes is under control with diet and exercise. One provider said I could decrease checking it to twice a day but the provider I saw today was not on board with that and said to check 4x a day. He said some patients can't tolerate the pain of sticking themselves that often. It does not even phase me. It is not painful just inconvenient. I set a timer on my stop watch so I know when to check it. I have had to check it while waiting to make a turn off of my street or I have to wait to leave somewhere because it was almost time to check it. Also while I am waiting in line at a store or during church service. However in no way is doing it causing me any pain. The weekly shots were not super painful either but annoying that I had to get up earlier than normal and unload Abe including his stroller. It did cause a little discomfort for awhile but nothing too bad expect when I had 2 shots in the thigh. That did interfere with daily activities like getting on the floor to pick Abe up or change his diaper. One shot I still had tenderness where it was given for about a week but it was tolerable, never stopped me from normal daily activities. I was so nervous and scared that my body was not made to carry to term but this week I will be considered term. What is interesting is my health insurance will no longer cover the progesterone shots so I got pregnant just in time. I only required them week 16-36. I guess they would rather paid the 96K plus for NICU and the all the therapies and needs of special needs kids than cover the shots that can help prevent premature L and D. Early in pregnancy I was afraid to over do it so that I don't go into premature labor. I feel like it is battle between me and the medical providers. It seems so foreign for them for a mom to want to try for a VBAC. A repeat c-section is more convenient for them but the cost, recovery and risk are high for the mom. The doctor that does the c-section does not have to live with the pain. Last time I had absolutely no choice given transverse lay and emergency situation but this time around the baby is head down so there should be no reason for a c-section. With all the furloughs and the economy I am surprised that doctors are still pushing for repeat c-sections, epidurals and lot of medical interventions. It would save thousands of dollars if epidurals were not used as often and the cost of a surgical procedure is high since it requires medications, a surgeon, assistant, floating nurse, anesthesia, and with L and D a nurse for the baby, ect. Why can't a momma just have a natural birth the way God intended without all this fancy expensive medical technology? The strips for the blood glucose monitor is $65.00 for 50 strips and if my diabetes is controlled for the most part why does the provider insist on checking 4x daily? Since we are an active duty family we don't pay for it but someone does. I asked for nutrition consult at my very first nurse appointment but never got a referral for it. I wonder if the diabetes would have never developed if I knew more information about nutrition early on. I had tons of nausea and vomiting and still occasionally do but am so much better. All this might have been avoided if someone listened to what I said and wrote down on the intake papers. I am praying one particular provider that is pushing a repeat c-section is not on duty the day or night I go into labor. He wanted my membranes stripped next week at 37 weeks. I guess in medical school doctors are not taught to let the body do what it is intended to do. I measured big today but the provider did not bother to look up the growth ultrasound done at Naval hospital 2 weeks ago where he would have saw that Luke measured almost exactly to text book for 35 weeks gestation. I thought for sure a doctor would have gone over that with me today especially since the whole point of it was to check for size to see if a trial of labor would be appropriate. I don't trust the manual tape measurement of uterine height. I bet if 4 different providers did it they would all get different measurements. Unfortunately I don't trust this doctor one bit. Dr. Banks is no longer there. He seemed to listen and genuinely care about his patients and told me when he did my emergency c-section and at my pre-conception appointment he said based on my c-section incision I could try for a VBAC if everything was favorable with my next pregnancy. I was terrified to ever get pregnant again. I just wish planning for labor was not a battle between me and the doctors. Enough venting. I just want to say one last thing this is my body and my baby and no one not even someone with MD after their name is going to do anything to induce labor unless he or she can show me hard core evidence of maternal or fetal distress.
Monday, June 10, 2013
It has been a while since I updated my blog due to Abe's appointments, morning sickness and other life happenings. We are having another boy Luke Noah. I have no idea when he will be born but I am hoping for a drug free birth since the recovery period is shorter. I did develop the gestational diabetes which I knew with the progesterone shots was a risk. My blood sugars are typically under control unless I eat food high in carbohydrate and not adequate protein. My highest 2 hours after meals was 143 and fasting 103. I usually can account for what has caused the spikes. So thus far I don't require medications to control it, just diet and exercise. When it got to 143 I took at 1/2 hour walk and it went down to the 96. I have been walking more which I was afraid to over do it early on for fear of miscarriage or premature labor. Abe and I went for a 1 hour walk today and it wore me out. I have been in twice thinking I was in premature labor at 23 and 24 weeks. At 32 weeks I slipped on my kitchen floor and since the nurse at the childbirth class said to notify if you fall down I called. I was advised to come in. Thankfully the blood work showed no signs of premature labor or a placenta tear, ect and the monitor showed no contractions and Luke's heart rate was strong. I got to leave the hospital. I figured I was fine but it was better to error on the caution side. I was going to do treatment for PTSD surrounding my prior delivery however since stress raises my blood sugar one doctor advised not to under go that kind of treatment right now. I am hoping my labor and delivery with Luke with heal the trauma. Most of you already know with Abe it happened so quick and was very traumatic. I only saw the top of his head and his eyes because I asked if he was definitely a boy and this quick look was not right away either but probably 10 minutes after I heard him cry. I finally saw him for the first time over 12 hours later at Madigan after a social worker and doctor pulled us aside to and told us that he probably would not survive due to extubation that occurred in flight which caused oxygen deprivation and possible brain injury. I got to hold him in my arms for the first time 14 days after birth. One day in April when I left the counselor's office at Naval Hospital I looked at the window while waiting for the elevator and the fire truck, ambulance and the helicopter were out there. The first thoughts that went thru my mind were, I bet that is for a pregnant momma or baby, then I went to the L and D floor to visit with the nurses I know there and sure enough a baby was being wheeled out by the flight crew to get on the helicopter for transport. I did not shake or cry but I wondered is that baby also going to have the same degree of disability my Abe has, is the baby going to be okay? I was terrified to ever get pregnant again but since I know several moms with special needs kids and/or prior preemies have successful deliveries and full term healthy babies I figured if I am going to do this I better do it before I turn 40. We stopped using our preferred method of birth control in late August and either late October, early November, I probably know the exact dates but that will be TMI for this blog, Luke was growing in my womb. Now I am almost 34 weeks and feel more confident that my body is capable of carrying a full term baby I am terrified of the delivery. I struggled since Abe was born that some how it's my fault that my body had him born so early but I also know God knows his whole story before I was even pregnant with him. I don't want my uterus to rupture but I don't want another c-section, the recovery period is too long and I have had 4 surgeries in 3 1/2 years and I really don't want another surgery.I had pain at my c-section site for several years. I have heard 2 recent local stories of hemorrhage even with a scheduled c-section. I will be having a growth ultrasound between week 35-36 to check the size of the baby. I feel this is the doctor's ploy to convince me to repeat scheduled c-section. I don't want to be induced, I don't want a c-section. I waited the 3 years, actually 3 1/2 years and it will be 4 1/2 years when I actually deliver. I need to over come this fear. I have read some Bradley books, plan to watch the Business of being Born (if Abe will let me), went to 1 child birth class, attending one for those who want to try labor after c-section and hired a doula. I hope for a healthy baby if that means c-section again I will just have to deal with it however I would rather a natural, drug free birth without complications for either me or baby. My husband's MRI did not show evidence of a brain tumor. My mother in law does have cancer and so does my mother. My mother has stage 1 breast cancer and will be undergoing the radiation therapy, the intense short duration treatment. She had the balloon inserted today and will start treatment in the morning. Unfortunately she will have to drive herself to and from the radiation session since my siblings are not able to help. Although she wants to and had planned to come to meet Luke she probably won't feel up to coming and so far has not purchased her plane ticket to visit. I am not sure if my mother in law has started any cancer treatment or is taking palliative measures. On other note Abraham loved the therapeutic riding lessons at Miracle Ranch, it was the best birthday present for him. We signed him up for summer session too.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
BOY. This is information for you non Face Book people. He had his back turned the entire ultrasound and never opened his hands or moved his right arm. Hands held tightly in a fist can be a sign of Trisomy 18 however he might have just been sleeping. His legs were long and extended out. In fact they measured bigger than 21 weeks gestation. Since they were not able to get a good look at his face, heart and are concerned about his hands a repeat ultrasound will take place in 4 weeks. This ultrasound will be 3D which gives an even bigger look than 2D. I am nervous about his tight hands, extended legs and his heart valves looked floppy to me. I do see an family practice doctor in a few weeks at OB clinic, (have no idea why I would be seeing family practice when I am high risk OB patient but oh well) so hopefully he or she can give me more detailed information about the ultrasound.My blood work showed 1 in 400 risk for chromosomal abnormalities so 399 healthy babies and 1 with a chromosomal defect. The blood work is not 100% accurate but even the ultrasound can not completely rule out problems. Only when the baby is born can a problem be identified or even after age 1. Just prayers for healthy baby and that we come up with a name for a boy. We had a girl's name picked out but not a boy's.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
At church this week a verse about fear popped up on the screen. It brought tears to my eyes. Since I am 21 weeks now I know that I am getting into the more critical stage of my pregnancy. I have heard several moms says "he or she tried to come at 27, 28, 29 weeks,ect" but they were able to stop it until I was 32 or more weeks, ect". In my case they were not able to stop labor since my water broke, I was fully effaced and was dilated to 6cm on arrival that night around midnight after the big super bowl game. I had no idea I would deliver so early or be given a medically complex kid. I just told people my due date is May 5th and babies will come when they want to come. I thought Abraham would be born late since most first time moms have babies past the due date. I thought maybe Mother's Day actually not Ground Hogs Day in February. I also remember telling co-workers well if my baby is special needs I have been a nurse so I can deal with it. I really had no clue that I would deliver at 6 1/2 months pregnant, I had unpacking to do, reestablishing Washington friendships and adjusting back to life in Washington. I had no idea that I actually would have a special needs kid. People say your thoughts guide what happens in your life. To some extent I believe that but really God is in control completely regardless of your thoughts are. I feel that my thoughts "I can deal with a special needs kid, I have a been a pediatric nurse for x number of years" and "babies will come when they want to" have nothing to do with what God knew would happen in my life.Rather he probably planted these thoughts to prepare me for what was to come. After all there is a verse that talks about "... You were knitted in your mother's womb...". God knows your entire story before your mother is even pregnant with you so how can my thoughts have controlled what happened 4 years ago? This pregnancy the doctors don't really know if the progesterone shots will be effective in preventing premature L & D, they have no idea if my body can carry to term. They just monitor the pregnancy and take it week by week. The further along I get, preferably after 34 weeks gestation the less "high risk" I will be unless other complications arise like high blood pressure or diabetes,ect. The fear I have of going the same situation is real because it is possible especially since they don't have a absolute 100% rationale for the premature L & D. I do know that mother's of micro preemies would probably be have the same fears I have because they to have been there done that. Interesting that this week at bible study and MOPS emotions were discussed. When a parent is upset or angry and a kid asks "what's wrong mommy" you should not lie to your kids but rather tell them mommy is having a hard day, is sad about something and it has nothing to do with you, God will help me. At MOPS they discussed not dismissing negative feelings such as anger or fear but rather acknowledge them. If your child is scared of monsters in the room and won't stay in bed don't just tell the child, there are no monsters in the house, now go back to bed and don't come out again or you will be punished. The child has true feelings, even though, negative, they are real feelings and by being disappointing in the negative emotion you are not teaching your child to work through emotions which can lead to confusion and self esteem issues. They begin questioning maybe I really am not scared and get very confused about emotions. Obviously you don't want your angry child to be violent and hit and kick people but you do want to them to address the emotion rather than suppress. A child that never learns to deal with negative emotions may become an adult that stuffs the emotions then blows up with anger or not know how to deal with other people or their emotions. I have fear about the delivery of this baby and the length of the pregnancy, if I will be the 1 of the 399 with a baby that has Down's Syndrome (based on my blood work my risk is that of a 35 year old, 1 in 400 risk of Down's Syndrome) these are real emotions. I have obviously reasons for this fear, my prior personal experience with a completely unexpected 2nd trimester delivery at a hospital not equipped to deal with a 26 weeker, 2.2 lbs baby. It is my reality. Abraham is doing amazing but on arrival to Madigan he was not doing so well, we received the phone call about continuing CPR or not and 9 days old we had the discussion about continuing life support or not. Healthy full term babies are learning to breast feed or drink from a bottle and the family is adjusting to a human being that they completely have to provide for. Our experience was different we were facing decisions and signing paper work to consent for flight to Madigan, blood transfusions, intubation, CPR, IV fluids, TPN/lipids,central lines, surgeries and transfers to 2 other hospitals. We are thankful for Abraham and all he has over came and accomplished. I just want people to understand my fear about this pregnancy. No one can ever truly know what exactly it was like, even other families with micro preemies. I will never understand their experiences either but I can relate. It is possible God does want me to care for 2 special needs kids. I have no idea why and I hope not but you never know. Next week we find out of the baby is a boy or a girl. Abraham wants a baby sister and we have a girl's name picked out but we will know for sure next week.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
It has been 2 months since I posted anything on the blog, wow. I started a Christmas letter for 2012 but never copied to post here. I still might but Christmas was a few months ago now, lol. Guess morning sickness has got the best of me. I had nausea and vomiting the whole pregnancy with Abe but not daily, only occasionally like if I smelled cigarette smoke or gross bathrooms. Cigarette smoke smell still sets me off big time, guess it is how the body makes sure no toxins get in. Even if I smell it on people's clothing, yuck. Abe is 4 years old and had a great Cars birthday party. It was pretty noisy here but he loved it.Thanks to all those that came and donated towards therapeutic riding sessions at Miracle Ranch. Orthopedic surgery and his general pediatrician cleared him for it. I just need to finish the paperwork and find about enrolling him for this summer. This is great gift for him and I know he will love it. It might be daddy there with him since I will be very pregnant by summer time. This will give some daddy-son time before the new baby comes. Abe is continuing to increase his speech, motor and social skills. He is banging his head on the floor less often and is communicating much better than he has in the past. He even signs along to K-Love in the van. I am almost 17 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy has been a little different, much more nausea, vomiting and headaches but without the bleeding or the constant feeling that I have a bladder infection. I have craved vanilla cupcakes, cottage cheese, tacos and frozen blueberries. We have the anatomy scan mid March so we won't know if boy or girl until then. I know some pregnant women find out early however I was told between week 19-22 to ensure accuracy. We have a girl's name picked out but not a boy's name yet. Our 7th wedding anniversary is Valentine's Day. We don't have big plans since it is Valentine's Day we never go out to a restaurant, might just make steaks at home. Please pray for Glenn, he has ringing in his ear and will have a CT scan on Valentine's Day to find out what the cause could possibly be. I know he worked in the engine room on subs for 14 consecutive years which if you know anything about engine rooms it is very, very loud even with ear protection on. The CT scan is to rule out a tumor. He seems pretty healthy to me other than being tired often and having a low vitamin D level, but who in the Pacific North West has a normal vitamin D level any ways? I heard a country song today that made me cry. It was called I am driving your truck, not sure if it is about a solider that lost a fellow solider but I was bawling when I heard it. It made me think that everyone eventually dies and sometimes it is very early in life as result of war, accidents and medical conditions. When I got home Glenn told me about the possible tumor. I am very scared but all I can do is pray and hope for the best. He is not even 40 years old yet and has another child on the way. I am hoping it is something benign that requires very little medical intervention if any.