Monday, June 29, 2009

Baby Nursery/Registry

We've gotten a lot of questions and comments on what we are doing with the nursery/baby room now that we know we are having a boy. We've also had several people ask if we are registering for gifts for Christopher, and where we would be doing that.

First, with the nursery, here is a current picture:

So, yes, we have made progress. Right now it's a lot of actually getting around to moving boxes out and finding a new place to put things that were in what was the computer room. Thus far I think Kelley and I have decided to do a jungle/safari type theme for the nursery. We both have seemed to like bedding sets that revolved around a jungle theme - plus Kelley likes the green thing. I also think that a jungle/safari theme will leave things open much more than choosing Winnie-the-poo or Mickey Mouse, Fire Trucks, or sports. Will we paint the nursery? I don't know right now (I think Kelley would prefer no). I do plan on doing some art of my own to hang on the walls in there related to the jungle theme, and am pretty sure that I will be able to do it successfully.

Baby furniture - we are looking right now. Within the next few weeks Kelley and I will take a day to go and check out all sorts of cribs. The crib is my main concern right now as it will be used the most, and will have the greatest effect on my back. I have to make sure that the crib fits me, and is one that I can easily use. I'm leaning towards white furniture as I'm not big on really dark furniture and white goes with just about everything. It's also something that in the future if we have another baby we will be able to use with a boy or girl, and any theme.

Now as far as registering - I haven't the first clue about exactly how you register or what to register for. Any input would be very welcome. I've had several people suggest to register at either Kmart or Walmart, then Target (I guess Target is a must), then some where like Kohls JCPenny or Sears, as well as Babies R Us. Any input on that? Do you register at more than one place? We will be registering, it's just figuring out how, where and for what that has me thrown. then of course is the "what" do you register for? A few have said register for everything from baby furniture to pacifiers, it just seems weird. Like I said, info and a possible "how to guide" on doing the whole baby registry thing would be great! One way or another I figure we will have the registry thing taken care of in the next 2-4 weeks.

Hope this answers the questions for some of you. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Update from OB appointment

There were a few things I didn't mention when talking about my last OB visit, sorry finding out we had a boy was more important...

One of those things was that Dr. Dickson is okay with scheduling a C-section. I discussed with him the fact that the nurses and two of the OB's I saw while in the hospital last time seemed afraid/reluctant to deal with the issues that might arise with me being a high risk pregnancy. One of those issues is my back problems. One of the OB's (who I am no longer seeing) went so far as to say that due to my L4-L5-S1 lumbar fusion I "will have a hard time finding an anesthesiologist that will touch" me. I guess thier favorite area to do an epidural is the L4-L5 area, and with me that will not be an option at all due to the hardware there.

No, a C-section isn't definite at this point, but I think both Kelley and I agree that it would be much less stressful, and dangerous on my back. Several OB's in the past have mentioned that I would be an "automatic C-section" due to the fact that I could quite easily rupture/herniate/buldge another/more disc's in my back during labor. I would hate to choose regular labor and hurt my back further and be unable to take care of the baby due to that injury.

Another thing is that the more I think about it, the better I think it would be for Christopher if I breast feed. So, after discussing it with Dr. Dickson he agreed that if I really want to, it's done correctly, and my pain levels/body can handle it he would be okay with me coming off of my pain medications prior to delivery. His concern (as expressed before) is that severe pain, like what I deal with on a daily basis, is dangerous for both me, and the unborn baby. Even moderate pain levels have been known to cause pre-term (early) delivery, problems during delivery, in some cases (earlier on during pregnancy than I would be dealing with it) miscarriage. If I were to stay off of the pain medications for more than a few weeks while carrying Chris it could cause brain damage, heart damage, birth defects, and miscarriage. The reason behind that is that increased pain raises your blood pressure as well as other things that I can't remember, none of which are good for a growing baby.

I can't promise that I will be able to go without the pain medication, but I do want to find out. Just getting off of the pain medication long enough so that Chris won't be born dependant/addicted to the medication to me would be good. It would be one less thing that we would have to worry about, weaning him off the medication, and having a newborn going through the symptoms/problems associated with withdrawal. Another thing for me at least is all the benefits of breast feeding, even if it is only for a couple days or weeks. I would be willing to deal with the pain (I hope) in order to give him that jump start... it would also save on formula. I figure we will work on making sure that Chris drinks both breast milk and formula if possible so that when the time comes for me to start the medications again, due to pain and needing to take care of a newborn, it won't be as stressful on him.

All of my doctors at this point are making it clear that the choice is up to me, and they will support me whichever way I decide to go, which is great. I can say that the team of my regular OB Dr. Edwards, the high risk OB Dr. Dickson, and my pain management doctor Dr. Halter are working out great. It is such a relief that they are allowing me to make the choices here and not be forced down one path or another just because of my back, or it would be easier on them or me. All three are interested more in what is good for the baby and me, before what will make their lives easier. I'm very thankful for that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's a ________!!!!!

6/26/09 Ultrasound - full body shot
*Whole body shot of baby*

Today was a big appointment for Kelley and I. We had a level two ultrasound scheduled. What is a level two ultrasound? Pretty much a more in depth ultrasound. This ultrasound was to check out me and the baby - and was to go in a little more detail.

The ultrasound tech started with me, checking my insides to make sure things looked good. She scanned my uterus overall, my cervix, and all sorts of things around there to make sure that nothing would be a problem, that they could tell, in the future.

6/26/09 Ultrasound - full body
*Slightly closer up full body shot*

Next came baby. She started by checking the babies head, she also checked the thickness of the skin on the back of babies head. She checked the nasal bone length and things like that. We got to see each of the chambers of the heart, and there was a cool thing she could do to show the blood flow through the heart as well. We were able to see the whole spine, ribs, everything in detail, it was incredibly neat. Being able to see each of the babies ribs, each tiny little bone, was just awesome. When asked for a guess on about how big the baby is right now - I was told about 10 inches long. TEN inches of baby is sitting inside of me right now, in just 20 weeks baby has gone from not even a dog to ten inches from the top of his head to his feet, it's just incredible to think about.

6/26/09 Ultrasound of heart
*shot of baby's heart*

We let the ultrasound tech know that we would be delighted if she could tell us what we were having. She let us know that the babies legs were wide open (no leg crossing, or hiding, being shy) which to me meant that it would be a good view. The tech also asked if I had any feelings as to what we were having. I told her the truth, I thought it was a boy, I've felt we were having a boy since I first got pregnant, I can't explain why, but it's just how I felt.

That was when she told me that my gut was right! It's a boy! His name is Christopher Allen Doern - in memory of Kelley's best friend growing up. I think the greatest moment for me, was the look on Kelley's face, and the look in his eyes as he said "we're having a boy".

6/26/09 Ultrasound - showing off Christophers
*It's a boy - and he's got the parts to prove it, there's a small arrow pointing to the goods*

Chris was moving around the entire time, I think that was the hardest thing the tech had to deal with, Chris bouncing and moving all over the place the entire time. At one point when she was showing us his heart, he put his hand over his heart - Kelley called him a patriot. There were also so many times when he was sucking his thumb, or it looked like it.

6/26/09 Ultrasound photo of Christopher Allen Doern
*By far my favorite ultrasound shot thus far - Christopher sucking his thumb in the womb, apparently we have a pacifier baby*

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last day of the first half...

Today is the last day of the first half of my pregnancy. As of tomorrow I will be the full 20 weeks pregnant, and in the second half of the pregnancy.

Truthfully, the evening I saw the positive pregnancy test I never thought that this baby was going to stick around. I had this dream for so long and spent the first 15 weeks of the pregnancy in disbelief that it had finally come true. Add on top of that my scare with my stomach problems at the end of May, I'm still amazed.

On Wednesday I had an appointment with my regular OB - Dr. Edwards. I was a little worried as I hadn't been feeling the baby around for the past week. It was such a relief to hear the heart beat - at 158bpm.

Another thing that is incredible is knowing that we are now in the home stretch - the second half. Also, knowing that there is a good chance, given my mom's history with babies, that baby is going to show up early, I sort of feel like it's cheating.

I can say that so far pregnancy has been a lot easier in many ways than I thought it would be. The first trimester really had me worried, but the morning sickness and all of that wasn't that bad. I'm not saying feel sick 24/7 was a great way to spend your time, but it wasn't all that bad. I'm still tired most of the time, and waiting for the burst of energy the books keep saying will be coming. The hardest thing so far is scaling back what I want to do to what I'm physically capable of doing being pregnant.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Craving's ... seriously?

I guess I always had this assumption that the food cravings during pregnancy wouldn't start until the 3rd trimester. I also assumed that they would be for really weird things like the famed pickles and ice cream, you know, something like that.

What I've learned is that being pregnant turns you into a teenage boy. You can open your mouth and shovel food in to this thing they call your stomach, but is actually a black hole, and never actually feel full.

So what have I been craving?

It started with the Original Chicken Sandwich from Burger King. This really wasn't that bad - there is a Burger King about 10 minutes from the house, AND those sandwiches just went down in price (at least here). Now mind you this isn't just any version of this sandwich, it has to have extra mayo. The bad thing was that this was not just the occasional "oh a chicken sandwich sounds good" this was a constant "I NEED a chicken sandwich" - mouth watering, almost daydream sort of thing.

Peanut Butter M&M's - this one is pretty easy to fix, I wish they were cheaper, but I don't have to have a ton of them, just a few and I feel better.

The difficult one, at least so far is the Taco Bell Chalupa craving. It HAS to be a Taco Bell Chicken Supreme Chalupa - not just any thing from Taco Bell. The Taco Bell closest to us doesn't do chalupa's, and that one is only 10 minutes away - soooo it's a 35-45 minute drive there and back to get to the Taco Bell that has them. This craving thus far has been the worst of them. It's an all day thinking about the chalupa thing. A "what to eat?" and the only answer is chalupa thing. Add on top of that that I'm waking up in the middle of the night thinking how good one would be, and even dreaming about them. It's rather annoying to be honest. It's pretty irritating when all you can think of is food.

Add on top of that that I seem to be hungry all the time. I mean I could stuff myself sick at one time, and then an hour later feel like I'm starving again. Waking up feeling like I'm starving in the middle of the night is not as fun as it sounds. If nothing else this kid is well fed, definitely not starving.

I feel sort of bad for Kelley though - any time he asks what I want to eat it's always Taco Bell. He wasn't big on Taco Bell before these insane cravings started, I'm sure he's completely sick of it now. Good thing that the closest Taco Bell is connected to an A&W, and the other is also a Long John Silvers.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hospitalization update

(The next few posts are going to be retro-dated to the days I would have posted them had I managed when I wanted to.)

I'm really sorry it's been so long since I've posted, it seems like no matter how little I seem to actually do I have no clue where my time during the day goes. No sooner am I waking up then it appears I'm exhausted, nothing has been done, and heading to bed.

The first thing I figure to let everyone know is that yes, I'm out of the hospital. I really did mean to post on here as soon as I was released, but as I mentioned, time just disappeared.

I was released on Sunday, May 31st, my older younger brother's birthday.

I know that the last post I wrote on Thursday, May 28th mentioned that I was feeling better and thought things would be getting better and going away. That turned out to NOT be the case. Thursday was a pretty good day when compared to the couple before it, but at the time that wasn't saying much.

My surgeon, Dr. Mourelo, wanted to keep me there until he was sure things had gotten better, despite my asking that Thursday if since I was feeling better, couldn't I go home? I'm really glad that he insisted I stay. Thursday night after a little walking around (thinking I was getting better) my pain level shot back out of control. Lets just say demerol shots every 2-4 hours as I needed it were my best friends. I felt bad harassing my nurses every couple of hours moaning from pain asking for pain medication (and a bit like a drug addict) but I really couldn't move or sleep without it. Even with me feeling like I was taking too much pain medication the nurses wanted me to take it more often because they don't like patient pain levels getting as high as I let mine get.

Thursday evening when Dr. Mourelo had come to do his nightly check in with me I'd mentioned the pain was getting worse again, and he told me I was going to have an EDG done Friday. The hope was that I had an ulcer or a tear in my stomach that had been worsened by my throwing up. Friday morning was another hellish morning as far as pain goes. My EDG (tube down the throat into the stomach with a camera to look around) didn't have a set time as I was being squeezed in when they could get me in, so I was staring at the clock waiting to be taken down. I kept hoping it was something as simple as an ulcer so I could get out of the hospital.

Finally, I can't tell you what time, they came to take me down for the EDG. I've had EDG's done before, and they weren't that big of a deal. The first one I remembered the beginning and the end of the EDG - and it's not nice gagging and choking on a tube in your throat. The second one I let them know how bad the first was and they made sure I was under enough not to remember any of it. This EDG was horrible. Because of Bean (the baby) they couldn't put me under too deeply - so I was "there" for the whole damn thing. Not fun, not fun at all. It's a good thing they don't allow you to ingest anything after midnight because I was choking and gagging on the tube the whole time. They kept telling me how good I was doing and all I could do was gag and thing very dirty thoughts about these people. The news at the end was they found nothing - so all of that for nothing.

Dr. Mourelo came down to where the EDG had been done to see what the results turned out to be. At this time I can honestly say I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my mind - "What if the pain is just in my head and there is really nothing wrong?" "What if they don't find what the problem is, or there just isn't a problem?" I mean you spend three days in the hospital and end up with no answers, it was getting scary for me. After consulting with the doc who did the EDG Dr. Mourelo came and let me know it was going to be a busy afternoon.

Within the next two hours I would be taken to have an MRCP (I think that's what he called it) done. I was told that the ultrasound they had done on Wednesday showed a slight enlargement of some duct having to do with my gallbladder - nothing that should be causing the pain I was in - but the MRCP would be a MRI specifically of my gallbladder to see if it was the problem. I guess the ultrasound would only show gallstones, and this was in case it was something else. IF the MRCP showed nothing they could pinpoint Dr. Mourelo would be going in laproscopically with a camera to look and see if he could find the problem. At this point the surgeon felt that if things were going to fix themselves they would have, or I would at least be significantly better. He also felt that it was getting to the point where the danger of leaving things unknown and up in the air were worse than the danger of going in and opening me up.

The MRCP showed nothing big, my gallbladder was slightly enlarged, but that shouldn't cause the pain I was in, so papers were sent up for me to sign to be operated on as soon as the room was ready. Basically they were thinking it could be my gallbladder was that irritated and it just wasn't showing up, and they would probably take it out. He would make a small hole into my stomach, put some air in, insert the camera and look around. If he felt that it was the gallbladder I'd be waking up without one. Kelley was to stay close by so that he could give consent if they needed to do anything big. The plan was to find the problem and fix it if they could. I have to admit it's pretty scary going into surgery and really having no clue exactly what's to happen while you are under.

In the recovery area my first question was if the baby was okay. Which I was told yes, baby was doing fine and hadn't shown any signs of stress during the surgery. The second question was if they found the problem, another yes. All I know was that great to hear, I really had been afraid they wouldn't find anything. The nurse later told me that I teared up talking about how "it wasn't just in my head" - and how apparantly I was the only one who thought I had gone insane.

After getting back to my room up in the OB ward - and finding a new best friend a pain pump I could press up to every ten minutes for pain relief - Dr. Mourelo came up. Basically what I was told happened was that this was a sort of complication from my stomach surgery in December 2007. when they did the surgery in 2007 a hole was created in my bowel area that normally things can move in and out of without problem, I, however had a LOT of scar tissue that had shrunk the opening to this hole. My bowels were going into this area and getting stuck there, getting kinked and twisted, and not being able to get back out. The surgeon had to go in, slowly pull things out of this hole, unkink/unwind them, repair them, and put them back where they should be. He then sutured up the hole that stuff was going into so that things couldn't get back in there. So yeah, my insides were a big mess. I was in pain from having my stomach screwed with, but the amazing thing was that it wasn't the pain I had been in, it was completely different - something that made Dr. Mourelo very happy. I also noticed that night that the really bad muscle spasms I'd been suffering from for about two or three months in my upper back had disappeared - and I was told that could have been from my insides being where they weren't supposed to be.

After that things went pretty smoothly. I was given the option Sunday of going home then, or waiting until Monday, and decided on Sunday night. I was really glad I made that choice as just going home felt better. Sure I missed my pain pump friend, but sleeping in my own bed, and being in my own house was even better than the pain pump. It wasn't an easy first week home, a lot of finding out that insides don't like being screwed around with, and finding out that kittens pouncing on your stomach after surgery don't feel good, but it was great to be home.

I'm feeling much better now. I still have stomach pain when I do certain things, and still have to be careful about over doing things. If I twist or bend too quickly it hurts, but this is so much better than it was, and I know that this is recovery pain and from surgery, not a mystery pain I don't have any clue where it's from or if it's going away.