Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ultrasound Appointment 12/29/2009

I thought this was a follow up *doctors appointment* turned out to just be a cervical length check...

Here are the ultrasound photo's that were taken... the tech said that Squish was not cooperating so she couldn't get any good shots, I guess position wise baby was not behaving. Actually had me get up and move around and then bounced the ultrasound thingy on my tummy trying to get Squish to a better spot and baby wouldn't do it. She actually had to put in her notes that the baby wasn't behaving.

December 29, 2009 Squish Ultrasoun

December 29, 2009 Squish Ultrasoun (2)

December 29, 2009 Squish Ultrasoun (3)

I did sort of force getting a few answers, like I said I thought this was a doctor appointment, and had questions from the cerclage. The tech went and grabbed a doctor for me to ask a few questions really quick.

I am still on bedrest. However I am allowed a total of one to a max of one and a half hours on my feet each day. She said it would be preferable to stick to that in small groups, like ten minutes here, and fifteen here. Which means at least I can do some things.

I was told, and I'm not sure what this means, to take it easy because my "cervix is not as long as it could be". Meaning it's short to start with, which means if it tunnels or shortens a little bit will make a huge difference, I think. Again, I wasn't given a length or any real answers, which is sort of irritating.

My cerclage is holding good, baby is fine, and quite the mover. Squish was dancing during the ultrasound AND had the hiccups. At least I know I'm not the only one who deals with them all the time.

My next doctor appointment with my regular OB is on Monday. Dr. Edwards doesn't have a lot of answers as far as the cervix issues though, which is why I'm seeing the high risk OB. Then on the 8th - Friday, is my next cervical length check. I was told to expect a cervical length check every two weeks, unless it shows signs of shortening at which time they'll go to weekly, or even twice a week. When they do the cervical length checks they will also check on Squish. Measuring baby's head, stomach, and thigh bone to get a guess on weight to make sure Squish is progressing along.

I'm hoping on the 22nd we'll find out what we are having, and the rest of the world will too, if Squish behaves. (Given the lack of cooperation with ultrasounds so far I'm not holding my breath.) That's when they tentatively have my Level 2 ultrasound scheduled. I'll be one day short of 19 weeks so we should be able to figure things out if baby will spread em.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cerclage is done!

Well, it turns out that with me, if it can go wrong, or cause issues, it will. Sometimes I wish I could change this.

The cerclage itself went well, I'm doing okay. It was just, well, an experience to say the very least.

We left the house about 7am - to get there by 8:45am. Traffic was scarce so we made good time. Got to the hospital, walked in, signed ONE paper and was told where to go. Hit the nurses station and was put in a bed right away. It takes longer than that to check into a hotel. Very surprising.

The first thing I worry about when they tell you to strip is 1) will my butt be shown off to the world and 2) how much of my body am I going to lose to frostbite due to being covered by paper and nothing else. I guess in the surgery area's they have what they call "Bear Hug" gowns. It was awesome. Insulated and warm, with flaps. I found out later that the flaps are so they can hook you up to a blow dryer (seriously) - it was basically a blow dryer that they hook you up to so that you don't freeze I got to wear something that made me look like the marshmallow man - but it was warm.

At about 9:30am the Women's Surgery people came and got me where I was taken to that area. The nurse comes in verifies my history, that I haven't eaten or drank anything since the night before, my allergies all that fun stuff. Once again I was told that I was "too young" to have had 3 major surgeries and a back that wishes I was dead.

Before and after surgery they always check on the babies to make sure they are okay. So they tried to get the fetal heart beat several times and couldn't. Of course as a pregnant mommy I'm freaking out thinking something happened to the baby. Then the nurse whispers "I've got it" - then it's gone. I guess Squish was doing sommersaults in my uterus and moving too much for them to get a heart rate. SO the brought in an ultrasound machine and we got to see Squish dancing in there. They didn't get the heart rate exactly as baby was moving too much, but they saw a good active baby and a strong beating heart - so I was cleared for surgery.

Then the anesthesiologist came in and spoke to me. She was wonderful. Basically went over my history of my back, and decided that she was going to do the spinal, if she didn't get the spinal then they would do general (where they knock you out) but the spinal is much safer for both baby and I. The baby doesn't feel a spinal at all, and I quite literally "don't feel" it either once it's working. Rather than doping both baby and I, putting the baby to sleep, risking blood clots and lung problems she felt that the spinal would be safer if they could do it.

I guess the woman that did my anesthesia is the head of pediatric anesthesia at Tucson Medical Center - Dr. King - she ended up VERY upset with herself and amazed at how calm I was when she messed up the first attempt at the IV, then the second, and the third. She said the third was "in" but she didn't want to trust it with my low blood pressure and the fact that if it dropped that would be the way they would give me the meds to bring it back up. So she went for #4 and got it in perfectly. Her biggest issue with herself was that she "put's IV lines in day old babies" and couldn't get a good stick with me.

Dr. Strauford came in to talk to me and go over the surgery and answer any questions. She also asked my permission to have a resident do the surgery with her watching and helping. I was very okay with that. They have to learn somehow.

Now when I got wheeled back, lets just say that if you HAVE to be awake for a surgery they really should not make the operating room so scary. Seriously. It looked like something out of a horror film where they cut people open and video tape it or something.

Dr. King went to put the spinal epidural in and my blood pressure went through the roof (which is not good for someone who's blood pressure is normally 90/50ish). So I was told to calm down several times, and told her "that's easy for you to say your not getting a really big needle shoved into your spine". Which got grins and laughs all round, I was told I had a good point The epidural wasn't as bad as it could have been, by any means. She went in at the L3-L4 level and didn't get that in, she said the space was just too narrow to get the epidural in. So she went up to the L2-L3 level and had a little bit of trouble due to it being narrow also, she poked me twice at that level, but got it in. She didn't want to any higher than she had to as the higher she went the more of me got numbed. Once again, she was upset with herself over it and hated the fact she had to poke me three times.

This is where things get interesting, and I almost wish I had someone taking pictures because they really should have good images of this up somewhere for women who are getting cerclages to view. My feet started feeling funny first, not completely numb, but definitely not there. It worked it's way up my legs and to about just above my belly button. I guess the stuff takes about 20 minutes to fully kick in. There is nothing quite as weird as having your legs almost completely numb, but not, and having people touching them.

So here is a fun picture for everyone - me, in just a hospital gown, with my legs about three feet up in the air. Their stirrups make the regular yearly exam type stirrups seem like the kiddie rides at the fair. Add on top of that I can't feel everything - then comes some women I've never met before in my life standing between my legs telling me she's going to wash me now. Uhm yeah. Not exactly something I ever expected to let someone else do down there. So I can sort of feel the cleaning stuff hit me and her hands, but mostly not. Then comes the fact that I'm spread WIDE open for the entire world to see, bright lights shining down on me, and a bunch of people in the same room.

Finally I'm cleaned, I've completely lost feeling from the belly button down and they tell me they are going to start. I can FEEL them putting pressure on me down there because my whole body is moving, but can't FEEL what they are doing. Then it occurs to me that they are doing enough down there it's moving my entire body. Talk about weird.

The next fun picture is me with my legs wide up in the air, everything exposed, three people standing between my legs with who knows what instruments making noises and because of my BP getting so low I have to take both my arms and lay them out to the sides... the only thing I can imagine being close to it is a frog when you are getting ready to dissect them. Which I say out loud and I was promised they were not going to be taking any parts of me out to see what I ate the day before. I have no idea what they were using, but it sounded at times like someone reeling in a fish, at times like a small hammer, stuff like that. Not really sounds you want to hear and know are coming from inside what used to be your private parts. (I can't even think of them as private now as 1/2 of Tucson Medical Center has now seen them.)

My blood pressure then gets to around 75/30 and they get REALLY worried. I think I would rather not know how worried they are, I mean isn't that the reason you are asleep for surgery? I don't NEED to hear, "we have to something about her BP and quick it's dropping fast". Then to be told it's okay, they expected it since I warned them about how low my BP got. It took two doses of whatever it was to get it up to 80/40 and they were happy with that, but keeping an eye on things. The anesthesiologist was awesome, talking to me and helping keep me occupied the whole time (as much as you can when someone is displayed that way). She also let me know what SHE was doing for my BP and what she was monitoring.

The next fun thing is me hearing something about "you're doing it right but the needle isn't sharp enough" and Dr. King (anesthesia person) telling me it was okay, not to worry about it. Then some clinking noises, like silverware jingling, them getting another knife, my whole body being moved some more by whatever they were doing.

Dr. Strauford and the resident started whispering quickly, and Dr. King had started playing with her phone to give me something to watch. (She has an Iphone too, same case as Kelley just a different color.) Then tells me not to worry if they were worried there would be more nurse movement and people coming in. I still don't know what happened, but wonder.

When they were done I was told that my cervix was "very posterior" and father back than normal so I should expect more bleeding and discharge than normal. I was also told that it was shorter as far as she can tell than normal, but not super short, not enough for her to worry about it. She said she got a good and tight cerclage in, but that again, it took a bit more effort than normal so I can expect a lot of cramping. She said that she didn't see anything to worry about there at all.

This is the part when the epidural/spinal almost made me throw up. There is nothing like not being able to feel your legs and watching someone move them. My legs were way up in the air, they grabbed them, and lowered them to the table and I felt NOTHING. As far as sensation it still felt like my legs were swinging from the rooftops. That almost made me sick. Then feeling my legs being down with my hands, but feeling them sensation wise up in the air was WEIRD to say the least.

I get wheeled into recovery and am just sort of there. I ask if Kelley can come sit with me and they let him until their next patient arrives.

They then need to get my fetal heart rate again, which they try for and can't get. I'm excited thinking I get to see another ultrasound, but no, someone else tried and got it. I don't think I like their doppler machines either - instead of broadcasting the heartbeat it goes to ear pieces. Very selfish in my opinion. At the same time they were nice enough to get it in a good spot and then move the ear pieces so I got to hear the heartbeat. It's incredible to hear. An adult heart beats sooo much slower and if you listen sounds different to me. The baby's heart rate was 155 - a good number, but sort of sounds like wub wub wub because of the fluid around the baby. I also got to hear the baby move away. Nice to know that after all the numbing and other random things they did down there baby was still active.

This is when I'm informed I don't get to go home until I pee for them. I have enough trouble peeing when there isn't that sort of pressure on me, and now they mention I HAVE to pee to go home?

It didn't quite work as planned. The spinal took much longer than normal to wear off, the anesthesiologist felt that was because of all the problems and scar tissue in my back.

The reason the peeing is so important, I was told, is that your body is still making the urine while you are numb, so your bladder could get full and explode and you wouldn't know it. OR some people actually lose the ability to urinate for a few days after a spinal so it has to be manually drained until they can do it. The bladder also sits right on top of your cervix, the part they just strangled and they can't have that extra weight and pressure pushing on it irritating things more than they have.

They had me try to pee at 2pm, didn't happen. How do you make yourself pee when you can't feel your butt or your girly parts? Then they gave me a 3pm deadline to pee, or they would have to do a bladder scan and then catheter me.

The bladder scan thing worried me, I mean if all it's doing is measuring for liquid wouldn't it pick up the amniotic fluid also? They said no. It showed that my bladder was at around 500 whatever they measure so they cathetered me to drain it and only got like 200 of it out. Which puzzled them. So then it's "well maybe she didn't have to pee and the scanner was off". Well now my bladder is empty, I'm giving a 3pm deadline to pee or I get admitted and probably have to stay overnight. I was NOT happy about this.

I end up admitted, and taken to another area of the hospital. I start getting feeling back in my girly areas and my butt. Kelley tells me he's going to go grab himself some dinner since I'm liable to be there awhile. That was about 4:45pm - I start feeling like I can pee around 5:30pm call for the nurse (I'm not allowed to get up, even more so by myself since my lower half was just numbed). She helps me into the bathroom and I pee. YAY! I told the nurse that meant I got to go home and she was shocked. She asked her boss, who called the people who made the pee rule, who tell her to bladder scan me again to make sure my bladder was empty. Which pissed me off, they didn't say my bladder had to empty, just that I had to pee. Well the nurse goes to grab it, and I tell her I don't think it's reading me right. She asked why and I told her that I thought it might be picking up amniotic fluid too. I was asked "you're pregnant right" - yes, that's why I got the cerclage to STAY pregnant. So she gets irked at stupid people (and says so) then goes and tells her boss she refuses to bladder scan me, I'm pregnant, it DOES pick up amniotic fluid. Thank goodness she knew what she was doing.

So I get told I get to go home. Took Kelley till about 6:15 to get to the hospital and then a bit for them to get a wheelchair to take me out, but I did get to come home last night. *YAY*

The ride home was rough, I was/am very crampy from them shoving things around that don't like being shoved around. On top of that I have three holes in my back that went to my spine - so my back isn't happy.

It's all worth it though. Squish is now on lockdown, quite literally tied inside of me. I'm on strict bed rest for 3 days (what they told me verbally) to 2 weeks (what is written on my papers). I'm not supposed to any bending for awhile and have to take it easy from now on. I feel pretty good other than having a train crash into my uterus and someone stab me in the back a few times. Just tired and worn down.

So that's a cerclage in a rather long nutshell, at least my experience with it. I'm waiting to hear back on making an appointment to get seen within a week to be checked and then after that it'll be every 2 week ultrasounds to check my cervix. I'm 14 weeks, 4 days right now.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cerclage tomorrow.

I meant to post this much sooner. I found out late Friday via a message on the machine. We had a really really busy weekend so I didn't get around to posting this.

Anyways my cerclage surgery is scheduled for 10:45am tomorrow morning. They said to expect the surgery to last about 45 minutes and that's it. They were unable to give me any clue as to how the anesthesiologist is to do his job, except that he'll probably come in and spend some time talking to me and going over my back history and discuss it with me. They said that barring any complications I'll be home tomorrow night, and to expect to spend about 3 days on bed rest after. They will also be letting me know when I'll start getting my bi-weekly cervix checks and stuff.

I'm nervous, but also happy to be getting the cerclage placed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NT Scan results

For those who were wondering I received the results of the NT Scan today - the results are the same as they were with our Christopher. Squish has a less than 1 in 10,000 chance of having any of the things that the test checks for, such as Down's. This doesn't mean that the baby absolutely does not have any of the things, it just means that based on age, the measurement of fluid, and the blood the chances of Squish having any of them is pretty slim.

Monday, December 14, 2009

NT Scan

I know I posted at some point about the NT Scan that I was having done. The scan indeed was done on Friday - and went well. Or as well as I figure it can go.

Squish was not cooperating in the beginning. I was being threatened with having to go drink a liter or two of water and then coming back in a bit later to fill my bladder. Because of the fact that they have to measure the thickness of the skin on the back of the baby's neck, they have to be able to get a good scan of the neck. (Go figure, right?) Squish didn't want to cooperate.

The ultrasound tech checked some other things, my ovaries and other things, and then went back to trying to get her measurement. After a lot of prodding Squish decided to play nice and cooperate. (Yay for my bladder!)

My due date was changed back to June 19th. I was told that was probably even a little later than Squish was measuring. Again, back to the uncooperative child, baby wasn't cooperating with her. I guess to get a "good" crown-rump measurement (what they use in early pregnancy to give an age to the baby) the baby is supposed to be flat out, Squish was having none of it. (Imagine that, baby already misbehaving, I blame it on Kelley). So - the tech went with the best measurement she could get where Squish was still curled up a bit and put me at 12w6d's on Friday. I was supposed to be 11w4d's so Squish had a tiny growth spurt in about a month. So - this might be a big baby, we shall see I suppose eh? Anyways she said that age was even putting Squish a little small since baby wouldn't stretch out good for her. Squish was also doing quite a bit of bouncing and tumbling in there, being good and active. Sort of explains the nausea, knowing that someone is doing gymnastics inside of you.

What else - I was told I would get the results of the NT Scan within 7-10 days, I'll post those when I get them. Let's hope for numbers like we got for Christopher, meaning that baby has a small chance of the problems the scan would pick up.

I do not yet have a date for my cerclage. I'm hoping to hear any day now about that - again as soon as I know I will let you all know. I still also have a million questions that I want answered prior to the cerclage - poor doctors are going to hate me. Other than that, things are good here. Excited for everything to be done and for us to get into June.

Here are the ultrasound photo's:
December 11, 2009
~Whole body shot of Squish. The thing that looks like a tail is in fact baby's legs sticking out. You can sort of make out a shoul
derish thing, and an arm. It's the bright white spot towards the lower part of the picture... and of course Squishes head.~

December 11, 2009
~head and shoulder photo of Squish. It simply amazes me to know that you can make out baby's nose already. The thing just in front (and slightly above) of Squishes face is his hand and arm. ~

Sometimes I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder why it is that I can't seem to lead the plain ol' ordinary boring life that imagined I would have as a kid. Then I look at who I chose to marry and realize that while I might have THOUGHT I wanted boring - I never would have chosen it.

Once again, time has flown by since my last shown post. I have another post that I've wrote, I'm still in the debate of whether or not I actually want to post it though.

Anyways what has gone on - not a whole lot.

I was in a very very minor fender bender (really minor) on Thursday. Kelley says it's more like a small paint scratch - it wasn't even my paint. Anyone who knows what I've had to deal with because of my back knows how pissy it can be, and in turn, how pissy it can make me. Right now my back and I are not on good terms. I've had problems with my back for 9 years now, most of it I'm used to. Poor Kelley has to listen to me whine over it all the time - I simply cannot imagine how tired of "my back hurts" he must be. Anyways - I took the same drive I've made a million times over the railroad tracks to Walmart - it just wasn't like it always was. There is a small speed bump like bump, that's not a speed bump, just before the railroad tracks. I go pretty slow over the bump as it tends to jar my back. This time I go over the bump and my back takes it personally - like this is a new bump installed just to irk it off. Well, irk it is what it did. A couple of sharp back pains and pains down my legs, no biggie I've dealt with this a million times. I can't even remember if these felt any different. Anyways I get to the tracks, there is a line waiting to get onto the road from the stop - I never pull forward on tracks (yes even if I know there is no train coming) until my entire car will fit on the other side without being on the tracks. (I put my seat belt on to back up my car out of the driveway, I'm that bad.) I wait for room for the car, slowly pull forward with my foot on the brake to keep the car slow. I'm approaching the car in front of me and go to push all the way down on the brake to stop and NOTHING. I don't mean the brake didn't move, I mean my foot and knee didn't move. There are positions that I become incapable of moving my left leg, it's hard to explain to people who have never felt this, but I literally cannot make my leg move. This is what happened here except for the first time it was my right leg. So I "bump" the car in front of me. It wasn't until I grabbed my leg with my hands and shook it and tried again that my legged move because I was telling it too. The only damage that was done to either vehicle was a slight imprint where my license plate holder left a black mark on the other car - so barely anything.

The lady I bumped was incredibly nice, I was simply amazed. I can't tell you how scary it was for me to know that I hit another vehicle - I've never so much as gotten a speeding ticket, never been in any form of accident. For me, I would have preferred to have been daydreaming, texting, talking on a cell phone, just not paying attention rather than having my leg not work. All I can say is I'm still freaked out about it. I'm scared sick at the thought of driving because I know it could have been much worse than what it was. I could have seriously hurt someone, or the baby, and that freaks me out to say the least.

My back is still pissed off from it. I don't know if I did something on the bump before the tracks, or if the jar from hitting the other car hurt me, but my back and I are no longer friends. I'm having lots more fun with the sharp nerve pain, my right leg is now occasionally being weird (that's the best I can describe it), and I'm waking up every morning feeling like I was the take-off zone for an airport runway. The awesome thing is that Dr. Halter has managed to squeeze me in on Friday to see me. I'm very thankful for that - I'm hoping he might have some answers, but I'm scared there just aren't any other than "your back is messed up, we both know this". We shall see...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NT Scan info and date change

The date for my NT Scan has been changed. Not sure if I've mentioned this so far with Squish. The date was originally set up for this Friday, December 4th. It's been moved to next Friday, December 11th.

I wrote about the NT Scan with Christopher. NT stands for Nuchal Translucency screening. The reason the date had to be changed is that there is a very small time period that the test can be done. It has to be done between 11 and 13w6d, the day you turn 14 weeks it's too far along to get it done and your results will can be inaccurate.

The test can only be performed by ultrasound techs that have to be specially certified to do the test, and in fetal medicine, and the machines have to be sensitive enough to measure accurately. The test is performed by the tech measuring the thickness of the skin on the back of the babies neck. Babies with abnormalities tend to have more fluid built up in the back of their neck. They measure that (isn't it cool that we have the ability to measure the thickness of skin on the back of a 12w old babies neck?) and take some blood and that's it. If nothing else it's another excuse for an ultrasound (yay).

With Christopher they called a few days later and let us know the results. The test will pick up things like Down's Syndrome, Edward's Syndrome, Turner's Syndrome, and Patau's Syndrome. Okay I have no clue what the last three are - but it picks up a lot of things. It will also show if you are a low risk, or high risk. The results are not 100% accurate - you can get false negatives or positives, as well as be told that you are super low risk and still have a baby with a problem.

The reason that I HAVE to have this test done is that there are abnormalities that it will pick up that will keep Dr. Dickson (the high risk OB) from doing the cerclage. It picks up things that will show whether or not the baby can survive outside of the womb, and things that will show if the baby won't make it past 20 weeks and such. They will not put the cerclage in if they are 100% certain that any of the harsher abnormalities exist. The reason being that if some of them exist my body will end up aborting the pregnancy anyway - and the cerclage could end up holding an aborted baby. I know that sounds really bad - but it does make sense. If my body were to decide to abort the baby shortly after one ultrasound to check my cervix - it could be 2 weeks before the next and the risks of me ending up dangerously infected are extremely high. It could be deadly to me.

As I understand it I'll be finding out about the cerclage when they do the NT scan. If nothing else I'll get a date when the results come back. Dr. Dickson told me that he wants the cerclage in by 14 weeks. That puts it being done right around Christmas time - they may push it later because of the holidays but we will see. I'm also curious about what his plans are for my time in the hospital, and stuff after that.

Once the cerclage is in they will be doing cervical checks at least every two weeks. Which will mean lots of ultrasounds. When I spoke to the ultrasound tech at my last ultrasound she said that since I will be getting the scans so often they probably won't do much other looking at the baby.

For those asking - it probably will not be until around 20 weeks that we find out the sex of the baby. There won't be a lot of extra looking because the ultrasounds are going to be done so much.

Not much going on...

I've had a lot of people asking how things are going lately. The answer is - they are going. Life is good. Don't have anything to complain about.

My bleeding finally stopped. *yay* Dr. Edwards is pretty sure it was just a cyst that ruptured. Having the doctor tell you that things "look" okay when you are pregnant and bleeding doesn't help much. There is nothing as not reassuring as bleeding while pregnant. As I said though, that's over with. YAY!

I still have occasional cramping but that's because Squish is dancing all over my uterus. At least this way I'll know that Squish will pop out ready to do the tango and win Dancing With The Stars. Can't help it if baby is starting their talents early, I blame that on Kelley - the "show off" gene must come from his side.

What else - I figure on Monday I'll start doing weekly belly shots - courtesy of Kelley. I'll make sure they are taken after I eat something when I turn into pregnant Tammy. It's amazing how a slice of toast can turn me from Tammy to super pregnant Tammy. I'm also hoping to talk some cash out of Kelley for warmer maternity clothes. I live with a polar bear - which means frozen Tammy. Good thing he's warm and cuddly.

As far as the morning sickness - it's still here. I've had a couple moments of not feeling yucky - and there were two hole days where I ate a whole bagel and kept it down. (No small feat let me tell you.) Then there are the times when the idea of food is just ucky. I think I'm craving strawberries - which is not good with it being December and all. They sound really good though.

I'm also really tired all the time. Sort of like a walking Zombie most of the time. At the same time, it's worth it. I'm thinking this is sort of like preparation for the no sleep you get when the baby gets here.

I feel very lucky that I don't have morning sickness as much as some people. I figure compared to others I've got it really easy. Plus if the outcome is a baby in 30 more weeks it's a price I'm willing to pay.