Monday, May 31, 2010

From 5/31/2010 - We got to hold her!

I called the NICU this morning to ask how Squish is doing, and was told okay. They said that she ate okay, and asked if I would want to feed her. DUH! I told her that we had been told not to expect this for a little bit, so she went and double checked and said that we would be allowed to feed her and hold when we showed up at her feeding time if her condition remained the same.

I told Kelley, and lets just say we were out of the house faster than lightning!

You know you look at your baby and she looks so tiny, and then you feel her in your arms and you realize she IS tiny. The whole whopping 4lbs 14oz of her.

I will say that Kelley was amazing.  He had been at the hospital much more than me, and all he had been allowed to do so far was sit and stare.  I offered to let him hold her first, and he let me. 

I'm not trying to take away that first moment all mom's go through that moment they finally have their baby in their arms, and can see a face.  It's an amazing moment when you get to see the reality of that child that has been beating you up from the inside, and hold them in your arms.  At the same time, my daughter had been in the world for 3 days already, and she had never been in my arms.  I'd gotten to touch her a few times, that was it.  Kelley had spent hours by her side, and not hold her.  That moment you wait for your whole pregnancy, the moment when the baby comes wailing into the world, announcing their arrival, and the doctor places that beautiful life into your arms, we didn't get that.  We got a grunting baby and watching her be whisked away.  For us, THIS was THAT moment you wait for.  

The NICU also does something you may have heard of "kangaroo care" basically having you hold your baby against your skin, it's amazing the healing properties skin on skin has for both adults and children.

Kaitlyn with a toy that Tina Hawkins gave her.  The green pacifier is the same one you see in the stores, and those are the standard air tubes and such on her, that I think gives a good idea of how tiny she is.

Squishes with her Daddy in Kangaroo care.  (She loved being in her Daddy's arms by the way.  All of her stats shot up great while she was in his arms.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

From 5/30/2010 - Meeting her!

The drive to hospital in Phoenix wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Here she is:

When we walk into the hospital, Kelley has to show me the way. I must say that I am impressed with all the security measures they have taken to ensure the safety of the babies. I start getting nervous the closer we get, what if I don't recognize her? What if I don't feel a connection with her?

The first thing they ask you to do when you arrive is wash your hands, and they checked Kelley for a wristband they had given him, and compared it to the one on Squish to make sure that he is allowed to see her. They then check me and give me a band of my own. A neo-natologist comes over to talk to me to double check the info they have on me and all the stuff during pregnancy to make sure they are doing what is best for Kaitlyn.

One of the nurses asked if I wanted to hold Kaitlyn.  DUH.  At the same time, they hadn't yet allowed Kelley to hold her for a reason.  I told her I wasn't sure we were allowed to yet, so she went and checked, and nope, no holding her.  At the same time there was my child.  She was there, and real, and beautiful, and mine.  

From 5/30/2010 Woo hoo! Freedom!

I must say that no one looks forward to being separated from their newborn child. Some people have problems being apart from their 20 year olds, so I think, enough said. For me, the hardest thing in the world was getting a brief glimpse of my child in the operating room, having her whisked away to the nursery due to breathing, then finally feeling I'm going to get to see her and being told she's being taken to another city and I cannot leave for 72 hours.

Sitting in the hospital was more than frustrating. I wanted to see my daughter, I wanted to hold her, I wanted to smell her, and touch her, and she was 60 miles away.

In the middle of the night after surgery a lady comes in while my mom is sleeping next to the bed and tells me it's time for me to try sitting up, or I can wait till morning. I told her I wanted up NOW. So, I sat up, and then ask her if I can walk. She told me that I didn't have to, it was going to be hard and wasn't required yet. I know how these things work by now, you have to do x, y, and z in order to get out of the hospital and I planned on doing those as soon as I could. I didn't make it very far, but I did walk.

I can say that a C-section hurts, it doesn't help that the nurses feel the need to come in and push on your uterus and make it hurt worse all the time.

At this point I am bound and determined to get out of the hospital as soon a possible, so I'm walking as much as I can, I'm doing everything I can think of to get out of their. The only thing holding me back from seeing my baby is the hospital.

I guess hospital rules state that after a c-section you are supposed to remain for 72 hours. It got to the point where I told the nurses I wanted out, and I had met all of their criteria except for the number of hours in the hospital. The nurses told me Sunday morning that they were going to recommend to allow me to leave early so long as I took it easy. They did, and finally the doctor came in to talk to me. She let me know that technically she should hold me longer post-op, but that she felt and agreed with the nurses that keeping Kaitlyn and I apart was bad for both of us, and would put that as part of the reason allowing me to leave early.

I called Kelley and my mom, and we made plans to leave from the hospital to head to see Squish. The emotions running through me are unexplainable. I can't wait.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Squish is here!

Okay - I know this is a little bit late for most of you, but it's been a busy week!

A lot of you knew that I kept thinking May 28th was going to be the day. Kelley put it best when he was telling someone "Tammy got one of her feelings, and when she gets one of her feelings you listen to her" - or something like that.

I went in for my NST on Friday morning. Things were looking okay, other than Kaitlyn being a tad bit lazy. We were having some trouble getting her to wiggle - but it was nap time after all, I mean what did we expect? The nurse in charge of the NST and I were talking and I told her that I had a feeling Kaitlyn was coming out today. After the NST went a bit she came in and told me not to drink any more she didn't trust my daughter, but trusted my intuition. Then Dr. Terai came in and let me know she was a little bit concerned, there were a few heart decelerations that had her worried. They weren't scary or anything, just something that had never happened on a NST with Kaitlyn before.

Dr. Terai called Dr. Dixon's office, wanting to see if he would come evaluate me at the hospital (I was there for the NST). My appointment was scheduled for 1pm with him that afternoon for the growth scan. She was hoping since I was on his schedule any way he would run over when he was done with patients and check me there. Dr. Terai wasn't 100% comfortable with me getting off of the monitoring or being discharged from the hospital. Funny thing is - this was about the time I started feeling the contractions that had been showing up like clockwork every 10 minutes. Dr. Dixon explained he did not have time to run over, had my NST faxed over for him to look at. The NST was stable then - and had been for an hour, so he said to discharge me in time for me to make it to my appointment with him, and he'd evaluate me there.

I got to my appointment with Dr. Dixon right at 1pm. They started the growth scan and Squish wasn't much bigger, and as I thought was still in breech position. Dr. Dixon came in to take a look and they also checked my amniotic fluid - they score amniotic fluid levels in the uterus on a scale of 5 to 18 (I think) or maybe 1-20 but 5 is the lowest they consider safe for a baby. My amniotic fluid was at 6. Dr. Dixon said he wanted to make a few phone calls, to sit tight and he'd be back. He came back in the office and said it looked like today was the day. I was to leave there and head to the hospital for a c-section that evening.

I left the appointment and called Kelley, asked him if he minded leaving work a little bit early... so he headed up to the hospital. I will admit that as we arrived in the hospital parking lot it hit me - I'm having a baby. I mean really, was I READY to have a baby? Uhm... NO. The house wasn't clean, the nursery wasn't done, I was just sort of guessing I might know how to breast feed, my birthing classes were supposed to start on June 5th! I was NOT ready to have a baby! Kelley said I should have thought about that, say, 9 or 10 months before that?

I get to the hospital, Mom is out in the waiting room with Gino waiting for a friend to come pick him up and watch him. (THANK YOU JEN!) Kelley got to the hospital, and came back to hang out with me. My c-section had been scheduled at the end of the day, there were 2 surgeries ahead of me. They wanted to make sure given the NST and such that they had nothing else going on around my c-section in case it ended up being eventful. (Is my life ever not?) Mom came back after Jen (THANK YOU AGAIN!) picked up Gino - and we just sort of hung out. A few of the nurses new me and came to say hi and say congrats on getting there...

The C-section and rest story will come tomorrow! (It's time to pump and then hit the hay!)

From 5/28/2010 - Flayed like a fish

Well, when it finally came down to "hey you are getting c-sectioned" the one thing that came to mind was being filleted like a fish. I still kind of wonder if that's what it was like.

For the c-section they got me all hooked up to the machines... got Squish hooked up to the baby monitors and all of that jazz.

They wheel me into the procedure room... now really, can they make these rooms any more intimidating? It is sort of like what you picture, and hear about, from alien abductions. You feel like a specimen under a microscope. All these lights pointed at you, in a room full of scary machines.

The anesthesiologist comes in and starts talking to me. Getting prepped to do the epidural. I was told that it was going to be "hit or miss" and it was. They had me sit on the table, and you bend over a bit, sort of doing the hunch back thing. They get out the epidural kit - put a paper over my back with a square in the middle. Then they go and clean and prep the epidural area with whatever that red/orange stuff is. All I can tell you was that it was cold. Then they numb my back with some stuff, and the chick starts pushing here and there asking if I can feel it. They get me all lined up, hunched over with a nurse standing next to me.

They have me put my chin to my chest and hunch as much as I can. I can't feel the needle go in, but I could feel when it go around my spine. Then they were asking me to say what it felt like, to me it felt to the right, and I told them. They had missed. It sort of reminds me of the feeling of popping your knuckles or something, what I imagine cartilage on cartilage feels like. Also, sort of like a bubble pushing where it shouldn't be. Anyways, rinse this process and repeat 4 more times. Then the lady asks for back up. They were going to try one more time for the epi, and if that didn't go then they would put me under general and knock me out. They bring in the other guy, and finally nail the epidural.

I start going numb - yay! They let Kelley in the room (finally). Now, you hear about doctors leaving stuff in patients all the time, what's hilarious is knowing how serious they are about NOT leaving things in patients. There is a list on the wall and the nurses are counting out how many of each item they have, checking this and that. Making sure that every piece of equipment is counted for...

Dr. Edwards comes in with Dr. Terai and asks if I'm ready. Kelley is standing up by my head with me and they get going. It was a lot less scary at that point than I thought it would be. I couldn't feel anything. All I could think was that I was about to meet my baby. We were finally going to get to meet her.

All I remember is that when they said she was out the nurses made a few comments about how Squish was going to like wearing necklaces when she got older. I didn't get it at all. I also remember being afraid because she wasn't crying loud like you hear about in movies and what not. I heard a weak cry.

A nurse brings Kaitlyn over and there she was. The most beautiful baby I had ever seen. The nurse also let me know that there wasn't anything to be worried about but that she wasn't crying really well, more grunting so they were going to take her to the nursery to check on her. She had Kelley go with her.

Dr. Edwards worked on cleaning me up, and closing me up. Again, I didn't feel anything. I got wheeled down to recovery where they were very friendly. One thing that was weird was I guess they press and massage your uterus to get it to shrink back down... the nurse down there was putting her entire body weight down behind pushing on my uterus and I couldn't feel a thing. She was standing on a stool pushing and manipulating my uterus so much it was moving the whole bed I was in and I couldn't feel it. I kept asking about Kaitlyn, but they couldn't tell me anything, they didn't know anything.

Anyways, I get wheeled up to the room, and Kelley and my mom walk in. The look on their faces told me something was wrong. I asked what it was and they said that Squish was going to be fine, but as a precaution they were moving her to Phoenix. "Just in case." I couldn't see her because of the c-section, and because of the breathing issues they couldn't bring her to me. The nurse told me that the flight crew would bring her in really quick before they left with her.

Now, scary is seeing your little tiny newborn baby in an incubation thingy, on a gurny, surrounded by medical stuff. I can't quite say seeing her... all I could see was a little arm wrapped in gauze where they put her IV in. Then they wheeled her out. All I could think was the worst. I kept thinking about Christopher and how I may never see her alive again, and I had only seen her for maybe a minute total. I wasn't even sure if it came down to it I could pick her out of other babies. Scary. A nightmare, the worse things you can think of were coming to my mind all I wanted was my daughter, with me.

Kelley got in the car and drove to Phoenix to get there to be with her as soon as he could.

When Kaitlyn arrived in Phoenix the doctor there, Dr. Z called me. He let me know that Squish was going to be okay. He also told me that she was going to get worse before she got better. Her breathing had gotten worse, and they thought it was going to get even worse. At the time they couldn't justify putting surfactant in her lungs, but that she was going to need it. They would also put put her on a CPAP machine when they did it. Dr. Z also told me that he had patients that were much worse, and not to worry she was in good hands.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Never a dull moment...

Well my testing is scheduled for tomorrow. I have a NST at 9am, and then Kaitlyn's follow up growth ultrasound set for 1PM. I kept figuring things would happen tomorrow.

I've been having contractions for almost two weeks now. I've never felt any of them really, I mean now and then I'd have a decent one, but none of them bothered me.

During one of my million trips to the bathroom last night I had a contraction I felt, and it was like "huh, I think I've felt one each time I've been up, cool." That was it. About 3am I got up and had two while I was awake, no biggie. I woke up at 4am and had one that hurt clear through to my back (back labor contractions are soooo fun). Not much later I had another one. A light bulb goes off - maybe I should be keeping track of these things. So I watch the clock. Come to find out I'm having decent contractions every 6-8 minutes.

In my mind I'm going - these don't hurt that much, I could just wait till they hurt. I don't want to wake Kelley and waste his time for nothing. Then another thing occurs to me - my doctor said I was close and things could happen any day now. He also said if I started having regular contractions not to mess around because the cerclage could rip my cervix apart.

I finally decide to wake Kelley up. I tap him on the shoulder and ask him when he gets up for work. He tells me 5:15am - I asked him how set he was on going in to work this morning. He was still 90% asleep and asked why. I told him I was having contractions every 6-8 minutes. He sort of grunted and rolled over a bit to go back to sleep. I think it occurred to him a few seconds later when her turned and asked me what that meant. Was sort of cute. I let him know I could get mom to drive me, but I'd prefer him.

So we get to the hospital, I get hooked up and the nurse tells me I'm not having any contractions. I was a little bit peeved. I was out of bed at 5am, woke Kelley up early, and he's missing work and I'm not having contractions? I simply couldn't believe it. Then I had a really good contractions that I KNEW was a contraction. It didn't show up on her monitor. At the same time Kaitlyn's heart rate dropped during the contraction as well. So the nurse came back and I told her that with Christopher it didn't pick the contractions up because they are 95% in my back - or at least thats what I guess. I described the contractions to her and asked her to move the monitor... she did.

I've also been leaking some fluid, she checked me internally to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid, and then went to talk to the doctor on call. She came back a little bit later and apologized, said I WAS having contractions every 6-8 minutes that were lasting 30 seconds to a minute. (I said so). They decided to give me a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions, which worked. The contractions stopped and I was let go home.

Good news is Kaitlyn was super active, wiggling away in there, and her heart rate looked great. The nurse was even impressed at her activity level.

I've had a few contractions today, but nothing major. Kelley didn't have to take the whole day off - and Squish is still squished in my tummy. I don't think she's happy about it. She's been nice and feisty all day. Lets just say that when she is in the mood her little feet can hit some places that hurt pretty darn good.

As I said tomorrow is the day for the testing. I'm hoping she's grown a bit - even a little bit. Just enough to count and measure it. Enough for them to let her decide when it's time for her to be born. At the same time if she's not doing well then I hope they decide to take her out and let her do better on the outside. We will see. I think it's also going to be interesting finding out if she's still breech or not. I think she is, but I also know she's been moving a lot and I can't quite feel how she is sitting in there. If she hasn't turned, chances are that she's not going to.

I'm also hoping to find out what's going on with my cerclage. I'm dilated a bit even with it in, so not sure what will happen when it's clipped. I guess I just can't have a regular boring pregnancy?

It's all in God's hands though. He could pack 2 pounds on her tonight if He wants to, turn her on a dime, or send me into labor tonight.

In other news it's a year now since my hospitalization and emergency surgery. When they redid my internal bowel hernia and moved my insides all about. Sort of bittersweet to know that they went through so much to keep Christopher safe and we lost him anyways, and here I am waiting to go any labor any day with Kaitlyn.

I'll update when I can, as soon as I can. Might be getting baby pictures tomorrow night, or a hey they are letting me stay pregnant! We shall see. Just can't be bored with Squishes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

5/25/10 - Update "Any day now"

Squish passed her NST. I will say these tests are anything but boring with her. The tests are supposed to take about 20-30 minutes and normally take about an hour with my little girl. It takes forever just to get her hooked up, with her kicking and punching away from the heart monitor. Today was even more fun - their machine wasn't picking up her heart rate all the time even though we could hear it perfectly. THEN there were times it decided it wanted mine instead and would put that up there. When the fetal heart rate is about 130-160 and mine in the 60 I think it sort of messes up the test.

We also found out that I'm having quite a few contractions. None of them seem like much to me, but they are showing up good on their contraction monitor. The fun part of this that when you are having certain contractions your stomach hardens, which makes it really hard to get the heart rate of the baby... so it was messing it up more. Then after a particularly nasty contraction (that really hurt my back) they had to find her all over again.

Another thing was that today they did the "group b strep test" it's a test for (duh) group b strep. If I'm a carrier it will just mean that they give me antibiotics during delivery to keep Squishes from getting it. While he was doing that since I've been having contractions and cramping and some other things he felt my cervix. I was told that I'm dilated through the cerclage - meaning that even with the cerclage in place my cervix is open a bit. Kaitlyn is also really really low and dropped down. Dr. Edwards said that I could go into labor at any moment... and not to mess around when I do.

If I go into labor before the cerclage comes out I have to get in and get it cut ASAP to keep it from ripping my cervix. Dr. Edwards also said that it didn't feel like a head down by my cervix - which means our rotten little princess is probably still breech (which they don't expect to change) - and means I'll be c-sectioned.

My next appointments are on Friday - which is when I figure things are going to happen. I have a NST in the morning and then a growth check on Kaitlyn's size that afternoon. I'm still expecting them to decide it's time for her to come out then. If not I was told to demand a cerclage removal date - and that it's in my notes it needs to come out. I was also told to expect labor to start when the cerclage is taken out...

Labor and delivery is whenever Kaitlyn decides. It could be tonight, Friday, or two weeks. I know he said "any day now" but I know of women who have been dilated and dropped and ended up induced weeks later. We will see!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Friday sure was interesting! (May 21, 2010)

Well, as the title says, Friday was an interesting day.

Kaitlyn decided she was going to be difficult, and difficult she was. The day started off just fine, Kaitlyn being herself, sticking to her normal schedule of awake and asleep time.

Mom decided to take me to my NST that was scheduled for that afternoon. We decided to eat out while we were out, then hit Walmart for a few things. Which we did. We ate about 11:30am, my NST was scheduled at 1:15pm.

We get to the NST and Squish decided it was nap time, she slept through the whole thing. Well, it's hard to pass a test when you sleep through it. So the doctor ordered a bio-physical profile - which Kaitlyn also decided she was sleeping through. We tried waking her up and she was having none of it.

The doctor told me to go get something with sugar, caffeine, and that was cold - then head to the hospital for another NST and bio-physical profile. I downed 1/2 a can of coke and headed over. Squish was wide awake for the NST - she passed with flying colors. The coke had her wide awake (it was about 4pm at this time). The sonographer gets up to labor and delivery to do the bio-physical profile and Kaitlyn falls right back to sleep.

The poor guy was there for 45 minutes trying to get her to move. Without her waking up and moving she would fail the profile, and if she failed the profile she was getting pulled out. Also, with her failing the profile it would mean an automatic c-section because they couldn't be sure she would survive a vaginal delivery.

I'm starting to get worried. If you've read this thing at all you know Kaitlyn is not the lazy baby we all would love to have. She's an over-actor and loves to punch and bounce and kick and beat me up. She loves to wiggle her way through everything and make getting things done as difficult as possible. I was starting to freak out a bit, okay, not a bit. At the same time, we've made it to 35 weeks - I'm 36 weeks now, I told her she was grounded until 35 weeks, so if it came down to them pulling her out, I was okay with that.

Good news is that, finally, at the end of the bio- 40 minutes after it started (the most they let it last is 45) Squish did a little bit of wiggling and was given a 8/8 on her bio. ROTTEN ROTTEN little girl!

After talking to the nurses, by now it was 5:30pm - they told me to eat and get some sugar in me and if she didn't wake up then to come back in. The assumption was that it had been 5 hours since I'd eaten, my blood sugar was probably low. They figured that the coke gave her a sugar spike and then it plummeted back down, which was why I was exhausted and she was sleeping.

We ate, and then she perked right up and so did I. So once again, we scraped by our tests, and we got to keep her in just a tad bit longer.

We have another NST scheduled for Tuesday. Then a growth scan scheduled Friday morning, and a NST for Friday afternoon. I have a feeling that Squish is probably going to be coming soon - I don't think she'll have grown that much as of Friday and they will be deciding to pull her out. I'm hoping I'm wrong because it means she's not thriving, but we will see.

In news about me:
-I'm here. :)
-I feel like a beached whale 95% of the time, and the other 5% of the time I feel like a really fat beached whale.
-For those guys who think that pregnant women have it easy - try strapping a beach ball to your belly that weighs 30 pounds and doing all your regular activities with it there. Just getting out of bed in the middle of the night is a feat sometimes. I have to move my legs then try to move my beach ball to the edge of the bed, THEN try heft me AND the 30 pound beach ball out of bed.
-I'm planning on having mom take some maternity pictures of me tomorrow to have them. Now that's a plan, not a sure thing.
-My back is killing me - I'll be honest with that. Squish has learned how to move just right and put pressure in all the "right" spots with my back. She squirms just right and it feels like she's trying to kill me sometimes. She also has this neat trick learned where she can hiccup and hit both of my sciatic nerves at the same time. LOADS of fun. The thing is - if it means having this little girl safely and happily in our lives, it's all worth it.
-I'm starving all the time again, but Squish is getting more and more finicky over what she'll let me eat. If she gives me a craving then it's either eat that, or eat nothing. It's a good thing she has yet to give me something I couldn't get to for a craving.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Snickers are not night time food...

I found out last night that no matter how badly you want a snickers bar if you want any sleep (and are pregnant) do not eat it just prior to (trying to) go to sleep.

It never occurred to me how the sugar would hit Squish. It's probably the most sugar I've had in one sitting in two years - I thought it might upset my stomach, but never thought about Squishes. Turns out that a Snickers bar turns my daughter into a jumping bean. A jumping bean with really good arms and legs and feet that like to kick. I *tried* to go to sleep around 9:30pm - about 20 minutes after the Snickers... it was "wow she's moving a lot for this late at night". She just kept jumping and jiggling.

It wasn't until about 10:30pm that I started wondering where she got all this energy from. At about 11pm, my poor uterus getting super sore from the battering ram that was beating it to smithereens I starting wondering what my daughter was on that had her so frisky. At about midnight it dawned on me - DUH! snickers bar + baby = super hyper baby and no sleep.

She finally calmed down around 1am. So, I can say I have learned my lesson - no candy bars just before bedtime, no matter how good they sound. At the same time, I should bring a candy bar with me to her NST's and other tests in case she's thinking of sleeping through them. That or I decide to make the sonographer's work really hard and want to watch them struggle with my little super bouncy ball.

5/14 Could be 6 weeks, could be 2 days...

As of right now things with Squish are up in the air.

I posted two weeks ago about our last cervical length check, and the growth scan done on April 30th. A quick concise is that Squish was measuring smaller than they'd like, and not having shown any growth over a two week period. They also scheduled twice weekly NST's - and I posted about that as well.

Today was our follow up growth scan. I can tell you that I was nervous. I've had a feeling over the past few days that Squish is going to be on her way in the next two weeks. I even have my hospital bag mostly packed and ready to go - just in case.

Things today were not any better. Squish hasn't shown any real growth still. She is now measuring at only the 8th percentile. They gave me an estimate of about 4 pounds 8 ounces. There are a few things that are sort of in our favor. One is that the due date they perinatologist is using is 9 days earlier than the one that my regular OB is using. (I ovulated 9 days later than normal women do, the peri was using the day of my last period to base my due date on.) The other is that Squish is still in the breech position - the peri today explained to me that the averages they are using are based on babies measurements head down. When babies are breech their head measurements tend to run slightly smaller due to the angle of the ultrasound machine. The peri did also say that her stomach and femur measurements were small as well, but the head measurement would give us a little bit more weight. Both of those could be to our favor making her small, but not as small as she appears. It doesn't mean she's in good shape, just not necessarily as bad as it appears. (We'll take every little bit we can get, right?)

The good news is that Squish passed her bio-physical profile done during the ultrasound with flying colors. I think the ultrasound tech would have preferred her to not pass so well. Squish was wiggling and shaking up a storm during the sonogram - so (as usual) the measurements were taking longer than they should have. At one point it was chase that femur bone (thigh) bone as she kicked and wiggled. The bio-physical profile measures her heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and amniotic fluid - it's used to evaluate the overall health of the baby in the womb. We scored and 8 out of 8. That is great news. They also watch to check on Squish while she is in there and she was taking tons of practice breaths, which is great news! Just shows that all her hiccups are from her breathing and breathing over and over in there!

So what else did they say? Squishes is small. They are keeping a very close eye on her now. If Squish hadn't passed her bio with flying colors, she would have been pulled out. If at any point she does poorly on her NST she's getting pulled out of there. If she slows her movement down, she's getting pulled out. Right now it's all up to Squish, and how well she does. Their main concern is to make sure that she is in the best place for growth and maturing. If Kaitlyn doesn't improve her growth between now and the next growth scan - they will be taking her out. Some babies do better outside of the womb for whatever reason than they do inside.

Do they know why she's not growing? No. It could be a million things. They said awhile ago that it could be something to do with my gastric bypass surgery. It could be something with her umbilical cord - as far as they could see it's moving nutrients fine, but they can't tell everything. It could be a placenta problem... or any number of things. They don't know what it is. I was told to up my water in take, to eat as much as I can, and get in as many calories as possible, I've been making sure to sleep on my side (it helps blood and nutrient flow to the baby). There isn't much else we can do.

So - the next thing - I had a NST scheduled today also. Squish did NOT pass this NST with flying colors... she got a "so-so" score. I can honestly say that I don't think this one was as accurate as it could have been. Kaitlyn was wiggling and shaking the entire time, never really calming down for even a little bit. The test works by getting a baseline heart rate, and then when she moves, monitoring her rate increase against that. They like to see it increase 10-15 or more when she moves and wiggles. With her heart rate being up already, getting it up 15 more wasn't quite happening. She could get it up 10, but wasn't keeping it up 15 for very long. She didn't fail the test, or do too poorly, and she was moving a ton (a great sign) so he said we are just going to watch her.

So, it all comes down to whether or not we can get Squish to behave, and grow. I'd love for her to grow some more, and to bake a little bit longer, at the same time if this is God saying "it's time for her to enter the world" so be it. I trust that God will and has given the doctors the tools and the knowledge to make the best choices they can for her. It all comes down to God and Kaitlyn. I'm keeping a good "feel" for her movement, but she makes it pretty obvious she's wiggling and grooving in there. We are doing what we can for her, and getting as prepared as we can.

I know so many of you already are, but please, continue to keep us in your prayers. I'd really like to keep her baking longer, just because her brain isn't fully developed yet, right now it's only about 70% formed compared to what it would be at 37-40 weeks. She's also less than 5 pounds, and they don't normally allow babies under 5lbs 8oz to go home. I'd rather her not spend a lot of time in the NICU.

Thank you to everyone, for your thoughts, prayers, good wishes, and the things we've gotten for Squish.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

NST - Non-Stress Test

So today Kaitlyn and I had our first "NST" it's a "Non-Stress Test". Today was the first of twice-weekly NST's that we will be having until Squish is born. The primary reason NST's are done is to make sure that your baby's heart rate is reacting properly to their movement and stimulus. Basically it takes adequate oxygen for the baby to move properly, and for the heart to react properly to the babies movement. A bad NST could be a sign of problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. The NST's will also help us make sure that Squish is fine, even if she is small. It's sort of like reassurance that even if she isn't growing much, she is doing okay in me.

I was a little nervous, not sure exactly what would be happening during the test, and how. We found out today.

Basically I got taken over to a little cubical type thing at Sun Life (my regular OB office). They sat me in this nice recliner and hooked me up to two different machines. One of the machines was for monitoring, and seeing if I was having contractions. The other was a machine that monitored Squishes heart rate and printed it out on paper. They also gave me a cord hooked up to the heart rate monitor, it had a button and each time I felt Squishes move I had to press the button.

It took the nurse a little bit to get the heart monitor in the spot where it picked up Kaitlyn's heart rate consistently. I still ended up having to hold the monitor in place and angle it to keep track of it.

I can honestly say it was great getting to sit there for 1/2 hour, just listening to Squishes little heart beat. It's a sound that meant so much up until the end with Christopher, and hearing it so strong and constant is incredible. The other awesome thing was listening to how her heart rate changed as she got to wiggling. Her resting heart rate was 135-140 (or so says the machine) - when she got to really wiggling it got all the way up in the 170's. I can't say how neat it was to not just feel, but hear the movement in her heart beat.

I'm thinking next time I'm in there I'll try to see if I can get my cell phone to take a video of it - that way I can share the sound of her heart beat with everyone.

We passed the test with flying colors. So Squish is already an honor student.

We have another NST on Friday, and one each Tuesday and Friday from now on.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

33 weeks! We're measuring a little tiny...

April 30, 2010

Well, I had yet another cervical length check today. (I know I have been really bad about posting here for a long time... I blame it on Squishes - turns out if I listen to people she's an excuse for EVERYTHING.)

Anyways - yes, another appointment to get my cervical length checked, and to check on Kaitlyn's growth. The good news is that my cervix grew - yes - GREW. I went from 12mm two weeks ago on the 16th (very very bad, almost hospitalization bad) to 20mm today. 20mm isn't good - they like numbers of 30mm-40mm. 25mm is considered the danger zone. BUT my cervix grew. I really have to thank my mom for that. She's been such a huge blessing here, constantly reminding me to stop doing this or that, and doing lots of things I've been doing that I shouldn't have been.

Turns out, I couldn't just get good news. Nope. Squish likes her attention - so she's got to be a little drama queen. I got worrisome news. I didn't get what her weight/measurements were, but Kaitlyn is only measuring at the 14th percentile. Which means that 86% of babies at 33 weeks are bigger than she is - she's measuring tiny. She has barely grown any at all since the 16th. There are a few different things that can mess with her growth. One is that my body simply isn't processing things correctly, so I am working my best at eating more, and more often. (You can ask, I'm already gnawing at the walls and such, I'm eating!) Another is that the placenta isn't doing something right, then is the chance that the umbilical cord isn't transferring nutrients to her correctly (could be pinched, or pressed, or just slow), it could be somehow blood simply isn't getting to her the way it should, or he mentioned (I have never heard of this) that there is a possibility that the cerclage is restricting bloodflow to her somehow. I got back in two weeks for another growth scan - and if things still aren't looking good they will order further testing, and there is talk of the cerclage coming out, or if they decide Squish will do better outside of me they will pull her out.

On top of this worrying news - this would be the one time in Kaitlyn's existence she decided to be lazy. Go figure. They were worried over her lack of growth so they wanted to check her movement and make sure she was practicing breathing and such. KELLEY's rotten little girl refused to budge. We tried everything, my belly looked like a bowl of jello in the middle of a level 9 earth quake with all the wiggling, bouncing we were doing and she just kept on sleeping. We got her to stretch a few times, sort of like she said that's irritating, I'm going back to bed. We tried really cold water (that normally gets her up turning my bladder to a pulp) - nothing. The sonographer was watching for signs that she was practicing breathing - in 30 minutes we only got 4-5 breathes, not good. At least we got that, but it wasn't good. She said that based on the fact I had a bad night, Squish might just be tired and comfy. Since she was moving, her heart looked good, and they did get some breathing they told me to give it a couple hours.

If in 2 hours she hadn't woken up and started moving her normal amount I was to head into labor and delivery to possibly be admitted, at the least get hooked up and have her checked out. I asked if I needed to be worried - they said that IF she didn't start moving like normal soon, then just to go get her checked out. IF they were worried, I would already be on the way to the hospital - but she could she just be in a lazy mood. I told the sonographer about how often she gets the hiccups - I'd read they only get the hiccups from practicing breathing - she confirmed it and said that if she gets the hiccups we are golden. I won't lie - I was freaking out. I was doing my best to not freak out, and it wasn't working. I mean my little brat who always moves and wiggles wasn't wiggling.

So... we decided maybe she needs some sugar, caffeine, and food - we head to Taco Bell (yum - taco bell.....) I eat, and about 10 minutes later the little bratty whirlwind is turning my insides to mush with all her moving. Go figure. 45 minutes at the doctors office and nothing - we beg, we plead, princess sleeps. I have to go pee - so she starts kicking ... Still no hiccups - so I'm going - so she's moving but she's not practice breathing - if they have to pull her she NEEDS to be breathing. Then she gets the hiccups. I must have ended up with the stupidest, biggest grin in the world on my face right then.

Now I'm actually keeping a hiccup log, and a movement count log. They told me awhile ago to set aside an hour period a few times ago and to count 10 movements in an hour, if I don't get them drink something cold and sugary and start over. Well with Squishes, I get 10 kicks in a minute, so it was easy. Now I'm being paranoid - so I'm setting aside 10 minute sessions here and there and counting her karate chops - forget waiting the whole hour. I was up to 45 some-odd beatings to random organs in 10 minutes last night.... I'm also writing down each time I feel her get the hiccups, and how long it lasts. I can tell you that she does NOT like the hiccups - every 3rd or 4th one she does a little freak-out dance like she's trying to fight them away. I can't say that I blame her - I'm not to big on them either.

So, things are better, and worrier. My cervix is longer (yay!) but she's measuring small. I suppose we shall see in two weeks how we are doing. I have heard that fetal measurements can be off pretty often, so I could go in two weeks and be told I have a massive baby girl! She's measured smallish the entire pregnancy, so her being a bit smaller isn't a big deal, I just want to make sure she's growing like she should be. So keep her in your prayers! GROW SQUISH GROW! Good news is - she might be small but she sure is feisty!