Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nicknames and long feet

Important Note: I'm a little woozy due to some muscle relaxers they are giving me, which also have the ability to prevent seizures. So, please grammatically excuse this post as my editor isn't as sharp as it should be.

Suzy is doing great. She's getting a little extra oxygen and the x-ray of her lungs looked great. There are no signs of infection and she's starting to suck on a pacifier. Her blood sugar is good and while her breathing is a little fast, it slows down nicely when Pete or I are holding her.

As some of you may know, long ago Harry declared this was a girl baby named Suzy. Round about 35 years ago when Pete learned he was having a little sister (Joanne), he was hoping for a Suzy. Our girl name for Harry was Jeanette so we quickly all agreed upon Suzette. (We're still working on the middle name, who knew this would be so hard.) For those of you keeping track, the boy names being discussed were Neil and Erik.

So, now for the update on me, the real reason Suzy join us in September instead of November. My blood pressure has gone down, but I'll be on a medication to help for the next few days. They continue to monitor my platelets, which are on the rise without any pharmacological help. I'll be on the woozy drops until tomorrow morning when the biggest risk of seizure has passed. The delivery was quick (so quick that Pete has suggest the nickname Freight Train) and uneventful. No matter, Pete and I are quite thrilled that we won't ever be doing that again.

I suppose Freight Train is better than Suzy Long Feet, which I'm sorry to report seems to be the case.

PS - Pam, thanks so much for the cookies, they are delicious!

A big brother

She's here! We're still working on a middle name, but Suzette joined us at 855 this morning weighing in at 5 lbs 10 oz, 18.5 inches long. She's over in the NICU, but breathing well on her own. Hopefully she'll do just as well eating and we'll be on our way back to Pine Street.

I'm doing well, as is Pete - we even got some sleep last night and let me tell you, the epidural is the way to go, thanks Jim!

Pictures coming as soon as we find the camera cable.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A rose by any other name...

This reminded me of Paul - we are sitting here and Pete says, 'So, baby names?' Frankly, I think this is the biggest compromise in a marriage.

Oh, and we're still not telling, although, we haven't eliminated Suzy.


So, for those of you wanting details, here they are. For those of you not wanting details, skip this post.
  • I'm a 1 cm dilated already, but they are giving me some gel to help that along
  • They gave me a round of steroids to help my platelet count and we're now back in the safe range over 100
  • They are taking my blood pressure every 2 hours and are okay with what they are seeing
  • They have me all tapped to dump in the epidural drugs when I say it's time
  • The MDs aren't any more concerned about my labor or delivery than with a term child
  • We suspect the child will wind up in the NICU for at least a week or so to work out the breathing and sucking.
  • All of my issues should resolve upon delivery, or shortly there after.

Hot drugs

Magnesium sulfate makes you hot and drowsy. I do like a little chemistry lesson now and then, but I could have lived without this one.

Anyway, we're on our way to a nice delivery which hopefully won't take too long. Although, the nurse anesthesiologist was just here to discuss pain management plans. Pete is finishing up a few things and will come down after lunch to read the paper. When my mom was in labor with Dan, my dad checked things out at the hospital and decided not much was happening so he went to shoot some skeet at the gun club. Pete told me this morning on the phone that he was going to the gun club, which I shared with my dad who said, 'I don't blame him. Does he need to borrow a gun?'

This morning Pete told Harry the baby was coming. Apparently this was not as interesting as SuperWhy!, but of course Harry has known for months that a baby was coming.

I wanted something decisive

I decided yesterday that all I wanted out of my labs today was something decisive. Well, apparently Mom was right and you really should be careful of what you wish for. The lab came in this morning around 6 am for a blood draw and by 645 the MD was here: my platelets are at 80. Meaning, it's time to get this kid out of me.

So... Harry and Daisy are going to my mom's. I'm going for an ultrasound to determine my delivery options (cross your fingers for head down) and possible an amniocentesis to determine lung maturity. The child will doubtless spend a few extra days here as he/she may have a little trouble eating on his/her own.

I'll keep you updated throughout the day - and in case you're wondering, the envelope is still in our freezer and the car seat is still in the attic.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My zen like state... really

I remember being a fairly busy kid. They had us in dance and scouts and little league and summer reading programs and all the usual stuff. I also remember finding plenty of things to do while not at these things. But somehow, I don't quite remember moving quite as much as Harry does, and I'm sorry to report as this baby seems to. Apparently there is a little note in my chart about the challenge of locating the child's heart beat with the monitors (see previous post). I feel like Elaine in that Seinfeld.

Yesterday I tried to earn some good karma: a nursing student was on the floor and I let her practice on me. The girl was nervous as all get out, but it was worthwhile for a reason I didn't expect. Her professor, a midwife with a PhD in nursing, accompanied here. They did a quick exam, took my vitals, placed the fetal monitors and discussed my suspected almost presenting not quite here condition, preeclampsia. In her experience (+700 births), when the mother starts to experience symptoms and delivers early (between 34-37 weeks), the child thrives and suffers little effect of the early birth. Her theory is that the child gets some sort of biological cue to hurry up with the vital development of breathing, sucking and swallowing.

I turned on my super sleuthing librarian skills and embarrassingly enough, I haven't been able to dig up anything on this over at medlineplus.gov besides the following general statement:

"In women with mild preeclampsia near term, newborn outcomes are generally good and comparable to those of women without preeclampsia."

Which means, I'm sitting here on my hinder more for my health than the child's. I suppose it's good to take some time to do something for yourself once in a while. Here's to hoping the labs are decisive tomorrow and I can apply my new zen-like nurturing patient mothering state to a child before this all wears off.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ambient noise?

Things I've learned in my longest hospital stay ever:

1. Nurses are chatty, which I suppose is a really good thing. They also seem to be making some sort of statement about the differences in nursing education - the RNs wear little red 'RN' tags. I, of course, used this an opportunity to work on Harry's reading skills.

2. When a girl has labor and deliver in her future, it's really unfair to put her in a position to hear other's labor and delivery noises. (Although, I will admit that some are a little funny.)

3. In your standard hospital room, there are lots of buttons for 4 year old boys to discover and push. Sadly, a bed cannot be turned into a carnival ride, no matter which button you push.

4. My local public radio station's live stream is really quite good. (But, I still maintain that if they spend time on the air talking about their 'cancelled' on air fund drive, it's really more of a mostly cancelled on air fund drive.)

In the meantime, I'm feeling well and the baby is doing great. We are doing fetal monitoring 3 times a day which watches the child's heart rate and movements. There are 2 little circle things they strap on to my stomach with precious pink and blue elastic/velcro straps - one to measure the heart and the other contractions (see #2 above). The test lasts 20 minutes and a passing test will show the child moving and a heart rate acceleration and deceleration after each movement. A healthy baby will get excited about something, move, and have the appropriate biophysical reaction to the movement - accel/decel - and then the heart rate will go back to normal. Our child's heart rate is usually in the 140's.

On Monday my labs will be repeated: blood draw to measure my platelet counts and urine collection to check for protein levels. I'm hoping the labs show some improvement and we can make it to 36 weeks, as the child will be better able to breathe and eat on it's own and doubtless have a shorter hospital stay.

The boys are doing well, Harry has a sad moment when he leaves and I stay at night, however it is quickly forgotten when he remembers the ride in the elevator (see #3 above).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Baby Update

Well, no I can't tell you if it's Suzy or Speed Racer just yet, sorry to disappoint.

The short story is I've taken up residence at Aurora Sinai Medical Center. I'm feeling fine and the baby is doing great, but a few labs results are just south of normal. Mainly we're on the watch for preeclampsia - high blood pressure during pregnancy.

All these things resolve with delivery, but if you're keeping track, I'm only 35 weeks along. (Most babies are done baking around 40 weeks, but they normally just fine afer 37 weeks, which is about when I delviered Harry.) So, we're taking it day by day. I'm hoping not to be here for the stretch.

Meanwhile, I'm giving the library salesmen a break and concentrating on negotiating with the doctors and nurses. We really do live in fabulous times - the hospital has free* wireless in patient rooms, which means I should be able to get through this with a pile of recipes from my favorite cooking blogs, too many movies and too much TV watched, much email read and ignored, a new appreciation/hate for Microsoft SharePoint.

Pete and Harry are doing fine. I shudder to think of the state of the house when we're all done with this, but what's a little dust? And, as Pete pointed out, I gave up dusting long ago. So, if you've got a longing to dust, make circle pb&j sandwiches, play legos or do some laundry, head over to our house.

I'll keep this udpated as things progress, hopefully with a baby picture sooner rather than later.