Observations from bedrest – week 2

More random observations from my 2nd week of bedrest at home.**

  • Daytime TV really is awful. I normally just leave it on CMT for some background music.
  • I might have to break down and get the paid version of Pandora.
  • My back is starting to hurt from lying down all day every day.
  • I miss the sunshine and fresh air.
  • I love watching my belly move as Euro wiggles and kicks. The little one is definitely getting stronger!
  • I miss taking pictures of our yard. This time of year is beautiful and the butterflies are all over my sedum bushes right now.
  • I love it when James kisses me and then my belly goodnight.
  • I’m saving a lot of money on gas for my car.
  • I’m still not wearing any make-up, doing my hair, or putting on regular clothes. I’m still ok with this. 😉
  • I really don’t like having people wait on me.
  • Yes, it is possible to break a nail while you’re laying around doing nothing.
  • Even though I can do a lot of work from home, there is still a lot of work I could be helping my coworkers with if I was on campus. Sorry!
  • There really is a little person in my tummy! Not that I didn’t know it before, but the more little Euro moves and makes his/her presence known, the more real it becomes.  The creation of life really is absolutely amazing.
  • We have no baby stuff yet. I take that back, we have a bassinet that my maternal grandfather (Euro’s Great-grandfather!) slept in when he was a baby and some board books, but that’s it.
  • Trying to think of everything little Euro will need gives me a headache because I’m stuck at home in bed. Thus, I’ve decided to put it off a little bit longer. Note to baby – that means you have to stay in a bit longer!
  • Pregnancy hormones are making me cry at everything. Yes, everything. Happy, sad, whatever, I cry.
  • I’m missing the Lincoln Balloon festival this weekend. I love hot air balloons and haven’t seen any since last year’s festival.
  • Strangely enough I don’t miss going to Wal-Mart for groceries. 😉
  • I really do love our house and its open layout.
  • It’s going to be hell to baby proof our house.
  • I’m glad we did so much traveling at the beginning of this pregnancy.
  • I miss taking baths.
  • Lying down so much (pretty much even to eat) is not good on digestion.
  • Getting my hair washed really is a wonderful feeling.
  • I have no idea what I would do without my Mom. Seriously, no idea. I hope I don’t have to find out for a really really really long time.
  • Little Euro will never be able to say he/she wasn’t a much wanted baby.
  • Keeping the gender of little Euro a secret is killing me!
  • Keeping why James nicknamed the baby Euro a secret is also killing me.  It’s really funny, but I’d give away the gender if I told why it’s so funny. So for now everyone will have to trust me that it really is funny.
  • I’m giving my unlimited mobile-to-mobile and texting plan a healthy workout.
  • Some days I think I can go all the way on bedrest if I need to.  Other days I’m not sure how I’ll make it another week.
  • I WILL make it on bedrest as many weeks as necessary to make sure this little one is born as healthy as possible.

**The observations from this week are in a bulleted list because James insists it is more accessible and web accessibility is his “thing.”  Thus I’m going with it.  Otherwise, I might get one of his well known dissertation length e-mails expounding on why he is right and why things should be done his way (which for the record, he really is always right when it comes to stuff like this). For those of you who have gotten one of these e-mails (mostly our co-workers as far as I know), you know what I’m talking about and can empathize with me. 😉

23 weeks

We made it to 23 weeks!! Just one more week until our first goal of 24 weeks! Granted even at 24 weeks little Euro’s chances of a healthy survival isn’t that great, but at least there would be a chance. Also at 24 weeks they are able to give me a steroid shot that will help Euro’s lungs develop so if the little one does come early at least there is a better chance of the lungs being ready.

James giving Kona a quick kiss and checking on his baby while she's briefly up from bedrest

This week definitely had it’s ups and downs.  The downs mainly being the ultrasound tech misreporting my ultrasound and me getting admitted to the hospital on Tuesday until the specialist realized my ultrasound was fine and nothing was wrong.  The biggest ups being my ultrasound was fine, there’s been no change to my cervix since the cerclage, and little Euro is definitely growing and getting stronger!

Additional ups include my Mom coming for the weekend again and me being able to sit by the pool for a little bit and take some pictures of the butterflies!

My Dad had a golfing tournament all weekend, so Mom decided to come back down and help us out.  She was amazing once again and not only cooked and cleaned, but washed my hair, went and got me Mexican, and did our grocery shopping for the week!

In addition, on Saturday afternoon Mom and James got everything set up and helped me outside to the patio.  I hadn’t been outside by the pool since I went on bedrest, but since I’ve been doing pretty good, I was able to make the quick trip as long as I laid down as soon as I got there.

James getting everything set up for Kona

They set everything up so I was right by the sedum bushes and could see and take pictures of the butterflies!  It was amazing to be out in the sun, but it was pretty hot outside and since I couldn’t get in the pool to cool off, I didn’t last too long before I had to head for the shade.

Kona relaxing in the shade and checking out the butterflies

The shade wasn’t too bad and actually gave me a better angle to take pictures!  The butterflies were flitting all over the sedum bushes and it was a lot of fun to lay there and watch them.

Kona taking pictures of butterflies!

Definitely not some of my best butterfly pictures, but it really did make me feel a little more normal and was 100 times better than laying on the couch in the house!!

Butterflies flitting around on the sedum

James spent most of his time mowing, but Mom got in the pool to cool off and relax a little bit. The pool looked refreshing and relaxing, but the doctor said it was a no-no with the cerclage, so I was good and spent my time enjoying the fresh air and being outside.

Mom enjoying the pool

It was a very good end to the week and while I did work on and off during the weekend, it was nice to be able to relax a little bit as well!

Our next doctors appointment is on Tuesday, so hopefully everything will look good and we’ll be well on our way to 24 weeks!

 

22 week check up

Tuesday morning we headed to the doctor for our one week check-up since leaving the hospital. I had been feeling pretty good and was optimistic about our appointment.

We started by checking the car with the valet and getting a wheelchair for James to wheel me around in… Fun fun stuff that James definitely took advantage of! 😉

Our first appointment was to get an ultrasound on my cervix to see how it was coming along. We were hoping for either no change or even that it was coming back together a little more (lengthening).

The ultrasound tech ended up not being very personable and was actually rather rough on me (and this was my third of this type of ultrasound in 1.5 weeks and the previous ones were fine). She didn’t really talk to us at all unless we asked a direct question and overall just put off a bad vibe. This kind of bothered both of us (yes, even James thought she was being kind of nasty), but we brushed it off and headed upstairs to our next appointment.

Our next appointment was with the nurse practitioner for our doctor. My vitals were all good and we were feeling pretty good until, once again, we got crushing news.

The nurse told us that my ultrasound showed that my cervix has shortened from the last ultrasound (after the cerclage) and was back to being as short as it was before. Also, after talking with the doctor on call (my doctor was away at a conference), they wanted to admit me to the hospital for at least 24 hours because of my cervix and that I had indicated that I was getting occasional cramping. They thought the cramping was probably contractions which were causing the cervix to open.

This was awful awful news and both James and I were pretty overcome. I went ahead and sent James home to get my stuff (I didn’t have anything I’d need for a hospital stay) and one of the nurses took me back over to Labor and Delivery to get things started.

I spent the next 2 hours getting poked, prodded, drugged, stuck, and in general going on an emotional roller coaster. I was just finally starting to accept the situation and calm down a little, when the doctor on call came in. She calmly reiterated why they were doing everything they had been doing and then proceeded to tell me when the specialist from Fetal & Maternal medicine had reviewed my ultrasound scans she realized the ultrasound tech had read them wrong on my report and there was NO CHANGE FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK.

My cervix was completely unchanged from the previous week and was fine in their opinion. Thus the entire admitting to the hospital and things they had done since I was admitted were NOT necessary. Yet, since they had me in already hooked up, they wanted to continue to monitor me until 7pm. They were showing that I was having some mild contractions here and there, but nothing regular or to be overly concerned about. Yet, it was also decided that since I was having some contractions they would rather I wasn’t having any so it was also decided that instead of the first drug they gave me to stop the contractions completely, they would now be giving me a different one to take for the next 48 hours.

By this point, James was basically packed up and ready to head back to Champaign, so I at least got to call and give him the good news, but told him to bring my stuff anyway (who knows when they might change their mind again!). James was very relieved, but similar to me, very irritated by the stress and unnecessary hassle we’d been put through.

Around 5pm (after finally being allowed to eat for the first time since breakfast) they gave me the new drug, which made me feel light headed and nauseated, and told me they were definitely letting me out by 7pm. The car ride home was not one I’d like to repeat and I was really nauseated and generally felt awful the entire time and even after I got home.

It had been a LONG day and I went to bed to try and feel better, but James was too wound up and ended up not coming to bed until 3:30 in the morning. What a long and tiring day, but at least the baby is fine and overall I’m fine as well.

And if you’re keeping track, only 10 more days until we reach our first goal of 24 weeks!

Observations from bedrest – week 1

The following are my (very) random observations (in no particular order) from my first full week of bedrest at home.

James checking on "his" baby while Kona is on bedrest

I really dislike clutter of any type in my house.

I actually like cleaning my house. Too bad this observation came after the strict bedrest.

I need to dust the corners of my ceiling once I get off bedrest.

I like to cook and enjoy being able to cook whatever I’m in the mood for. James does not like to cook very much (unless he is in the mood or it is steak) and will eat the same leftovers every meal until they are gone (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

It is amazing how much of my job I can do from home via the computer.

Long hot showers are not overrated. Unfortunately I might not get one until after this little one comes.

Washing your hair can be an amazing experience. Having someone else do it for you after they brush out your hair is even better.

Mothers are the most amazing people in the world, especially mine!

I love it when James randomly puts his hand on my tummy to feel “his” baby moving around.

I love it when James randomly asks me how “Euro” is doing (his nickname for the baby).

Pregnancy is not for the faint of heart.

Bedrest is NOT easy or fun.

There is no limit to how much I want this baby and will do WHATEVER it takes to keep the little one inside me for as long as possible.

I’m finally NOT tired for the first time during this pregnancy! Great timing, huh?

I have amazing friends, coworkers, and family who are determined to make me cry with all of their generosity.

My beautiful pool, patio, and gardens might as well be a thousand miles away. No stairs for me and it’s too far to walk all the way around from the front to the backyard.

This was not the way I hoped to get more time at home by myself.

I have a lot of nice maternity clothes going to waste.

My Online Learning coworkers are amazing. I know Liz Jackson secretly wears a cape under her work clothes, but I think our student workers just might be her side-kicks and secretly wear capes as well!

I haven’t worn make-up, done my hair, or got dressed in normal clothes for the last week. So far, I’m ok with this.

I’ve actually been too busy with work to read any books or even watch much TV.

The weather outside really doesn’t matter anymore. I have no clue what the temperature or humidity is or has been for the past week.

I’m answering e-mails even quicker than before; Which I’ve been told was pretty darn quick to start with. I actually had a faculty member tell me once that I responded too quickly to his e-mail. He wasn’t ready for my response and it got lost in his in-box. 😉

I really do love my job and the career I’ve chosen.

All things considered, bedrest really isn’t that bad considering the alternatives.

 

 

22 weeks

This past week on bedrest has definitely made for an interesting beginning to my 22nd week of pregnancy, but because of the amazing generosity from our friends, coworkers, and family it went much smoother than I expected. Throughout the week we were able to dine on meals from my Online Learning coworkers and enjoy a beautiful flower arrangement from the Richland Faculty Union.

Kona after getting her hair washed - 22 Weeks Pregnant

It was also a very busy week at work and I ended up working 8+ hours everyday from home, plus over the weekend!  This last week and next week are the two worst weeks of the entire year for our office, so I’ve been trying to make sure I was pulling my weight. People have told me to not overdo it, but I really do feel fine and the work has definitely kept me from going crazy by keeping my brain active and turning on all cylinders! It has been wonderful how everyone has worked with me to keep me in the loop of what’s going on and making me feel like part of the team… even if I’m not there in the trenches with them!

Saturday morning, my mom came down for the weekend and was an amazing help.  She helped pick up the house by bringing things to me and asking where they went, and then even cleaned the house!!  She did laundry, folded it, and put it away! She helped make meals, baked some AMAZING cookies, and left us with some frozen meals for the coming week! And best of all… other than her companionship of course… she WASHED MY HAIR! 🙂

I hadn’t been able to wash my hair since the previous Friday, so it was a dirty tangled mess of nastiness! My amazing mother not only brushed my hair out for me, without making me cry, but then did a great job getting it clean and shiny!!  She then proceeded to trim James’ hair for his first day of class on Monday!

Mom cutting James hair!

What a wonderful mother I have and yes, I know and appreciate everything she does!

As if this wasn’t enough wonderfulness for my weekend, I had friends drop over Saturday and Sunday afternoon to deliver food and visit for a while!

All in all, not a bad week of bedrest!

 

21 weeks

Friday (August 12th) started like a normal Friday, except I was super excited because we were going to have our next ultrasound check-up on the baby and go to Iowa for the weekend for my cousin Clare’s wedding!

The ultrasound on the baby went great! The little one was in there moving around and the ultrasound tech was able to show us not only the main body parts (legs, arms, hands, fingers toes, etc…), but also specific organs (4 chambered heart, kidneys, bladder, brain and parts of the brain, etc…). It was great to see the little one in so much detail and to find out everything was absolutely perfect. We were on cloud 9 and ready to start the rest of our fun weekend.

Little Baby Jones at 21 Weeks!

But then the tech said she had additional orders from my midwife (via the doctor) to check my cervix. She checked my cervix and asked a few interesting questions, but then didn’t say anything else. I assumed she was wondering why she was checking a perfectly fine cervix and didn’t think anything of it. Yet, when we made it upstairs (still floating from the good news about the baby), our midwife brought us crashing down fast and hard.

My cervix length was extremely short (around 1.3-1.5cm; should have been closer to 3.5 cm) and starting to funnel (open; which is really really bad when the baby is still this small).

The reason the doctor originally wanted my cervix checked was because of the miscarriage and then surgery in March. She said that from her experience, women who’ve been through this occasionally have problems with their cervix. In our case, she was exactly right and it was a lucky catch for us and the baby.

The midwife wanted to talk with the doctor about what to do next, but we could tell this was really bad. While we waited on the doctor, they hooked me up to see if I was having contractions. Thankfully I wasn’t, but even with that news, when the doctor heard my cervical length and number of weeks pregnant she ordered that we go immediately to the hospital for bedrest and additional consultation.

So, our planned trip to Iowa for the weekend was out and thus started out crazy adventure of strict bedrest for me.

Having a short cervix (which was later deemed to be “incompetent”) means that I’m at a huge risk for preterm labor, which is very bad, especially at 21 weeks. To even be viable they really need to baby to be 24 weeks, but even then the baby would likely have severe health issues.

There are a few different causes for an incompetent cervix, including damage done during previous procedures or just being born that way.  Most women with incompetent cervix don’t find out they have the problem until they have a second trimester miscarriage or early birth.

With my previous miscarriage, but lack of previous births, the doctors don’t know for sure why my cervix is like this. What they do know is that it is incompetent and if we have more children I’ll have the same issues. Luckily we caught it before I actually went into labor and for any additional pregnancies there are things they can do to minimize the risks in advance.

After calling to give my parents the news and let them know we would not be able to join them in Iowa for the wedding, my Mom later called back to let me know she and Dad had talked and she was coming to stay with me at the hospital for the weekend. This ended up working out really well because not only was my Mom there to help me through all of this, she and James were able to go get something to eat together and even do a little bedclothes shopping for me for my hospital stay.

We got a follow up ultrasound on my cervix Saturday to confirm that yes, it was way to short and funneling, and then the specialist made his recommendations. He said there were three things he would recommend: (1) a cerclage – stitch in my cervix to help it stay shut and keep the baby safe inside me!, (2) progesterone shots once a week to help prolong the pregnancy, and (3) bedrest for an indefinite amount of time, but minimum of 3-4 weeks. None of these things were guarantees, but he did feel they’d give me the best chance of carrying the baby as long as possible.

James and I briefly conferred, but felt the same way, we wanted to be as proactive as possible and thus chose to do all three things the specialist suggested.

Rainbow looking out my hospital window

I got the cerclage Sunday morning and while the overall experience of a late term cerclage (they would normally do it around 12-14 weeks) is not one I’d like to repeat, I kept reminding myself that it would give our little one a fighting chance by helping to prolong the pregnancy. The rest of the day I was uncomfortable from the procedure, but wasn’t feeling that bad and all things considered was doing pretty good.

James crashed after the stressful weekend.

James crashed after the stressful weekend

Monday morning, the doctor stopped by and said that I was doing well and that if the ultrasound of my cervix looked good today then she would probably let me go home on Tuesday! This was very exciting because we thought I might be the hospital on bedrest for the next 3-4 weeks!

A little later in the morning, just as my grandparents got there to visit with me, they came to get me for my ultrasound. The nurse was nice enough to suggest that my grandparents go with, so Grandpa & Grandma Jones got to experience my ultrasound with me!

The ultrasound tech was happy with the results of the cerclage and said it was in the perfect position to help keep my cervix closed! With that good news to start the morning, the rest of my Monday was actually pretty good and I was even able to get a lot of work done from the hospital!

Tuesday morning James got there early in hopeful anticipation of my release and we weren’t disappointed! Around mid-morning the doctor on call stopped by to let us know I was released to go home, but on very strict bedrest. I can get out of bed to go to the bathroom, I can sit up in bed a little to eat, I can get out of bed for a five minute shower a couple of times a week, and that’s it! Otherwise I’m to stay in bed! I do get to leave the house once a week, but it’s only to go to the doctors for an ultrasound, checkup, and progesterone shot.

Yet, there are a few good things from all of this:

  1. They caught the problem before I actually went into preterm labor, which means I have a decent chance of a successful pregnancy.
  2. The baby is absolutely perfect and right on schedule; I just need to keep the little one cooking long enough to be born healthy.
  3. James only teaches 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, & Friday) and can be home with me otherwise.
  4. My mom has offered to come and clean the house while I’m on bedrest! 🙂
  5. Mom and James both got to feel the baby move for the first time on Saturday!!
  6. Grandpa & Grandma Jones not only got to see my stitched up cervix on the ultrasound Monday morning, they also got to see their seventh great-grandbaby kicking and flipping around! The little one was putting on quite a show for the elders!
  7. I should be able to do a lot of work from home, which should help keep me sane and not eat up all of my sick, vacation, and personal time.
  8. We’ve got amazing friends and family who have offered to come and sit with me and bring us meals! In fact, our first evening home and we got an amazing dinner from my Online Learning coworkers delivered right to our door! 🙂

We are trying to stay as positive as possible and all positive thoughts, energy etc. are greatly appreciated! Our first hurdle is 24 weeks and after that each extra day just gets us closer to a healthy baby!

20 weeks

Even though we just saw my Mom last weekend for my Grandparents 60th anniversary, Mom just couldn’t get enough of us and decided to come and visit this weekend.  The first thing out of her mouth when she saw me was “You’re bigger!”

20 Weeks!

This seemed a little crazy since it had barely been a week since I’d seen her, but she insisted that the belly had definitely grown!

Mom only stayed one night, but while she was there we did some clearance rack shopping at Kohl’s (I got a $60 dress for $2.80!!), enjoyed playing around in the pool, and went to see Captain America!

Keeping cool and having fun in the pool!

We had a fun time with my mom and it was nice way to informally celebrate being halfway through the pregnancy! Time has definitely flown by and I hope the next 20 weeks go just as quickly!

19 weeks

I’m a little over 19 weeks pregnant and getting bigger and bigger, but loving every minute of it!! 🙂

19 Weeks Pregnant and Loving it!