Saturday, September 24, 2011

22 weeks 6 days and Updates

Just a few things to update. I had my 22 week OB appointment on Thursday. Baby's heartbeat measured 145, and I'm measuring appropriately. I lost a pound. No big deal I don't think yet though. I've yo-yo'd back and forth with this pound for the last 12 weeks. I imagine soon enough I'll start gaining. It's not for lack of eating. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed 2 boxes of Entenmann's Softee's donuts in the last two weeks, and the number of milkshakes I've had. The morning of my OB appointment, I had thrown up the crackers I'd eaten in an attempt to calm my nausea before getting out of bed, and after that, I was throwing up blood. I'm now trying zantac to see if that helps. I'm not sure if the blood was from all of the stress I've had this past week, or if it was just because of the irritation of my stomach, likely from all of the heartburn and reflux I've been experiencing. I'm guessing (and hoping) the latter.

My grandmother isn't doing well. She's more tired, feels cold, and her appetite just isn't great. Hospice home care came to do a referral for her on Wednesday. They did accept her into their program and the plan at this point is for them to visit her weekly (vs. monthly) and when it's appropriate, she will move into their inpatient hospice program. Through this hospice care she is receiving, she will get pastoral services (she's a strict Catholic, so I'm sure she would appreciate this), as well as a nursing assistant who will tend to her. The plan was to go up and see her this Sunday, however, I forgot that because we have a sticky childcare situation this week, my husband took off the nights I was scheduled, and in an effort to keep him from taking off in the middle of his work week, I picked up Sunday night. We would get back in time for me to shower and eat dinner before heading to work, and that's just not safe for anyone. So the plan is to go up next weekend and see her.

In other news, my sister called in the middle of the night on Tuesday night. Her two chihuahuas (8 and 11 years old) were attacked by a boxer and a pit bull, both off leash when she took them out for a potty run. Her dogs were on leash. The other dog owner took off with his dogs instead of staying to help and my sister had to pick up her two beloved dead dogs and carry them back into her apartment by herself. Dallas police claim that dogs are property, and they could only file a property damage report. One of my friends who is an attorney said that if they have a leash law (they do), they likely have a citation to go with it, here in MD it's called "Dog at Large". I think the dog owner should at the very least be charged with that. The problem is that they guy had been moving out of his apartment over a few day period prior to the attacks. I assured my sister that the apartment community would have to have his forwarding contact info on record so that they could return any security deposit. She had reported this guy previously (he used to have two boxers, but now just has the one, and the one boxer had tried to get to her dogs before, but she'd been able to keep them safe) more than once to the apartment community, but obviously nothing was done about it. In my anger, I told her she should take the box with Ben and Stitch to the leasing office, tell them thanks for not enforcing their policies and helping keep all the animals safe, and ask what they could do about it. I just think they have some responsibility in all of this. Then I told her she should call the local news because the police obviously could care less, and the same for the apartment complex, and yet, all she can think about right now is their broken bodies, and how lonely she is without them. Someone should be able to do something. Stitch was attacked last year by another dog (german shepherd I believe) and almost died. He was paralyzed for a time and had alot of brain swelling. My sister promised them then that she would protect them and just feels like she failed them. She is blaming herself, but yet, she was doing the responsible thing with walking them on lead. The other dog owner often took his dogs out off lead, and obviously didn't have control of them.

We don't have any other family members in TX, and so they were her family, she treated them as her children. I am so angry for her. If I could go to Dallas right now and fight this battle with the police and apartment community I would. She is devastated. And that dog owner should be ashamed of himself. My sister has said that when the boxer didn't listen the guy would beat him (sounds like a charmer), and so I imagine that he may have had past issues either with attacks or reports against him or his dogs and that's why he took off. I think Animal Control deserves a call as well. She just can't focus on that right now, she's so sad. She hasn't gotten to the angry part yet.

Please pray for my sister as she copes with the loss of her pups, and please pray for my grandmother that she be as comfortable as possible for however long she has left. Thank you in advance.

Friday, September 16, 2011

21 weeks 5 days

It only took one stick (and alot of pain as she fished around) to get my IV on Wednesday. Then it bruised throughout the day. I kept on top of flushing the IV more frequently in an effort to hopefully keep it through today, but I could tell when I flushed it on Thursday morning and it was so sluggish that it wasn't going to last that one more day. So I hung my last bag of IV fluids yesterday, pulled that sucker out when it was done, and called my OB today to ask her to discontinue my IV fluids. She and my urologist were both on board with this plan or I would have been calling to ask for a PICC.

While I had her on the phone, I asked if she'd gotten any official report on the ultrasound we had at 18 weeks. I wanted to know if they had cleared the baby's spine, or if perhaps we should schedule another look. She said that they cleared all three areas of the spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar), and that if they didn't have a good look, that they would have suggested further studies. It was read by a real radiologist, not just the tech who did the ultrasound. So this gives me a relief.

In other news, Jack finally got to feel the baby move once on Monday night. Since then, the baby has decided he likes to play games with his big brother, and everytime he's active and Jack puts his hand on my belly, the baby is perfectly still. Take Jack's hand off, and the baby moves. What a booger!

Now, I need to vent. As a NICU nurse at some point you will be the resus/triage nurse responsible for responding to calls in L&D. I'm pregnant, but not handicapped. I have no problem with going up for a resus for a c-section baby who may need help, or a meconium baby or any preemie. I did it throughout my pregnancy with Jack. I ran into a problem then, only because I looked at 30 weeks and thought, that is perfect, might need a little help breathing initially, but should do just fine. I was 29 weeks pregnant when we got a resus call for a 30 weeker. I went up for it like any other resus call, but something wasn't right with this baby. We couldn't get the baby's oxygen levels up, we couldn't get a breathing tube in the baby, anesthesia tried one of their devices and no matter what we did, we couldn't save this baby. One of the nurse practitioners was on this resus with me, and I didn't take it well when all was said and done. I was a week away from being where this baby was. One week. And we couldn't save this baby. Why not? Turns out the baby had a weird anatomy that no one knew about in utero, and there wasn't anything we would have been able to do to change what happened.

Now, come back to present day. I'll be 22 weeks pregnant on Sunday. I KNOW my baby isn't viable at this point. They wouldn't even try to resus my baby if I delivered next week, and I know that, and I'm fine with it because I know what the likelihood of problems would be for my child, and that's not a life. I am the resus nurse tonight. No biggie. It's part of the job. My charge nurse tells me there is a 23 weeker upstairs in active labor. Ok, no biggie. I know that with any 23 weeker, the baby may be too small to resus, or the resus may not go well and may end up in a full code, or the baby may just have the typical resus for that gestation, come down to our unit to be admitted, and go through all the normal stuff a 23 weeker would be expected to go through. The nurse practitioner (different from the one I was with in the above scenario), and the fellow don't think I should go up. They think we need to be realistic about what we're asking people to do. Seriously, I know my baby isn't viable right now, and it wouldn't be my first or tenth 23 week resus I went on. They want someone who isn't so close to the gestational age to go. I asked another nurse in my room who has an easy assignment if she'd mind going up for that one, that I'll handle the rest of them. She doesn't want to go because she MIGHT be pregnant. Are you freaking kidding me? And if you are indeed pregnant, do you think you won't have be resus for the next 36 weeks? That's not how our job works. I would totally get this if it meant being exposed to something that's not safe in pregnancy like varicella, herpes, toxoplasmosis, CMV, etc. I'm just frustrated. This is a person who in general, I usually get along with, but I am really irritated. She could be the nurse admitting this baby and not get a say in it at all, but you can't go up for a fifteen minute resus? Luckily there are a few other nurses who know how the job works who are willing to go up for this baby. At least I can count on most of my coworkers for good teamwork and support.

Monday, September 12, 2011

21 Week Update

Hello there! I know, I haven't been commenting, but I assure you've I've been reading the blogs I follow religiously, it's just not as easy to comment on my phone. I am going to make an effort to get better at this. It's been a long couple of weeks since I last posted.

We found out from my dad's side of the family that my grandmother is eating now which is great. But she has had the biggest decline they've seen in her since she had her stroke a few years ago which landed her in the nursing home to begin with. At this point, they are keeping her comfortable. Our plan was for all of us to drive up this past Saturday to visit her. However, with the threats being made, and the need to drive through tunnels or over bridges in New York, we decided the safest thing was not to risk taking out our entire immediate family (well almost, my sister is in TX, but it was supposed to be me, my dad, my mom, Archie, and Jack going up). So now we have to figure out when we are going to be able to go back up. I work all this weekend, and Jack starts an acting/singing/dancing class called Broadway Babies this Saturday and it's every Saturday for the next 7 weeks. I guess we'll have to plan on going up on a Sunday, or a weekday (less likely for a weekday as my schedule varies, Archie works and so does my dad). At this point, I just continue to pray for my grandmother, and pray that she knows we want to be there with her, and that we're praying for and thinking about her.

On the baby front, things are going better. We felt the baby move from the outside for the first time last night. Well, Archie and I did. Jack fell asleep with his hand on my belly waiting to feel the baby move on Saturday night. So sweet. I've decided not to worry about this little one's spine. Seriously, it's a fetus, they're supposed to be curled up. I think it's probably completely normal, and from what I can feel of this baby, he's got no problem moving around.

I continue to get IV fluids. It's taking more and more sticks to get access, so there has been some talk about a PICC line, but I measured my urine output over the weekend, and I've talked to both my urologist and OB, and they're both happy with my output at present. I'm eating ice chips and popsicles to boost it when I'm not feeling well enough to take in as much as I normally would in water, and it seems to be helping. My plan is at my OB appointment next week to ask to stop the IV fluids unless I develop a stone.

Not sure if I mentioned it on my last post after my OB appointment, but I was back up to my 10 week pregnancy weight at that appointment. Since I'm eating more frequently, and I have to admit I may have increased my intake of milkshakes (strawberry or chocolate, doesn't matter to me!), so I'm thinking my weight will probably have increased by a couple of pounds by next Thursday-yikes!!! I am also eating good things, it's not all junk. This baby seems to really like grapes and baby carrots, so those have been things I've tried to eat since the thought of salad (and texture after throwing it up once a couple of weeks ago at work) makes my stomach turn. The heartburn continues to be an issue, and TUMS continue to be my go-to for that. The heartburn with Jack didn't start until later in pregnancy than it did with this one, so I'm pretty sure this baby will have a good amount of hair too. I'm not throwing up too often, maybe once a week or so, although I have plenty of times I'm right on the edge and not too sure that I won't throw up. I still take the zofran, sometimes it's every 8 hours on the really bad days, and other days I don't need to take it at all.

I'll end this post with a picture of my belly at 20 weeks.