Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day by Day

Earlier today I thought I would be able to keep this baby in another week or so. Now, I don't know. I think I should learn to stop assuming, or even guessing, anything! Jeff went to meet Mom and get Ivey back and Jen came here to be with me... bringing me some much needed supplies. I'm so glad she repacked my hospital bag! Who knows when I may need it again!

I was supposed to take my Procardia at 8:00 tonight, but at 6:30 I started contracting again. I held off until 7:30 and went ahead and took it. By 8:00, I was having contractions... STRONG ones... every 2-3 minutes. They were big enough that I couldn't talk through them and they brought me to tears. I called the midwife who told me to give it 30 minutes and see if I can get them to slow down.

By 9:30 they had slowed to about 5-6 minutes apart and weren't as strong. Now, they are still happening, but they are still more tolerable than they were. I put a friend on standby for the night, just in case Jeff and I have to go to the hospital and have to have her come to stay with Ivey. Hopefully, things will continue to calm down and we will stay put tonight!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Home Again

Well, we made it out. Not Olive, she's still in. Jeff and I, however, managed to get released from the hospital and made it home. I had some contractions last night, even on the Procardia that they put me on, but they were much calmer than yesterday. The procardia was much better than the terbulatine (which makes you feel like a spider monkey with a few double lattes), but it has it's side effects. It's a blood pressure medication, and I already have blood pressure than runs on the low side. So, I spent the night trying to elevate my head enough as to not feel like I was hanging upside down. But, it seems to help things.

My cervix had not changed today, so Toni sent me home with a prescription for more Procardia and bedrest. I am supposed to go back to see them on Wednesday for an ultrasound and for another cervical check. Bedrest. Boy, am I thankful for the Netbook Jeff got me for Christmas!

The kids are spending the rest of the weekend between the grandparents' houses and Jeff and I are hanging out here. It has been a wild few days for me, with lots of running to the "doctor" and then getting stuck in the hospital. I haven't seen much of the kids and I miss them terribly. Tomorrow, he will meet Mom to get Ivey back. I figure she should be here if she can since we have no idea when the real labor and hospital time for us will begin. On Monday, Linda will be bringing the boys home and then helping me out until Tuesday! This bedrest thing may actually work after all! It looks like I may have a lead on help for Wednesday through Friday, so now I just need to try my very best to stay pregnant!

I really want this little girl to stay in for 2 more weeks. In two weeks, she could come home with us, with no NICU stay. I just want to be able to snuggle her in the room with me, feed her with no pumping involved, and bring her home to all of her wonderful siblings. Two more weeks... 35 weeks gestation... I can do that, right?

Friday, January 29, 2010

8:07 Update

Okay... so I'm still here. They gave me another shot of terbutaline and now we wait. It sounds like we're going to wait and see how the contractions do after this shot, watch me over night, and then check my cervix again in the morning. Jeff got here not long ago and went out to hunt and gather us some dinner. In hospital world, there is no reason to assume that they will send me home tomorrow or to assume that they will find huge changes and I'll stay for another week. There's just no telling... but, I still like to think that I will be home tomorrow.

6:35pm update

Well, the terbutaline was working... until it wasn't. I haven't seen Delrose (midwife today) yet, but I know when she comes in she'll want to hit me with another dose. I'm having them about 4 minutes apart or so. Looks like I'll not be getting out of here quite as "soon" as I thought. Hopefully she will come in here in a little while and give me her opinion.

Looks like another preemie in our future...

Well, well, well...

It looks like this pregnancy will be a little more dramatic than Ivey's. I went in for my midwife appointment last week, knowing that the baby was much lower than she had been.. and knowing that I felt a lot more pressure. Well, sure enough. I was 70% effaced, my cervix was very very soft, and Olive was at -1 station. If I had been dilated at all they would have sent me to get the steroid shots for her lung development, but I wasn't. I was still posterior and they did a fetal fibronectin test that came back negative. SO, I was sent home.

Yesterday, I went in to be checked out. I honestly don't remember if it was a scheduled appointment or if I called because of how I was feeling... even though it was only yesterday, I really have no idea. Anyway, Toni rechecked my cervix and learned that Olive dropped even further and was now between 0 and +1! Not only that, I was 90% effaced and 1-2cm dilated. I was only 32 weeks and 5 days, according to them. According to me, I was 33 weeks even. I was sent over to L&D for steroid shots and to get put on the contraction monitor. Five hours later, they sent me home with orders to come back the next day for the 2nd dose of steroids. I left with a huge feeling of anxiety... I am NOT ready! There are so many things I need to do... and I have potentially very little time or ability to do them. I went home and made lists and packed bags for the hospital.

So, that brings us to today. I woke up at 5:45 this morning with contractions 4-5 minutes apart. I called the midwife and she told me to eat a little something, have a lot of water to drink and lay back down for an hour to see what happens. Lo and behold, they slowed down and I fell asleep. When I woke up, they were no longer regular. They are different than yesterday's contractions, though. For one, they were regular. They were also more "menstrual crampy" feeling. I had to go in today to get the steroid shot anyway, so they had me come in to get checked out. My cervix hasn't changed, but I was having more contractions than yesterday, so they put me back in a hospital bed to monitor me and then gave me a shot of terbutaline to slow them down. Wow. How on Earth did I stay on this drug for 12 weeks?? I had forgotten how it makes you feel... shaky and jittery and freezing cold. It all came back to me... Yes, this is exactly how I felt back then.

I am laying here in the hospital bed now, steroid shot in, terbutaline seems to be helping, and I will probably go home in the next couple hours (I hope). We need to keep this baby in for one more week. Two would be fabulous, but no one here seems to think that is going to happen. Yes, she will have to go to the NICU, but I know she will be okay. We're looking at some breathing assistance and probably a feeding tube for a little while. Unlike my last NICU experience, this time I will have other kids... kids that cannot go into the NICU with me. I have no idea how I will manage that one, but we'll just let things play out. I know it will all work out, we have tons of fabulous people who love us!

So, Jeff and I have a weekend to ourselves this week. I already miss Ivey terribly, and I hope that I don't go into labor in a day or two and lengthen the time she is away. I will miss all of them! Yes, my three are a lot of work, but although they may make "taking it easy" hard, they make my heart happy and it feels great to know I am good at being their mommy. And, it looks like I'll get to learn how to be a mommy to a whole new little being quite soon!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Science Day

Today was our weekly science class at UGA's botanical gardens. I drop the boys off at 9am (no easy feat) and then Ivey and I scoot off to play at Chick-Fil-A until time to pick them up at 11. Ivey has a great time playing with a little 2 year old girl named Elaine, whose grandfather also brings her there on Wednesday mornings. The two jabber and play, and I sit and relax with a chicken biscuit and my Netbook. Perfect.

This science class is the best thing ever. It was affordable, it's extremely educational, and the boys love it! I pick them up and the van erupts into chatter about the day's activities and lessons. Here's what I learned about today's class:

The day started out with a puppet show. A squirrel worked at a restaurant and served many different animals their meals. The sun helped the squirrel make the food... making plants for other animals to eat. They learned about the kinds of foods that different animals eat.

Next, they made a house for worms. They took lots of torn up paper, dirt, a banana peel, potato scraps and some water... added worms... and they learned how the worms would make fertile soil. Luckily, the worm house stayed at the botanical gardens.

Then, the super duper best thing ever... Addison explains, "When an owl eats a mouse or a bird, he has two tummy parts... It goes to the first tummy part and then some goes to the second tummy part, but the bones and stuff it can't digest gets spit up in an owl pellet." Each student was given an owl pellet and they used magnifying glasses and rulers to inspect and investigate the bones they found inside. I was pretty impressed... When they brought their bones home, they were able to identify the hip bones, the skull, the teeth, bones of the arms and legs, and ribs. (Addison showed me the ribs in his dish and then told me that his ribs were "pretty worn out since Granddaddy gets them all the time.")

After a good hand washing, they had a snack of graham cracker sticks, carrots and Juicy Juice. The watched a short video about how different fruits and vegetables are grown in other locations and the people involved in the growing, picking, sometimes canning and packaging, and transporting of the produce. The teacher taught them about the different ingredients in a candy bar... and how different ingredients originated from different parts of the world. She taught how certain crops began in other regions, but now may now be grown in other places in the world. They told me that there was an island that had coconut trees... and how coconuts dropped from the tree and floated across the ocean to other shores, where coconut trees grew in other places.

I really hope the gardens choose to do another class later on... obviously, we are learning a great deal!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2 Week Pass

Quick update: The fetal fibronectin test came back negative, so I have at least 2 more weeks before this kiddo makes her appearance! Excellent!

Reality Check

I'm 32 weeks today.

For the past few weeks, I have been having my typical contractions. They are much worse at night than during the day, but if I lay down, take a bath, drink tons of water and go to sleep, they subside by morning. Last night, they seemed stronger than before... not only that, but it seemed like the baby had dropped and there was a lot of pressure. It feels like this little girl is ready to exit. Heck, for the last week, whenever she has had the hiccups, it has felt like I was sitting on someone who has the hiccups. It feels like my butt has the hiccups. No lie.

I called the office yesterday and told them that it might be a good idea to get that fetal fibronectin test done. (The test that shows if preterm activity has begun). They told me to call and come in in the morning. It took me the first half of the day to figure out how I was going to get there, and what I was going to do with the kids. Kierstin came to the rescue and I sped off for Athens.

They hooked me up to the contraction monitor to see that, yes, I do have the world's most irritable uterus. They did a cervical check and found Olive's head is at -1 station and my cervix is soft and shortening. (But, it's not opened and it's still posterior, both good signs. If it had been dilated at all I would have been sent over to L&D, and I have no idea how that would have worked!) I had the fetal fibronectin test done and will get the results back tonight. If it's positive, I'll go in and get the steroid shots for baby's lungs. If it's negative, then I'll know that I will be pregnant for at least two more weeks.

Olive has been measuring 1-1.5 weeks ahead of schedule, and my fundal height is 1 week ahead, so coming early doesn't seem as scary. I know she'll be fine. I just need to focus my energy on getting a plan together, so that when the time comes I'm not scrambling around to figure out who is watching the kids and who can take me to the hospital, etc. I've revamped my estimate from 6 weeks to 4 weeks.

It's funny, I could tell something was going on by the sheer fact that I spent yesterday cleaning out the microwave and getting the kids to move my bed so I could vacuum under it. Vacuum and clean under the bed? Have I EVER done that? Something has to be up. My hands and feet have started to swell, too, which I didn't do with Ivey until the very end.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ancient Civilizations

The other day, the boys were digging in "the beaver dam". In the process of digging a very large and very unsightly hole in the yard, they came across piece of a broken plate. They read the word "China" on the back and came flying into the house. The excitement was uncontrollable. See, if you were six you would realize what this rare finding must mean. Addison explained that it means that a long long long time ago, there may have been an ancient civilization right here in Bethlehem... and in that ancient civilization, they must have built their Chinese restaurant right here in our backyard! My little archeologists are so smart..

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Creating a Monster

I do believe that Jeff has created a monster. In typical dad fashion, he has a healthy picking/teasing/tormenting relationship with Asa and Addison. For some reason this week he has focused a little attention on Addison. Twice he has come home, held Addison down, and tickled the snot out of him. When Addison asked why he tickled him and not Asa, Jeff answered "because you deserved it"! I am only guessing that this was the catalyst for Addison's newfound past-time... teasing Daddy.

It began at the dinner table, as Addison would make fun of Jeff's uncontrollable phobia of getting wet food on his face. Addison also would run around the house, just out of Jeff's reach, tormenting him and just begging for Jeff to grab him and tickle him again. Last weekend, we went to the cabin with Randy and Linda. While we were there, Addison continued his mission to tease Jeff. He called him pip-squeak over and over again. Jeff threatened to "get him", but never did. After a few mninutes, Addison said from across the room, "Daddy, you know why I called you pip squeak?" (he inserted a small pause for effect) "Because I MEANT IT!" His face erupted into a maniacal little grin of pure satisfaction.

The Addison/Jeff dance continued throughout the night, even when Jeff was not in the room. When I went up to tuck them in, Addison and I were talking about how big their turtles were getting. "They eat like pigs!" I told them. Addison said that they were three little pigs... that lived in "Mommy and Jeff's house!". Yet again, he had a very satisfied grin upon his face.

Oh, Jeff, I believe you are in for it now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

White Cat Does Have His Upside

This cat is patient. He was patient with Asa and Addison... and he is patient with Ivey. Of course, there's a lot less to be patient about with Ivey. Unlike the boys (who loved on him, but were a lot rougher about it), Ivey spends her kitty-cat-time petting his back, giving him kisses, covering him with her blanket and trying to get him to drink out of a sippy cup. The only thing she does that gets to him is when she wants him to lay down. She seems to think that he should always be covered with a blanket and lying down... which means she needs to push on his back until he lays flat. The first few times, he complies. After a while, though, he is over it and lets her know... but he doesn't use claws. I think he knows that a swift swat is plenty to make her back off. Even white cat has his upside.

Long Overdue Christmas Post

It's been a while! Christmas went by in a flash, as I knew it would. I pushed way too hard and got way too little sleep, but it was well worth it.

We kicked off the season with the live Nativity scene in Bethlehem. The boys were shepherds, watching their flock. Mim came and watched the play, well, Mim came and we took turns wrestling Ivey during the play. The next day, we headed to Mim and Papa's for the Eve Eve party. As always, it was fabulous. I felt bad that I was no help at all this year... between Ivey and my contracting belly I ended up just showing up in time for the festivities, which felt totally bizarre! This year, there was a very big surprise as Santa showed up and talked to all fo the kids! It was absolutely awesome. Santa had the adults just as mesmerized as the kids... all the kids but Ivey, that is. She wasn't amused! The party was great, but it was MUCH better after Ivey's bedtime, where I was able to come down from my frenzy and actually enjoy myself.

As tradition, we spent the first half of the day at Mom and Roland's and then went to church and dinner with Randy and Linda. Of course, we had our late night drive back home to wait for Santa. Three kids on Christmas morning. Good grief! It was wild at times, but luckily Ivey slept in. The boys were able to come and see their gifts and play for a couple hours before the little imp came downstairs. She loved her "car" and her magnets, but mainly loved the chaos of the morning. I just stood back and wondered just how crazy things will be next Christmas, when we have two 7 year olds, a 2 year old, and a 9 month old crawling around!! I'll need to really rest up for that one.

We had Christmas Day supper at our house, which I loved. It was great having everyone over to eat, even if I was exhausted! Three days after Christmas, my exhaustion led to a nasty cold. I'm still getting over it. Everyone else trucked on through with a stuffy nose, but my pregnant self ended up with a chest infection and needed antibiotics. I also coughed so hard for so long that I seriously injured myself, it's either my ab that is pulled or something up with my rib. Either way, I keep re-injuring myself each time I lift Ivey, which happens daily. Ouch. Not good.

We are back into the swing of things now. Asa and Addison started a science class at the Athens Botanical Gardens, learning about different ecosystems. That is where they are now. They LOVE IT. They will be going for two hours a day, one day a week for 8 weeks. I think I need to find more outlets like this! They are eating it up. In Addison's words, "I loved this class because on the first day we really learned something instead of just 'visiting'!". That's my boy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


It's mornings like this that make me wonder how I am going to survive being a mommy of three. Today is a Wednesday, and Wednesdays now mean that I have to have myself and all three kids dressed, fed and in Athens by 9:00am for the boys' new science class at the Botanical Gardens. Believe it or not, I have been on time for the first two classes, even in the freezing temps. This morning, I took the boys to class, ran to Chick-fil-A to grab breakfast, and realized that I had to actually go in so that I could also feed Ivey. After breakfast, we had 45 minutes to fly through Publix and do our grocery shopping before going back to pick up Asa and Addison. Let's recap so far... Put Ivey in the car at the house, took Ivey out of the car at science class, put her back in to head to Chick-Fil-A, out again to go eat, back in to head to Publix, out when we got to Publix, back in after shopping, out when we got to science class and then finally, back in to head back home. This is with 27 degree temperature, wind, a very pregnant belly and an already very pulled ab muscle that I'm supposed to be "resting" instead of re-injuring.

I picked up the boys and ran for a quick jaunt through Wal-Mart. Then, of course, it was lunch time. Although I desperately wanted to hit a drive through, I gave in and let the kids get burritos at Barbaritos, their favorite restaurant. Since I wasn't' hungry I figured I should take advantage of being able to buy less food- now that the boys eat adult sized burritos, I just can't afford for us all to eat lunch there. We decided to just pick up lunch and take it home, since it was getting close to Ivey's bedtime. (Let me just mention that the Wal-Mart and Barbaritos stops added 4 ins and outs to the Ivey-carseat-count.) Because of the many errands already today, Ivey had had enough of the stroller. The only way through the line would be to carry her, perched upon my belly. (I was hoping that their restaurant highchairs would be the kind with wheels... then I could just plop her in and roll her through the line... but alas, it was not to be.)

While simultaneously telling one employee to put ground beef and black beans on Addison's burrito and another employee the intricate directions required to properly create Asa's burrito (lettuce, cheese, cucumber, green pepper, black olives, tomatoes... no, not the salsa, the plain tomatoes), Ivey performed the perfect combination of a bad cough, a little hand stuffed down her throat and a lunge forward which pushing her tummy against mommy's arm.

This combo caused her to make a cough-like noise and she turned to bury her head in my chest. No, it was not a cough. She had gagged herself, causing the expulsion of 8oz of milk and a full helping of oatmeal with applesauce right down the front of my V-neck sweater. Luckily, my pregnant state had created a) enough cleavage to truly channel the aforementioned concoction straight down my torso and b) the need for low-rise maternity pants that created a pooling effect.

I was stunned and frozen, mid-order. All I could do was tell the two employees that I would shortly return as I scuttled with my mini-entourage to the bathroom. I was frazzled and lost. What to do? Asa and Addison were wide eyed as I racked my brain for a solution. Luckily, Addison looked away before he also vomited... he and his weak stomach cannot handle such displays of bodily fluid. (Last week, Addison informed me that whenever he sees Ivey eat, he always thinks that either he is going to throw up or that she is, but I digress...) Armed only with a travel pack of wipes and corporate quality paper towels, I realized that the only real option was to completely button up my coat to conceal the disaster, continue ordering, and make the 25 minute drive home completely soaked in the semi-digested breakfast. This plan, although completely vile, worked fine. I rode home feeling like I had been to Six Flags and ridden Splash Water Falls dressed in winter attire... all of it clinging tightly to my skin.

Anyone with kids knows that days like this happen... and it's surviving days like this that make us even more Superwomen than we already are.