Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sadie on Angels...

I guess it's only natural with Sadie's love of all things chivalrous and knightly that she would find the depictions of Saint Michael to be irresistible.  Add to that a love of all stories of good versus evil and her latest story obsession, which has lasted roughly two months now, is to say: "Mommy please tell me the story about the angels," which means that she wants me to tell her about Lucifer saying he would not serve and being cast out of heaven with the other angels that turned against God.  And of course she wants to hear about the good angels who love God.

Naturally Saint Michael is her favorite.

She could tell the story herself, and after having repeated sixty or so times, the words have begun to fit a familiar pattern and if I pause she'll go on, filling in the blanks.  Or we'll be doing something else and suddenly she'll be very serious and say something like:  "I'm not pure spirit because I have a body.  I have bones.  I like my bones."

The other day, however, a serious expression crossed her little face as she sat and pondered and began to worry.  Then out came the question:

"Mommy, I hope that the bad angels don't get Christian to be naughty."

Apparently all the talk of a new brother arriving had made her think of her little brother who is a saint in heaven and she'd begun to worry about the goings on in heaven and about how safe he was there.

So then I reminded her again how the story had ended, with those who had turned against God being cast out of heaven and her smile returned as she nodded and hugged me and went back to playing.

Life seems like a giant puzzle at the moment and she constantly surprises me both with her insights and worries as we read stories and she puts the pieces together and peppers me with questions that I sometimes struggle to answer.

It's certainly extra motivation to keep learning so that I can keep up (hopefully) with my sweet girl!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Random "Still Pregnant" Post

All day long the toddler was glued to my side.  I watched her closely.  She seemed to be feeling better... but clinginess is not a typical trait for my second born.  She's the one who likes to go to her room by herself.  When we were in a one story apartment she'd go into her room and shut the rest of us out and play for long stretches of time by herself.  So I was a bit curious about what brought about this change.

She spent most of the day laying, with her head against my stomach.  Cuddling with her brother? I wondered.

She occasionally comes over and hugs my baby bump, but she's not nearly as fixated on all things baby (unlike her big sister who has whispered conversations and tells The Boy that she loves him).  She's still a bit young for that.

Then this afternoon she started tugging at my shirt collar and acting like she wanted to nurse.  I was stumped.  This was the kid that only nursed when she was hungry.  She's been weaned for a little more than half a year and wasn't really all that put out by being cut off.  And she apparently thought all the collar tugging was hilarious and cracked up as I warded off her attempts.

Tonight I realized the reason behind this sudden milking fascination.  Her toddler super senses apparently told her, before I knew what was going on, that the baby's milk had arrived.

This must mean that labor is close, right?  Or is it one of those "it could be hours, it could be weeks" type of things?


On a totally different note, I could hug the reader who tipped me off to albuterol stopping labor.  My labor signs were strong until two days ago when this newest illness got so out of hand that I began relying on my inhaler to breath.  They totally stopped after I began using the inhaler.  I haven't used my inhaler in seven hours now and the contractions are starting back up again.  Sure I'm walking around the house wheezing like crazy... but I can deal with that.  If it means baby can arrive in his own time I'll just take things super, super easy (and going outside in the freezing air seems to help when things get out of control).

I'm very, very thankful for the inhaler tip though!  The doctors are increasingly anxious the closer we get to our due date, so I'm really hopeful things get moving soon!


Will this be a Halloween baby?  Or will I get my Saint Martin de Porres feast day baby (over a year ago after we lost Christian I'd prayed that we would be blessed with a little one, born on his feast day... and we're getting pretty close).  I pointed out to Paul that we already have a baby born on one major pagan holiday (the summer solstice), maybe this little pumpkin will be number two.

A Whiny Post (since I'm not really capable of anything else at this point)

My brain is currently not working at top speed, so this may not be the greatest post ever...  but at the moment hitting the right keys on the keyboard is something of a victory, so here goes:

This thing sounds like a harmonica every time I use it...
And I'm seriously needing it way too much right now.
I spent yesterday offering up prayers for those of you east of us hit by the storm (how are you guys doing?), offering up the feelings associated with having another virus for the third time in three months for the souls in purgatory and generally doing a pretty horrible job not feeling sorry for myself and bugging God about how it doesn't seem like breathing would be too much to ask for while in labor, because I'm really not sure how labor will work with my lungs in their current "Quick Grab Me that Inhaler!" state.

100% of the people who visited me in the hospital ended up getting sick (that would be 5 out of 5 people...).  Everyone in the house was sick as of yesterday, although the girls seem to be on an upswing.  And I really, really wish that there was a cough syrup pregnant women could take that didn't include the word "expectorant" because I'm coughing enough without any extra help, thank you very much.

 I have been getting a lot done... because laying down is the worst position to be in (even propped up since I kind of need to be on my side 100% of the time these days) and so I avoid it like the plague.  The entire house has been cleaned and organized.  Laundry is caught up.  I'm sending orders out as they come in.  And I managed to sew a minkie and flannel baby snuggler last night for The Boy.  All of this is to avoid the inevitable night time when I will be in bed, not sleeping, feeling mightily tempted by those medicines in my medicine cabinet that actually work on cold/flu symptoms, but that are forbidden pregnant women.

On another note you'd think that, having had been in labor three times now, I would know when it was actually time.  But I don't.  I've been pretty sure that "this is it" pretty much every day this week.  My Hypnobabies book gives 7 signs of pre and early labor and I have 6 out of 7...  so we'll see how much longer this goes on... and maybe they'll let me have a nebulizer in my room during labor...  that's really the best case scenario I'm seeing through my not exactly rose colored glasses at this point.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Purple Ruffle Dress

Sadie begged and begged that I would use the remainder of the two yards of ruffle fabric to make two mini ruffle dresses.  She was very specific with her request, asking that it be exactly like Mommy's (and honestly, I didn't feel like fighting that ruffle fabric into sleeves and figured that we have enough cute little church sweaters and shrugs to go along with them that I'd keep the dress structure simple).  

The girls dresses each took half an hour and cost roughly $4 to make.  I'm liking this ruffle fabric more and more!  And Sadie is pretty much in love her dress!

Sick Day

Everyone in the house, with the exception of Paul, has come down with a nasty bug... again...

Our immune systems seem to be struggling while adjusting to Michigan viruses, since this is the third bout in as many months... I'm hoping we adjust soon.

On the upside, being sick isn't quite as miserable when you have a sister to sit on the couch and cuddle with.

I'm just really, really hoping this is a quick one and that we're all better by the time The Boy decides to arrive.

Friday, October 26, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---

I've been in super nesting, high speed get-everything-done mode around here.  Last night I sewed two dresses (that match the one I made for myself the night before) for Sadie and Mae, finished all but one of the orders I need to send out this week (thus almost completing all the orders I have in right now), sewed another State Blanket that I already had pinned since everyone in the house wants to have their own satin and fleece blanket to snuggle under, and designed and created a bath time apron (like an apron that's also a towel for infants) out of the blue terry cloth I had around, complete with minky edging, velvet ties and a matching Winnie the Pooh pocket.  

Since I've gotten out of the hospital I've managed to organize the upstairs, for the first time since we moved, with the sewing room, girls room and bedroom all being clean at the same time.

I would like to reorganize the laundry room one more time and cook a few more freezer meals... but essentially everything that needs to be done is done.

Except for one thing... For some reason I've avoided repacking my hospital bag... so today that is my number one goal.  You'd think I'd have learned after last time... but apparently I have some sort of aversion to hospital bag packing.  Today I'll just have to force myself to do it.  

--- 2 ---

This cute baby squirrel from back home is nothing like the
giant super squirrels that hang out in our yard here...
If you're on the blog facebook page you may have read about the "Squirrel Incident" earlier this week.

The Squirrel Incident was the pinicle of the weirdest week ever.  The day went something like this:

Mae Bae wakes up.  She's sick.  Paul takes her downstairs.  I go into the bathroom to get ready for the day.  Upon getting dressed my super-pregnancy-super-senses pick up a horrible smell.  I go into the girls bedroom.  I find poo covering Mae's bed.  I barely manage not to get sick and run downstairs and tell Paul.  Since Mae is wearing a footed zipper and didn't have a dirty diaper we realize it's not her.

Paul investigates and declares that the poo is rodent poo.  Sadie announced that a squirrel came in their room and then starts talking about rats with fluffy tails.

This causes a call to public health who tells us to take Mae to urgent care ASAP.  We drive over and discover that a) squirrels here don't have rabies b) squirrels here don't have diseases communicable to humans and c) Mae has the flu.

We drive home and tear the house apart.  The girls room is emptied.  It's sterilized.  There's no sign of droppings of the offending squirrel anywhere (except when we drive down our street and a fluffy squirrel with a red tail jumps out in front of our car and Sadie says "oh look!  There's the bad squirrel that slept on Mae Bae's bed!").

The rest of the house is cleaned. There are no droppings anywhere.  It's been days now and still no sign anywhere.

It doesn't seem to be an infestation and I'm wondering if a squirrel could have somehow gotten in (and later out?) while everyone was going in and out of the house the day before?  I have begun to relax my "Squirrel Checks," throughout the night and instead listen for squeaking on the monitor.  Sadie's been instructed to yell for me if a squirrel (or animal of any kind) somehow appears in their room.  And I'm really hoping that the "squirrel sleeping in Mae's Bed" that Sadie keeps talking about was her imagination and that the squirrel slipped in there when the room was empty and the girls were down stairs.

--- 3 ---

Reece's Rainbow is still in the running for the $50,000 grant... but while they've regained some ground, they're still in second place.

So if you have 10 seconds and a facebook account, click on this link and your vote can help bring 5 orphans closer to their homes... and if everyone who visits this blog on an average day clicks just once, they'll easily retake the lead (it's really easy too, you just click login so they can verify you've only voted once today and then vote and you've helped an awesome cause!).

If they win 5 orphans like Nico will be $10,000 closer to living with their families, so I'm really hoping they catch up!

--- 4 ---

I walked into the bathroom this morning and realized that I had a bruise on my belly button, presumably from the wild and crazy soccer games that are going on in my tummy.  I think that this is my first bruise from an internal baby kick.  I'm guessing the whole suddenly being anemic thing played a part in the bruise too... but really?

The doctor's are hoping that The Boy arrives Now.  Phrases like "sooner rather than later" are bandied about quite a bit in our home.  But while it looks like things are close (I'll spare you the details)... still no actual labor has begun since I've been released from the hospital.

Personally, with a First Day of Summer baby and a Forth of July baby, I think he's holding out for All Soul's Day or All Saints Day.  

--- 5 ---

On the upside, The Boy seems to sleep through the night.  This gives me hope.

When I was pregnant with Sadie she kept me up all night, every night, with her wild antics.  When she was born she spent the first 18 months of her life keeping me up with hourly wakings (literally)... every night...

When I was pregnant with Mae she was quiet all night, every night and was super active during the day.  When she was born she slept soundly and I worried about needing to wake her to feed and change her.

Could I possibly be blessed with two night time sleeping babies?  That would certainly be a treat!  I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high... but I think this does bode well for the baby not being an up-all-night sort!

--- 6 ---

Sadie had become pretty hilarious as she's begun to absorb social pleasantries like a sponge.  Earlier in the week we accompanied Grumpa to Home Depot to pick up a few things.  As we left the store she amused everyone by telling the check out assistant person "Thank you for having us."

When Grumpa left for the airport (Nani has been here taking care of us!), Sadie yelled after him:  "Drive carefully!  Stay out of trouble!  God Bless You!" along with about another 30 pieces of advice for his trip.

Although I could have done without her seeing the two year old tumbling class earlier this week and announcing:  "Mae Bae's better at doing all of this stuff!" in a proud (and loud) big sister voice...  No, no... definitely not true (or nice... she was on a roll that night with a preschool age commentary...).  We're just lucky that Mae left the class voluntarily and wasn't expelled... she excels at knocking over little boys with hugs... and made it through two half classes before we gave up (marveling at how the other two year olds in the class stood still and quietly listened to instructions!).  

--- 7 ---

I'll be 38 weeks tomorrow!  Any guesses on a due date/weight/ height?

For reference:  Sadie was born at 40 weeks and was 9 lbs 4 oz and 22 inches long.

Mae was born at 39 weeks and was 9 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long.

And The Boy?  My personal guess is that we won't make it to 39 weeks... and as for weight... at the moment I have no idea!  Although the "grape with legs" pictures from yesterday suggest he might be in the same range as his sisters!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sadie's First Ice Skating Class

When we were in Montana Nani and Grumpa offered to pay for the girls to take some classes with the local recreation district.  As we marveled over the selection available in our area, one class in particular caught my eye.  There were ice skating lessons for preschoolers held at Paul's school on the weekends.  The price was less monthly than the group ballet lessons she'd been in back in Naples and included a ice skating recital in December (we're all waiting amusedly to see what that's going to be like for the tots class).  

I was especially impressed that each class included 1/2 an hour of instruction, skates for Sadie, skates for a parent, 1/2 an hour of practice time on the ice after class and a treat following class.

And of course, I had to photograph her first class from the stands:

We arrived at the rink a little bit early.  It seemed huge!

It seemed even bigger when we discovered that there would only be two kids in Sadie's class (including Sadie) and two instructors:

Mae and I watched from the stands.  And Mae was surprisingly interested in what was going on:

It took Sadie a few minutes to get her balance (which made me very grateful for the one on one ratio!):

They got used to being on the ice:

And pretty soon Sadie was standing up on her own:

And gaining confidence with every minute:

They skated around collecting stuffed animals and spent a lot of time working on standing up after falling down:

Sadie was surprisingly focused the entire class... although she was certainly getting tired towards the end!

Mae thought the whole thing was pretty hilarious:

Daddy came on the ice for practice time:

And the princess had her first fall.  She was pretty brave and finished what she was doing though... and she didn't want to get off the ice despite her ouchie!

You know those ouchies when you know a bad bruise is going to form?

This was one of those:

After class we visited Nani and Grumpa's hotel room where Mae played with the (disconnected) phone:

And Sadie spent quite a bit of time peering in the mirror at her bruise!

And when you add her eye to my arms, which currently look like this, post-hospital trip:

You have quite a few people certain that we're being abused...  especially since the 77 degree weather has us in short sleeves this week (when did 77 become hot?).

Poor Paul.  I'm surprised he's even agreeing to go out in public with us this week...

My New Sewing Project: A Little Bit of Grape:

Earlier this week I picked up a few yards of fabric that I needed for orders, and saw that the ruffle stretch fabrics were 50% off.  I've been longing to try sewing with the ruffle fabrics since I saw a tutorial a month or so ago, and so I decided to invest in two yards for around $12 and see how it went.  

I was delighted last night when I realized I had enough fabric to make a dress for myself, a dress for Sadie and a dress for Mae.  I decided to go simple for my dress, and in around an hour, I was done (this picture was taken before I added straps, since I wanted something simple I could wear with a shrug right away and I didn't feel like coming up with sleeves just yet).

As you can see, The Boy is still in place, and the contractions have actually slowed down now that I'm not sick.  He is looking like he's a... rather healthy... size.

I used my computer to get pictures, and wasn't particularly good at getting across the room quickly (nothing is quick these days), which is why he first two pictures are headless... and also because the resolutions not great and those were the only two shots that really showed the ruffle fabric.

Here's my latest sewing project (and it was pretty easy: two seams down the sides, a seam around the top, elastic and a tie... afterwards I added two straps and a little sparkly jewel bead where the straps come together in the front... and it was done):

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Thought that Won't Leave My Mind...

The blog has been abnormally quiet, but not because I'm back in the hospital, and the boy is still persistently waiting, after several false alarms that caused me to think:  "I know this feeling... this is it..." that petered out after a couple of hours.  

Mae Bae is sick now (we'll be watching her like hawks) and I find myself preoccupied with a moment that happened a couple of weeks ago while we were grocery shopping, going back to that day over and over again in my head and running it over in my mind.  

Sadie and I were looking for a pumpkin.  It didn't take her long to find the largest, most spectacular pumpkin in the store.  We have tickets to a corn maze that I hope has a pumpkin patch, that I bought for a steal on groupon a few weeks ago, but when I saw the $2-$3 pumpkins I promised Sadie that she could pick one out the next weekend and the big day had finally arrived.  Mae and Paul were on the other side of the produce section getting apples and bananas, the two staples that help Mae get through the day (the kid takes her apple and then mugs her sister and takes hers as well...) and as I eyed the pumpkin I told her that we would wait until Daddy brought over the cart and have him lift the pumpkin into it.

Two men stood nearby, off to our left.  One was in an electronic cart, who looked to be around 50-60 and the other looked to be in his late twenties.

You know those moments when your Mommy sensor goes off and you sense danger?  This was one of those moments.  They were in my peripheral vision.  I couldn't quite see them clearly.  But suddenly I found myself clutching Sadie's hand, with a distinct Mommy-alarm going off in my head.  I had the distinct impression that they were watching us and listening to our pumpkin-centered conversation.  They moved towards us and the Mommy alarm grew louder.  Sadie and I continued to chat about the pumpkins (there were two large bins on either side, and the opposite side of our bin was open) and I tried to focus my attention on her as I pointed out pumpkins that Mae might like. 

Suddenly they were standing behind us, too close and two thoughts presented themselves together in my mind.  Is this a cultural thing where coming up and standing an inch away from another person isn't seen as an invasion of personal space?  The younger man was right next to me, while the older one's cart was inches from Sadie...  Different cultures have different ideas of personal space and I did have the distinct impression that these men weren't American.  

Or was this some sort of macho, intimidation tactic?  They had us hemmed in against the pumpkins, with the cart and their bodies and we could hardly move away now.  My annoyance grew as the instinctive feeling had me leaning towards intimidation and also because, with my body turned towards Sadie, I had the distinct impression that their attention was on her as I pulled her as close to my side as I could and glanced around looking for Paul, who was still obliviously picking out apples, the top of his head barely visible through the aisles of fruit and veggies.  Usually men from more traditional culture's are pretty deferential to me since I do wear long dresses, so that idea was somewhat different from what I've found to be the norm... but I supposed that could be it...

Then the coughing started.  The man in the cart bent towards us and started to cough loudly, on us.  There was no way it could be unintentional.  It was a horrible sick sounding cough and he was clearly coughing at Sadie.  

That was it.  I grabbed Sadie and pulled her away, while scooping up her pumpkin with my other arm (funny how that seemed important at the time, right?  But I knew she had her little heart set on it and for a moment I wondered if this was some aggressive pumpkin picking strategy) and I carried the huge pumpkin on my hip, while managing to squeeze through a tiny opening, guiding Sadie away from the two men.  

When I got to Paul I was shaken up, but I couldn't very well explain what had happened right there, although he had a sense that I was very upset with the pair.  I put the pumpkin in the cart and Paul picked out a pumpkin for Mae.  I watched the two men lingering by the gourds, acting like a perfectly normal pair.  They gave us a wide berth with Paul.  

I felt a little paranoid as I explained to Paul and later to my Mom on the phone what had happened.  It just seemed so odd at the time.  I thought about writing a blog post about it... but any post I wrote sounded a little crazy and paranoid in my head... maybe because the two men did come from a culture we associate with various acts of terror (although I didn't know that until after we were a good ways away and looked back, because they were so close to my back that I couldn't see their faces)...  It all felt so stereotypical and I just didn't feel like I was doing a good job putting it into words, and so I didn't.  

But it was already out of my mind with all the planning and getting ready when I was rushed to the hospital roughly a week later.  I didn't think of it as doctor's puzzled over how I could have been exposed to whatever this horrible sickness was, asking if the girls were in preschool or around other kids (because of the pregnancy and my pregnancy soreness we've hardly left the house all month).  

Then last night I sat pinning a blanket, and the pumpkin caught my eye, sitting proudly in it's corner by the door.  The entire scene came back to me as I glanced at the pumpkins and felt the ache in my severely black and blue arms from all the needles and IVs, and I couldn't help but wonder if it was entirely intentional. It has seemed intentional at the time, in a crazy, what's wrong with these guys, type of way.  

I suppose I'll never know.  But I think I'll add them as a prayer intention.  Something was going on that day that wasn't right... and I pray it wasn't anything as sinister as trying to get a little girl very, very sick... but honestly, the way he moved as close as he could to us and began coughing on us it's hard to imagine a positive motivation.  

People do crazy things...  I pray for there sakes that somehow it wasn't intentional in the least... and that it had nothing to do with whatever sent me to the hospital for four nights...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sadie's Latest Prayer

Here was the conversation Sadie and I had as I tucked her into bed tonight:

Me:  "Okay, now say your prayers." (Now that she knows quite a few I'm always interested to see what she'll say.)
Sadie:  "In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen."
Me:  "Wait, wait, wait.  Where'd that come from?"
Sadie:  "I said it because I love God."
Me:  "But where did you learn it?"
Sadie:  "The movie."

And then I remembered that I let her watch her Holy Baby DVD for a while about a week ago and at the moment her brain seems to be a little language sponge that absorbs everything.

For a few moments I thought she remembered how I used to pray the rosary in latin when I was nursing her to sleep during those long, long hours, when she was very tiny, which was why I was so surprised when she began to say them (but since she's been older I've been focusing on teaching her her prayers in English first).

I wonder what she's going to come up with next...


I just wanted to type up a quick update saying:  It's wonderful to be home!!!!

I was released from the hospital last night, after Patrick began to act as if he were going to demand we stay in the hospital so that he could arrive (and while I hoped against hope that I just got to go home long enough to a) send off a few orders that need to go out and b) let my arms heal enough that there's someplace for new IVs since IV #3 was already pretty excruciating.  I have a feeling that I don't have long to go though... I'm having certain signs of labor that began within 48 hours of my last two births so...  It could be any time now.

The 10 plus doctors who came in to see me were all baffled and finally declared that it must have been some sort of virus that my body just couldn't fight.  Between the 103 degree temperature, some sort of blood cell count going up by 21 in a few hours, the resting heart rate of 150, and my fun blood pressure of 70/40 we know that something was going on... there's just no trace of anything in any of the four days worth of tests that were done!

Whatever it was I have a feeling that between the antivirals and the antibiotics it was zapped...

Thankfully I'm feeling better than I have in a while (which made me wonder if I had been sick longer and just thought that it was pregnancy aches and pains).

But I'm out now and have to run to get ready for Mass! We're going early this morning since we have so much to do today...

I'm so thankful to be home and well!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Counting the Minutes...

I'm waiting for infectious disease to come in and clear me to go home!  A doctor already came in early this morning and questioned me on whether or not I really feel 100% and asked a bunch of questions to make sure that I'm not just giving the right answers so that I get to go home.  But I'd be way too afraid of getting super sick a third to not tell them exactly how I'm feeling at this point!

I'm definitely ready to get the saline lock out of my arm (I think I'll probably dance after that happens, because my arms are pretty excruciating at the moment... that's the thing that's super uncomfortable at the moment!).

I can't believe how good I'm feeling right now.  I kind of suspect that I may have been sicker for longer than I realized and thought that it was just the regular aches and pains of pregnancy... because I haven't felt this ache/pain free for a couple of months.

I'm so excited!  It's going to be so great to be home!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Comment Policy of the Moment

Usually if a person doesn't use profanity, I'll publish their comments and try to respond to exhaustively illogical notes.

However, at the moment, from my hospital bed, after a week of being poked and tested, all day and night, I'm not quite up to dealing with the craziness... So... if you're looking to convince my readers that killing the unborn is okay, or your just looking to be mean and tear apart my blog, than your comment isn't going to be published right now.  I'm focusing a little bit more on getting better, and a bit less on letting trolls take up even five minutes of my time.

After this post, that is.

Now to get some sleep!

7 Quick Takes Friday: Hospital Edition

--- 1 ---

Today has definitely been the best day so far.  I slept through most of the night.  I woke up feeling better than I'd felt since this crazy week started.

Sure I had to be hooked up to my super IV of antibiotics all night, but it was with the hope that they'd be unhooked for a few hours in the morning (and they were!  Although it was an afternoon of 5 hours of antibiotics...).

As the day went on I steadily improved and for the first time began to feel a bit more like myself again!

Still feeling a little pouffy... and red...
Did you know certain antibiotics make your face red?
They do!
Ready to be done with antibiotics!
--- 2 ---

These are some of the bruises that circle both arms.  I'm guessing I'm going to get a few more since I can't imagine they'll let me out without at least one more blood test.  I'm also really hoping the saline lock in my right arm doesn't go bad (or need to be used again).  It does feel like it's headed in that direction... but I just don't feel like I have any veins left to replace it with (and after 8 total tries with 3 successes, I don't want to try... with a grand total of 13 arm pokes I'm not seeing many veins that haven't been tried!).

The bruises... I think you can see three in this picture...

--- 3 ---

I did get a nifty new inhaler today, and the respiratory specialists came in to show me how to use a spacer.  Since this inhaler comes out much more quickly than the others I've had, this should help a lot!

--- 4 ---

Sadie and Mae Bae both visited today, in shifts.  We knew that both of them would want to be in the hospital bed to be snuggled, and this bed just isn't quite that big.

Sadie cuddled up to me and told me that she wanted to stay in the hospital bed forever and ever.  Mae Bae snuggled up to me, gave me about 100 kisses and waited for an opportunity to rip my IV out of my arm (Sadie was afraid of the IV and pointed out that my hand needed to move away if the IV got too near her).  I barely stopped Mae from succeeding.

Surprisingly, neither of the girls cried when it was time to go home.  They're enjoying having so many grandparents around at the same time!

The flowers Sadie picked out at the gift shop.
Apparently after buying them she announced
that she "looked like she was getting married."

--- 5 ---

When they first brought me the hospital menu at the hospital I'm in, I was a little shocked.  When I had Sadie I lost major weight after I was somehow put on a liquid diet for three days following her birth.  So I've never had a really high opinion of hospital food.

Then the menu arrived and I read it, realizing that I could choose any of the items on the five page list.  I could have a personal pizza, a selection of pasta, pretty much every meat I could think of, sandwiches and salads, a pot pie, a turkey dinner, an oriental chicken salad, or dozens of other choices.  And breakfast was served all day.  And each meal came with a choice of three sides (including soup and salads), a drink and a long list of desserts.

Of course, the first day I was here I couldn't even think about eating.  I was lucky to manage a cup of apple juice and a sprite at the end of the day.

On my third day of being sick, however, one of the infectious disease doctor's suggested I ask for a menu and try to eat, so that they could see what would happen.  I was already stronger than I had been, so I gave it a try.  After marveling over the menu I tried the hummus tray, with flat bread and vegetables.  It was excellent and even my not-so-happy-stomach managed it.  I've slowly been working my way up to heavier foods (and more food, my tummy was tiny after not eating for so long), and I am getting stronger and stronger!

--- 6 ---

There were so many choices... but tonight I wanted to see if I could eat a mushroom and sausage pizza (I'd been sticking towards really light, veggie foods). I had hummus dip in the fridge from last night (these room have personal refrigerators!), so I went with a side of veggies and a chocolate shake as a special treat.  I didn't manage to eat all of it (except the veggies!) but it was a pretty great hospital dinner!

--- 7 ---

The head of infectious disease came in tonight to tell me that all of cultures had come back negative.  The flu test also came back negative.  And all the other tests came back negative.  Everyone's a little baffled.  They're guessing it's was just a very nasty virus that my pregnant body wasn't doing a good job fighting.  

He said that they would have released me tonight, but because of the pregnancy they're keeping me for one more night to make sure everything's okay, and to watch what happens when I'm no longer on a constant IV drip of antibiotics.  I am glad that they're waiting through the night, because after the last trip home and then back, I'm a bit nervous about being off the medication and leaving the hospital.  Being here for a little while and making sure that my temperature doesn't suddenly spike and my blood pressure doesn't drop to 70/40, tonight after being unhooked for 12 hours, will help with that too.

But I have to say... I'm really impressed with this hospital.  Every single person has gone above and beyond to help us figure out what was going on and to make sure the baby and I got better.  I definitely feel good about coming back to have the baby here!  

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Thursdays Update...

I began this post yesterday and wrote it on and off all day in between tests and pokes with needles and massive amounts of medications.  I was so exhausted last night that I just got around to finishing it this morning!  It's a little rambling... but here's the update:

I am a little bit pouffy at the moment.  After three bags of fluids, two giants bags of potassium and twelve bags of antibiotics they weighed me and found that in my shorts and t-shirt I was four pounds heavier than I was at my last doctor's appointment (when I was bundled in layers of winter clothes and wearing giant snow boots).  The nurses are hoping the doctors will let them unhook me from the fluids now when I'm not hooked up to the antibiotic bags, because I'm starting to look a little ridiculous.

So far I'm feeling better.  The fever has broken and my temperature is consistently 97 degrees.  The baby looks great.  The contractions have almost completely stopped as long as I don't move.  I feel like I have the flu, but apparently I don't, since the flu swab results just came back showing no signs of influenza.  Everyone is kind of baffled.  Every single test has come back negative (we're still waiting on some of the 72 hour cultures).  Everything says I should be healthy.  But the 103 degree temperature is something that they'd like to get to the bottom of (especially since I tend to be 97 when hooked up, but my temperature rapidly went back up when they unhooked me last time).

The infectious disease people would really like to add penicillin to the mix... but my penicillin allergy is pretty nasty and so I've repeatedly assured them that I really am really really allergic to both penicillin and sulfa.  I've also been taking tami-flu, just in case.

I woke up sick again at 3 am last night (what is it with 3 am?  That's when I've been my sickest for my last three nights!), but during the day I've felt much stronger... it really just feels like the flu at this point.

I've been moved over to the OB special care section of the hospital, away from labor and delivery.  Nani and Grumpa arrived from California (after being diverted to Indianapolis because of a storm... circling Chicago for 2 hours and then missing their connecting flight to Detroit... and spending the night on cots at midway) and Paul's Mom arrived from Massachusetts yesterday afternoon and is taking care of the girls (which makes it much easier for me to not worry!).

This afternoon I finally got unhooked from the IV.  The saline lock is still in (and boy does it hurt... since it took three tries to get it in it's in an odd spot that just doesn't seem to work very well), but I'm allowed to stay untethered to the IV post until it's time for the next antibiotic bag.  And I have a midnight blood test coming up to see if the vancomycin is doing what it's supposed to (and I should learn to stop googling the drugs I'm on because I might find something like this:  "Vancomycin is indicated for the treatment of serious, life-threatening infections by Gram-positive bacteria that are unresponsive to other less-toxic antibiotics.").  

Unfortunately the hep lock went bad at around 10pm...  and since my veins were already so beat up (and aren't great anyways) they called an IV specialist.  She got everything ready and gave it a try.  I looked away and felt the poke, heard an apology and looked back to see blood everywhere.  It was time for try number two.  The 18 gauge needle went straight through the vein a second time.  I felt pretty sorry for the tech who was at this point obviously upset.  She went over to the other side, and tried again.  The needle went in almost painlessly and then... I felt it go through and the stinging pain started.  She apologized and left the room, while I assured her that my veins are pretty horrible, especially right now for some reason (although I was later told that she was almost in tears at the nurses station because she'd never missed that many times before on anyone).  It probably didn't help that a few minutes later an RN found a vein and got the IV to go in my arm on the first try. 

And then it was finally time to sleep... for an hour before the next round of IV antibiotics started, and another hour and a half before the 12:30 am blood test was given.

And then I was out cold, which is one of the reasons this post is coming today instead of yesterday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back in the Hospital...

Trying to get a picture for today's post...
I'm back in the hospital, feeling a bit like a pin cushion at the moment, hooked up to three different bags  of antibiotics (metronidazole, vancomycin and gentamicin).  I also just took my first doze of tamiflu and zofran, since my stomach is not quite sure how it feels about the antibiotics at the moment.

As you may have guessed, it's been quite the day.

It started at 3 am when I woke up, coughing until I managed to grab my inhaler and shaking uncontrollably, despite the half dozen blankets I had piled on top of me.  After an hour of shaking I decided to get up and take a bath.  Then back into bed, still shivering.  Half an hour later my temperature read 102.76.  I asked Paul to call the hospital, sat up, got very, very sick and began to struggle to get ready.  Every movement made me gasp for breath and lean back to rest, dizzy.  Paul was ready to call an ambulance when I struggled to put my arm into my shirt.  I finally made it downstairs into the car and then Paul went back and woke the girls and loaded them into their car seats.  By now it was 6 am.

I made it into the hospital with a temperature of 100, that suddenly spiked to 103.1 degrees.  Everything ached.  Baby and I both had elevated heart rates, and my lovely blood pressure frequently showed numbers like 83 over 40.  Despite drinking gatorade all night, they quickly determined that I was quite dehydrated and it took three tries to find a vein that could support an IV.  Then came blood tests that needed to be from two separate locations.  With a grand total of six band-aids on my arms I was starting to feel a bit like a pin cushion.

My doctor arrived and the next concern was that when they pressed on my stomach and let go, pain would shoot through my back on the lower right hand side. That meant my next trip was to a cat scan machine, where it was found that one kidney was enlarged (which could be a pregnancy thing), but my appendix was found to be fine.

Which meant we'd be moving on to the test that I really wasn't looking forward to: an amniocentesis.  The fear was (is) that there's an infection in the amniotic fluid that's making both me and the baby sick.  At this point this test isn't really risky, since the worst case scenario was my water breaking, and I'm far enough along that that isn't a real concern (although we'd certainly like to go longer if we can).  I felt like fainting when they told me that they don't numb you for an amnio.  The room was full of doctors and nurses as they attempted to find an available place in my uterus that wasn't full of wiggling baby.  On of the nurses realized that I was on the verge of having a breakdown and came over to hold my and.  I watched the needle go in on the ultrasound, breathed a sigh of relief that the worst was over and then... The Boy moved and the needle was pulled out.  They'd have to try a second time.  The second try was on the other side, and was successful.

And then I was moved along to labor and delivery where I was admitted.  By then the doctors knew that some sort of protein levels had jumped from 0 last night to 21 this morning, apparently indicating an infection (along with slightly elevated white and red blood cell levels).  Another doctor arrived and talked to me about the possibility of a c-section if the infection continued, if they couldn't find the source, and I agreed, because I know that in my current shape I can hardly walk and breath, much less attempt a VBAC and so if they need to get him out quickly I'll agree to whatever it takes.

A short while later the first of the infectious disease doctors arrived and examined me and asked all sorts of questions, from whether or not we'd eaten out recently, to where we purchase cheese, where we buy it and what kind of cheese we eat.  They said that they doubt a bacterial infection, they believe it's a nasty virus, but that they'd be running further tests on the many samples that were taken, including the amniotic fluid, and that the tests would likely be complete on Friday or Saturday and that I'd be staying until then.  The infectious disease doctor explained that even though the likelihood was small of a bacterial infection, the risk if it was bacterial was quite simply too high to ignore, since they're the type of diseases that are deadly, especially since I'm pregnant.

After that I was wheeled downstairs, since one of the doctor's thought my lungs sounded like they might have a problem, and it was time for chest x-rays.

And then, finally, I was taken off the no liquids diet and given ice chips and a popsicle.  After being unable to eat anything since an apple yesterday morning I was pretty excited.  I've worked my up to a cup of sprite too now and ice water, which has made thing much less miserable (no water for 12 hours is tough, even when you've had four bags of fluids).

The nurses brought in a comfortable bed from another part of the hospital and Paul brought over my computer and a few supplies.  Now I'm going to try to get some sleep and hope that somebody figures something out soon (or that one of the many medications work!).

Thanks to everyone who's praying for us!  We really appreciate it!

I have a feeling that this is going to be a long week.