Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Breast is best... even though it can be a challenge!

It has been a couple weeks since I have posted. Asher keeps doing great and growing well. Today he was over 10 lbs. He has almost double his weight and still isn't even 2 months old. That is an amazing testament to God's grace and mercy and the health advantages of breast feeding.

Today Asher and I had the honor of making a video for the lactation services at the University of Washington Medical Center for them to use as education for parents in the NICU and to help educate lactation consultants, doulas and midwifes. It was quite an honor for us to be chosen to do this.

Over the last few weeks I have had some challenges in my breast feeding. The first of which was nipple vasospams. This is where the nipple blanches and turns a white skin color. It is caused by many different things from damage to nipple to a blood flow disorder. With me I figured it was because Asher bit down one day all pulled while he was pooing. I figured out though just a few days ago that it was my breast pump that had caused the problem. I turned back in my hospital rental and bought my own pump a few weeks ago. The new pump actually pinched and cause bruising to my areola. This caused the blood vessels to be cut off and the nipple to turn white. It cause so much pain. Thankfully I have friends who have been through it and offered help. They directed me to the Kellymom web site which has a lot of information about breast feeding. One friend even suggested hand warmers (the ones you put in your pockets while skiing). The hand warmers have been very helpful. The vasospasms have been a little better since then.

The next challenge was nipple blebs. Nipple blebs are white milk filled blisters on the nipple. I got these on Christmas eve and went to the doctor because they were so painful. So much so that I threw up after feeding Asher. I found out at the doctor that these (in my case) were caused by mastitis (a breast infection). I was put on a 10 day course of heavy antibiotics for that. That much antibiotics concerned me. That day I also had Asher and I tested for Thrush. Thankfully that was not the case. I had read that nipple blebs could be caused by that and That is why I did the testing for it. I was relieved that there was no thrush but since I was going to be on heavy antibiotics they gave me the medicine for it to wipe on nipple after feedings so that I would not develop it while being treated for the mastitis.

At one point I woke up in the morning crying because I knew I had to get up and feed my son soon. I had a few mornings of this. I felt like an awful mom. I didn't know if I could keep breast feeding because it felt so bad physically and emotionally. That made more guilt. I know that guilt is a plan of the enemy and not what God wants for any of us. Still it was hard to feel that way. I attribute this to the infection and lack of sleep causing depression. The pain was bad for a week but it is so much better now. I am feeling more human and getting more sleep because it doesn't hurt as much. Asher is also helping because he is sleeping a little better now too. That is a blessing. Still not sleeping through the night or taking 5 hours at night of sleep but it has been better the last couple nights.

Asher was going through a grow spurt this week so I noticed he was needing to feed more often. In order to increase my milk supply I began to drink the mother's milk tea more often and began to take fenugreek supplements. I also pumped after my feedings for a day to quickly increase the supply. It worked well and now Asher is again spreading out his feedings.

We are doing parent directed breast feeding. It is on a flexible schedule. We have been trying to get back to the NICU schedule. Sometimes we adjust it because Asher needs more but other times we try to keep his as close to it as possible so he feels secure that he will have food soon.

We tried doing the demand feeding but that didn't work for Asher or for me. He was eating little snack meals instead of full meals every hour to hour and half. Sometimes even sooner. Neither of us were getting any sleep. It was very hard on me and on him. I was over exhausted and very depressed. I know that depression isn't a plan of God either. God wants us to have his joy as our strength. I need to concentrate on that. The joy of the Lord will be my strength... I can rejoice in the miracle of my son. I will celebrate his life and rejoice in all the wonderful things God is doing. I will give thanks to the Lord that I am being healed and that it won't hurt to feed my son what he needs.

Lord God, I thank you for your healing hands that reach down and heal all my pains. Lord I ask that you continue to heal me and set me free from the vasospasms and from the mastitis. Lord you are the great physician and I know you can heal me completely. I am trusting in you for this healing. Lord I thank you so much for the miracle of Asher! I thank you that even today as he is 6 weeks 6 days old that you are working mightily in his life. Lord I ask that you continue to help him eat and grow. Lord bless him with the ability to eat all he needs in fewer feedings so that we can soon sleep at night. Lord you are the author and perfecter of life. We trust that you are working in our plans to help Asher sleep by feeding him in intervals. Lord please help Asher to drop the 3 am feeding soon and then help us all to get the rest we need. In Jesus name, amen!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asher's one month old!

Asher turned one month old on December 12 and got to have a special shower with friends and family! He is doing so well and gaining weight. He is over 8 lbs now! Such a good eater! We have been blessed to have our prayers answered and Asher is now a breast feed baby by the boob and not by the bottle...except for 1 feeding because daddy wants to feed him too!

It has been an exhausting month. The first 11 days in the NICU and the rest here at home. Pumping was getting daunting so it was such a blessing when Asher began to be able to breast feed. Now the next step is to work on sleep!

With the advice of one our our PUV family friends we got a video called the happiest baby that talks about ways to calm your baby down. We have used several of the techniques but it didn't really seem to help that much. He responds to a couple of the steps that they suggest like the side hold and the swaddle but the other ones he doesn't really like that much.

We have read a ton on how to get your baby to sleep in the night. The key is more developmental though because the babies tummy must be big enough to eat enough so they can sleep longer. That and they have to be able to stay awake during the feeding so they get enough food as well.

The night before last Asher was up almost all night barely sleeping at all and then yesterday he was up all day. He only took 1 hour nap yesterday. So needless to say mommy and Asher were exhausted last night.

Many of the things I have read about sleeping and babies is that you shouldn't hold them while sleeping because they get used to it and won't be able to sooth themselves to sleep and therefore won't sleep through the night. This seems like sage advice... but it was advice that I totally ignored last night out of desperation. Chris and I got all the pillows we could find and propped myself up in a semi sitting semi reclined position. Then put my boppy on my lap and put Asher up to my chest. The boppy was to keep my arms in a position to hold Asher best and keep him safe.

They tell you not to sleep like this because of the risk of sids. I made sure that Asher's face was always clear so he could breath. It was very helpful to get the sleep but made me feel guilty later that maybe I was setting him up to fail with sleep later on.

I am going to try to start a bed time routine with Asher soon. I don't know how early that this actually works but I am hoping and praying that I can get Asher on a bit of a schedule soon. We all could use the sleep.

Lord God, we thank you every day for the blessing of Asher! We pray that you continue to work in his life. You have done so much for him in the month that he has been alive Lord. We pray that you will continue the good work you have begun. Lord we ask that you help us to establish a bed time routine with Asher that will help him sleep better and help us be able to be better parents to him. Lord thank you for each little miracle and for the sleep that you gave us all last night. We bless your name Lord God and praise you for every single thing! Thank you God! In Jesus name, amen!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

God's miracle baby food!

God has blessed mothers with a very special food for their babies, breast milk. It was my desire for Asher to be a breast feed only baby. I had planned on breast feeding him as soon as he was born. Unfortunately due to his early arrival I was not able to take him directly to the breast.

His first food was a sugar and electrolyte IV. He was on that for a few days while he was on the CPAP and the Oxygen. He continued his IV after he got his first bottle which was a mix of a tiny bit of breast milk which barely dripped from me at the time (in fact they used a syringe to collect it from the pump bag) and a tiny bit of formula... only 10mls. From that point on I pumped and pumped determined that my son would not have to take the formula.

Pumping was so tiring but worth it completely in my mind. I knew that he was getting what was best for him. While Asher was in the NICU I pumped 8 times a day to make sure I kept up with what he needed and then when home with a 2 day supply. Before we started to transition to the breast, after the NICU, I pumped around 7 times a day. It was getting hard to keep up with the feeding, diapering and pumping. I was barely getting any sleep at all so I decided that maybe it was time to try and get Asher to breast feed on his own.

I had been told that it can be a challenge for premies to do this. I was also told that many babies just don't get it down and their mom's have to pump for several months. Since I didn't know exactly how to get Asher to start breast feeding instead of bottles I made an appointment with the lactation consultant at the hospital.

That meeting was on the 1st, which was also my birthday! During the consultation Asher latched well and got his full amount for a 3 hour time period. Breast feed babies tend to take enough normally for a 2 hour period to start so it was an excellent sign that Asher was ready to try breast feeding.

Since Asher is still a bit small they were concerned that he would be able to get enough to keep growing so the hospital loaned me a scale to weigh Asher after the feedings to see how much he would get.

He has done well so far with it getting more then his daily need each day and growing great each day. Today though will be the first day we don't weigh him after each feeding. It makes me a bit nervous but I know that God is in control and has helped us so much so far that everything will turn out great for Asher today. It is my prayer that he gains appropriately tomorrow and that we won't have to go back to weighing after each feeding.

He is starting to make noises right now for eating so I better wrap this blog up! But I just wanted to share Asher's little breast feeding miracles. He is doing so well! God is so good!

Lord God, we praise you so much for what you are doing in Asher. We ask you to continue the good work you have begun. Please help him today and every day forward to get all he needs in breast milk while he grows. Please help my body to work right and produce lots of milk for Asher. Help the milk to flow at a fast enough rate that Asher gets what he needs in his feeding time and help him to be full and satisfied each time. In Jesus name, amen!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Asher's big day November 12, 2009

Welcome to the world baby Asher! Happy birthday!

Baby Asher's big day started November 11th at his 35 week day! My pre-eclampsia finally reared it's ugly head again and my BP went up to 158/102. It was up for 3 consecutive readings so all the doctors came into my room and said. So do you want to have your baby today?

I was super excited to meet my little guy so of course I said yes! My contractions had actually begun to work on their own finally... which may have been why my BP was up. I was dilated a little over a 3 and was way more effaced. So my body was kicking into gear. They moved me over to Labor and Delivery in the early afternoon and started me on Magnesium and Pitocin.

I was half thinking that I would have a couple days of labor. Really it only took a few hours. I chose not to have an epidural and was almost regretting that the hour before Asher was born. The previous hours were relatively easy because of having the contractions for a month. Then all of a sudden I felt like I was going to puke. Awful pain followed that. Then painful contractions and desire for drugs! Asher was born face up! He had flipped over just like his brother and had given me back labor... just like his brother. Ouchy! To say the least!

Asher made his way into the world 12:57 am on the 12th. He peed twice as soon as he came out. We were so happy about that because of what happened to baby Nels. I was supposed to have him put on top of me but that did not happen. Instead he was taken to the NICU exam table in my room. He wasn't doing well. His lungs were not mature enough. They let me hold my little baby 1 minute before they took him away. They told me it was for a two hour observation. Later they told me for 24 hours.... then I was told he was checked in to the NICU. My heart broke. I wanted to see and hold my baby. I didn't want to be away from him.

My cousin and my mom held me down on my bed when I got upset and wanted to go see him. No one was taking me to see my baby. I needed to see him. I needed to know what was going on. My husband was in the NICU and my mom and cousin were able to go in with him... but I was not allowed to go see him or hold him. It was an awful time for me. I couldn't handle it. I broke down. Cried, and yelled and unfortunately swore.

Later on that day I finally got to see and hold my baby for a short time. He had a CPAP machine on breathing for him. He was on Oxygen and was on IV's and feeding tubes. It broke my heart to see him like that. I didn't want Asher to ever have to go through anything so hard.

Asher was in the NICU for 11 days. Each day I went to the rounds and talked with the doctors to see what Asher would have to do in order to get out of the NICU. I spent as much time as I could in the NICU with Asher. Which was a good thing. I only left him for 6 hours a night to go sleep in a hotel near by that Chris's parents bought for us.

Asher improved miraculously thanks to the prayers and miracles of God and the hard work of us and the NICU staff. He got off his CPAP in 3 days and he got off his oxygen in 5 days. He got off his IV in and out of his incubator in 8 days. The last big hurdle was his feeding.

He had a feeding tube down his nose for all but 1 of the days he was in the NICU. On his last 48 hours in the NICU he made great strides and took all his bottles. It was a blessing and meant he could come home with us.

He had to pass a hearing test and car seat test before release too... which he did with flying colors!

Asher got to come home with us finally on the Monday before Thanksgiving. The first 3 days it was just Asher and I at home. I pumped and he ate, slept, peed and pooped. Then Thanksgiving came and daddy was home with us. That was a blessing to have someone else helping with diapers and feeding.

It now has been a few days since Thanksgiving. We had a big appointment for him yesterday with the Lactation consultant at the UW medical center. There he ate 64 ml from the breast so he passed the test enough to get a borrowed scale for home so that we can transition him to breast feeding completely and so that I won't have to pump as much. That will be a time saver and a blessing.

We had tried to put him directly into our cloth diapers for him... but they were too big on his premie body. So we have a few disposables to tide us over for a couple weeks. Right now our focus is getting the breast feeding going. Then we will focus more on the cloth diapers again. The first two days he had the cloth diapers on he was very unhappy... but we are praying that it will work out for him soon and that we will be able to transition him to that in a couple more weeks. That will be best for his health.

So that is the story of Asher up to now. Hopefully he will continue to make miraculous strides and will grow happy and healthy!

Lord God, we praise you so much for our precious Asher! We thank you that in all things you are working for good for Asher and that you will lead and guide his steps. Lord we bless your name and praise you for each miracle you have done in Asher's life. Be with us, lead us and guide us as we raise this precious gift for you. In Jesus name, amen!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Baby Nels's Big Day

I know today is not his big one year day, but I didn't want anyone to think that his day went unnoticed. On last Thursday baby Nels would have been 1 year old. What a miracle it would have been to have him here with us... but he was in heaven instead on his big day.

Since I am still in the hospital my mom to a birthday balloon to baby Nels for me. I guess he's a big boy now so I should just call him Nels. Even now a few days later I am having trouble writing this. I miss him so much but know that he is happy and healthy where he is now.

After my mom went to see Nels she came here to the hospital to spend time with me. She brought Asher's quilt and some items that I asked Chris to have her bring... including Nels's special wing candle holder. I have a fake candle that I light up for Nels so I did that on the hour he would have been born and alive.

I didn't want to fall apart during that hour. It wouldn't have been fair to baby Nels... so instead I did my monitoring and listened to Asher's heart beating during that time. I felt numb most of the day. The night before I was a mess after watching Nels's video. It is so hard for me to watch. There are so many things I wish I could have done with and talked about with Nels. All I can remember telling him is what I have on the little video clips that we got. "You try hard to breath baby Nels" "You are such a good boy." and "I love you so much." I guess even with a life time with their children some parents never get to say all the things they would have liked to have said.

I also wrote Nels a birthday card which Chris took to mom to take to baby Nels. I wanted him to know that I wasn't forgetting his big day. I wish I could have done more for him. Chris went to his grave on his lunch break so he could do it during the light. He had birthday lunch with baby Nels. Then after work Chris came to stay with me. They have a special do not disturb sign for patients that I requested so I could have some time alone with Chris. Chris needed to get out some of his feelings and cry a bit. He didn't have the same release of emotions that I had the night before. Then Chris spent the night with me. I think it would have been much harder alone.

I wish that Baby Asher would have been here to brighten our days and make our hearts whole on Nels's day. But he is still cooking... amazing but true. If my body worked normally he would have been here and we could have told him all about how brave his big brother was and how hard he fought for his life.

Nels will always be a treasure to Chris and I. He was the most beautiful thing we ever had the privilege to be a part of. He was our miracle baby boy. He was our first to be born. He hold our hearts tightly. Some day we will get to see him again... hug him and tell him how much we loved him and missed him.

We hope you had a great birthday Baby Nels and that the angels rejoiced with you on your big day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

34 weeks and still pregnant

Today Asher reached the 34 weeks mark. Yay for Asher! Good job buddy! I actually can't believe that he has stayed in this long with all that he has gone through. First the SCH, then the preeclampsia, next the swine flu and lastly these endless contractions. It has been a bit of a rough road for him but he has done really well.

As for me, I am a bit tired of the contractions and ready for Asher to come meet us. Today last year I was in my second day of Labor with baby Nels. I miss him so much. Tomorrow is going to be a very hard day for me to be here. I wish Asher was born already so he won't have to go through my emotional roller coaster the next few days. But that will be up to God and Asher to make that happen.

Lord God, thank you for growing Asher nice and healthy. Thank you for developing all his parts and giving him life. Lord God I ask you now to please let Asher be born. I know you have prepared a way for him and are making everything good. Lord start the birthing process and make it easy for him to come out. Help me emotionally as I remember last year and help me to prepare to have Asher. Open my cervix and show that I am ready to have him. In Jesus name, amen!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Contractions, Contractions, and more contractions. Week 33

Monday night through about noon Tuesday were the were the worst contractions I have had thus far. They were almost like the contractions I had on the beginning of the second day of labor with baby Nels. I was very much in pain and had trouble breathing because of them.

Then my doctor came by to see me, measure my cervix (which hadn't changed a bit), and gave me the medicine to help stop the contractions. I was in big pain so I was happy for the relief but now the contractions have become more irregular again. The medicine was a one time deal because my BP had gone up from all the prior days contractions. It was high enough that this medicine wouldn't lower it too low.

Today during my monitoring I noticed that the pattern had change back to a pattern closer to a week ago. I am not sure how I feel about that. I want Asher to grow a little more and be happy and healthy when he is born... but at this point... I am wanting him born soon. I know he is big enough now and would be a very healthy baby. What I am concerned about is having hard contractions for the next week and a half to 3 weeks and then not being able to enjoy the birth of my son because I am too exhausted to be present mentally. I want his birth to be wonderful... what mom wouldn't! I know I still have a risk of having to have a c-section but I am still praying for natural.

Today I get to go to a special meeting. It will be with someone who is working on a new nurse transition plan. 4 of the long term patients are going to this meeting to hear the new plan (which won't be implemented until January) and give our in put from a patient prospective on what will work good and what won't. That should be interesting.

After that I am going to attempt to do something kind for someone. We'll see how that works out! :) I am having my husband get something for one of the patients as well that she said she would like to have. Such a nice hubby I have!

I got to meet several patients yesterday at the group meeting. That was nice. I pray that all of them do well and heal quickly and for those with babies who have issues, I pray that the babies will be ok.

I only have 1 more week to go to get to the time that I had baby Nels. I went into labor with Nels starting at week 34 and had him at 34 weeks 2 days. If I had Asher on the same schedule I would end up having him somewhere between next wednesday and next friday. It turns out that next Thursday is baby Nels's 1st birthday in heaven. I wish I could go to his spot and take him a first birthday balloon. But I am stuck here so hopefully Chris will do it for me.

So here is my prayer for right now:

Abba, Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of your son Jesus and ask for your help in my situation. Lord God please bring the contractions back to a normal pattern and help my body to begin to work correctly so that I will be able to have Asher soon. Lord, help my bodies to produce the hormones it need to so that Asher isn't bumping his head against what my doctor calls my cervix of steel. Lord prepare Asher for the birthing process. Help his lungs to be ready to breath and his body to be ready to eat. Lord God, I ask that you move in miracles and help my placenta to be up a bit so I can have Asher naturally. Lord I pray that he will be happy and healthy when he is born and that I will not be too tired to experience this miracle moment you have provided me with. Lord be with Chris. Keep him healthy so that he can be here during Asher's birth. Keep all illness from him. Lord I ask that you help the women here each with their own problems and burdens. Bless them with babies who not only survive but thrive. In thy name, amen!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Having a bit of a moment :(

This evening has been a rough one for me. Even though I had a nice visit with my cousin Tara and then with my mom and dad later on in the afternoon. That and getting a couple cards from Sandra were the bright spots of my day.

I have been having between 18 and 20 contractions an hour today. Pretty constant so I started to get a wee bit sore. The constant contractions have pretty much been happening for the last 3 days. My body is getting a bit tired and my mind is a bit tired too.

Early this evening I had a couple contractions that were hard enough to cause me to dry heave. That was bad. All it did was bring up memories of when I had baby Nels. The night before I had him I dry heaved pretty badly. Contractions were different with him though because the eased off and sometimes stopped all together. That is why I had to have Pitocin with him on the second day.

My doctor told me on Friday that my body was just one of those bodies that contracted a lot and that I shouldn't expect to have Asher until later on. She says my cervix is a cervix of steal. Honestly, I don't think I can handle weeks of this. My body is already tired... what will weeks do? Plus what is it doing to poor little Asher being squished and un-squished constantly.

This morning when the doctors came around I was getting out of the shower. They told me they would come back... but didn't. Evidently they decided on their own that they didn't need to monitor Asher twice a day anymore. This makes me nervous... contractions are getting worse... so less monitoring? UggggHHHHH! So frustrating. It gave me such peace hearing him at night. But it won't happen tonight. :( It make me kind of sad and kind of a little afraid of what could happen to Asher in the mean time. I didn't see a doctor all day today. I guess they are resigned to me being a chronically contracting person and aren't really concerned about Asher being born early.

I had a dream about that a couple days ago. Contractions were ignored long enough that I called Chris at work and told him I was having that day and he should come. In my dream he came and went over to the labor and delivery side. He was waiting over there in an empty room. I was going to walk over there too. As soon as I got close to that hall though I had Asher fall out in my pajamas. I picked him up and carried him to Chris. It was a very odd dream. I don't think that it will happen that way but I am concerned that they won't know when it is really happening. I am not the boy who cried wolf people... I really am having some bad contractions... you can see them on your monitoring... can't fake it!!!!

Ok I guess I should calm down and just try to be at peace at the moment for Asher's sake. I know God is in control and that He won't let me go through this alone and be in pain for weeks. I know also that Asher is grown well and would do fine if born soon so I can be at peace with that but what I don't know is how these contractions are treating him.

Please God keep Asher safe through the contractions and prepare his way quickly. In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

32 week update! :)

Yesterday was Asher's 32 week ultrasound. Here is the picture we got. I know it isn't a very clear one and it is kind of a smooshed look but this shows Asher with his head on the right. His eyes were open so the are the two black slit looking things. Then his nose was smashed against me and both his hands are fisted up.

Asher is measuring in the upper 50%'s for his age range which is good! He is doing well at growing and is 4.9 lbs.... but the size could vary from 1 to 2 lbs. So he may be a bit smaller. The estimate the weight by measuring their tummy. If the squish it with the ultrasound machine it can expand it causing it to measure bigger. They were pressing down hard to get the measurement so Asher probably is a bit smaller then that.

Since this was a more powerful ultrasound then the last one they were able to see the EIF on his heart again. This was disappointing to hear as I had thought for the past 3 weeks that it was gone... but it is not gone at all. Hopefully it will go away fast.

I had a talk with my doctor today about the results. She said he is doing well and that there is enough fluid. The fluid concerned me because the medication I am on for my BP can cause the fluid to go down. The main concern right now is still the position of the placenta.

My doctor told me that it was still too low and that if Asher needs to be born soon it would have to be a c-section. I hate that idea... because I know that c-sections are worse for babies and are worse for mom's too. In emergency situations I know they are helpful but I do hope that my placenta will move so he can come out naturally.

I also talked to her about how the cervix looked on the ultrasound. She said at this point she would rather go by the finger measurements... which I feel is actually very inaccurate as different people have different sizes of fingers.

My doctor also told me that her plan was to try to keep me pregnant until the 18th of November. I told her I didn't think that Asher was going to go with that plan. She said that some women just contract a lot and that if the cervix doesn't change it is not a problem. She says I have a cervix of steal. Well... I think it is molten steal right now or at least very flexible rubberized steal.

In the picture above the top part is the placenta. As you can see, his head is pushing on the placenta and pushing it toward the cervix which is opened and funneling on the top. As I was talking to one of my nurses about it she said that could be why all the contractions. Him pressing on the placenta could be causing the contractions which makes him press on it more. That is not a good cycle to be in. It could cause placenta tears or abruption. I am praying that the placenta moves far away from his head. That doesn't seem to be happening though as it has barely moved or possibly not moved at all. Last ultrasound it was 1.2 cm away from the cervix and this time it measured 1.6 cm away but the cervix has thinned out so it actually may have moved down rather then up. If something happens to the placenta where I bleed Asher will be born right away.

I have a feeling that Asher will be born in the next couple weeks and not make it to the 18th of November. When my body felt this many contractions with Nels he was born the next day. But I had no fluid so things felt different then this time. I don't think he will be born tomorrow or even in the next couple days but I have a feeling it will be sooner then later.

Though I don't want a c-section, I can't wait to meet my little guy. He is active and a fighter. He has done so well on his monitoring so far. Today though they did note that the pattern on the monitor looked like something was going on with the placenta. (Hopefully it was just Asher pushing on it.) If they see a pattern starting to go bad there he will also have to be born right away.

I was taken out of quarantine today and my doctor is back from her conference so I am ready whenever God and Asher decide it is time. I am so glad to have my door back open and to be able to get visitors again. I hope I will get some soon. :) If they have art class today I will go to that so I can meet some of the other mom's. That would be nice.

Dear Lord God, I thank you for healing me of the flu and getting me out of quarantine before Asher was born. I praise you Lord for what you have done. Lord I ask that you help my placenta to move rapidly so that Asher can be born naturally. Lord I know that you are in control of this situation and that you will not leave me or forsake me. Lord please let Asher come out soon so nothing happens to his placenta that can cause him harm. Do not let him get hurt in this waiting time. Lord as you help the placenta to move, so help the contractions to do their job as well. Please Lord remove the EIF from Asher's heart and help his heart to continue to work the way it should. Lord prepare my body for the birthing process and make it a smooth process for Asher and I. In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waiting for results

I haven't been thinking about writing much in the last week or so. I was highly disappointed last friday when my H1N1 test was positive for a second time. I so much wanted out of quarantine and to see my husband for more then a few minutes.

With the positive test quarantine continues. That has been a challenge but thankfully I have gotten to see a couple people this week. Chris came on the weekend and visited for a few hours dressed up in the hazard suites the nurses and doctors wear. Then mom came today for Asher's ultrasound.

This morning I had my 3rd H1N1 test and I am praying that it will finally show negative. I know that all things are possible with God's help and I am going to patiently wait this time for the answer. It has been taking 2 days due to back ups in the lab that they have to send the test to. I should have the results by 5 pm tomorrow.

The other results I am waiting on today are the results from Asher's ultrasound this morning. I could see a huge difference in the amount of fluid but was told there was plenty there. I also saw that the placenta was still close to the cervix. The only difference there was that there was a baby's head down there and the cervix had definitely started shrinking in length and funneling at the top getting ready for Asher to come out. I have questions for the doctors about that but they haven't come in to give me the review yet. Hopefully soon.

One other good thing about Asher's position is that he is head down and his back is up! Yay!!!! That is the right position to be in Asher! Your such a good boy. Now just wait a couple more weeks and then you can make your grand entrance into the world. 2 tiny requests though baby boy... 1 pick your own day. Your cousin Loeli's birthday is the 30th and your brothers birthday is the 5th so if you could pick a different day then that I would greatly appreciate it! :) 2nd request... please please don't be born on the 31st. Mommy and daddy don't celebrate halloween and wouldn't want you to have to share your big day with that holiday either. We asked your big brother in heaven the same thing... and he skipped that day for us! :) We love you Asher.

God, thank you for Asher and for helping him grow. Lord I ask that you make the swine flu come back negative and that you help me to be able to reach out to other mom's here in the hospital. Lord please keep Asher safe during his birth and help him to be born after my flu results are negative. In Jesus name, Amen!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

H1N1 and update

It has been a week since my last post... mostly because I haven't been feeling that well. On Wednesday night I started coughing. Thursday morning they decided to do a flu test on me. To do the flu test they stick a long q-tip looking thing up your nose as far as they can an into your sinuses.

I had looked up side effects of my medication and coughing was one of them so I was not too worried. I figured it was just the medication. I had no other flu symptoms at all. But in case I did have it my room quickly became a quarantined zone. Only Nurses and doctors with full protection came into my room. My door was shut and I was not allowed to go to art group which I was really looking forward to.

My flu tests results were supposed to come back thursday night. Well they didn't so my door stayed closed. On friday the doctors offered me tamiflu in the morning... but I didn't want to take it unless I needed to take it so I waited for my results. It wasn't until 6:30 friday night that I found out my results. (I hear another shoe falling... get away you darn centipede)

I was told I was H1N1 positive. I had no idea what this meant for me or for the baby so I wanted to talk to the doctors about it. Unfortunately it was a busy night and I was told by the nurse that the doctors just didn't have time to talk to me. That threw me into a panic. I hate having questions that I can't answer myself. I didn't want to wait until the next day. I felt very isolated and very scared.

The next day one of the doctors came in later on during the day and answered my questions. For the most part though I have been in my room by myself since thursday. Not even the food service people will enter my room... in fact at first they wouldn't even knock as they left my tray outside my door. Now at least they knock before they scurry away.

One of the questions I asked the doctor was how long I was contagious. She told me that 48 hours after taking tamiflu I was no longer contagious. Yesterday, however, I was told that since pregnant people have weakened immune systems that they are contagious for a week. So instead of testing me the night I finish my tamiflu they will not be testing me again until Friday. That means I may not get my results until Saturday night or Monday night... missing a second weekend with my husband. I really really really really don't want that to happen.

I don't like being alone, and I don't like my door closed. It is very hard for me. Not seeing or hearing others can be very disturbing. Right now I am waiting for my morning BP to be taken. It was supposed to be taken an hour and 10 minutes ago. I guess being out of sight makes it harder to be remembered. I am not very good at asking for help either though so I guess it may be partly my fault too.

I am supposed to see my doctor some time today... but who knows when. She has clinic today so may actually not want to see me because of the H1N1 and the other patients... even though... I do have a scheduled appointment for today I think at 12:45. Maybe she will come up then? Maybe not? I guess I will just have to see who shows up today.

I had nebulizer treatments a couple days to make it so I could breath easier. They helped me sleep better.... so that i could lay down instead of sitting up. Yesterday I didn't do them and last night I probably could have but didn't really want to put extra medication in myself. Asher has had enough medication I think.

Lord God, please help me to get out of this isolation. Make it so when Asher is born I will be able to be with him and keep him safe. Help him to grow well and to get everything he needs in the days ahead so that when he is born he will be able to do well. Give me your peace in my alone time and keep me company when I am lonely. In Jesus name, amen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finally a new picture for you all! :)

I wanted to take some time today to post the last ultrasound picture taken of Asher a week ago. I know I was going to try and post it sooner but I just wasn't feeling up to it. I fixed the picture up yesterday and decided that now would be a good time to post it.

Today we are in the no news is good news stance with baby Asher. He has been moving all over the place causing a few more contractions but is doing well. My blood pressure seems to be doing good although I feel a little funny today so they are watching me close. Thankfully the doctor took me off the twice a day weighing plan. It was getting a bit discouraging seeing my weight go down every morning and then down more at night...very odd to me. But the weight was probably caused by the high blood pressure and was water... so it is good that it is coming down. That means less to lose after Asher is born. :)

God is keeping us both safe here in the hospital. I am thankful for that. Today I met a woman online who had preeclampsia that wasn't diagnosed until it was too late. I feel so bad for what happened to her. She lost her child at 33 weeks. I couldn't imagine that. It would be so awful. It makes me feel ever so blessed to have the care that I do have this year.

I wish all the women up here in the hospital felt as blessed and were as cooperative with treatment as I am. I have heard too many women complaining about taking their medications or doing simple things like testing their blood sugars in order to keep their babies safe. It seems like the diabetic ones complain the most... but the nurses and doctors are just trying to keep them and their babies safe. Take your meds ladies!!! Keep your babies safe!!!! Don't put them at risk for some carbs!!!! Some moms complain about the monitoring too. That is the best part! You get to hear your babies heart beats and movements. It is wonderful and miraculous! Walls are thin here ladies!!! Ok, I know I need to be nice but come on! I would do anything I have to to keep my precious Asher safe. I am taking my meds.... even though at first I was concerned about them and what they would do to him. I know I have to function right in order to keep him growing safely!

Today is 30 weeks for Baby Asher!!!! That is a miracle!!! He is still inside and growing!!! God is in control and when God wants Asher born he will be. I am waiting on the Lord and will trust in him for Asher!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Am I "waiting for the other shoe to drop"?

My doctor has said a few time through my pregnancy that I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting.... how many shoes are there? Is there a centipede upstairs? Ok, to get that reference I will have to explain to yhe best of my knowledge what waiting for the other shoe to drop comes from.

Here is what I found when I looked it up:
What does the phrase 'waiting for the other shoe to drop' mean?
It means waiting for something bad to happen which you are expecting.
It comes from a famous music hall joke about a man who is woken by the drunk upstairs dropping his shoe. He can't get back to sleep because he is waiting for the second crash on the ceiling. Eventually he shouts upstairs "For Heavens sake, drop the other shoe!"

So as you can see waiting for just one shoe to drop... doesn't work for me or Asher. If that were true I would have been done with my shoe way earlier in this pregnancy. Misdiagnosed miscarriage, SCH, EIF, placenta close to cervix, PIH, preeclampsia, and contractions. Way too many shoes.

In reality though have I really been waiting for something bad to happen? Do I not trust God enough to be sure that my baby will be born happy and healthy? I know the loss of baby Nels 11 months ago today has effected me greatly. It made me mistrust doctors because they didn't catch his problem soon enough (even though I really do trust my doctors here, because they were the ones who got me my hour with Nels.) It caused me to re-examine my faith and belief in miracles ( although since then I have come to see my hour with Nels as my miracle.) It made me think that at any time a precious miracle could be snatched away. It tore my very heart out and left it in shreds. It made me believe that I had done something to deserve my son being taken away,,,but I know God does not work that way.

So why am I waiting for something more to happen? I know that I should be expecting the best for baby Asher. He will be born happy and healthy. He will come home safely. He will live a long happy life. I will be able to feed him, nurture him and give him everything the Lord has blessed me with. God has protected Asher so far. I have no doubts that God will bring him safely into this world.

So should I wait for yet another shoe? No way! No more shoes! See ya later centipede!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Contractions, time to slow down baby Asher!

Today they decided to check my cervix because of the contractions I have been having. You see... Asher is a busy moving boy and doesn't like those contractions... so more happen. Last week when I had an ultrasound and my cervix was 6cm long. Extra long! Not normal long! That was good.

Today however my cervix was not only down to 2 but it was also open and dilated to 2 as well. So they gave me some medicine to stop the contractions or calm the uterus. This medicine was working a little so I hope that it will help to keep Asher happy and in me for some time.

I would love for Asher to be able to stay in until the beginning of November... but it is up to God at this point when he wants Asher born. I will do my best to do everything I can to keep him safe and happy inside until that time.

Dear God, I come to you today and thank you for Asher. I thank you that you are working in his life and that you are preparing a place for him here. Lord I ask that you help Asher to stay in and grow as long as he can so he won't have to go to NICU. I want to have him be born happy healthy and whole. Thank you Lord for all you are doing. Amen.

Friday, October 2, 2009

God sure know's what He is doing!

Ok, my little freak out about the drugs yesterday was not needed nor required. I should have just trusted that God was using the doctors and directing their steps... because I know it has to be a part of His plan.

The doctor who is doing rounds this week is the cardiac OB specialist of the hospital and he is working with my doctor to keep Asher and I safe. When I brought up that I had concerns about this drug he sat down and explained everything to me. He told me all about a study that they had done here on breast feeding and this drug as well. So even though I don't like being on drugs, I now feel that it must be God's will for me to have them. I know God wants the best for me. He doesn't want me or Asher hurt.

Then I talked to my doctor a little bit later. She used the words preeclampsia instead of pregnancy induced hypertension this time. So that gave them reason to keep me here until Asher is born safely. I want him safe. I would to anything to make sure he comes into this world in a safe way and that he will get to come home with us!

Asher is moving a ton today. He even decided that maybe it would be fun to take up residence on mommy's ribs... Yes... on top! Don't ask me how that happened. I just have a really long uterus. The movement brings me some peace... as does knowing that I will be here safe. God, is ultimately in control and His will will be done.

So my prayer focus will be on Asher growing, on maintaining a good BP, and on staying calm and safe in this place for Asher.

Abba, Heavenly Father, I thank you that you always know the plan and that when I feel like things are out of my control, I can come to you and ask for your peace that passes understanding. Lord you are in control. I am a vessel here that you can mold and make in the way you desire. Lord give your directions and I will follow them. I will rest in your presence and wait for the day I can hold my little boy in my arms and dedicate him unto you! In Jesus name, amen!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 3 in the hospital the drugs I am on

Today was Day 3 in the hospital. Asher was very sluggish. He wasn't moving much at all for the most part. His heart rate was doing well though so that is good. I was still on the Labor and Delivery side for most of the day as they had me continue the Magnesium sulfate until 5pm. At one point I was on sugar water with it as well. When you get Magnesium in an IV they give it to you with another liquid so it doesn't burn as much as it would on it's own. The sugar water was added today because I needed to get something to stay in. So I had 3 different IV liquids at that time. They turned down the one that went with the magnesium so that they could give me the sugar water. When it was time to be done with that it accidentally got shut off without adding the one that went with the magnesium again at a higher amount. It immediately began to burn as it went in. Ouch! Thankfully it got fixed fast! The nurses are so great here! I had an ice pack on where it was burning for awhile but then 5 came and I got to take it off completely.

Tonight I was moved over to the Antepartum unit of the hospital. This is the unit where mom's who need help but aren't in labor go. It is so much quieter on this side. In the first room I was in there were several babies born. 3 in one room while I was there to different mom's and 2 in another. Most of them went down to the postpartum room rather quickly. But today there was a little boy crying in the one room next to me for most of the day. It is a beautiful sound in a way... but one that made me very sad at the same time, because my little boy last year didn't get a chance to cry like that. Poor baby Nels was barely able to make any noises at all but each sound that came from him was precious to me.

They came in my room earlier and told me that the orders were changed from constant monitoring of baby Asher to once a day monitoring for 20 minutes. I lost it after the nurse left... and was on the phone with Chris when the doctors came in. They did tell me though that if it made me feel more comfortable to hear Asher more that they could do it more often and just to ask. I would do it all the time if it were up to me so that probably wasn't the best thing to tell me at that moment but it gave me some peace to know that I could here my baby before I go to bed.

I am sorry I didn't get the picture taken of the ultrasound picture yet today. I will have to do that tomorrow. So far as far as I know the plan has not changed passed keeping me for the weekend. That makes me extremely nervous! Handling medication on my own would not only be scary for me but not having Asher monitored but once every other week would be awful. I would be in constant panic. I can't lose this little one. I refused to do that. I don't want to not be able to bring him home. I need this help to keep him safe and to keep myself safe. I couldn't handle losing another baby. It would break me apart completely. I am so scared for baby Asher. I don't want my body to be a hostile place for him. I want it to be a welcoming happy place were he grows safely.

The medication they have put me on now is called Atenolol. It does have risk factors for Asher that I just read about. It is a catagory D drug which is generally not given to pregnant people... only if the risk out weighs the benifits is it given. The risk for Asher is more then I thought it would be and I am going to have to talk with my doctor about it. Here is what I found out about the drug and pregnancy from a medical site
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Atenolol is considered a pregnancy Category D medicine. Pregnancy Category D is given to medicines that have shown clear evidence of risk to the fetus in studies. A pregnancy Category D medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.

What Is the Risk of Using Atenolol When Pregnant?
A few of the complications seen with some fetuses or newborns exposed to atenolol near the end of pregnancy include:Low birth weight
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Slowed heart rate (bradycardia).

Studies suggest that the risk of low birth weight increases with the length of time that atenolol is used (with the largest problems seen when women take atenolol for several weeks or more during pregnancy).Atenolol and Breastfeeding: An Overview
Atenolol (Tenormin®) passes through breast milk in humans. It is a beta blocker medication that is used to lower blood pressure and decrease the heart rate. Atenolol can cause serious problems in a nursing infant. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking it if you are breastfeeding or plan to start.

Can I Take This Medication While Breastfeeding?
In general, taking atenolol while breastfeeding is not recommended. The drug accumulates in breast milk, and a nursing infant can receive a significant portion of the atenolol dose. Problems such as a dangerously slow heart rate, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar may occur. Blue skin (caused by problems with the heart and oxygen) has also occurred.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding and Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.

No, this is not acceptable. I can't do this to my baby! I won't put him through any more pain! I don't know what to do! I need to talk to my doctor about this because I really hope there is a better answer. I don't want harm to come to me or Asher... but I will not put his life and his food source later at risk. God, please help me find a better way. I wish my doctor was here now but she won't be here until tomorrow. I can't be taking this drug through out the rest of the pregnancy. Good... my blood pressure is down now.... bad this drug can harm my baby. The FDA rates the safety of drugs for pregnant women in categories. Atenolol is catagory D the one right before never take. Here is how the categories go

Category A

Controlled studies in women fail to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester (and there is no evidence of a risk in later trimesters), and the possibility of fetal harm appears remote.

Category B

Either animal-reproduction studies have not demonstrated a fetal risk but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women, or animal-reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect (other than a decrease in fertility) that was not confirmed in controlled studies in women in the first trimester (and there is no evidence of a risk in later trimesters).
Category C

Either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the fetus (teratogenic or embryocidal or other) and there are no controlled studies in women, or studies in women and animals are not available. Drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Category D

There is positive evidence of human fetal risk, but the benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk (e.g., if the drug is needed in a life-threatening situation or for a serious disease for which safer drugs cannot be used or are ineffective).
Category X

Studies in animals or human beings have demonstrated fetal abnormalities, or there is evidence of fetal risk based on human experience or both, and the risk of the use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweighs any possible benefit. The drug is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant.

Why can't they give me something from A or B? Asher is my one chance to do this right... now I feel like I just screwed that up by blindly taking medications that could hurt him. God please for give me and protect my baby. There has to be something else that can be done... there just has to be! I will glady sit chained to my bed for the rest of the time... I will take anything that won't hurt him... but please please please... there has to be something else.

In the Hospital with Baby Asher!

Tuesday, at my follow up appointment for all my tests I had a blood pressure of 177/109. This was way too high! Not good for me and not good for the baby. The first thing they did was try to see what was causing the high blood pressure by doing an ultrasound of my heart called an Ultracom.

An Ultracom is a heart diagnostic procedure that was actually developed in 1979 at the University of Washington where it was done. Basically what they do is take an ultrasound receiver and place it on the heart to look at the blood flow and the dilation of the blood vessels. The start with looking at the heart measurements on what looks like radio frequencies rather then a picture of the heart. Once these measurements are taken the take a measurement of the blood flow from the artery in your neck. This is the most uncomfortable part of the test by in most parts is completely painless and is noninvasive. There are two ways blood pressure can be made.... by out put and by tightening. When they did my Ultracom both ways were effected.

So with the results of the Ultracom I was checked in upstairs at the hospital. I was immediately put on 3 blood pressure medications and Magnesium Sulfate. The Magnesium does many different things. It works to help protect the mom and the baby from stroke, it can help protect the baby from brain damage, it relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure (for some) and helps stop preterm labor. It has the nasty side effects of:"Flushing, Nausea, Vomiting, Palpitations, Headache, General muscle weakness, Lethargy, & Constipation" but for me it is like a over all heating of my arm where the IV is, nausea, & headache. It really is not that bad compared to how some people feel on it.

Yesterday I was only given one of the BP medications as my BP had been in normal range since they brought it down rapidly the night before. In the afternoon I was taken off the clear liquid diet but lost part of the meal I ate. I don't really feel hungry but the nurse said this morning that I was needing to get something in so we are trying to do a very mild meal... cream of rice with honey and peanut butter and a bannana. I am hoping that will stay down as I slowly eat it while blogging.

I was told yesterday that I would be here in the hospital at least through this weekend. I am still going under the assumption that this is just PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) and not the preeclampsia because they haven't told me anything really different. They did say though that this last pee test did have some protein in it which is a sign of preeclampsia. I guess I will learn more later. I will be getting off the magnesium by 3 today. When I get off the magnesium they will have to evaluate if I need more medication or not for the blood pressure and what I need to do to keep myself and Asher safe. I am praying that they will keep monitoring Asher until he is born. He needs to be born safe and happy and that would be the best way for this to happen.

I had another Ultracom yesterday for my heart and then I had an Ultrasound for Asher. Today I found out that he is 3 lbs just right for his age not big not small. That was good to find out he has been growing ok. The placenta is only 1.2 cm from the cervix now. I think that is a change of .2 not enough to make a difference yet but we should have more time before he is born, depending on my BP. I have a new ultrasound picture from yesterday that I will post later. I need to be able to take a picture of it to put it online.

Dear God, thank you for getting Asher and I the help we need. Thank you for put us in the hospital where they can make sure that Asher is doing well. Lord I ask that you continue to help Asher and I to do well in this way and to get the care we need. Lord I give this time in the hospital to you and ask that you work in Asher in this time to help him grow and be born healthy. Please have them keep us under watchful eye and do not let anything happen to baby Asher. I pray Lord that you will make it so I will be able to take home a happy healthy baby boy. In Jesus name, amen!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Finally something good! :)

Today was the day I turned in my 12 hour test and did my 3 hour glucose test. Chris and I speant the morning at UW medical center doing blood tests and walking around the area. Since I had a blood test every hour it was important for me to stay close so we mostly walked across to the ship canal and went to the sculpture area near the surgery pavilion.

When I arrived I started out getting my first blood draw. This one was for the 12 pee test though... and one to base my glucose test off of. Then I got poked an additional 3 times in 3 hours. Chris had fun taking pictures of me and all my pokes. So I posed for him.

After all the tests we went out to lunch at one of our favorite gluten free places in Seattle. Getting up peeing all night made me really tired so we decided to go home after stopping at the gluten free bakery for Lemon bars and head home for a nap.

When I woke up from my nap at 3 I called in for my results. I got no response. So an hour later I called again... still no response. I was getting frustrated and worried. Chris said just to stay laying down to help lower my BP. So I followed his directions. I called again at 10 minutes until the office called and finally they gave me someone to talk to. The nurse said that I passed all of the glucose tests... all 4 blood tests were fine. Yay! Praise God! I passed something!

Then I asked about the 12 hour test. It was less clear. The blood part of the 12 hour test was fine. They said that the blood creatinine was normal. There was no protein in the urine, which is a good thing but there was increased creatinine in the urine. The nurse was not sure what this meant. So I looked online and really could figure out what she was talking about from that.

Then the second nurse called back.... after hours. Since I had already gotten the results I asked her more specifically about the pee test. She assumed that I was on BP meds already. Which I am not. She said that since there was no protein that was good, and that the blood creatinine showed that the kidneys were working. She said though that the urine creatinine was at an elevated level but that this didn't show kidney damage.

So basically I still don't know the total out come of the 12 hour test... just that I will probably be on medication starting after next tuesday.

My blood pressure was still up tonight when I took it, but it was better then last night. That is good! Maybe everything will just start going right now. Maybe I passed a bigger test then just these medical tests.

Thank you God for helping me to pass the glucose test today. Please keep baby Asher safe and keep me safe too. Lord help the doctors to know what is going on with me and to treat me and Asher the best way possible. In Jesus name amen!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When it rains it pours!

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring? AAAAAAHHHHHH! Ok so I thought that I passed the glucose test based on the email I got saying that my labs were good so far. I guess I was wrong!!! Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!!!!

I barely failed it again. Just like with Nels... 148. The cut off is 140. What to they expect when they give a woman an artificial sugar filled, chemical laden drink.. who doesn't eat chemicals or preservatives... and who is on a lower carb diet? Ahhhhhhh! That just frustrates me so much! So now I get to go into the hospital for 3 hours tomorrow to take another glucose test. Which I easily passed with Nels... Hopefully will pass it with Asher as well. I don't think I could handle adding another stressor to my already high BP.

I think this test is so bogus!!!! It is a fake situation. Who would eat ten candy bars worth of sugar in less then 5 minutes. Come on! That is ridiculous! I can see how it may help them identify people with big problems but really... I am sick of the poking and prodding and I was hoping to avoid this one this time.

I am doing my 12 hour pee test tonight as well for the blood pressure to make sure it is PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) and not preeclampsia. I was planning on doing it from 9pm tonight until 9am tomorrow. Well my 3 hour test begins at 8:30 in the morning. In order to get there during rush hour I would need to be done with my pee test by 6 am. So that means from 6pm to 6am I have to collect urine and refrigerate it.

That doesn't sound that hard... except for the fact that we are supposed to go out to dinner tonight with the in-laws who are up from Oregon stopping by on their way to Canada this weekend. So in order to start the pee test on time... I will have to hold it while we are out. My stress right now is through the roof. I can just imagine that my BP is too.

I know I need to calm down and trust that God is doing what is best for Asher and I. I even think that God had this planned. My husband has tomorrow off of work. He has had it scheduled off of work since the end of November last year. Coincidence... I don't think so. He picked this random Friday in September to have off. There have been a few times this year when he has almost changed it, but for some reason never did. So now he gets to go to the hospital with me.

What is really scaring me right now is that I had the 3 hour glucose test with Nels on the same day of the week last year. It was on Friday. Two days before I ended up in the hospital for 39 days with Nels. The only difference is the actual date is one day earlier. I am afraid of last year repeating itself.

On Sunday I am supposed to go on the walk for Fetal Hope in Kirkland. I felt like it was important to honor baby Nels on that day because it will be the same day of the week that I ended up in the hospital with him last year. I just pray that I will still get to do it.

There is a difference this year. I don't have an ultrasound scheduled for Sunday.... and that is what ultimately landed me in the hospital that day. It just seems too much like a repeat of last year. Living it over is not fun.

Asher please hang in there. Mommy is trying to lower the blood pressure. Breath Kristin, Breath.

I know that with God it will turn out alright what ever happens tomorrow and this weekend. I know that God is the author and perfecter of life and that he is protecting little Asher even now as I sit here with my eye watering and fear building. I also know fear is not of God. I should not fear... but stand in faith and come prayerfully before the thrown of God. I could just use a little break though.

I am not a bad person. I do my best to help others. I try to take care of myself and my baby the best that I can. It just seems like I am hitting another road block. I know the test isn't that bad. I did do it last year. It is just that it is happening at the same time that is hitting me so hard. Please God give me strength. Keep me safe and above all keep my little boy safe. He doesn't deserve to have to go through any more yucky stuff.

4:30 wake up call a note to Asher

Good morning Asher! Not so sure why you wanted me up this early this morning but I figured it would be a good idea for me to give a report on you while I was up.

After going to the doctor on Tuesday, wednesday was a little scary. In the morning my BP was up further... passed the cut of line for hypertension. So I decided to take it easy all day and just keep track of everything you did and everything I felt.

I listened to your heart beat twice yesterday to check on you. It was a little slower then before but still mostly in the normal range. Keep your heart going good little Asher. Mommy will try to get her heart working better too!

I kept track of contractions as well. Thankfully there were no times when there were 6 in an hour. In fact I think the most was 3. I am having one now though just sitting here drinking my water.

Last night when daddy took me to get my blood pressure taken he did his first. Daddy's blood pressure was fine... so we know that the machine was working. Then mommy took hers and it was up even more. The top # didn't change too much from the morning but the bottom one went up to 99. That's not good sweetie. Mommy needs to fix this fast so you can stay in and grow happy and healthy.

I love you Asher and I want you to be a good boy and keep growing. I have asked Jesus to keep a hedge of protection around you and to keep you safe. Daddy is keeping an eye on mommy and promised to make sure she gets help if she gets a head ache or sees flashes like the doctor said.

I will take my blood pressure again this morning later on when the rite aid opens. Mommy's hands and feet aren't puffy though so that is good. Just a wee bit of heartburn going on making it hard to drink the water right now. But I am doing it for you little guy!

My greatest fear is that I will miss a something and not go in to get help when I need to. I would hate for anything to happen because I am not aware. So I am doing some extra research today and I am going to take that 12 hour pee test the doctor wants me to take tonight.

The doctor said that the glucose labs came back normal! Praise God. No three hour test for you little one! That is good new huh! Mommy can't keep that orange stuff down anyways... it is so unnatural to drink that much sugar.

So for now little guy, you keep being good and mommy will do her best to be good too! I think mommy needs to finish her water and go lay back down for awhile .... even though your awake and kicking.... because now there have been two contractions just sitting here in the last 15 minutes. I have to take care of you by laying low little one.

I love you Asher, I can't wait to see you and hold you in my arms! But please wait a little while longer... you need to bake some more!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Asher is doing well, but now something else?

Today was my 28 week check up for Asher. I went in to do the dreaded glucola test and then found out that my blood pressure was elevated causing some concern for preeclampsia.

With Nels my BP stayed fine the whole time. Today it was on the border line so the doctor ordered some more blood tests other then the glucola test that went with the drinking of the nasty orange stuff. Plus, I get to fill a huge jug with pee doing a 12 hour test before next week's appointment.

Yes, that's right, instead of 2 weeks. I am going in next week. My doctor was going to put me on medication right away but decided just to see me next week and see how the blood tests turned out. After that is should be back to two weeks for at least a couple times.

I personally am more stressed about the stupid glucola test then the BP tests. Last year with Nels I failed the one hour one and then had to do the 3 hour one. This year I am hoping I pass the one hour one so I don't have to do the 3 hour one. Yucky!!!

Preeclampsia is very serious though so I know I have to watch it closely! My friend Mariah that I met in the hospital last year was admitted for blood pressure issues, so I might ask her about some of this if it gets to the point where they put me on medication.

My doctor did do a quick ultrasound of Asher... but I have no pictures... mostly just saw the top of his head... his heart... his spine and all the fluid around him. She said that the fluid was normal. Also that the cervix was still plenty long. She couldn't see exactly where the placenta was going to but to me it did not look like it had moved. She is going to order a fancier ultrasound for 34 weeks... but that is a long time away from now.

Who knows what will happen between now and then.

I should know more next tuesday about all the other results. I am positive that if the glucola test is bad that they will call me before then. In the mean time my orders were to come in if I have any flashes of light in my vision or 6 or more contractions in an hour. I haven't been put back on bed rest yet so that is good.

I am going to begin to monitor Asher more with the doppler too. I need to make sure that his heart rate stays good and that he doesn't have any problems because of what my body is doing.
He is so precious to us. I just don't want anything to happen to him. I want him to be born the best way he can be.

Oh, one fun side note. I almost passed out during the ultrasound... it seems that Asher had gotten into a position that actually blocked the blood vessel like Nels used to... but when I rolled on my side he move over and stuck his bum in the air. So when I rolled back his little rear was sticking up high in the middle of my tummy. It looked very odd. Wish I had a picture of it.

I had lots of questions to ask the doctor today about the placenta, contractions and the EIF but didn't have questions about preeclampsia stuff. Now I am going to have to write down the questions I have about that and the risks to Asher and myself. At least I only have a week to wait and then will be able to ask more questions. This time though I am going to write them down better. There was one question that I forgot to ask. Baby Asher's heart rate went down when I had the doppler on during a contraction a few days ago. I want to check as see if it had gone down too far or if it was causing him stress.

I think I will get a little book to write down all my questions in tonight. My doctor kept asking if I had questions but I kept blanking out. Hopefully I won't do that next week with my questions in hand.

God, I thank you that Asher is doing well and has enough fluid from what we could see on the ultrasound today. I thank you that he is growing well and doing well. Lord please keep him safe in the weeks and days to come and please help him to be born when he needs to be. In Jesus name, amen!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My insurance nurse was overreacting!

Last night I got a call from my insurance nurse who has been checking up with me through out this pregnancy. She asked all the normal questions and then asked about contractions.

I told her that I had been having some irregular contractions like braxton hick ones for the last couple weeks. She kind of freaked out. She told me that braxton hicks shouldn't start until 36 weeks and anytime I have a contraction I should drink lots of water and lay down. She said that at this stage they would be considered regular contractions not braxton hicks.

I don't know that she has it right. I thought that if they were not time-able and were just one every once in awhile that it was just your body's way of preparing. So I did some more research. What I found said that they could start earlier then 36 weeks but if you got more then 4 in an hour that they were regular ones and to contact the doctor.

So not having more then 4 hour at any given time... at least I don't think so... I think I am ok to go with the fact that they are probably the hick kind.

The nurse wanted me to call the doctor right away when I had one. I am not so sure that my doctors office would appreciate a call about one contraction. My next appointment is a week from today... so I will just wait and talk to my doctor about it then. I am not too concerned. I did have contractions from 29 weeks on off and on with Nels. Some were barely contractions... but since I was on a monitor I got to see what they were better.

Maybe because of that I am more aware of what is going on then most. I guess I could be overly sensitive to knowing when there is a contraction. I am sure others have them too and don't have early babies.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Asher is 26 weeks today! :)

Wow, 26 weeks! Praise God! It has been a journey to get here but I am glad that Asher is still moving, growing and being good.

This week I have experienced some braxton hick contractions. I know this is a totally normal thing so I am not concerned but it is totally different then with baby Nels. With Nels I really didn't feel the contractions much until the second day of labor. With Asher though... he is already starting those practice contractions.

There are two other big differences with this pregnancy as well... one being that I am blowing up like a balloon and the other is Asher's movement.

I know that there is fluid around Asher and that could be accounting for some of the weight difference but I also think that since I have been really careful that I am gaining a bit too much weight. I haven't been lift things or exercising regularly like I did with Nels. I know that it is important for Asher's sake that I take it easy, but enough is enough. I can't gain any more! I am putting myself of gain restriction!!!! My doctor hasn't said anything but I know that it is starting to effect me. I am on target for normal people weight gain... but since I was up a little from the clomid the few cycles before I feel like I need to be in the smaller gain group.

With that in mind I am going to start doing more walks around the neighborhood. I took Honey for a short walk today and will go on another walk with my husband as soon as he gets home or maybe I should wait until after dinner? Plus I have to get ready for the 5k walk we are doing for Fetal hope on the 27th. I don't want to have to waddle in last there. I guess that is my competitive side that would rather be running the race then walking it... but no running allowed! I know that would not be so good at this point.

Some one asked my mom if I was eating enough for two. Oh my, if I ate enough for two I would be twice as big right now. They actually suggest only a 200 calorie difference is needed for pregnant women... not eating twice as much. I have added healthy snacks and I am trying to get better at avoiding my cravings.

Last week at the fair we got a vitamix blender so that we would be able to make our own baby food. So in order to practice that I have begun to make juices, frozen yogurts, and soups with it. I even made some organic strawberry ices cream for my niece. She loved it and it was healthy too! Just frozen strawberries, a cup of low fat milk, a couple squirts of agave nectar and some vanilla. Yummy. That made about 4 serving sizes and was enjoyed by many.... including a little for Asher! Today he got some carrot apple juice for breakfast. The nice thing about the vitamix is that it uses all the fruit and veggie so it retains all the fiber which is great for Asher... and for me too. It does make an extremely thick juice though.

Asher is a mover! I think because he has fluid I can feel him so much more then Nels. He moves a lot. I used to do the kick count thing with Nels and it would take a long time to get up to the required 10... which at the time I thought was supposed to be the daily total... not the total of a 2 hour period. Asher definitely has no kick problems at this point. In fact at times I have counted 10 kicks in as little as 5 minutes. He does sleep at night now though. I read that they can tell the difference between light and dark at 26 weeks. I have noticed that Asher is much more active in the day then at night. He was bouncing off the womb this morning.

It makes me happy when he moves because then I know he is ok. Thank you Lord for the movement! I do have a tendency to poke at Asher during the night when I wake up though if he is not moving. I get concerned about how I am laying and if it is effecting him or not. I do have a special pillow though that is supposed to keep me in the right position for him, but it doesn't always work.

The sunshine just peaked out from behind the clouds and guess what? Asher kicked. I guess there is something to the fact that he can tell the difference between light and dark. That is pretty cool.

The next appointment for Asher isn't until the 22nd. I think I may have to take one of those glucose tolerance tests that day as it will be my 28th week. I am not looking forward to that. With Nels I had to take the long test... because I was low on the carb scale the week I took the test. This time I am going to be prepared hopefully and not have to do the 3 hour test.

Hopefully we will find out more about what way the placenta is going too. I hope that it is going up but I know that if it is not and that it is going down still that they will still be able to get Asher out... just not the natural way. I would prefer natural though... that is for sure! After the next appointment my appointments will be closer together which will be nice. Less stress for me means less stress for Asher.

Lord God, I thank you for getting Asher to 26 weeks. I thank you for each day with him! Lord I pray that you will prepare him and me for his birth sometime in November. Lord I know that you are the author and perfecter of life and that you have Asher in your hands. Lord lead me and guide me so that I may do what is best for Asher and help him grow strong and healthy. Lord help me to feed him what he need nutritionally and help me to keep him safe as he grows inside. Lord I ask that you help me to not gain anymore weight as I feel overly weighed down and yet still help Asher to keep growing. I know that with you all things are possible! Thank you Lord for working in our lives and thank you so much for this blessing of life! In Jesus name, amen!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I just reread my tag line.

Today I was going to write about how much I have been missing baby Nels this last week but after reading my tag line I decided I needed to write about something else.


This statement has been on the top of our blog for as long as we have had it. It was by God's grace that we were able to conceive our precious baby Asher and baby B. It was by God's grace that when we lost baby B that Asher held on and has grown. It was by God's grace that despite the calcium spot on Asher's heart it does not seem to be causing him any harm.

With all the overwhelming emotions I have gone through lately I have forgotten to remember that each day with Asher is a blessing and a miracle. I know that I need to praise God more for the little miracles!

God has blessed us greatly! Asher moves way more then his older brother Nels ever did. He moves several times a day which brings me peace. It is especially a blessing that if I poke him he will poke back. I have heard that that doesn't always happen. Some baby's don't mind the bumps of the day... but my pokes a pleas make Asher move. It helps me feel safer and gives me more and more hope for Asher.

Lord God, I praise you right now for Asher. I thank you for the miracle you preformed keeping him inside and growing him past the 24 week viability time. Lord, I bless you and praise you for each movement that Asher has. God you have given us so much! Thank you for blessing us with this time with Asher. We give you all the glory and ask that you continue to lead and guide our steps as we get closer to his time of birth. In Jesus name, amen!

Monday, August 31, 2009

News from my doctor

As I wrote last week I had emailed my doctor to ask questions about the placenta being so close to the cervix.

I asked her about the risk of the placenta coming out first. She said that since it is not over the cervix that it would come out first. This eased my mind a little about Asher's chances of being born alive. If it doesn't come out first then he should be just fine.

Then I asked about the possibility of it tearing and bleeding and that causing harm to Asher. Many of the things I had read about the low lying placenta was that if you bend wrong or pick something heavy up you could tear. With the earlier bleeding in my pregnancy and the bed rest time because of the SCH I was very concerned that more bleeding could happen. I don't want anything to happen to Asher especially if I can prevent it. She promised me that my low lying placenta would not cause harm to Asher. She didn't tell me not to do anything but I know she knows I have been very careful since the SCH.

I also asked about the placenta's movement. I asked if it would move in the right direction since it seems to have moved in the wrong direction. She said that as the uterus gets bigger with the baby that the placenta should move up with it. I really hope so. My body doesn't seem to be cooperating correctly though. I have heard so many stories of it actually going down more rather then up. I am still not sure what to think about that.

So for now I am just going to try to limit lifting more and try not to stress too much. If I feel off I will go back to couch time and will try to rest. I know that is what is best for Asher. I wish I was able to run and dance and go out more with Asher the way I was able to with Nels. Nels got to do so many things inside me. I pray that Asher will be able to do some of those things outside of me. I want him to have a good life surrounded by love and filled with God's blessings.

Dear Lord, I once again give Asher and this situation over to you. I know that no matter which direction the placenta goes that Asher is in your hands and protected by your love. I pray that you will lead and guide me and help me to do what is best for Asher in this time. You have given me such a blessing to be able to carry another precious little one on the inside. I pray that Asher will get to spend lots of time with us on the outside and that he will grow up to be a man after your heart. In Jesus name, amen!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What else?

Today during our 24 week ultrasound we got some more news that threw us off. Asher still has the EIF on his heart. It is very visible on the ultrasound pictures. I had them take a picture of it for Chris so that he would be able to see what I was talking about.


The ultrasound tech told us that most of the time, even if there was something bad going on, that the EIF will disappear before birth and that it does not effect the function of the heart. My doctor reassured me that it wasn't a problem and that Asher was doing really well.

He is now measuring right on schedule again. Everything measuring right for his age. That is good as well! What is concerning now is that the placenta is only 1 centimeter from my cervical Os... the whole where the baby will come out.

I would have asked my doctor more about it had she not been on call today. She got paged for an emergency right at the beginning of the appointment so not many questions were asked today. She did tell me though that baby Asher was at the viable stage now. What that means is if for some reason he had to be born right away he has a very good likelihood of survival now.

We did get some better profile pictures this time and Asher is now head down which is good too. He followed his mommies directions and turned over. Good job Asher! You are a smart little one! :)

So tonight I emailed some questions to my doctor. I had done some reading about the placenta being close to the cervix and it can cause some pretty major complications. Bleeding and survival issues for the baby as well as the mom. I hope that she will have time to answer my questions some time before my next appointment which isn't until the end of September.

One thing that it said on the internet was that if the placenta is too close and comes out before the baby then the baby will not make it. I hate thinking about that. I don't want to loss another little boy. I don't think I could handle that. I know God is ultimately in control but I keep getting more and more news that is scary.

Please God help my placenta move up quickly so that Asher won't be in danger! Fill me with your peace that passes understanding and help me to focus on what you want me to be doing right now in your service. In Jesus name Amen!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Two weeks since the last blog sorry!

Wow... times flies when you are moving!  For the last two weeks we have been busy getting ready to move... signing papers... fixing last minute things... then moving and unpacking.  I had been so stressed about all the closing stuff and all the moving stuff that I didn't have time to go to the library and write in the blog.  I feel bad about that.

So much has been going on!  We moved our things into our house last weekend.  Since then I have been unpacking and organizing.  Then our house finally closed and we got our keys yesterday.  Also we got our internet service yesterday!  Praise God!   Now we will be able to get some more work done online!  That is so good!

A month with no regular internet was starting to drive me nuts.  Now I can take some time and get all caught up!  Next up... 23 week update on Asher!  

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Asher at 21 weeks news of an EIF

On Tuesday we had the 21 week ultrasound for Asher.  The first thing they took pictures of was  his heart... then his head... then back to his heart.  They told me that his heart rate was 154.   Next they looked at his kidneys and bladder and said that they looked healthy.  They then showed me his boy parts once again to prove to me he was who we named him.  I didn’t really see the parts in the last ultrasound.  I was too upset to look.

After that they went back to his heart.  I figured they were just looking at different parts of the heart at first... but with more and more pictures taken of the heart I began to be concerned.  My mom asked if the heart looked ok.  The ultrasound tech said yes it looks fine and then went on to measure his legs and his belly. 

Then as always the ultrasound tech went out to talk to the radiologist about the pictures to make sure they are all what they needed and that the pictures are good.  Well, when she came back in she said she needed more pictures.  I asked her also to take some pictures for Chris because she hadn’t given me any or taken any cute pictures of Asher.

So when she began again she went straight to the heart again.  I knew in my spirit that something was wrong and that there was something in the heart that they were looking at even though they wouldn’t say anything about it.  My heart sank.  So my Asher’s kidneys and bladder looked good but something is wrong in his heart... why are my little boys under attack.  What is wrong this time?

When I got in my doctors office for the doctor’s visit after the ultrasound she said the baby looked good and that he was doing good.  I then asked about his heart.  My doctor  said she didn’t want to tell me about it and have me worry but since I asked she told me that Asher has an Echocentric Intracardiac Focus.

EIF is normally associated with an increased risk for Downs Syndrome and Trisomy 18.  It however can be associated with other genetic disorders as well.  

My Doctor told me that since I had the integrated screening earlier that tests for genetic disorders that this EIF is just like a genetic marker no different then having blue eyes.  I of course was not satisfied with this answer and wanted to research more... but with lack of internet I knew that it would take a while and I wouldn’t be able to do it until the next day.  So I went to the library Wednesday to look up EIF online.  

I wasn’t able to do in-depth research yet but from what I have found Downs Syndrome is not the only thing at EIF is a marker for but it is a major one for Downs.  But there needs to be more markers to make it a diagnosis.  

My doctor went over my integrated blood screen with me to show me that it wasn’t very likely that Asher would have Downs.  She told me at my age chances are 1 in 100 for Downs.  Then She told me that my blood tests gave me the results of 1 in 7000 but that the EIF made it down to a 1 in 6500 chance.

1 in 6500 doesn’t seem like a very big chance to most people I am sure... especially compared with my age risk factor which was 1 in 100.  To me though it is a very scary thought.  When we found out that baby Nels had PUV that was a 1 in 8000 chance.  1 in 8000 is bigger then 1 in 6500.  

Then my doctor told me that there needs to be other markers for it to mean anything.  She said my blood tests would have been different and that they would be looking for slow growth in the baby.  Short arms and legs.  This is one area that makes me feel a little better.  Asher’s leg measurements were almost 2 weeks ahead!  My doctor told me that he’s a tall boy.  Long legs!  Grow Asher Grow!  Although they will be keeping an eye on his measurements for me.  So now not only will they be doing close looks at the Kidneys and bladder to make sure he doesn’t get PUV but they will be also be looking at his heart to make sure nothing goes wrong there.

I know that we really need to trust in God on this and pray that Asher’s heart will heal and that the EIF will go away.  I did some reading that said that EIF’s could go away by the third trimester.  My next ultrasound isn’t for 4 weeks.  That is a long time for me to wait.  I know that I will be busy during those weeks getting our home ready for Asher so I think that will help... but I really wish there was something that can be done sooner.

They keep telling me that to really measure growth well you have to wait four weeks.  So this time 4 weeks is what we got.  My doctor said that if there was any problems that I could always come in before then.  I am praying for no problems.

Lord God, I come to you in the name of Yeshua, Jesus Christ your son and ask for you to do a mighty work in baby Asher’s life.  Lord I ask that you heal him and set him free from the EIF.  Lord Please make the calcium deposit disappear and make his heart strong and healthy.  Give him a healthy life filled with your grace, mercy and love Lord.  Help him to grow up to be a man who worships and praises you.  In Jesus name, Amen!