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Saturday, November 24, 2012

8 Weeks

Whew, this was a trying week!

Well, towards the beginning of my 8th week, it seemed that Zofran and Zantac seemed to have everything under control, but then the weekend came and I started vomiting again.  Sunday, it was the worse.  I felt horrible and acidic all day long and to top it off I ran out of Zantac after my first dose and I decided not to start the new antacid my midwife suggested until Monday because I didn't want two drugs in my system at the same time.  I don't know if that was a good or a bad idea, but I lost count of how many times I threw up.  It came to the point that I was dry heaving over and over, and I couldn't take anything in anymore.

Then the cramping started.  Awful, gut-wrenching cramps that brought me down to the bathroom floor groaning in agony.  Since this is my second child, I know what contractions feel like and these weren't it, so I was only slightly worried that I might be miscarrying--that, and there was no blood.  I was pretty sure it was my stomach.  It felt like diarrhea cramps, but so much worse than I've ever felt and I started sweating so bad I took off my shirt and was down to my tank top, laying on the cool tile.  With shaking fingers, I tried to call a friend who didn't answer, and then I texted our baby sitter and asked her if she could come.  Finally, I called my husband on his work phone and begged permission to call 911 (It wasn't that he was unwilling to let me do so, I just needed the confirmation that I wasn't overreacting).  When he agreed that I could, I hung up before he even said goodbye and dialed.  Let me tell you, it was the longest call ever.  I checked, it was 9 minutes which is pretty bad when you're in terrible pain and hyperventilating on top of it (I've hyperventilated only 3 times that I can count--once when I had an unexplained pain with Bunny's pregnancy, during labor, and then this past Sunday.  It seems to happen when I feel I've lost control of the situation and I'm in terrible pain).  I could tell the girl on the phone wanted to hang up, but I asked her to stay on the line. Somehow, having her there made me feel better.
Meanwhile, my 3 year old was in our bedroom watching Princess Tiana, and came in once or twice to check on me, and then came in screaming that she couldn't get a dress on her Princess Belle Barbie doll.  Poor thing.  She fully understands that this baby is making me terribly sick, but she still speaks of the baby with love and adoration.  I also remind her that I was very very sick when she was in my tummy too.  I tell her that babies do that sometimes because they need all the food that the mommies are eating and that can sometimes make the mommies feel sick, but it's not the baby's fault because he or she really needs to take the food.  Anyway, it seems to help her understand.  Anyway, at first, I was in the bed with these cramps, and then brought myself to the bathroom to throw up and to try to poop.  When I was in bed, she kept tenderly leaning over and kissing me and telling me she loved me and trying to make me feel better.  I have a daughter with a heart of gold, let me tell you!

So, back to the bathroom.  I finally hung up with the 911 operator after she confirmed they had an ambulance that had responded to the call, and it was just in time because I was able to poop (TMI, I know, but vital to my story).  It wasn't diarrhea at first, I was just super constipated (which this baby has done to me hardcore no matter how much I drink, how many fruits and veggies I consume, or how many Fiber One bars I snack on).  Once I finally got the blockage out (which felt like giving birth in and of itself--cramps and all), the diarrhea came like water, emptying me of any and every bit of hydration my body was clinging too.  I noticed that my hands were starting to lose feeling and curl up, so I ripped the sea bands off, trying to get the blood to flow.  Then I was back to the potty.  That's when my sitter came in. I was in so much pain, but also so embarrassed that she had to be there with me while I hyperventilated half-naked on the potty.  The ambulance came shortly after she did, and the EMT came in, also while I was half naked on the toilet, and talked to me awhile.  Then I asked him to leave so I could get up and cloth myself again, and he graciously did so.

We brought the party out to the livingroom where I was suddenly chilled to the bone, barefoot, and in a tank top and pj pants whining in a corner of the living room floor while my worried babysitter and two EMTs looked on. The sitter grabbed me a blanket and  Bunny grabbed her princess armchair as if to join me (later she told me she'd gotten the chair for me to sit in--isn't she so sweet!?!?!) and my babysitter said that she then dutifully went into the room and grabbed and started putting on her shoes and socks, as if she knew we were going to be leaving.  Meanwhile the EMT was telling me he wasn't comfortable leaving me here and that he wanted to take me to the hospital and I was balancing the huge bill I knew we'd get with my need to be checked out and to make sure the baby was alright.  I went without much argument, actually.  My sitter was thoughtful enough to think of my bare feet and she grabbed me socks  and my purse, and they carried me to my car. Much to my chagrin, one of my neighbors was out front, holding the door as I came out.  She was so sweet, though.  She'd come over to make sure Bunny was taken care of.  Once I got in the ambulance, I asked for my phone, and my sitter found it on the bathroom floor and brought it to me.

The ride there (no sirens or speeding) was both interminable, and also shorter than I expected, since I've driven that route myself many times.  I was in pain the whole time, and still hyperventilating so my pulse was high and my oxygen was low.  They gave me oxygen and then a bed pan, and when the cramps started up again, the EMT apologized and told me he had to check to make sure I wasn't bleeding.  I wasn't.  I whined and complained the whole time, and I was shaking violently--not only from the cold, I guess from the adrenaline too.

When we go to the hospital, I felt myself calming down quickly, and feeling almost normal.  The cramping was still there, but it wasn't intense (I'd actually had two bouts of diarrhea before leaving the house) and it was down from a 7 to a 2 or 3 (on the 1-10 scale).  I also went to the bathroom and emptied my bowels once more. Meanwhile, I started realizing how thirsty I was, and no one would let me drink anything.  Dave came in only five minutes after I had, and it was comforting to have him there.  He was most worried about the baby, though I still wasn't too worried about it.  I was more focused on my discomfort.

After I talked to a million people, they hooked me up to fluids, and gave me some Zofran intravenously, and the ER doctor checked my cervix, which he said was a healthy blue (apparently it's supposed to be blue because of the blood vessels.  Who knew?)  So, it seemed that the baby was fine.  Then, I spent a lot of time in and out of sleep on an uncomfortable OB/GYN bed that's only half the length of a regular bed, but it was okay.  Curled up, I slept like a baby for the moments that someone wasn't coming into my room to check on me or ask me questions.  It's amazing how pregnancy can make a champion sleeper out of me (though I don't sleep nearly as much with this one as I did with Bunny, but then again, I'm only half as busy).

Once the fluids were almost gone (and I was starting to feel a bit better, but still quite thirsty) they told me I'd have to pee.  I felt it was a bit ridiculous to ask for a urine sample from someone who came in dehydrated, but oh well.  I had to wait til I could produce it.  Towards the end of the IV, I realized that my queasy stomach was back because there was no longer any antacid present.  So they pushed some Protonix into my arm, and the ER doctor prescribed some for me as well.  Then, I was not only thirsty, I was starving.  The ER guy found me a couple of saltines, and between those, the ice chips, and a granola bar I found at the bottom of my purse, I was satiated enough not to begin dry heaving again.  Soon, I was able to pee again, and then, thankfully, Dave and I could travel home around 10:30.  We were both starving by that point so we grabbed something from McDonalds (EW!).  I grabbed a chicken ceasar salad because I was hoping it would have romaine lettuce in it. It didn't, the lettuce was wilted and brown, and not worth eating, but I ate enough to get some nutrients into me, and somewhere between starting and finishing the salad, we were home again, thanking our exhausted sitter, and settling into bed ourselves.

Monday morning, however, I had a little more diarrhea, and it was quite bloody and mucosy.  I looked online (which I know one shouldn't do) and was scared to death by what I saw so I called the ER to tell them of the change, and then my midwife who told me to talk to my family doctor.  I went in that afternoon and he checked me and said that there was blood present, and it was probably just hemorrhoids (I've had them off and on since Bunny's birth), but he referred me to a GI doctor anyway, just to make sure it's not something more serious.  He said to try to keep my stool soft so as not to agitate it, but since then, I eat more fruits and veggies every day than anything else, and my stool is still, quite stubbornly hard as I continue to struggle with constipation.  This is hard for me to grasp since I've never had that problem before.  Oh well.

This week, things have been looking up.  I discovered that if I basically eat little bits of food ALL DAY LONG (coupled with my new med combination), I feel almost normal.  I mean, I'm still a bit queasy and have moments I want to vomit, but if I quickly eat something, those moments will pass.  I've even been able to do some housework in the past few days! I cleaned and vacuumed my daughter's room (it was getting to the point that you couldn't see the floor due to the toys), I did a huge load of dishes, did a bit of laundry, and today I worked on Christmas decorations and I swept and mopped the kitchen floor! If I weren't pregnant, that wouldn't be much of an accomplishment, but now, it's the little things that bring me joy.

Bunny seems to be reacting to the pregnancy in her own way.  Between Thanksgiving day and Black Friday, she had four accidents, and let me tell you, this girl never has accidents.  We potty trained her at two years old, and she stopped having regular accidents by about 6-8 months later.  I'm thinking it's probably a reaction to the stress of having a sick mommy and a changed routine.  I hate it, but we spend lots of time watching movies now.  Whenever Daddy's home, the TV is absolutely OFF LIMITS because she spends so much time watching it with me (usually she watches and I sleep) that I have to counter the unhealthiness with abstinence where I can. But then again, Daddy's so tired being a "single parent" these days, that sometimes he just needs the break too.  Oh well.  I'll have to just shrug off the guilt because it's the best I can do.  Once the baby's born, maybe we can put her on a year-long TV fast.  Maybe.  Or maybe not, because maybe I'll find I need her distracted more often.  Oh Jesus, help me.  I just want to be a good mommy!!!

Anyway, despite the drama of this past Sunday, things have leveled out again to a point where I haven't thrown up in nearly a week and I seem to be able to be more productive.  I just hope when that magic number 12th week comes around, things will shift like they're supposed to.  With Bunny, the sickness lasted the whole time, but in the second trimester and on, it was something manageable.  That's all I'm asking for this one.  Though I do have it managed right now, I've done so with lots and LOTS of work on my part, and when I feel well, I'm only just barely holding it together.  I'm one cracker or grape away from losing it.  With Bunny, that passed sometime after the 15th week, or even earlier.  In any case, my 40th week can't come soon enough.  This is gonna be a long, 9 months!

On a positive note, I seem to have gained an inch in the waist.  That makes me super excited.  Maybe I'll look pregnant earlier with this one :-D

Saturday, November 17, 2012

7 weeks

God just multiplied his grace over this week.  On Monday, I had to teach for the first time since the morning sickness had become worse than it was with Bunny.  I was dreading it.  But I planned on getting up as early as possible to get my body adjusted to being awake and hopefully helping the morning sickness to subside earlier.  at 5:30 or so, I woke Dave up who grabbed me a Zofran and a Zantac and then made me scrambled eggs (Just like with Bunny, they work wonders on my pregnant belly).  Then I got dressed and showered and went to work.  I was shocked because I didn't throw up at all! Not once.  I mean, I was nauseated and not feeling well, but things were so much better.  I told my coworkers and my students then (my students were the reason I decided to let the cat out of the bag everywhere but Facebook anyway, because I knew I couldn't hide it from them and that my family and coworkers should know before they did).  As I taught, I don't know if it was because my mind was off of the problem or if it was because God just gave me extra grace or what, but things went so smoothly.

So far this week, I'm still pretty sick, but I only threw up once since last Sunday--that was last night--and it wasn't acidic and uncomfortable like it had been.  It wasn't like it was fun either, but it was bearable.

I got to see my midwife this week.  She saw me this early basically so she could start a chart for me since she'd already prescribed me meds without having met me yet.  I filled out lots of papers, went through a quick "education" of how things go with her midwifery and answered lots of questions.  I was hoping she'd look for a heartbeat or do an ultrasound because she says that they normally check for twins when morning sickness is really bad, but she didn't.  She did, however, send me for some bloodwork.  But anyway, after the visit--which was reassuring--I still have nothing but my symptoms and the pregnancy test (well tests, I did actually take a second one eventually) to prove that there's actually a baby in there.

The toughest thing for me right now is making sure I'm a good mom.  I find I'm short tempered and irritable, mostly because I'm so tired and sick and I'm starting to notice that my lack of attention is taking a toll on Bunny.  I hate that it's that way, but it is.  I'm working hard to make sure we play together a little each day no matter how awful I feel and that if I do have moments of feeling well, they're spent with her.  But I'm also struggling against her new, fresh attitude and the sudden need to have me with her all the time.  We really need to break that habit because once a new baby comes into her life, she's going to have to get used to sharing her time with me.  It's hard because I need to address the new attitude problem and the arguing that happens constantly, but I'm not entirely sure that it isn't just her acting out because of her new circumstances. Play time has become a lot of coloring and watching movies.  If I'm feeling particularly well, I'll skip the TV because more than an hour a day is detrimental to one so small, but many times I just have to survive and doing so means getting into bed with her and a movie.  Overall, though, she's really excited about the new baby.  When we told her, after she processed it she was like, "Okay, when is the baby going to come out?"  and I had to tell her it wouldn't be for a LONG time.  Not until summer.  Hopefully the next few weeks of the first trimester will pass quickly and we can get into a stage quickly where Mommy's feeling better and Bunny can start to see the outward evidences of the new baby in the family. 

I'm not having any cravings this time around.  I'm pretty much averted to all food.  Last week, I'd lost three pounds, but after only throwing up once this week, I'm pretty sure I gained them back.  I also found that eating veggies and meat seem to help the acid that builds in my stomach.  I certainly don't feel as much reflux after eating those things, or even things like applesauce.  I do eat carbs such as crackers or bread, but if I have carbs or especially dairy, the problem is exacerbated.  So right now, the struggle is just making sure I'm fed and that it's something I'll keep down.  The Zofran and the Zantac help immensely with that. I also try to eat foods that neutralize stomach acid.  Veggies and meat are good for that, as is applesauce.  Unfortunately, those things don't keep my belly full for long so I'm constantly hungry and never wanting to eat.

And smells...oh the smells.  I can't stand smelling ANYTHING! I baked pumpkin bread today and I'm now baking some cranberry bread and both usually emit scents that I find tantalizing and homey, but today, the smell is repulsive.

I have noticed a new symptom.  Constipation.  Not fun.  It kinda feels like practice for pushing the baby out.  Yep, I said it.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

6 Weeks

Things are definitely worse with this one than they were with Bunny now.  I'm throwing up 2-3 times a day and despite many medicines and remedies, little actually makes me feel human.

Zofran--Does relieve the nausea but my stomach is so full of acid that I throw up anyway.

Zantac-- Seems to make me horribly hungry but doesn't seem to reduce acid.  I'm throwing up so often that I'm going to stop taking it for awhile. 

Sea Bands--may be helping the nausea a little, but I'm not sure, so I keep wearing them just in case.

B6--Same as the sea bands.

Ginger--I don't know if it helps at all, but it certainly can't hurt!

I was taking Dramamine for awhile, but the Zofran is replacing that.

Actually, Coke may be helping a little and Tums too.  Funny, becuase Tums didn't touch the problem when I was pregnant with Bunny, but then again, I didn't have acid with her until 3 or 4 months in.

I don't know how I'm going to teach through this.  I just took three days off last week so with that and the weekend I've had five days to just be sick.  Bunny's grandparents even took her for a day and a half of that time and Dave was home for two of those days so I've really gotten to just rest and figure out my body.  I get to see Rosie early due to all this--next Thursday--and maybe she can help some more--though I'm sure she's quite sick of me already because of how often I've been calling.

Bunny's being such a sweet, understanding little dear through this all.  We told her last Wednesday, November 7th and she was very excited.  Now that she knows, and she realizes that Mommy is going to be sick for awhile, she tries to give me things that will make me feel better and prays for and kisses the baby. and she lets me rest for the most part.  She colors and plays with her baby dolls and practices her letters and we watch movies together at 7pm when I'm ready to go to bed and she's not. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 weeks

I'm now 5 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  My morning sickness has been steady, but it's nothing like what I had with Bunny.  I think this is particularly due to diet, and also because I'm more active and responsible now with a child to take care of and a house to upkeep.  I'm sure it helps too that I only work part time and that I'm in a job I absolutely love.

With so much less morning sickness, I anticipate being able to hide this until my first appointment with my midwife on December 13 (@11 weeks) or until I start to show.

A rundown of my symptoms so far:
Frequent urination
Morning sickness
Tender boobs
A tiny bit of blood in nose
I have a super sniffer again
I'm tougher with my students--less tolerant of poor behavior than normal
I'm a bit more irritable
Low aches in uterus area
Food aversions (no real cravings yet)
I'm often cold--which is weird for me since I'm never cold.

I just can't wait to see this heartbeat.  I feel secure about the pregnancy in one sense because it's SO CLEAR how God orchestrated it.  From eating Paleo to starting vitamins the month before, to the inexplicable way God caused Dave to keep our medishare in case I were to get pregnant in the 6 months that he's uninsured by his new job, I feel that God wants this pregnancy--this baby.  But I also worry about miscarriage and I know that God might choose to bring this baby up to heaven rather than to leave him down here with us.  Believe it or not though, I'm okay with that.  I mean, I want this child desperately, but I've come to recognize the soverignty and wisdom of God and to accept that His ways are best no matter what.  That said, though, I'm having difficulty grasping this child as something concrete and bonding with him like a little person without getting to hear the heartbeat.  (I was certainly bonding with Bunny by this point in the pregnancy).  I wish I could find a way to hear it earlier, but I have to be patient--which isn't my strength at all!