Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kelsi's Birthday Surprise

6 years ago today at 11:15 AM my sweet little Kelsi made her appearance during an emergency c-section. She came out crying and shocked everyone in the operating room. My sweet little girl was the tiniest thing you have ever seen. There are a LOT of babies born at the hospital where she was born and she was one of the three smallest living babies ever born there. Sadly, none of them lived. Even though Kelsi's life was short, she has done so much good. It is through her I have met some of the most amazing people both through my own journey in grief and as I helped others through their journey.

Candy Cane Cupcakes by Justine
Every year we celebrate Kelsi's birthday with a party. Sometimes it is just our small family, other times we include special friends. This year we chose to celebrate as a family. Garth is working so the girls and I are having a girls night out. I offered to take them out to dinner and a movie, but they opted to stay in, make cupcakes and have a "theater night" with a movie and pop corn. We had decided to make cupcakes instead of a cake, because, as my girls put it, they will be small like Kelsi. :)

Riley and Kate having fun frosting the cupcakes

Last night I didn't sleep well at all. I got perhaps only 3 or 4 hours of sleep total. I spent only a couple of short hours at the NICU with Kiari. One of my nurses even remembered that today was Kelsi's birthday and came to tell me she was thinking of my angel today and my family. Awwwwww, totally brought tears to my eyes. But with all that said and the emotions involved, I was so tired and didn't know how I was going to make dinner and cup cakes. Well, as luck would have it, it was all taken care of.

A friend from our church brought us the most wonderful lasagna with a bunch of the fixings for dinner. And when she came to the door we found a rather large parcel on our front porch. It was addressed to me from a dear blogger friend, Justine (A Half Baked Life.) When I was still pregnant, I had had a dream where I was eating the yummiest candy cane cupcakes. I happened to mention it on my face book page and this sparked my culinary friend. Justine has the most fabulous blog where she posts about life and issues she has faced while trying to add more members to her family. And as an added bonus, with EVERY post, she also puts up the recipe and picture of a delicious dish she has made. There are a few that I am dying to try out as soon as I have my baby home and have a little bit more time to spend in the house.
All frosted, with some left over. YUM!

Well, as you might have guessed, inside this box was a batch of Candy Cane Cupcakes!!!!! IT WAS PERFECT. She sent a beautiful card and told me that had she lived close by, she would have delivered them all beautifully frosted. This is one time that I am glad she doesn't live close by. She sent a container of candy cane frosting and candy canes to go on top. It was, as I said, perfect. The girls and I frosted the cupcakes and while I am sure Justine will cringe at our non-culinary talent when it comes to making her creation beautiful, it allowed Riley and Kate and I to have a little bit of fun while talking and thinking about Kelsi. Once they were decorated, the hunt for candles began. Luckily, my neighbor two doors down had some for us to use. We sang Happy Birthday and we all blew the candles out. It was kind of fun to watch the smoke wisps hang and curl in the air.

 
Make a wish.

Watching the smoke wisps
Kate drew Kelsi a picture

YUMMY!


Justine, thank you so much. Not only were they wonderful (Even better than in the dream), but the timing could not have been better. It was an answer to my prayers and just what I needed today. You are a special lady, and I am so glad I came across your blog a few months back.

It even has stripes
Happy Birthday Kelsi. There isn't a day that I don't think of you. Not a day passes where I don't miss you terribly. Every day the girls and I talk about you. Riley and Kate have already told Kiari all about you and before Kiari can talk, I am sure she will be well acquainted with you as well.

Today I spent a little bit of time with Kiari. In my last post, I had put up some pictures of Kelsi. It is almost eerie how much the two of them look alike. The biggest difference besides their size and coloring, is that Kelsi's head is round and Kiari's head is long like her daddy's. It is impossible to look at Kiari and not see Kelsi. Between Riley and Kiari, I will never have to wonder what Kelsi would have looked like.



Kiari got her first bling the other day. Okay, so it isn't really bling. I didn't want to put anything small that she could get into her mouth and have it be a problem. But she did get her first silver bracelet.

My First Bracelet
This bracelet fits my thumb pretty darn well. It is a little bit big for a thumb ring on me, but it won't fit over two fingertips side by side on my hands. It is really small. I will take a picture of it with a quarter to give you a better idea of how small it really is. When it is straight, it is only 2 1/2" long.

My First Christmas
Santa stopped by the NICU and left all the babies little outfits. I think one of the nurses told me that a NICU graduate family brings them in every year for the babies. I will have to remember that gesture in the future. It was really touching. This is Kiari in her out fit. It is small, a newborn size, but it still drowns Kiari. I had to roll the sleeves up three times just to get it above her wrists. But it is so stinking cute.

This picture was taken today. The room was dark and I used the lower resolution camera on my phone so it isn't great, but you can see how much she has changed. She is up to 4 lbs 12 oz today. She is getting some meat on her little bones, though her skin is still saggy and wrinkly. hahaha I had her on my chest yesterday and noticed that her rib cage was much larger than even just last week. She is now close to 18" long. She is growing fast. She still isn't eating by mouth, but we will start that next week. I have been working with her trying to get her to latch on. She is starting to get it, but it will take a while still. They say we still have another 2 - 4 weeks in the NICU.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grieving the past, Hope for the present and future

This week is always a really hard week for me anymore. 6 years ago this morning I woke up with a blood pressure of 170/110. I was 23 weeks pregnant with my second daughter, Kelsi. Nearly 5 1/2 months along and you couldn't even barely tell I was pregnant because she was so small that I hardly showed at all. Just like today, the day after Christmas was also a Sunday. This morning I learned that an online friend, who was due the same day as I was due with Kiari, has lost her baby. She too had preeclampsia and IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction), though I don't know if these are the contributing factors to her baby passing away.
My sweet Kelsi the day after she was born at 24 weeks. 13 oz 8 1/2" long

When I reached in, she took a hold of my finger and squeezed

Every year I sit in my hospital room in my head and relive the events from the last week of my sweet Kelsi's life. It is still so fresh and is hard to believe it happened "years" ago now. I have a journal that I wrote shortly after she passed away. I wanted to remember as much as I could about all the events that happened. Each year I read this at this time of year. Some people think I am nuts, but this is her week and it is all I have left of her. Even if all I feel is the pain of the week, at least I have something to feel. I don't know if that makes sense or not. Tomorrow is the day that I learned that she was not doing well and I would most likely be having a baby that week. Thursday is the morning that she was born, and Saturday is the day that we said goodbye. I am sure I will have more posts about this this week as I go through the emotions and memories once again.
My hand was almost as big as she was
Saying good bye to a sweet tiny angel

This year is bitter sweet. As I spent my hours last night in the NICU with my new miracle that is thriving beyond everyone's hopes and dreams, the thoughts of my previous NICU experience came flooding back. It is such a different experience this time around. While it is going unbelievably well, it is still hard. I have had a baby, yet, I do not have a baby. I have to drive across town to visit this beautiful little child that looks like my husband and daughters. She responds to my voice and holds my hand and cuddles into my neck where she falls into a deep sleep. This is a child that I love to pieces, yet, I return home and there are hints of a baby, but yet, no baby. It makes it all so surreal. I should be 33 weeks pregnant, not 3 weeks post partum.
4lbs 1oz
My favorite people in the whole wide world
My girls

A full quarter of my pregnancy was taken from me too early. And it was the last one, and that is now permanent. There is such a sense of loss, and at the same time, there is no loss. It is so hard to resolve all the feelings and emotions. I am so grateful that I no longer have to deal with any of the complications that I was dealing with. My doctor says he is pretty certain that Preeclampsia was set in motion and was the next step. With the way things were going, it wouldn't have been a mild case. I am so grateful that Kiari and I didn't have to suffer through any of that this time around. I am so blessed. Hundreds of people said prayers on our behalf and just look at the beautiful result. It is simply amazing to watch as this child of mine continues to develop as she would have in the womb, only this time we get to watch the progress each day. She has already changed so much and has even gained a full pound. She now weighs in at 4 pounds 7 ounces.
Kangaroo time with mom
Getting so big, yet still so small

Today, my heart is heavy for the missed memories of Kelsi and the new loss of my friends baby and at the same time it is filled with hope and love for my sweet Kiari sitting in the hospital at this moment waiting for her mom to return and hold her for hours as she listens to the beating of my heart. Such a range of emotions.
Just after a bath
Sleeping sweetie
Merry Christmas - This is a regular size stocking, not a large one. She is one of the only babies in the NICU that could actually fit into it. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

This ride really stinks.

First off, I will say that Kiari is amazing! She is blowing the socks off of everyone with her rapid progress. Sadly, it doesn't change things in terms of when she will be coming home with us. We still have a goal date of the first or second week in January.
Opening the little eyes
Holding Daddy's fingers

 She is only on one little Bili Blanket for the jaundice. She is breathing without any oxygen, cannula or any help whatsoever. She had to have a blood transfusion yesterday and she did really well with that. Her hemoglobin levels dropped to 11.3 and after her transfusion it came up to 14.6. That was her first post birth transfusion. The last transfusion she had was 3 weeks ago. So that is really good. We thought for sure she would need one before now. She has done a great job with the jaundice and it is nice to have her on only one small light source. The doctor today said that we can hold her without the blanket. When we put her back into the isolette then she will need the blanket, but that is all. She is doing great with her weight. She is now up to 3 lbs 8 oz. She is starting to fill out a little bit and she has the cutest chubby cheeks. I wish she looked a bit more like me. I mean, I love her daddy and the way he looks, obviously, but I would like her to look a little more like me. She has my chin and over abundance of hair, but that is it. The rest is all her daddy. She looks JUST like Riley did when she was born.
Riley holding Kiari's Hand

She is up to an oz (30 cc's) per feeding now. She started out at only 10cc's, so she is coming right along. She is so stinking sweet. I went to the hospital with my husband this morning when he went in to work and I held her all day long. It was so hard to leave as she had just woken up and was looking around. I hate leaving her when she is awake and alert like that. It breaks my heart.
The first time I held Kiari

It actually breaks my heart to have her here already. I miss having her in my belly. I miss feeling her move around. I hate that I have to come home every night after spending only a few hours a day with her. It is really hard to have an empty belly and empty arms. I know it could be worse. She is doing so well. She is alive and thriving. I have been through worse. But this is still really hard. A bunch of my friends were all posting pictures of their bellies and it just breaks my heart that mine is empty and VERY flabby at the moment.
The last time I will hold a baby in my tummy - 29 weeks - an hour before Kiari was born

Right now my parents are in town to help out, and I am so glad that they are here. My mother is FABULOUS. She is always so good at helping out with whatever needs to be done. Today they put up the Christmas tree and started on Christmas Cookies. She is going to make some drapes to go with our bedding set for the nursery. She helps clean and most importantly, right now she is spending time with my girls. I feel guilty about leaving them here all day so I can spend time with Kiari, but it is a bit easier knowing that she is here to be with them. Next week will be hard when they are out of school and my parents are gone. How do you split your time between the hospital and your children that are here and still need you. Talk about massive mommy guilt.
Taken 12/13/10 - 10 days old
My Tiny Girl


I am so glad to be done with the complications of this pregnancy. It was always so hard to know that I had all these issues looming overhead. But I am so sorry to be done with the pregnancy. It was my last and I feel like some of the best parts of the pregnancy were taken from me before I got to really enjoy them. Most of all, my baby was taken out before she got the benefits of maturing in the way she was supposed to. Granted, my body provided a fairly hostile environment for her. So sad. That just isn't the way things were meant to be.
She is holding my 4-year-olds finger

I just don't care for the whole NICU experience. :(

First family photo




Daddy's Girls

Monday, December 6, 2010

Update on us

first, I would like to say thank you to all of your well wishes and prayers. Something is working, so please keep them coming.

All of this still seems so surreal. I am still sporting a pretty good sized belly. I hate that part. ;) It is strange to have it be so flabby and still so swollen. They gave me this great big binder to wrap around me and that certainly helps it to feel better. I am really sore, not from the c-section itself, but rather from the tubal ligation and other things they did while they were in there. too bad they couldn't do a tummy tuck while he was at it. ;) HA! That would be a great gift. Oh well, guess I will just have to do it the old fashioned way.

Things are going rather well. Kiari is doing super! Her bilirubin had started to rise really fast and they are being very aggressive with her treatment when it comes to that. They are doing what it is called triple phototherapy. This means that she is COVERED in lights. THey have two large banks of lights and the biliblanket going. But she is responding well... thank goodness. At one point her level was an 8. While that doesn't seem that high, they said because she is so small and early, it is like a newborn having a level around 15+. They said if it remained an 8 or went up then they would transfer her to Children's hospital. Luckily it came down, ever so slightly. Enough that they were comfortable keeping her here. It could still change at any ponit if her levels go up.

Today they are going to place a PICC line. This will replace all the IV sites she has had. She keeps blowing her veins. The PICC line should eliminate this. I hope so. They blew two of my veins trying to get my IV in for the transfusion that didn't happen and they still hurt. But my little girl is being a trooper.

Yesterday I got to spend a little bit of time in Heaven. I was talking with the doctor about the plan for treatment as we get closer to the time where we are going to need to do a transfusion on her and such. I haven't been able to hold her at all to that point for a couple of reasons. First, she wasn't able to tolerate too much stimulation. It would make her Oxygen sats go way down. And then she also really needed to be under the lights as much as we can get her. So I asked the doctor if I could hold her yet or if she would still recommend that I wait. I asked if I could hold someone elses baby if I couldn't hold my own. My arms are just aching to hold a baby. So later in the day I was able to do what is called kangaroo care. This is where the mother and baby have skin to skin contact. she was really agitated as we moved her as I am sure it wasn't very comfortable. But as soon as they put her on my chest, she snuggled right in and calmed down. It was literally heaven for 25 minutes. I don't know if I will get to hold her again today or not, but I could use a little bit of that heaven once again.

She loves to suck on her pacifier. She is the only one of my children that has ever liked that. I remember we tried to give one to Riley when she was first born and she spit that thing out so hard that she literally cleared her feet. It was funny. Riley preferred her thumb. Kate never took a paci either, but we didn't let her suck her thumb as we didn't want to have to go through the process of breaking the habit again.

The hormones are starting to kick in as is the realization of all that has happened. I have to try very hard to not think about certain things or the waterworks begin. And boy do they flow. I have to go home tomorrow and it is going to be an awful day when I do. Even typing that got me crying. It is so hard to leave the hospital without your baby. I know this time it is different. Kiari is still alive and waiting for me, but it is still awful to think about going home with an empty tummy and arms. But if you think about it, it is kind of good that she isn't coming home with us. We don't have AnYTHING for her. No diapers, no crib, no clothing, NOTHING. So it will at least give us some time to get things ready. Not that it makes any of this any easier.

I think my milk is FINALLY starting to come in. Though, it still isn't enough to feed her. But every little bit helps. Right now I use these little swabs to collect what I can and then we place the swab in her mouth. I usually will rub the swab around and then let her suck on it for a little bit. This helps to still provide her with some antibodies and good nutrients. Hopefully things will start to pick up here today and tomorrow. Right now she is on Donor milk. I am so grateful for people who have taken the time to do that so that babies like mine can benefit from it. People we have no idea about have really helped us along this time from blood transfusions to donor milk. I am so glad that there are people out there that do things like this.

I am not sure if there is anything else to update or not. My memory isn't working as well as I would like it to right now.

So for now, thank you again for your prayers. I have put some pictures up on my facebook page. I can't get any images to post on my blogs from my ipad, so I will have to do some of that when I get home tomorrow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I had a baby... 10 weeks early

Well, yesterday was a whirlwind experience. My husband and I got to the Akron City Hospital about 1:30 yesterday afternoon. We still didn't know if we were going to be delivering that day or not. We spoke with one of the doctors here and he spoke with my doctor and it sounded like they were going to keep me and observe me for a little while. As soon as any of the labs came back funky or we noticed anything strange going on with the baby then we would deliver her.

So I was getting my labs drawn and getting ready to order something to eat when the doctor came back in and said my doc was on his way and we were going to deliver the baby then. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I can't say that I totally panicked because I had the entire trip up from Columbus to Akron to think about things and prepare myself for the fact that I was about to have a baby at 30 weeks.

My Doc had spoken with the Neonatologists and decided that it would just be best to get her out and continue her care outside the womb. As nervous as I was, I was also relieved. I am so glad to be done with this pregnancy. Like I said before, I always just felt like I was sitting at the top of a slipper slope and it was so hard not knowing when you were going to go down.

When I got into the OR I tried to remain calm. All the while, i was having flash backs to my delivery with Kelsi. However, I still felt confident that things would go okay with her. At one point, when they were placing the spinal, I did have a moment of frantic prayer asking my Father in Heaven to please please please let everything be okay with my baby and myself. I have already shown that I play against the odds in these circumstances and I don't want to be one that dies during a routine c-section. Morbid, I Know, but it is what it is.

I must say that having a c-section with a spinal is not exactly comfortable. I could still feel things, though they didn't hurt, they were quite uncomfortable. My doctor got the baby out and she cried right away. Quite quickly he held her over the draping so that I could see her. She was so small. Not nearly as small as Kelsi, but tiny nonetheless. The Neonatologist wisked my baby away into the next room where they cleaned her up and got her all prepared. Garth came back in to tell me that she was born at 4:38 PM weighing in at 3 pounds 7 ounces. She measured 16" long. She was a very big girl for being 29w 6d along. I missed my goal of 30 weeks by just hours. :)

Once she was out, the real work for my doctor began. He worked on me to perform a tubal ligation and the normal clean up from a c-section. Interestingly my ovaries were in quite the condition. I guess my left ovary was about the size of a grapefruit, at least. It was FULL of large cysts. My right ovary was quite small, but also covered in cysts. So I now have the official diagnosis of what I had always suspected, Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I had always suspected it because I have had the symptoms for ever. But it had never been confirmed until now.

I was taken to recovery for a couple of hours and just before they took me to my room they wheeled me in to see Kiari. She was so stinking cute...from what i could see of her. She had been intubated to help her breath. Nice thing was that she was on room air and the vent was only there to help support her own breathing efforts. When I reached in to hold her hand, she took my finger and gripped it nicely. I love holding her little hand. She has the cutest and most perfect fingers and toes. She is most certainly my child as her feet are long and skinny. Just like all three of her sisters before her. HAHAHAHAHA

The first night of recovery for me was difficult. They had me up 8 hours after the surgery. That was pretty painful, but worth every bit of it as we went over to see my sweet baby once again. She was still doing great. Her bilirubin levels had gone up slightly, but nothing that we were concerned with at that point. Other than that, she was hangining in there. I didn't get much sleep last night due to the pain of the surgery and just not being able to sleep. I slept for short periods of time and went back in to see Kiari early this morning. Nothing much had changed with her, so that was a relief.

Today has been pretty good. I am working really hard at getting my systems back to functioning, which has always been difficult for me after my c-sections. I finally got to shower, a dream after having surgery. I always love feeling nice and clean again after surgeries. My girls came over this morning and were so excited to see the baby. They got to spend about 15 minutes with her before they had to leave due to Riley having a swim meet today. But they came back in tonight to see her again.

They have removed her from the ventilator and placed a nasal cannula. Her Bilirubin levels had gone up a bit and they were preparing to send her to Children's Hospital. They said that if they ran it again and it hadn't changed or gone up she would be transfered. Luckily they went down a little bit, but dang that baby of mine is glowing blue!!! Lots and lots of lights. I was able to get some pictures of her while they had everything off of her face while removing the breathing tube and placing the nasal cannula. I got some pictures too, however, I am not able to upload them yet. I will as soon as I get home. She looks just like her daddy. Not that it surprises me at all. In one of her ultrasounds, I could see that she looked just like him.

The docs and nurses are amazed with her. She really truly is a fighter, but we already knew that with all that she has been through to this point. The neonatolgist was talking with me today about all that she had been through and said, she is just truly a miracle. She also gave me big kudos for picking up on the change in movement at 24 weeks. She just looked at me and said, you know you saved her life. I am so glad that I was given the gift of noticing her movements and knowing something was wrong. I was so blessed!!!

For now, Kiari is still here in the hospital with me. But that can change at any moment as she is still fighting against the antibodies and such. But I will enjoy my visists with her tonight as I wake to pump milk and take what few drops I get over to her. Now that they have removed the vent, she can cry and it is the cutest little cry. I am totally smitten with my tiny little girl. I am really excited to get to know this feisty little girl that has come to my family.

We are nowhere near out of the woods, yet again, but I am so glad she is here, alive, safe and sound at last. Now the next roller coast ride begins. Thank you all so much for your love, support and prayers. I truly believe they have made all the difference in this difficult pregnancy. Please continue to send them now to my little girl that she might overcome the challenges that lay ahead.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Well, that didn't go so well.

I am still sitting here in Columbus waiting for my husband to get here.we couldn't do the transfusion today because my amniotic fluid has gone away. We have no idea what has happened. So as soon as my hubby arrives, I will be returning to Akron where we will deliver Kiari. I don't know if we will do it today or not, but it will most likely happen before Sunday.

She is looking fabulous. She weighed in at 3 lbs 11 oz on the ultrasound this morning and I had the steroid shots just 2 weeks ago, so we have a couple of things on our side. I will only be 30 weeks tomorrow. I am really scared.

I will try to keep things updated as much as possible. I could really use your prayers and good thoughts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

So much to be thankful for

I meant to come down and make a Thanksgiving post this past week, but I never made it downstairs to my computer. This is the first time I have been down  here since my last post.

Things are still going pretty smoothly. I didn't have to call my doctor once over the holiday. :) YAY! That is such a relief. The contractions have subsided for now. I still have a few here and there, but nothing like they were. I know that I will have a bunch again after the procedure this week, but for now I am enjoying the break and lack of jitters from the terbutaline. This week was almost Euphoric for me. Last Sunday I thought for sure I had lost our little girl. Monday we thought that she might make her appearance before Thanksgiving. Monday night things had settled down with some decent blood work and Kiari began to move around once again.

All this week she has been so active. So much so that it has been quite uncomfortable at time, but I am enjoying every second of it, never knowing when the last day will be. I will be heading in again in about an hour to do another blood test so they can check the liver enzymes again.

I am finally 29 weeks. This coming Saturday I will finally hit my much desired 30 weeks. I am quite excited as there are just days and moments where I am sure that I will never hit it, and then there are times where I sit here dreaming about what it would be like if I made it to 35. I am trying to be as patient and sane as possible, and some hours that just isn't possible. ;) My kids have been troopers. I know this is really hard for Riley to watch as well. I am reminded of when I was pregnant with Kate. She would often ask if the baby was going to be alive and stay alive. She would ask if I was going to be sick again and all I could ever do is tell her "I hope so, but I just don't know for certain." I just about cried due to the stress I could see in her face last Sunday when  I wasn't feeling the baby move. It just broke my heart. Kate will often ask me if the baby is moving. When I tell her yes, she says that is good because it makes me cry when she doesn't.

This week I will return to OSU medical center for my 5th transfusion. Last Monday at my appointment our little girl weighed in at a whopping 3 pounds already. It will be interesting to see what she weighs tomorrow morning. I have gained an entire 4 1/2 - 7 pounds during this pregnancy. It just depends on the day. ;) HAHAHA today, I am only up 4 1/2 pounds. I have no clue how I could have possibly dropped a full pound and a half in the past 4 days. Hopefully Kiari is taking all of it and is growing well.

I am so grateful for all of the prayers and support that have been given to us. I honestly believe that it has made all of the difference in how things are going. Another strange yet wonderful thing that has happened is my blood pressure has gone down significantly. I mean I have having readings in the low 120's and lower over high 70's. It is truly another blessing. I still feel like I am sitting on a slipper slope, but I have had a bit of a reprieve and it has been heaven. Now I just hope my liver is behaving for today's test.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Love,

Melissa

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quick update

I just found out that there are no changes to the liver enzymes. Baby Kiari will stay put for another week, at least. Woohoo. Lots to give thanks for this year!

Hmmm, Interesting appointment

Well, I just got back from the doctor's office. I sure do love my Peri. He is such a good man. He just came up to me and said, "Melissa, you are killing me." And gave me the biggest and longest hug. When I got back to do the ultrasound Kiari was SO STINKING ACTIVE. It was perfect!!!!!! They had a hard time getting every measurement because she would not hold still. I will take it any day!!!!!

When the doctor came in to talk to me he said he was really glad that I had called him and he would have been more upset with me if I hadn't. He told me to call him 10 times a day if I needed to. He thinks that her slowed and lack of movement were due to the steroid shots. He said that those can really slow the baby down. So for now, that is what we will chalk it up to. He also told me that the steroids will mess my sugar levels up for about 3 days. Whew! At least that explains the sugars. I feel so much better about everything today.

We got talking about my lab results. He said that he isn't at all worried about the protein levels at this point and time. It is something to watch, but he considers it to be in a decent range for now. My blood pressure was probably one of the lowest I have had during this pregnancy 112/80 - BEAUTIFUL!  So he isn't concerned about that just now either. However, he is VERY concerned about my elevated liver enzymes. We are running the liver panel now and will hopefully have the results in less than an hour from now.

He said that if they have remained close to what they were from last week, we will run them again. However, if they have gone up, we will talk about delivering the baby.... like now. I wasn't quite prepared for that.

So it is looking like we will be meeting little Kiari sooner rather than later. :( I am really hoping that some how I can keep her in there until 32 weeks. Part of me wants her out now so that I can see that she is moving and living, but of course, I know that it would still be far too soon for that. Even at 32 weeks, she may still run into some awful things and I don't want to make her suffer.

Even with that news, I am feeling relatively calm right now. I feel so much better than I did yesterday. the entire day was just difficult for me. I am really hoping that enzymes haven't gone up and if they have, it is only a little bit.

Thanks again for all the prayers and lighting of candles and Reiki and love and support and faith that you have all sent to Kiari and Me. It really does make a difference. Even if it brings nothing more than calm, that is HUGE!!!!

In a bit of unrelated news, my husband has decided on a position that he is going to take. It looks like I am about to become a Resident of Dallas, Texas. Looking forward to the change, but not the hot summers. BLECH! The girls are disappointed because they will no longer have snow. We told them we will just ship them up to stay with their grand parents during the snowy times. HAHAHA

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I need a break

Well, I was really looking forward to going to church today and just spending some restful time listening  to uplifting messages that I was hoping would bring me some calm and peace. Instead, I had an AWFUL morning. As I was getting up and getting going I noticed that little Kiari wasn't moving. I tried EVERYTHING. I pushed, I poked, I sat and laid in different positions, drank and ate, all in the hopes of SOMETHING. But i got NOTHING. I was mortified.

I worked on this for about 45 minutes this morning just to make sure I wasn't missing something and hoping that she was just sleeping. Last night she moved a little, but it wasn't up to her normal active movements. They were, once again, quiet and softer than what I know she is capable of and normally does. I received the first of the steroid shots to help mature her lungs in the event of a premature birth. Those can also slow the baby down a little, so I didn't think a whole lot of the decreased movements from last night. But boy did I this morning.

So I was there just crying and trying to get her to move. I swear I just about had a heart attack. I am only 28 weeks along and this is most certainly my last pregnancy. There is no way I can do another pregnancy, physically or mentally. I don't know how I would handle things if I lost her now. Oh the horrible things that went through my mind. It really sucks to be Pregnant after a Loss.

I called my doctor just sobbing and told him what was going on, and as I knew he would, he sent me in to Labor and Deliver. Problem.... Garth was at work. So I called him and he headed straight home. Luckily he works only about 20 minutes away. In the meantime, I had called about 6 different people to see if they could watch my girls. And of course, it being early on a Sunday morning, nobody answered, that only added to my panic. Finally I got a hold of my next door neighbor and she came and got my girls. Shortly after that Garth arrived and we headed to the hospital. He got us there quite quickly. what a good man! :)

The drive was excruciating. I have been down this path and was freaking out that I might have to travel it once again. I was thinking about what we would need to do to get a little casket. How would we get her to our burial plot in Utah. would Garth be able to take the time off to come out there for that? Could I really handle this again. All the time I am trying to elicit some movement from her and got nothing. Even just thinking about this morning makes me all teary.

Garth dropped me off at the front of the hospital and went to park the car. As I sat at the registration desk I finally felt the smallest of bumps against my belly button. HOPE!!!!!

They got me back to the room and hooked me up and right away found her beautiful little heartbeat. I just cried. And true to form, just like turning on a camera, Little Kiari began to dance. I felt stupid, but so relived all at the same time. The movements are there, but they aren't what they were, and that still has me a bit concerned. I was monitored for about 3 hours. It was longer than was needed, but I had to wait until noon to get the second steroid shot to help mature her lungs. I was just fine sitting there listening to her beating heart.  I am just so grateful that she is still inside of me growing and moving, albeit however small the movements right now.

They were able to finally get the results checking the level of protein I am spilling and it is elevated as well. They like people to be under 150 and I am currently 247. It is still under the 300 limit for preeclampsia, but I hate the direction it is taking. I have been following my blood sugar levels as well and I am not doing too well in that department either. Even when I ate a meal that should have been just fine left me with a sugar level 50 points over what it should be. HOW DISCOURAGING.  I just feel like I am fighting an uphill battle and I am scared. I mean, how much more can I take? I guess it could be so much worse. I could be laying in a hospital tonight with an empty tummy and empty arms. So I will gladly take what is being handed to me for now, but I am doing it with a lot of tears. My faith isn't as strong as it has been in the past and that isn't helping things out either. I am so grateful for all the prayers and faith out there for Kiari and me right now. This could be so much worse and perhaps those prayers and faith are what are making this pregnancy still go relatively well, even with all the complications.

I have a doctors appointment again tomorrow and I think I might just ask, once again, about that medically induced coma. ;)

Sorry for the little vent, but I HAD to get it out. And I figured it is my blog and the perfect place to do it. And you don't really have to read it if you don't want to. However, if you made it this far, it is too late. ;)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Transfusion #4 - So glad that went well. :)

Okay, late updating again, but it is what it is. Yesterday's transfusion was BEAUTIFUL. Not painless, but still beautiful. Her levels had dropped to 9.4, not too bad and they got her up to 17.5 which was fabulous. They transfused her with with 60 cc's of blood this time, and once again, she took it like a champ.

Every time they admit me down there they start an IV and run several labs. This time they also decided to run a liver panel screen to make sure everything is looking okay. I had my normal doctor's appointment the day before and we noted that my urine output wasn't what it should be and it was dark. When they did the little dip strip in the office it came back with 1+ protein. I had let them know this down in Columbus as well. So while there they decided to run some additional tests, including the liver panel, as mentioned, and a 24 hour urine to see what the protein levels were. Well wouldn't know you it, my liver enzymes are elevated. *rolls eyes* of COURSE  they are.

So today, I had the first steroid shot to help mature the baby's lungs in the chance that she will be born in the next two weeks. The shots usually last two weeks and then they wear off. I spoke with my doctor about that a little bit last night and asked if we were jumping the gun a little or if he thought we should just wait a week to give her a little more time. He said that he agreed, we should start the steroids now and in two weeks we will do a "rescue dose" if needed to go another 2 weeks. They won't do more than that. So she will either be delivered at the time, or she really won't need them and will be fine by the time we deliver. Oh, and those shots are intramuscular.... and they STING LIKE HELL!

I am not entirely sure what to think anymore. Part of me wants to keep this baby in there until at least 34 weeks and the other part wants to get her out now. I don't know what to hope for. I just want her to be okay. She is so quiet tonight. I can poke and shake the belly around and I will get a LITTLE response from her, but not a whole lot. I hope she is just resting up. She has been growing like you won't believe. Yesterday they estimated her weight to be around 2lbs 15 oz. AMAZING!

I bumped my appointment next week up to Monday and my doctor will re-run the liver panel and see how things are looking there. My hubby looked my lab results from the 24 hour test tonight and only part of it was completed. Luckily that part still looked okay, but we don't know what the protein level is. That is the part i am DYING to know about. Hopefully it will be in soon. I will be returning to OSUMC on December 2nd for the 5th transfusion. That one should get her to 32 weeks and then we will most likely do one more and can hopefully get her to 35 weeks. I sure hope I can make it that far. How nice would that be?

Oh, and the one big thing that happened this weekend..... my husband and I agreed on a name... kind of. ;)  We have decided to name our little girl KIARI ADDISON. I am still not entirely sold on Kiari, but my husband really likes it. He was so happy that he finally got to pick a name. And because of that I am not so sure I can take it away. I really like Kiara, which was my suggestion and he suggested the variation. Kiari is pronounced Key-Are-Ee. So we will have to see which she finally ends up with.

So for now, my job is to let the house get messy and hold the couch down. It is harder than it would seem. ;) I am keeping my chin up for now and hoping we last at least 4 more weeks. I am 28 weeks today. I am so glad to finally be at this point, and she is so big. My goals with pregnancy are fairly simple anymore, 30 weeks and 4 pounds, and it looks like we just might get both.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

3rd Transfusion done, Ready for #4.... sort of.

Well, sorry I didn't update earlier this week. It has been full of information and I have just had a hard time processing all of it. They say, when it rains, it pours, and this week is certainly no exception. Just as I think I can handle all that is coming my way, there is another thing.... or two or three, to add to it.

Lets start with the Transfusion. I returned to Ohio State Med Center in Columbus on Monday night. This was one so much harder in many ways. My husband is in Dallas, Texas all this week and I am having a hard time going through all of this with out him. I certainly have a greater respect for the spouses of our service members. My hubby has only been gone a week and I am already losing my mind. So anyway, things were a bit more difficult with this transfusion. They started off by giving her a shot in the thigh once again. I hate that part. The poor little thing. They finally got in with the needle and had a hard time getting in to the cord, but they were unable to get any fluid or just amniotic fluid out. So after trying that for a little bit with no success, they decided to try another spot. Let me just say, it is certainly not painless when they go in with that needle. OWIE! But the second time was a little better. During both of the tries I continued to contract. That made things more difficult as well as it kept moving the needle out of the position it needed to be in. They were finally able to get some blood out of the cord to check her hemoglobin level and it had dropped to 6.7, which is what they expected. This time because she is doing so much better and getting so much stronger they transfused her with 40cc's instead of just 25 like they had done the previous two transfusions.

She tolerated it very well and took the blood like a champ, at least that is what the doctor said. They got her levels up to 12.6. So we are getting closer but not quite there yet. I return once again next Thursday night (a week from today) for another transfusion on the following morning.

I had a follow up appointment with my doctor yesterday and we talked about the remaining transfusions. He told me he would like me to have the remaining procedures down in Columbus. He said it had been a while since he had done these, and of course with the way the baby is sitting, it is actually quite difficult to get to the cord. He felt it would be better if I remained with the team that is there as they are already well into my care and I am in SUPER hands. I have to agree and am actually somewhat relieved he did want me to continue there. I am comfortable with the team there. I was sort of nervous about changing doctors on this procedure 1/2 way through them. So while it is a big pain in the butt to go down there, I am good with the suggestion.

I did get word that I failed the glucose tolerance test. Of course I did. How could I not? It seems like I am bound to bomb all of these stupid tests. I informed my doctor he was not allowed to run any more tests on me. he just laughed and agreed. So I declined the 3-hour test and will proceed as though I do have gestational diabetes, continue eat well and test my sugars regularly.

Another thing that is happening is that my blood pressure is going up. As you may recall, I have already had two pregnancies with preeclampsia, the second resulting in the 4-month early birth of my daughter. So this is one that concerns us. Luckily there isn't any protein in the urine, so he isn't too concerned yet. He said that if it starts to show up and the bp continues to rise, he will be putting me in the hospital. But for now I am on bed rest here at home, where I can at least be somewhat comfortable in my own bed and surroundings. I will enjoy it while I can. ;)

Needless to say, the last two days have been an emotional roller coaster for me and that is why I haven't posted an update. I just didn't want to get on to the computer because every time I thought about all of this, I just cried. ;) Today is better though.

My baby is getting stronger and she is back to being active. There are good things and bad things about that. I am trying hard to not complain, but dang I am getting sore. HAHAHA

So that is the update for now. I am eagerly awaiting the return of my hubby on Friday night (tomorrow) YAY!!!! My parents and brother are here through Sunday so at least I have some good company. :)

Thank you all for the support and continued prayers. I know I have responded to some of the comments and emails yet. I just haven't had the emotional stamina to do it. Please forgive me on that.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Today, how is today? Hmmmmm

Well, after my little emotional break down the other day, I do actually feel somewhat better emotionally. Although, I did find out that I made a miscalculation. And I am not entirely sure how I did that. I guess I was just trying to get further along than I am. I am 26 weeks today. I had said that I want to get at least 3 more weeks until I hit 30. Nope, I have 4 more weeks to go. :) I sure hope I can eek out 4 more weeks.

When I made my doctor's appointment for next week I asked if we could just schedule a bunch of them since I knew I was going to be there every week. And quite honestly, you get the better appointment times if you schedule them out further. If not, you are stuck with whatever is left over. I hate that, because then they are always at the end of the day and you end up waiting forever! UGH! oh well. But I digress, the whole point of this was that they wouldn't let me schedule out more than one because they weren't confident that I wasn't going to be headed into the hospital. That actually took me off guard. I tried to act all normal and just laugh about it and say, yup, I told you I was a fun one. But inside, my stomach plummeted, because deep down, I know they are right. I don't think I am going to be able to skirt hospital bedrest this time.

Where does that leave me? We don't have any family that lives around here. While my friends have been great for stepping in and bringing meals and taking my girls, how much can you honestly burden these people? I mean, I am not due for another 14 weeks, 3 whole months. Ok, granted, even the doctor knows I won't deliver past 36 weeks, but that is still 10 weeks from now.

I wish I could just be one of those people that can spit babies out. You get pregnant and you just know that 9 months later you will have a baby. Oh the innocence of ignorance. Sigh.

My 4-year-old seems pretty oblivious to all that is going on. That is actually somewhat helpful. She knows that the baby is "sick" and needs a little bit of help to get better. But it is heartbreaking to watch my 10-year-old. She was there when Kelsi was born. She remembers it all. We had her in the room with us when we had removed Kelsi from live support and she then passed away as we held her together.

Riley has done a great job at putting on a brave face, but I know she is anxious. One of her coping mechanisms is an upset stomach that leads to vomiting, and she has been doing that again. It is so hard to watch. I have been talking with her about her feelings and fears. I wish I could just say, "oh honey, everything is going to be okay." Oh, how I wish I could say that. But I can't. I am trying so hard to believe it, particularly now that I am dealing with pre-term labor on top of all the transfusion stuff.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if God is punishing me for things that I have done or not done, but I know He doesn't work like that. People say that "everything happens for a reason." (One of my MOST hated phrases in this world.) But I think that sometimes, things just happen. We are then left to decide how to deal with that.

I do have to say that I feel differently about this pregnancy than the one I had with Kelsi. I have even allowed myself to venture into the baby sections. I have bought a crib and am getting her room ready. So now I hope. I don't know what else to do. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I have FAITH that everything will be okay. I did that once and it still didn't turn out the way I thought was "okay." :) But I do have hope. It is just a little daunting at the moment.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not sure how I feel today

Well, today I should have been happily off on an airplane with my husband to the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado. Instead I spent the morning nauseous and jittery from the Terbutaline my doctor has put me on to help stop the contractions that I have been having. I also got to drink the most fabulously flavored glucose crapola they make poor pregnant women drink for the glucose tolerance test in testing for gestational diabetes. I can honestly say that if it comes back positive I WILL have a nervous breakdown. I cannot handle one more little thing with this pregnancy. I am already on pins and needles between the whole transfusion and added to that the pre-term labor and bedrest.

I know I am tired but I have just been trying my hardest to hold back all my tears and frustration since my husband left without me for our trip. I miss him and I am scared to have him gone for so long. Even though he is only gone for a week, I hate that he isn't here with me during this time. My little stinker of a baby is not helping things out either as she still isn't moving very much. I miss having her be so active. At least when she was active I could be certain that she was alive. I know that is so morose, but when you have been through what I have been through, it is a thought that frequents the mind.

It is so hard to be so helpless. I am used to being able to do everything. It is so hard to have to depend so much on other people. I have the best friends and students in the world. They have been bringing in meals, helping out with my girls and such. It is a relief to have them, but at the same time it is really hard to accept their help, particularly when I need so much. I am just really having a hard time today keeping my chin up. Everyone loves to say that "everything will be okay," but quite honestly, it is really hard to believe that. I hate it when they say that too, because nobody really knows.

I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday. I love that man. I asked him about what this does to our goal delivery date. He said it definitely moves it up. He would like to see me get to 36 weeks. So would I, quite honestly, but I also think that this is a pipe dream. One good thing that we did note is that the hydrops have greatly reduced. She hardly had any fluid around her heart and brain. There was still a bit in her abdomen but even that has gone down considerably. Now, if only I could get her active again....

As I laid in bed last night all jittery and feeling awful from the contraction stopping drugs, I just prayed that I make it until Garth gets home next week. I would really like to get to 30 weeks. That is just 3 more weeks to go. Once I get to 30, then I will set another goal, but I want to get to 30. Please let me get to 30. I hate this so much. I am so scared.

I will be returning to Ohio State Med Center next week for the next transfusion. After this one, I will do the remainder here in Akron. I am not looking forward to doing this transfusion without my husband, but again, it is just the walk that has to be walked, even if it does suck. And it really does suck. :( My dad flies in on Monday and my mom and brother will follow suit on Wednesday. It will be so nice to have some family around.

Okay, I am going to go and hold my couch down and try to hold myself together.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let's Try this again

So, I had a nice long blog post all ready to submit and my iPad wiped the stupid thing. GRRRR. I hate it when things like that happen. I don't even remember everything I wrote. UGH.

Today's transfusion went okay. I don't like doing them and sadly, I have quite a few more in my near future. However, it is better than the alternative, so I will gladly do this.

Last night, I tried to get some sleep, but having a roommate whose alarms kept going off all night killed any hopes of any good sleep. However, I did sleep much better than last Thursday night, so that is a blessing in and of itself. They came in and got my IV going around 6:00 this morning. They took me back to the same room where I had the procedure last week. The doctor inquired about her movements. Remember when I said that she had slowed back down? Well, that was an indicator that her hgb has gotten low again. He did a quick ultrasound on her and it looks like the hydrops are decreasing, so that is very promising news. She was hiding the cord from them today, so it was a little trickier to get into the correct position.

They gave her another shot in her thigh to paralyze her during the procedure. She didn't care for that much at all. I vaguely recall hearing them talk about it and afterward Garth was telling me that she tried to hit the needle away and was moving trying to get away from it. Poor little thing. But she was a trooper and seems to be feeling much better now.

Once they got things going, I began to feel very sick. I was so nauseous and broke out into a sweat. I guess my blood pressure had dropped to 74/38. No wonder I felt awful. They hurried to push fluids and I began to feel much better. But with all the drugs to sedate the baby and I, I kept falling asleep through the procedure. I could hear the conversations, but it all seemed distant and dream like.

They did find out that her Hgb had dropped to 5.4 (down from 8.4 last week.) They said this was expected however since she started off so bad. Basically, she still has quite a lot (3/4 volume) of her own blood that is still breaking down. They transfused her with another 25cc's (1/4 of her blood volume) today, so we have now essentially replaced 1/2 of her blood volume with O- blood. This will help to keep her hemoglobin up. She made it up to 10.0 today. So that means I have to have another transfusion next week. They said that once we get on top of this, the spacing between transfusions should go to about 2 - 3 weeks. THANK GOODNESS.

I think my pain tolerance has gone out the window. The pokes and sticks are killing me and they didn't seem to be that bad before. But you want to know the worst one? It was removing the tape from the stupid IV. I will gladly go through more transfusions  vs removing the stupid tape on my arm from the IV's. How sad is that? HAHAHA I think I am going to shave my arms (not that I have a ton of hair on them) before the next transfusion. Perhaps that will help. You think? Oh, and let's not even talk about the gauge (thickness) of the needles used for the stupid IV. It is 18 gauge. When I do my jewelry work and I want to use a nice gauge of wire, I use 18 gauge. And you know what? It isn't small! The back of my hand is one big bruise from last weeks IV. It doesn't feel very good. Funny though, it just looks like I haven't washed my hands. hehehe

Tomorrow I finally get to meet with my doctor. I cannot wait. I am dying to talk with him. I guess the two docs have been fighting over who gets to keep doing my transfusions, they both want to do it. :) HAHA I will do my best to stay with the one here in Akron though. I am really tired of the drive to Columbus. However, I have to say, I do like the Ohio State Med Center. It is VERY nice. But my hubby is out of town for the next week and a half, and I would really prefer to stay close to home.

My contractions haven't been too bad today. But then again, I have been laying down nearly all day long. I am really hoping that they are letting up so I can break free of the couch and bed. With my hubby being gone, I need to be able to be mobile.

Thank you all so much for your prayers. It is amazing to know that literally hundreds of prayers are being said on behalf of my unborn little girl, family and myself. I know that these procedures are scary, but I feel such a calm and have a strength that I didn't expect. Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart. Prayer really does make a difference.

Waiting...

It is 11:40 pm and I am sitting in the hospital room listening to. Y roommate talk with her nurse and spending too much time with my thoughts. I am spending the night once again in the Ohio State Medical Center. Tomorrow my sweet unborn little girl will have another blood transfusion. It will be interesting to see how she looks after her first transfusion last friday morning.

She really did perk up quite a bit, but she has since quieted down a little in the past 24 hours. I have spent the entire weekend on bed rest. Everytime I stand up the contractions begin.

It is a small chance, but it makes me nervous to think of the possibility that she could be born tomorrow. People tell me not to think of it, but if you don't then how can you be prepared in case it does happen? It is also pretty daunting to think of going through all of this multiple times. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but there are still things I would rather not have to go through.

I have to say though that this has been an amazing journey already. I mean, it is simply amazing that they can transfuse an unborn child. I can't tell you how grateful and blessed I am to be in a location to have some of the very best and most specialized doctors working to keep my baby healthy. I am also grateful for all the prayers that are being said for me and the baby and my family. The peace and calm I feel is priceless. Even the doctors have been impressed withnhow well controlled I am with my emotions. There are times when I justnwant to lose it, but then think, what good would that do? It is just the path that has to be walked. It can't be avoided.

Oh, theynwere vale to find out the blood type of my little girl. She is o+. Funny thing about that is, so is Riley and Garth. Kate is o-. I am a- and kelsi was a+. My antibodyntiter has jumped from 1:32 to over 1:2,000. Nonwonder my poor baby is so sick. It will also be interesting to see if the rise in the titer makes a difference in how often we have to do transfusions.

Well the ambient is kicking in. Sorry about any of the typos I am doing this on my iPad and the keyboard is touchy.

Wish me luck. I will update after I ger home tomorrow.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Woah!

This month has been crazy. My husband has been off interviewing, as I mentioned in my last post. While it is fun, it sure has been draining on the energy. Last week before our trip to Grand Junction, CO I had noticed that my baby wasn't moving the way she had been. I went in for some monitoring on Saturday morning. They checked her out and said she was moving fine. I wish I had pushed it a bit more than I did, but I thought, "Okay, they said she was okay, she must be." We went on our trip the next day and her movements continued to decline. The thought kept going through my head that something just wasn't quite right. We got back into Akron on Tuesday night and my doctor flew out that night for a conference. I was supposed to have an appointment on Wednesday, but as he was out of town it had been rescheduled for next week.

All Wednesday I had a nagging feeling that something just wasn't right, but I kept putting it off. (Dumb, I know) By Thursday morning I couldn't stand it any longer. I called his office (he is the only doc in the practice) and asked them to please do an ultrasound to check on her. They called the doc that was covering for mine and sent me into the hospital for more monitoring. Now, nurses don't always have the full story right away when you get there, so their understanding was that they would just do more simple movement monitoring  of the baby. I informed them that it was not acceptable and not enough. I needed an ultrasound to check on her.

Now, a little background. When I was pregnant with my second (Kelsi) there was a placental defect which allowed for a lot of her blood to mix with mine. She had an Rh+ blood type and I have an Rh-. So even though I had been given the RhoGam shots to prevent an antibody from forming, due to the volume, the antibody did in deed develop. This is something they have been monitoring closely with this baby and can change quite quickly. In fact, at my appointment just two weeks ago everything looked PERFECT.

So they did an ultrasound and the findings were not good at all. This Rh Antibody causes my red blood cells to attach her red blood cells. This has caused her to become anemic. Not only that, but she has also developed a dangerous condition called Hydrops Fetalis. This is where the baby gets fluid in major cavities in the body. This little one had fluid and swelling in her brain, heart and abdomen. Most of the time this can be reversed and hopefully without lasting effects with blood transfusions for the baby.

As my doctor was out of town he sent me to a "Super" specialist in Columbus, at the Ohio State Medical Center. The blood bank worked all night to get blood ready for my little girl. They have to do a lot to make certain that it is free of antibodies, wash it and remove quite a few things and thicken it up for these little babies. Friday morning they checked the Hemoglobin (Hgb) of the baby. Normally they want people to have a level around 14, they will typically transfuse around 8 and my poor little girl had 1.9. She was VERY sick.

This is an invasive procedure where they take a needle and go in through my stomach and into her cord to transfuse the new blood. The risks of this can cause premature labor, premature rupture (water breaking) and a few other things. So each time we do this they will have the surgical team on stand by ready to do an emergency c-section.

With this procedure her Hgb went up to 8.4. I will be returning to Ohio State Medical Center Monday night. They will do another transfusion on her first thing Tuesday morning. We are no where near out of the woods, but at least she now has a chance. After this last transfusion, her heart rate improved immediately. Throughout the day she has become more active and is getting stronger with her punches, kicks and movements again. It is such a relief to feel her moving around again. Each of these transfusions typically last between 2 - 4 weeks before they will have to be repeated. This almost ensures that I will not have a full term baby. We are just praying that I can make it into the month of January, but it is touch and go. For the next week I am on bed rest and will be taking it easy. After each procedure I will again be on bed rest for a few days.

Needless to say, the classes that I had scheduled and was about to post are now back on hold. UGH.

We are still hopeful that things will go well, we are very appreciative of all the prayers and good thoughts that people have been sending our way. I can easily keep things updated on my facebook page with my cell phone. If you would like to add me to your friend list to keep updated you can find me at: www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/Melissa.w.Muir

Thanks again for your prayers and well wishes.

Melissa

Friday, October 15, 2010

Looking Good

So my appointment on Wednesday started out kind of rough. I started with a blood pressure reading of 148/108. When the nurse told me that I just cried. She was so cute and just gave me a hug. Luckily, after a little bit of quiet time, it did come down to an acceptable level. I think I was just upset about my friend Katie and the fact that I am getting closer to my dates with Kelsi. I was admitted to the hospital with her at 23 weeks 3 days. I am now 23 weeks, so it is a very emotional time for me in the pregnancy.

They did an ultrasound and checked all of the measurements and she is looking perfect. It was so fun to watch her as she moved around. we even saw her yawning. That was so cool. We did verify that it is a GIRL and believe me, there was NO mistaking it. She is a girl. Even I could see that pretty clearly. ;) YAY!

They estimate her weight to be approximately 1 pound 4 ounces. So she is growing very well, measuring a couple of days ahead even. I like it when they are a bit ahead rather than weeks behind. She is such a mover. It is annoying and comforting all at the same time. But I am certainly glad for every little kick, even the ones that are attempts to empty my bladder.

My next appointment isn't for three more weeks as I will be traveling and my doctor will be out of town when my normal 2 week appointment is. Let's hope I don't loose my mind before then. I just need to get through the next week and a half.

Did you know that October 15th  is National/World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day? Today I remember all of the angels that never got to stay or stayed to short of a time. Sending hugs and love to all of my angel mothers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Almost a month

I just looked at the date of my last post and it was September 14. Things are crazy around here. My hubby finishes up his training here in Akron in April, so we have been jet setting around the western states as he interviews for prospective employment. It has been a lot of fun as they have all flown me out with him while he interviews. They are very wise people, for they understand that if the wife doesn't approve of a location, there is no way in HELL that the hubby is going to be able to accept their offer. ;) Smart people!

But I do have to say that flying is rather..... um.... not fun when you are pregnant. I don't think my little baby in the tummy enjoys it either. She kicks and moves almost the entire flight. While that is fun and I enjoy it, it isn't exactly comfortable. I feel that if I have even a drop or two of fluid in my bladder, it is open season for kicking it. Not so good. And I won't even talk about the swelling that happens in my feet, ankles and legs. I am not one to really swell in those areas, but DANG,  they sure can get thick.

Things are progressing rather well. My mom called me the other day and was asking why I hadn't posted anything in a long time. Those of you that have been through this before will probably understand a little better than those that haven't, but it is almost as if I am trying not to think about the pregnancy. If I don't think about it, then I can't freak out over every little thing. Especially right now. I am currently 22 weeks 4 days. I was admitted to the hospital with Kelsi at 23 weeks 3 days. I am so close. My blood pressure is riding a little higher than we like, but not so high that they are overly concerned about it. My Rh Antibody doesn't seem to be causing any issues at this point. The numbers are staying nice and low so far. That doesn't mean that it won't change, just that we are starting nice and low and that buys time if it is going to change.

I was actually starting to feel rather good about things and even ventured into the baby department at one of the local stores here. It was so fun to look at the furniture, accessories and such. We don't currently have ANYTHING baby as I had gotten rid of everything thinking we were done. My little sister is sending a few things back to me as I type this, but I will still have a lot to get. I felt pretty good about checking things out...until I got home.

One of my online friends is due just a week after me and has gone into preterm labor. She is already dilated to a 5 and has bulging waters. This is not a good thing as it is already too late to do any surgery to prevent further dilation or labor. It is heartbreaking to watch her go through this. She is already the mother to an angel baby born still at 36 weeks and a miscarriage 2 months prior to this pregnancy. It is hitting rather close to home as I near my first milestone of 24 weeks. I read her posts on FB as she sits and feels her little girl swimming and kicking around not knowing when it will all end. I remember that all too well with Kelsi. I know exactly what she is feeling. :( It is simply heartbreaking.

I had decided, before I found out about my sweet friend Katie, that I would double check the gender at today's appointment and if it really was a girl, I was going to go back and buy the bedding set I had found at the store. But now, I think I will wait until about 34 weeks to buy anything. I am just too nervous. Stupid, I know, but it is how I cope. And it isn't one bit different from how I coped with my pregnancy with Kate. I didn't buy anything until I was 34 weeks and even then it was only things I knew I would need immediately, like diapers, wipes and such.

Well, It is 10:00. I have an appointment today at 10:30 so I am off. I will update soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Still here

I am still here. I have just been really busy lately. My husband and I just visited Reno, Nevada over the weekend where he had a job interview. They liked him so much that they have already offered him the position. We still have more trips and interviews coming up, so we told them we would give them an answer by December. Yes, I know that is still a bit away, but he wouldn't even be starting until May of next year.

Reno was interesting. It isn't very pretty (sorry if you live there and think it is.) It just doesn't float my boat in the prettiness department. We drove up to Lake Tahoe, and that WAS PRETTY! :)

Just before we left I got to spend a little bit of time in Labor and Delivery on Labor Day. I had been having some awful contractions in my back.  I haven't ever had back labor so it was a very different feeling for me. Luckily, they checked me out again and all seems to be good. The doctor cleared me for my trip. We got home on Sunday and I had another appointment on Yesterday. We started the MCA's. This is where they look at the blood flow in the baby's brain to see if it is affected by the Rh Antibody. At this point we are starting off with really low numbers. That doesn't mean it won't be an issue, it just buys us more time if it is going to become an issue. So for now, we are sitting back and trying to relax until the next scan which is only 2 weeks away. We checked the gender again and the baby doesn't like to cooperate too much, but it does look like it really is a little girl. But DANG this little one is SO STINKING ACTIVE. She is just like my last baby. It is hard to get the heart rate and various measurements because she moves around so much. It is kind of fun though. She is always moving, which is VERY reassuring!

So for now, that is how things are going. :) YAY! We like good and uneventful.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1st day of school and appointment

Well today was my oldest daughter's first day of middle school. She is only in the 5th grade, but that is when they start middle school here. She was so nervous this morning. She was really cute though. I guess the day turned out okay. She isn't a big fan of school in the first place. I hope things go a bit better for her this year. She will have the opportunity to meet all sorts of new friends as there are three elementary schools that feed into the middle school.

Today, Kelsi would have also started Kindergarten. it still gets me all misty eyed and I cried about it today at my doctor's appointment. The doctor was really sweet. He said, the anniversaries are just really hard and sometimes just suck. :) Boy was he right.

Well, I have been having contractions for the past couple of nights. So he did a pretty thorough exam to make sure everything was closed and looked good. Everything is looking good so far. We will keep an eye on it to make certain nothing happens. I did talk the sonographer to sneak a peak to see if we could see if the baby was a boy or girl though. :) She told me not to run out and buy any thing for the baby yet, but if she had to guess, it looks like we are in for GIRL #4. :) I guess I really don't know how to make little boys. But that is okay by me too. I love my girls. And my husband is so cute with our girls. :) You know, it takes a special man to be a daddy of only girls. That, and lots of ammo. :) HAHAHA

So, I am not holding my breath yet that it truly is a girl, but it is kind of fun to think about. We should know more at the 20 week ultrasound. We also talked about the MCA's (ultrasounds of the brain checking for blood flow due to the Rh Antibody) and we will start those at 18 weeks. So just a couple of more weeks until that gets underway.

I am just glad that things are looking good for now.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kindergarten

Thursday I threw a birthday party for my 4 year old. Her birthday was in July, but I could barely get myself off my couch. So, while it was postponed, she still enjoyed it quite a bit. I had 4 little girls come over. The neighbors on either side of me both have little girls the "same" age as Kate. There was one little girl from church and the last little girl lives right across the street from us. There is an interesting background on the little girl across the street. When I was pregnant with Kelsi, I participated on an online board for expecting moms. We were all due at the same time and such. Well, keep in mind that at the time, I lived in Virginia in the DC area. Everyone was wonderful when Kelsi was born at 24 weeks and then passed away 2 1/2 days later. Fast forward to two years ago when we bought my current home. Strangely enough the family DIRECTLY across the street from me is one that belongs to one of the moms from that group.

Well, their little girl, that was due within days of Kelsi, is alive and well. She is a beautiful little girl full of life and so much fun. It is fun and difficult to watch her all at the same time. Well, this little girl was at the party and she was talking about how she had just been to her kindergarten orientation, met her teacher, bought her clothes and school supplies.

Then it hit me, Kelsi should be starting Kindergarten next week too. I am really having a hard time with this. Every time I think about it, I just cry. Even typing this is difficult. I know that if she had lived, she most likely wouldn't really even be starting kindergarten, and perhaps she never would be able to attend school, but you don't really think about things like that. You think about how things "should" be, not how they "really would be."

I posted something about this on my facebook status today and one of my "friends" posted about how her son would be 26 years old now. She often wonders what he would be like, where he would be in life, any grand kids she might have, etc. and I just though, OH MY GOSH. I had never thought that far ahead. There is so much to miss out on.

You get past the "anniversary's," the birthdays, the angel dates, and you learn how to deal with those. It is really interesting how the the new "missed memories" hit. I never expected this. I didn't think it would hit me so hard. I certainly didn't expect to cry like I have been every time I think about her going (or not) to kindergarten. Earlier I was thinking about going out to sit with my friend on the first day that her little girl gets onto the bus. But I don't think I can do it.

On another note, Kate's birthday party was great! The girls were requested to wear their favorite dress and bring a doll. We started out by decorating their gift bags. They used sparkly stickers and markers. It was fun! They each received a princess crown and wand, a silly straw and of course princess jewelry. Then they made a bracelet for them selves and one for their dolly. I made a special necklace for each of them with their names. After that, we went upstairs and had cake and opened presents. We ended right at 2 hours. It was the perfect timing. Everyone was occupied and entertained the entire time. It was low cost, low mess and perfect for 4 and 5 year old's.

I am 15 weeks today. I swear this is going to be the longest pregnancy I have ever had. Each day seems to just drag on and on and on....and oh so slowly. I really am trying to enjoy this, but the constipation and nausea is making that difficult. But to help combat that nausea one of the sweetest bloggy friends (Justine of A Half Baked life) offered to make me some ginger-lemon carrot muffins. They came yesterday and all I can say is, "NOM NOM NOM" Ooooh, they are good. :) Justine has such a fun blog. Not only does she post what is going on with her (another pregnancy just a couple weeks ahead of me) but she also posts the most fantastic recipes that are DELISH looking. I wish she lived closer. And they are amazing recipes. In my muffins she even uses some of the ingredients she grew in her very own garden. Thanks so much Justine!!!!

One of these days I am going to figure out how to post pictures on here and then I can share some pictures of the party and other things. :)