Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In conclusion....

Mr. Euan
As I sit here looking my sleeping little boy I feel so very very blessed.  My blog is titled Imperfectly Pregnant.  I am no longer pregnant and will never be again.  It is time for me to wrap up this blog.  That isn't to say I will never write again, I have really enjoyed it and found it therapeutic.  Another time maybe and of course under a different title.  Thank you to everyone who have read my thoughts, supported and prayed for me along the way.  I have many thoughts running through my head so please let me attempt to organize them into something presentable. 

"It takes a village to raise a child."  I'd heard the quote before and never really thought about it.  Now, I couldn't agree more.  Euan (and myself) had help from week 4 and it has taken so many to make the pregnancy successful.  I am so grateful that I have love and support all around me.  

Pregnancy.  It has been one of the most, if not the most, difficult things I have ever done.  I have learned so much from the experiences of this pregnancy from respect, understanding, compassion, patience and a deep appreciation for my body.  For months I felt tied down (literally and figuratively) to a backpack and a PICC line.  Once I get the green light to exercise I feel compelled to run or bike or do something physically active.  This has never appealed to me before and yet I feel like I have put my body through the ringer for the past few years and it continues to be good to me, I need to be good to it.  It's the only one I have.     

Excitement.  To know I never have to be pregnant again is really exciting.  It is a huge relief.  I feel like I can move forward and focus on being a mom, wife, friend, and just be me, not some sad version of myself walking around like a zombie who has been hit by a semi.   

My health update.  I am working on increasing my energy and appetite.  I haven't been as hungry or excited about food as I had thought or hoped.  I think it will just take some time.  The vomiting and nausea are totally gone.  My blood pressure has its moments but I am hoping it will resolve soon.  My arm is healing from where my PICC line lived, I also thought this would heal quicker but we are making good progress. 

Ms. Fiona
The loves of my life.  Ryan.  I couldn't ask for a better partner in life.  He is phenomenal.  I'd try to explain it better, but if you know him, you know what I mean.  I also need to thank him for giving me two beautiful children.  Fiona (aka Fioney Bear or The Bear).  The only little girl I will ever have.  She is full of joy and happiness and makes my heart melt.  Euan (aka Mr. Euan or The Muffin Man).  The little boy I am getting to know.  Learning his squeaks and sneaking a peak at those dimples every once in a while.  My kids.....just thinking of them makes me cry.   

I can't have a final post without a final thank you to those closest to me who have been there to help, hug, love and do anything else that I've needed since October.  Euan and I wouldn't be here without you, I truly believe that and I will be eternally grateful. 

My Family

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The First Week.....

The question I have been asked most throughout the entire pregnancy now has an answer.  Does the puking stop immediately after the baby is born?  Answer: Not this time (it did with Fiona). 

We spent the first few days in the hospital.  Our first night we had to stay in labor and delivery as I was on mag sulfate and we were watching my blood pressure closely.  It was behaving itself for the moment so that was a bonus.  Tuesday morning Fiona got to meet her little brother Euan for the first time.  She was mildly interested but overall preferred to run around the hospital room and read her new Elmo book.  It was good for us to see her.

Tuesday I was feeling ok for the most part, tired of course.  Still a bit nauseated but not puking.  Tried my darnest to eat and drink since we capped off my PICC line that morning.  I was quite enjoying the ice water aspect of life.  Euan was beginning to eat well which lead itself to what they call "afterpains."  I call them contractions.  I read before I had Euan that they are more intense with the second and subsequent children.  I would agree 100%.  I found myself singing the ABC's and breathing through them.  I also found myself very nauseated and feeling generally crummy during these.  Tuesday's highlight was the removal of my PICC line.  Whoop whoop!! 

Overnight Tuesday my BP was rising and they started me on medication.  Our plan was to go home Wednesday and Euan got the green light to go.  I did not.  That day was not one of my favorites.  I was feeling poor and had my first postpartum vomit in a ziploc bag while Euan was eating.  I cried.  Poor kid got squished for 9 months while I puked and now I was trying to puke while he ate.  It was later that evening when I really struggled with vomiting everything and my BP skyrocketed.  It began to make sense to me.  Euan eats.  Hormones are released.  Uterus contracts.  I vomit.  My BP goes up.  It's all hormone related.  Stupid hormones.  Thankfully between drugs and a few sporadic hours of sleep my BP improved.  I wasn't puking like a crazy person anymore so that was good too.  I finally got the green light to go home!   

Being at home has been a tiny bit of a whirlwind.  Euan's bili level was up a bit so we went to the pediatrician 3 of the first 4 days we were home.  Thankfully he is gaining weight and the bili level is heading down.  I headed to the doc for my BP, which still not great and it is pretty obvious to me when its up since I get dizzy and lightheaded.  I go back in 2 weeks.  

Fiona is adjusting well, the big thing we've noticed is she wants to be held more.  Overall she has been an outstanding big sister and likes to kiss Euan.

Ryan went back to work on Monday.  Would have loved to have him around longer but when you own a small company it doesn't exactly work that way.  I am grateful that my parents continue to be superbly helpful. 

My hope was to feel better once the baby was born.  Overall I do.  I think I was a bit too optimistic about how good I would feel.  I need to remember that I've been feeling like a pile since October so it might take more than a few days to feel great again.  Baby steps! 

Oh, and to answer a lingering question - he was well worth every minute of feeling like crap. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

The day Euan arrived

The night before Euan was born.
Monday morning I was supposed to call my doc first thing to get an appointment to be seen to check my BP and such.  I called and was supposed to come in around 0930 - so I did.  My Dad had already come over in the morning as I was on bedrest and not quite able to care for Fiona, so they were playing and having as much fun as two people can!  When I left I told my Dad I'd see him who knows when (as I'd ended up at St. Joe's Thur & Fri for a few hours) and tried to kiss a running 21 month old. 

My BP was 154/96 when I first arrived and on recheck 160/104.  That was it.  Dr. Sportiello checked my cervix, was able to strip my membranes and said it was time.  Not that my cervix was really ready but it was a bit better (in case you care -3 station, 40% effaced and 1cm if you are being generous) and BP was worse and Euan was bigger so lets have a baby.  Of course while I half expected to hear this I was also quite surprised and a bit overwhelmed.  My thoughts were a bit like this.  Really?  Today?  Like, drive over to St. Joe's, actually check in, get pitocin and have a baby?  Are you sure?  So you are telling me I can stop puking, pull the PICC line and have a baby?  Um.....ok.  I cried, called Ryan (who seemed pretty surprised too), hugged her medical assistant and left. 

As I drove I realized the best part about induction: driving to the hospital without puking.  Hands down!  The biggest thing I had dreaded I didn't have to do!  Yippie. 

Pitocin always sounded scary to me....I didn't want it.  I wanted a nice natural labor.  Today I knew pitocin and I needed to be friends.  Once I got to St. Joe's there was no messing around and pitocin was running by 1030.  The plan was to get it going to help bring the baby down and thin my cervix.  Then of course we'd work on some dilation.  Dr. Sportiello also said she'd probably break my water at some point after the contractions were consistent.  It didn't take long for the contractions to start being consistent at 2-3 min apart.  For the first few hours they were tolerable, crampy and painful but I was able to be sociable and hummed the ABC's through my contractions (weird, I know, but it helped).  Around 1500 the nurse said the resident was going to check me and we were probably going to break my water.  I was really glad I asked her what she thought my cervix would be, she said probably further down, more effaced but not anymore dilated.  If I hadn't asked I would have been severely disappointed.  -1 station (but to me the difference was huge, I could just tell by how she checked me it was much more down and in front), 60-70% effaced but still 1cm.  She broke my water which was nice clear fluid and we pressed on, literally. 

Now I've been told once your water breaks it is a bit of a different story.  With Fiona, my water broke about an hour before she was born so I would tend to agree but it was hard for me to say what that whole hour was about.  The contractions were becoming more intense (my ABC's were getting seriously interrupted and louder) and I was getting tired.  For some reason I felt surprised by this but its not like I came into it feeling 100% so I know I shouldn't have been.  I desparately wanted to move around in attempts to get more comfortable but that was not going to happen, I had to stay in bed due to my blood pressure.  Not exactly how I wanted to labor.  Then the puking and heaving started.  I had a half a bagel with peanut butter all day and it made every effort on way too many occasions to find its way out.  Side note: I give my nurse a lot of credit, she was really good about titrating the pitocin down if she thought the contractions were not far enough apart.  She knew it had to be done carefully to work well. 

By 1830 I was seriously losing steam, wanted to crawl out of the darn bed in any attempt to get comfortable and I believe I told Ryan I wanted something to be easy about the pregnancy, he he.  My nurse checked me and my world was just deflated.  I was 0 station, effaced but 2cm.  I clearly remember thinking 3 hours after you broke my water and I'm still only 2cm???  Screw this, I'm done.  Where is the white towel?  I give up.  I'm tired.  I want my baby and I want to go home.  Then another contraction hit and of course all those thoughts left my world and I was back attempt to hum/moan the ABC's.  That is when I decided nubain (an IV drug to essentially help take the edge off) was going to be my friend now.  I didn't want drugs but I needed to do something both physically and mentally.  Nubain came and I literally could not keep my eyes open which I guess was good because it allowed me to sleep for the minute between contractions.  For lack of a better way to describe it I think it makes you feel drunk.  The peak seemed a bit less too as I realized I could hum the ABC's better.  This relief was pretty short lived.  I remember my nurse leaving at 1900 ish and giving report to the night nurse (who happened to be the nurse who delivered Fiona, how awesome is that). 

It was around 1945 when they wanted to put an internal probe on the baby to monitor the heart rate better - external probe was picking up mine during contractions.  At that point I didn't care much, I was too miserable.  It was shortly before 2000 when resident came to check me and put the probe on.  I was 8 1/2 cm - whoop whoop (I knew something crazy had been happening).  Probe was on and baby was doing fine.  I am pretty sure I rolled back over had a contraction, maybe two and was decently sure I needed to push.  I think I mumbled something about lots of pressure and not leaving.  I was alert enough to hear that my doctor was in the OR delivering twins.  About 5 minutes after the probe was put on they checked me again to find I was complete and could push.  Awesome!  I was pretty sure whether or not I wanted to push he was coming.  Like a whirlwind got the bed undone and here comes my doctor.  First push I knew it was close by the feel of things.  Everyone said they could see the head - yikes!  3 contractions worth of pushes later I met my son. 

It happened very quickly and was entirely surreal and very much an out of body experience for me.  I feel like I don't really know exactly what was happening and yet I do.  I saw Ryan cry, remember looking at my baby covered in vernix, thanking people and yet repeatedly asking what was happening.  It didn't take too long before I felt a bit more like I was on planet earth but still couldn't believe what had happened.  Euan looked like a million bucks, I on the other hand wanted to bleed more than they preferred.  Took a bit but we got it under control.  Ryan and I were on cloud 9.  A healthy baby boy after all this time.  How can you not believe in God? 

It wasn't long before eveyone realized my blood pressure wasn't going to cooperate and come down.  Magnesium sulfate was started after I tried to protest but I was able to negotiate commode privelages and forgo the catheter.  We had to stay in labor and delivery overnight and our nurse was cool with Euan staying too (apparently usually they take the baby away....I was not having that).  Euan wasn't interested in eating right away so instead he had a bath.  We made a few brief phone calls and decided it was time to think about going to bed.  Then we realized food might be warranted.  A special thank you to my good friend Julie for making a late night Taco Bell run and delivery to St. Joe's around midnight.  Not a bad way to top off the day. 

While I am no longer imperfectly pregnant I sure have gotten a lot of questions about how I am feeling now, how life is eating and drinking, etc.  I'll work on getting some of those questions answered soon.  Let's just say I used a ziploc bag or two since Euan arrived.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mr. Euan Finley O'Neil

Euan Finley O'Neil graced our presence on 5/16/11 at 2019 weighing in at 7lb 3oz and measuring a nice 19.5in. 

I will share the details of how he arrived shortly.  Until then..... a cute photo!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The latest on BP, puking and the Bitoski!

The first few days of bedrest haven't been too bad (but I haven't been here much).  The hardest part is when Fiona wants me to come play or pick her up....breaks my heart.  I'll hit the highlights of the past few days which have consisted of daily trips to the doc and I'll try not to ramble just because I have nothing else to do.  :) 
    Face pic (sideways). 
    You can make out the nose & lips. 
Bitoski.  S/he looks great!  Measuring at 38 weeks 1 day (I was 36 & 5 yesterday).  Blood flow and everything else looked great.  Yay!!!  

Blood pressure.  BP is still pretty high at times.  Peaked at 160/102 at the doc yesterday.  It does improve a bit when I am laying down (hence the bedrest). 

Pee.  We are now finding protein in my urine (first time was yesterday).  I finished doing a 24 hour urine collection to check the total protein. 

St. Joe's Labor & Delivery.  I spent a few hours both Thursday and Friday at St. Joe's watching the baby, my BP and having bloodwork done (which continues to look good).  I think I need to refuse to go back there until I am in labor, it's depressing to leave there pregnant. 

Headache = annoyance.  Essentially since the BP has been up I have been having a headache on & off going in waves of severity.  In attempting to take oral tylenol I entertained the nursing staff at St. Joe's.  Of course it ended up in my emesis basin within a few minutes.  I did explain liquids were no good but figured I should make an effort.  

Puking.  Seems slightly less annoying.  Probably because I can get up to do it.  Thankfully it has been tolerable. 

My cervix.  I have to thank it for doing a nice job of staying shut and protecting the baby up until now.  But now could you please thin out and open up?  It is currently pretty thick and barely open.  Boo.  

The plan.  Continue on bedrest.  We were darn close to having a baby yesterday but my cervix is so unfavorable now an induction would likely lead to a C-section.  No one wants that, especially me, for a handful of good reasons.  I go back to see the doctor on Monday.  

Until then I will keep the couch warm, watch my little lady play and be thankful I get the opportunity to have another baby. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Yup.  Bedrest.  Didn't expect that one.  I will apologize now if this post sounds angry, frustrated and even a bit bitter.  That is where I am at. 

Yesterday morning I felt rotten in general.  Same old nausea and puking but it was something else too that I couldn't put my finger on.  Along with it I had a bit of a headache.  I had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon where we noticed my blood pressure (BP) was high.  Figures.  Normally it runs on the low side and when I get my dressing changes done (which have been every 2 days for a while now; my BP has been good).  My doc sent me for blood work and I was to come back today to see those results and how my BP was.  She did say that bedrest was an option along with induction depending on my blood work.  Of course I thought to myself, won't be bad enough for induction just bad enough for bedrest.  I was right.  

I headed back to the doctor early this afternoon.  Blood work didn't look too bad but my BP was still too high.  Bedrest it is.  Ultrasound to make sure the Bitoski is doing well and a visit with the doc on Friday afternoon.  

So much for going to work tomorrow or doing anything else for that matter.  I am just frustrated as I was stupidly hoping the rest of the pregnancy would be status quo - puking and PICC line problems.  Apparently I was wrong.  Now I have to lay here.  Boo.  Suggestions on things to do would be swell (reading much more than a paragraph or two makes me yak and I prefer the TV not be on too much with Fiona around). 

In other news - having more pukes lately (shocking) but the PICC line is beginning to heal thanks to a diligent Pam. 

I am praying for a healthy baby sooner than later and a bit of patience for me (and those who have to deal with me). 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Being prepared.

It isn't a secret that I am a planner and I enjoy organization.  Since I've had Fiona I've had to let that go a bit which I think hasn't been entirely a bad thing.  But overall I still strive for freakish organization if possible.  So of course I am well organized for the Bitoski to arrive. 

The Fiona factor.  Last pregnancy we could just up and leave for the hospital.  This time we have to consider Fiona.  So I did.  My parents live less than 10 minutes away so they will be called when the time comes (if they aren't already here).  I have a list of other family and friends (names and phone numbers) to call in case for some crazy reason my parents run away.  I think I am overly paranoid about Fiona because of her food allergies (soy & eggs - which doesn't sound like a big deal but start reading labels and you'd be surprised).  So needless to say I'd rather be over prepared.  I have a 4 page typed document about her normal routines and food that is in the freezer and in the fridge that is Fiona safe (yup I now update it every day just so I can sleep better at night).  I think to myself, my parents are here all the time, they know all of this....but like I said, they might just flee the state and then someone would need all this information.  And in my mind I will sleep better at night by having this done.   

The nursery is set.  Clothes are washed and organized by size.  Closet is set up.  Diapers are washed and stuffed.  Crib is ready with nice clean sheets.  It is as ready as it can be! 

Our go bag is packed.  There are a few things that can't be put in there right this minute (laptop, camera) but those 6 things are on a typed list on top of the bag (along with where to find them).  Gosh, I sound like a freak!  My thought on my freaky organization is this - if I can easily tell someone where to find something that makes everything less stressful.  I would rather not be running around and trying to pack a bag and find who knows what when labor day actually comes.  I'd rather spend a few extra minutes with Fiona or empty the dishwasher (I do remember Ryan gathering the computer last time I was in labor and I told him I thought we should empty the dishwasher instead).  I don't think the dishwasher ever got emptied before we left! 

So we are all prepared and ready.  Apparently all I need now is to work on my patience.....and have the baby.