Reincarnated As A Mother

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spartacus is 29 Weeks Today (day 32)

I think I'll order a piece of chocolate cake tonight to celebrate Spartacus making it to this next big milestone. Now onto thirty and then..... (yikes, I can't think of that many more days in here).
Byron came up last night and ended up sleeping here-- if you could call it that. My hospital bed is smaller than a twin and after that got too uncomfortable, he moved to the window seat/bed. He said it was made for 18 year olds-- not men! So neither of us slept well. But it was still a treat to have him just spend time relaxing up here. My mom and the girls all crashed quite early. Holland and Greer were plum tuckered out from the water park and then there is Reese. My mom (exhausted after driving ten hours the day before to get here) put her down for a nap yesterday. The only problem is, my mom collapsed into a nap before Reese was asleep. So guess who never took a nap? Guess who destroyed her sisters' room instead of taking a nap? Guess who poured hand sanitizer all over her sister's belongings? Guess who opened up every band-aid in the first aid kit? Guess who scattered every "Polly Pocket" clothing item from here to eternity? Guess who summarily picked apart my check book instead of taking a nap? Guess who learned not to go to sleep until "Destructo" has passed out? Ah, my poor mom is getting shocked into reality.
She just brought the girls up for a visit. Wow, they are loud. I must be getting de-sensitized. Or maybe just sensitized. Anyway, today is another milestone day. I'm awaiting my fourth certificate of congratulations from the nurses on this floor-- stating we made it to 29 weeks. Way to go Spartacus!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday, Monday (Day 31 in here)

Tick, tock, tick, tock. Time goes by a bit slowly in here... but on the other hand, tomorrow marks the baby being at 29 weeks and that's huge. So I'll just keep focusing on these important milestones. Spartacus is looking a bit flat again. I spent an extra hour on monitoring this morning and I guess he had enough of a variety that they finally let me off. So now I'm showered, dressed and looking forward to getting my wheelchair ride to the room next door for craft day. Sometimes it's so exciting in here, I can't quite find the right words-- ha!
My mom drove in last night from Vegas. So all is right with the world! Now instead of worrying about me, we will now shift our concerns to my dad at home "batching" it. My mother has pretty much packed up the kitchen in anticipation of moving up here-- she left my dad something like 3 bowls, 3 pans etc.
My friends Stephanie and Sally took their children and my two oldest to "Roaring Springs" water park today. Holland and Greer during the school year had to read something like 600 minutes in a two or three month period to earn their passes. So thanks to my friends for not letting that effort go to waste. Reese is spending one-on-one time with Grammy and Aunt Daleen today. And Byron... he's at work.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

5 Sundays on Hospital Arrest (Day 30)

No complainin' today. Spartacus looked decent (not great but better than before) on the monitors. So I'm feeling thankful for another day down. I've been losing a lot of amniotic fluid lately. Dr. Lovelace says that probably means the break is getting stretched out and as a the baby grows he's making more. I can't seem to keep it inside, but at least Spartacus has some for a bit. So nothing to be too concerned about. Dr. Lovelace and I had a funny conversation this morning about bear encounters. I told him, if I end up having labor instead of a c-section, he and Byron have to swap stories. That should be entertaining. By the way, here's a coincidence for you: my hospital room has one of those big framed color photographs on the wall. Get this, its of Avalanche Creek in Glacier National Park-- right about where Byron was famously chased by a grizzly bear!!
Meagan brought the girls up for a few hours yesterday. She taught them this hilarious song about the Cannibal King with the Big Nose Ring... Anyone heard it? The circus triplets (what I'm now calling the girls after each visit) knew every single word. Byron came and picked them up and let Meagan have the afternoon and evening off. She ran a few errands then came back here to hang out with me and watch She's Just Not That Into You. Man, I've never seen so many movies in my life. I'm almost to the point I might be able to have a decent conversation about what is going on in Pop Culture. And yes, I do know that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett passed away! I do have cable-ad-nauseaum in here.
My mom's on her way to Idaho today!!!!! That's huge. My dad is staying home to keep his Citrus trees and the rest of the house in the "sale" ready stage.
By the way, thanks for everyone's prayers, comments and support. I couldn't do this without you!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Baby's Looking A Little Better (Day 29)

I'm currently hooked up to monitors as I write this. So hopefully, all will continue looking fine. He's moving around quite a bit and looks like the old Spartacus. So the emotional drama of yesterday and the night before is hopefully just a fluke. Wouldn't that be nice.
The only thing Dr. Lovelace said this morning that is worth mentioning-- is that I had another contraction last night on monitoring and the baby went into a "recovery" period after it. The contraction was pretty small in that I barely felt it-- but Dr. Lovelace says the "recovery" shows the baby likely will not tolerate labor. So looks like the on again/off again C- Section may be back on again. Of course things inside these walls seem to change daily. I've decided to take a whatever it takes attitude.
I have to mention a thanks to Kate, Kim, Doug and Dana for coming in yesterday to cheer me up. Their visits made a huge difference to an overly emotional me. I'm fine again today-- but geez, yesterday I was edgy. Tim and Jennifer Snooks picked up Byron last night for "Date Night" up here. We had Mexican food (my fav.) and watched the movie Runaway Jury. It was such a nice evening. Reese was a little ticked she had to stay home, so Meagan took the kids to Dairy Queen and rented a movie. What a smart, smart girl!
Finally, I feel like I need to make a clarification. A few of you have "worried" that Spartacus is the real name we've chosen for the baby. We have not yet picked a name for him. Spartacus just fits him right now... since he's fighting so hard. Plus, it sounds better than Gummy Bear. That's what the girls have called him from the time we found out we were pregnant. Of course, the girls would be thrilled if we named him Gummy Bear Barker (Bear for short). But I tend to think that's a wee bit much.

Friday, June 26, 2009

4 Full Weeks In Here (28 days today)!

To quote the always articulate Charlie Brown: "AAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH"! How's that for an opening line? Spartacus is struggling a bit today and last night. When they hooked me up for monitoring last night-- his heart rate was very, very flat. No flucuations. Typically, he's up and down a bit. And in the past, when he's had those very scary heart decelerations (where his heart rate falls measurably and stays there for a little while), he comes back up and has what they call a resting period or recovery where he is very flat. So the entire hour he was on last night, he seemed to be in this resting period. The nurse kept me on for another hour and filled my bladder up with juices (just what you want to be doing at 11 o'clock at night) in the hopes of getting him to move around. It worked, barely enough that after two hours of monitoring, I got to go to bed.
So this morning, he did the same thing. Only this time a glass of orange juice, a glass of cranberry and a glass of apple did not do the trick. So the nurse brought out the torture device: something that sends a loud buzzing sound and a vibration into the womb. After nearly three hours of monitoring and three buzzes-- he finally stirred enough to let me get off to hit the bathroom and a quick shower. They of course were talking to Dr. Lovelace several times and he stopped by. In short, my placenta "could" be starting to deteriorate (even though placentas typically have some "reserve" in them). The baby could be starting to hit that wall where staying in my womb is not helping with the growth. We just don't know yet. So for now, Dr. Lovelace says we'll just keep moving forward with the treatment as planned and watch him very, very closely.
I've been maybe more than a little emotional this morning. Here, I've had all these miracles and I am not ready for them to end. I so want to make it until week 32 when his lungs have a better chance of kicking in. So I'll try and get my emotions in check and find that postive attitude around here somewhere.
Oh, everything is fine on the homefront. And my parents, in their quest to move up here, had a lady fly in from Silicon Valley to look at their home today. Her sister lives a couple of houses up from my folks and wants to re-locate close by. I guess it went well. So keep your fingers crossed that all just falls into place. My mom is planning on being here Sunday evening. Yippeeee!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Bit of a Roller Coaster (Day 27)

Too much information alert-- coming up. I had a huge-- change the sheets, nightgown etc. gush last night. I keep telling myself that's a good thing, my body is at least still making amniotic fluid. It just would be nice if it would stay inside me for a while. Spartacus also had another one of those lovely decelerations. His heart beat dipped into the 80's (instead of around 135 to 140). Just in case you are wondering, my heart beat did the sympathy plumet as well. I flipped over onto my left side and it must of got him off his cord. The whole incident lasted about a minute... but for pete's sake, that was one looonnnng minute. It's a wonder I was able to go to sleep last night. Thank heavens for Ambien. When I'm out of here, I'm offering myself up to that drug company to do free commercials.
During monitoring today, I had my first ever contraction. I barely felt it... so let's hope its nothing and not the start of something else to worry about. Other than that-- I'm still on track to be in here for another several weeks. I'm not sure honestly, whether to celebrate or cry.
Byron and a couple of friends stopped by this morning. And I just finished my weekly massage... ahhhhh.
Meagan took the girls to the zoo yesterday. They had a wonderful time but it was the hottest day of the year so far-- in the 90's. I know that would be heaven to those of you who live in Vegas and Phoenix... but they were all quite tuckered out. Well, not really. Meagan was spent but the girls-- Reese especially had plenty of energy. They came by after their adventure, then went home to rest with a swim later at Grandpa Bodily's (the best next door neighbor on the planet).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More Of The Girls' Most Excellent Adventure

As if the massive royal houseboat wasn't enough, my cousin's boss also let the family use this "tiny" little thing. According to my mom, this one was bought for 2 million-- used. So those who were exiled to the second boat-- had to just "suffer" through the week.
There were also ski boats, ski do's, monster rafts etc. Here's Holland (2nd from right) with her cousins being pulled by one of three ski boats.

I told you about the 100 foot water slide-- check out Aunt Dana catching air with Greer!

And just so you don't think my mom is a sissy--- she barreled down the slide several times and never bit it once. She'd kill me if I told you her age-- let's suffice it to say she looks amazing. She'll probably just kill me for putting this picture on my blog.
Okay, here's a glimpse inside the floating palace. Ta daa... here's the kitchen.

This is either the second or third deck-- all of them are outfitted with a full kitchen etc. and a few "decent" views.

Another peek at the family "roughing" it.

And finally, here's my brother Doug, his wife, Dana and their four kids. My mom and dad are on the far right. Holland is in the swim vest (don't ask me why) and Greer is front and center.

Wow, I hope they do this again... so Byron and I (and my brother and his family in Austin can go). So let me hear of no feeling sorry for my girls this summer!

A Diversion From Hospital Life (The Lake Powell Extravaganza)

If you are interested in seeing what my poor, deprived girls have been up to while mom's in the hospital-- here ya go.

Doug and Dana drove them down to Lake Powell for the Leavitt family reunion (my parents met them-- along with countless cousins and aunts and uncles). So here's the 4 million dollar houseboat my cousin's boss donated to the party. It has a helicopter landing pad on the top, four floors with 2270 square feet per floor. If I hadn't known better, I'd think Prince Charles was spending the week on the Lake. One of the perks to come with the boat was this 100 foot water slide (with water pumped up to the top). Here's Holland at the end.

The Hospital Film Fest Continues... (Day 26)

Yesterday turned out to be a really fun day in here. My darling friend Pam (the Caviar Facial friend), showed up in the late afternoon with a banana/hot fudge milkshake, tons of other treats and a great, great little movie called The Ultimate Gift. If you haven't seen it, it's worth going out of your way. Then, Joannah, Carol, Susan, Jeannie and Mary K came with pizza, Iranian food, brownies, and many, many more goodies. We talked and talked and then put on the movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic. We laughed and giggled and stayed up way too late. Thanks-- I have the best girlfriends. Too bad they didn't weigh me today after such gorging. Alas, I was weighed yesterday and have only gained one pound in a week. My doc says it's probably because I'm losing muscle (no suprise there). Oh, and my big brother, Doug came in and brought a CD full of pictures from the kid's trip to Lake Powell. I plan on posting several sometime today.
Spartacus had a little deceleration last night-- always scary-- but it was very short. His heart dipped low and then went right back up after about 30 seconds. Much better than the eternal 4 minute episodes of the past. It's almost as if he just decided to take a little break. Since he's such a fighter, I'll cut him some slack.
I just got my second and last shot. So glad that's behind me (excuse the pun). That's about all I have to report on the medical front. Just pluggin through another day. As for the homefront, Meagan took the three girls shopping at a dollar store so each of them could pick out "super special" birthday/Father's Day gifts for their Dad. She also made his favorite cake-- German Chocolate last night. I'll let you know what cool things the girls picked out for their dad.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Goal Reached, New One Set (Day 25)

I did it... or shall I say we (Spartacus and I) did it!!! Today I am 28 weeks pregnant! Who would have ever thought I'd make it to this milestone when I came in at 24 1/2 weeks and thought we wouldn't even make it through the night. My doctor said this is a day of celebration (he even asked the nurses if they'd sing a song). Instead, I got another certificate of congratulations on my wall (3 if you want to count along with me)! Dr. Lovelace said he was also helping me to mark this great occasion (since now the baby has a 90 percent chance of survival), by starting me in the two shot series of steroids to help develop Spartacus' lungs. Ug. I had these two days in a row before I came into the hospital and they are ug-ger-lee. If you want a visual, picture a big needle with a nice, soupy mixture being injected into you cheek-- and not the one next to your nose. My super cool nurse just iced down my bum for 5 minutes before giving me the shot-- so it was much better this time than last. And yes, I do keep reminding myself this is all worth it, even though my entire right side is still burning. I've already confessed I'm a wimp.
Meagan brought the girls up last night. They made a stop at the hospital's gift shop and came bearing a pen with a little gold angel on it, gum, tic tac's and a lollipop shaped like a tulip. I think the girls (Reese as the ringleader) powered through most of the gum in less than an hour. So make sure, if you visit, you see my treasures! There is a curtain just inside my room blocking the door-- so I have to guess whether those coming into my room are friends or nurses by looking at their shoes. Anyway, the three girls put on a musical using the curtain as a stage. They think this hospital room is fun, fun, fun. And sometimes, I'll admit, it is.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Version of "Survivor" (Day 24)

Reports of my insanity are greatly over-exaggerated. I've had several of you ask if I am still sane. I am. As I've mentioned before, the staff here does an awful lot to keep one from going stir crazy. I went to craft day today and painted another bib (a giraffe saying munch, munch). I'm now officially tapped out of creativity. I was the only patient to have clearance for craft day-- so one of the nurse assistants hung out with me. I also have to send out a big thank you to Jean Richardson, who today brought me my third bouquet of fresh flowers from her garden. I'm known by the staff as having the best smelling room on the floor. It's mostly thanks to Jean's weekly visits.
Dr. Lovelace's visit this morning -- not much to report about Spartacus. He's still plugging away. The doc and I did have about a 30 minute conversation about AIG and my favorite NPR program: This American Life. I swear I have the coolest doctor in America.
Oh, and lest I forget-- Holland and Greer made it home last night. They tell me they had fun, fun, fun. I still can't wait to see pictures. And the girls are all headed up here tonight with their collection of treasures from the trip.
Now, see if you can follow this: Byron's mother's cousin's daughter (who graduated with her masters's in accounting and has a job that doesn't start until Sept.), flew in this morning to spend the week taking care of the kids in our home. Meagan is DARLING and my girls are going to love this week. So, once again, all is being taken care of for us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day (Day 23)

Today seems to be a quiet one. Spartacus is looking steady-- and that's what we want. Dr. Lovelace told me this morning that now that he is in the head down position (and out of the transverse position), he is in a much safer and less worrisome spot-- with no fluid and all.

My highlight today... a couple of young men from my ward (Mason and Landon) came and let me take the Sacrament in my hospital room. For those of you who aren't LDS-- the Sacrament is where we take a piece of bread and water and re-commit to the covenants we made at baptism and to follow the teachings of Christ. Since this is my fourth Sunday in here, it was nice to have that opportunity. They also brought me one of Shelley Straight's world famous cinnamon rolls. Shelley makes them to pass out to all of the fathers for Father's Day at church. I scored-- in the sympathy department probably. I just opened it up to take a couple of bites... and ended up powering through the entire gooey, monster treat.

Reese and Byron came up last night after getting home from camping. Reese was like a little tornado. Byron, on the other hand, literally passed out on the window seat/bed and slept for 95 percent of the visit. It was all good, except for the fact that Reese had to go to the bathroom-- no joke-- six times while she was here. I'm not sure how good it was for me to keep getting up to help her with the lights etc. I just didn't have the heart to wake up the snoring bear on the other side of the room.

Holland and Greer come home sometime today. We're excited... but Byron is bracing himself for two very tired, spent and exhausted little girls. He told me as he left-- to quote enjoy my time being waited on hand and foot-- because I'll be shocked into reality when I finally get home. Not sure how to take that one--- can someone explain to him that I'm really not on vacation at the Ritz.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spartacus Is Lookin' Good (Day 22)

Late yesterday afternoon, Todd, my sister-in-law's brother came in to visit while his wife, Julie was having emergency surgery here on a different floor (she called this morning and sounds great-- she gets out today). My nurse came in and took me off the monitors to tell me I was going on a little trip across the street to Dr. Lovelace's office for my ultrasound. I know this will sound corny-- but the idea of getting in a wheelchair and going more than just to the next room for crafts was about as exciting as going on a trip to Hawaii at this point. The 20 year old kid who came and picked me up said we weren't going outside... but underneath the hospital and street in a tunnel. It was very cool. He totally got lost (had never been to Lovelace's office building) and took me to the wrong building. I had no complaints... I got to see all kinds of doors for doctor's offices, the volunteer room for the hospital and a number of painting on the walls. Are you getting a glimpse at how desperate I am for a change of scenery? He finally excused himself to make a phone call and then we were back on track. But our adventure didn't end there. The underground tunnel (guess that's a bit redundant) was very creepy and cool. It was dark and as we entered lights popped on. If it wasn't so clean-- it'd be a great place to hide a body-- ha-- joke-- really.
Humour me while I go off on a tangent here... it totally reminded me back when I was a reporter and I did a story on Bugsy Segal (the mobster who is credited with the founding of Las Vegas). He was so paranoid of the other mobsters knocking him off-- that when he built the original Flamingo Hotel (it's gone now), his suite had 8 foot concrete thick walls, bullet proof glass and all kinds of hidden trap doors and dead end staircases to foil any pursuers. Underneath the Flamingo was a complicated maze of tunnels (some that went nowhere). It was dark and cramped. And the most fascinating thing (I thought) was that every once in a while there would be a metal rod sticking out. So that if you were chasing Bugsy through the dark tunnel-- he would know when to duck-- but you wouldn't and BAM!! (As they say in the Batman cartoons).
I can safely report to you, the St. Luke's Hospital tunnel does not have any such booby-traps for the doctors and lucky patients like me.
Okay, I'm back on track. When we finally made it the Doctor's office-- it was dark in the waiting room. I thought, brother, he went home because we were so tardy. But I heard his voice (on the phone in the back). Mr. Wheelchair guy was excused and I got my ultrasound. Everything looked surprisingly great. I even had a little bit of amniotic fluid-- about 6 percent (which I lost in the night-- but at least we're getting some building up and cushioning him before I lose it).
Spartacus is measuring 2 pounds 3 ounces. He's growing!!!! Overall, he's measuring at 26 weeks
instead of 27 weeks (where I am), but that is to be expected with all the problems I have-- and is actually better than expected.
My placenta is still weak-- but strong enough to keep him growing inside rather than have him try and grow on the outside.
His bladder was full-- so he's doing what he's supposed to. All organs, brain etc. look good. He's pretty scrunched up but that's to be expected with the tiny amount of fluid. Worse case scenario with the scrunching is we'll deal with some orthopedic issues after birth... but that's do-able.
Finally, the other great news is that he's shifted from being transverse to the head down position where he is supposed to be!!! So that means I'll likely avoid the c-section unless things crash. All in all, I have so much to be thankful for. It was a nice pick-me-up.

Byron and Reese made it up to the mountains. Surprisingly, there was a ton of snow-- and there was a little incident where he sunk a good foot into the snow and Reese fell off his shoulders and landed on her back and head. Thankfully, in the snow. She's fine. No need to bring another bed into my room. There was also a little incident where he didn't pull her pants down far enough for her first experience of peeing in the woods. Let's just say, it's a good thing he packed an extra pair of pants. He'll love that I'm sharing this. They'll be home this afternoon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I've Survived 3 Weeks On Hospital Arrest (Day 21)

Three weeks down... five to go. I hope. Today is Byron's birthday and he's celebrating by taking Reese camping up at Blue Lake. It's supposed to rain on and off-- and camping with a nearly 3 year old-- hmmm... not sure how much of a party that will be. But I am thrilled he is getting away-- even if it's just overnight. Work is still horrifically slow. So if you know anyone building or remodeling-- force them into using our metal tile. If you need help, I have some old mafia contacts from my Vegas reporting days. You probably don't think I'm serious do you?
My big "ah-hah" theory, I must admit (about the baby having heart decelerations from the monitoring belts being too tight) has been a somewhat moderate success. Since making the change to loose belts-- Spartacus has not had any of those hugely scary decelerations. But he did have a little one last night and today. His heart rate did not go as low or last as long-- but he did dip a bit. I was much calmer, however. Dr. Lovelace is trying to fit my ultrasound in today (between surgeries-- um, not on me) or tomorrow sometime. It should be interesting. I'll let you know.
I did get my much needed massage yesterday. So my body stopped aching for a while. The folks at this hospital really go out of their way to make us comfortable in this unit. I forgot to tell you the other night they asked if I was interested in "Pet Therapy". And here, I always thought that was just for the older folks and the kids. I declined-- but Byron and Reese ran into Mango (a cute little Australian Shep.) on the way into my room. Reese came bursting in here to announce that "Mango didn't bite me!" And a few minutes later, guess who was at my door-- Mango and his person. Reese loved it. So Pet Therapy, I can testify, helps at the very least to keep the patient's kids entertained.
The older girls are still at Lake Powell. They called last night. My brother's blackberry works if he is standing up (not sitting) on the fourth level/deck of the houseboat. The girls got on... but since they are much shorter-- they cut in and out a bit more. My mom and dad sent an email to my younger brother-- I think to torture us.. since we are not there:
"The guys made a huge long slide down the side of the hill with running water pumped up it--about 100 feet long--that shoots into the lake. The kids love it. We have canoes, kayaks, wave runners, boats, and all kinds of floating devices. The one boat is a mansion, the other slightly smaller--with all the things you ever want--two big screen TVs-with built in movies of every kind, sleeping, cooking, fridges, freezers, even central vac--real luxury. The kids are playing so well together--we get to bed way too late, but it is fun."
Sounds quite heavenly, eh? Scott, if you are reading this-- I don't care what you have to do... make this trip happen again next summer when I can go!!!
Other than that, I spent a good chunk of my day yesterday hand-writing a letter to my dear friend Bianca, who has now been moved to hospice as she battles the final stages of cancer. Don't let me ever complain about my situation, okay?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Almost Three Weeks (Day 20)

I was going to start titling my stay here as "Ground Hog Day-- again". But I honestly can't quite claim that. My routine is basically the same.. but I have so many visitors that keep me sane and make each day unique. Yesterday, Ali brought me homemade Persian food and fresh picked cherries, Celesta (who's little boy, Steele was here in NICU for 100 days) came by, as did the 13 and 14 year old girls from my church. They made a big bright yellow sunshine with handwritten messages to hang on my wall. Sweet!
My theory on Spartacus not liking to be so tightly bound (and therefore moving until he pinches his cord) is holding. All of the testing yesterday and so far today has been uneventful- whew! As I reported to Dr. Lovelace this morning, he said all doctors are told to listen to their patients when they go to med school-- but few remember the lesson. You can't help but wonder why not... the patient will know his/her body better then the doctor. So let's just see if my little theory on Spartacus keeps holding. It sure has given me a break from the sudden onslaught of heart failure!
Dr. Lovelace and I had another long and interesting conversation again today. He told me I have quote-- a very stable uterus (meaning, it's amazing I still haven't had contractions). He kept saying that-- so of course, my smart mouth asked if I should list that on my resume. He said if I do, he'll be my reference. So next time I'm asked to list my strengths and weaknesses, I'll know the first think to list. Ha.
Looks like I will get my next ultrasound sometime this weekend when he's not so scheduled. He used to be one of the big mucky mucks at St. Joe's in Phoenix and said he was pleasantly surprised when he moved to little ol' Boise, Idaho to find that the NICU unit was better equipped and much more advanced than Phoenix. He says some of the best doctors he knows work here and have chosen this area for the quality of life. In other words, I'm getting better care here than if I were in LA, Phoenix or even Seattle. Doctors here (unlike there) don't have to deal with huge teaching and training populations and the indigent factor. So-- for the two of you -- I'll protect your names-- who called me early on in this mess and basically said: I don't want to offend you, but are you getting good enough care in Idaho? Now we all know-- I'm getting great care and the nurses here are amazing.
Now for a little kid update-- Reese is loving the one on one time with her dad. If all continues to go well on this end, he hopes to take her up camping Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon. It's Byron's birthday tomorrow (Friday) and I would love for him to do something fun (and get away from all this stress). Poor guy, though, it's going to be kind of a quiet birthday and Father's day. Maybe I'm totally wrong-- I forgot, Reese hasn't learned the art of "zip it, lock it, put it in your pocket" when it comes to talking. Holland and Greer are, evidently, having an absolute ball at Lake Powell. My brother Doug and mom called this morning and were telling me how much fun everyone is having. They've docked the two houseboats (and one of them they say is a mansion-- 4 stories tall!!!) in a cove. My boy cousins-- I should probably describe them as manly cousins... since they are all grown up dads now... have dug out a beach and have put some monster slip and slide contraption down the hill that flings the kids up into the air and out into the lake. I can't wait to see some pictures (hint, hint).
Oh and lest we forget, today is massage day. Yep, I made it to another Thursday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Jacuzzi Girls

Here's another picture too cute to not post. It was taken at my parents house in Las Vegas last month before life changed so drastically. Reese is scrunched down on the left, Ellery my niece (eyes closed), then Holland and Greer. They consider this Grandpa's swimming pool. It's pretty cool-- has a TV/DVD player that comes up out of the side of the jacuzzi. By the way, this jacuzzi and my parents house that comes with it- is for sale. My folks have put an offer on a house up here in Idaho and are making the big move. Thankfully, they had already made the decision before my little hospitalization so there is no guilt on my part that they are completely changing their lives for me. So anyone know of a family looking to buy a house on a hill overlooking the Vegas Strip? Let me know...

Also, for those of you wondering why in the world my parents (and in turn why we) would uproot and move to little old Boise, Idaho--- my friend Gary (who is leaving the paradise of San Diego for Boise next month-- and who too, has taken a lot of slack from friends) sent me this article. It's a great read and you'll be asking me for the number of my real estate agent before long...

Our Family's "Alpha" Female

My Cousin Becky just sent me this picture this morning and I had to post it. It's of Holland (in the blue t-shirt) with the killer instinct to win- look on her face as they are about to begin a three-legged race. Notice, how all the other kids are just looking around-- happy to be alive! This was at my Grandmother's 90th birthday celebration last summer.

Day 19 And Still Counting

Okay, with what I am about to tell you, you are going to stop feeling sorry for me and almost wish you were in my shoes. Yesterday, my dear friend Pam came in and gave me a foot/leg massage and a facial. She has worked for Nieman Marcus and Saks giving pricey facials for La Prarie-- so guess what I got yesterday-- a caviar facial. It was yummy. That sums it up. My skin is glowing and looks, if I do say so myself, a few years younger. Whooohee. It was so fun. Just don't tell Byron too many details. He'll think I have it so easy in here.
I also had an "ah-hah" moment. You know how I have been worried about those scary heart decelerations Spartacus has been having? Well, I've noticed he moves so much more when I am hooked up to monitors-- they put these tight monitoring belts around my belly. I figure, he is already cramped in my little stomach and he sure turns and moves and kicks and hits at the monitor when its on. So, here's my theory. He's probably at a much higher risk for the decel's when he is hooked up since he's moving so much more. For the monitoring last night and this morning, I had the nurses go looser on the belts and so far-- my theory is holding-- no decels last night or today. I'll keep my fingers crossed. And in case I haven't mentioned it, yesterday was a banner day--- I also got another certificate -- hanging on my wall-- to show I made it to 27 weeks.
Dr. Lovelace said this morning he wants to get an ultrasound done in the next few days to see how Spartacus is growing etc. He said it won't change our course of treatment-- but he's worried about the baby being transverse and it sounds like the pressure of not having cushion from the fluid or threat of contractions (which I still haven't had any). He said one thing that made me a bit alarmed though. He said even if Spartacus is under stress, he won't take him out until 28 weeks. Yikes, that's only 6 days away. I'm not ready for that. I'll keep you posted.
Oh, no names yet. Byron and Reese came up last night for a few hours. I swear Reese made up for her sisters' absence with her non-stop chatter and singing. She was in rare form. So, no, we couldn't get through a sentence without Reese interupting... let alone go through any names.
Holland and Greer spent their first night- last night, on a houseboat. My sister-in-law, Dana said the boats are pretty amazing and all the kids are in absolute heaven with their cousins and my cousins' kids. I guess a herd of them slept outside in their sleeping bags on the roof of the houseboat.
One last thing, for all of you who know my amazing friend, Bianca Escarcega (from my days at KPNX in Phoenix)-- she's in the hospital having radiation on her brain for cancer. Looks like this may be it. I can certainly testify that prayers work-- so start working on her behalf. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Big Milestone (Also, it's day 18)

For those of you keeping track, yes today marks week 27. Yippeee. I should be getting a new certificate for my wall. Dr. Lovelace came in this morning and told me this is "huge" to make it to today. So I'm feeling quite proud of little Spartacus and his spunk. He did give me another scare last night and this morning. I figure he's just trying to keep my old heart pumping and pumping hard. He has these little "decelerations" where his heart rate plummets from around 140 beats per minute to around 90. Other than the nurses and I going into "get that baby off his cord"mode, these little moments always earn me another hour holding perfectly still for more monitoring. Of course, then he is a perfect angel and I can get through another few hours of sanity. Dr. Lovelace said very few babies are monitored so often at this early age-- so for all we know, they all could be little pills like this one. Luckily-- for both of us-- he somehow manages to pull himself right back up to normal. Sigh. I've aged 5 years in 18 days. It could be the lovely fluorescent lighting, but I swear I'm noticing gray hair for the first time!
And for all of you who think I'm being so strong and positive, I had a little cry fest last night-- so there. The good thing is, I think its out of my system for a few days. Let's hope.
I did get weighed this morning-- you'd think with all the forced eating I'm doing, combined with the total lack of movement- that I'd be packing on the weight. Unfortunately, I've lost a few pounds and have only gained 7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Guess all that amniotic fluid adds to the scales.
The girls did get off to Lake Powell but not until 6:30 last night. My brother and his "newly expanded family" made it as far as a motel in Tremonten, Utah and will make the longer trek to Lake Powell today. They are meeting my folks and tons of Leavitt aunts, uncles and cousins to spend nearly a week on a couple of houseboats on Lake Powell. My Leavitt cousins are such a blast to hang out with-- I know the girls will have an amazing time! And one of the houseboats is supposedly the largest on the lake. In other words, the spoiling continues. We have a lot of "de-programming" to do when this all ends. Just kidding.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 17 and there are still 22 leaves painted on my room's ceiling!

It's truly amazing how busy my day can be... even though I'm stuck in bed, for the most part. Explain that one. Testing went well this morning. Last night, Spartacus gave me a good scare during monitoring. So it was nice to have no fireworks so far today. My friend, Jean from church came by with another vase of the sweetest smelling roses from her garden. One of my nurses thought they were fake they are so perfect.
And yes, for those of you keeping track, today was craft day. It ended up being just me and my new friend Kim (her sister-in-law is one of my friends). We had a wonderful time decorating a picture frame. She's darling and it's nice to have someone in here who can talk the talk-- know what I mean? By the way, she told me her Doc said for every day she makes it on this end, it shaves off two days for the baby in NICU.
There's really nothing to report from Dr. Lovelace's visit this morning. I'll spare you the details on our discussion about my bodily fluids. Suffice it to say, I'm "comfortably numb" (credit to Pink Floyd) and don't believe I can be that much more humiliated.
I think yesterday was "visit the sick" day in the Mormon church. I had tons of visitors and it was great!!! Six of my "Beehives" (the 12 and 13 year old girls I was over) came up and thoroughly entertained me (and my girls-- let me quote Reese: "Swing me again!"). They had fun going through my list of real names for Spartacus and of course, adding several of their own-- especially those that just happened to be the names of the cutest boys in their school.
Finally, Holland and Greer were supposed to leave at lunchtime for Lake Powell with my brother and his family. It's almost 4 and they just got word their car (which was acting up) is ready to go. So they're still planning on going to Salt Lake tonight. My girls are hyper to say the least. Let's hope Reese survives without her sisters.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Super Sunday (Day 16)

I thought Super Sunday sounded pretty darn good since I've made it this far. It's my third Sunday in here-- crazy! I'm watching some old John Wayne Western and waiting for my little family to show up and shatter the peace here.
My doctor's partner came in and checked on me this morning-- so I thought I was in the clear to get in my daily shower. Okay, so it wasn't as bad as the other day-- but after breakfast, monitoring etc. I had just gotten out, dressed and was brushing my teeth when Dr. Lovelace showed up to check on me. Phew, close call. I'm still trying to recover from the humiliation of being interviewed while I sat in the shower a few days ago.
All is looking pretty good. Spartacus-- during monitoring this morning-- had another one of those plunging heart rates (where my heart rate plunges right along with his-- I'm sure). Anyway, I was warned this is likely caused by him sitting or getting tangled on his cord. Have I told you what a little moving machine he is? Anyway, I fliiped to my side-- no change. Flipped to my other side-- no change. About then the nurse came rushing in and Spartacus of course decided the taunting time was over and went right back to normal. My nurse says it's to be expected with no flluid. He's at a higher risk for a "cord accident". I just wonder how often it happens when I'm not hooked up to monitors. Guess I could drive myself crazy worrying about that-- so I won't. I have faith he'll be just fine.
My Bishop and his family stopped by last night (along with another couple). Bishop Firmage visited Israel over Spring Break. So I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening hearing all about his amazing trip. Byron and the girls never made it here. The big Ironman competition had roads closed and (unmarked) detours all over the place. Byron called me after spending nearly a frustrating hour trying to get here and ending up who knows where. He decided since it was getting late, just to take the girls home. So I'm especially anxious to see the family today. Holland and Greer leave for Lake Powell tomorrow-- so I've got to get in some good Mommy time. Happy Sunday everyone.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time Flies When You are Bored (Day 15)

It looks really gloomy outside- maybe that's why I feel so lazy today. It couldn't possibly be because I've been confined to a bed not moving for 15 days! The only thing worth mentioning from Dr. Lovelace's visit this morning is that he will likely have me re-experience those lovely steroid shots to my my rear end in a few weeks. These are the steroids that look like milky soup with strands of silk floating in them. Can we say burn? Anyway, I had them at 24 weeks to speed up Spartacus' lung development. Studies show the best time for those shots is at 28 weeks... and since I've shocked everyone by making it this far... looks like I get rewarded by going through the two-cheek series again. I may complain to y'all a bit... but really I'll do what it takes for this little guy.
My brother and his twelve year old twins came up last night. The girls had just gotten home from camp and I think they had a whopping 8 hours of sleep in 4 days. They looked like little zombies. They were so excited to tell me every detail. Now I'm just wating for my wild bunch to come this afternoon. Have a good day today everyone and I'm cheering for Elly and Stacy in the Ironman today from my bed! You women are animals!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wow, Day 14

I don't have a lot to report today, so that's good. The nurses just monitored the baby this morning and he looked GREAT. Spartacus is sure living up to his name. I did not get into the shower today until noon. I refuse now, to take a shower until Dr. Lovelace visits. And today that didn't happen until ten. Then he proceeded to hang out with me for an hour. He was waiting for his next surgery. Anyway, we had a really fun chat about all kinds of things. He's one smart cookie. So glad, he's in my corner.
In case you are wondering, I did get my massage yesterday. Don't be jealous--my body aches from living in this bed. It was heavenly. And I did get my television fixed. After three maintenance men tried and failed-- Steve-- the tech guy came in. Steve, who had the personality of a wet noodle, had to get a ladder, reach down thru the built in cabinets in my room, unscrew the television, flip a switch in the back and then screw it back in. I felt so dumb. But I am happy to have a little tv when I'm really bored.
The girls came in last night and brought me the cutest little scrapbook. Each of them had colored pictures for me (along with Sally and Jonathan's girls). Plus, there were photos of them at soccer camp, swimming, going down the slide and Reese in bed ready to take a nap. My very favorite picture is of Holland putting her arms around a crying Greer and Reese kind of hugging them from the back. Evidentally, Reese (remember we call her the Pirannah) just up and pushed Greer into a pond.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine

With so much time on my hands, I thought I'd get caught up on a few posts. Greer was part of a little singing group and after many week of learning such standards as: You Are My Sunshine, I Love You A Bushel And A Peck... the kids spent three consecutive Wednesdays performing for Seniors at local care centers. Above, Greer is second from the right in the red and black dress.

GiGi and her good friend Zaya volunteered to sing a "Two-et". They learned the old Nat King Cole song-- L.O.V.E. and not that I'm biased or anything-- they stole the show! It was soo cute. So if any of you ever come to visit, just have Greer and her back-up singer sisters perform the number. You can't help but die over how cute it is.

At the end of one of their performances, the Senior Care home gave all of the kids homemade, decorated bunny shaped sugar cookies. That's what the girls are holding in their hands. Also, that's Grandpa Bodily with the girls. He's the very best neighbor in the entire world and he truly has become part of our family. In fact, he's been right there to help Byron give me blessings so many times during this traumatic pregnancy. And at all hours, too.

Day 13 and I'm Feeling Spoiled!

It seems my joke about someone printing up a certificate is no joke. This morning the nurse came in and hung up a little award on the wall highlighting the fact I've made it to 26 weeks. She says I'll get one for every week I make it in here. With the goals I've set, I aim to have quite a collection. I wonder if it will look good on a future resume? Hmmm.
A friend of mine from my old ward has her sister-in-law in here, just three doors down. Crazy small world. She facebooked me this morning, so we are new friends with much in common. The nurse also tells me there is a sixteen year old in here, pregnant with twins (and this is her THIRD pregnancy). Reminds me of my young reporter days when I did a series of reports in Vegas (Brett, was it with you?) on a 14 year old and a 15 year old, who was pregnant with her third child. Guess the world hasn't changed much. I think I already posted this... but when Byron and I went into Dr. Lovelace when we first suspected we were pregnant with our little Spartacus-- he said he sees two groups of "oops" pregnancies: teenage girls and women in their forties.
As for Dr. Lovelace's visit today-- I made sure and waited until AFTER his visit to get into the shower. Don't ever say I don't learn from my mistakes. He was rather chatty this morning. Before he came in, he had spent time pouring over my printouts from the heart monitoring on the baby. He says he's seen a few patterns where the baby "dips" and then is flat for a while-- what he calls a recovery period. He thinks its probably where the baby is pinching or leaning against the cord. He says that's not surprising since I have little if any amniotic fluid. He says its unlikely that these episodes will just ramp up and ramp up until they have to do an emergency c-section. Instead, all will likely turn suddenly without warning. I asked him if he thought I could still go on in this waiting game and he said I could still go three or four more weeks. When a baby is under a stressful situation like mine is... their bodies kick off a hormone or something like that -- that helps them develop more quickly. For example, a typical baby will not develop his lungs until 37 or 38 weeks. In my situation, studies show a baby will develop his lungs at around 32 weeks. So my goal is to make it that far. Interesting isn't it? Finally, he told me he was amazed I had made it this far and it is very suprising that I am not having contractions. I told him it's because I've had several miracles-- and Dr. Statistics and Science agreed-- I have had some miracles.
One more thing, as if the hospital certificate did make me feel special enough... five of my dear friends (Joannah, Jeannie, Mary K, Susan and Trisha) showed up last night with the yummiest pizza and a chick flick (New In Town-- very cute). We ate too many treats, talked too much and just had the best time. I love all of my friends!!!
P.S. I made it to another Thursday here-- I haven't forgotten, but in case you have-- Thursdays are MASSAGE days! Yippee.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Even Dozen (Day 12)

Okay, for those of you who have given birth (boys keep reading, you'll be okay), you'll understand when I say all modesty and pride go out the window when you are in the hospital with a baby in your stomach. I could get into some of the gory details of some of my lovlier experiences here... but I really think it would put my male friends and family over the edge. But I must tell you this morning has been one of those banner moments that you can only laugh about. The nurse said she had not seen Dr. Lovelace on the floor yet this morning, so I thought I'd sneak in a quick shower. I'm sure you can guess the script here-- I'm sitting on my little bench in the shower (yes, naked as a newborn) and of course here comes Dr. Lovelace. I've never had a conversation with my doctor through a shower curtain until now. Guess I can check that off my list, eh?
Other than that, all is well. Spartacus is still fiesty, kicking and fighting to survive. So I certainly can do my part in combating the boredom. The only other thing to report (somewhat sheepishly) is that I broke my television last night. So far three hospital maintenance men have not been able to fix it-- not to be mean, but they didn't look too promising when they walked in. Picture the father of the TV show character Everyone Loves Raymond and you'll have a good image of the three little guys who have tried to rectify my mistake.
I don't know what I did--- I was watching the Laker's game... had it on mute, wasn't looking and hit the menu button, hit it again and when I noticed that, I hit ok to get out of it-- it started "reprogramming" the tv and then I quickly shut it off. Now it won't go on. I need my cousin Dustin Petersen here... he can fix anything. On the bright side, I read over a hundred pages in a book called The Survivors Club. Fascinating. So if anyone comes to visit, I can pontificate about a woman who survived falling on a nitting needle that impaled her heart, a woman who fell 39 thousand feet out of an airplane and survived and several men who beat the odds to survive horrific plane crashes. I've decided my challenges are much more do-able.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm Happy To Report I'm Still Sane (Day 11)

All is good here and the day has gone somewhat fast. My brother came for lunch, my cousin Erin visited, along with my friend Celesta (who had a baby born here at 26 weeks-- she named him Steele and that says it all-- he's a fighter).
Dr. Lovelace says I'm officially 26 weeks today-- a miracle in my book. Spartacus-- my new little nicname for my baby warrior is looking great on all of today's tests. (Don't worry, we won't name him that). And no contractions to report. I'm just plugging along and feeling all of your love and support. Thank you -- I probably will never feel like I have said it enough.
In case you are wondering, the girls are doing great. They have been with Sally and Jonathan and their two girls. They couldn't be loved more. So that's a huge relief. Also, my friends Al and Joannah are running a soccer camp four days this week. The two older girls have been going to that each day and loving it. I think Greer (poor little mosquito-legged girl-- who takes after her mother) is just trying to keep up with Holland. But she's hanging in there and I'm proud of her.
I hope all of you are well. I'm fine and not too mental as of yet. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm Still Here... (Monday-- Day 10)

Sorry this post is so late. I know some of you get really worried but I haven't gotten around to getting on the computer much until now. I had lots of visitors and it seemed like the day got away from me. Cool, eh? So here's the doctor update. Doctor Lovelace came in this morning and I happily told him I had absolutely nothing to report. No problems, no contractions, nada. Maybe because of that he okayed me to go to "craft hour". After lunch, the nurse loaded me up in a wheelchair and wheeled me next door to the family lounge. I was joined by three other women on total bed rest. We got to sit in chairs for a full hour. Please try not to be jealous.
They gave us each a baby bib, paint and brushes. In case you are just dying to know, I painted a crocodile with his toothy mouth open and wrote "Got Milk?".
It was such a nice change of scenery. But I have to admit it was kind of a surreal experience. One woman was 35 weeks along and pregnant with twins. She was the most normal of the bunch. Then there was a 19 year old and a 20 year old-- both at 34 weeks and both had had their water break. I hope this doesn't come across elitest-- but both were covered with tattoos, every other word was, shall we say, colorful and both had boyfriends who looked to be more concerned with making sure their pants were sagging just enough to show the right amount of underwear. One of the boyfriends wasn't even the father of her baby. It was very interesting. No make that fascinating. All three are on public assistance and have had their pregnancies completely covered basically since conception. And yet, not one of them had an OB/GYN until they were rushed to the hospital. Now they just see whoever is working each day. They all kept complaining that since they were stuck in here, their WIC (foodstamps) were going to waste for this month or week. It was crazy. I kept feeling like I was on some reality show and about to be voted off because I was too boring (or perhaps just too old-- in that I'm old enough to be the mother of each of those girls). Anyway, as I said, it was an interesting day. I shouldn't be suprised. When we first got pregnant, and were in total shock, Doctor Lovelace said he sees to groups of "oops babies"... teenagers and women in their forties. After today's little lesson in reality, I'll happily accept being in the older group.
Love to you all!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Speaking of Spring

Thes pics are actually from about a month or so ago. But the story is hilarious. One morning we woke up to this little guy trying to break into our house. He or she was obviously fixated on the ficus tree inside our house. The bird (I nicknamed it Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction) put in an 8 hour day repeatedly flying into our window and pecking at it furiously. I thought after a day of failure, G.C. would wisen up and give up.... but boy was I wrong. The next day it was Groundhog day all over again and the next and the next and the next and the next....
This obsessive/compulsive behavior went on for -- no joke-- three weeks. Oh, there was a bit of variation, GC would try the french doors on the East side of the house and once in a while move to the windows on the North side. But I'm proud to say that Byron built a solid house and the little burglar never succeeded. I assume our little feathered friend finally gave up... because after weeks when we were so used to the body slams against the window, he just didn't show up for work one day. Go figure. I'm just thankful we didn't find a pot with a boiling bunny outside our door. (I assume you've all seen Fatal Attraction).

Break into song, it's Spring.

Spring is my favorite time of year. And since I'm stuck inside, the girls are having to soak it all in for me. This is the upper lawn above our house and everything is in bloom.... including the girls.

This Is My Second Sunday Here...

Good Sunday morning everyone. Blue skies are outside my window and it looks lovely again. I don't have much to report this morning--- which is the best of news. Made it through another night. Had some bleeding but that's to be expected. Sorry to all of you who don't want to know these gory details. Just be happy I'm not getting into the details of my body feeling like it's turning to jello after only 9 days of laying still in the hospital, okay? That may come later, though.
Byron brought the girls up last night right AFTER he fed them dinner. You'd think they were from Ethiopia with they way they scavenged any little tidbit in my room. And believe me, there's plenty of tidbits. April and Chris sent a bouquet of chocolate dipped strawberries, pineapple and grapes. Mary K, Jeanie, Joannah and Susan have stocked my refrigerator, Elly has brought me countless lunches and dinners, Andrea and Amber brought in Chili's chips and salsa, John and Kate (who the nurses all thought was my twin sister) brought me a chocolate frosty and Jay and Leah snuck in PF Changs. So can you understand why I am feeling very, very spoiled. I can't even say the hospital food is getting old because I rarely order it!
My girls also spent last night decorating my room with their artwork and even some ribbons they won at a toy horse show at Flynn's. Those shows on HGTV would be proud.
Finally, my ward (church congregation) is holding a ward fast for little old me and the baby today. I feel very humbled. And I know I keep repeating how loved I feel through this-- but it's true and I don't know of a better way to describe it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's Saturday and I'm Still Here

It's Saturday morning... about the same time I was rushed in here last week. And I'm still here. Wow. I can do this. Dr. Lovelace came in a while ago and told me all looks about the same. Which is good. The monitoring showed one little blip for a few minutes (baby's heart beat was down a bit). But they say that is to be expected now that my water is broken. My blood pressure was pretty low this morning-- but it always runs on the lower side of things. I guess I can blame that on why I'm feeling really mellow today. Also could be the overcast sky outside my TWO windows.
The best news I can impart actually came late yesterday. Dr. Lovelace stopped by and we were talking about my condition. He said just continue to stay down and eventually I'll start bleeding more and then the contractions will ramp up. I asked him if he could give me any idea of a timeline of when to expect all this to kick in and he said that if everything continues to go as it is right now-- I may make it another FOUR weeks!!! I about fell out of my bed. This is the same doctor who has been telling me all along to try and make it through one day and that's the best I can hope for.
So all of a sudden, I've gone from a prognosis of making it one day to making it through a week to a goal of 4 weeks. That would put the baby's odds for survival in the 90 percentile (I believe). So I feel very blessed. I just won't allow myself to think what 5 weeks in the "Bridal Suite" will cost us. Nevermind the NICU for the baby. Troops, let's start planning lots of lemonade stands and car washes- ha.
Thank you again for all of the visits, phone calls, flowers, food, name suggestions and the taking care of my family. Ever want to know how much you are loved? Go through this. On second thought, just call me and I'll tell you that you are very loved.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday's Update from Bed Rest Central

Can someone print a certificate for my wall stating I made it through a week here???? Just kidding. But whew! Today I am in great spirits. No rollercoaster of emotions here. Sally brought the girls by last night-- and being the genius that she is... she kept them all corralled in the "family" playroom (that exists somewhere outside my door-- I'm told). Then she sent each girl in one at a time for snuggling in my bed and talking. It was soo great. I honestly believe they may survived this without permanent scarring and a need for years of therapy! (Insert chuckle here, please). Anyway, it must pay to suck it up and not complain here. Last night, the nurses moved me out of my perfectly fine room to the hospital's version of the bridal suite at the Ritz. Lets see, the room is HUGE, I have my own microwave, a much bigger fridge (since I'm on a general diet that's way cool), tv, DVD/VCR, TWO windows, a bed/bench for Byron and a desk for anyone that wants to use it. It's great.
I did get my massage yesterday. Wow. One of the nurses here spends two hours of her shift each Thursday giving 20 minute massages. I was jello afterwards...mmmmm it was great. Now I absolutely have to make it to at least next Thursday for Massage day. Ha.
Several friends stopped by, plus my brother-- so the day went fast and it was a good day.
On a medical front... had a little gush at 3 am. But that's actually a good sign. Since my water is officially broken, that just means my body made some more. So phew. The other highlight (I know, it doesn't take much these days)... is that I'm no longer on antibiotic IV's. Great, great news in that I've already blown out two IV's and my arms are very sore. Did I mention I'm kind of wimpy? Anyway, you'd think that since my water is broken they'd be keeping me on antibiotics. But as it's been explained to me, the antibiotics would mask any infection until it was most likely too late to save the baby. So I'm off the yucky stuff and they just take my temp every two hours, check vitals and I'm to watch for soreness etc. Cool, eh? All the regular baby monitoring shows I'm doing okay-- Baby Boy Barker is steady and so far no contractions on my part. So yes, things are good today.
Finally, anyone know any cool boy names that mean "torturer of nurses"? This little kid loves to kick and move whenever he's being monitored. One nurse spent-- no joke-- 45 minutes chasing him to get him on the heart monitor. It was classic. That's great- he needs to be a little pill to survive what's ahead.
Thank you again for all of your love and support.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Roller Coaster Continues

Yipee... I made it to day six here in the hospital. Who would've thought that with all the depressing news we were given on Saturday. Yesterday was a bit crazy. The monitoring showed the baby's heart rate going down for 4 minutes and then 2 minutes. So they tested me for another hour and it only happened once. A third hour of testing and he was back to his normal. The doctor figures we'll either see more of this as the placenta deteriorates or he was just pressing against the umbilical cord.
Last night I had my best sleep in months. Of course, drugs get all the credit. They gave me an ambien (wow, I'll be happy to do commercials for this miracle drug) at bedtime but then my IV blew out. By the time the nurse got another one in me, I was wide, wide awake. So they gave me another ambien. I slept amazingly well-- even with the nurse coming in every three hours to check vitals and give me antibiotics.
This morning, I had another gush (sorry for the more than you want to know info) and the doctor says my bag of waters is officially broken. Scary setback-- but the baby's heartbeat is still plugging along and we will continue with the plan of keeping me flat on my back and still. Dr. Lovelace thinks I could be fine like this for a while -- even a week or two-- if my body doesn't go into full contractions, I get an infection or the baby goes into stress. So all in all, other than the emotional rollercoaster... we are still plugging along.
My nurse scheduled me for a massage today. Yesterday, I had a relaxation therapist spend a half hour with me and on Mondays here, they have someone come in and do crafts!!! Can you believe that? I guess in this ward it's all about keeping the "down for the count" women SANE.
My room is filled with beautiful flowers. I have a DVD/VCR, internet and a refrigerator. I even have a view of trees and vines from what I can see out my window. I'm calling it my "Idaho Staycation". Byron even brought in chocolate last night to celebrate making it to 25 weeks. Of course, the fun was ruined when we had to spend the evening going over all of the bills that I usually handle. Poor guy--- he may neeed prayers more than me to keep everything juggled.
Thank you again and again to everyone for all of your prayers, love, visits, books, clean underwear, real food, flowers and support. I feel so loved. And thank you to all of you who are loving my little girls so I can stay here!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Need Your Prayers Now...

After getting over the initial shock of being pregnant at age 43… and then getting to what we thought was a safe zone before telling most of our friends… we’ve suffered quite the set back. On Saturday, May 30th, I was admitted to the hospital (St. Luke’s downtown Boise) with some pretty major complications. In my layman’s interpretation… it seems my placenta has ripped from the left wall and my amniotic fluid is down to just ten percent of where it should be. The good news is I’ve made it a few days without any more major setbacks. We’ve had a few blips but that is to be expected. As of today I’m 25 weeks. I’m hopeful (with moments of utter despair), but overall, hanging in there. When we came in Friday, the doctors/perinatologist/neo-natologist all told us we were looking at a 40 percent survival rate (that’s not including health issues). But every day the percentages go up. If I can make it two more weeks (which is what would probably be considered my best case scenario), the chances go up to 80 to 90 percent survival.

I’m flat on my back with the big excitement for me being the periodic chances I get up to go to the bathroom. My bishop from church came by and talked with me and gave both Byron and I blessings—and it has made all of the difference. Much of my fear has melted away. Oh, I’m still an emotional wreck but its all relative.

So now we are in the midst of a dance—hoping to keep this little boy inside me to let him grow for as long as possible—but knowing the time is limited. As he grows, my failing placenta will not be enough to support him. As I said, the doctor figures I have 2 weeks if all goes perfectly. Just so you know, I’m planning on three and then going from there. I’m counting on some miracles here.