Friday, October 1, 2010

Hospital News

Rain Drops Keep Fallin' on My...Hospital Window

I love natural light. I'd seriously keep the lights off all of the time if it was light enough for me to see. Plus, natural light makes for great pictures!! (5 p.m. or so is the BEST lighting for pictures and also the time I'm normally outside with Caleb, so it works out well! FYI!)

Whenever Matt's not around to close them (he doesn't like that other patients can stare into my room), I have the blinds pulled up on my two hospital windows so that I can get a glimpse of the outside world and add a bit of natural light to my room. There's not so much sunshine right now, but that's okay. Today, I've been watching the rain.

I love rain anyway, but I'm gaining a new appreciation for it in my horizontal state. It's really interesting to note the falling patterns (or lack thereof) because it can be raining really super heavy and then all of the sudden just slow way down for a few seconds. Some of the drops fall really fast on the window sill while others seem to be almost in slow motion. The pitches are different on them too, which I guess depends on where they hit and the speed at which they fall. Have you noticed that when they hit the ground or window sill that they almost sound like pressing the keys on the computer or typewriter? It's almost the exact same noise. The misty stuff that is currently falling doesn't really make any noise at all, but the occasionally heavy raindrop adds a little sound now and then.

So there's your rain analysis. A product of boredom? Perhaps. But there is also something to be said for slowing down and taking in God's creation. I don't do that enough in my typically busy go-get-'em life. So if you have a few seconds sometime today, stop and listen to the rain. :)

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Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:38 AM, EDT

What Are You Wearing Home?

The other night, I was talking to Caleb on the phone. Like always, he asked when I was coming home. Naturally, this makes me cry every time.

This time though, he asked what I was going to be wearing when I came home. That confused me a bit, because Caleb doesn't normally pay much attention to my wardrobe choices. I asked him to explain and he clarified by asking what kind of doctor stuff I'd be wearing.

Aha. Every time Caleb has visited, I've been hooked up to monitors, IVs, blood pressure, etc. Although recently I've been totally unhooked for the majority of my day, luck would have it that there's something attached to me whenever he visits. This freaks him out a bit...more than I realized, I guess.

I quickly assured him that when I come home, I will not be hooked up to anything! I will just be Mommy without any IVs, wires, or bracelets. He was really happy to hear it!

What's the hardest part of all of this? It's not being horizontal, or having blood drawn, or even being NPO so often. It is being away from the sweetest gift I've ever received. Considering I've never left him for more than 2 days at a time, this is definitely rough on me.

There's a light at the end of the tunnel though, and we will definitely be working on a schedule for after Abby is born (and we are still up here with her while she's in the NICU) so that he will get to stay with us for at least part of the week. That's non-negotiable. I love that kid too much to be away too much longer!

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Friday, October 1, 2010 2:13 PM, EDT

Catching You Up

Don’t you hate it when you write a lengthy post and hit submit onto to discover that the internet is not working and you just lost the entire thing? Yeah, me too. This is my second attempt and I’m typing and saving it in Word first!!

It has occurred to me that some of you are just tuning into our little reality show and may not be familiar with what started all of this to begin with. Allow me to recap!

At 20 weeks, Abby was diagnosed here at UMMC with having micrognathia. This is a condition where the jaw isn’t in proportion to the rest of her head and can cause her to have breathing and eating problems. There are a lot of other syndromes that go along with micrognathia and one in particular that we’re pretty sure she has, but they can’t really be diagnosed for certain until she’s born.

We’ve been coming here once a month for sonograms to monitor her growth and fluid levels. Dr. H warned us that an increase in fluid levels will mean that she is no longer swallowing like she should and could indicate a bigger problem. We were warned—and it happened!

I switched my care to a local OB here so that I could deliver at UMMC. At the time, my place of delivery wasn’t a concern (of course, it is now!) but it was essential that Abby be at a hospital with a NICU equipped to handle her uncommon condition. Since there was no way that I would deliver at my hometown hospital only to have her flown out (and possibly lose precious time getting her stable), we made the obvious choice to deliver at UMMC. Now with prematurity also being an issue, it is even more essential that we be here. Babies with her condition are really hard to intubate anyway, but premature babies with this condition are nearly impossible. An experienced neonatologist certified in nasal intubation is critical in her case.

We never intended to do an amniocentesis because termination was never an option and we couldn’t change whatever she had. Plus, I was scared of having an amnio—ha ha! Little did I know…

When we did the first amnio reduction, they asked if we wanted to get some of the fluid tested. I said sure, since they were taking it off anyway and just going to throw it away! Plus, it will give her doctors more information on how to treat her. While the preliminary tests (just the 3 main syndromes they can test for here—none of which were really a concern for us) came back fine, we’re waiting on the comprehensive results.

There is so much about Abby’s condition that we just won’t know until she’s born. Does this bother the heck out of the planner in me? Why yes, it does! But I’m trying to focus on what we DO know. We know that she will be immediately taken to the NICU after birth and monitored very closely. We know that she won’t be going home at the same time I’m discharged (her length of stay is really undetermined, but will be longer if she is premature). We know that she will not go home on a breathing/heart monitor or a feeding tube unless it’s surgically placed in her stomach. All of the what if’s regarding surgeries, length of intubation, other syndromes, etc. are all labeled wait-and-see.

So, I think that just about catches you up. Pretty much everything here has already been stated on my blog, but I know it’s a pain to sift through pages and pages of [delightfully funny and clever] blog posts to get a glimpse of what is going on.

In other news: my fluid levels were a bit higher today—not alarming, but on the rise. This goes along with the heavy contractions I had last night that put the nurses into a tailspin and almost sent me upstairs in the middle of the night. Thank goodness for the extra “push” dose of my meds! It did the trick, allowing us to stay in our room and finally get some sleep from 2:30-5:30!

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