October 18, 2012
Two days ago, on October 16th I received the shock of my life. I had been feeling sick (nauseated and a bit pukey for lack of a better term) for about 4 days but that isn't uncommon for me and various times of the month.
I decided to take a pregnancy test to ease my mind a bit and instead of easing my mind, there were two little lines in the window. As in, I'm pregnant again... Already... my baby is only 9 months old...
Honestly, I'm scared out of my mind. This wasn't "my plan" and we were definitely preventing it from happening but it did anyway.
I don't know how I'm going to get through this but I guess I just have to.
I can't even describe the emotions that are going through my head right now. I'm terrified that it will be as bad as last time, I'm sad because I feel like Colin is so young still and I'm just in shock.
Who knows, maybe I won't be as sick this time. I can only hope...
*** Sorry most of the stuff above seems like it's all over the place. I wrote it shortly after finding out I was pregnant and my mind was all over the place at that time!!! From now on, anything in this post that is italicized was written at the time and anything that is not was summarized after the fact***
I was going to attempt to keep up with all of the dates and things that went on each week but I became too sick too fast and it wasn't even an option so I'll just have to fill in what I can remember. I have been even sicker during this pregnancy than I was last time (I didn't even know that was possible!?!). From here on out I'll just give a summary of things that went on and try to be better about posting updates as they happen.
Best place to start would be at the beginning I suppose. As I said above, I started to feel sick to my stomach and just generally "off" around the middle of October. I didn't think much of it because both of my boys had been battling various viruses for an entire month and I was very sleep deprived. It also wasn't uncommon for me to feel sick and even throw up at certain times of the month related to hormone fluctuations. After about 4 days of not feeling well, I decided that in order to "put my mind at ease" I needed to take a pregnancy test. I had a stock of them on hand because after my last pregnancy I was completely terrified and paranoid of getting pregnant. Many nights I had nightmares centered around the idea of being pregnant. Because of that, I had bought a pack of internet cheapie pregnancy tests on Amazon and was able to test whenever I felt the need. Always expecting a negative of course!!
Well, on October 16th, all of that changed. I took the test and the test line that meant it was "positive" came up faster and darker than the control line. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Panic set in pretty quickly and I just didn't even know what to do. I told myself it must just be a faulty test but I KNEW it wasn't. It was around 2:00 in the afternoon and Alex comes home from work everyday at about 3:30. I couldn't call him, all I could do was cry. A good friend of mine was on Facebook at that time and she was kind enough to chat with me for an hour and a half until Alex arrived home. I don't know what I would've done without her!! I knew I could tell her I was pregnant and I knew she would know what to say because she also suffered from Hyperemesis during her pregnancies (that's how we met each other!).
**When I said in the post above that we were preventing pregnancy, I mean that Alex and I made the decision for me to get an IUD. Not many people know this and I know that some don't agree with it but we made the decision that we felt was best for us at that time. Because I have a history of blood clots, I am unable to have any type of hormonal birth control which really narrows down our options so a non-hormonal IUD seemed like the right thing. Pregnancy just wasn't something that we were wanting to deal with!! Of course when I got that positive test there were many things going through my head and I was unsure of what was going to happen. I know that there are a lot of things that can go wrong when a pregnancy happens with an IUD in place but thankfully, in our situation it had slipped without my knowledge and all is well with the baby.
During that hour and a half while I was talking to my friend, there were millions of things racing through my head. "Would Alex be upset?" "How could this happen!?!" "How am I going to take care of a baby if I'm sick!?" etc, etc. I sat upstairs with Colin and rocked him, told him how sorry I was, and cried some more. Those that know me know that I am NOT A CRIER!! I do not cry easily but the tears were certainly flowing that day!
Alex came home at his usual time and by then Colin was asleep in his crib. I was sitting in our bed when he came in (I still looked like a wreck!) and as soon as Alex saw my face he knew something was very very wrong. He asked me to tell him what was going on and I'm pretty sure he thought someone must have died for me to be that upset. I wasn't sure what to say or how to tell him so finally when he asked for the millionth time what was wrong I blurted out the words, "I'm pregnant".
His response: "What do you mean?". It wasn't the response I expected so I snapped back, "what do you think that means?!?". I explained how I'd been feeling and about the positive test and he took the news surprisingly well. He stayed calm and tried to reassure me but I'm sure inside he was probably feeling much like I was.
The next day I called the doctor's office and explained that I was pregnant and I had an IUD and they scheduled me to come in the next day. It was SO hard to walk into the office again, especially since I was pregnant. Too many tough memories happened in that building!
The next couple of weeks were a blur. My hcg count came back really high and I had an ultrasound the next week that showed that everything looked OK with the baby. My nausea picked up really quickly and shortly after 5 weeks along the vomiting began. By the time I was 6 weeks I had already spent time getting IV fluids in the hospital and was set up for home health care once again. The difference this time is that I knew what to expect and I already knew many of my home health nurses so it wasn't as scary as it was last time.
|5 weeks pregnant. This is the day before I went to get my first IV|
|5 weeks getting fluids in the hospital|
I quickly went from a capable wife and mom to someone who I never wanted to be again - a patient. I couldn't hold down any food or drink, I couldn't pick up the baby, I couldn't stand up without throwing up even when there was nothing left to throw up. I was living a nightmare I'd had way too many times but this time I wasn't just going to wake up.
|It didn't take long before I was spilling 3+ ketones. Basically that is a good indicator that I was very very dehydrated.|
When I became pregnant I was still nursing Colin every 2-3 hours and he was very attached to me. Within weeks I had to wean him completely because I didn't have anything left to give him. I was losing almost a pound every day at that point and my body just couldn't keep up with his demands too. Being forced to stop nursing him was honestly one of the hardest parts of being pregnant because all control was taken from me. I felt so guilty and awful because it just wasn't fair! It was a really tough transition for all of us but he was just a baby and couldn't possibly understand!
|Colin did enjoy getting into my medical supplies though! And so did the cat (in the box)|
|6-7 weeks here. Colin was fascinated by my tubes!|
|One of my many many peripheral IVs|
From weeks 6-10 I had an IV in almost constantly as I was still unable to hold anything down at all. I already knew all of the tricks to try from my last pregnancy and nothing was helping. I was dizzy, my blood pressure was consistently low (every time it was checked by my nurses it was about 80/40) which made me feel like I was going to pass out at any moment. My nurses quickly ran out of places to put IVs and when they did finally successfully get one it we were lucky if it lasted a full 24 hours. My skin was breaking out and I had bad bruises from blown veins all up and down my hands/arms. It was obvious that the only option at that point was another dreaded PICC line.
|Here's the little nugget at about 8 weeks gestation|
My PICC line was scheduled to be placed the day after Thanksgiving but because I had two full days to wait for that I needed another peripheral IV in the mean time. It took 3 nurses coming to my house that day and 7 different attempts at a vein before they got one that worked. The last nurse was at my house trying until almost 11 at night! I can't tell you how thankful I am for my amazing nurses. I hope they know how much I appreciate them!!
Alex took me to the hospital to have the PICC placed and after three PICCs I thought I knew what to expect this time but boy was I wrong! I was so dehydrated and malnourished at that point that it took the doctor three different tries to finally get a vein that didn't collapse on the line. Despite the lidocane I felt every single cut and every stitch and was in severe pain for almost a full week. Ouch!!
|15 weeks - look at that sweet little face!|
When I was 16 weeks I was started on IV Phenergan every 6 hours and it has been the key to keeping me off of TPN. I still can't eat much but I am not throwing up nearly as much as I was and just feel better in general. I am able to care for Colin some now and even read Aidan books which wouldn't even have been a remote possibility before.
**Update: January 24th, 2013
So far my PICC line is doing well thankfully and I have now had it in for over 10 weeks. I did need to have it replaced once after 5 weeks but they were able to just exchange the line I had for a new one so no new holes in my arms. My life consists of IV fluids, IV vitamins, Zofran pump, eating what I can when I can, and just trying to survive.
When I was 16 weeks I also had an elective ultrasound done (thanks to my uncle!!) and we found out that after two boys we are having a girl this time!! I was excited to find that out but until my anatomy scan at 18 weeks I was still in disbelief! But after seeing our little peanut again, it is most definitely a girl. She's growing right on target and I will have an ultrasound every 4 weeks to check on her progress.
Well, I think I covered the basics for now. I'm almost 21 weeks and just in survival mode. I've lost a total of 20 pounds but have just recently put 1-1 1/2 pounds back on. It doesn't sound like much but it is a huge accomplishment to me! I have "good" days and bad days but it definitely beats having all bad days. The main thing I have to remind myself is to not over do it on my better days. It's a lot easier said than done but if I attempt too much it throws me back into majorly sick mode. Not worth it!
**Update: February 12th, 2013
This past several days have been a bit rough. On February 7th my picc line fractured and had to be replaced (this is the third PICC I've had this pregnancy and the sixth one I've had altogether) and just being out of the house for that long wears me out quite a bit. Now both of my boys have a cold and I feel like I'm coming down with a sore throat as well. Other than that things are going okay. I'm sure after a few days I will start to feel a bit better (I hope!). I have an ultrasound at the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) doctor on Friday so look for another update then!!
**Update: Friday, February 16th, 2013
I went to the MFM doctor and all is well with our baby girl (yes, we are still having a girl!!). She weighs 14 ounces and we were able to see all ten fingers and all ten toes. She has become quite the active little thing lately and feeling her move is definitley the only part I enjoy about pregnancy even though the movements tend to make me more nauseated. It's nice to feel her wiggling around in there to know she's okay!
**Well, I had really good intentions to keep my blog updated but it was just too hard to get on the computer when I was feeling as awful as I was. Even a "good" day was far from what would be considered good to a normal healthy person. But here I am now and I am going to finish my story. Sorry for keeping all of those that were reading this in suspense for such a long time.
On March 10th my third PICC line failed and I'd had enough. I went to have it pulled out and decided not to get another one. Three PICC lines was my limit! The weeks that followed proved to be really tough and the 5 pounds that I had gained back started dropping back off.
|And here is my second fractured PICC (3rd PICC during this pregnancy. This time it completely snapped off.|
|For anyone curious, this is a picture of my PICC line after it is taken out. Yes, it is really that long!! It goes into your upper arm and is threaded through a large vein ending right below your heart.|
A couple of weeks after I had my final PICC removed (27 weeks pregnant) I became very very sick. My nausea was worse, my body hurt worse than when I was in active labor with Colin, and I had a fever that climbed to over 104 degrees. After a few days of fever, I had a rapid flu test run and it came back negative so I was diagnosed with bronchitis. When I wasn't able to get my fever down below 103.5 I decided it would be best to go ahead to the hospital. I spent 3 days there and had all kinds of tests run. The day I was discharged, a more accurate flu test that was run came back and was positive. So that is what the flu feels like! I hope I never have to experience that again!
One thing is for sure, during that hospital stay for the flu and the following week I was really missing my PICC line. It was nearly impossible to get an IV in that would work. I lost more weight while I had the flu so I was almost back down to my lowest weight (which was 20 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight).
Each week was a struggle. Each week lasted forever. Even though I've been through this before and I knew what to expect, it didn't make that part any easier. As the weeks went by, my contractions picked up, my sickness picked up, and I was just getting more worn down by the day. Regardless of all of that, I was DETERMINED to make it to at least 34 weeks. That was my first goal and once I hit that I planned on setting another goal.
|Look at this sweet profile. 31.1 weeks|
At 32.3 weeks I went to my regularly scheduled MFM appointment for an ultrasound and an NST and my contractions were very regular and getting stronger. The doctor sent me straight to the hospital because I was starting to dilate. Didn't want the baby to come yet!! I spent five days in the hospital but thankfully they were able to slow things down as far as labor goes. I was put on Magnesium Sulfate (that stuff is straight from the devil I promise you!!) and was given two steroid shots to help develop baby girl's lungs. They also switched my blood thinner from Lovenox to Heparin (safer to be on Heparin with a pending delivery).
|This is the day I came home from my 5 day hospital stay for preterm labor. 33.1 weeks here. |
I think Colin missed me a little bit. I sure missed him!
I was discharged from the hospital on the weekend because even though I was still contracting, nothing was progressing so I was very happy to go home! Monday I had another scheduled appointment with the MFM again and it was suggested to me that it may be a good idea to go to the hospital but because nothing drastic would be done to stop labor at this point I was given a choice and I chose to be uncomfortable at home rather than in a hospital bed strapped down to machines! I did promise that I would go right in if anything crazy happened.
|This is how my contractions were for the last few weeks.|
It made sleeping nearly impossible and was just very uncomfortable!
On the way home from my appointment that day the nurse from my regular OB called to ask me something and I took that opportunity to ask which day my OB was on call. I didn't want anyone else delivering my baby and I was determined to wait! I was told he would be on call that Thursday which coincidentally was already my scheduled 34 week appointment. I knew I had to just wait 3 more days to have this baby!!
Before you think I was in a hurry to have the baby, that wasn't the case at all (though I do hate being pregnant). Ideally I would've kept her baking until 36 weeks or so but I KNEW I was in labor and I knew it wouldn't be much longer. I felt awful, my contractions were building, and I had other signs of impending labor as well.
I tried to just sleep that Tuesday and Wednesday away because I was so uncomfortable and I was trying so hard to wait for my appointment on Thursday. Wednesday Alex called me from work to check on me and asked me what I was doing and I responded that I was "hanging upside down from the monkey bars". I wasn't really obviously but I won't say I didn't consider hanging upside down!!
Thursday FINALLY arrived and my mom was driving me to my appointment. Wouldn't you know there was a bad accident and we were stuck in traffic which made me an hour late to my appointment. I have never been late to an appointment and the one day I feel like I'm in labor, we are stuck! Thankfully we arrived and I didn't have to deliver a baby in the car :)
I was weighed first and found out I had lost 4 pounds in the last week (this put me at a final weight of 18 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight) and also found out that I was already 5 cm dilated. I was sent straight to the hospital, called Alex on the way to tell him to leave work and head to the hospital and had our baby girl before dinner time.
Although my pregnancies are a nightmare, my deliveries are fast and easy! it was about 6 hours of hard labor and I only pushed during one contraction. The NICU nurse that was coming to my delivery told me later that week that she was not even quite in the room yet when she was born. It went really quick!
We named our little surprise baby girl Skylar Noelle and as Mary Poppins would say she is "practically perfect in every way"! She was born at 34 weeks exactly, weighed 4 pounds 2 ounces, and was just 16 inches long. So tiny!! Skylar did spend 12 days in the NICU which was really tough but we are thankful she was only there to learn how to eat better. She dropped down to 3 pounds 14 ounces but when discharged she was back up to her birth weight. So proud of my TougHGirl!!
She is now 2 months old and life is extremely busy. I plan to be better at updating my blog (I was just dragging my feet when it came to update this specific post - it's hard to go back to bad memories). So make sure to stay tuned for updated pictures and posts of Skylar and my two crazy boys!
For those that may be curious, I decided to have a tubal ligation the day after Skylar was born to prevent anymore pregnancies. As much as I love my babies, pregnancy is too awful so she will be my last little miracle.