Saturday, June 27, 2009


The Birth Story - Part One

I don't know if anything in my life ...anything ... has felt better than pulling into my driveway last night with my family. My entire family. All of us alive and breathing independently. The symbolism of seeing the white picket fence surround my yard as we pulled in did not escape my very hormonal self. Home. Safe. Healthy. All four of us. I think I'm still in shock.

I never stopped contracting after the amnio. They slowed down to seven minutes apart but kept increasing in intensity. On Wednesday morning I had a mini-meltdown because I was exhausted and the fear of going into a c-section that tired was terrifying. I hadn't slept since Saturday night. Around 7 or 8 I managed to develop crazy wretched diarrhea - which includes a story so flipping disgusting and funny that it deserves it's own post - and thought ..umm.... uh-oh. My blood sugars had dropped significantly. Even without any insulin at all, my after breakfast reading was 78. And I thought ..ummm..not good. Because the only reason for that to happen would be a sudden drop in hormones - so I'm either in labor for real, or there is something wrong. For some reason, I proceeded to run errands! Went grocery shopping for our "last meal", went and picked up some meds at the vet's office, stopped at the office for a second, and went to the pharmacy for Monk's medicine. On the way home, I timed the contractions and realized I was back to 4 minutes apart. I got really dizzy and lightheaded, called Monk, and we went to the hospital for the NST and BPP. Contractions continued to worsen. The NST was actually fine. The Biophysical profile looked a little worse ...the score went from 6 to 5. She measured him and thought he was probably 8 lbs 8 ounces which made me feel a LOT better. No attempts at breathing. Very little movement. We had a lot of "do you want to wait" and "I'm scared as shit about stillbirth" conversations. She knew this - because we talked about it endlessly at every visit. It was the reason for the frequent NST's, the hyper-management of blood sugars ..everything. She thought I had OCD about it and needed to relax for most of the pregnancy. The OB/friend decided to do the section that day. I, of course, had eaten lunch trying to improve the NST and BPP so she scheduled the section for as soon as possible after anesthesia cleared me. Anesthesia agreed to 7 pm. We called and told family. Contractions promptly became excruciating and 2 minutes apart. I thought ..Hmm. Maybe I should just Vbac?? I really didn't want a section and things seemed to be moving along swimmingly well. The OB came into the room to chat about the possibility ...and the baby promptly had some late decelerations. They decided to take him right then. The NICU team was called in for the delivery. They warned me that he might need to go to the NICU because of the kidney and immature lungs. I watched the isolette roll into the delivery room and started to panic.

Can I just say that spinal anesthesia with duramorph is the best invention EVER? Never hurt going in and I literally never felt a thing throughout the section. Nothing. No pressure, no pain. It couldn't have been more different than the golden child's section. I was amazed all the way through. I did, however, lose my blood pressure right after the medicine went in and that was less than comfortable. Someone asked if I was okay ...I couldn't talk ...looked at the monitor and saw 60/22 as my blood pressure. I started to pass out and throw up. I had a very real but fleeting thought that I was dying ...then the reversing meds started to work and my blood pressure came back.

Monk did amazing throughout the entire thing. He was nervous before the section ...tearful at times. Took xanax. Thought about maybe taking three. But in the room? He was extremely calm and reassuring. Even stood up to look when they pulled out the baby. He started crying immediately. Screaming, in fact. My OB/friend pulled him out and said, "He's beautiful, Shauna. He's healthy." Monk and I started crying. She handed the baby to the NICU team. I said, "How are his eyes??" which was supposed to be our code for "does he have Down's?" She said, "I didn't look that close!!" The anesthesiologist asked what was going on ...I told her ..she took our camera and went to take a picture of the baby's face and brought it back to me. He was fine. Absolutely fine. I kept telling the OB/friend that I loved her because I couldn't imagine a more comfortable birth.

All of a sudden the OB/friend said, "Ohmygod, Shauna. Ohmygod...this was the problem." And she held the umbilical cord up for me to see. It had the largest, tightest, true knot that I could ever possibly imagine. Ever. If my water had broken or if I had attempted a VBAC? The baby would have died. The months of early contractions? Likely due to his distress and not getting enough oxygen and nutrients. Even now, I can't stop thinking about what might have been. What easily could have been. It's overwhelming.

Continued tomorrow . . .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Baby A2 ....

Birth Day

Quick post ..still in the hospital.

After much drama, Baby A2 was born healthy and alive on 06/24 at 7:53 p.m. Eight pounds, 1 ounce. 20 inches long. He and I are both doing very well ...the c-section was the easiest thing ever ...the hours of labor leading up to it not so much.

Full story to follow.

The peace I feel? Indescribable.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Status Quo . . .

I was supposed to go in for a non stress and biophysical profile at 3 ...but instead I'm already home. I started having contractions again around 10 this morning ...and when I decided to pay attention, I realized that they were 4 minutes apart. Monk had stolen my car keys this morning so I didn't decide to make a trip to Ikea (2 hours away) he had to come home from work early to get me. When I got to the hospital, I was still contracting so they started an IV {again} and gave me a litre of fluid. My blood sugar was 75 the MFM stopped my insulin. Ack. That makes me nervous. She wants me to be higher for the next couple of days and said to call if it hits 160. The contractions stopped after the fluid. The biophysical profile and NST were essentially the same. No better worse the kid is in until at least tomorrow barring some unforeseen run of labor again or something..

I'm soooo tired. Like ..crazy ridiculous super sleepy tired. I've taken like 3 naps and slept for at least 10 hours last night. I don't know what's up with that. I've already self diagnosed myself with all sorts of fun stuff ..when in reality, my body is probably making some attempt to get things ready. But my brain wouldn't be surprised if I ended up with cardiomyopathy of pregnancy or something.

I'm not nearly as anxious as I was last night ...but not exactly what I call comfortable, either. Everytime the baby doesn't move for 20 minutes I'm about ready to stroke. Then he kicks me firmly in the liver and I calm back down.

The golden child spent the night at a friend's last night and went to the beach with her family today. She's texting me about every 30 minutes to make sure everything is okay I know she's still crazy anxious on one side. On the other, she's pissed because I won't let her and the friend spend the night here tonight. that awful? I just don't see how it's a good idea to have a kid spend the night when we could theoretically have to leave them here in the middle of the night and go to the hospital? I must be hormonal because I don't feel like it's an irrational decision but feel incredibly guilty for saying no to her when I know she's stressing and the friend offers welcome distraction.

In other news ...there is so. much. freaking. drama in Monk's family right now that I could scream. And possibly become homicidal. His brother bought a lot and is almost done building a house behind his sister's house - like - literally in the back yard. It's such a long story ...but now the entire family is fighting non-stop. His brother and the wife are ....ignorant at best. It's about 90 degrees here today and they have my 70 year old father in law with a bad back hand grading their new lawn because they don't want to pay to have it done. My sister in law tries to cause drama wherever she goes. And I'm hormonal enough that I'm probably going to give plenty of drama back to her tonight. There's WAY more to the story than I could ever describe here. A good synopsis includes not having a mortgage and sponging off of your in laws for the past year, not doing your own children's laundry or caring about them at all, probably having an affair, and trying to drag people back into our lives that don't need to be there. I called Monk at work today to tell him that I don't want her evil demon skin touching the baby or showing up at the hospital.

He suggested that I was possibly over-reacting.

Hmm. I might be.

I consider it justified. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009


So. Today didn't go quite as planned. Actually, it started with last night when we started frantically getting all of our stuff together and moving assembled baby things where they would need to be when we got home. I walked into the bonus room to find the golden child curled in a ball with an upset stomach. Worried that I wouldn't live through the c-section or that something was wrong with the baby. She was still upset after several hours of reassurance and cuddling. Weird that I would have a medically anxious offspring, no?

Monk and I got NO sleep. None. Had to be up at 5:30 to get to the hospital on time. I might have dozed once from like 3:00 - 3:06. Soooo anxious. And nervous. And scared. And mournful. It's weird to say goodbye to a pregnancy you know will be your last. I wanted Monk to be all lovey dovey over feeling the last movements on the inside. Then I was upset that he wasn't concerned that I might die. Then I was sure the baby would be born with 12 eyes and no heart and 1 really screwed up kidney. It just went on and on. Why is this my last pregnancy? Because honestly? I don't do it well. I can't handle the anxiety that comes with it.

Went to the hospital. Had the amnio. Which seriously?? Was nothing. As in ..I've given myself insulin injections that hurt more. Which really pisses me off. Because it was sooo controlled and so not a problem that I really wish we had done the amnio way back when so I could have been less paranoid and more settled one way or another. After 2 1/2 hours, the results were back. Two of the three tests were "transitional" ...meaning ..lungs could be ready ..could not be. The third test was "absent" ..or not ready. I think the OB/friend was afraid to tell me. I grovelled a bit ..worried about still birth after 38 weeks with gestational diabetes. She agreed to do an ultrasound. The baby ...who was 5 pounds 7 ounces on his last scan FOUR AND A HALF WEEKS ago was only 6 lbs 3 ounces. And they were expecting 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 pounds. His kidney is still very goofy. His head size went from 4th percentile to 75%th. Abdominal circumference went from 95th% to 22nd percentile. Official diagnosis? Asymmetrical intrauterine growth restriction. Which is ...umm...not great with the lung immaturity. Sooo ...they had the MFM come over and re-scan to confirm the measurements. She wants the baby in until Thursday ...and then out regardless of lung maturity. She thinks that it might make the difference between NICU and mechanical ventilation or not. He also failed part of his bio-physical profile. His official score is 6/10. Umm. I'm not a math major ..but 60% doesn't sound great to me.

Why the IUGR? No idea. She thinks maybe not enough weight gain and too strict control of blood sugars? Umm..seriously? I'll kill someone ...because this was NOT easy, and the MFM doc RODE MY ASS at every single appointment about every ounce of weight gain and any blood sugar higher than 90 in the morning or 120 one hour after eating. Other possibilities include the kidney being worse than we think ...the measurements being wrong, etc. The placenta failing because of the diabetes. The gods conspiring against me.

So the current plan? Daily NST's until Thursday with a biophysical at 9 am Thursday if they stay the same and don't worsen.

Assuming we both live that long. And that I don't become addicted to some weird anxiety medicine that I don't have a prescription for. They don't make enough drugs for this kind of anxiety.

And this becoming a mama thing? Not for the feint of heart.

Monday, June 15, 2009

37 weeks

Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that I refused an amnio that would have given me peace of mind and/or adjustment time out of fear only to have an amnio at 38 weeks for lung maturity?

LAST PRENATAL APPOINTMENT TODAY. Very likely the last ever ..cause umm..barring some unforeseen change I don't think I'm accidentally going to swallow clomid for a week and rape my husband on an every other daily basis for two weeks. That being said, I did get the "What are your contraception plans after birth?" routine from the OB nurse. I said, "Umm...infertility, PCOS, recurrent pregnancy loss, and breastfeeding." She said, "I'll just write declined." Okay then.

Official last weight? Up a total of 13 pounds. Which honestly? I'm pretty happy with. I very honestly could have done a lot better. I probably could have gained a total of zero if I had worked at it. But ..I'm content with 13. Especially because she thinks the baby is going to be 9 1/2 lbs by next monday. Umm. Ouch. That's all I can say. He's going to be a teeny tiny head big bellied baby. Everything else still looks good. Blood pressure perfect ...swelling hasn't gotten any worse. Normal labs. No protein. Three days of work left and I made it without missing an entire week for bed rest though I had days here and there scattered in. And actually? I feel pretty good right now ...for maybe the first time this entire pregnancy. Now that baby has settled soooo low into my pelvis, the contractions have virtually stopped as well as the pelvic pain. Blood sugars are still perfect {with insulin}. I tried to bribe her into telling my husband that there was a secret twin during the delivery after watching that new show on TLC last night.

And this stupid pubic symphysis dysfunction? I had literally never heard of it before I got it and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It was the bane of my existence for the entire pregnancy.

Six days left. Six. I feel like I just peed on a stick on Halloween like ...2 weeks ago. Six days and we'll know what we know ...for better or worse. And then my still birth cord accident bad kidney huge baby Downs syndrome anxiety can move on in whatever direction it takes me.

Assuming his lungs are mature. And if they aren't ? At 38 weeks? I'll probably cry like a buffoon until the OB takes mercy on me and takes the baby out anyway. Diagnosis for early elective delivery with immature lungs? Maternal psychosis. That should work.

Wish us luck! I'll update as soon as I can.

Monday, June 8, 2009

36 weeks

So the visit today went well. The baby has dropped ..really, really low ..which is likely why I feel so much freaking cervical pressure all of the time. I'm dilated to 2 cm. Lots and lots of contractions which...who knows? Maybe early labor ...maybe all braxton hicks. She scheduled the c-section for the 22nd again after an amnio to prove lung maturity. Assuming nothing happens on it's own between now and then.

Umm. That's two weeks. From today.

Holy Shite I have a lot of stuff to get done!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Has anyone watched Mental on Fox? I don't know if it's the health care provider in me or what ..but I totally love it. Last night's episode was ...interesting. An OB/Gyn husband so desperate for a baby that he convinced himself AND his wife that she was pregnant ....and she had physical symptoms, a swollen belly, everything ..even though she wasn't. It was an interesting perspective of infertility from the male side.

Life in my world is pretty much the same. I continue to have false labor episodes on a daily basis ....contractions 5-8 minutes apart for several hours and then it stops. It'll be interesting to see if my cervix has changed at all at my appointment on Monday. Very, very frustrating on my end because it is soooo incredibly uncomfortable. I go from being sure that I should take an ambulance to L&D to ..umm..nothing. Bizarre. The golden child is desperate for me to not give birth until Thursday. She has her last 8th grade field trip (an overnighter to a huge amusement park in the next state) tomorrow and Monday ...graduation on Wednesday followed by a sort of junior prom. She's ecstatic with excitement about it all and terrified that the baby may try to steal her Thunder.

One of the few things that makes me more comfortable during the pretend labor sessions is a huge exercise ball. Last night ...I was sitting on it during some particularly intense contractions that had me feeling like there was a knife in my cervix. When I stood up pants were completely soaked. Drenched. Wet. Didn't think that I peed at all. Monk flipped out and started running around getting ready to go to the hospital ...I convinced him to wait and see. I haven't really had any more fluid leakage so I'm assuming that I peed my pants. Lovely. Pregnancy is infinitely filled with glamour, no? I don't feel well today at all. I wake up super early every morning now ..which is NOT my style. I got ready for the day when everyone else was still safely tucked in bed and went to the grocery store. I had to abandon the trip half way through because I felt SO rotten. Contracting, about to have diarrhea, pass out, sort of short of breath ick. Thought maybe it was a blood sugar issue ...but that really has been very, very well controlled and it was fine. Came home to rest ...and I'm still having contractions every 6 minutes right now.

So I run to labor and delivery ever 14 seconds and have them find out that I'm a psycho? Or blow it off and have it be the real thing and deliver on my living room floor? I'm just a nervous wreck all the time. I think I need to bring home some supplies from the office so I can do amniotic fluid checks and what not and feel better about the whole thing.

I still have so. much. to. get. ready. Every time I think we're set ...I remember about 20 additional things that we absolutely have to have. How many "last trips" to Babies R Us do you think I can make???