Wednesday, January 23, 2008

8 days old (or what should have been 35w1d)

Connor Michael (formerly Bubba) was born on Friday, 1/18/2008 at 5:35 pm EST weighing in at a whopping 5 lbs, 6 oz. and measuring a lengthy 19 inches. He spent his hospital time in the NICU since he was only 34 weeks gestation. When I went to the docs, they found my fluid had dropped from a 10.5 to a 6 and my placenta was looking a little mature and they felt he was safer out than in. Despite the steroids, he did have RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome for those non-nerds out there) and needed surfactant to help him breathe without grunting. He was off the CPAP in less than 24 hours and is home with us for 2 nights now.

I am totally and completely in love. It was really tough to see him hooked up to all the wires and I had a small emotional meltdown on Saturday morning when I saw him. Poor Marc - he is such a good husband. By Saturday afternoon my hormones and my emotions were so crazy that I had a complete breakdown over a plate of fried chicken. I really feel like my body totally betrayed me again. In recovery they said that my placenta was really mature and that I had small amounts of keytones and protein in my urine. I'm hoping to find out more when I see the doctor on Tuesday for an incision inspection. I do realize that had I not had the monitoring I did when I did, this probably would have turned out really badly. My recovery is going well, it's amazing what having a living child to take care of will do for your overall health. I was up and moving less than 24 hours after surgery, pumping and running around and getting out of the bed on my own. With Gregory I needed help moving around for more than a week after surgery.

And speaking of my Gregory, oh how my heart breaks. God, this is bittersweet. Every time I pick Connor up, cuddle him, kiss him, love him, I'm reminded of how I got so fucking jipped. It's been worse since last night. My original OB's office didn't send my records to the new OB's office in time for my surgery and then there was some confusion, so they sent them straight to my house. I got an envelope from them last night and I opened it up. All of Gregory's monthly ultrasound reports and my bloodwork from his pregnancy...and HIS FUCKING AUTOPSY report. Because every mom wants to know how much her dead son's brain weighed. I got as far as "intrauterine fetal demise" and "the fetus weighed 2030 grams" before I screamed for Marc who promptly took it away from me. My wonderful friend Stephanie, who at one point was studying for a career in mortuary science, said she'd read the report so I wouldn't have to. The only thing I want to know is his blood type. It's something he would have gotten only from me or only from Marc. Connor is O+ like me, so I'm curious if Gregory would be like me as well or A+ like his dad. I miss him so much, but I do realize I wouldn't appreciate the newest blessing in my life quite like I do had I not been blessed with Gregory.

And back to that newest blessing - he's home for two nights now and is the sweetest thing. He is nursing like a champ and sleeps well all day. It's of course a different story at night! The cats got a real up close look at him yesterday. Two of them liked the way he smelled so much that they decided to taste him. They are confused as to why they are locked out of our bedroom, but we don't want any cuddling accidents when we have to step out of the room. And I am a terrible mommy as far as pictures go. My camera is still packed away in one of the many boxes that are waiting to be unpacked, and I've luckily been able to borrow my sisters' camera. They are so nice for lending it to us! I don't have anything updated because I don't have the software on my computer to upload it, so you'll have to settle for the ones from the day after he was born.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


So I got dose 2 of the steroids. I must have called or visited over 25 individual pharmacies. T.arget doesn't do injectibles. All of the 24 hour W.algreens needed a minimum of 48 hours to order the drug. One pharmacy needed 2+ weeks to get it from their supplier. I thought I had struck gold when the very expensive family owned pharmacy down the block said they could fill it immediately. I explained it was betamethasone injectible, not the cream. She kept telling me to just come in, she'd have no problem filling that right away. So down the block I walk, drop the prescription and my insurance card off, she takes down my information and consults with the guy in the back. They tell me to come back in 20 minutes. I walk down to the bagel shop on the corner - my cell phone rings. It's the pharmacy. They can't fill it because it's an injectible form, and they've never even heard of the medication. Are they fucking kidding me? I go back up the block to pick up the prescription and try a million other places. My sister was kind enough to chaffeur me around for the day from pharmacy to pharmacy.

My friend M. called to check in and recommended a pharmacy that was able to fill all her bizarro high risk pregnancy medications. I called and sure enough, they have it in stock. I told the woman I could hug her and started tearing up. It took them ten minutes to fill the prescription. So off to doc office #1 to try and get the shot. No one there is insured in prenatal, so they can't give me the fucking shot. Are you kidding? Back up past the pharmacy that filled it, which is in a northern town, back to the OB's office. I get there, and no doctors are there to administer the shot. This is laughable at this point. They send me to the city office around the corner from the hospital. We drive past the pharmacy again. We spent 6+ hours in the car and drove more miles than I could imagine. But the OB shot me up in 4 seconds flat, and it didn't even hurt.

And yet the adventure continued while I spent all of yesterday quietly alarmed that little baby boy Bubba was not moving as much as he had in recent days. Was it that I was in the car and didn't feel it as much? He had moved a lot in the hospital - maybe he moved into a position where I couldn't feel every movement as easily? Turns out that a common side effect with steroid injections is decreased fetal movement for 2-5 days. So nice that I was told. My kick counts were good this morning - over ten movements in 35 minutes. We'll be doing them 3x a day minimum until he's born, per the peri.

I have an appt for a BPP and consultation with both docs on Friday at 12:30. He may be born by that evening if anything is alarming - particularly lower fluid or more nuchal loops, I imagine. I think we'll be discussing having him this month, and no later. Friday night he'll have 72 hours of betamethasone shots in him, which is the ideal, and he'll be 34 weeks. That's really pretty damn fantastic.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Hello from the new apartment! We are finally moved in and have spent some time setting up Bubba's room. The place is still a wreck and I have more bumps and bruises on my legs from slamming into boxes and furniture in the dark than I know what to do with. The holidays were low-key and nice, and I've been sleeping a lot.

We've been having a bit of an adventure in the last week. I went and saw my friend C, the ultrasound tech at a local hospital last Wednesday, just to get a peek at everything. I've been having some trouble finding a new OB, since no one can see me until February (I'm DUE in February, so this is not really so helpful, especially given my history). C. is pleased overall, but mentions that little Bubba is breech and my placenta is anterior. Then she mentions my fluid looks a little on the low side. She tells me it's not really anything to panic over, but I should drink ten 8 oz glasses of water a day and come back and see her in 2 weeks to check the AFI. (The fluid came in at an 11.6, for the record, and the baby was measuring normally.)

So my fabulous friend M. recommends her wonderful OBGYN practice to me. They get me in immediately and I went to meet with Dr. Norm McDonald yesterday (he only sounds like him, he looks like a skinny Santa Claus). We discuss my history and he thinks I need to start having weekly BPPs, minimum. Fabulous! I give him the sono records from last week and he sends me down the hall to his sonographer. She notes the same details C. did - breech presentation, anterior placenta, and a AFI of 10.5. She also notes a double nuchal cord. (It's believed that Gregory died partly as a result of a triple nuchal cord.) The doc points out that this normally isn't a big deal, plenty of babies have them, I agree, but he is concerned because of the apparent drop in fluid + history. Off we go to the exam room where he listens in with the doppler and we discuss my repeat section - ideally he'd like to schedule it for 38 weeks or so, IF I make it that far. BUH?! Now I'm concerned. He wants to play it safe, so....

Off to the perinatologist down the hall we go! I have another ultrasound where the other sono tech confirms that yep, he's breech and posterior, and he's got an anterior placenta. And yep, uh-oh, the fluid level doesn't look fabulous. She asks if I've been leaking fluid at all. I tell her that I've been noticing some thinner discharge, but it didn't seem to meet the criteria of leaking amniotic fluid. Now it's time for the first invasive vaginal exam of the day. Dr. Perinatologist is a few fingers deep before she realizes the nurse isn't in the room. This is just awesome. Some fun lab tests and a meet-and-greet with my cervix later, and I can get dressed. They draw some blood and I'm off to talk to Dr. Peri, where I'm told I'm being sent to the hospital for some prolonged monitoring and steroids. OH JOY.

So after 4 hours in the doc office, we stop off at home so I can cover my butt for some work stuff since I don't know if I'll be home anytime soon. I have small nervous breakdown #1 at this point because no matter how long I've waited to hold Bubba, I'm realizing I'm not mentally prepared to meet him this way. He's early and I'm concerned for his health. We head off to the hospital which is in a less fabulous part of town and we're sent to fill out paperwork in the lounge area of OB triage. Only one seat is available in this large lounge, and some thug-in-training actually gives me a dirty look for sitting there. Sorry asshole, I'm pregnant and an actual patient, don't make me punch you in the mouth. I'm in no mood. We're taken back to evaluation and they start taking my history and setting me up. I'm eventually brought to a room where I undress and get hooked up to the monitors. Dr. Peri is thrilled with the tracing after about 30 mins or so and says she's sending me home after I get my steroids.

Ten minutes later she's back - nope, I'm not going anywhere, I'm staying overnight. She didn't realize I might be leaking fluid and we're playing it safe. At this point I start having nervous breakdown #2. She's talking to me about my scar from Gregory and I'm trying to hold back this floodgate of emotion and I tell her I want to go home. 33w4d with Gregory, we were involved in a car accident and I had to stay in the hospital for premature labor and get steroids and this was all way-too-fucking deja vu. It's only one day off. After that with Gregory, it was all down hill... She decides I'll probably be calmer at home, and we compromise. She sends Dr. Resident Winnie Cooper in to do painful invasive vaginal exam #2 to check for fluid. She needs to do a ferning test, so she whips out the cold metal speculum from hell and proceeds to crank me open like I'm a car getting jacked up to change a tire - click click click click - meanwhile, it feels like Freddy Krueger himself is in there ripping me open and I'm contorting in ways that might normally make me blush all while screaming "FUCK! THAT HURTS!", which I'm sure the guy in the coma on 12 heard. Yay, no fluid is leaking! After that, the shot in the ass was a breeze.

They release me, tell me to drink lots of water, and give me a prescription for dose #2 of the steroids, which I have to have by 9am. It's already almost 10pm. I also have to come in to see Dr. Peri and Dr. Norm on Friday - I'll be having twice weekly monitoring in their office for my fluid levels and Bubba's cord until they decide it's too dangerous and they'll pop him right out! I leave and head to the 24/7 W.algreen's where I'm told that they can't fill this prescription. Well, crap. I call the next closest 24/7 pharmacy where I'm told the exact same thing. It's now 7:09 am and I have no idea where I'm getting this prescription filled. I could scream. Couldnt they have just sent me home with a needle? I don't know what to do and I do not need this panic.

Hoping to post again before little Bubba makes his grand entrance!