Tuesday, December 28, 2010

successful day

well today i went in for my check up and had a sneaky suspicion that they would be draining me today- as i feel like the past couple days i have gotten huge. since i spent most of the holiday relaxing, i didn't realize how big i had gotten until i waddled into work yesterday. plus i was having a few more contractions as i got bigger.

needless to say today they measured my tummy- which was measuring 39 weeks ( yep- this is the second time i have been as big as most people get at the end of their pregnancy, lovely) so since AJ was working today and we need him to work as much as possible- my wonderful friend Dayanne accompanied me to my ultrasound. there they measured that my fluid was 39cm.... so i was due for another draining. the procedure was done by one of the other doctors in my doctors practice-- this one wasn't my favorite. while he repeated checking the fluid level he then brought up a picture of her chest and her abdomen and proceeded to reinforce she has a much smaller chest. i then said- yep we know she has abnormalities. he says- yeah i know, i just wanted to show you that her chest is very small.... why he did this i don't know. yes i know she has a small chest. thank you for reminding me of something i think of every day.

then when he went to drain me- he was a little more brash and rough. the actual procedure hurt alot more this time- especially when the baby starting blocking the end of the catheter so he grabbed the part in my belly and wiggled it around endlessly... ignoring my clenched fist and grimacing face. they took off a little over 2 liters this time. (2100ml) the good part is that i am feeling a little less sore afterwards. ie- my stomach didn't have to rebound as much this time, so my muscles aren't hating me as much.

Sophia tolerated the procedure much better this time also- we only had to stay for monitoring 1 hour after being drained. i just had to drink a little juice to give her heart rate a bigger wave. thank goodness. it was a better experience in terms of how we both feel afterwards. my guess is that we may have to have it done 1 more time. i lasted 3 weeks this time. i only really have about 5 weeks left ( i will be 34 weeks on friday). so we will see how far i get. i would rather have it done again than to go in to labor early! not a risk i am willing to take.

anyway. i am going to lay back down. hoping these contractions that are normal after having this done go away. please pray that my body responds well- i don't go into labor and don't get any infection.

thank you for your continued prayers and encouraging words.

faithfully His- tristen

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

good visit

so i apologize if i update this too often- but i am also using this blog to help us keep track of this expereince and remember what happened when. so sometimes it is just little updates to help me remember what happened.

today- i had an ob appt. gained only a little weight in the past week which is good. i was checking out just fine. i was a little worried today- as i am suppose to be getting weekly ultrasounds- but they couldn't fit me in this week with the holidays and lack of staff. i was worried because i feel like i had gotten bigger in the past week and if like last week i gained another 10cm of fluid in a week would have meant i would be measuring 35cm of fluid and they didn't want me to get to 42 again- as that was too much. my fear is that i wouldn't be checked this week and then i would start contracting again- this time it would be over Christmas weekend- which i do not want to spend the holiday in the hospital again. luckily my nurse practitioner talked with my doctor (who happened to be the one on call today- lucky me :o) ) who got me smuggled in for a quick ultrasound before i left.

my fluid only measured around 29- so i only gained 4cm in 1 week. woo hoo. i asked my doctor- "is it normal to gain 10 in 1 week and then only 4 the next". she said- well it varies- but i'm not going to question a good thing. ha! she said if i feel that much bigger it may be the baby growing- as they do gain 1/2 pound a week now. (she still has a normal sized head and abdomen- which is most of the weight so she will gain almost what a regular baby will gain, just a little less) she is only prob going to weigh 4 maybe 5 pounds at the most when she is born. as long as i can keep her cookin as long as possible! it is such a weird pregnancy as A- it is my frist, so i don't know what is normal, B- i can't tell what is fluid building up or baby growing, C- i can't tell how big is not normal big for my stomach.

so- all in all it was good to know it slowed down this week. surely an answered prayer! God is in control (this i tell myself every day)

hope you all have a very merry CHRISTmas! we will be enjoying our quiet holiday with some of our extended family and just the two (well 3) of us snuggled by the fire. i am finding myself very much relating to Mary and the anticipation I am sure she had of Jesus' arrival. (i still do not know how Joseph got a very pregnant lady to ride a donkey that far-- i cannot imagine :o) ) what a very interesting time to be pregnant and relating to her experience.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

back to reality

well today's doctors visits all sucked. that pretty much sums it up.

first we met with the Neonatologist at our hospital we will be delivering at (Presbyterian St. Luke's). this was to find out what the plan is when Sophia is born. ie- how do they tell if she is going to make it? the basic answer- they don't. there is no quick way to tell if she is going to survive unless she comes out and just isn't looking good at all. from what it sounds like their plan is to probably intubate her (put a tube down her throat and help her breath with the help of a machine) and then see if she responds well to it or not. she responds well or is really trying to breath some on her own- great. she doesn't respond well when she is being assisted- we take the tube out and spend what time we can with her. meantime they will also do an x-ray of her chest to see how big it is. it is such a fine balance of us wanting to keep her with us and yet not wanting a poor quality of life where she is dependent on a machine to survive. us both being in the medical field know what that life would look like and that it is no way for a baby or anyone to live. we both feel a little more comfortable that we are all on the same page and the doctors want the same thing. they will do their best to help her and also help us decide what is best for her long term. this was a little hard for me, the further into the pregnancy i get the more i see my little baby and the thought of her having a tube in her throat breaks my heart. even though i am a nurse and have seen lots of babies in this condition and never thought twice, i am taken back. now its my little girl....

our next appt was just for me- i am doing well. i did lose about 8 pounds with the fluid removal. i am just having some headaches- so going back to my chiropractor to help me with my sore neck again.

the next appt (yes we had this many in 1 day) was our monthly ultrasound (I am 31 weeks). my fluid has gone from a level of 15 to 25, in 1 week. at this rate unfortunately this means i will probably have to have my fluid taken off in another 1-2 weeks (which i am very very disappointed in). we asked our dr again if she is worried about this- ie- should we be worried Sophia has swallowing problems? she said no, she thinks it is simply related to the fact that she is a dwarf and this sometimes goes along with that diagnosis. then we found out her limbs are now on a 10 week delay. so in the last four weeks she only grew a little. her ribs are now in the 2nd percentile now. this was a hard hit for both of us. me especially. lately i have just gotten really excited about Sophia's arrival, with all of these great baby gifts showing up I let myself get a little too excited and optimistic. this appt shot me down to the reality of our situation, which is that I may not get to bring a baby home with me. today was a tearful day for me. which i know is to be expected in this situation- there will be good days and bad days. and both are okay. she also states that our goal is to make it to 36 weeks- of course our goal is feb 8th- 39 weeks, but she wouldn't be surprised if we went early due to the extra fluid. i am now going to be getting weekly ultrasounds to measure the fluid level and stay ahead of the contractions. boo to more dr appts.

i apologize this isn't a happy post... but unfortunately it is our situation for now. i know our God is good and he can heal her. it is just hard when he doesn't and facing the reality of our pain.

prayer requests

- Sophia's growth and healing
- that the amniotic fluid accumulation slows down
- that i don't go in to labor until Sophia is ready
- that my body tolerates the constant changing of size with the extra fluid

thanks for your prayers. this was a good reminder how much they are needed.

all my heart- tristen

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

thanks thanks thanks

thanks so much everyone for your prayers and thoughts.

today we got to go home. Sophia's heart rate evened out- that little girl is stubborn, we both think she just got mad they messed with her environment and she was just telling us so... my first thought when they got worried was- "wait that can't be, she is too tough for this".

they sent us home this am, then we went back tonight to get the second steroid shot (to prep her lungs if she was to come early... the shot lasts 3 weeks). and then to monitor her heart rate for 30 minutes just to double check she is still tolerating the lower fluid level and the procedure.

my doctor expects that i may have to have this whole procedure done again before she comes... since the fluid grew so fast. we will see. unless i contract again, i was able to tolerate the extra fluid... yes i was really uncomfortable, couldn't put on my own socks and wasn't sleeping well, but all in all i shocked them how long i went that big. the nurses couldn't believe i am only 30 weeks- they kept saying i looked like i was carrying twins. yay. ha. i really prefer not to do this all again. it was not a pleasant procedure... but it is better for her as the fluid was starting to compress her and the placenta so i will do it if i get big again. we do another ultrasound next week to check her growth again and see how much fluid has built back up! can't wait to see what has happened. we also meet with some neonatologist at the hospital we are giving birth at- to figure out what will happen when she is born (how they will assess her ability to survive) and to tour the NICU.

god obviously heard all the prayers you all said... as he did help her and me both make it through the night. thank you.

i also have to say again how incredibly blessed we have been by people lately, financially and with gifts. it has made me cry being so cared for and loved this way. we are really so blown away by the way people have poured out love on us. thank you so much. words can't say how much it means to us that you care so much not only for us, but this sweet little girl. i hope she gets to meet you all and thank you herself someday. God has taught me such a needed lesson to just let him take care of us... and he will through our wonderful community. me and my independence/need to do things myself are slipping out the door. i'm learning so much through all of this. as is to be expected.

i also want to thank my wonderful husband for staying with me all night (sleeping in a pull out chair bed thing), even though he is sick with a cold. he waited on me hand and foot since i was bed bound, and really took such good care of me. i wouldn't want to go through this with anyone else. i am so thankful he is my husband and all ready such a great father to sophia. thanks baby!

again thank you for everything. -sophia's mommy

Monday, December 6, 2010

prayer request

+ hey a quick prayer request....

+ sunday night tristen starting having some contractions. so we talked with our dr, drank tons of fluid, took a bath and then went to bed hoping hey went away. then today, the contractions continued.... so we came into the hospital to see what they would like to do. luckily I wasn't dialated at all, but my amniotic fluid had gotten to such a high level it was causing me to contract. amniotic fluid is suppose to measure 20, mine was 42. no wonder my stomach was huge! (if i had one more person say to me "wow you aren't due till feb... you are huge..." or "is there really only one baby".. i was going to punch them. instead i just have to smile nicely and say- oh yeah. when really i want to say, yes i am, my baby is abnormal and i have extra amniotic fluid... thanks for reminding me.

+ so to try and keep me from going into labor they took off 4 liters of amniotic fluid. that is about 1 gallon or like 10 lbs of fluid. my stomach looks so completely different now. i look tiny. they say that i am going to be so much more comfortable without all the fluid. right now i am still in quiet a bit of pain, since my muscles are reacting to rebounding from being so stretched.

+ we unfortunately have to stay the night as miss sophia isn't responding as well as they would like to the change in fluid. her heart rate keeps dropping every once in awhile. so we got another 24 hours of observation. i am also at risk to go into labor after the amniocentesis where they took off all that fluid... so they gave me/sophia a shot of steriods to help sophia's lungs mature quickly just in case i go into labor tonight.

please please pray.

+ that her body levels out and her heart gets regular again.

+ that i don't go in to labor.

+ that my body responds to the fluid removal well

+ that she continues to grow and her lungs respond to the steriods.

thank you thank you thank you. love t

Thursday, December 2, 2010


+ well- first off- my diabetes test was negative. woo hoo! i celebrated with a donut. ha. take that blood sugar.

+ our holiday back home was amazing. very relaxing-- just what we both needed. lots of food and family/friends. one of the best parts is seeing our nieces and nephew respond to me having a baby in my belly. ellie sang the baby- twinkle twinkle little star, bryer would just randomly walk up and touch my stomach and say that baby sophia is in there. kami was intrigued by seeing my belly with my shirt pulled up and thought my belly button looked funny. all of these made me laugh and smile. it is fun to see their unguarded response to a baby in a mommy's tummy. my belly brought on smiles, laughs and some tears for others.

+ speaking of my belly- at my 29 week appt, my belly measured 32 weeks. that extra fluid is making me look alot bigger than i am, as long as the bigger is only in my front side i am okay with that. i am gaining alot more weight than i would like, but it's hard to tell how much is me eating vs. the extra fluid in my tummy... plus since our flight back i have been fighting some hard core cankles. so i got some extra fluid hanging out in my legs, ankles and feet. it wouldn't be so bad, except i am working 10 hour shifts and spending too much time on my feet so they get huge all the way up to my knees. hopefully i can get a little better at putting my feet up each night. this stubborn little girl has also decided she really likes keeping her feet nestled up in my right ribs, which is making me very uncomfortable. my ribs have been hurting so bad i haven't been sleeping very well. if this means she is growing more- i am a-okay with that. as she has been in this position for a few months now, i am thinking she has done some growing since in the past few weeks it has gotten much more uncomfortable.

+ since our last ultrasound i have been feeling so much more excited about Sophia. i feel like those first 20 weeks i was excited but it didn't feel real. then just as it became more real-like with finding out the sex, it also became a harsh reality that we may not get to keep her. so my excitement was stolen from me for awhile. but since the ultrasound and talking with another mother who is has a dwarf and having her say she knows many families that were told fatal news but the child lived... i am feeling more hopeful. even just seeing this other family integrate a small child into their lives gives me comfort. it doesn't seem so scary or impossible. don't get me wrong i am still aware what they are telling us is a possibility but i need a sense of hope too. something to help me get out of bed each day and feel her kick all day long. i have this feeling the more i get to know Sophia that she is one tough little girl and she won't go down without a fight. when we did a quickie ultrasound this past week at my appt- she was practicing breathing again and she was practicing sucking. i love seeing her do these simple gestures as proof she is just a little baby and she is getting ready to come into this world. i am starting to get really excited just to meet her and see her cute little face. no matter what happens i am thankful i will get to hold her and love on her however long God blesses us with her. it may seem silly- but this week i was like- whoa... i am for real having a baby. whoa... she has to come out of me. eek. i guess that whole thinking of her as a fetus vs. a real baby is starting to hit.

+ other than that Aaron and I are doing well. we are excited to do the nursery this month and spend some time together now that he is done with academy. we will post some pictures once we get the nursery done! i'm just excited to get out all the baby stuff we have gotten!

- prayer requests -

+ sophia to heal and grow

+ that she is swallowing fine and her lungs are developing well

+ that tristen is able to stay in good health and not need to go on bedrest

+ that Sophia stays in until her due date (feb 8th)

+ thank you all for your support and love, it encourages us both. soon to be mommy- tristen