Wednesday, February 15

What a day, What a day

Well, really the only positive thing I have to say about yesterday is I'm so glad it is over. Nothing seemed to go even remotely as expected. We arrived at 9 a.m. as instructed and were shortly thereafter informed that they would not be working me in between c-sections and that we could leave for an hour and come back.  So we washed the car and Caleb got breakfast - don't worry though because he had McDonald's, since I would never eat McDonald's breakfast anyway.

After we got back we waited for a couple of hours in the waiting room before finally getting put in a room.  I think they only did that because they felt sorry for us, which was fine with us at that point.

The room was nice and very comfortable.  They started an IV but let me keep my clothes on, Caleb got a whole couch to himself and I got the bed and remote.  We hung out like that for several more hours and I discovered that after about 12 hours without eating even a pregnant lady will eventually give up on food.

Finally in the early afternoon they had me change into a gown so they could run fluids, worried that I was getting dehydrated. After they dumped a liter of fluids in me I started to feel better and shortly after they started sending in doctors for this, that and the other. 

Caleb finally got to see Baby on the Way in action, which made his day.  And around 3 p.m., 6 hours after our initial arrival, they wheeled me back to the OR.

There they put me on the table and the anesthesiologist went to work with a shot in the spine of Lidocain to help with the extreme discomfort of the spinal.  The first spinal was half blocked and exploded all over my back so they did it again.  I've never felt the blood drain from my face so quickly and if the nurse hadn't been holding me I'm sure I would have fallen off that table.  They said I handled it well but they must just say that to everyone who survives.

I was immediately laid down and the numbness began rapidly spreading from my toes upward.  It's the oddest feeling to feel all numb, tingly and heavy.  My instinct was to try to move my feet to wake up my legs but when I couldn't my anxiety level went through the roof so I just focused on ignoring that instinct. 

After 10 minutes of positioning they finally had my legs hanging up in the holsters where they wanted them.  This was one of the worst parts of the whole thing.  I felt like I could feel me heavy legs lying on the table but I could see them hanging above me and being moved around.  Talk about trippy!!

Then the procedure started right in the middle of shift change so all of the anesthisiologists left and switched with some new lady who would occasionally hover over my face but spend a lot of time chatting on her cell phone.  I was overcome with nausea the whole time, despite they IV anti-nausea medication they were running and every bone in my body was freaking out but I was trying to focus on the light on the ceiling and my breathing. 

I could hear everything going on so when they were having trouble getting "the sharpest needle they have" through my cervix that was concerning.  But when I started bleeding "a lot" and they couldn't figure out where it was coming from, I was pretty much ready to say never mind to the whole thing.  They found that the clamps they put on my cervix to hold it down so they could reach it to do the stitching were causing the bleeding and they were able to control it with some sort of cauterization goo.  After what seemed like forever of hearing them debate how far up on my cervix was safe to stitch they finally announced that they were done.

The doctor said that when they started my cervix was patent, she could get a finger easily inside but that after they were done there was less than a centimeter of play.  I heard her say to the other doctor, "that should give her the best chance of making this pregnancy work."  It was a hard thing to hear the doubt and wonder in her voice.  I had reassured myself all along that this was going to do it but the truth is that if I go into labor the cerclage won't stop it. 

I still think it's worth a try though and despite what an awful ordeal it ended up being I would probably do it again.

Since there was more bleeding than expected they gave me some antibiotics and had to test my blood to see if it was RH negative because there is a chance my body could attack the baby if we have different blood types.  Of course, they couldn't just take my word for it, knowing that I'd been tested when I was pregnant with Bryce and had the Rogam shot the night he was born.  After 5 or 6 sticks by 3 different people they finally got the blood they needed to confirm what I already knew and gave me the shot.  By this time, 3 hours post-op, the effects of the spinal had mostly worn off and the pain was quickly becoming overwhelming.  They gave me what they could and finally let us leave at around 8 p.m. - 11 hours after we'd arrived. 

We got home just after 9 p.m. last night and I've been surprised by how much more painful it is than I anticipated.  It feels like a combination of really bad cramps and my insides being ripped apart.  I'm trying to take as little Vicodin as possible for fear of the effects on the baby so bear with me if I'm not as chipper as I'd like.

One up side to yesterday was our nurse, she was amazing.  She got me literally 10 warm blankets after the surgery because after being uncovered for an hour in the freezing OR I was shivering and cold to my core.  Poor Caleb had the thermostat set to 78 degrees at one point.

And fortunately we've had lots of help from my parents including my dad taking Bryce to his eye doctor appointment early this morning and my mom babysitting both Bryce and I this afternoon.  I don't even want to think about what we would do without their constant and much appreciated help.  {Thank you guys, we love and appreciate you more than you know!!}

So now I'm just trying to take it easy and recover because life goes on and things need to be done.  I'll go back to Temple weekly for the Progesterone therapy starting next week and for a few weeks until I can get in with the OB here in Round Rock.  That should be a breeze compared to the cerclage!

Thanks to everyone who checked in with us, via Facebook, text message, blog comments, etc. yesterday.  It kept our spirits up and made the day go by quicker - you guys are the bestest! 


Monday, February 13

Cerclage Tomorrow & Other Exciting News

Well, tomorrow is the big day finally.  I went to Temple to see a perinatologist at the Scott & White hospital on Friday.  And despite the fact that the original part of the hospital I visited is right out of the Twilight Zone and full of Wal-Mart people, it was a good visit.

The peri. I saw was extensively experienced in high risk pregnancies, very forthcoming and not bad on the eyes in disagreement with anything the previous peri. here in Austin had told me.

He did an ultrasound to check my cervical length and found it to be measuring much larger than the last two, more than 3 cm where as neither of the last were over 2.5 cm.  This news pretty much immediately took a lot of stress and anxiety away. 

He also gave me some numbers I'll be hanging onto pretty tightly: cerclages have been shown to reduce the risk of preterm labor by about a third, additionally progesterone therapy (the weekly shots I start next week) have been shown to have the same reduction in risk.  I verified that that meant a total of 2/3 risk reduction with both treatments.  It's not a guarantee, or even really good odds, but it's better than half and better than I expected.  It's also much better than Bryce's odds of surviving were when he was born and look at him now!  So, I'll gladly take 2/3!

I also asked him during the ultrasound if he had any guesses on the baby's sex.  He was fairly certain it looks like a boy though 15 weeks is pretty early to tell.  Here is the picture he gave me for Caleb, I'll let you try to figure it out and judge for yourself:

Caleb and I were both kind of hoping for a girl, since we already have a boy, but if two parents ever just wanted a healthy baby it's these two.

The earliest they could get me on the surgery schedule is tomorrow and the peri. I saw Friday won't be on but he said that the lady peri. who will do the surgery is very good and has LOTS of experience. Yay!

She also has a full morning of c-sections already scheduled so we have to arrive (in Temple) by 9 a.m. and I can't eat after midnight but it may be afternoon before they are able to work me into her surgical schedule.  I'm pretty excited that Caleb's new boss is letting him come with me, he hasn't had a chance to see or hear the baby at all yet and will probably get to tomorrow.  Happy Valentine's Day to us!

And before I leave you all with that bit of good news all around I have just one more exciting bit to share.  Bryce has been practicing walking with his posterior walker for a while now and seems to be really getting it!  His PT (physical therapist) is nearly as excited as I am, which is to say very, very, very!!!

Here is a short video we took on Saturday while practicing.  He made it from the back door to the front door, around through the kitchen and back to the living room on Friday for his PT and my dad.  Today he did the same but with a loop around the dining table - baby steps, baby!

It's funny, I was reviewing my YouTube upload history and realized that a year ago we were trying to get Bryce to stop rolling and start crawling, 7 months ago he started pulling up and today he's starting to walk.  His progress in the last year really astounds me.  We've worked hard for a long time to get here and I couldn't be a prouder momma!!

I'll try to update after we get home tomorrow to let everyone know how to surgery went and what's next on the agenda.  Until then, thanks as always for checking in on our little family!