First Family Photo

One day when my sister-in-law Abby, was up visiting me in the hospital, she asked if I had gotten any pregnant pictures. I told her I couldn’t get out of bed for that. Heaven forbid I get up for pictures…..I was so focused on keeping my baby safe, and couldn’t think of anything else.

She insisted that I get up, and offered to take pictures, so my husband could be in them too. I could kiss her face a million times for that. I LOVE that we have pregnant family pictures.

Watching the Time/Boredom

After a week in the hospital, I noticed that I was obsessing over how many minutes and hours had gone by, or more accurately, minutes and hours that had NOT gone by. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to endure the many weeks that the baby needed to have a good chance at survival.

I wanted to give up….. I had been on strict bedrest for 7 weeks now.
I knew that giving up wasn’t an option…Not after being so blessed to have made it this far without going into labor.

I knew immediately, that I had to change my mind-set. I had Gordon bring up my calendar from home, and I marked each day off, at the end of every day. Every day became a huge accomplishment, and every week felt like a milestone. I had Gordon take down every clock in the room, and put up pictures of nieces and nephews, in there place.

Possibility of a Girl!!!

The doctors thought that it might be a girl, but made sure I knew that they were very unsure. I decided I had better make baby blankets for both a girl and boy, just in case. I didn’t have a preference, but it felt good to get excited about a girl! Gordon said he wanted a girl first, so he could have a “Daddy’s Girl”.

Continued Leaking of Amniotic Fluid

Since my water broke back at 19 weeks, I have continued to leak amniotic fluid. My OB doctor told me that there was a very small chance that the amniotic sack would close back up, and that leaking fluid would continue throughout the pregnancy. It was something I could cope with very easy, and knowing it wasn’t causing more harm to the baby, was very comforting.

I drank more water than I thought possible. I wanted the water to be replaced as fast as possible. After my OB found out how much I was drinking, he told me that, while it was important to drink alot of water, he didn’t want me up going to the bathroom every hour either. I was kinda relieved, I felt water-logged. I replaced a quart of water with vinegar/honey water. The vinegar and honey both aide to prevent and fight infection.

It wasn’t like you think, a little leaking here and there. NO!NO!….I would gush water everywhere without any warning about every other day!!!
So ya, I wore a huge banana pad, which felt more like diaper. And if I happen to gush while I had company, I would sit in it until they left..GROSS! Or if I was comfortable enough, I would just embarrassingly excuse myself and change my clothes.

If it decided to leak at night, I was rudely awakened, and Gordon or the nurses would change my bed while I quickly changed into dry jammies.

I would honestly have to say, dealing with that was more comical to me than anything else. It became annoying at times, but I continued to laugh about it every time I soaked my pants. Maybe I was literally going insane… I don’t know.

Unclear Ultrasounds/Will My Baby be Normal & Healthy?

Every week we had ultrasounds to see how much water was around the baby, and to make sure to baby was okay. Every ultrasound was blurry, and the doctors couldn’t determine if the baby was developing normally. The doctors kept telling us that they weren’t sure if the baby would be able to develop without enough water. They were especially concerned about the lungs not being able to function outside the womb…..
There was consistently barely any water around my sweet baby, and I hardly ever felt it move. My little angel didn’t have any room to do much of anything.
The good news was, that the baby did continue to grow and some of the ultrasounds showed little parts of my baby, but never enough to be sure.
We still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl. Gordon wanted a surprise anyway, but not knowing was driving me crazy!
Inside, I felt that everything would be okay. I wasn’t sure if we would have a normal baby, but I felt like the baby would be able to survive outside of the womb. (That is, if I could carry it a little longer)….

Both me and Gordon, continued to pray and be grateful for a wonderful pregnancy and a healthy baby. We also prayed that God would give us the strength to handle whatever was coming our way.

A Friend with Insight

I’m remembering a very unique support during my pregnancy on bedrest. Dr. Draper asked one of his previous mothers, if I could call her for support and insight. She happened to be the mother that had been in my shoes one year prior….. she was the miracle story he was telling us about the day my water broke. Her name happened to be, “Jessica”.

Well, I called her about two weeks after my water broke. She talked to me in detail about her pregnancy, bedrest, complications, delivery, and condition of her baby. It was extremely comforting to hear what I could expect, what was normal, and mostly of all, that it is possible to have a normal, healthy baby in this situation. I was able to call her with questions when something would come up that was scary or I was unsure of.

Our experiences had been very similar, and I continued to follow farely close to what she had gone thru.
Her success was a beautiful baby boy, born at 32 weeks. He was on O2 for a few days, and in the NICU for about 3 weeks. He was sent home with no long-term complications.
What a relief!!! It gave both Gordon and I something to focus on. She was truely a God send.

Newborn ICU/NICU

The second week we were at the hospital, the staff encouraged us to tour the NICU. Every other week, a nurse would come get me and Gordon and give us a tour. She would have us pay extra special attention to all the babies that were the size our baby would be, if I went into labor. She explained what those babies were going through, and what we could expect as parents.

The first tour we took, I was 26 weeks. A little baby at that stage was only a pound and a half. Little IVs, wires everywhere, breathing machines to keep them alive, transparent skin, and all but life-less bodies lying there. It was almost more than I could bare…UNbelievable!!!

It was a serious wake up call….. Terrifying!

It was hard to watch…. yet comforting to see babies that were even alive.

We both prayed and were most grateful for every week that our sweet baby could grow in a (hopefully) healthier environment.

A Super Special Friend

I had alot of support from alot of people throughout my days on bedrest. A very special friend I had, Dallas, seemed to know just what to do to cheer me up. She seemed to know when I needed something that I didn’t even know I needed. I would get those cute sound cards in the mail from her all the time. They always came at the right time, and made my day. Hell, they made several days; every time I would read them, I was either laughing or crying.

When I was home on bedrest, she came and decorated my house, inside and out, with Halloween!
When I was in the hospital, she brought me a mini Christmas tree, decorated with lights, mini ornaments, and two presents (each with a boy and girl, matching hat & socks). She changed my dreary, mundane space, into a fun, colorful atmosphere.

I never imagined that such little things could be so special. She made me feel like I was still a part of this world….. She brought the holidays to me, and helped lift my spirits!

Having so many little things to look forward to, helped the time to go by.

Daily Routine in the Hospital…..

Every morning, a doctor (usually MY OB) would come in to check on us (me and baby). I went down for daily NST (non-stress test) so the baby’s activity could be monitored. I loved it, because I could hear baby’s heart beat for ½ hour, and for that time, could believe that the baby was okay.

The nurses and aides checked my vitals and the baby’s heart beat every four hours. It was reassuring to hear baby’s heart beat, but every time the doppler would touch my belly, the baby would literally kick it, and run. It was about the only time the baby would move. It made me nervous that the doppler might be harmful to the baby, but I felt like I could trust my OB.

It was October/November, and most of the days seemed cloudy. The only window in my room overlooked a cement platform with another building blocking any view, so I could never see the sky. Being cooped up in the same bed, same room, made it extremely hard not to get seasonal depression. I was able to have 2 half hour wheel chair rides a day; one was the NST right down the hall, and the second when Gordon got there. We would go to the cafeteria, or sit outside which was my favorite. I would pray for sunshine, and soak up all I could through the bitter cold. By the time Gordon got off work, the sun was close to going down. On the weekends, I would have him take me out earlier, sometimes I would stay out for an hour. Naughty, naughty!…….. I felt like it was worth it to keep my spirits up.

The recreational therapist, Jodie, tried to keep me busy. Because I knew I would be in the hospital, on bedrest, for a long time and would need something to do, I quickly learned how to crochet. I also had movies, crossword, word search, tetra, and a few other things to keep me occupied.

We still owned our house, but no one was living there. Gordon would go check on the house and check mail once a week.

Boy or Girl?

At the beginning of the Destynee’s pregnancy, Gordon and I couldn’t decide whether we wanted to know the sex of the baby. I kind of wanted to know, but Gordon didn’t.

After everything that had happened, there were so many questionable and unsure things. I felt like if we could know whether it was a boy or girl, it would give us something sure to focus on. My water broke at 19 weeks and without water around the baby, the ultrasounds were very blurry. The doctors couldn’t tell us the sex of the baby. We were having ultrasound every week, and each time, I thought maybe that we might be able to know. At this point, we both wanted to know…..It felt like I couldn’t grasp onto anything.