No Touchy…

During my entire pregnancy, I was not able to have ANY sexual contact with my husband. The doctors said it could put me into pre-term labor, and since I was already a huge risk, they were very serious about it. Poor Gordon:(

Lets just say, it made us both stronger.

Vaginal Birth or C-Section

Because of two previous open-heart surgeries and my unique heart (hehe, I’m staying positive), my doctors discouraged me from getting pregnant. I told them I had been waiting for a baby for a long time. I asked them if they would support me through a pregnancy. I now have amazing doctors, after several years of ASSHOLES and multiple surgeries. Both my OB/GYN & Cardiologist agreed to be my support and monitor me when I got pregnant.

After my water broke, my Cardiologist told me that he was actually glad that I was on bedrest, because he wasn’t sure my heart would be able to handle being pregnant with much of any activity. Throughout the pregnancy, I have had echocardiograms to monitor how my heart is handling the pregnancy and extra blood flow. Throughout a pregnancy, a women’s body produces about 3x the regular amount of blood. This is why, by the end, you feel like a fiery furnace. My heart is definitely taking a toll, but because of bedrest, it is managing pretty well.

Because of the important, specific details of what needed to happen when I went into labor, every doctor that took over for my OB or that was on call, would come into my room and discuss each and every detail with me. They wanted to know what was going on, and wanted me to know that I had great doctors that knew what to do. It was very comforting and all of them treated me like I was very special. However, I was very clear that I wanted MY OB, Dr. Draper, there for the delivery if possible, and he said he would be there if he could make it.

Dr. Draper knew that I wanted a natural, vaginal birth. He said I would not be able to have it natural, because my heart wouldn’t handle me pushing at all. I would have to have a very heavy epidural, so my uterus would be able to push the baby out.

He said that if I wasn’t able to have a vaginal birth, I would have to be put completely out for a C-section so they could monitor my heart with a Transesophageal Echocardiogram (an echo camera down my throat), and be able to override my pacemaker and defibrillator. He said Gordon wouldn’t be able to be in the room.

I knew that if I had to be put out, then I would miss the first several hours of my baby’s life. I wouldn’t know what was going on, or if the baby even made it…… I tried not to think about it, and just prayed that everything would go good. I was so focused on having a vaginal birth, so that both me and Gordon could be present for the baby.

Are Baby’s Lungs Developed?

My OB, Dr. Draper, said that, at 32 weeks, he would check the baby’s lungs to see if they were developed enough to start me into labor. At 32 weeks, if the baby’s lungs are developed, it would be more risky to chance infection and other complications inside the womb. He felt that the NICU could care for the baby, and it would be safer outside at that point. I felt that if we could make it to 32 weeks, then it would be better to let baby stay in and grow two more weeks. Dr. Draper was very willing to let us try, but would not let me go past 34 weeks. I appreciated how much he was willing to work with me, and always listened to my concerns and opinions.

The way they check the baby’s lung development is through the amniotic fluid. We scheduled the day that it would be tested, which was about 32 weeks and 3 days.

Although I wanted what was best for my baby, inside I wanted to be done at 32 weeks. I told Gordon that I would try to keep a good attitude, and that if I made it this far, I could last two more weeks.

Going On Strike!!!/Losing Weight

After six weeks of hospital food, 3 meals a day, I went on strike. I completely lost my appetite, and couldn’t stand to eat hardly anything I was given. I started throwing-up if I forced myself to eat at all; even outside food.

Since I was just sitting on my ass, not able to exercise, and getting fatter, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to skip a few meals. Turns out, when you’re in the hospital, they monitor that sort of thing. They were also monitoring my weight very closely, because of my risk of going into heart failure. A rapid gain of water weight is a significant symptom of heart failure.

Well, they noticed that I was losing weight, and at 30 weeks, this was not a good thing for the baby. Dammit, I’ve been caught!

I was able to get away with it, for about a week. That seemed to be the break I needed. I had to focus on the fact that I was almost done. YAY!!!

My Amazing Better Half /Support From My Husband

My husband, Gordon, was the most amazing support I had. He stayed up in the hospital every night with me, sleeping on a cot. The nurses were flabergasted that he was there so much of the time. They commented that they had never seen any husband stay with their wife for more than a few days. He stayed home ONE night of the many weeks I was on bedrest up there. He ate what I ate, and stayed right by my side as much as he could. He truly was my saving grace. He worked just as hard as I did to keep our angel safe and in a good environment. We valued the time we all three spent with each other, and time was all we had. We took advantage of the peaceful energy, and opportunity to visit. Gordon and I were determined to have this experience bring us closer together.

Love & Support From Family

Everyone’s help, love, and support was what got us through those long days. I always got so excited to have company, and literally wanted to tie them down so they could never leave. Each person brought me life! I always felt rejuvenated, and it gave me the little boost to keep moving forward.

My brother Noah’s family came every Sunday and brought me a smoothie. It was so nice to have something consistent to look forward to. Plus, Yumm! Yumm!
Gordon’s mom, Cathie, came almost every Saturday to play games and bring us dinner.
My sister, Connie, came every week, sometimes twice! She would always try to bring me something homemade.
My dad stopped by every time he came down to the city.
My younger brother, Craig, came almost every Sunday, and would sometimes bring his friends.
My mom came alot the first week, because she knew she would be gone the rest of the month of October to Australia.
My favorite Aunt Faye, along with several other siblings and friends of mine and Gordon’s, came a few times as well.

The food at the hospital was horrible, so most everyone that came tried to bring outside food or homemade food, which was an amazing treat to look forward to. A few of my raw food friends, brought me a raw Thanksgiving dinner. It felt so good to eat such healthy, delicious meals.

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.

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.