Thursday, January 22, 2015

Updates

I have kept a lot to myself the past few months, but after posting a vague prayer request a month ago, I realized it is not so much about feeling vulnerable with more people knowing the situation, but feeling surrounded by love and not being alone during a hard time. My family is blessed in more ways than we could imagine. We have had people we don't even know praying for us and we feel uplifted and showered in care. I have had a lot of people ask what has been going on and I find it overwhelming to even start sometimes. But as the end is near, with only 3 days left, I will try and fill everyone in.

Our second pregnancy began completely different than our first. It was a shock, I had no idea I could be pregnant, and if it wasn't for the growing belly I wouldn't have known for awhile. It was just, easy. That is how I knew it was a boy. The first six months came and went with hardly any sickness, food cravings, or much to prove I was actually pregnant. 

October. Short and sweet. It started with what they thought was kidney stones, which kept me in the hospital for a couple nights. This was my first night away from Elora. Josh was amazing, taking care of Elora, but not wanting to leave me alone at the hospital, so he packed up Elora multiple times a day to visit me. 


After ruling out kidney stones, they sent me on my way and was told to come back if it got any worse. After a few days out of the hospital, I went back. I knew the pain, because it was the same thing I had with Elora. Hydronephrosis, water in the kidney that makes the kidney swell. There are two ways to get the kidney back down to size. Deliver baby, which I was far enough along with Elora that they induced delivery right at 37 weeks, it was a painful delivery with the swollen kidney but after she was out, everything felt much better. The second option is to get a nephrostomy tube put into your side that helps drain the kidney and prolong pregnancy. At 24 weeks there was no way I could deliver baby, but from what I heard getting the tube had it's own problems. From what my Drs had told me the tube would help the swelling in my kidney, but would cause it's own pain and discomfort, I would most likely be on bed rest for the rest of pregnancy, and possibly be on bed rest at the hospital for the last part of pregnancy. I talked to the urologist and asked if I could possibly go without the tube, but without the tube my body could go into kidney failure and of course this is a much more serious problem for both baby and I. So my decision was made. 



A couple weeks later I went back to the hospital to get the tube placed. I'm not entirely sure what I expected but I was scared and nervous. Josh couldn't go back to the surgery room with me, and that was when the lump in my throat started. As soon as they opened the doors to the room, the tears filled my eyes. It was an actual surgical room, everything in it was intimidating and quite honestly scary. I did not feel brave what so ever. The procedure went fine but the recovery was hard. When I first got out it hurt to breath, I passed out, and it was a hard transition once I was home. 


 So this would be my best friend, always by my side, for the next few months. This was when I was at my lowest point. Even if I felt like I could, I wasn't supposed to do anything. I couldn't pick up my daughter when she got hurt and was crying, I couldn't make dinner for my husband, I just felt useless. My life has always revolved around my family and their needs before my own and I wasn't supposed to do my job anymore. Not to mention being completely stir crazy. I got to get out of the house once or twice a week for doctor appointments and that was a highlight for me. I have also never been so insecure, not something I admit easily. Pregnancy is supposed to be beautiful, but I felt like I was constantly trying to find something to wear that hid this horrible tube and bag on my side. When I did get out of the house, I felt like people were staring. I was embarrassed. Even with Josh, I felt like I was hiding, and when I couldn't hide because I needed him to help replace bandages, I would cry because I no longer felt attractive. 


Constant praying on my part and prayers from family and friends helped me. I began to see that with all these trials came many blessings. Josh and I have become closer than ever, with a new appreciation for each other. We both took a new understanding on how much we do for each other and our family. He took on the role of Mr Mom, going to work, then coming home to take care of Elora and I, make dinner, do the bed time routine, and clean house before he sat down from the day. Words will never describe the appreciation and love that I have for this man. He has been my rock and made this experience manageable. The blessings we have experienced as a family has only continued. 

December. Having a tube and being on bed rest means more ultrasounds! Something to look forward to every other week. We found out we would be induced at 37 weeks because of the tube. So the date was set. January 26th at 6am. After setting the date we went back to the hospital to get a series of steroid shots to help baby's lungs develop in case of preterm labor, which with all the circumstances we were told it wouldn't be surprising if I went anytime after 34 weeks.  At this point we found out that instead of having the tube removed right before delivery, that I would have to deliver with it in and not have it removed until a week after baby.


A  week before Christmas the tube stopped working so I had to go back to the hospital to get it replaced. This was by far the worst experience of my life. What should have been a simple easy procedure, turned horrible. They gave me some pain meds but said I shouldn't need to be sedated because it should be quick and easy. They soon found out that it had stopped working because there was calcium build up around the inside, almost like rocks, that made getting it out very difficult. Once they realized it would be more difficult, my blood pressure was only about 75 which was too low for them to sedate me and have it safe for baby or I. So I got to be awake and feel every push and pull they made. Once I got back to the short stay room I began experiencing pain with every breath, it got so bad I started hyperventilating which made everything worse. It took an hour for the pain meds. An hour of feeling like I was going to die and screaming for it to stop. The nurses and doctors were very sympathetic and felt bad that the procedure and been so rough. They didn't want it to get that bad again so I was scheduled for another replacement four weeks later, even though baby would be here in 5 weeks. 

January. The first week I had gone to the hospital for preterm labor with contractions every 3 minutes. Luckily the contractions did not make me progress any so I was released the next day with something to help the contraction. Every day this little man has stayed in has been a blessing. Because I have been to the hospital so many times in the last couple months, I know most of the nurses and they all have been so kind, cheering me on, and even visiting me when I am not one of their patients that day. 
When you ask for a snack after arriving to the hospital late at night, and your nurses love you.

I was scheduled for another tube replacement in the middle of January, but it had stopped working again so I went in to have it done a few days before my actually appointment. I was more nervous going into this one because the last had been so bad, and being further along we were nervous this would send me into an emergency delivery. So I talked to the nurses and doctors before to get all my worries on the table. Again, they were all too kind, having been there with me the last time and wanted to make sure it wouldn't be anything like that and they did just that. The procedure, while it did hurt, was better than the first two and the recovery seemed quick and easy. And no baby yet! More days for him to grow! 

So now here we are, three days away from our induction date. A date we thought we would never make it to. Baby boy has been healthy and growing strong the entire time. I can not thank everyone enough for the constant support and prayers we have received over the last few months. My spirits are high, and I feel strong. Of course I am anxious with this birth coming up. I don't know how it will go with the tube still in, and he is coming the same time Elora did, so there is always the chance of another NICU stay. Then to have a week old and go back to the hospital to get the tube removed, but he is worth every minute of it! 



Some questions I have received...

Is there anything we can do to help?
Pray. For the upcoming days. For the doctors. For the health of our baby boy. For my family as we transition from a family of three to a family of four. 

Will you have any more children?
This is one I get a lot, and it is a hard one for me. I have always wanted many children, as most people know. From our understanding the reason it was so bad this time around was because I got pregnant within 2 years of my first pregnancy and my body didn't heal fully. If we decide to only have two that is fine, I just don't want that decision made for me, but if it is made for me than God has different plans for us and I will be happy to have my daughter and son. If we decide to have more, it won't be for a few years and I will see a specialist to make sure this wont happen again. So everything is really up in the air as of this point, right now our focus is to just get this little man here as safe as possible and not think too much into the future right now. 



A reminder I see daily, that comforts me and gives me peace.