May 31, 2013

Day 31- lions and tigers and MRIs...

MRI with dye of me-- 32 weeks 6 days pregnant.
This picture is looking down cutting across my stomach.  See that big baby in there?!
Yeah, my MRI was hard!  One of the hardest things I've done so far.  Who knew?
(Sorry if you think these pictures are a bit too revealing.  I like the whole world looking at my cervix.. ha!)

This is another picture of my baby-- see his brain?
My placenta is down along the front of my stomach, I think.
I wasn't worried because I'm not claustrophobic.  But!  I didn't plan on one hour of pain.  Pregnant, bed resting mothers have a hard time laying flat on their back with a 50 lb (probably less) weight pushing down their pregnant belly.  Ouch!  That nerve...  

I couldnt wear any metal- no bra.  But, I did wear my clothes.  They hooked my central line up to an iv line to insert a metal dye into my blood.  They used a controversial dye (grenadine?) so they could see better.  I could taste metal when it went in, but it didn't hurt.  They also gave me a blanket, but I wish I didn't have it because I sweated so much laying there.

The radiologists and nurses were all so nice.  I'm sure it wouldn't have been bad if I didn't have such an aching back.  They kept telling me to hold my breath and I couldn't hold as long as they needed me to.  Probably because I was a bit freaked out.

MRI's are really loud.  Lots of beeping, my baby was going crazy kicking.  I kept contracting (because of the heavy thing on my belly) and I honestly thought I might hemorrhage right there inside the MRI machine.  Wouldn't that have been funny?  Ha!

I had to use my best mind control efforts to breath and not push my little alarm button.  I was completely still, because anytime I moved one leg I'd get that shooting pain up my back.  

When they finally let me out, I almost passed out.  (i pushed the alarm button on my way out- just because i wanted to so bad.)  It took me a few minutes to figure out how I could stand up... My back hurts just remembering.  

Finally, I just rolled off the table a bit dramatically.  I was so quiet and still during the scan I think everyone was surprised how much pain I was in when it was over.  Blah.  I hated that.

I know that my MRI rendition seems a bit dramatic-- but it was hard.  Glad it's over.

Doctors just showed me the results this morning.  I do have Percretta.  The tip of my bladder is involved and my cervix.  My bowels don't seem to be involved!

I love the pictures!! They are so cool-- I'm showing you an iPhone picture of the computer showing me the MRI.  You can see the fuzzy line where my placenta mixes with my bladder in the picture where you can see the Dr's finger pointing...  They still don't think it is through all the layers of my bladder- and not near my ureters.
Here the doctor is pointing to the specific spot where my placenta is invading my bladder.
I'm fasting so my bladder is the white, smashed, rectangular thing at the bottom (under her finger).
My placenta is the big, kind of speckled, white oval taking up most of my stomach in this picture.
They are looking for crisp lines versus fuzzy lines.
The fuzzy lines at the top of the bladder suggest that the placenta has grown into the lining of the bladder.
Can you see that fuzzy spot where the bladder seems to be combining with the placenta...
THAT, my friends, is a lovely Percretta.
There should be a crisp, clean uterus boundary between my placenta and my bladder.  
My surgeon is coming to talk to me today.
A resident got a text this morning from my fetal medicine doctor saying, "I told Jen already that she would still have great sex even without a cervix."  Ha!  Even I blushed a bit at that one.  The residents were all laughing.  

6 days till d-day!!
Today I'm 33 weeks pregnant!!
I'm sure I will never have another MRI while pregnant.  !!!!
Happy Friday!

May 30, 2013

Day 30!!

30 days here in my little home away from home.

I was flipping channels (a bit stir-crazy) and I stopped at Judge Mathis.  He's a pretty funny, black judge.  I almost watched a full episode-- turned it off when a couple of promiscuous roommates started arguing over bills.  Ahhh- this is what 30 days in the hospital has done for me.

My BFF is pregnant and due June 1st with her 7th child.  Her other kids just got out of school for the summer.  She texted me yesterday that she is dilated to a 2, having contractions and exhausted.  She said that she wishes she could trade places with me for a week.  And, considering that my surgery is a week away, I think that is a pretty generous offer.

I honestly think every pregnant woman should experience bed rest at least a few hours everyday.  Rest is important.  As you learn to truly rest (not escape or veg-out, or lay in bed physically with your mind racing) you learn who you really are at your core.  Rest, stillness and peace are as good for the soul as work and stretching, learning and growth.  I hope this time in the hospital has taught me to find stillness.

You might think your life is too busy for rest.  And, my friends, you are right.  If you don't have time for some rest you are too busy.  I was too busy.  I needed more help than I would ever allow.  Resting for 6 months and watching my home and family not fall apart has shown me that I could have taken a nap one afternoon and been ok.

30 days-
::I painted my nails.
::i realized I'm no longer bothered by the bandage peeking out of my shirts.
::i spent too long avoiding meals that I have no desire to eat.
::I loved the cute pillowcase I got from all the kids in my church Sunday School Primary classes.
::And, I love the warm fleece blanket the young women made for me.  All around my room, I see love!
::I read some and stitched some and finished all the Doc Marten's on Netflix.
::I talked for too long to a nurse I'd never met before about purses (I think I'm ready to buy a grown-up purse) and my upcoming surgery.  (She said I was inspiring, but I honestly think she wrote "a little bit mental" in my chart notes.)

And that's all folks...
Today I have a busy day--
I had a dressing change for my central line. A cross-type and match for blood.
I'm bra-less (no metal allowed) and awaiting my first MRI with some special dye that is a bit controversial in pregnancy.  I have to fill out an advance directive with Todd.  And, I have a non-stress test.  Hopefully Todd goes out of the hospital to buy me some yummy food-- I'm fasting for my MRI.

One week from this morning I will see my little guy!
Have I told you how adorable I think his little heartbeat is?
My nurses are all shocked that I have been here so long without a bleed... I think the doctors just put the fear of God in me.  I think my body is holding on for all it's worth.  

Today I am so grateful I'm still pregnant!!
I'm grateful for 30 days in the hospital.
And, I'm a bit nervous for surgery, but super excited to move from the waiting stage to the recovery stage.
I'm ready to see what life after the hospital is like!!
Life is good.

May 29, 2013

Day 29- single digit countdown.

Whoa.  9 days till surgery.

I got a funny letter from Ellie yesterday...
Dear Mom,
I was going to buy you a card but I spent the money on me instead.  It's hard to buy something when your allowance is small, so be happy I made you anything at all.
Love, Ellie
(I mean what I said about the allowance.)

In Ellie's defense, she is one of my most generous children.
My room is covered with sweet gifts and cards she has made.
She makes me laugh.

Yesterday was a pretty fun day.
I had a friend visit, got a blood transfusion (the nurse forgot to clamp the blood when she unhooked me and it squirted everywhere), ate lunch with Todd and Leah, we sold our Guinea Pigs to a pet store, I read a book, and I watched Extreme Weight Loss.

I had a cute, young doctor come and talk to me yesterday morning.  He acted like my surgery would be easy and no big deal.  He felt confidant that my recovery would be quick.  I honestly sat there in shock.  I have NEVER heard a doctor talk positively about my surgery before.  I laughed and told him I wanted to talk to him on the morning of my surgery.  I would also like to have this doctor in one chair and my main doctor in another chair.  Wouldn't it be funny to hear them discuss the same surgery?

I really, really needed to hear his optimism.  I'm holding onto that and walking forward.

My kids got lambs this weekend.  Yes, we got rid of Guinea Pigs and adopted 4 baby lambs.  The lambs will be sold at fair, so they aren't long-term.  I am so grateful for sweet friends who help make this possible.

Life is good.
Enjoy your day!!
Ugh.  I have a lot of fun pictures but my iphone blogger isn't working well...

May 28, 2013

Day 28- same old same old.

I love the cute texts, emails and facebook messages I get when I miss a day posting on my blog.
I'm still here.  I actually wrote a blog yesterday, but it is stuck on my iphone app blogger... it still says, that it's "publishing".

Holidays and Saturdays are hard.  Everybody is busy with their families, so I am pretty alone.  Phone calls are full of fun background noise and in comparison, my life seems rather dull.

I did read a good book and just relaxed.
I was having some contractions last night, so they kept an eye on me.  But, overall things are good here.
I'm just resting and waiting and counting down the days.

My hospital friend has gestational diabetes.  Food services has to monitor her carbs and they are pretty strict about what she can order.  She tried some fish last night but it was so nasty that she couldn't eat it.  When she tried to reorder they treated her like a criminal sneaking food.  She was in tears and ended up having her nurse take her down to the cafeteria to get some dinner.  It is hard being in the hospital for weeks at a time.

There is such a fine balance between caring for a patient and being demeaning to a patient.  I think nurses have to balance the same line that parents of teenagers have to balance.  Doing what is best vs. respecting the agency of others.  It is an interesting dynamic.  For every one cranky person, I have found 40 amazingly kind, serving people.  The hospital is a really great place to be.  Good people are here.  I hope one of my children chooses the medical profession.

Today, I have a big day.
I, um, am planning on taking a shower.
I will order me some breakfast.
Todd and Leah are coming up to eat lunch with me.
(My guinea pig lady called back and she IS taking the babies and two boar pigs.  Todd's meeting her today to hand them off.  We are going to keep our two moms.  Everything DID work out- it ALWAYS does.)
I will stitch some, watch Doc Martin some, and... rest.

My doctor this morning was great.   He acted like my surgery was not that big of a deal because it is so well planned ahead of time.  The REAL risk of Accreta is when they don't know about it and don't have enough blood waiting.  When they aren't planning on a hysterectomy and have to change plans at the last minute, things get scary.  The worst Percretta case they have had here was a Jehovah's witness mom who started out anemic and refused blood transfusions.  Her surgery was scary because it is very difficult to perform without blood loss.  He really thinks my surgery will go well and that my recovery should be quick.

I have an MRI scheduled for Thursday.  Their main question is whether or not my bowels are involved.  My placenta is definitely Percretta-- floating around a lot outside of my uterus.  What they cannot determine before surgery is how attached it is to my other organs.  He said it is really hard to tell if the bladder/placenta are just like two fingers next to each other, or two fingers super-glued together.  We'll see what they find when they get in there.  I keep joking that my placenta is going to peel off my other organs just like chicken skin off a thigh.  :)

Another mom on bed rest went into labor last night.  Everyone was on high alert for me because my main doctors were on vacation.  So, when the call came in my substitute doctors all freaked out a little bit.  Ha!  Glad it was a false alarm for both of our sakes.

I had a baby next store to me all last week who was so sad.  She cried night and day.  I worried about how the mother was coping.  I really, really think there was something wrong with that baby.  The nurses couldn't tell me for sure, but I'm pretty sure that it was a drug baby.  I've heard about drug babies before, but never heard one.  SOO sad.  I wish I could do more for those babies.  My mother heart just wanted to knock on the door, swaddle that baby up and rock with her.  My children are so lucky.  Your children are so lucky.  We all need to do more for those who are born into difficult situations.  We all can do something more, can't we?

That's all.
Have a great day.
My countdown is freaking me out a bit... only 10 days till my surgery.
I'm almost out of double-digits.
I'm so sick of writing about myself I'm sure you're sick of hearing about me...  :)
Still nothing exciting to report!!

Life is good.

May 26, 2013

Day 26- It's Not You, It's Me.

{I hate this post- feel free to skip it. I should have...}

Todd went home.
I watched Doc Martin and stitched.
I found a mistake I'd made on one line that affected/effected (I'd go with the A but i'm not in the mood for grammar rules) how I counted other lines... Blah.

I finished all my picture books up until the year I started my blog- and now I'm stuck. I have a hard time figuring out a layout that I like with my blog posts imported and I don't want a book of pictures without the fun things I wrote about them. So, I've hit a road block and have been avoiding photo albums lately...

My central line clotted and they had to TPA it. (Draino for central lines.). Not a big deal but still freaky. I told them yesterday that my line wasn't right and they said it was fine. Now all of a sudden something is wrong-- they should have listened yesterday...

They started me on thyroid medication. I felt a bit racey all day. I feel like I'm gaining so much weight- I'm bigger than I've ever been. EVER.  (6 months of bed rest + pregnancy eating = more weight gain, duh)  Thyroid medication should help. I'm not a big fan of more meds, and I'm concerned that these issues will hang around after baby... I've never had issues with my thyroid or my weight. This is just one more thing.

I was sweaty hot, so I turned down the thermostat and now my room is a refrigerator .. but I'm too lazy to mess with it again.

I had a nurse that sort of drives me crazy with her exact rules. My wristband bugs me, so I slipped it off and another nurse just taped it on my bed- I'm in bed all day anyway. It has been this way for a week, but my rule-following nurse gave me a lecture about how after I deliver it could stay taped on the bed and they could think another patient is me. Whatever. Not a big deal to wear the dumb band, just one more thing.

Don't you hate trying to be nice when you feel a bit annoyed? I know she was just trying to help- but it was a long day of trying to be nice, instead of a day with nurses I easily love. (I have the same nurse for the next 3 days.) Plus, she's training another girl so every time they come in they take 40 minutes assessing me in depth. Again, I'm grateful they are caring for me, but it's annoying. Most nurses just say, "Any changes?"

"Any changes that we should know about?"
"Any bleeding?"
"Any contractions?"
"Any discharge, headachess, swelling, trouble breathing?"
"Anything we can do for you?"
"No thanks. I think I'm good."
"Will you call me if there are any changes?"
I know they need to ask me these question 100 times a day.
They are just good people doing their job, taking care of me.
30 seconds of dumb questions-- no big deal, right?!
But, sometimes I want to scream at them- "I said I would tell you if there were changes."
I want to yell at the 80th "Are you bleeding?"
"I'm NOT stupid.  I would not be sitting here cross stitching in my bed if I were bleeding!!"
What do they think, they'll ask me if I'm bleeding and I'll say, "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, I started bleeding an hour ago."
Um, no! I'm more freaked out about bleeding out than they are.
Most of the time the hospital doesn't bother me at all... but sometimes I want to throw a silly tantrum.

I am so grateful for many people who are taking care of me.
I am grateful.
I AM grateful to be here, grateful to have a healthy baby in my womb, grateful for doctors and nurses and house keeping and transportation, and non-stress tests and central lines.
This baby is WORTH it!!!!
I'm Grateful...
(and just a wee bit sick of it)
Oh the joys of hospital bed rest...
Cranky, cranky Jen.

And, I had the sweetest, sweetest CNA (from Ethiopia) who checks my vitals, fills my water bottle, and changes my sheets. She is the same pregnant as me, 32 weeks, with her third child and first boy. As I watch her work I am so jealous of her.  (I even thought that they should not be able to hire pregnant woman on bed rest units.)  While she bounces around my room, I try to just keep stitching from my chair and not think about how much I wish I were home changing the sheets on my own bed. I wonder if she ever wishes she didn't have to work and that someone else could bring her a water-bottle full of ice water?

Want me to tell you something else that bugs me? I'm on a roll...

I hate it when nurses talk like my baby is bad because he kicks or moves around during non-stress tests or heartbeat checks. My favorite nurses say things like "he is always so happy!" I don't love the "He's a rebel already" comments... Just sayin.

AND- we have tons of guinea pigs that we need to get rid of. I was probably stupid when I bred them-- but, the breeder that I bought them from assured me they were easy to sell. I asked her 20 times if I could give them back to her if I was unable to sell them. She has tons of pigs and has contracts with pet stores in the area. She assured me over and over that she would take them if I couldn't sell them. I was trusting on that assurance every time Todd said I was dumb for breeding our pigs.

I talked to her yesterday and Friday for hours. She is nice and told me all about her children and her guinea pig history- but, she said she can't take our pigs. Ugh!! We are moving and have to get rid of them... We are still trying Craig's List, it's just one more thing to worry about. I feel bad that I left Todd to deal with this mess, and I hear his very loud, non spoken (or rarely spoken) "I told you so." Blah.

Todd and I are sort of fighting because I want to keep 2 pigs and he wants to get rid of them all. I feel an emotional connection to these pets- for my kids. I don't want them to have to loose everything they love because I'm in the hospital and unable to help care for them. Todd says we aren't going to be worrying about guinea pigs when we move. We can buy more in NY if we want to. He says it isn't my decision because I'm not the one that will be dealing with them. I WISH I was the one dealing with them.

I think guinea pigs are becoming a small thing in our lives that are way more symbolic of this stressful situation. He feels overwhelmed and needs to simplify. I feel out of control and need to hold on to my normal. Poor piggies are caught in the middle.

My pregnant-with-twins hospital friend, Naomi, came to my room last night. We watched the old Parent Trap movie together and she ordered her dinner in my room. It was nice having someone to talk and laugh with. I'm grateful for her.

My night nurse chatted with me for a long time. She's atheist, but has seen many miracles in her profession. We talked about the power of faith and hope in the healing process. So interesting and very real- even if you don't believe in God.

(It was nice being with people-- even though part of me just wanted to be alone in my crankiness.)

Because I can feel myself a little anxious and hormonal, I try to listen to inspirational talks or music. Hearing stories of faith definitely lifts my spirits. I won't let myself be rude. I pray for empathy and perspective and peace. I'm trying... But my wild emotions are still not far from the surface.

Some family members are flying out to be here during my surgery. I have this weird anxiety about visitors when I'm not doing well. I hope I'm able to be grateful for their company. I kept trying to say that I would be up for visitors at the end of the month, but I do understand why they want to be here for the surgery. They love me and are concerned. I'm grateful for that.

When I'm in labor, I tend to be very internal and quiet. The harder things are, the more isolated I become. I don't want nurses in my room laughing and talking, I need to concentrate and not worry about how my actions are affecting other people.

I'm scared for this surgery and recovery. It will take all my internal strength to do this. The night before my surgery, I want to be alone with my husband. Quiet, prayerful, and preparing. It will be an intimate, difficult night for me-- not a time for consoling or visiting with concerned family members.

I don't want my kids anywhere near me until I am well enough to smile and not scare them. I am definitely the animal that wants to climb into a hole until I'm well enough to see people again. Maybe that isn't the best way.

I keep telling myself not to worry... I need to trust the process. I need to stop worrying about my cervix and trust my surgeon. Stop worrying about my central line, stop worrying about visitors, stop worrying about my thyroid or how much weight I'm gaining, forget about Guinea Pigs and new houses and vans big enough to fit my eight.

Maybe my tendency towards isolation isn't good- maybe I'll be grateful for distraction and visitors. Maybe, it's not all about me. Maybe they need to be here. Maybe Todd will need the support.

All I can do is take one day at a time- and I can handle today!!

I do have faith. I am grateful. I am not alone, things could be so much worse! This too shall pass, and one day we will all laugh about our 12 guinea pigs. :) My life has much goodness. I KNOW that things will all work out. God is for me... I just need to do one stitch, one row, one color at a time.

Sorry to whine today. (You can handle me cranky- right?) I am surprised at the stress that came out as I wrote this blog. I feel like a soda can that bubbles over when you just open it a bit. I suppose this is normal- although I prefer happy days.
I need a big sign on my head that says "It's not you, it's me."

My hospital friend teases me that cross stitching is my stress tactic. She laughs that when the nurses start talking about my surgery or things that make me nervous, I pick up my sampler and stitch away... Ha! Maybe I will get this finished after all. It is just taking SO long...

Life is good!
He is worth this.
(Even when I'm whiney!)
And soon, I'll be dancing with my kids again, like my Accreta friend is!! I'm so happy for her!
I can do this.

May 25, 2013

Day 25- 16 years

My day count has been off, so I fixed it.

Today was my 16th anniversary.
A nurse stole some markers and paper from the children's hospital. I made some streamers and signs and thought about how I wish we could celebrate our day.

Todd was darling. He brought me 16 roses and set up a darling non-lit candlelight dinner. He brought speakers and an I touch of love songs to serenade us while we ate chocolate, Pelligrino, and yummy take-out. I love that man.

We cuddled in my hospital bed while he watched LesMis and I cried beside him. I love and miss him so much it hurts.

I can handle these weeks away from home when I stay logical and philosophical. But, when I tap into my heart I'm done. Sigh. Cuddling my kids, laying near my husband, or seeing my sweet baby in an ultrasound just opens the floodgates. Poor Todd didn't really know what to say as each love song made me cry harder. :)

I am so grateful for the love that I have in my life. The past 16 years have been rich and beautiful. I wouldn't trade my life for anything on earth.

I know as we celebrate the next 16 Anniversaries, we will never forget this 16th at the hospital.

Life is good.
You are so blessed to be with your family!

I am more in love today than I was 16 years ago... And so blessed.

May 24, 2013

Day 22- Two Weeks Till Surgery!!

Two weeks from today- the Thursday after next.
I'm excited and freaked out.

I miss normal life desperately.
I still have huge compassion for normal, hard pregnancies and people who feel tired and overwhelmed with normal life. BUT- I miss normal life so much it hurts!

I'm different. This pregnancy has changed me.

When I'm back in my life I will be different.
Two weeks until my hard part begins-- healing, learning to mother 8, coming back to reality... I want to return to my old life, but I want to do it better. I think this experience has refined me and changed my perspective. I want this to have been a productive intermission in my life, not an interruption.

I think often about how I will change-- here's what I think...

I have learned the value of rest. I'll expect less of myself. I'll hire help. I'll spend more time doing what I want to do and less time pushing through things I don't want to do.

I won't feel guilty about laundry not put away. I will feel deep gratitude for the ability to work. I will cherish every moment I get to rock or love on my children. I will know that I'm a hard worker, a great mother, an organized homemaker. I'll worry less about finishing and enjoy the daily doing.

I'll spend more time ministering to my children and less time administering. I'll listen to those thoughts like, "I should take this child out to lunch", more than I will listen to the thought, "today is laundry day".

Every single time I walk up the stairs carrying a laundry basket of dirty laundry, I will thank God for the privilege. If I'm tired and wishing for a day of bed rest, I will spend a morning in bed- and I will remember quickly how much I love to be up and doing.

I will sing praises to Heaven for the ability to run around my house and do a five minute straighten!! Every time I bend down to pick up a marble under the coffee table, I will smile.

I will have people over to my house more, and never apologize to someone who sees me or my house looking real-life. I will live in the moment with contentment and not worry if I have to run to the grocery store more than once every two weeks-- I'm ok with not being a super planner.

I will spend more time outside and many more afternoons at the park.

I will always be grateful for the freedom of being able to drive. I will listen with new, grateful ears as my children and their friends pile into my car after school.

I will accept the fatigue that comes from hard work with gratitude not guilt that I couldn't do more. I will work hard and then rest hard with gratitude. (I think I was used to working, working, working... and I missed the time for rest. Having spent 6 months resting I have learned we always have time for rest. Even if you think you can't-- you really can.) I will strive for a life of ebbs and flows.

I will do less by myself-- I really think we all need each other so much. I'll do more play dates or kid swaps. I'm going to hire someone to help me with housework. I'm going to hire more babysitters so I can do more fun things with my older kids. I'm going to take more time for myself- being alone to think has been good for me.

I'm going to cuddle hard with my husband and thank God deeply for every night I climb in bed with him beside me. I'm going to run and feel every part of my body move!

I will hold and cherish every moment of my sweet last baby boy. I'm going to cherish each milestone, mourn the ending of my childbearing era and celebrate the fact that I embraced these years with fullness and gusto! I am going to squeeze every last ounce of childhood out of my brood and look forward with excitement for my next stages of life. I will serve others more.

I will give more simple gifts to people who are struggling- worrying less about my inability to change their situation and more about my ability to encourage and support. I will notice others more, visit people more, send simple texts, pray for others, just stop by to say hi. I will bring more meals or watch more kids. People are so kind- I want to be more kind.

I hope I will always remember these days.
I hope I am changed for good.
I hope that I have allowed these months to mold me into something better and brighter.

Last weekend my cousin organized a family fast for me. I feel so touched. My mother told me that even my cute agnostic brother joined in a day of fasting. Thank you! Thank you all for your kind thoughts, prayers and efforts. I feel so blessed to be here on the receiving end of such goodness.

People are so good.
I love this life journey.

May 23, 2013

Day 21- Hello Baby!

I had another ultrasound today.
My little guy is 4lbs 7ozs!!
Doesn't that sound biggish?
They think he'll be about 5lbs 4ozs or 2400g at the time of delivery!
Not too small... I hope.

He really is the cutest little thing.

They had me empty my bladder in the bathroom, then asked me to un-dress for an internal ultrasound.

When I got back from the bathroom, I noticed the sonographer forgot to leave me a sheet-- so I found one in the cabinet, undressed, and laid in the bed to wait. I laid for awhile then noticed my phone wasn't on the chair where I thought I'd left it. I thought maybe I had forgotten it in the bathroom. I kept waiting...

Finally, I looked at the ultrasound monitor and noticed it said another lady's name! I had been waiting in the wrong room!! Ha!

I wasn't about to get dressed and undress again, so I wrapped myself in a sheet toga, grabbed my clothes, and ran down the hall looking for my right room. I was laughing when the Sonographer and Doctor showed up moments later and saw me all wrapped in my sheet. Can you imagine this crazy, naked, pregnant lady running down the hallway? Oh my.

That's all friends!

I'm doing well...

It looks like my placenta is all connected with my cervix. So, when they remove my uterus, they will remove my cervix also. I spent some time talking about how this will affect my intimate life. Cervix removal can influence vaginal wetness and can contribute to vaginal prolapse as you get older. Blah.

I told my doctor that they can have my uterus- I am done having children. But, they needed to leave me with my ability to enjoy intimacy. I have worked pretty hard to figure everything out and I plan on enjoying a physical relationship with my husband for many more years! (Sorry if this is TMI.)

She said this surgery will change things, but that it may even make things better.
We'll see... My surgeon is supposed to be the best! I'm going to resume this conversation with her next time I see her.

I like my cervix. I understand that it is pretty risky leaving in a cervix that has placental tissue inside it... This can lead to cervical cancer later on. My doctors laugh at me being so concerned-- I would think anyone would ask these questions when facing a pretty invasive gutting. Wouldn't they? :)

15 days!! Can you believe it?!

May 22, 2013

Day 20- Sunny Again.

I could hardly call my best friends to bask in the drama of potentially loosing insurance coverage before I got an email from Todd saying OSU will keep us insured and pay us the summer support we were planning on.  (I do know it's not super-classy to talk about insurance/financial concerns... But honestly, when you're facing a million dollar hospital stay and surgery, finances are in the back of your mind.)

God is good to us. Why do I ever doubt?

We are moving to Syracuse in August-- hopefully the baby and I are both healthy and ready to travel by then. Although it is funny timing, we are excited for this new opportunity. It is common to move around in academia.

This is a great job promotion for Todd and Jakob is just starting high school. I'd rather move now and stay in Syracuse for sometime. Plus, we'll be closer to our east coast family- which will be fun. Sigh-- we do have a crazy summer ahead of us!! Oh how we will miss our beloved Oregon.

Today was a great day! I had to force myself to get up, cover my central line to waterproof it, shower (hospital showering is ridiculously difficult), blow dry my hair, get dressed, put on makeup, read my scriptures, order breakfast, work on a project... The beginning steps were labored, but as I followed my routine, I felt sunshiney again. There is power in going through the motions!!

My day turned out great! It was full of good news, some uplifting phone chats with friends, inspirational talks (priesthood session of conference), movie night in my room with my bed rest pregnant with twins friend, lots of stitching on my sampler, and a late-night chat with one of my favorite nurses. One of my favorite days in the hospital so far!

Only 15 days till delivery... It's coming fast!
Can't wait to meet this little guy!

{Can I just tell you how much I love hearing his ping pong-y heart beat every 4 hours. He is an active little guy and I'm a smitten mother... Just saying'}

Life is good!
(can't wait to bathe or shower without being wrapped in Saran-wrap!)
Enjoy your day!!


I think all my kids look a bit squished under the tree... oh well.
I'm hoping when it is all finished it won't look so crowded?!

May 21, 2013

Day 19- It Could Be Worse

Another day...
While IV Therapy nurses debated how often they need to change the ports on my central line, Todd read an email saying we might not have insurance or summer support this summer (because we are moving in August). I was afraid this might happen. I'm sure everything will work out fine- but it is just one more thing to worry about.

Todd accepted a job in Syracuse, NY. We need to be there in the middle of August. We've been looking for houses for some time on the Internet. I think I have combined all the good things of houses we've looked at, so now I'm hoping for my dream house. We'll see. It is hard to buy a house from a hospital room.

Late last night I heard a young (around 3 year old) girl crying in the room next door from me. It was close to 11pm and she was obviously bored and tired. Her young father was fed up with her. It broke my heart hearing her saying "Ouch daddy, owe!" as she cried.

Finally, I gathered my pile of toys (a stuffed cat, play doh, magna doodle and a handful of lollipops) and knocked on their door. I introduced myself (the crazy lady next door) and offered my pile. That mom had just delivered a 6lb10oz 34 week baby. He is in the NICU. They were nice people dealing with a stressful situation. The little girl was much happier with something to do.

Sometimes it is hard for me to hear my husband complain about all he has to do for our kids. I know that he is under a lot of stress and that he has a lot to do at home without me. But, hearing him complain about doing what I would give anything to be able to do- is very, very difficult.

Today I am wishing for just one day at home to hug and cuddle and love on my husband and kids. I wish I could just pause this little hospital visit and insert a few normal days. I'm so grateful for my MIL and Todd, but mom is different. Loving the needy one comes more natural to me... And, I think I have a house full of needy ones right now. Sigh.

That's all... I probably shouldn't have told you all this negative stuff. But, I'm real. And, sometimes this hospital gig is tough.

My anniversary is Friday?! Wish we could have one date night out... I better get planning.

We had green bean fries for lunch... I finished photo books for 2005, 2006, and 2007... I added Eve, Jakob and half of Drew to my sampler... And I watched Dancing with the stars finale.

Even wishing for "normal", this life is not too bad.
It could be worse!

I know!!  Look at that belly!
I really feel like this baby knows he is coming early and he is growing quickly.
This is my last pregnant belly ever!!  I'm letting myself bask in hugeness!!

May 20, 2013

Day 18- 18 to go!!

I've officially reached the halfway mark.

Everyone came to visit today! It is so fun when my room is full. My MIL packed a picnic dinner that we ate down in the hospital. I wish I had a picture of that.

One of my favorite things about being in the hospital is having my boys bring me the sacrament. We always sing together before Todd blesses the bread- it is a holy moment with my family.

Ellie spent the night last night. We watched 17 Miracles, A Cinderella Story, and the beginning of While You Were Sleeping. Ellie is so fun to hang out with. She's working on her cross-stitch. Love that sweet girl! Love these moments with my kids...

I finished 2006 and almost 2005.
I'm halfway to D-day! Better get to work!!!

May 19, 2013

Day 17- Mmmm Blood...

Todd called me after a long day at the 4H pet fair. He complained that it had been a long, boring day for him. I chuckled. Not much sympathy here for long, boring days. I think Saturdays at the hospitals are the hardest. Sunday's are fun because my whole family comes to visit.

When I realized I only have 19 days till my surgery I decided I needed to get serious about the photo books I need to get done. I'm trying to figure out my new laptop, trying to decide what company to use, trying to edit my pictures and trying to decide if I want a family book, individual books per kid, or if I want to print my blog with my pictures. I decided to stop thinking about it and just do something.

I got a good first draft of 2006 (my first digital year). I'm going to tweak things today and try to do a year every two days. We'll see...

My chain is down to 19 rings-- that still sounds like a lot, but it no longer reaches across my window. Progress.

Last night, Todd called from the movies. He took his dad with him on a group date with all our friends. I felt sad for a minute than decided it would be movie night in room 28. We (I mean I) watched A Cinderella story and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I left the door to my room open and laughed as the nurses tried to stop visiting kids from racing up and down the hallway in wheelchairs.

I can't tell you the last time I have ever watched a movie by myself. Instead of feeling sad, I was soo grateful for the family I have. My Saturdays are usually full and fun without any effort at all.

I had to snap a picture of my morning central line blood draw and flush. If I were a druggie this would be quite a cocktail for breakfast.

Around lunchtime they decided to transfuse me two units of blood-- using my central line, which is just about in my armpit. Yummy.

For dinner-- they requested a urine sample.

Boy-- what a day!
Hope you enjoyed your Saturday!!

Ugh.  I'm trying to fit 8 kids on this row... hope it doesn't look too crowded around the tree.
(The little boy under the tree is the baby I'm pregnant with.
I chose to give him light brown hair and blue eyes- we'll see!)
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