Monday, January 29, 2007

A this bitter pill....

Why is it that people mistake hurt for bitterness?

There's a woman on my message board who is PG with her second. She hates being pregnant. She lets everyone know how much she hates it. Today, someone told her that it could be worse, she could still be TTC. She called her bitter.

It hurts to read how much she hates being pregnant. It just does. There are women, myself included who want to be pregnant so badly that it hurts, hurts to read how much others hate it. Yes, I *do* think to myself "you have no idea how much I want to be pregnant, how can you complain?"

Does that make me bitter? I don't think it does. I don't begrudge her her pregnancy. I'm happy for her, but it stings to hear her complain about it. Because she doesn't realize how lucky she is. She doesn't get it.

Being hurt and being bitter are two different things. Women get hurt. It hurts when I see a former student, all of 16 with her new baby. It hurts to hear women complain about the thing I want most in the world. I'll even admit that it hurts to hear women complain about getting close to their due date...yes, yes it does...but I try to understand. It's when it's over and over again that I speak up and say something. I do have that right don't I?

If that makes me bitter the so be it. I don't consider myself a bitter person. I do have feelings though, it's okay to show them, or it SHOULD be okay.

What do you think? What is the difference between being bitter and being hurt?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Moving on up....

AF showed friday, I knew she would. I stupidly wasted a HPT early that morning.

In our quandry over what to do, I asked Mr to call a friend of his and ask about thier experiences and who they saw. I'd have done it myself, but said friend's wife to say this...well, let's just say that I've never seen her in a good mood in the 5 years Mr and I have been together. I like her DH well enough and he's been a friend of Mr's since high school. L and I though, never been close. She's about to give birth and is easily irritated, as witnessed at her baby shower a few weeks ago.

Anyway...I asked Mr to call them. I know that they went though at least one IUI, an early M/C from that IUI and then months later got pg on a non-medicated cycle. Mr said he'd call, but he had to come up with a scenario first. (???!!!) MEN! You should have heard the lame story.

"Uh, I was wondering who you saw at the group. Linda's OB might be leaving town. (as that happens SO often) Did you guys go to a specialist there? I only ask because ya know, we are the same age as you guys and we might want to eventually see someone who is an expert IF we need one, uhh...ya know"

Brilliant dear, he'll NEVER figure that one out!

In the conversation, he got the name of the RE that (and I quote) "didn't help us a damn since we got pregnant without meds that month" (ahhh...they are such pleasant people huh?)

I called the RE friday, talked to the woman who answered the phone. I told her my situation and she said "oh honey, you need to come in!" I now have my first appointment with an RE!

Monday February 12th, 10 am

I have to get my records sent from my OB. Am I being disloyal? Should I have stayed with Dr K longer? Is it okay to do this? AHHHHHHH

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So now what?

Friday I had a 21 day blood draw to check for FSH, progesterone and thyroid levels. It went well, only 2 tries to get blood. (Average is 3 tries and 2 people)

I called yesterday for the results. The nurse called me back and told me that everything showed normal. I should probably have asked for specifics, but I didn't. Isn't hindsight 20/20?

She told me DrK said we could keep trying on our own or go straight to IUI.

Why did that make me panic? It's not like there is something wrong with us. Is that why I panicked? It would be so much easier if I knew WHY. If they started me on Clomid or even if they wanted a Day 3 blood test, I'd feel better.

A part of me says WOAH this doesn't sound right. A part of me feels guilty for second guessing my doc. A part of me wants to go right to IUI. A part of of me says it wouldn't help anyway.

How many parts of me are there?

So now what? We wait. AF should show by saturday if it's going to show. Then we make decisions. I'm looking into going to an RE. I don't know if I need a referral or what. I'm sure I probably do.

I'm past the edge now, the ball is rolling, but are we really prepared to keep up with it?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


It's national de-lurking week...

I don't think I actually have any lurkers, but if I do, say hi will ya?

Monday, January 8, 2007

A little bit of history

Not that you all care...but here's the full Boo birth's long...

My Miracle

Up until early August, I’d had a picture perfect pregnancy, no morning sickness or anything. I was due November 13th, 2003 and was finally in the 3rd trimester. Although it had been a wearying difficult summer since Mr’s mom got sick, things had been going well. The first week in August, I had some bleeding and went to the hospital. They checked and rechecked things and found nothing. I went home and was told to go back to my normal activity.
The next week, I flew back down to New Mexico to visit Mr’s mom who was having a difficult time in the long term care center she had been transferred too. She was disoriented and very lonely. I spent 4 days down there and realized that things were pretty bad for her. Although she had survived the heart attacks and pneumonia and her kidneys were working again, she was refusing to eat. It was not a pleasant visit and was hard on her as well as me.

Serious Complication

Friday August 20th, 2003 was the day everything changed. I had been running around doing errands. School was starting the next week and I had things to get for my classroom. I was not looking forward to going back to school. I had to get a gift for a surprise birthday party we were going to that evening. I had Braxton hicks contractions that afternoon and when I got home, I called Jeff and told him I was going to drink water and lay down. I was not quite 28 weeks.

I drank a glass of water, went to the bathroom and laid on the couch. It was 4:30. When Mr got home, I chatted with him for a few minutes and then got up to go to the bathroom. It was about 5:30. When I went to the bathroom, I found I had blood in my underwear, more than the last time. I called the doctor’s office and they told me to head to the hospital. My doctor was already there getting ready to deliver twins. Before I left, I made sure to drink juice and made sure that “Biscuit” was kicking.

When we got to the hospital, I went through the same routine as the last time. I gave a urine sample, they checked for a UTI. They put a monitor on me and ordered an ultrasound. When Dr. K came in, he stayed to see the ultrasound. He noticed that Biscuit was very much head down, way down! He asked the ultrasound tech to do an internal ultrasound to see how my cervix was. During this part of the ultrasound, I could see that the tech and Dr. K were looking at something more carefully. She flipped on the color Doppler and I remember her saying that there were vessels there. When she found them with the Doppler, she said they were fetal vessels.

At that point, Mr and I didn’t know anything was wrong yet. The baby was moving. She showed us the chambers of the heart and that they were beating strongly. Everything seemed fine to us. When the ultrasound was over, Dr. K said that he would go get some paper so he could show us what was going on. When he came back in the room, he explained that I had Vasa Previa, the vessels of the umbilical cord grew through my bag of waters and across my cervix. He said that I would have to have a C-section, probably at 35 or 36 weeks. Then he asked me if I’d ever been admitted to the hospital before. This threw me for a loop and I asked “am I being admitted?” He then told me that I was NOT going home until I had the baby!

It’s at this point that I got scared. He explained that I would be in the hospital and monitored until I had the c-section. I would even be laying in bed with the foot of the bed raised as the baby’s head was so far down and could press on the vessels. When he left the room, I just looked at Mr. and started to cry. I asked him to call my SIL. She is my best friend and works in the lab at a hospital. I needed to break this news. Mr called her and I was still in tears, but as soon as she got on the phone, I stopped crying. I am not sure when the next time I actually cried was, but I decided right there and then that crying wasn’t going to help. I needed to be strong because I felt that if I wasn’t, no one else would be either and I couldn’t handle that. SIL told me she would be there if I needed her, I did.

They moved me to a labor and delivery room and gave me a shot of steroids to help develop the baby’s lungs. They hooked me to monitors and started an IV, just in case. They weren’t finished putting in the IV when Dr. K came back into the room. He told them to finish the IV, but not do anything else as he had called MedEvac and there was a helicopter on the way to transport me to the University of Iowa Hospitals. He wanted me to be at a hospital that could better handle a preemie at 28 weeks. He refused to transfer me in an ambulance as that hospital is 45 minutes away. He couldn’t risk me going into labor due to a bumpy ride. If my water broke, the baby would die. Mr sort of freaked out at this point. He asked if he needed to ride with me. He is deathly afraid of planes and was afraid that he couldn’t have gone had he needed to. Turns out, when they air lift you, no one rides with. I quickly sent him home with a list of things to get me and meet me in Iowa City. It was about 9:00 by this time.

It’s a surreal experience to be airlifted. They hook you to monitors and strap you in. I had a clear view of the monitors. It’s odd to see your own heart rate on a monitor. They put headphones on me and I couldn’t hear anything. At one point, the numbers on the monitor went nuts and the medic flicked on my headphones to tell me that it was okay, the wire had wiggled loose. The helicopter ride to Iowa City takes 18 minutes from takeoff to touchdown. It took longer to get me to the labor and delivery floor after getting off than the actual ride!
When I got to Iowa City, they did another ultrasound and they didn’t find the vessels that my doctor had found. Luckily, he had sent a CD of the ultrasound and they saw them clearly there. I was again hooked to an IV. I finally got to order some food. It was now about 10:30. Mr had gotten there about that time. He spent the night with me.

My parents and sister in law came to see me the next morning. I met with doctors and the neonatologist. I was given the second dose of steroids for the baby’s lungs. They told me what to expect if we had to deliver right then. I’m glad that I was somewhat prepared for what I had ahead. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to hold my baby right away. There is a risk of brain bleeds in preemies. I was told that I could pump and freeze breast milk, but that they generally don’t feed them immediately. I had Mr go on a tour of the NICU there so that he was prepared.
I was also told that there was a chance that if my water broke, even being in the hospital across the hall from the operating room there was a chance they couldn’t get the baby out fast enough. A baby that small has a tiny amount of blood in their body. The baby could bleed to death in a matter of minutes if the vessels broke. I tried not to dwell on this information, but I knew it was important to be somewhat prepared.

This is a very rare condition, the chances of having it are about 1 in 2500. Iowa City sees maybe one case in a year. The doctors there were astonished that my doctor found this. Most cases are not found before the membranes rupture. The mortality rate for undiagnosed cases is 95%. The mortality rate decreases dramatically if diagnosed, but there are still very real dangers.

On Monday, I had another ultrasound. They confirmed my condition. Then the head OB’s there came to talk to me. They told me that they were releasing me. I could NOT believe this. A part of me was relieved, but also very scared. They told me that I was to make weekly appointments with Dr. K and schedule a c-section around 36 weeks. They told me that I could even go back to work. I told them I would NOT be doing that and that they WOULD be writing me a note saying I was on modified bedrest! I was NOT going to be starting the school year. I was supposed to report for the first day of meetings on Tuesday and there was no way I was going. My building is not air conditioned and I would have to walk up and down three flights of stairs several times a day if I were working. The finally agreed and wrote me a note.

I came home under the watchful eye of my mom. She stayed with me during the week and went home on the weekends. I wasn’t allowed out of the house on my own. I made an appointment for that Monday with Dr. K. He called me on Wednesday absolutely floored that Iowa City had sent me home. He told me that he would be doing some additional research about my condition. He told me that I WAS to be on bedrest. I could walk around the house, but not much. He told me that it was best for me just to “be still.”

Home, For a Few Days

On Tuesday August 24th, I made my mom take me to school. We had a brand new principal and I needed to let him know what was going on. That morning had been the first day of our contract and meetings. I had called the day before and briefly talked to him about the events of the weekend, but I felt that I needed to go in and talk in person. When I got there, the secretary told me that since I had missed the morning meeting, technically I didn’t begin my contract and wouldn’t get my sick pay for the year or be eligible for the Family Illness Leave Bank. I knew that I would need both the sick days and the bank, so when I spoke to my principal, he told me that he would fudge the papers if I came to the staff meeting in the morning, but that I was to leave as soon as I could afterwards. He was very understanding.

The next few days were pretty uneventful. On Monday, August 31st, I went to my doctor. He told me that he was still not sure if I’d be hospitalized or not. That afternoon, he called and told me that I’d be hospitalized the next day. I knew that was best for the baby, but I was still upset about it. I was having a hard time just being at home as it was. I did ask the doctor to make the calls needed to my insurance company. I knew that they were sticklers about getting preapproval and all that.

The next morning, I got a call from the doctor’s office telling me to hold tight. Insurance wasn’t going to let me be admitted. My doctor was FUMING about this and appealed several times to anyone who would listen, but could NOT get approval. I couldn’t go. I was told to stay home and be still. Dr. K had presented evidence showing that I should be hospitalized and monitored, but to no avail. I was in shock. If my doctor felt it was too dangerous for me to be home, how could they not let me go? Well, that’s insurance companies for you. They even had the guts to call me to tell me that they felt it was not going to save my child if I went in and offer me “high risk pregnancy support”!! Bastards, but I digress.

The next few days, I did all that I could to try to relax. I was not able to go back upstairs after I came down for the day until bed time. I laid on the couch a lot.

The End is Near

On Saturday September 5th, I woke up about 6:30 am. I went downstairs to pee and realized that I had more bleeding. I screamed up to Mr, threw on some flip flops and got in the car. We called the doctor on the way to the hospital. On the way there, I felt the baby move. I knew that it wasn’t enough blood to be a rupture but was pretty scared nonetheless. I was exactly 30 weeks.

Dr. K was out of town. I knew that he was on vacation, but that he had briefed everyone in his practice about me. They knew if I called, that it was an emergency. Dr. Y met us at the hospital. Even before he got there, the nurses had monitors on me. They put in a IV and told me to get ready for a c-section. I wasn’t quite ready to hear that so when Dr. Y got there, I asked him about it. He told me that things were stable. The baby’s heart rate was fine and although I was having contractions, they were tiny ones. I couldn’t even feel them. He said that unless I wanted to, he would wait. I also spoke with Dr. W a neo natologist. He told me that babies born at just under 30 weeks generally did okay. He took Mr on a tour of the Genesis NICU and was generally very reassuring.

After much thought, Mr and I decided to wait. We knew that it was a difficult balancing act, but every hour my baby could grow in my womb might mean days fewer spent in the NICU. It could mean the difference between delays and brain damage. This decision was not popular with the nurses. They wanted me to deliver right away. They had seen a patient with undiagnosed VP lose her baby. While I understood, I felt that I was doing what was best for MY baby. My doctor agreed. Dr. Y sat down with us and made a plan. If I had more bleeding, my contractions became more intense or the baby’s heart rate dipped, I would have an emergency c-section. Until then, we would wait. He did tell me that if at any time I wanted to deliver, he would do it immediately.

I was put on Magnesium Sulfate. It was horrible as they put me on a pretty high dose right away to stop the contractions. They never really stopped, but again, they were very light. Dr. Y told me that this happens all the time. You have contractions and can’t even feel them. For the first two days, I couldn’t get up. I had a catheter. I was barely allowed to sit up. I didn’t want to anyway as the Mag made me feel as though I’d been hit by a truck. The next day they turned it down and things got a little better.

I was the celebrity patient. I had the VP of the hospital in to talk to me about delivering. Every new nurse asked me if I’d like to deliver, telling me the dangers of waiting. I even had the head of nursing in. I found out later that they had called Dr. K in Florida and told him to call Y and have me delivered. They also initiated a case review after Boo was born because they felt that “no one was advocating for the unborn child.” Again, while I understand why they were apprehensive, I felt that what I was doing was best. I had done quite a bit of research on VP while I was at home. I knew the risks and felt that it was worth it to wait.

Saturday, September 11th was not a good day. I had been moved to two different rooms. The nurses moved me in the morning to a room directly across the hall from the operating room. I thought Dr. Y had told them to do so. I hated the new room. It was about ½ the size of my first room and had a tiny tiny window. I instantly felt claustrophobic. It was the worst day I’d had so far. I was depressed and upset and frustrated. To make things worse, the women who were supposedly my friends that I was working on a group project with for my masters decided to name themselves "the NON pregnant" group. I flipped out and was crying about it. It was stupid to cry over, but at that point, I was so isolated that I couldn't help it. Not one time during my hospitalization did my so called friends come to visit, NOT ONCE. Only my family came.
When Dr. Y came in late that afternoon to check on me, he asked why I had been moved. I told him that I thought he’d told them to. He hadn’t and when he saw how upset he was, he raised hell until I got to choose the room I wanted. I didn’t want to be the problem patient, but I was so glad to be in a regular room again! Mr brought me dinner that night. I was okay with hospital food for the most part, but I was totally jonesing for a Rueben from the Filling Station! Mr and I watched movies that night together. He had stayed at the hospital the first few nights, but with the animals at home and having to go to work, I’d told him to go back home. Before he left that night, I told him he needed to bring me HOT Krispee Kreme in the morning.

The Biscuit is Born

Sunday September 12th, I woke up early. I was 31 weeks, one day. Mr’s Aunt Vickie called me at about 8 and we chatted for a while. It was nice to talk to her. I called Mr after that and I remember turning the television to Speedvision. I knew he was watching the Formula One race. He was laughing that I actually had it on! At about 8:45, I told him to go get my Krispee Kreme and bring them. I called the nurse so that I could get in the shower. I wasn’t allowed up unless there was a nurse in the room.

I showered pretty quickly. They never wanted me up for long. When I got out of the shower and toweled off, I realized that I was bleeding again. I hadn’t even finished drying off. I called to the nurse who quickly got me back into bed and put monitors on me. Dr. Y was at the hospital and came right in. He saw the baby’s heart rate drop and told me that it was time. I didn’t question him, but I did ask if I could get my husband here. He told me that I had a little time. (he didn’t tell me how little…ha ha!)

I immediately called Mr. I asked him where he was. He told me that he was just pulling into Krispee Kreme. I told him to turn around because we were having a baby….today! He just said “what?” I told him what happened and to get to the hospital right away. Then I called my sister in law and my mom. I left a message for my mom. I knew she was at church. My SIL told me she would be on the road in 10 minutes. They both live over 2 hours away. Christa called my sister Mary. I told her I’d need the Power of Three, she assured me they would be there.

Mr was there in about 10 minutes. The nurses were putting in an additional IV and adjusting the other one. At this point, I was still wet from the shower. I made Mr grab the deodorant. I wasn’t having a baby without it! He laughed at me, but did it. I also made him brush my dripping wet hair!

They brought Mr scrubs, but told him that they may need to put me under and he might not be able to be in the operating room. I freaked out. I wanted him there. I needed to be able to be awake for this. It was incredibly important to me to be able to experience the baby’s birth. (by the way, we did NOT know the sex at this point) I was praying that I’d be able to have a spinal.

When they took me in to prep me, Rose, the only midwife I hadn’t met was there. She was wonderful. I told her that I really wanted a spinal and she spoke to the anesthesiologist. I would be getting a spinal and Mr would be able to be in the room. She held me while they inserted the needle. It took 3 tries. She made me put my forehead on hers and breathe and finally it worked!
When they had me all strapped down, the let Mr in. I told him that he needed to announce boy or girl if possible. We were both incredibly scared. I was shaking a bit, but not bad. I tried to be as positive as possible, tried to joke. It wasn’t really working though.

I felt a lot of tugging and pressure. Dr. Y explained things along the way. When he said he was delivering the baby, he had Mr look and announce the sex. I cannot explain to you how very special that moment when I heard him say, “it’s a boy” was to me. I felt a whoosh of relief and then began to ask, how doe he look? He was born at 10:51 am. I heard one small cry. They showed him to me for a split second. He was beautiful! Dr. Flaxman was the neo natologist on duty. He had an entire team there to care for the baby. I told Mr to go over to them. Watch over the baby.

I asked Mr if he looked like a Grant Spencer. We hadn’t really decided on a boy’s name yet. Mr said he did and I announced “then his name is Grant Spencer!” They finally told me that he was 4 pounds, 2 ounces and 17 ¼ inches long. Up until then, they were estimating him to be in the 3 pound range. I told Mr to go with him up to the NICU. He did.
Dr. Y delivered the placenta and said that not only were there vessels through the membrane, but that it was a bi-lobed placenta too. He saw evidence of stress on the fetal vessels as well. He said that if we had waited longer, they could have ruptured and that we made the right decision to deliver. He then asked if he could photograph the placenta. I told him yes, but only if I could have a copy for Christa. She is a histologist and would be very interested in seeing the photos.

After I was sewn up, the took me back to my room. I had to wait until I had enough fluids and the spinal had worn off somewhat. They monitored me pretty closely. Before they moved me to the mom and baby unit, the wheeled me in my bed up to the NICU. Mr was back down with me by then. It had been about an hour at this point. I knew that Grant was getting help breathing. I knew that they’d put IV’s into his umbilical cord. I knew he’d be hooked up to monitors. I knew that, but nothing quite prepares you to see this tiny infant hooked to monitors. I knew what the monitors were. I’d watched them all summer. It scared the hell out of me. I couldn’t get a look at his face because I couldn’t get close enough. I couldn’t touch him. I was dizzy from the trip up and almost passed out.

They settled me into my new room. My mom got there about noon or so. Christa and Mary got there soon after. I have to say that the Power of Three really came through for me. They had stopped and bought flowers and gifts and a birthday cake for Grant. It even had his name on it. I told Mr to take them up to see him. They told me how beautiful he was. Thank God for my family. I needed someone to celebrate this birth and they did. They were my saviors in the days and weeks to come.

Bad News

At about 4, Dr. F came in. He asked everyone to leave except Mr. I knew this wasn’t good. He explained that during an ultrasound of Boo’s head, they found a narrowing of the vessels. This causes hydrocephalus or water on the brain. He said that it was a good thing that Boo was so early as the sooner this is caught the better. Boo would most likely need surgery to insert a shunt to prevent serious brain damage.

I was numb by this point. He said there was a good chance that brain damage could be prevented, but I heard that word. Hydrocephalus is serious. It causes brain damage. At this point I’m not sure what I even felt. They would monitor the situation and probably transfer Boo sometime on Tuesday.

I was drained. I wanted to begin pumping, but the nurses made me wait. They said that pumping would cause my uterus to contract and weren’t sure I could handle that quite yet. I kept on them though. So, at 6 or so, the finally brought me a pump and showed me how to use it. I sent Mr to dinner with my family. I pumped while they were gone and got a few drops of colostrums. I knew they’d start to freeze this right away. I felt like it was all I could do.

When Mr got back, he took me up to the NICU. I barely made it up there and got very dizzy. I could only stay a few minutes, but this time I could brush Boo’s hand. I was in awe of this tiny boy. He looked beautiful to me.

Mr decided to stay with me that night. He knew I needed it. I was so drained. He had already called his family to tell them about Boo. He had talked to his mom, but not heard back from his dad. He tried several times to get him, but no answer. He finally called K, his dad’s wife. She called him back about ten. I heard his voice and instantly knew that something was wrong. I told him I needed him to take the call in the hall. I didn’t think I could take more bad news at this point. When he came back in, I told him to please wait until morning that I couldn’t handle it. He understood and agreed. It’s part of the reason I love this man so much.

We talked a little that night about Boo and what was happening. We talked about the hydrocephalus and what it might mean. We knew that things could be worse, but at this point, we didn’t know how much.

I slept very little that night. I tried to be brave and didn’t take as much medicine as I should have. I was in agony and slept maybe an hour. It was horrible.

Our Family Loves Helicopters

The next morning, I could finally eat. I was starving! After some breakfast, I felt a little better but not much. I was mentally and physically drained. I asked Mr about the phone call and was devastated to learn that his father had had a massive heart attack 4 days before. He lost about 60 percent of the function in his heart. His family had decided NOT to tell him because they knew we were dealing with a lot already. Mr’s mom was still in serious condition in El Paso. I was heartbroken for my husband. He didn’t need this.

SIL helped me to talk a shower. I thought there was just no way I could do it. I was in a lot of pain at the incision. I was pumping and sure enough, it does make your uterus contract. You’d think that with that much pain, I’d be getting tons of milk, but I had maybe a tablespoon after 10 minutes.

At about 9:30, the social worker from the NICU came to see us. She told us that University of Iowa wanted Boo transferred sooner rather than later. He would be transferred via helicopter that morning. She said that I could stay in Davenport or be transferred to Iowa City. I chose to be transferred. They would have to have me released, then Mr would drive me to Iowa City and I’d be admitted. She took care of everything. She was an angel.

At 10:30, they came down and told us to come and say goodbye to Boo. We went up to the NICU. He was already in a portable isolette and strapped onto a stretcher. They let me touch him. The medics assured me that they would take good care of him. They would call us once he got to the hospital. I had Mr put a picture of us into his isolette. He put our wedding photo in. It’s one of my favorite photos. That picture stayed with him the entire time he was in the NICU.
Joan, the social worker had us ride down with Boo. We accompanied him to the landing pad. Mr got to help load the stretcher onto the helicopter. He had done this only a few weeks before for me. She found us a safe place to watch from and wheeled me over. Mr joined me and we watched him lift off. I think at that point I realized what time it was. Exactly 24 hours after he was born, we sent him off on his own. Until then, it was the hardest thing I had to do.

I had some time before they could finish my paperwork and get me out, so I went up to take a nap. I made my mom and sisters take Mr out to lunch and make sure he was okay. I was very worried about him.

They called at 11:30 to say that Boo had been delivered to the NICU and had done really well on the flight. It was comforting to know that they cared enough to call.

I got to Iowa City about 3:30 or 4. They admitted me and I told Mr to go check on Boo. My sisters went with him. I had my mom help me get settled. When they got to the NICU, Mr and the girls found that the head of neonatal neurology was in with Boo doing an ultrasound. He had several different people confirm that there was NO HYDROCEPHALY! This was incredible news!

Boo received surfactant for his lungs. He was dealing with RDS, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, common in preemies. He was also being treated for sepsis. He was not able to eat yet.

I got to see him later that night. I had to begin walking instead of just riding in a wheelchair. I would push the chair as far as I could, then ride the rest of the way. I got to sit right up next to him and finally see his face. They had him in a warming bed which is open, so I could touch him. I had to be careful though as preemies cannot handle much stimulus. He was so tiny and beautiful.

There was a CD player in his “room” so we got his Baby Einstein Cd and played it for him. The next day, during another ultrasound, he got very upset. The tech turned on the CD and he immediately settled down! The boy loves his music to this day!

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Boo received a blood transfusion the following morning. He was off the ventilator and on CPAP which reminds him to breathe. He was doing well. My mom and sisters finally went home to get some rest. Mr stayed with me. There are double hospital beds in Iowa City, so I got to sleep next to my husband and hold him all night. It was a good night!

The following morning, while visiting Boo, he had a Brady episode. He stopped breathing and his heart rate plummeted. I didn’t realize what was happening. The nurse came in and watched and waited trying to get him to breathe. She ended up giving him oxygen. It wasn’t until the color returned to his face that I realized how blue he had gotten. He had a few more episodes during the day and by that evening, they put him back on the vent.

I was terrified at this point of a lot of things. I didn’t feel like a mom. I had never gotten to hold my son. I didn’t know if he knew who I was. I was scared that someone would figure out that I was just pretending half the time. How could I possibly bond with him if I couldn’t hold him? What would happen to him?

Mr had to go back to work on Wednesday. He had used up all of his sick, vacation and any other time when we were down in New Mexico while his mom was in ICU. My mom was still staying at our house and helping me. She would stay until Friday because I couldn’t drive. She’d drive me up to Iowa City during the day and Mr would meet me after work and drive me back.

I was discharged from the hospital on Thursday. Leaving the hospital that night was the hardest thing I had ever done. I cried from the time I got into the car until we got back to Davenport. Mr tried to talk to me, but I couldn’t talk. I just couldn’t do anything. As soon as I we pulled into the driveway. I lost it again. We were walking into the house, I was still in a lot of pain. But we had no baby with us. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I felt so empty and angry.

My sister called me the next morning. She had been through something similar with my niece and knew how I felt. It made my cry again, but she understood. Thank God for my family.

Happy Birthday Mommy

It was up and down all week. Sunday, September 19th was my birthday. I still hadn’t gotten to hold him. The nurse had told me the day before that it would happen today. Boo was back off the vent, and using only the nasal canula. I was so happy. What a birthday present, right?

Holding him was amazing. He was so tiny. We had to move the chair around until all of the wires and tubes would reach. He was wrapped in a blanket. He wasn’t big enough for clothes yet. He could be held for one hour. Mr let me hold him for 45 minutes, well into his portion of time. He got to hold him too. What a high. Boo even opened his eyes for both of us. What a precious moment that was.

After holding him, Boo needed rest, so we went to lunch and to the mall.Mr was going to try to buy me a birthday gift. I made it to Children’s Place and bought all the preemie clothes I could. I knew they were still too big for him. I had to call Mr on his cell to rescue me. I didn’t realize how far a walk it was and he had to help me. He got the car and we went back to the hospital.

When we returned,Boo was back on Cpap. He’d had two Brady episodes in the two hours we were gone. It was as if someone broke our balloon. I was so depressed. We went out to eat, but I didn’t have an appetite. What had been such a great day had ended so horribly.

The next morning, my mom got back to our house at about 9. She was bringing the bedding she had made for Boo’s room. We were looking at it when the phone rang. It was Mr. I asked him what was up and he told me that he had just gotten call from the nursing home and that his mom had died the night before! My heart broke. How could this be happening? I asked him to please drive home carefully. When he walked in the door, he saw my mom first. She put her arms out and he just fell into them and wept. I’ve never seen someone so broken.

My mom asked what she could do. Mr wanted to tell his Grandparents in person, so we loaded into the car and drove the 1 ½ hours to Macomb. By the time we got there, his grandmother had tried to call the nursing home and been told. We stayed for a few hours and then my mom drove us the 2 and half hours back to Iowa City. I’ve said it before, but THANK GOD for family.

The rest of the story

This is already too long and there is so much more to tell, but things leveled off after that. We missed only two days of visiting Boo, the day of the visitation and the day we buried Mr’s mom. I could call the NICU at any time to see how he was.

Boo had several other setbacks, but many victories as well. He spent four weeks in Iowa City before being transferred back to Genesis NICU. He came home to us on October 23rd, two days before our first anniversary. That night, we danced, Boo, Mr and I to the song we first danced to at our wedding, Come What May. It is an appropriate song for our family.

Boo is a joy to behold. He is an incredible little boy with the biggest personality I know.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


There are times when I look at Boo and think to myself "He's all I need." He amazes us with new things all the time. How can one little boy be so special? I know that all children are special, but Boo seems to have a sort of magic around him. From the second he was born, no...before that...from the time that we knew about the Vasa Previa, I never had a doubt. I never doubted that he'd be here and be wonderful.

In part, that stems from not allowing myself to think that. I needed to be strong, if I wasn't who would be? When he was born, I looked at him and saw a tiny beautiful child. The first moment (and it was only a moment before he was whisked away) I remember, his face was so calm, serene almost. At that moment, I only saw a perfect child. He had a long way to go, and he's come through with flying colors.

Boo is a sweet boy. He isn't much for cuddles most of the time, but he likes to give kisses. When he senses something is wrong, he'll say "it's alright, it's okay, don't cry" How? How does a two year old know? He sings, currently Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes...but the Beatles, ABCs, Tainted Love. He likes all kinds of music. He's just....special.And there are times when I think to myself, he's enough, he's more than enough....But the urge to have another takes over.

It's like a hole in your body, an ache, an unfulfilled need. I want to be pregnant again. I want to have a normal pregnancy. I want to go full term. I want to be uncomfortable, get little sleep, the stretch marks...all the things that didn't happen last time. I want to go into labor. I want to be able to HOLD my newborn. I want to really work on breastfeeding.

I want my son to learn how to be a big brother. I want Mr. to know that Boo won't be alone when we are gone. He won't have to be the one to make decisions and do all the worrying. Boo should have someone to help him, Mr. didn't.