Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thank you to all who have taken the time to read and who have followed my blog.  
My up-coming entries aren't going to be easy and will take me time to write.
I thank you for your patience and hope you check back often.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

September 13, 2012

Final Check-Ups at Mott's

Our last trip to Michigan, Sept 13th, and our nerves are high!  Will they decide to keep me and monitor Isabelle or deliver her? If we deliver now, will her lungs be mature enough? Will we be sent back home? Is her heart rate and rhythm ok? Did I pack the right clothes for us all in case we have to stay? Did I pack what I needed and wanted for Izzy too? What's going to happen?
These are just a FEW of the tons of questions running through my mind along with the ton running through my husbands mind I am sure! 
Kisses for Isabelle

My mother-in-law, Margaret, took the trip with us this time.  She got to see this massive hospital for herself.  She was very impressed how each department we went to all treated us with great respect and patience.  We NEVER felt rushed...  WE were their only concern the whole time we were there.  She KNEW we had chosen the right place for our Isabelle!

Chloe was glad to have a companion in the back seat with her too, it can be a very long 4 1/2 hour car ride for a one year old! 

Our day started out with meeting the high risk OB doctors with my routine health check up.  Then off to have our fetal diagnostic/ultrasound done.  Izzy is growing quite well... this time she measured at about 5 lbs and some ounces (I can't remember exactly).  I was shocked to hear that she was actually 5 pounds! At 35 weeks she's nearly as big as Chloe was when I had her (and she was a day late!)  Isabelle must have known she was needing to "bulk up" for her big debut... she knew something we didn't evidently! This ultrasound caught me off guard, the tears began to flow like a water fountain.  I think all the various emotions were just weighing on me and I couldn't hold it in any longer.  Once again, the ultrasound tech was very kind, consoling and compassionate with me. Everything was looking good on the ultrasound and so it was off to the last appointment of the day to have the echocardiogram done of Izzy's heart. THIS is where we would more than likely be told if they are or are not keeping me.  (GULP)

Mark, I believe was the name of the echocardiogram technician ~ he had been with us for each appointment and he was a kind & familiar face to see.  These echo's take about an hour, so after a while Margaret took Chloe out for a walk and entertain her, poor girl was tired and probably sick of watching Bubble Guppies at this point! The other person who helped us out a lot was also there, Alicia Valentini, RN, MS, CPNP.  She was always calming and would answer any questions we had or would find the answer to any question if she didn't know herself.  She knew of our anxiety about wondering if we were going to have to stay or not.  Once Mike was done with his scan he would leave to inform the doctor and given them his results.  Alicia came back in before the doctor and wanted to ease our minds.  She said she believed upon what she heard that things looked good!! Dr. Van der Velde came in to perform her own scan and then told us that same thing.  "Things look good" ~ well good for Izzy's heart that is.  It appeared like her heart rate was decent and that the rhythm was looking a little better on this day than it had even during our last echo in Evansville.  But there's still signs of the rhythm being irregular, but there were no indications that I would need to stay to be monitored there or to have Izzy delivered early.  We, "...should be good to go home..." was a welcome but also scary relief. Welcome in the sense that I knew my baby could grow a little more and get stronger inside me before she had to face everything coming her way; but scary because we were afraid we would make the trip back home, continue on with our routine weekly echos and BPP studies just to be told her heart rhythm was worse and we needed to go back before our actual due date of Oct. 11th, which is only 4 weeks away.  We also did not want to have to deliver in Evansville.  This is just one of the reasons we picked Mott's ~ knowing Isabelle and I would only be separated by a couple of floors ~ not by blocks or miles. If anything happened, I would only be an elevator ride away.

We also got to meet with Barb Shaltis, the social worker we'd been talking with on the phone for the last few months.  She also played a huge roll in our lives during our trips to Michigan, helping us coordinate our overnight stays and helping us prepare for our long stay after Isabelle was born.  We got to talk with her about concerns we had or other questions we had regarding our stay and any family that was planning to stay to help us out.  We made plans to be put on the list to stay at the Ronald McDonald house. I asked her to help me have it set up so that when I had Isabelle, that we could have her baptized as soon as possible.  I explained I wanted it done before any surgery were to be preformed on her and later that day, I received a voicemail from one of the pastoral care coordinators! 

Getting the news we would be good to go home and that they would see me in 4 weeks settled the nerves just a little.  I called my mom as soon as I could get a signal on my cell phone to tell her the news.  She sighed in huge relief and then I heard her cry.  The tears were from so much anticipation and waiting for me to call ... to hear and learn what was going to happen.  I told her to call everyone else in the family to spread the news.

 This is one tuckered out tot! 

Adam & I

It is funny now, not so much at the time, but a funny thing happened to us on the way home.  We stopped at a McDonalds in Fort Wayne, IN to take a potty break, change a diaper,  and get something to drink for the rest of the ride home.  We all loaded back into the car and the key wouldn't turn in the ignition barrel.  Now, we had troubles with this in the past and eventually just left the spare key in the ignition without turning it all the way back to where the key would come out.  It seemed to work just fine.  Once in a while out of habit, we'd turn the key all the way back and take it out... then have to jiggle the key to get it to turn in the ignition.  It was one of those, we'll get around to fixing it ... soon.  Well that "soon" came sooner than we thought.  Out of habit, the key was taken out and we were stranded.  NOW.. of all times! You've got to be kidding me... WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW? After a LOT of debate, phone calls, people trying to help... we found we had no choice but for us to all get a hotel room for the night.  We would get the car towed to the nearest car dealership that night and hope they could get the car in ASAP the next morning so that we could be on our way home again.  Adam had to get back to work on Saturday, we HAD to get the car fixed!  That's what happened ... the dealership got our car in as fast at they could and replaced the ignition barrel.  Adam and I had to laugh when we got in the car, we were all excited about a shiny new ignition barrel... and then when we stopped to get out of the car we were afraid to take the key out!  We even took turns turning the key, feeling how smooth it turned... no more jiggling the key! HA HA HA HA!!! 

What an adventure... chalk it up to all the other ones! 

Back on the road again.... 

Doctor Visits!

Doctors, Doctors, Doctors.
It's been a LONG time since my last post, so I will do my best to recall from memory what all has transpired, but it will more than likely take place over several different posts. Thanks for your understanding and patience. 

Since our last visit to Mott's on Aug. 9th we had been to doctor appointments every week, sometimes twice in one week or twice in one day! It felt like that was all I was doing! 
I went every Thursday to the cardiologist to have Izzy's heart looked at to monitor her heart rhythm as suggested by Dr. Van der Velde.  So after our scan, we would meet with Dr. Kumbar and she would discuss the findings of the scan with us.  Each time we sat there waiting... it felt like an eternity, making us more anxious by the second.  We feared that she would walk in and tell us that we needed to go back to Michigan NOW to prepare for Izzy's delivery OR she would tell us we had to deliver in Evansville NOW.  
We were afraid that Izzy's heart rhythm on the bottom chamber was lower than 60-65 bpm but with each visit Dr. Kumbar would tell us that the rhythm was remaining pretty consistent and there showed no signs of fluid building up around her heart. AHHH... big sigh of relief!   
It was our last visit with Dr. Kumbar on Sept. 6th, that we felt more pressure.  Izzy's heart rate/rhythm was still like it was before but she said she wouldn't be surprised if, upon our next visit to Michigan on Sept. 13th, that they would just keep me there, monitor Izzy and if needed go ahead and deliver her.  So we might want to prepare for that accordingly. Dr. Kumbar was concerned enough to make her feel like I wouldn't make it to my due date. This is something Adam and I had talked about and were concerned about and discussed how we felt about it if Michigan actually did keep me.  I was concerned because if that were the case, I would only be 35 weeks along.  I worried about Isabelle's lungs being ready for that.
I was also going for another ultrasound appointment at my high risk OB doctor on the same day, Sept. 6th.  It was here I told them about this horrible itchy sensation I was having ALL OVER my body.  I never showed signs of a rash.  I told them it felt like I was wearing a full body suit made of wool and lotion was not helping... oh I was so miserable.  It got worse at night when I was going to bed, I felt like I was loosing my mind.  They ordered a blood test on me to check that my liver function and bile acids were what they needed to be.  Sometimes this condition known as Cholestasis can increase risk for fetal distress, preterm birth or stillbirth.  With this, Dr. Turnquest ordered that I come in once a week to have a Biophysical Profile (BPP) study done on Isabelle.  With this test, they monitor a baby's movement, baby's breathing and tone as well as the amniotic fluid volume.  Each gets evaluated within a 30 minute period during and ultrasound and scored. If you get a score of 8/8 then everything is normal.  Scores below 6 may indicate the baby is in distress and needs further intervention and possible delivery. 

I had my first BPP study done the following Monday (Sept. 10th).  Adam was a work, so I flew solo with Chloe.  Thank goodness for Daddy's iPod downloaded with Bubble Guppies... it kept Chloe entertained the whole time otherwise, that visit or any future "solo" visits could be quite ugly!  I was told that my blood results came back normal, which surprised me AND the ultrasound technician.  We both thought they would find something elevated causing my itching.... but this wasn't the case.  So it's a mystery why I was so itchy!  So I laid back for my ultrasound as they study Isabelle's movements and such.  ALL GOOD.. she was kicking and moving and breathing just fine and everything looks good! She passed her test, the technician said, with flying colors! THANK GOD... finally something GOOD from a doctor visit!

Now we prepare for our visit to Mott's for our last round of check-ups.  
The nerves are on high alert! 
Will they keep me or send me home?