Wednesday, January 25, 2012

14 Weeks and bad news, with optimism

Before you panic, I'm officially into 14 weeks now and everything with the baby is fine, as far as I can tell. I still have days that feel like a growth spurt and the other day I had bad nausea in the morning, for once. I think it was mostly because I let myself get too hungry before I started working on breakfast so it passed pretty quickly.

Now for the bad news.  On Monday B had gone to town to get a cup of coffee (he likes the Guatemalan coffee from one of the gas stations in town... I don't argue with him about it lol) and on his way back he swerved to miss a deer and ended up in the ditch, hit a tree, and the car spun around.  Somehow he managed to get out of the car, flag someone down, and use their phone to call me.  Within a couple of hours at the little ER here they were sending him in an ambulance to the big regional hospital in Rapid City because he had lacerated his liver.  Mom and I followed him up and they sent him right to surgery so Mom and I were in the waiting room for a little while.  Not very long, maybe 20 minutes, then we got to talk to the surgeon.  B has 4 broken ribs and the whole right side of his liver was a mess.  It was a grave injury and the Dr. G didn't sound horribly hopeful about it.  He stitched up what he could and packed gauze around the liver to stop the bleeding.  Because of all the swelling, they didn't close him up that day either and he had a large drain running.  He was intubated, with lots of IVs, and heavily sedated for the rest of Monday.  We held our breath the whole time and I couldn't stop crying for more than 15 minutes.  Mom and I went home that evening because there was no way we could sleep with him there, I have to think about Jelly Bean, and we weren't doing him any good sitting there worrying. 

I did get some sleep, but I had to call a couple of times to check on him.  He spiked a 104 fever in the night but had managed to cool him down.  I called his parents as soon as we got to the ICU with him and they panicked at first.  Now they call the ICU to check about as much as I do but they call to check on me too.  They're worried that I'm stressing out too much and putting the baby in danger, which I'm trying very hard not to do, but they're worrying anyway.  They're trying to figure out a way to come up and see him.  They keep asking if I think they should, but all I can say is that B would love to see them and they'd be welcome here, that they could stay with us.  I can't make that decision for them knowing how expensive of a trip it would be.

Yesterday he went in for his second surgery.  The original plan was just to remove the gauze packs and remove the damaged part of the liver, then go back in on Friday and clean everything up.  Good news here, the bleeding had stopped and it was healing well enough that Dr. G left it all for now, and they'll see in a couple of days how it healed up and see if they actually need to remove any dead tissue.  There was a lot less blood to clean up than they expected.  Not out of the woods yet, but all of that is good news.  He was more alert yesterday, if not entirely lucid, so while I was there I was able to communicate with him and figure out what he needed so i could tell the nurses.  The nurses there are amazing people, plain and simple.  They get excited when one of their patients is fighting hard enough to toss them "the finger," it's a sign that the personality is still in there somewhere under the meds.  Overall, B has been a wonderful patient.  He hated the breathing tube, understandably, and they had to tie his hands to the bed so he didn't pull it out, which he hated even more.  They upped his sedation a bit in the late afternoon because he was getting a little too worked up and needed more rest.  He spiked another fever (I don't remember if it was before or after they bumped his sedation up) and it took a little while to get that under control, but it did go down.  Fevers are expected with surgeries and major injuries like this, it's part of the body's defense and repair system, but they just try to keep it low enough to not damage other organs or his brain.

He had a good night last night.  As a result, so did I.  His fever went down a little bit after Mom and I left and he was able to rest well all night.  This morning they took him off of the big breathing tube and installed a port to simplify his IV situation.  I just talked to Mom a little while ago and she said he's chatting and joking and just plain won't nap, which is good to hear.  Sounds like he's his old stubborn silly self, just with pain meds.  :) I've been at work this morning because my boss is out of town until next week but I'm leaving in a few minutes to go be with him.  My BFF S is on a bus across the state to help me maintain some sanity so I'll pick her up this evening.  It's turning out to be a decent day, considering everything we've been thru in the last 60 or so hours.

If he pushes thru recovery the way he has been, he'll be out of ICU in no time and won't have to spend much time in the hospital.  Recovering from broken ribs and major internal injury will take a while but he's a fighter and he has a lot to fight for.  I'd appreciate any warm thoughts/prayers you could offer :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

13 Weeks

With B's help, the office is redone!  We got the closet painted, added 5 bookshelves to one side and one long shelf, moved the jewelry desk and chair in there and the instruments are on the floor, set up the computer we got from Dad, folded up one of the tables, and ended up with less furniture clutter in the living room too!  It was a very successful weekend.  Yesterday B was great about cleaning up the rest of the house too, which was wonderful since I barely got anything done yesterday.  It must've been another growth spurt day or something, I just had no motivation whatsoever and today I'm feeling a bit fragile.

One thing I did get done yesterday (aside from a little grocery run) was I worked on an egg drop soup recipe from one of Mom's old cookbooks.  Talk about fussy... just for the chicken stock! I'll try it today or tomorrow for lunch and see how it is.  I'm trying to get better about eating eggs since I get lots through WIC and there's lots of good reasons for me to eat them right now, but I'm not really a fan of eggs by themselves.  Occasionally I'll scramble one for breakfast, but it's rare that it sounds good to me.  However, I've always loved egg drop soup so if I can come up with a good recipe for it I'll eat it almost every day.  Whole fryer chickens are often on sale at my grocery store for $.99/lb, and the regular price of $1.29/lb isn't bad at all, so it's easy for me to grab a chicken and roast it for a weekend meal, save the leftover meat for other things, then boil the bones into stock.  Much better than using a seasoning packet, for an infinite number of reasons, so the trick was finding a good recipe.  The real test comes at lunch.

Today my stomach is a bit tender.  Unfortunately, I'm at work for the next 4 days so I can't lay down at the moment... really hope it doesn't persist or this week at work will be miserable.  I got my first smaller paycheck today... trying not to panic.  B's work laid off almost 30 guys (almost their whole work force) this week because the big contract got screwed up and they're accepting bids to build an additional building in order to hire more workers and get more houses built, so instead of having the 30 skilled construction workers that they already employ build the addition, they laid them all off and are hiring it out...? which makes absolutely no sense, and makes all of us furious.  B's job searching this week.  That company has been nothing but jerks/morons the whole time he's worked for them, so of course we get to worry about his income now since he's losing another work week.  Maybe he can get unemployment for this week, but we're not sure about the rules on that. Really trying not to freak out about this.

I've agreed to let Mom buy me a new Mac laptop so I can get back to writing.  It helps that I'll be doing what I'm trained to do, but it will be tricky to get any money for it anytime soon.  My instinct still is to find a way to work from home and bring in more money, but the piano tuner thing fell through since I won't be able to do any extensive residencies for the training like all the experts I can ask have recommended.  I suppose I could try to get lessons going again... and maybe stick to wind instruments and voice, require payment up front, and hold lessons at my house or Mom's instead of driving all over town.  I'll have to think on that one... the way I was doing it before definitely didn't work. 

Sigh... I have some thinking to do.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

12 weeks

I had my first official prenatal appointment with Dr. B on Monday and it went very well :)  Mom went with me because B couldn't get off work, she needed to be up there anyway for her own appointments, and I didn't want to go alone.  It turned out to be a good thing, since she knew more details about our family history than I did so she was able to answer those questions better.  I asked all my health questions, about my heart murmur, super low energy and lung capacity, abnormal paps, etc. and she said it's all completely normal.  She took another pap and thought I might have a little yeast infection.  I'll call tomorrow and see how that culture turned out, if she knows yet.

Ultrasound looks good too :)  Jelly bean grew enough in the last 4 weeks that my due date got shaved off a few days to 7/21 instead of 7/24.  Guess I'm not surprised that last week was a tough week if s/he grew that much!  Jelly bean's hand was up by his/her head and s/he was sleeping during the U/S.  Dr. B tried to wake him/her up by jabbing me lol but s/he just waved us away like "noooooooo i'm sleeping, leave me alooooooooone!"  If s/he sleeps like me, or like B does now (not when he was little tho), then we'll have long sleepy nights soon! :) Not going to hold my breath on that one, but it would be nice anyway.

I'm feeling a bit better since the appointment.  I feel like I can take deeper breaths again, which I haven't been able to do for months, so maybe I can get some energy back and get to exercising again.  I need it... badly... and my house needs me to get caught up.  Luckily I have a 5-day weekend this weekend so I have lots of time to futz around.  I'd like to get the office closet done and get the office rearranged so I can set up the computer we got from Dad, so we'll see how far I get on that.  Really hoping I have the energy for this, I've been putting this project off until I had several days off in a row to allow time for paint to dry and such.

My belly is still just bloaty. :( I haven't gained any weight yet, I weighed exactly the same at my 12wk appointment as I did at my 8wk appointment, and my hips feel a tad slimmer so I know it's baby weight (and bloat) but it certainly doesn't look like a baby yet.  Pooey.  I want a cute baby belly darnit!  Not this fatty bloaty business!  My work pants are starting to get a little tight so I'll have to get some maternity pants or something soon.

I announced the news to Facebook on Monday night and for the next day or so my notifications went crazy! The novelty may have worn off by now but at least I don't have to keep it quiet anymore.  Jelly Bean's doing well, so am I, and that's good enough for now. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

11 Weeks

Wow, what a rollercoaster week.  On Monday I felt like Superwoman and got a bunch of the house cleaned.  It was desperately needed... this place had been seriously neglected. Tuesday I was running to town and back a lot for various appointments and errands, so I didn't get much done, but I still felt okay and was hoping that the good feeling might stick.

Then Wednesday happened.  I went to work and all morning I could feel what I can only describe as my uterus stretching... a lot.  Jelly Bean must have had a growth spurt or something because after lunch my stomach got weirder as each hour went by, to the point that I couldn't eat anything at dinner and I could barely swallow anything to drink for fear of gagging.  It was also a very close call with some actual "morning sickness," which is the feeling I hate worse than anything else, and it left me in tears and shaking.  I laid down for a while and tried to be up after that but still ended up going to bed early since the only thing that helped at all was laying down.  Since then, I've been getting better, but slowly.  I'm back to not being able to tell whether I'm nauseous or overly hungry, to the point that nothing sounds good and I can't swallow much if I tried.  I haven't been this bad since week 7 or something so I hope it's over soon, but it may never be.  Sigh.

My appetite is still really low and my weight has held steady even with my belly expanding, but the bonus part of that is my hips seem a little trimmer :) Can't argue with that.

I've found some message boards on for ladies due in July, and a couple other offshoots for first time moms and first time moms over 30, so it's been really nice to get to know those ladies and share stories and symptoms.  Sometimes it gets a touch overdramatic, but some of that is just hormones and most of the time I'm stable enough to tell who's being rational and who's not.  Of course, this week I've had my share of tears for no reason.

I have my 12-week appointment on Monday and I'm working on compiling my list of questions.  It's quite a list, considering my heart murmur and the fact that I can't take a deep breath anymore.  I'll keep you all posted on the results and hopefully I'll get a good U/S picture and the blood work will come out good :)  I got on WIC this week and my iron level came up as good, so that's one less thing to worry about for now.  Ta-tah!

Monday, January 2, 2012

10 weeks

Happy New Year!  It's been a long week but a good one overall.  I found some community message boards on that help me check in with reality and make sure what I'm going through is normal.  Sometimes the hormones fly kinda high in there... but the smaller groups are more stable.

The New Years Eve concert went well.  It was nice to be playing horn again, but I had no stamina so that plus the hot stage plus my general short-of-breathness meant I had to take lots of breaks... but I was assistant 1st so Gina and I were taking turns on stuff anyway.  She has 3 kids so she gets that I needed lots of breaks and said I could take more, but I got annoyed with taking breaks and pushed myself to do as much as I possibly could.  End result was a pretty good concert and I was exhausted afterward, of course, but we ended up getting a hotel room instead of trying to drive home so that helped.

Today I'm feeling almost normal.  It's been... well, 10 weeks since I've felt normal so I'm hoping it sticks.  I'll be getting together with the girls to exercise tomorrow and maybe later today so we'll see how I do then.  My weight has kept steady, which makes me very happy.  Considering my BMI I don't need to gain much so I'm hoping to keep the gain to 15 pounds or less.  I'm almost through my first trimester and so far so good there.  I'm far less active than I was, but my appetite is much lower so I'm not eating near as much as I would be normally.  I still need lots of fluids and clementines are the best snack ever.

My belly still just feels fat and flabby, but hopefully that will change soon.  I need to catch up on housework after concert weekend, so away I go!