Tuesday, February 28, 2012

18 & 19 weeks

I missed one, sorry!  The pregnancy has been rather uneventful except for the kicks several times daily (usually after meals or during symphony rehearsal lol but never when B can feel it) and the gradual but definite expansion of my belly.  I took this pic yesterday and I've had a couple of clients at work ask about it so it seems to be getting fairly obvious :) The good part is that I still haven't really gained any weight. I've gained 1 pound since my last OB appointment 3 weeks ago and at that one I had only gained 1-2 from my 8-week appointment so I really have the weight gain under control somehow.  I'm totally okay with this and rather proud of myself!  Considering the size of my middle, I must be losing weight somewhere else to make up for it.  Again, definitely okay with this.

I'm not dieting, I just can't eat much at a time because we're trying to eat dense healthy foods and my stomach doesn't have room to expand much.  It's strange... Mom and I have been reading about diet changes over the last century and the resulting obesity/diabetes/cholesterol/blood pressure epidemic compared to cultures who eat more traditional foods and are overall much healthier.  Traditional diets consist of natural animal fats (including the fat in milk, butter, cheese, etc.), organ meats, minimally refined olive oil, fish, heirloom or foraged vegetables, meat cooked with the bones, and very little grains or sugar.  Basically, substituting these natural fats with vegetable oil has caused a lot of problems... we need the natural saturated fats to digest vitamins and there's no real evidence that saturated fat is bad for you... the issue is hydrogenation damaging the chemical makeup of everything.  I could go on and on... but I noticed a year or so ago when I was eating steaks and fish for dinner most days that I felt better, my skin was clearer, and my periods were less uncomfortable.  Now we've transitioned to real butter and to 2% milk from skim and I feel great, plus my weight is staying stable so if I weren't preggo it might even be going down.  It seems contradictory but we're just not built to live on highly processed vegetable oil and corn syrup!

*steps off soapbox*  So anyway, that's going well.  B was only in the hospital for a few days, but they were unnecessarily worried about the cost of the antifungal medication and in the process of keeping him there and trying to get him financial assistance for that prescription (which would've cost $90 for a month's worth, name brand) they kept him there longer... which racked up that visit's bill to $14,000... talk about counterproductive!  What's even crazier is when we filled the prescription down here at our pharmacy, it cost $25 for 30 days.  Not kidding.  Why were they so worried about this???  Did it never occur to anyone that we'll have enough trouble paying these hospital bills?  Sigh.  Well, he doesn't have to see the surgeon again until late March but he has to go in twice a week to radiology to get the drain tube twisted around and flushed until the infection is gone.  Yesterday they changed out the tube because it was clogged up but it keeps clogging up today too and he's running a slight fever.  I hope we can get it unplugged but I'm getting a little nervous about it.   He goes back on Thursday anyway but I hope it clears up today.

I've set up an indiegogo.com campaign for us to see if we can make a dent in paying this thing so we'll see if that gets us anywhere or not.  It won't help with our living expenses until then since we won't receive the funds until the end of the campaign, but every little bit helps.  I think Mom's church is putting together a benefit for us so we'll see how that goes.  I don't know anything about it but as soon as I do I'll let everyone know.  I have a couple of applications out for full-time desk jobs so hopefully one of those will call back soon.  B got another job offer today and it's very frustrating for both of us that he can't accept any of them yet.  I didn't want to change jobs right before the baby comes, but I have to try because we just can't live on what I'm making, especially since he doesn't qualify for any aid whatsoever and our energy assistance for the year ran out already.  I'm in slight panic mode about that but I can only do what I can do. We just need him to get better and he's doing the best he can.

Monday is the big ultrasound/organ scan/gender scan!  News to come!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

17 weeks

Thought we were kinda out of the woods for B's problems, but we're not quite there yet.  We went in yesterday for his post-op checkup, got his drain and staples out, and we were feeling pretty good about things.  They did a follow-up CT scan to make sure everything was looking alright and they found a baseball-sized abcess on his liver.  The damaged area has some dead tissue on it that could either reabsorb into the body or get infected and his got infected.  They admitted him right away and put a new drain in up where his chest tube was, which is unfortunately between 2 of his broken ribs so he's in some pain from that and very frustrated that he has to be in the hospital again.  We had a good week with him at home, as hard as it was, and he was feeling good before we went up for his appointment.  At least they caught it before it burst or went septic or anything like that, but the fact that the antibiotics he was on didn't prevent it from happening led me to believe that IV antibiotics wouldn't fix it either.  My hunch was right, they've figured out now that it's a yeast infection so they have to use different (and ridiculously expensive) meds for that and they're still not ruling out surgery in Denver.  At least they know what it is now and can start treating the right thing.  It should be a short stay, since we can handle a drain at home.  The trick will be figuring out what meds will work best for being at home or getting by infusion at the hospital down here.  I guess they're working on that today and also getting some financial aid going for us so I'll meet with the social worker when I go up after work.

As for the pregnancy, everything's still fine as far as I can tell.  I've had some nasty heartburn the last couple of evenings so that's not much fun to deal with, and apparently I ate the wrong thing for lunch today because I'm ridiculously gassy.  When B's in the hospital I eat badly, which isn't a good thing but time constraints and low appetite/energy from stress make good meals impractical. Sigh. 

Last night and today I could swear I felt some kicks!  Little flutters/pops starting at the front where I can almost feel them and moving around to the left side then back up front... that sounds like kicks, right?  I'd really like it if they were actually kicks and not just gut bubbles. :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

16 weeks

... and B's home from the hospital!  He was in his own room for about a week, and they started steadily removing drains and tubes day by day until he was ready to go home on Monday.  It was a long day for all of us, since we got him discharged just in time to eat lunch then hurry to sit and wait for my 16 week OB appointment.  Poor guy was a trooper, he waited until we got back to the car to take his pain meds but Mom and I could tell he was hurting.

My 16 week appointment went well, but it was way shorter than my previous appointments.  All they did was check my blood pressure and weight (still holding steady, go me!), then Dr. B used the doppler to find the baby's heartbeat, and that was it.  We were honestly in the waiting room 3x longer than that.  March 5th is the big ultrasound, since they can see all of the organs at 20 weeks so the gender question gets to just wait.  The verdict from everyone at first was boy, now people are starting to change their minds and say girl... I'm not dying to know but I'm tired of telling my mom not to buy things with ruffly butts yet! B's added a couple more names to the list but I don't really want to fully discuss those until we know for sure.  I also have a feeling that Jelly Bean will name his/herself... that one day the perfect name will just come to us.

Luckily, my symptoms lately have been pretty low, which is great considering everything else I've been dealing with.  I'm tired and haven't been able to eat a whole lot yet, and occasionally I'll have a growth spurt day but it doesn't cause quite as much of a nausea problem as it did previously.  I know I need to be drinking more but it's gotten harder at work since the few crystal light flavors i can get here don't sound good anymore and plain water doesn't sound good either.  Sigh. I need to do something else there, maybe mix up a jug of something at home to drink at work instead of relying on the little single-serve packets.  I don't know, something needs to change.

The first day B was home was a tough one.  With a combination of suddenly being off some of the meds the hospital had him on, the hard day Monday, then taking his antibiotics on an empty stomach, he couldn't keep anything down on Tuesday morning until I made him a can of chicken noodle soup.  He slept a lot after that, and had to figure out how to spread out his pain meds so he wasn't crying by the time he could have more, but since then he's been getting steadily better.  He's needed a lot of long naps, but that's to be expected.  He has lots of healing to do so sleep is the best thing he can get for that.  We're trying to work in some more solid food a little bit at a time so his body has more nutritional substance to work with but his stomach has been difficult with that.  We'll get there, slowly.  He still has one drain, but it's not draining enough to measure twice a day like the doctor wants him to, so we wait until it's full enough to get close to any of the lines on the measuring cup they sent home with us.  When that's done draining, it can come out, so it's a good sign that not much is coming from there. His incision is huge but it's healing nicely.  Yesterday we put some butterfly bandages between the staples because the staples are so far apart, but it's all healing up and pulling together nicely.

Ironically, B's had 2 jobs call back about applications he submitted before the accident.  One of Mom's friends said I should apply at the pharmacy as a clerk and study up to become a tech, since they'll apparently be needing someone soon that isn't an idiot.  I'm hesitant to leave this job, but I have to do what's best for all 3 of us and not just what I want to do.  There are no aid programs B qualifies for, so all bill negotiations are between us and the hospital, and there's no income for him until he can go back to work.  Hopefully with his Medicaid denial letter they'll be more willing to work with us on a payment plan. And hopefully he'll be feeling well enough next week to at least go to the interviews that he got called for this week, and possibly start working part-time light duty at one of those places until he feels up to doing longer shifts.  It'll be a while before he's healed, but maybe he can get a few hours of training done a week until he's able to step it up.  Both places said to call back when he feels better so hopefully one of them will work out.

Slowly, we're working out the kinks.  Everything's fine with Jelly Bean as far as I can tell, so I just need to keep on keeping on and hope the decisions I make are the right ones.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

15 weeks and update

Luckily last week was an easy one as far as symptoms go.  I didn't have much nausea, all the weird meals agreed with my stomach pretty well, just understandably tired from all the driving and sitting in the hospital.  However today, true to form as it's an odd-numbered week, today I'm feeling a good deal of stretching accompanied by a gurgly gut and slight headache.  I probably haven't drank enough today so that should account for the headache, but we're apparently sticking with the every-other-week-growth-spurt thing.  At least it's somewhat predictable and it wasn't last week when we were sitting in the ICU.

We've bought a few baby things now.  We found a little tub with a newborn sling shaped like a froggie (none of my sinks are a good size/shape for baby baths), a couple packages of onesies in different sizes, a grey long-sleeved thermal onesie, and a sleep sack with ducks on it.  A high school friend gave me a bath set with ducks on it too, so that was very nice of her :)  I'm not sure if we'll find out the gender on Monday or not, it might depend on how well Jelly Bean cooperates.

Now for updates on B.  He got into his own room yesterday and he was very happy about that.  Still no surgery since the second day, but they're keeping an eye on things still.  He was making good progress and was in good spirits until yesterday, when back spasms/pinched nerve/something in his lower back started bothering him.  Today it's been constant all day and his epidural isn't doing much to help the pain.  His back's been bad for years so I'm not surprised that all this laying/sitting aggravated it, but we're frustrated with the fact that they're not doing anything to really help with it.  They just ask if he's pushed his pain button, which gives a higher dose from the epidural, but it only works every 10 minutes and is basically ineffective for this problem.  I really hope they do something soon... it kills me to visit and watch him writhing in pain the whole time.  It's worse when I call to check on him and I can hear the tears in his voice, knowing there's absolutely nothing I can do. 

For me, the worst part, aside from knowing his pain is out of my control, is the paperwork.  There's an auto claim for the accident, getting all the hospitals updated with the claim number and address, unemployment for B because he was laid off a week before the accident but right now he can't do the job applications so we need the doctor to fill out a form that's been sitting on the table ignored, getting the car's towing paid for (but not reimbursed because AAA is a waste of money), job applications and interviews for myself because he'll be unable to work for a while, financial aid through the hospitals (which requires tons of paperwork that's not at all handy), and wondering how bad the payments are going to be and how long he'll be out of work, plus what I'll do after JB's arrival.  Trying not to stress out about it since that will only make things worse, but this is just insane.

Monday is my 16-week appointment.  Hopefully B will be out by then, or maybe they'll let us wheel him over to the clinic so he can see the ultrasound, but he's missed the last 2 appointments because of work and I'd hate for him to miss another just because they wouldn't let him go next door for an hour.  I guess we'll see what happens.  That was possibly the longest week of my life.