Thursday, December 29, 2011

31 Weeks!!!

Today marks 31 weeks! Hooray!!! I am so thrilled and grateful and amazed that we're here! This little boy has now beat out Caden and will hopefully catch up to how far Easton made it. No one knows for sure, but we're definitely hoping! To be completely honest, last time I posted I was thinking maybe we could keep him in for quite a while, but in the last week and a half I've begun to doubt that more and more. We had an appointment a week and a half ago and my cervix hadn't gotten any shorter, but I'm anxious to see what they find next week, because since that time I've gone from 3-4 contractions an hour being the average to now 8-10, almost every hour, all day every day, and they're getting more painful. A normal pregnant woman is supposed to call her doctor if she has 4 or more contractions per hour (assuming she's not close to her due date), and at first I was supposed to call if I had 6 or more, but now they've raised it to 10 or more since I usually have close to that and it's just normal. Basically what happens is the receptors in your brain or uterus (I can't remember which, they're basically the same right? :) )  get saturated with the medicine so as time goes on it doesn't work as well. You can usually get about 4-6 weeks out of the meds before the receptors get too saturated and it quits working altogether. I got about 5 weeks the first time and then went on the magnesium which serves as a washout and allows the receptors to become sensitive again so you can start another round of meds. I'm now at 4 1/2 weeks on my second round and the effectiveness is obviously wearing off so we'll see how much longer it works! When it stops working, I don't know if they'll put me back on the magnesium and start meds again or just let him come but I would definitely love to be able to bring him home with me so I'm hoping they'll put me on the mag (did I really just say that?).  Having contractions all the time and being in pain all day is starting to make me a little bit grumpy so now I'm thinking that being on the mag for a few days and then having fewer contractions for awhile would be worth it. Having already been through this with Caden, I realize that just doing it to keep him in longer is worth it, but now I can see some added bonuses. :)  I guess we'll see what happens over the next little while!
On to Christmas! This was our first year staying home with just our little family and not being around any extended family and while we really missed everyone, we ended up having a lot of fun! I did a lot of Christmas shopping online and Jonathan took the boys out a few times which was actually really fun for him(he HATES shopping normally). He went with friends and took them to see lights and Santa and we had fun doing little Christmas crafts at home and reading stories. Caden loved playing with the "activity"(nativity) and would sit and speak for the different characters, making the wiseman ask the camel for a ride and things like that. On Christmas Eve we went to a friend's house for dinner. I actually got to go somewhere! Don't worry, it was about a 3 minute drive and then I walked straight in and laid on the couch and didn't get up all night. I'm allowed to get up 10 minutes every few hours so I counted this as my "getting up" time. Some friends from our ward and some new friends were there and it was so fun to get to visit and play games for a few hours. We didn't get home and get the boys down till hours after bedtime so we got the extra present of getting to sleep in on Christmas morning! The first thing Easton did when he woke up is run to see if Santa had eaten his cookies :)  We opened presents and played with toys forever and then the boys went to church. Our sweet neighbor had brought over an entire ham dinner with a ginormous ham that we were never going to be able to eat by ourselves, so we invited some friends from law school who hadn't gone home for Christmas over on Christmas day to help eat it. Jonathan was nice since I just laid on the couch the whole time and he got to get everything ready. I think he's going to love when he has a wife back again! Although I did change Caden's diaper today while lying on the couch, so maybe I'll figure out some more ways to help out. Basically all I'm good for now is brushing teeth, combing hair, reading stories and playing games. Anyway, we had a wonderful Christmas and I got my wish of being able to be home for it! While we recorded everything on the video camera, I didn't take one picture! Not even of our tree! Jonathan's parents cut down a tree up the canyon by their house in Coalville and drove it 7 hours down here to us and since our apartment has 10 ft ceilings we got a 10 ft tree! Possibly the only time we'll ever have one that tall and it was sure fun for me to look at every day on the couch. Anyway, it was great and wonderful and I'm so grateful for a season full of music and stories celebrating Christ's love that I get to share with my children. I'm especially grateful for the peace that comes with the knowledge of His life and love and the eternal perspective that brings. What a wonderful holiday!
We did get a very special Christmas surprise, the day after Christmas my family came down to visit! They took the boys all over to do fun things, allowed Jonathan some much needed time to work on a paper due tomorrow, and played a very long game of Settlers of Catan with me :)  It was a blast! I did send my camera with them one day when they went to the park so I have a couple pictures of the week.

Here's Uncle McKay playing soccer with them.
 Here's my dad teaching Easton correct tee ball form. I love how you can actually see the ball flying through the air in this picture. Nice shot Nikki!
 Here's Caden and "The Hun." Don't let her winter coat fool you, it was 65 degrees.
In fact, it's been pretty warm the last few weeks. Our thermostat is set to 66 and our heater has only turned on a handful or times, and those were mostly in the middle of the night. I think the built-in heater is one of my favorite perks of being pregnant. Good thing I live in a houseful of boys who don't get cold, I'm sure once I have the baby I'm going to come home and crank up the heater, but for now it feels great and our utilities bill loves it too! :) 
I hope everyone else had a merry Christmas! I've had visions of our adorable Christmas cards all year and had committed to myself that we were actually going to send some out, but plans change so here's my post-Christmas greeting to everyone wishing you all a Merry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in a couple of days!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home for a Week!

Well, obviously I blog a lot less when I'm at home than when I'm in the hospital :)  My days seem a lot more full now, even though I still lay down all day, at least now I get to help take care of the boys a little (brushing teeth and hair, reading, etc. ya know, stuff I can do from the couch) and have people to talk to all day. Things are going pretty good. We had an awesome appointment with the perinatologist yesterday. We found out my cervix is still holding strong so that is awesome! It's still short, but it hasn't gotten shorter so that is great news! In fact the doctor came in and said, "I can't believe it. Linsi, you have a crazy cervix!" He doesn't know how it's still holding, but I know it has a lot to do with all the fasting and prayers everyone is giving this kid! The baby looks great too! He is 2 lbs 15 oz so by the time I hit 30 wks this Thursday he should be a little over 3 lbs! The weird thing is Cade was born at 30 wks 5 days and he was 3 lbs 11 oz so he was a big kid! They did an indepth ultrasound of him too and looked at everything and it looks great. In fact, we could even see his hair floating in the amniotic fluid! So maybe he'll be taking after Caden's luscious locks! His cheeks even looked a little chubby on the ultrasound, which I'm not surprised about because Cade already had chubby cheeks when he was barely 5 lbs. We also go in twice a week to monitor his heart rate and contractions and so far he's been doing great! The only part we're struggling with right now is the contractions. I generally have 3-5 an hour, but I don't have to go to the hospital unless I have more than 6 an hour. Last Saturday I was doing my home monitoring and had 8-10 an hour for 5 hours even while using both medicines so I had to go in, but by the time I got in they calmed to 4 an hour so I didn't have to stay. Today I had 7-9 an hour for a few hours so I was nervous they were going to have me go in again, but I finally got it calmed down with meds. The only problem is once I get the contractions under control I'm on so much medication that I feel jittery and shaky and my heart is racing and my blood pressure is low and I just feel weird, so that's not fun, but at least the contractions are down to 4 or so an hour.  The fact that it's happening more often makes me nervous about how long we can keep them under control, but hopefully for a few more weeks, or at least till after Sunday so I can be here for Christmas!
Also, I think I should explain something that will make this all make a lot more sense. I have a didelphic uterus, so basically, I am a freak. ;) Instead of one uterus, I have two, so they're both half the size of a normal one. So while normally it gets full about 40 weeks and starts to stretch and triggers labor to start, mine got full and started stretching a few months ago which is why I started having contractions at 22 weeks. So now, it's really stretched and has just been trying to get this baby out and we just keep pumping muscle relaxers into my body to calm it down. That's why I always contract and why there's nothing I can do to completely stop it. The fact that I have a short cervix adds another worry, but I also take hormones to relax that and they seem to be working well. I didn't know I had it till I was 17 weeks pregnant with this baby, but it sure explains why the others didn't stay in long enough. The only weird thing is that with this condition you're supposed to carry each baby longer because your uterus gets stretched out, but for some reason mine are coming earlier each time. The doctors have no idea why this is happening since it's supposed to be the opposite, but maybe after this baby comes out they'll find an answer in there! I always wonder if I could get pregnant in both sides at the same time, but they won't know till they take this baby out. My doctor suspects one side has an underdeveloped cervix, so if that's the case I wouldn't get pregnant in that side. I've read stories online though about women who have one in each side so it does happen! In fact my great-great-grandma had twins and one miscarried and the other stayed in, so we think she had it, too. This little boy has switched to breech and since there's not as much room in there they don't think he'll be flipping again, so a c-section is pretty likely. But during a c-section they'll be able to look everything over and see exactly what I've got, so that's a positive. Hopefully this all makes sense, I'm on a lot of medicine right now so it might sound really jumbled :) 
Besides contractions everything else is going good! Christmas is a few days away, we have AMAZING friends here who have dropped by to visit, brought dinner, and had the boys over to play so Jonathan could work on a paper that's due next week, so things have been going pretty smooth. We're so lucky and especially grateful for all the new faces we've been able to meet. So many people have brought by meals and treats that we've been able to meet new people and see a lot of our friends that we don't see much. And best of all I've almost made it to my goal of 30 wks! Next goal: 32 wks!!! Thank you again for all the prayers!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Home Sweet Home

12 blood draws
up to 24 pills a day
5 different rooms
4 shots
3 IVs
2 days on magnesium
1 trip to L&D
and exactly 3 weeks to the day
I'm finally HOME!
(and don't worry, i'm down to 10 pills a day. yikes that still sounds horrible)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Maybe Tomorrow??

K, things went good today. Not many contractions or heart decelerations! I think my fluid has gone up sufficiently that the kid can't find his cord anymore to play with, pinch, and wrap himself all up in. Seriously, when my fluid was low and we did an ultrasound he was surrounded with the darn thing. You could see it wrapped around his legs, lying in piles under his head and back, and he even had a nice chunk of it in his hands that he was playing with during the ultrasound. So it was easy to figure out why his heart rate was dropping so much, and now things are much more calm. They also have me on a new medicine schedule. Instead of taking terbutaline and procardia every 6 hours alternating so that I get one every 3 hours, I just take procardia now every 4 hours, which is the max dose. The problems was my body got too used to the terb and it didn't do anything to help, so it was basically like I was only getting medicine every 6 hours. Now I get procardia every 4 hours and that seems to be working well, only problem is that it takes about an hour to kick in and sometimes that's too long, so if I'm having contractions in between doses or before the next dose has fully kicked in then I take terbutaline, which now that I haven't been taking it as much it is a lot more effective. This system is working quite well and I'm hoping it will buy us a few more weeks! So that's the deal there, we'll talk to the doctors tomorrow and see what they think, but I think they'll let me go!
The boys have been so cute since they came home. I think going away alone together without mom and dad helped them become even better friends because they love playing together even more now. And they've been sharing better, too. Tonight they each had a cookie and Caden of course scarfed his while Easton ate a bite here and there so when Caden realized his was gone and Easton still had his he asked Easton for a bite. Jonathan was holding Easton's cookie and E grabbed it and walked over and stuck it in Caden's mouth for him to take a bite. Then he took one and they laughed and went on playing their little "game" of biting the cookie. The only problem was that Easton is a major hugger and wanted a hug after each bite to go with Cade's "thank you." Caden, in being opposite to his brother in almost every way, is not a touchy-feely sort of guy and would awkwardly lean into Easton's chest while E hugged his head, but eventually he didn't even want to do that so Easton had to settle for a simple "thank you." The funny thing about Cade is he LOVES to be touched and could have his back/leg/hand tickled forever, but when it comes to hugs he wants nothing to do with them. Kisses are okay though. :)
I also wanted to record something about Easton before I forget. Like I said, he's a major hugger, and snuggler, and kisser, and cuddler... basically we're going to have to have some serious talks with him about physical affection before he starts dating. But for now it's so fun to have a snuggler. The only part that's become a problem is that he watches me and Jonathan kiss and so sometimes he tries to give me long, loving smooches like Daddy does. I decided it was making me a little uncomfortable so I told him that he should kiss mom and dad on the cheek from now on to avoid the problem. It worked for about a day, then one night when he was going down for bed I gave him my cheek to kiss and he kissed it, but when I looked at him he had tears in his eyes and the saddest look on his face I've ever seen. I asked what was wrong and he said he was just so sad that he couldn't kiss me on the lips. Break my heart. So I told him that he could but it just needed to be a quick kiss because only mommies and daddies do long kisses. The kid got so excited and gave me a quick peck and was happy as a little lark. And I felt like a big jerk for telling him he couldn't. And then it just makes me think about how fast he's growing up and how soon he'll be in high school and might not want to kiss me or cuddle me at all anymore. Oh, why do they have to grow up? That's the worst part of parenting! Of course it seems like I want to freeze him at every stage, so I know the ones coming will be fun too, but that will mean others are left behind. I think I baby Caden already because I realize from Easton that he'll be big too soon. In fact if you tell Cade he's a big boy he'll say, "No, I not a big boy. I a baby!" I don't mind having two babies, I'll enjoy it while I can. Hopefully Caden won't mind the fact that soon he won't be the only baby in the house!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Boys Are Back in Town!

Well.... almost anyway :)  My mom and my cousin Morgan were coming down to see my grandma in the hospital in Panguitch so they brought the boys down and met Jonathan in Cedar City and now they're about an hour and a half away!!! Yay I'm so excited! I've been wondering the whole time if they were even going to want to come home because they've been having such a ball up there so I decided I needed to start preparing them a few days early, so on Thursday I asked Easton if he wanted to come home and (much to my happiness) he got all excited and started jumping up and down squealing. Phew, I guess he does love us after all! Unfortunately, I probably should have waited a day, because then by Friday he was done and for the first time since he's been gone, he cried for us and wanted to go home. I'm sure this was aggravated by the fact that he wouldn't take a nap that day. Anyway, Jonathan picked them up and said they were so excited and happy and kept asking him to bring them to the hospital to see me :)
I was really hoping they would be able to come get me and take me home, but when the perinatologist who is on call for my doctor came in this morning she said she wants me to stay a little bit longer. The baby's heart rate is doing much better and he rarely drops it now, even during strong contractions, so he must have changed position or moved off his cord or something. But I've been having a few episodes of 10-15 contractions an hour the last few days so they want to make sure things aren't getting worse before they let me go. So far I've been able to manage them okay with the medicines, so if that continues to be the case through the weekend then I will be more comfortable going home knowing I can manage them myself, especially since I'll be 29 weeks next week. I know it's still really early, but after six weeks of bedrest and wondering if I'm going to make it to the next week, I feel like I should be due already! It's so weird to think I still have 3 months left. My hope is that things stay stable, I make it to 36 weeks and they take me off bedrest, and then I can finally wear my cute maternity clothes and park in the expectant mothers parking spot at Babies R Us and take maternity pictures with the boys loving my big fat belly and waddle around the park and have complete strangers ask how far along I am and then groan when I tell them it's my 3rd boy and be a normal pregnant person for a few weeks till I get to take a chubby baby home from the hospital with me.  I can dream can't I? :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


went home today, but decided to stay a few more days. Baby's heart rate is still dropping with contractions and my doctor came in this morning and said I could come home, but I'd have to go into his office to be monitored for a few hours every day, and when patients get to that point they generally put them in the hospital, so I might as well stay a few more days and see if he can't find a different position or something to get him off the umbilical cord so we don't have to worry about it.
They also did an ultrasound and my fluid has gone back up since stopping the indocine so that's good news! He's weighing in at 2 lbs 6 oz and looks to be doing really good! They also measured my cervix and it's gotten a little longer so that's great! My body is still trying to go into labor, so I have a lot of lower back pain and cramping with the contractions, but it's good to know it hasn't affected my cervix yet, that's great news! My doctor said again for me to not worry too much about the fact that I'm having contractions because there's nothing they can do to stop them, but just that I need to be concerned if they get too frequent or strong. The medicine seems to be suppressing them enough right now that I can go home and manage them okay at home, so hopefully this heart rate stuff resolves itself soon! Quit squishing your cord baby! :)
Other than that things are going good! Jonathan's last final is in 3 hours so that will be a relief to have done. The boys are coming back this weekend, hopefully I will be too :)   I'm nervous to leave the hospital, but I will be getting monitored in his office 2-3 times per week and I'll still do the home monitoring every day, so I should be able to be aware of when I need to go back to the hospital. I don't feel like I'm going crazy and dying to get out or anything, but if I don't need to be here then it would be nice to be at home, so we'll see how these next few days go!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Cabin

We got to go to the cabin at Fishlake the week before we came back to school. I grew up coming here and I love bringing the boys here. There was a lot of fishing...
 Motorcycling and Fourwheeling... Easton's helmet was a little big....

 Typical post-ride dirty faces....

 Pontooning and more fishing...

 Walking down to the creek and more fishing...


 Jumping off rocks...

And just plain happiness. Ah, I miss it already.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


First of all, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone. You already know I'm so grateful for all of the prayers, but thank you also for your kind words. I've had so many comments, texts, phone calls, and messages from people wanting to know how they can help and also just telling me something positive and it really makes my day. I don't feel I deserve it, but it makes me so happy just the same. There are so many sweet people and it sets such a great example for me of what I should do when others are going through trials. I think that's one reason we have tough experiences, so we can be awed at the compassion and love we receive and have a greater desire to show that same love to others. Thank you.
As for an update, I was really thinking that I was going to finally have a positive, happy post where I tell you all how great things are going. It looked that way after I got off the magnesium, the new medicine(indocine) was working great at controlling contractions and they were planning on keeping me on it for possibly a few weeks. One side effect of it is that it lowers your amniotic fluid, so they only put me on half a dose and said it shouldn't affect my fluid for at least a week so they would do another ultrasound then. Well, of course if my contractions are under control something else has to go wrong, right? A few days ago, little junior started dropping his heart rate randomly during his monitoring sessions that we do for two hours a day. So they decided to keep me on the monitoring 24/7, which is difficult to keep a heart monitor on a 2 lb baby so the poor nurses have to constantly come in and find him again if he moves too much. His heart rate would drop about once an hour, but it would come right back up so they weren't too worried, he was probably just laying on or playing with his umbilical cord. But sometimes he drops it a lot, one night they actually wouldn't let me eat anything cuz they thought I was going to have to go in for a c-section because he kept doing it. But he always stops before they get too worried. So yesterday my doctor decided to measure the amniotic fluid to make sure that wasn't part of his sudden issue with dropping his heart rate. They found that my fluid was low, not too low, but below normal and low enough that you could see little buddy's feet and hands all tangled up in his cord and you could even see that he was laying on it. A super active baby in a tiny space with a lot of cord means lots of times when it gets wrapped on a foot or hand or just pinched under him and drops his pulse. So they said that while it's not worrisome, it is annoying because they still have to keep the monitor on just in case he gets a little too tangled up and needs to be rescued. They don't anticipate that happening, but it's just a precaution. Unfortunately, the really bad part is they had to stop the indocine since that's what is causing the drop in fluid, which means I can only have the old medicines I was on before that stopped working. Luckily, the magnesium kind of flushes your body and has a "clean slate" sort of effect so the medicines are working better now than before so hopefully they continue to work a little longer and give this little guy at least till I hit 28 weeks this Thursday! So this is where we sit now. Baby is still having some drops in heart rate so he has to stay on the monitor till he stops, and contractions are getting more frequent since I stopped taking the indocine, but overall things are okay. I'm doing good, bedrest hasn't been too bad, I think after 5 weeks I'm kind of used to it by now. Every now and then I think of how fun it would be to cook a nice meal or go on a run, but I'll be able to do that my whole life.The boys are having an absolute ball up in Utah and haven't been homesick once this whole week, so that's a load off my mind. And Jonathan's, too. He's doing the best he can with finals, but we've had three different occasions this week where they told us the baby might come that night, so he's always stressed while he's gone studying during the day that I'm going to call and tell him to rush over, but I think we'll be able to hold out till Thursday when he finishes for the semester. The only really stressful part for me is watching his heart rate all day and all night and every time it drops hoping it doesn't go too low, last too long, or happen too often. It's also stressful when contractions start getting more frequent or painful and I have to just pray my last dose of medicine kicks in soon, but when these stresses are gone I'll have a whole new lot that comes with a baby in the NICU learning to eat, breathe, and keep warm on his own, so I'll take what I have now and be happy.
Plus I just had a shower and my nurse put an eggshell on my mattress so things are looking better already! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A little humbling...

is apparently what I needed.  I was getting a little whiny about having to be in the hospital and not being able to be at home on bedrest, so I got to see how things could be worse.
Monday I woke at 3 am with horrible contractions and cramping. The nurse gave me some medicine and after an hour it finally started working, but on and off for the rest of the day they would come back. I had cramping and lower back pain all day and by the evening I was getting really stressed out. They had upped both of my meds to every 4 hours alternating so that I was getting something every 2 hours, but that was still barely controlling it. So when I was doing my monitoring session that night we noticed that every time I had a contraction the baby's heart rate dropped. It only took two of those before the nurse started freaking out and came in to help me adjust and change positions to see if that helped. As she was doing that she noticed his head was down really low and his heart rate dropped on another contraction so they were worried his head was in the birth canal getting squeezed with each contraction. The nurse checked me and said I was dilated 2-3 cm on the outside and 1 cm on the inside and 50% effaced. They had to stop the contractions or deliver the baby, so they put in an IV of Magnesium Sulfate. I'd heard people say it was awful, and they were not kidding at all! Basically it relaxes your entire body, all of your muscles. So immediately after they gave it to me I threw up everything since my stomach was now relaxed and didn't want any food in it.(Maybe if it had known it wouldn't get to eat or drink for two days it would have kept it in!) It also makes you feel like you're burning up, so I had to have cold, wet rags on me for two days. And it makes you sensitive to light, so they took me over to labor and delivery and for two days I had to lay flat in a dark room and do nothing except feel like I was burning up. Every now and then I'd start to feel panicked and like I just needed to get up and do something but you can't really move much when all your muscles are relaxed. In fact I could only open one eye at a time, if I tried to open both of them everything would go out of focus. And it makes you super drowsy so you keep falling asleep, but they have to wake you up and talk to you every hour and ask about contractions so it's not like you ever get good sleep. The first day was a little bit better, but I was still having 6-8 contractions an hour so they decided to up the magnesium. The contractions finally calmed down, but the side effects got worse. Luckily the baby was doing fine through all this and never dropped his heart rate once after that. I couldn't really watch tv very well because of the light but I would turn it on and listen to it for a few hours each day when I was feeling particularly stir crazy but any time a food commercial would come on I would hurry and change the channel since even Cheerios commercials were now making me drool. The doctor came in Wednesday afternoon and did an ultrasound and, while I am dilated and he said I'm now 75% effaced, my cervix is still 2 cm long, still short but long enough that he thinks if the contractions calm down I can hopefully keep the baby in till next week when I hit 28 weeks. I about wept with joy when he said they could take me off the magnesium and start a new medicine in addition to my old ones and see if that combination would keep things under control. Well, I'm happy to report that for a full 24-hours now it has done just that! I've only had a few contractions an hour and they haven't even been painful at all! They put me on a low dose of this medicine so that they can keep me on it longer. It can reduce your amniotic fluid though so they have to do an ultrasound every few days and make sure we're okay there. The other drawback to this medicine is that it makes you nauseated, so when I got off the magnesium Jonathan brought a bunch of treats over for me to eat after 2 days of nothing and unfortunately all I could eat was crackers and ginger ale. Thank heavens my nurse gave me Zofran today! Anyway, after all my whining about wanting to be at home, I'm now so grateful just to not be on magnesium and I will gladly lay in a hospital bed for two more months if I have to as long as I don't have to go on it again! While I was on it though, I started thinking about how things could always be worse. I'm sure there are plenty of women who would spend 9 months on magnesium if it meant they could have a baby, and here I am complaining about 2 days! I also thought about what's going to happen to this little boy in the NICU once he comes out, and I realized that his time there will be very similar to what I was experiencing. While he won't be burning hot, he'll have to work hard at keeping warm on his own. He also won't be able to eat or drink anything and will have to be tube fed, and there will probably be plenty of times when he'll be thirsty but he can't tell anyone that. My arm is all bruised up because I had to have my blood drawn every 6 hours to check my mag levels, but he'll be getting poked for weeks. I was bummed because I had just gotten my IV out and I had to get a new one in, but he'll be getting several IVs and a PICC line to get his nutrition from, and all in his tiny little veins that will probably get blown and he'll have to be re-poked somewhere else so they can try again. My sensitivity to sound and light is nothing compared to the overstimulation NICU babies experience. Unless he makes it to 32 weeks, I am not even supposed to touch him and talk to him at the same time because it's too much. His muscles will be just as weak as mine were and he'll probably get sick of lying in an incubator hooked to so many wires and monitors after being in his nice swimming pool where he could move freely and be comfortable. My heart aches and I want to cry when I think about what lies ahead for him. We took a tour of the NICU the other day and I saw a 2lb 9 oz baby and all I could think about was how badly I did not want to have that tiny of a baby! The ultrasound said he's 2 lbs right now, so I'd really love to keep him in for weeks and weeks more! So I'll do everything I can, even if I have to go back on that horrible stuff, if it means he doesn't have to go through it as long. This one's for you little buddy! I'll stay here as long as you stay in there!
And ps, this post is not a cry for sympathy, I know plenty of women who've been on magnesium and some who've been on it for weeks, so I'm not feeling sorry for myself or anything. It could always be much, much worse. I really feel lucky that we've made it so far and that it looks like we'll be able to make it even farther! I'm still convinced it's because of all those wonderful prayers you all send our way. Thank you so so SO much for that!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And yet again!

Yep, can you believe it? ANOTHER post! Wow this is a record, you'd think I had nothing better to do all day than lie around and update the blog huh? ;)   Well, tomorrow it will be exactly 4 weeks since I've been doing just that. When I figured that out I thought, "Four weeks?? That's it? I swear it's been four months!" But no, just one month. The first week I was allowed to still teach preschool and do nothing else, but after that they said no to preschool too. So three weeks at home on the couch, one down in the hospital. Can I just say, being at home is SOOOOO much more enjoyable than being in the hospital! You actually have options at where you want to lay down: on your nice comfy bed, on your nice comfy couch, in your nice comfy bathtub, even your floor can seem nice and comfy for a little while! But now the only change of scenery I get is from pushing the arrow buttons on the side of my hospital bed to either be lying flat or just reclined. Yipee! Although the boys do love to come hop in and ask me to take them for a ride on it :)  Those cute little boys left yesterday to be entertained by grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends in Utah while Dad finishes up finals. Boy that was tough, I bawled the night before and almost backed out and convinced Jonathan to keep them here and just have them stay at friends' houses during the day while he studies, but really they were so excited to go and we haven't been able to go home at all to visit this semester so I knew it would be fun for them. The second they're homesick, though, they'll be right back down here! But I'm sure they'll have a ball, it's probably harder on Mama than it is on them, but if any of you see them acting a little crazy or emotional, just know that their life is a little mixed up right now and soon they'll be back home and calmed down. I don't know how long I'll be here, but Jonathan will be done with finals soon so he'll be able to take over and get them back into a little more normal routine. He took them to the library a few weeks ago and said he didn't know how moms do it (he left the movies to return in the car so he couldn't check out the ones he had gotten, had to come out and get the ones to return then go back in and check out the new ones, then forgot to unlock them and had to go back in again! Poor boy!) but he'll adjust. This will be a unique experience for him to do my job all day, but I've noticed that the more he's home taking care of the boys, the more patient he becomes. Sometimes I think he should really be the stay at home parent instead of me :)  Anyway, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My parents and siblings came down (minus David and Robin, but plus Ashlee's boyfriend David, so I guess that evens it out right?) Tuesday night and spent the week playing with the boys and coming to visit me every day. On Thanksgiving they brought over a plate of dinner and the pies and we shared them and played games in my luxurious suite. They left Saturday morning so they could stop on the way back and see my cute grandma who's in the hospital in Panguitch. Speaking of that, sometimes I feel like I'm an elderly person here. I normally don't like to take medicine and if I have a headache I'm much more likely to take a nap than a tylenol, but here I feel like a druggie. My mother-in-law even joked that she's going to have to give me some tough love to help with the withdrawals when I come out. I just got done with my 10am dosing and I got a whopping 6 pills! That's my biggest dose of the day because it includes 3 antibiotic pills, but basically I get 2 pills to stop contractions every 3 hours, two different types of anitbiotics that I get twice a day(in case there's an infection that's contributing to the labor), a prenatal vitamin, a hormone to relax my uterus, and colace twice a day since lying down all day doesn't help with digestion too much. The first couple of days they also gave me a sleeping pill at night since the blood pressure cuff monitored every half hour and my IV was super noisy, but I've graduated from those now so I can sleep much better(besides being woken up at 10,12,3,4,and 6 to take medicine during the night or have my temp and blood pressure checked). I guess this is good training for waking up with a baby right? The bad news is that when this medicine stops being effective enough on the contractions they're going to up my medicine to alternating between the two kinds every 2 hours. Whew. But at least I'm not getting poked anymore, the first day I had an IV, the horribly painful steroid shots, blood taken twice, and a terbutaline shot to stop contractions, so that day I just felt like a big pin cushion. Easton thought the IV was the most amazing thing in the world though and asked the nurse a thousand questions about it and what it was doing and why I had a straw in my arm. He was so disappointed when it was gone. I was also hooked up to the blood pressure, contraction, and baby's heart monitor for the first few days and I LOVED getting to hear his strong little heart beating all the time. Now they just do it for one hour twice a day, but I sure love that time! Keep keepin' on baby!
I think I should explain a little bit about why I'm here and why I'm taking all this medicine since I thought I understood but now I'm realizing I wasn't quite as clear as I thought. The "anti-contraction" medicine I'm taking is actually heart medication and asthma medicine, but they've found that it works to relax the uterus so they give it for that. The problem is there are some side effects, like I'm so shaky all day I can't even put makeup on and I have a hard time scooping up my food sometimes, so if I had thing to do that could be problematic, but since I'm just laying here it's worth it to keep him in. One of the medicines lowers my blood pressure so headaches and dizziness are common, although I haven't had too hard of a time, and the other one raises my pulse so that I get flushed and feel like my heart is racing, but I really only had those reactions the first couple of days I was on it and now I'm fine. Jonathan came in the first night after I started the pill form and got a shot of it and my pulse jumped up to 147 so the nurse told him he had to leave. Ah, true love :). It went down after a minute though so he got to stay. They're trying to relax my uterus enough to keep it from going into labor with these medicines though, because the last two options have much more side effects. The first is Indicine(sp?) which make the baby not pee as much, so they can only do that one for a couple of days, and the last resort is magnesium sulfate, which relaxes all your intestines so that you generally just feel sick and you can't eat anything while you're on it, and sometimes they can keep you on it for weeks if they need to, so all you get is an IV and I think liquids. Bah that doesn't sound fun at all, not that I'm loving the hospital food or anything, but I'd definitely like the option of eating. So we're hoping that I can avoid those for as long as possible, but I'll be honest, I keep having "episodes" of contractions that last up to a few hours and each day they get closer together. Friday I had a couple hours of every 9 minutes and then yesterday it was every 5 minutes, so I'm worried that they're going to increase the medicine soon. They said there's no way of completely stopping them, they're just putting off labor as long as possible, so once they get too close together and the medicines aren't helping they'll have to hit them with something new, but the fine line is to not up the dosage too early or my body will get used to it quicker, but not do it too late that I've gone too far and there's nothing they can do to stop it. Poor doctors, I am such a problem patient.
Well, if you couldn't tell by this post I am pretty bored these days and miss talking to people, although the nurses are super nice! And Jonathan has tried to be here as much as possible. He spent all day Friday and Saturday studying here and even slept over last night, so that's been nice to have company, but this week I'm sure he'll be busier than ever with finals. I'm pretty nosy too and I love to know all the details about what's going on with people, so I thought somebody else out there might want to know too, even though after reading this you may want to never hear the words "uterus" or "contractions" again. But could somebody help me out with my pictures? Every time I try to upload one it says "Sorry, your file is too big." How can it say that on every picture? I even tried to put one as the background and it wouldn't work. Any advice?? I promise we do actually do fun things that I take pictures of, I just am always to busy to blog and then when I finally get around to it something like this happens and I just give up, so if anyone knows what to do let me know!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Wow, not even one week since my last post and SO much has changed! On Saturday I started having more contractions, they got worse Sunday and Monday I was still having them when I went to my appointment with the perinatologist(a specialist for high risk women). He measured my cervix and found it had shrunk from 3.2 cm to 1.6. Yikes. Basically 3-4 cm is good, 2.5-3 is short but still considered okay, and anything under that is immedite bedrest. I originally got placed on bedrest because mine was at 2.5, but the bedrest and anti-contraction medication brought it up to 3.2, so they kept me on it since it was working so well. Well, it was a scary thing to see it shrunk down so far in one week. I couldn't stop shaking as the ultrasound tech checked the baby's size, weight, and organ function to make sure he was okay. He weighed in at an estimated 1 lb 13 oz, not exactly the size I want my newborn to be, but most of his measurements are a week ahead so that's good that he's a big boy. The doctor said he wanted to admit me to the hospital and try a new anti-contraction medicine on me, but I'd have to stay a few days to make sure it worked. Since my mom has been staying in town helping us, she dropped the boys off at my cousin Cori's house and took me to the hospital. As I got there, I started having lower back pain, cramping, and pressure, so obviously I was getting pretty freaked out. When the nurse in labor and delivery hooked me up to the monitor I was having contractions every 2-4 minutes, definitely not helping the situation. She quickly gave me the new medicine, but after an hour it wasn't helping so she gave me a shot of it to make it work faster. Finally they started getting less painful and farther apart. The new medicine seemed to work fairly well for the rest of the day and into the next, but by Tuesday evening I was starting to have more contractions and uterine irritability. By the next day they were almost constant and getting stronger. My ob came in today(wednesday) and checked me and luckily my cervix isn't dilated, but it is very soft and has moved to an anterior position, which precedes labor. A few hours later the perinatologist came to do an ultrasound. Before he did, he talked to us about how the medicines are obviously not stopping the contractions, which by this point were about every 7 minutes. He said they are no longer trying to stop them since there doesn't seem to be a way to, but they're just trying to reduce the number of them. Eventually my body will override all the medicine they throw at it and it will just go into full-blown labor, they're just trying to delay that as long as possible. At this point, his survival rate is high, but his risk of having long term brain damage like cerebral palsy is 30%. At 28 weeks, it drops to 3% so that's our goal right now. The good news is he did an ultrasound and found that my cervix had actually lengthened to 2.6 cm, which is absolutely incredible!(thanks to all those wondrous prayers from everyone!) He said the hospital bedrest and medicine is helping it, so they're keeping me in here until 28 weeks to give the babe a better shot. After that they'll evaluate how I'm doing and see if I can go home or if they'll keep me longer. So good news and bad news, but I feel really good about everything now, just hoping to squeeze in a couple more weeks! I feel really blessed already, since I've been able to hold off the contractions since 22 weeks. Also the doctor said that if he had sent me home Monday instead of sending me to the hospital, I could have very well had the baby that day since things were headed that direction fast. Every day counts now so we're so grateful to have even made it this far! Now hoping for a little bit longer!My family came down for Thanksgiving weekend, so they've been entertaining the boys and at the end of the week they'll take them home with them. Jonathan will have finals for 2 more weeks and will be done the day I hit 28 weeks, so we'll be able to bring the boys back down and hopefully I'll be doing well enough I can come home then, too! Ugh I am going to miss those boys soooooo much! I'm so depressed thinking about it! But it will be tons of fun for them and much less stressful on Jonathan trying to study for finals. And less stressful for me, which is always good when we're trying not to induce contractions. So that's where things stand right now, I'll try and update more as there are new developments. Our hopes are high and we're thinking as positively as possible and trying to set little goals along the way so we don't think about the fact that he's not even due till March 1st, over 3 months away! But if we make it to Dec 8, 28 weeks, I will be very very happy! I remember when all this started a month ago and at 23 wks when we got the positive ffn test, and the thought that he might be born too early to even have a shot at surviving was so hard to bear, so we're so happy to have made it this far where his survival chances are 80-90%! We're so grateful for everyone's kind words and deeds and help and prayers and just how thoughtful everyone has been! Thanks so much!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Top 10 things I haven't blogged about in the past year...

Well, I put off blogging all the time because I hate uploading pictures. I only have about 526,784,893 pictures from the past year and I finally decided I would upload them, but what do ya know, I keep getting error messages so I'm bagging it and just doing a pictureless post! So here we go to our top ten, in no particular order:

1. Celebrated everyone's birthdays!(obviously :)) Easton is a big 3 year old, Caden just turned 2 a few months ago, and I hit my quarter century mark! Big Dada is now 2 years away from the big 3-0! We got to celebrate all of our birthdays in Utah with family which was the best present of all!

2. Jonathan finished his first year of law school! Only two to go! I can't imagine what it will be like when we're not in school. I'm thinking not having homework on weekends will be nice, but I'm going to miss him getting 6 weeks off for Christmas break. THAT is a pretty sweet perk.

3. We spent all of Christmas break in Utah with family, literally leaving right after he finished his last final and not getting back till the day before he started the new semester. It was so much fun to have a white Christmas, I haven't adjusted yet to looking out the window at the palm trees and blue sky when I'm listening to Christmas music. It just feels so weird still. But besides that we absolutely LOVE the weather. There are splash parks everywhere and last year we went to the pool up until November! We even got a sunburn in our t-shirts at the Christmas parade in December. It really is nice to be able to go to the park any time you want, but sometimes I do wish we could just have a few weeks of snow and cold, then back to 70s. That would rock.

4. We got to go to Hawaii! My dad had a ton of skymiles so my parents decided that the perfect Christmas gift for everyone would be a trip to Hawaii! It was amazing of course. They rented a little townhouse on the beach (totally the way to go) and we had a ball snorkeling, sight seeing, playing in the waves, and just hanging out together. The boys ask almost every day still when we got to go back to Hawaii. Those silly little boys would only get in the very edge of the water, they mostly wanted to play in the sand and throw rocks. But Easton says that when he's a 4-year-old (in a few months) he'll go out snorkeling. We'll see if that happens :)

5. I ran my first ever half-marathon in March! I'd never run more than 5 miles and I started running with my friend McCall who has run a couple of marathons. She inspired me so I started training and realized it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact I started enjoying running 10+ miles! Weird. Anyway, we ran a half and I was continuing to train for a full, but I got injured so it looks like for now my marathon dreams will have to wait till next year.

6. We also got to spend the whole summer in Utah with family! Jonathan did an internship for a judge and worked part-time at an apartment managing company (thanks to Robin for getting him that job!). It was soooo much fun to spend a few months with family after being away. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and are so grateful to our families for letting us come stay.

7. Easton started preschool! And so did I! My friend McCall used to be a preschool and kindergarten teacher and she wanted to start a preschool so we decided to start one together. It is sooo much fun! We started small last year with just a few kids but this year it's grown to 13 kids including Easton. We've had so much fun and it's amazing to see the kids learning and growing and realize how much they're picking up! Easton loves it and wishes we had it everyday! The kids are so cute, I never dreamed I would enjoy teaching as much as I do, but I love it!

8. We got two new brothers-in-law! Jonathan's sisters Jocelyn and Whitney, who have been roommates and best friends since Jocelyn graduated, ended up getting married within a few months of each other! Right around Whitney's wedding we also got a new cousin on the Peck side and in March of next year we'll be getting our first cousin on the Harward side from my brother David and his wife Robin! Yay!

9. WE will also be having a new baby brother in our family! I know this is kind of old news now, but it definitely goes in the top ten :)  Easton cried and cried when he found out it was going to be a brother, he wants a sister sooo bad! He wants a sister so he can cuddle her and kiss her and feed her a bottle, which I tried to tell him he can do with a brother but he really doesn't believe me. We actually had a little ultrasound earlier where the dr. guessed it was a girl, but said he was only 70% sure because it was so early and the image was so poor, but we had a big ultrasound the next week and found out it was actually a boy! Poor Easton had been so excited that it was a girl that it was a big letdown for him, but the weird thing was I was actually relieved. (The entire pregnancy I thought it was a girl, I was so much sicker and for so much longer that I figured it must be. And I had really bad acne, which I never got at all with the boys. Surprise, surprise! All 3 of my pregnancies have been totally different and yet they're all boys!) So after the dr said it was a girl the first time, I went home and started putting some baby boy things away and I actually started crying because I suddenly wanted it to be a boy! Weird huh? Well, I got my wish, and I was sooo excited when it turned out to be a boy after all! The funny thing is that even after the dr said he was 70% sure it was a girl, Jonathan still insisted it was a boy. He's usually always right about these things. And now my brother and his wife are having a boy too! So we'll have two little boy cousins just a few months apart! Yay!

10. As most of you also already know, this pregnancy is not going the way we hoped and planned. Both of our other boys were completely unplanned and I liked it that way, but after Caden surprised us ten weeks early I decided this one would have to be more strategic, especially since Jonathan was in law school. We waited a little bit to get pregnant so if I had an incompetent cervix it would have time to get stronger and then planned his due date so that I would be 28 weeks at the beginning of Jonathan's Christmas break and a little over 33 weeks when he went back, thus covering the time period we figured I would most likely be on bedrest and also the time period the baby might come. I thought we were being really smart and had it all worked out and there was no way I would be on bedrest before then. After all, with Caden I was jogging 4 miles a day and taking no medicine or anything and he stayed in till 30 weeks, so I figured for sure with seeing a specialist, taking things easy, and being on medicine this baby would stay in much longer. Well, I started seeing a perinatologist and found my cervix was normal, although on the short end, so he put me on progesterone hormone. That seemed to work till my 22 week appointment, when he found it had gotten shorter. I'd also been having some pain for a few days before so he put me on modified bedrest and a low dose of anti contraction medicine and told me to double the dose if the pain kept up. Everything was fine for a few days, then the contractions got worse and worse till I ended up in labor & delivery with hard contractions every 5-8 minutes. The nurse was trying to get a hold of my doctor to see what he wanted me to do when they started to become irregular and not so strong, so they told me I could go home and see if I could make it till my next appointment which was a few days later. I had doubled my medicine dosage but still had small, irregular contractions all weekend till my appointment this past Monday. The perinatologist checked my cervix and it had gotten a little longer with the bedrest so he told me I would be on full bedrest the rest of the pregnancy and he also upped my contraction medicine to the highest dosage. They did a fetal fibronectin test, which I'm not entirely sure what it tests, but I think it's to see if the fibers around your uterus are starting to come out, meaning labor is beginning. A negative result means you basically have no chance of delivering within the next two weeks, a positive means a 30% chance, since it could be starting several weeks before you actually deliver. Well, mine came back positive, so even though there is still a 70% chance I won't deliver before I hit 25 weeks, they gave me steroid shots to help his lungs develop faster in case he does come sooner, giving him a better chance at surviving.(Can I just say, these shots are the most PAINFUL shots I have ever had in my life, and I'm not a sissy when it comes to stuff like that! It's the medicine that hurts, so you can feel it burning as it goes in and it continues to burn for about an hour after and then aches the rest of the day. But definitely worth it if he comes soon!) So as of right now, I'm 24 weeks and 1 day and I'm hoping to make it at least a few more weeks. At 26 weeks the survival rate is about 90% so that would be awesome, although we'd definitely love to last longer. I think I'm just nervous since I'm already on bedrest and the highest dose of contraction medicine and the hormones to help my cervix and I'm still struggling with contractions. I just feel like my body is trying to override everything we throw at it, but like my doctor said, every day he stays in is worth 3 days in the NICU and gives him a much better chance, so even a week more is extremely beneficial. A nurse is coming by tomorrow to hook me up to a wireless at-home contraction monitor so they can watch me and let me know if they think I need to go in. The next step would be to be on hospital bedrest, but if I am in the hospital they can give me an even stronger medicine for contractions so that will give him even more time to grow. Hopefully that doesn't come too soon though, I'm not ready to be stuck in a hospital bed all day.  Well, that's basically where we stand right now. I wish I was even just a few weeks farther along, but it's so amazing what they can do medically these days that I'm grateful I'm as far as I am. It can always be worse! I am especially grateful to all of our friends, family, and ward members! They have been amazing and incredible and taken care of my every need without even being asked. We feel so blessed to be surrounded by such good people and I feel awful because I can't even make them cookies to say thank you, but what goes around comes around so I hope I get a turn to return the service that they've shown to me. Especially Jonathan, he's in his last few weeks of school and has had to be the single dad, take care of the house, take care of me, do his callings, and everything else. I don't know how he does it. I remember thinking that it would be kind of fun for me to be on bedrest because then he would get to see what being a mom was like, but now I realize I was totally wrong because he is so helpful and all I do is lay on the couch and make more work for him since he is always getting me things and taking me to appointments. I just hope he breaks his leg or something someday so that he's laid up and I get to do everything for him while he just sits and reads and watches movies. That would be great. :)
Well this is way longer that I intended, but I just wanted to let everyone know the details since I love to hear all the details about stuff like this when it happens to other people! And I wanted to tell everyone thank you, for all your service and all your prayers! Every single person that has said they're thinking of us or praying for us has really made a difference. I remember what a comfort that was after we had Caden and it definitely is now too! Thank you all so much! I will hopefully update this a little more often and get some pictures on next time. Seriously, it's not like I have much else to do right? :)