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? :)