Wednesday, December 5, 2018

What I've Been Up To...

Hi, readers! This'll be a personal post, updating y'all on the happenings around here - in other words, why it's been so long since I last posted a review!

Wes was born on November 22, Thanksgiving Day no less! I'll preface this by saying that we're all home and healthy. But we were lucky in a lot of regards.

After about 6 mos of trying, we found out we were expecting at the beginning of March. I'm pretty superstitious and took the test because it was the second in a two pack that had been staring me in the face every time I opened the bathroom cabinet. I expected it to say no... Surprise!

The pregnancy itself was pretty easy but I'm a worrier and I felt like each doctor's appt came with a new thing to add to the list! First there was the fact that I had no morning sickness or any other indication - except the positive test - that I was expecting, so waiting for the first appt at 9 weeks to confirm drove me a little crazy. Then there was the fact that I'm over 35 and the extra tests that went with that, the fact that I'm not in great shape and they wanted to test me for regular diabetes (which came back negative) in addition to the gestational diabetes test that would come later (also negative), oh and a little issue with my kidneys that led to me being sent to a specialist.

Through all the worrying, Wes was fabulous! But we did find out that I have a genetic disorder called Alport Syndrome. (Autosomal dominant for those of you who will google it.) The problem is that it presents the same as one of the key indications of preeclampsia and since I'd never been tested or diagnosed, it also meant being admitted to the hospital at almost 17 weeks pregnant for a kidney biopsy. Fun times.

After the biopsy and the genetic test confirmed what it was, it meant my blood pressure was pretty much the only thing the doctors could go by for preeclampsia. It also meant seeing a high risk doctor to monitor Wes's growth - upside is that we got an ultrasound at each visit, which meant I had less to worry about what with confirmation he was doing well every month.

I made it to 37 weeks before my blood pressure spiked high enough for real concern. They admitted me to the hospital (for one hour) to be monitored, with an eye to inducing if my bp didn't go back to normal. It did, but we skipped straight to two appts per week and my doctor scheduled an induction for week 39.

I'd hoped I would go into labor on my own before our Tuesday appt. But in spite of contractions all week prior to the appt, we checked in for the induction and found ourselves hanging out at the hospital watching The Office most of Wednesday waiting for things to progress.

I was adamant that I didn't want painkillers. Not out of any kind of sense of being able to handle the pain (I didn't have any clue what to expect) or determination to do it all naturally, but because I was convinced they wouldn't work and that the side effects wouldn't be worth it. But by the time the contractions really did hit, I was in so much agony we tried everything. At first, I was able to stand through them and then soak in the tub through them. But they started coming so hard and so close together that I was literally on the floor screaming in agony before long. Our hospital offered nitrous, which did nothing. I recall them telling me I had to get onto the bed before they could give me fentanyl, which I barely managed before yet another contraction hit. And I recall my feet were still hanging off the bed when it did. By this time they'd also stopped the pitocin and given me a drug to slow the contractions but neither offered me much relief - my husband says the combination of those and the fentanyl did give me more of a break between contractions but I was pretty out of it at that point.

What was worrisome was the fact that they couldn't seem to keep the monitors in a spot to pick up Wes's heart rate. And when they did, they found that his heart rate was dropping with each contraction but leveling off after each one ended. They were sure the contractions were putting pressure on the cord.

I got the epidural about 4:30 on Thursday morning and was able to get a little bit of sleep before the nurses changed shift at 7. They did turn the pitocin on for just one more contraction, which I felt in its entirety, and then it was time to push. The epidural wore off, y'all. My legs were numb at 4:30 and by the time I was pushing I was in pain again and the only residual effect of the meds were that my feet were the tiniest bit tingly.

An hour later, 11:31, Wes was born. And I was able to get up out of the bed and walk on my own, though they did wheel us to our recovery room.

As I said, though, we were lucky and it didn't quite sink in just how much until after. I was running a fever on one side of my face and they never did figure out why. Just before delivering, they also found that the cord had wrapped around Wes's neck. The delivering doctor was on top of it and, again, Wes was completely healthy even feeding fabulously from the very start. But, like I said, we were lucky.

Wes was labeled small for gestational age, which meant he had to pass blood sugar tests to show he was maintaining a healthy level between feedings. He passed and he only dropped 7% of his birth weight in the hospital. By the time he had his first peds appt the following Monday he was up to just 3% down and we were given the go ahead not to wake him for feedings anymore.

My blood pressure was on the high side in the hospital, so I'm not totally out of the woods for complications but apparently the further out from the pregnancy, the less worry there is. So so far so good as far as I'm concerned. And Wes was up to 6.5 lbs at his 2 week appt (which was at 11 days rather than 14), so he's peachy keen!

So that's it. That's what I've been up to.


Dianna said...

Oh, yay for you!! That is so exciting. Glad you and baby Wes are doing so great. Congratulations!

Jane said...

Congrats. Glad all is well now. The best to you all. I have been wondering where you have been and what you have been up to. I guess I know now. Thanks for sharing your drama! Wes is beautiful.

Kay said...

How wonderful!! I, too, had wondered how things were going. You had mentioned that you were pregnant. Such a beautiful baby and family! Quite the adventure and now you'll have your little bundle of joy for the holiday season. Take care and many, many congratulations!