Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hello all! I have a lot to update. This week has been full of adventures. I will go day by day, so feel free to skip around. Pictures will be posted tomorrow.


Monday morning I took the anticipated glucose test. Someone came in at 6 am to have me drink the sugar-filled liquid and then at 7 am someone from lab was there to draw my blood. Normally I don't mind the drink for the glucose test. Usually I have a lemon-lime flavored drink. The fruit punch flavor isn't so great. I just stayed in bed and took a little nap. I had a bad dream. My doctor told me that I failed the glucose test and wouldn't let me "re-take" it. Normally you can take a longer version of the test if you fail the first one. My nurse came in and I told her about the dream. Dreams do come true! I failed the test. I was not very happy about it. Monday was not a good day.

My doctor started me on glyburide, a medication to lower blood sugar. I was put on the diabetic diet and of course received blood tests two hours after each meal, and before I ate breakfast in the morning. I received a nice card in the mail that day from Paul and Cindy. Part of it read "this too will pass." Now, having gestational diabetes should have been the least of my worries with all of my other complications--and it is something that is manageable. But it somewhat put me over the edge--the last straw sort of thing.


Not much happened on Tuesday. A normal day on bedrest! I had great blood sugar readings so the doctors were happy about that.


That morning I was lying in bed awake, taking my time to "get up". My nurse came in at 7:15 and said she just found out that my ultrasound would be at 7:30. I pretty much got up and went to the ultrasound. The fluid around the baby had increased. The week before it had been 4 centimeters of fluid and on Wednesday it was 5.9 centimeters. He was moving great and passed all of the ultrasound "tests".

After my ultrasound when I was back in my room I felt some cramping and a few more contractions than usual. Normally I would have about 4 or 5 contractions the whole day. By lunch time I wasn't feeling so great. I didn't think I would have my baby that day. But I did have the thought that if I did go into labor they weren't going to let me eat and I knew I was hungry so I ordered lunch and ate up. I thought of my friend Vena Singleton. She said when she went into labor one time she made some cinnamon rolls and ate all of them, then woke up her husband and said it was time to go to the hospital.

A little while after lunch was over I got up to go to the bathroom. Ever since my water broke I had been leaking amniotic fluid, so I wasn't surprised when I started leaking a little more than normal. But did I have a surprise! It was blood that started coming out, not amniotic fluid. So I was in one of those situations that most people want to avoid--on the toilet pulling the "help" cord. My nurse came in and helped me clean up and got me back in bed. Another nurse came right in and put in a saline lock. Two guys then came and wheeled my bed (with me on it) to labor and delivery. On the way down to the elevator I called Lee on his cell phone and started crying (again). I got his voice mail and tried to leave a coherent message.

Once in labor and delivery I was started on saline solution and a nurse put in another saline lock. Lee called me a little later. He was with a patient earlier, which I assumed, and I told him what was going on. He asked if I wanted him to come and I said yes and he left work right away. That is something that I love about his job. His "boss" and co-workers are very accommodating with family emergencies.

My contractions continued to increase, but my bleeding slowed down. Lee arrived. Then my contractions were getting more painful and closer together, about 3-5 minutes apart. The nurse gave me some type of medication to slow down the contractions, or even stop them. I was surprised that I was given that medication. I thought they would just let the labor take it's course. But because the fluid around the baby had increased the doctor wanted to try and stop the contractions (somewhat). The medication did help a little, but after about 40 minutes, my contractions were back full force. Also when the second saline lock went it, apparently it went through the vein (?). It did not feel good and I am glad I told the nurse. So she re-stuck me and got the saline lock in good.

My bleeding started up again, not too much, but it was nice and red. The doctors decided to do the c-section that night. They could have given me more medication to stop the contractions, but with me bleeding, they wanted to do the surgery when they were fully staffed--not in the middle of the night when people weren't around.

The nurse gave Lee a meal ticket and he went and ate dinner. About an hour later I was wheeled into the operating room. The anesthesiologist gave me a spinal and then I was prepped for a c-section. Beforehand I signed a few papers. One of them was to receive blood transfusions if I needed them. Good thing they were prepared with blood. During my c-section the doctors discovered that a scar from my last c-section had grown abnormally and had attached to the abdomen wall. They had a hard time removing the uterus from the wall. That complication alone didn't cause all of my blood loss, but it did contribute. I lost 3 liters of blood. Yep, that's a lot. People usually only have about 5-6 liters in them. I received three pints of blood during the operation.

After the baby was pulled out, Lee went with the neonatologist people to be with Elden. A little while later I became very nauseous and threw up. It was the first time the whole pregnancy that I threw-up! (Well, I had thrown up before during the pregnancy, but it was because I was "sick", not pregnant.)

The anesthesiologist never had to put me under, but he did give me something to help me go to sleep. I guess I fell asleep for a little while. I kept thinking, when are they going to be done? And it wasn't my imagination; everything was taking a long time. Besides having placenta previa, the doctors confirmed during the operation that I had placenta increta as well.

Lee couldn't come back into the waiting room so he went back to my room and watched a little of American Idol. He then was able to come and see me in the temporary recovery room at 9pm. I had to stay there an hour. I found out that Elden weighed 2 pounds 9 ounces. (He was born at 7:17pm.) Everything looked good and they let me go back to my room.

That night was sooooo long! Almost every hour the nurse had to come in and do something. And then at 2am or so, she put some leg cuffs on me to prevent blood clots and those kept going on and off every couple of minutes. There was an oxygen thing on my finger and when my oxygen got too low, the machine would start beeping really loud. I finally had the nurse come in and put oxygen in my nose. Since I lost so much blood they were worried that I would stop breathing or something at night. With the oxygen in my nose, the machine stopped beeping and we got a little rest.


I was in bed most of the morning and was on a liquid diet that morning. Lee stayed around till about 1pm. He went home and picked up Clark from school. The boys were really happy to see Lee. My nurse got me out of bed a couple of times and I got to start eating solid food. They checked my blood count a couple of times to see if I needed another transfusion, which I never did thankfully!

Late afternoon, I went down and saw Elden for the first time. He looked so good and so tiny, I just cried while I looked at him. My mind is going out on me, but I think I went back again that evening and I got to hold him! It was great. I was told that Elden's PDA (some valve inside the heart) was still open and he was going to receive neoprofen to try and close it.

Back at the ranch Lee got the boys ready to go see their cousins.


After the boys and my parents left for Mississippi, Lee did some errands for me and came up to the hospital. He has been with me since and it has kept me sane! By Friday Elden was completely on room air. He still had a cannula-sp? (nose prongs) in his nose to push the air in to remind him to breathe, but he was no longer on oxygen. He was put under a blue light because his bilirubin levels were low. He also received a blood transfusion that day at two separate times.

Also on Friday Lee and I paid off another student loan!!! It was nice. We have two loans left and we are still on track for being debt free by the end of the year. (I have my heart set on Friday the 13th, in November.)


Yesterday morning a doctor woke me up and said they needed to draw my blood. A nurse had gotten some of Elden's blood on her so they needed to test my blood for HIV and stuff like that.

Elden was put completely on room air! The nose prongs were taken out!

Lee got to hold him and we got some pictures of him before a feeding tube was taped to his face. Lee also got my room packed up and we checked out of my room about 7:45pm. It was the first time I had been outside since February 3rd. We went to the Ronald McDonald House and checked in. I must say, I am very impressed with the whole operation. The house is older, but it is kept up pretty well and there are lots of amenities. The kitchen here is fully-stocked. We can eat here for free and even local groups bring in dinner several nights a week. There are computers to use, a "home theater", a living room, a common area and a washer and dryer. We have a private bedroom, and the bathroom is right outside our door. Right now we aren't sharing the bathroom with anyone. There is even an electric pump here, like the one at the hospital. I will get free taxi passes from the hospital that will take me to and from the hospital from the Ronald McDonald House. And since I am breastfeeding, the hospital gives me three free meals a day. I was worried about pumping, but so far it has gone well.


This morning we got ready (which took me a long time!) and we went to the hospital. We saw Elden, Lee saw the nurse insert a feeding tube through his nose, and I pumped. We had lunch at the hospital, then went to church. You'd think with having no kids with us we would have been on time! But we weren't. I stayed for all three hours. It was nice to go to church after not being there for 5 weeks! I was thinking about not going, but we didn't have any kids with us, so we went.

After church we went straight to the hospital. Lee changed Elden's diaper for the first time (I have not done so yet) and watched what the nurse did to care for him. We had some great news too! First, we found out that Elden was started on my milk and did very well digesting it. Before we left this evening he had received 3 small feedings! Plus he had a couple of messy diapers and that was good too. Then we found out that his PDA had closed. Yeah! He is still on room air. Lee held him again tonight. Our other kids got to see Elden on the webcam and that was fun.

I am doing fine, besides my belly hurting! I am tired and walk slow, but am recovering normally. (I think!) Some pictures will be posted tomorrow.


Lois said...

Wow! It sounds like you've had a hard but good week! I'm SO glad that Lee is able to stay with you for a little while longer and that little Elden is doing so well!!! Sorry we weren't able to chat today!! We were going to call you back, but when I got back on the computer you weren't on anymore. Oh well... I look forward to talking to you soon!

MissouriMormonMama said...

What a week Ruth! You are such a trooper! I'm glad you are getting settled in the new digs. As soon as I have this little one, I'd love to come visit you! Also, I can't believe Elden is doing so well. That is just awesome! Here's to a speedy recovery and more time spent with that new little one!

The Letterman's said...

what a sweetie, I hope things keep improving! Way to go MOM!!

Rachel said...

Wow Ruth. Congratulations on your tiny little guy. Sounds like he's doing great! And I think you're so funny to mention paying off student loans in the middle of all this! :) But good for you guys! Can't wait to see pics of little Elden.

Hilarie said...

What a journey! It's good to hear things are getting better each day!

Lisa and company said...

wow what a story! Hope you and little Elden continue to do well.

The G-5+2 said...

I am so glad that everything seems to be going well for you and your little one. Ronald McDonald houses are so great. I had to stay in one when Isaac was born and it was such a blessing. I am glad that they have one there for you. I hope things continue to go well for your little boy and the rest of your family. You are in our prayers.

Christina said...

It was great to hear about how everything went! I had an increrta too but had to have a hysterectomy because of it? :( It sounds like you didn't? I'm so glad your sweet baby boy is doing so well!

Shannon @ Lifelong Impressions said...

Thanks so much for sharing everything! I'm glad everything is working out so well with having a premie!