Friday, July 29, 2011


Day 21

My grandmother died yesterday.

If you remember she broke her hip about two weeks ago. Initially she seemed to do okay after surgery. They were getting her up into the chair and making small progress towards heading to a rehab centre, when her heart started to act up. On Wednesday night she was having trouble maintaining all bodily systems at an even keel (her heart rate would speed up, then they'd give her meds to slow that down...but then her O2 sats would drop etc.) She died around 11 am yesterday morning.

I wish I had got to see her one last time. I feel bad that I don't think I'd seen her since Christmas, when she lives a 20 minute drive from us. Now I suppose I had a good excuse, being on bed rest for over 100 days this year, but still... I wish I'd made the time the last couple of weeks to go see her in the hospital. To be fair, I was afraid to bring any of Grama's hospital germs to Kaia...but I could have come home and showered between hospitals. She just seemed to be doing well, and I thought I would get the chance to see her again soon.

My Grama was my last living grandparent. When Aidan died last year, one of the small hurts among thousands was that I was afraid my Grama would die before I could get a picture of her with her great-grandchild. Then Kaia was on her way...then Kaia was born...and now my Grama is gone. And I'll never have that photo. It's a small thing to be sure, but it would be nice to have a picture of my Grama with my baby, so I could say to Kaia one day "that's you with your great-grandmother". I have a few photos of me as a baby with my great grand-mother. I was hoping for one for my child.

Since Grama had Alzheimer's she was often best with people and things that cannot talk...for instance she LOVED her dog. She didn't have to verbally communicate with a dog, or remember or pay attention to anything a dog said, and thus dogs for her were easy to be with. I haven't seen my Grama with a baby in years, but I had hoped she'd get some of the same satisfaction out of holding a small person who would have no demands for conversation. I guess I'll just have to imagine she and Kaia would have got along smashingly.

The hardest part to swallow about my Grama's death is that prior to her broken hip, she was in very good shape physically. Her family doctor kept telling my uncle she could live another 10 years. Mentally she wasn't all there, but she didn't have heart problems, she didn't have diabetes, she didn't have high blood pressure (or low blood pressure). She ate well and loved having 'a cup of tea' at almost any time of the day. She could still go for short walks. She didn't use a wheelchair, a walker or a cane (although now I'm wondering if that would have helped to prevent her fall). But one little (okay big) broken hip, and two weeks later she's gone.

It's things like this that make me so fearful for my family, and for me and for Kaia. Grama was fine...and then she's dead. I mean granted she was 85...but still...fine, and then dead. It's scary how fragile life is. As much as my Grama hasn't been herself since the Alzheimer's started to get bad...I'm going to miss having her around. She was an important part of my childhood, and now she's gone.

In Kaia news, she's still needing the extra whiff of oxygen. They tried to wean her off of it yesterday and she started desatting into the mid to low 80s overnight so they put it back on. I'm kind of sad that she's NEEDING the oxygen, but trying to keep it all in perspective. She's not a 'normal' ex-32 weeker. She's at high risk of chronic lung disease due to her lack of amniotic fluid, and I'm okay with her not being 'pushed'. She's also going down for her hip ultrasound today, so we will know for sure if she has hip dysplasia and is going to need a harness. I'm betting on it. What did make me feel better was that when I told my brother about Kaia's hip issue, he said that his girlfriend also had hip dysplasia as a child. Hers was corrected with surgery. I've known his girlfriend for 5 years, and I never would have known that about her. So I guess it is pretty fixable. Good news is that Kaia's other issues aren't holding her back in the weight department. She was 1990 grams as of last night (ALMOST 2KG!!!) and gained 85 grams in one day! That's over a pound since she started gaining weight after her initial loss after birth. My little chunker. At least all that pumping is going to good use.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Long haul

Day 19

Kaia is doing better. She's still on a tiny bit of oxygen (25mls), but she's not having desats when not being handled, and only a few with handling so she seems better. She does seem to tire after being held for an hour, but I'm getting used to her pattern and am now holding her for a hour while her feed goes in, and then I put her back and she's good again. This actually works out well as an hour is about how long I can stand sitting in the terrible chairs they have in this NICU. They are like doctor's office waiting chairs, not comfortable for sitting in to Kangaroo your baby. I think she might be able to handle longer if I didn't have to move her around so much near the end of the hour because I'm so uncomfortable.

We don't have any explanation as to why she is needing oxygen now, after not needing any while on CPAP during her first week of life, and was doing okay off anything at all during her second week of life. I'm kind of wondering if the fact that she has gained so much weight (relative to her body size) in a short period of time is necessitating the extra oxygen. She's now up to 1925 grams (almost 4 lbs 4 oz) which is only 2 oz away from a whole pound heavier than she was at birth. Oxygenating all that extra weight might just be a wee bit too much for her lungs at this point. I'm okay with her being on a bit of oxygen as long as she's comfortable and not in any distress. I hope she can get off oxygen as she gets bigger before she's ready to come home...but I've read about other pPROM babies needing to come home on we'll just see what happens.

The other thing was that I met the OT today. She is waiting for Kaia to have a hip ultrasound for confirmation, but she's thinking that she might have hip dysplasia. If this is the case, she will likely need to wear a harness (Pavlik harness) for awhile (months?) in order to get the hip to move back into alignment. I knew that because Kaia was in frank breech position, without normal fluid volumes that she was at high risk for hip issues, so I'm not surprised...but it's sad to have another 'problem' on top of prematurity, lung issues, and head shape issues.

The harness I'm expecting will look something like this:
Which of course brings up the do you dress a child in a hip harness? I think, along with making friends with our local occupational and physical therapists we are going to be a big fan of dresses. I hope we will be one of the 'lucky' ones that gets to remove the harness for an hour a day. I was really looking forward to 'bath time fun!' and if you end up having to wear the harness 24-7, sponge baths are called for.

The good news that I have read about hip dysplasia is that a) it's not life threatening b) if caught early there is a really good chance that the harness will be enough 'treatment', that surgery won't be required, and that no long term complications are expected in terms of walking or hip pain. So yeah for that!

I am doing better as well. I think someone wrote me a comment a while back that talked about moms having their NICU 'breakdown'. I think Monday was mine. I think it had something to do with the fact that I realized Kaia may need to be hospitalized for a little longer than I was hoping. With her amazing 'turn around' so quickly in her first couple of days, I think I was half expecting her to be home within a couple of weeks. There seems to be moms on babycenter who had 32 weekers that were home by 35 or 36 weeks, and that had my hopes up. Now I'm just hoping Kaia will be home by her due date, which won't be until the first week of September. And even that I don't want to cling too closely too. She will be home when she's ready. She doesn't need to measure up to anyone else's standards. She's had a rough road already, and if it means she needs more time to 'bake' in the hospital, we're just going to have to wait it out with her. And we'll do so gladly if it means she comes home healthy.

The other thing that was stressing me out was that Monday was supposed to be Brian's first day back to work. Which would have meant it was my first day on my own. Not a big deal, right? I'm an adult, right? Why should that cause me such panic?

Then I would be my first full day on my own SINCE MARCH. I literally have not been alone for longer than a few hours since my membranes ruptured. My family and friends (and then the nurses) did an amazing job of watching out for me and staying with me 'just in case something happened' during my entire time on bed rest. I haven't had to make myself a meal, take public transit, or manage stressful situations on my own for months. I got so used to being in 'impending doom' mode that when Kaia started to breathe a bit faster, and needed oxygen I was afraid to have to 'deal' with the situation on my own. Now that things have settled a bit, Brian went back to work today...and you know what? It was okay. I'm okay. I went to visit Kaia today on my own...and it was nice. Quiet and peaceful.

But if we're in for a long haul at the hospital before she comes home, I'm gearing up for it. Pacing myself. Taking breaks when I can. I remember telling parents when I worked in the NICU that they were in for a marathon, not a sprint, and to pace themselves accordingly. Hopefully we're in for a 5K rather than a full marathon...but no matter what, I'm so grateful and happy to be there for her.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Day 16

Yesterday we had Kaia out of her isolette and I was even trying to do some non-nutritive sucking with her (where you pump off as much milk as you can and then have the baby try to 'practice' feeding, so they don't get a big gush of milk). Anyway, Brian and I had her out of her isolette for about 2 hours and at first she was doing really well...but near the two hour mark she started to have a few more desats than usual. We decided she'd had enough and put her back in her isolette and shortly after went home. We called an hour or so later and the nurse said she was breathing kind of fast, but otherwise seemed fine.

Overnight however, she started to have a few more desats into the 80s, and her respiratory rate remained high. When I called around 3am, the nurse said she had started her on low flow (oxygen via nasal prongs) at 75cc. By 6am they decided to draw blood cultures, just in case. Over the day, her respiratory rate has remained higher than even her usual fast respiratory rate (her usual was 60s-70s and today it's been more like 80s to 90s). They did a chest x-ray and blood work and nothing has come back showing anything out of the ordinary. She seemed a little better tonight when we were there. Calm, but reactive. They aren't going to start her on antibiotics unless she shows any other signs of being sick.

I, however, LOST it. I've been crying, or on the verge of tears almost all day. Nurse me realizes that she's really actually doing okay, and while this might be a bit of a setback, she's still small and it's to be expected with all she's been through. I mean, just over two weeks ago she was intubated and on nitric oxide for goodness sake. She's done really well and we just have to be patient and wait for her to get bigger and stronger. The hospital she's in is doing all the right things and she's safe and not in any real distress.

Mom me however, is scared and worried and upset. I'm so afraid of being away from her and yet when I'm there beside her isolette I'm watching her like a hawk and just waiting for the alarms to ring off. I'm exhausted from crying and pumping and crying some more. I just want her to be okay. I just want her to be safe.

It didn't help that today was the day Brian was supposed to go back to work. At 6am after we heard about the blood cultures we decided that he would stay home even though he's out of paid time off. I'm glad he did though, because I wouldn't have been able to cope today without him. He does need to go back soon though.

I just want my girlie to be okay. These last two weeks of planning for a baby to come home have been wonderful. I have so enjoyed my break from constant stress and worry.

I need my Kaia to be okay. If you have any positive energy vibes left in you to spare, please send them this way. Hopefully things are brighter in the morning.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Girl Who Lived!

Day 14

I'm calling this photo "YEAH, I LIVED!!!!"

Hagrid will be along to pick her up for Wizarding school on July 9th 2022.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ship shape

Day 13

Juy 21st. Today was the day my C-section was 'scheduled' for. Ha! Best laid plans. I had a feeling when we were making that plan that we wouldn't last that long. If we had, it would have meant Kaia was stronger, older and heavier. Perhaps she might not have needed so much ventilatory support at birth. But maybe she would have anyway? We'll never know. Today is also the hottest day on record for July 21st in my area...ever. If she had been born today, I would have never got to go outside and experience it!

Kaia is doing well in her new digs. We went to see her last night in her new NICU (so close by!). It's MUCH smaller than the old one. I'm pretty sure only 3 nurses work at a time and there are maybe 10 babies max. It's a lot quieter, which I like, since it might be more restful for Kaia and certainly less noisy for us when we visit. I'm still a little nervous about her new Level 2 status...but I keep thinking "it's this, and then home where there will be no monitors and no O2 sat probes". So this is a good in between step. It's a little challenging to get used to a new NICU though. New nurses, new rules, new expectations of us. It will be so lovely to be 'in charge' when she comes home. I now understand how much it sucks to have to 'ask' to hold your own kid.

Here's another photo! She looks like a mini version of her Dad in this one.
Some of you have also been questioning how I am doing (thanks for not forgetting about me in the rush to ooh and aww over the baby!!!)

The answer is that I'm doing okay, actually. I had a low transverse incision through both my skin and my uterus (yeah!!!) so healing with that is going well. We took the steri-strips off a few days ago and I think the incision will be barely noticeable once everything heals up. I'm pleased about that. I already have a lot of scars on my chest and back from my heart surgeries as a kid so I wasn't looking forward to having another one.

Recovering from a C-section is definitely harder than from a vaginal delivery (unless you have a lot of which case I concede defeat, cuz' that might just suck worse). I have found the associated swelling to be the worst part. For the first week, my belly, feet, ankles and calves were quite swollen by the end of the day after walking to and from the car to the hospital. My legs would start to feel like I was dragging around lead weights and only getting into bed at the end of the day, and having the cool fan blow on them, would make them feel better. It was bad enough that standing by Kaia's isolette was difficult. The swelling slowly seems to be improving. Last night only my feet were mildly swollen as I crawled into bed around 10pm.

Recovery from bed rest is going to take longer than C-section recovery. I can tell I've lost muscle tone, especially in my legs and back. The lack of tone is also probably making the leg swelling worse. The other night Brian was busy starting to paint Kaia's room and asked me to get him something from the basement. The walk back up all the stairs to the top floor felt like I was mountain climbing (we live in a multilevel town house...hence a lot of stairs). I was huffing and puffing and could have used one of those grappling hooks to haul my butt up the last leg of the trip. Seriously, there should have been a 'rest spot' along the way. With water and a snack provided.

However, I'm determined to get back into shape. Which will be difficult initially as I'm not suppose to 'exercise' for 6 weeks (is stair climbing considered exercise...cuz' it sure feels like it!) After that, I hope Kaia will be home and I can start taking her for walks in her stroller (thanks for your help on that everyone!!!) to strengthen my legs and back. I could start working on my arms, which could use some toning too, but I was also informed by my the nurse at the hospital that I'm not suppose to lift anything over 10 lbs for 6 weeks. I keep looking at all the mountains of stuff lying around my house (it needs cleaning) and wondering "does that weigh over 10 lbs?" So I've stuck to sorting out all the paperwork and un-dealt with mail lying around in piles. What I wonder though is "what if your BABY weighs over 10 lbs?" I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's necessary to pick up your child in the first 6 weeks after birth...if only to feed him or her occasionally.

All in all though, I feel I've done fairly well physically with this whole pregnancy thing. In fact, when I think about it, in the last 20 months I've been pregnant twice (lasting a total of 55 weeks + 5 days), been on bed rest for almost exactly half of that time (27 weeks + 5 days). However, my heart has done just fine and seems pretty much the same as when I started. I never had any major 'pregnancy' illnesses such as pre-eclampsia, extreme vomiting, or gestational diabetes. I had very few minor 'pregnancy' complaints either. I almost never had heart burn, only minor nausea and vomiting in the first trimester, almost no swelling and no stretch marks. I weighed myself yesterday and I'm only 12 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight (although I've lost muscle too, and that weighs more). I've also discovered I'm a good 'cow' too. I'm pumping between 70 to 120 mls each pumping session. Over 700 mls in total yesterday. That's enough to easily feed a 9 to 10 lb baby. Even my placenta, while totally abnormal looking, managed to get both of my kids to the 'alive' point at birth.

So really, my only complaint is my amniotic sac. That tiny little membrane of mine just couldn't keep it together long enough to have a nice normal pregnancy (TWICE). The rest of my body seemed to be on board...why couldn't it?

If you've had a C-section how did you find recovery? How long before you felt normal again?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Off CPAP!!!

Day 12

Kaia is off CPAP as of noon yesterday, so she's lasted over 24 hours at this point. The nurses say she's not having any spells, although her respiratory rate is a bit high (40s to 80s, when normally babies are more in the 40s to 60s range). I was so glad she did well coming off because she was starting to have 'spit up' episodes after feeds. CPAP pushes air into the lungs, but it also pushes air into the stomach, making Kaia quite gassy and uncomfortable. Poor chicky. I hope her tummy has a chance to settle down now. I'm working darn hard to pump that milk for you kid...please quit puking it up!

Here is a picture for those of you who are just dying to see her little face without a lot of tubes and wires!
She looks like my husband from the nose up, and like me from under her nose down to her chin. Aidan looked JUST like Brian, so it's kind of neat to see some of my own features in a baby. Fortunately I've always been told I have nice lips. Hopefully she gets my nice teeth too because they are straight and fairly white and I never needed braces (yeah for money saving perfection!!!). It's also very weird to think of my baby GROWING UP (but WONDERFUL)!!! Aidan will only ever be 23 weeks + 3 days... Since I cannot have him back, I would love a yearly picture of him as he would look 'now'. Just to see if his eyes would have been blue like mine or green like Brian's. Would his hair have been dark or light? Would he have been stocky or thin? And most important...would he have been happy and healthy? I know for sure he would have been loved.

In other big news, we got a call from the hospital this morning saying they were hoping to TRANSFER Kaia to a LEVEL 2 nursery closer to home. The hospital that will be taking her is not my favourite one, but it is the closest. It's a 5 minute drive from home and when Brian goes back to work I can either walk (if it ever cools off here, it's going to be 48 degrees Celsius with the humidity tomorrow...which is something like 126 F) or take the bus during the day to see her. Parking will still be expensive, but not as bad. If we get a 2 week pass, it will cost us $84. (Hey a hospital with a parking pass option for patients and their families, HOW NOVEL!!!)

I'm a little nervous having her away from the Level 3 nursery. It will be absolutely AWESOME in terms of visiting her and being close by, and I love that it means she's getting bigger and healthier and closer to coming home...but it's scary leaving behind all the high tech help in Level 3. The nurse who called from her current hospital this morning did say her new hospital could handle it if she needed CPAP again...but of course my mind goes to WAY worse things that I'm not even going to type on here.

*Just breathe*

I also wanted to take this opportunity to profusely thank all of you who have contributed to "Kaia's Online Babyshower"! The support you have provided us is amazing. I wish I could have you all come to a REAL babyshower where I could give you cake, and mocktails, and we could play stupid games that involve pins and baby bottles and ribbons which are designed to lightly embarrass everyone (especially me). So instead I'll pass you over some "e-cake" and "e-ice cream". It's oh so yummy and low cal too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Online Baby Shower

Day 9

Okay, I'm going to do something a bit radical here. I hope no one gets offended. If you do, well...sorry.

I have decided to throw myself an 'online baby shower'. A few weeks ago, I got a lot of comments on a few of my posts saying I should throw up a 'donate' button on my blog (see to the right under where my e-mail address is posted) so that people could contribute to our 'cause'. I wasn't sure about it at the time. I thought people might think I was greedy or trying to profit off our of admittedly crummy circumstances at the time. But after this post, I realized how many of you are out there, and how many of you genuinely cared about how difficult my pregnancy was, and were really hoping for the best for us. I was astounded at how many people worried about "Acorn's" outcome and were pulling for my baby.

Many of you wrote to me either on my blog or via e-mail about how happy you were when Kaia was born alive and doing well. I felt you celebrated right along with us. Some of you even more so than friends or family that I know in real life because you understood how hard we fought and how difficult things were. So many of you were important in keeping my spirits up while on bed rest and maybe, just maybe, some of your positive energy made it to Kaia, since she ended up being the "girl who lived!". Since many of you are so far away, and I cannot invite you all to the baby shower my mother is planning for me, I thought I might use your idea of a 'donate' button to throw myself and Kaia an 'online baby shower'. If you think my idea silly or greedy, please feel free to ignore if you don't want to contribute. I'll continue to blog about my life (if you're still interested in reading) whether you contribute or not.

So, without further ado...this is the item I would love for Kaia:

It is the Uppababy Vista Stroller in 'Denny' (also known as 'red').

Why this stroller you ask? Well, this stroller and I have a long history. I picked it out as the stroller I wanted for Aidan. On my first bed rest go-around, I was sure a baby was coming so I spent hours and hours researching 'the best' baby items. You know, the ones that will last, are well made and a 'good buy'. This stroller is admittedly not cheap and probably falls a little into the 'luxury' baby item category, but it was just so AWESOME that when I showed it to Brian we knew we wanted it for our baby. The weekend before we found out that everything was not going to be alright with Aidan, I had allowed myself off bed rest for an hour to go check out baby stuff (I was less strict with bed rest the first time around, as we thought at the time we were just dealing with a subchorionic hemorrhage). Brian and I pushed this stroller around the store, and when the lady asked if we wanted to buy it, Brian turned to me and said "do you want to get it today?"

Something made me hesitate. Maybe because I was only 17 weeks pregnant at the time and that was just 'too early' to get baby stuff in my mind, or maybe because it seemed like a lot of money in one go and I had to work myself up to spending that much, or maybe because I *just knew* something was wrong... For whatever reason, I said "let's come back another time". A few days later, Brian and I were sobbing in each other's arms and throwing up we were so upset about what Aidan's ultrasound showed. A baby in trouble. A baby who would never need a stroller. A baby who would never come home.

In the months after Aidan died I saw other moms and dads pushing the Uppababy stroller around town or at the hospital where I work. They with their living child, safe in the stroller. Doing normal baby and parent things. Me, outside of all that. Nursing my broken heart. Those of you who have lost a baby probably understand exactly what I'm saying. How a 'thing' associated with 'the new baby' somehow symbolizes all you have lost. For some it's the millions of tiny clothes, lovingly washed and folded and ready...that will never warm and protect and decorate the intended wearer. For others I'm sure it is the room, painted, ready, waiting...for a baby that will never wake up.

That stroller was' it' for us. Somehow it represented all that we lost when Aidan died.

So this is the item that I feel is the most appropriate to ask for help in purchasing from those of you who have followed my children's stories so faithfully. Even though it looks the same as when we would have bought it for Aidan, this stroller is no longer 'just a stroller' in our eyes. It has come to represent so much more. It is freedom from bed rest for me (and a way to get back in shape!). It is a return to 'normal' after feeling like we've been living in a nightmare for so long. It is a healthy baby who comes home (in a car seat not an urn!), who we can look forward to going places and doing things with for a lifetime to come.

This stroller represents dreams that we had, and lost, and now have found again.

So, I will put my donate button up and if you would like to contribute, that would be lovely. If not, that's okay too. I'll leave it up until the end of July because right now the stroller is on a bit of a 'sale' ($50 off!) which ends July 31st and I'd like to purchase it before then. It's $750.00 Canadian and comes with the bassinet to use up to 6 months old, as well as the regular stroller seat which can be used up to 50 lbs. The Uppababy website is here if you want to check it out.

Please remember I live in Canada so all donations will be in Canadian funds.

Thanks in advance to anyone who contributes. Kaia and I and Brian appreciate it immensely.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bath Time!

Day 8.

Kaia is over a week old! She's already lost weight and then regained it and has surpassed her birth weight. The report I got at 2 in the morning last night said she was 1610 grams. As a nurse, I remember parents always wanted to know this information whenever they would call after bath & weigh time. I never understood how exciting it was to hear that your teeny tiny kid had gained weight.

I also got to do her bath all by myself the other night. I told the nurse I was comfortable with taking her off the CPAP and washing her myself and she said " me if you need anything!". YES! So here are pictures of my first time bathing Kaia. The tape on her nose is protection against the CPAP prongs. I left the tape on as it's a pain (and expensive) to replace.

You can really see her 'dolicocephaly' in these photos. It makes me a little sad that she doesn't have a round head. I don't want other people to see it and think she's funny looking or wonder 'why is her head shaped like that?' We understand that it's a badge of honour...she wouldn't have a head shaped like that if she hadn't had such a fight in the womb, but still it's not 'normal'. I don't know how long it will last, but I'm betting throughout her first year. We will just have to become a fan of hats.

I am also understanding what people mean about 'postpartum hormones'. We decided to go to Babies R Us the other morning to buy Kaia a few cheap blankets that she can use while she's in the hospital. As a nurse, I would feel so bad when parents would bring in these beautiful and obviously expensive blankets to wrap their hospitalized babies in...because we would inevitably spill stuff on them, or drop them on the floor...or (whoops) lose them in the bowels of the hospital laundry system. So I wanted to get some of those cheap receiving blankets that while soft and nice, could be replaced if lost.

Well, I cried almost the whole way to Babies R Us. We have driven past that store SO many times, wistfully wondering if we'd ever get to shop there for OUR baby. We went in only once during Aidan's pregnancy 'just to look', before we knew things were already going wrong. We hadn't been back since. It was truly lovely to do something 'normal'.

Of course, I find my babylostness affects so much how I am viewing Kaia and our experiences with her. Not in a bad way, but in a much more 'aware' way. For example. On Monday, when I was still in the hospital and after they had switched Kaia to BiPhasic, the nurse was happy to let me hold her. A big production is made of 'holding'. It's a lot of effort to get those preemies in and out of their isolettes. A chair needs to be found for me to sit in, a blanket needs to be brought for Kaia to lay on, tubes and wires and need to be gathered and placed 'just so'. It takes a few minutes.

So while all this was going on, I looked over to Kaia's neighbour baby. He is obviously a lot smaller and therefore a lot sicker than Kaia. He's on the 'jet' ventilator and 'swings' in terms of his oxygen sats. His monitors are always ringing off. His mother was sitting beside his bed. She was looking over at us and watching the kerfuffle going on around me and Kaia. It was her face that did me in. She looked SO sad. Exactly the way I remember my face felt last year after Aidan died as I watched other mommies. Sad, disappointed, jealous, wistful. It was like looking into my past. I wanted to say to that woman "I TOTALLY get it...I really do! I'm sorry seeing me hold my baby makes you sad. I hope yours gets bigger and better and healthier and you too can have this experience one day." But there are no guarantees that she will. I mentioned it to Brian afterwards and just the way he said "I know", I knew that he had seen her the same way I did.

What was really upsetting was that two days later the baby was gone from that spot. As soon as I noticed the lack of binging and bonging from the monitors, and looked over and saw him missing, I started to cry. "Oh No!" cried my poor babylost heart. So even while I was stroking my living, breathing baby's hand I was crying, thinking of how sad that other mother might be right that instant.

Then a miracle (okay, well it was more of a coincidence) happened. One nurse walked over and asked another "where did the baby go that was in this spot?" pointing to the spot where Kaia's neighbour had been. Another nurse answered "oh, he went to (other hospital where I work)...he'll be back tomorrow".

You mean he's not dead??!!! That mommy's baby is still binging and bonging, only in another NICU? HURRAH!

While it wasn't great news that he had gone to the hospital where I work as it likely means he needs surgery, it was such a relief. My suspicion is that he went for a PDA ligation, in which case, hopefully he will be able to get off 'the jet' and start to improve in terms of his oxygen needs and O2 sats.

Maybe soon that mommy will be holding her little "binger" with a lot less "binging" and a lot more happiness.

I hope so.

If you've had a baby 'after', did you find yourself a lot more aware of your good fortune than you might have been otherwise? How so? Did any situation occur to make you feel especially 'lucky'?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ok, I lied I'm back

Day 6, I'm pretty sure.

I just can't stay away from here. I'm feeling a little more comfortable at home, although I wish I didn't have to be so far from Kaia. I get a little nervous at night being away from her and my mind starts to go to "if" rather than "when" and then I get teary and upset. It's hard being a post babylost, post traumatic pregnancy, premature baby mom and dad. We feel a little fragile.

But, on to the update.

First of all, Kaia is doing really well. She's on CPAP, breathing room air (no extra O2), she's got her umbilical lines out and is working up on feeds. It made me so happy yesterday when the nurse said "I don't think she'll be here long". I was thinking that too as an NICU nurse, but it was nice to hear someone else say it. She's currently in a level 3 NICU, and doesn't really need that level of care so they might transfer her to a hospital closer to home, maybe once she's off CPAP. That would be much more convenient, although I've really liked all the nurses she's had and would be sad to leave them behind. I've got to hold her twice now, once 'skin to skin' and that was wonderful. Her skin's so soft and I love her little noises and how content she seems lying on me. It made my uterus contract like a bitch afterwards though...further proof mommy and baby are biologically so connected.

Unfortunately, we also got some terrible news last night. My grandmother, who already suffers from poor eyesight, poor hearing and Alzheimer's, fell and broke her hip. I was so upset for her and for my dad last night. My Dad just got through visiting his daughter at the hospital, his granddaughter is still in the hospital and now so is his mother...and not even the SAME hospital. My Grama has a hard time dealing with 'new' circumstances and the hospital isn't a place she's been very much until now. She's currently stable and awaiting surgery. I was glad to hear she's not in a lot of pain, and she's sleeping a lot, so at least she's not aware of what's going on. It just feels like another "Oh God, what now??!!" element to add to our lives. Plus the summer is the one time of the year that my grandmother probably enjoys the most since my parents take her to the cottage on weekends. Now she'll be hospitalized and in rehab for who knows how long.


I have other fun stuff to write about later, but that might be tomorrow...or the next day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Day 4...maybe? What the hell day is it now?

As you can see by the title of my post things are just a *wee* bit hectic right now, both in my life and in my mind. I was discharged from the hospital today and given a clean bill of health by all concerned. After that it took us like 5-6 hours for me to pump, visit Kaia, pump again, pack up almost 3 weeks worth of shit in my room, go buy a pump for home use, get my meds (Tylenol 3s) and finally drive home. The cleaning ladies at the hospital were anxiously standing by my door as we rolled out, ready to turn the room over for the next patient. I felt like yelling "I'm GOING, I'm GOING!!" I can understand now why new parents say there are never enough hours in the day. And having to do all that after 15 weeks of bed rest and major surgery is, how shall we say...difficult, and MASSIVELY exhausting. (I did walk out of the hospital though...go me!)

As for Kaia, she is chillin' in the NICU and doing well by all accounts (including mine). She was extubated last night and has been on Biphasic (look it up) since then. She is definitely progressing in the right direction and we are SO pleased...and anxious, and scared, and happy and excited and nervous. It's like we're in a bit of shock and can't quite stop holding our breathe and waiting for bad news. I knew she would be in the NICU after birth and I knew it would be hard to leave her there, but DAMN did I ever want to just grab her and run today. I felt like saying "just give me all the machinery...I watch her at home!!!" I almost didn't want to get discharged today just because it was so nice to just be down the hall from her (and you KNOW how much I hate the hospital). Now I'm a 25min-1hr (depending on traffic!!) car ride away...and that feels like way too much.

I told Brian in the car today on the way home, that I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't experience a bit of post traumatic stress disorder after all we've been through. Flashbacks, nightmares and physically feeling not our best I think we've both already experienced. I didn't know it would happen, but it's almost hard being home now. The last time I was here things were really awful. Some of the things I was in the middle of doing, reading or would see every day during that time are making me a bit stressed out. Some of the 'get well' gifts I was given, books I was reading, even packaging from the things I was sent from my bloggy friends is still lying around (no Brian didn't do much 'organizing' while I was away, and I don't blame wasn't important). Just seeing those reminders are freaking me out. Why? Because I associate it with when I thought she would die...and that really upsets me right now. I know I will come to cherish those things again in time (Oh, look, remember this? Aww how sweet and thoughtful so and so was...) But I so just want to let go of the past right now and move forward and doing that is difficult with all the constant reminders.

Even the reminders of pumping and seeing Aidan's things is hard. Not because those are bad or awful in and of themselves (actually I love Aidan's things), but because they remind me of coming home after Aidan died. My milk came in and there was no baby to give it to. And his urn is here...and I had been envisioning a new one beside it for months now. I just want to LET GO of all that now and concentrate on my LIVING child...who will keep on LIVING and THRIVING and DOING WELL and COME HOME in the next couple of weeks (months?) I will eventually create a space in my heart and my home for both my kids...but right now all I am reminded of around here is sadness. I feel I've been living in sick or dead baby land so long I forgot what it was like to be happy.

So fellow bloggers and readers, I may not be 'around' quite as much for a multitude of reasons (number one might be pumping...shit, did you know it takes BOTH hands to perform that feat? How am I suppose to type? Not to mention how body/time/energy monopolizing it is? Sheesh. But it's paying off, I'm pumping about 50 mls per session now. The nurses were impressed).

Before Kaia was born all I wanted to read was sad blogs because I could relate to those. Now, all I want to do, maybe what I even need to do, is immerse myself in the happy. Just like I had to 'move forward' after Aidan's death, I have to 'move forward' after Kaia's birth. I will not be totally gone, of course. I will update on my thoughts as things progress, but I don't know that it will be daily or weekly at this point. Never fear though, I already have a few bloggy post ideas, so I'm sure I'll get to those...but right now, I think I must try to cling to the good.

Kaia deserves a happy mommy.

(Plus my incision kills when I cry).

So, I wanna hear it. What's happy in your life? What makes today wonderful?

Oh yeah...and a picture just because I promised. (Here she is being 'done up' (ie: handled, fed, changed, examined) so she is off any breathing apparatus, so you can see her lovely face...but usually it's all covered up by hoses and a hat).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Acorn Lives!

Day 2

Sorry to keep you all in suspense. I know you've been waiting for an update so here it is:

Our baby girl, Kaia Morgan was born yesterday, July 9th at 5:18 am. I guessed from my initial look at her that she was 3 lbs 6 oz and sure enough I was bang on. 3 lbs, 6 oz. She did cry at birth (a wee bit), but quickly required life saving measures (scary!!!). She was placed on the oscillating ventilator (which is hard to explain and I'm tired so look it up if you are interested) rather than the conventional ventilator because she needed more help expelling carbon dioxide than the regular ventilator could help her with. She was in a 60-100% oxygen and still not saturation great (sats in the 80s), so they started nitric oxide (look it up again). This helped them wean her oxygen quite quickly yesterday from 60% to 45% to now around 25%. Fortunately she has responded well and they have already been able to wean the nitric oxide from 10 parts per million down to 1 part per million and may discontinue it today.

I'm happy with her progress, but nervous for what lies ahead. I'm so glad she's alive (and a little shocked that she's a she...I was SURE Acorn was a boy). I'm also kind of sad I haven't been able to go visit her yet. I did well during the C-section, but they were being cautious with me cardiac wise, so I had to go right from their recovery room up to the Coronary Care Unit. No stops at the NICU on the way. My incision this morning is quite sore, so although I'm determined to go see my girl today, it might be a quick visit. All they've had me on is Tylenol, so I hope I can get something a little stronger for moving around.

I'll post a picture as soon as I can!

Thank you all so much for your support. I love all your comments and I hope to continue to be able to update you all with good news!

P.S. Kaia's name is pronounced Kai-ya (rhymes with Maya).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Go Time!!!!

31 weeks + 6 days, 15 weeks + 1 day post rupture, day 15 in the hospital.
(Note: I'm 32 weeks + 1 day according to my LMP).

Well folks, the moment we've all been waiting for is here. I had an ultrasound today and they felt that Acorn wasn't moving as much as he (or she) usually does and only got a 4 out of 8 on the biophysical profile. I knew something was up when my nurse came in an hour after the scan and said she wanted to get a NST done on me (a 20 minute heart rate listen). When she told me what the biophysical profile score was I knew...

It was go time.

Sure enough, the fellow came in and said they want to do the C-section in the next 24 hours. It wasn't an 'emergency' as they felt Acorn's heart rate was fine...but since it was a change for Acorn they decided not to try to push for more time.

As we speak they are organizing my transfer over to 'the case room' where Acorn will be born.

I'm nervous, but I'm not sure I would be any less nervous if we waited 2 more weeks. I'm afraid for the surgery but that wouldn't change either. I'm excited to meet my baby (pleasepleaseplease let my baby be okay) and I'm really excited to be off bed rest. I'm just trying to keep it together...hope, fear, nerves, excitement and all.

So if you pray, please do so. If you don't, please keep everything crossed for us as we prepare to meet (and hear!!!) a screaming Acorn!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

31 weeks + 5 days, 15 weeks post rupture, day 14 in the hospital (again).

Awww, I feel so loved. Thanks everyone for commenting on my last post. Keep em' coming. I'd love to hear from all 124 followers!

I'm glad that Acorn and Aidan have made such an impact on so many. Aidan only lived 54 minutes and yet so many of you have connected with him and with us in a way that I could never have imagined last year on April 21st when he was born.

Your 'cyberspace' connection with Aidan reminds me sometimes of the feelings and thought I had towards some of the families I cared for in the NICU. Our staff would look after a baby sometimes for months, so you'd get to know the family. You would get to know their hopes and dreams for their baby, know how hard and stressful things were, how hopeful they were for a good outcome. Then, sometimes, the baby would die. And the family would leave, empty handed.

Good bye. The End.

Only it's not, of course.

While I don't think I truly understood the 'grief' part of their journey until I experienced it myself (I don't think you really can), I would often wonder about those families. Because what happens 'after' is still part of their child's story. How was the family doing? What memories did they have of their child? What were their sadnesses and regrets about their time with their baby? How often did they think of their baby? What is life like 3 months, 6 months or a year or more after one loses a child? Which families recovered 'well', and which ones 'didn't'? Would they be happy to know that I remembered their child? If those families had blogs, I would have loved to read them...and it might have given me better insight as to 'what the hell happens after the baby goes to the morgue?' I feel a bit like you guys out there have got to experience Aidan's 'after' story in a way I felt I never did with those NICU families I cared for...but would have really liked to.

Your cyber relationship with Acorn has me a bit more concerned...not because I don't LOVE and appreciate the fact that so many are rooting for him or her...but I'm so afraid to disappoint you. I know I'll get lots of commenters saying 'don't worry about us'...but I do. Some of you have had major losses of your own, and while I realize you're not as 'invested' in Acorn as you would be your own child, sometimes hearing about any further bad stuff happening to babies and families is just one awful thing too many. So I really hope our little Acorn does well and lives. Mostly for his or her sake, and ours...but for yours too.

Which brings me to my next point. Some of you reading haven't had a loss of your own, but may have experienced one through a family member or friend...or not. Whatever brought you here,
kudos to you for delving into dead baby land, a world that is by definition, scary, sad and uncertain. No lollipops and sunshine over here folks. I remember last summer, when a teenage girl wrote a post on her own blog blasting people who had 'dead baby blogs' as she found them 'morbid and depressing'. People's responses to her were along the lines of 'well, pray it never happens to you!' or blasting her right back for being 'insensitive and rude'. I wrote a response to that here in case you haven't read it.

Anyway, my point is, that it takes courage and strength of character to really just 'be' with someone who is in crisis or who is talking or writing about their "deepest darkest". I have realized this time and time again over the past year. The people in my life who I relate to most, who I appreciate most, are the people who just 'listen', without having to paste a smile or an 'up side' to a terrible situation. Because sometimes there just isn't. And willing it, ignoring it, or faking it, won't make it so.

My mom and I were talking about this today. I haven't spoken to many extended family members since this all went down, but my mom is the great communicator and people in the family come to her (by phone, in person or by e-mail) to get updates about me. I get it, of course. She is out in the world and one of the main questions people want to know is "how's Emily?" My mom, having lived with me, realizes the moment to moment worry and stress this situation brings. There isn't a time when we have been able to 'let our guard down' for 15 weeks, and we are still slogging away. While we are hopeful that Acorn will be okay, and I will have a quick recovery after the C-section, there are no guarantees. Life is tricky that way.

My mother today was upset that some family and friends have insisted on ending conversations that surround me and Acorn as the topic with "well, you just have to think positively!".


It's like they didn't hear a word she said.

That's not being 'with' someone. It's also not a very 'supportive' comment. That is slapping your own shiny label on another's grief and fear and loss and stress and saying "I don't really want to deal with you right now". Which in some respects I get. Just as I could say today "I'm going to think positively about those nuclear reactors in Japan...all that stuff turned out just fine right? No news is good news, right? Those Japanese people just have to think will all work out in the end!" But that is my 'other side of the world' prerogative. I don't have to deal with that fallout (literally) on a daily basis. My house isn't 5 km down the road from the power why wouldn't I put it in my mental shredder?

My mom still gets angry at these people for not 'hearing' her, which I understand because some of them are close to her. I, on the other hand, basically have learned to put them in my mental 'outbox'. They don't get it. They can't get it. They aren't here on a daily basis. It's not their kid, and it's not their problem. We have specifically chosen NOT to make it their problem, by keeping relatively quiet and to ourselves these past few months. So, while I'm sure they care and are hoping for a good outcome...they can afford to 'think positively' because they won't be affected on a daily basis by the outcome, whichever way it goes.

So instead of looking for support in places I'm not sure I will get it, I come here. And I write. And you read...but only if you want to. And you take away from it what you will, and you leave supportive comments if you feel like it (which I do appreciate). But I don't sugar coat here and you don't expect me to. Plus I've always found it easier to express myself through writing...and I don't have to end on a high note like I might feel I have to in a conversation.

It's hard to understand babylostness and baby "I'm afraid I'm going to lose-ness" if you've never experienced it yourself. They are not nice experiences and ones people normally shy away from. Both are hard, scary, sad, and depressing. And hard for others to understand because they are (fairly) rare, and are centered around tiny people who aren't 'real' to a lot of outsiders.

So I guess what I want to say is thank you, no matter why you are reading. Those of you who 'get it' because you've experienced it are great and I'm really glad to have your support. Those of you who haven't are special too because you try to 'get it', and I'm glad all of you are taking away something from my life story. Because when you think about Aidan, or root for Acorn you are helping to make my babies 'real'. You are helping to make them matter.

And that means the world to me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who's out there?

31 weeks + 3 days, 14 weeks + 5 days post rupture, day 12 in hospital (again).

So, some good news. Dr. W. came in on rounds today and immediately said that my C-section will be scheduled for July 21st, which will be exactly 34 weeks according to my September 1st due date (for you following my ovulation dates which I've been tracking above, it will be 33 weeks + 5 days). Not sure what time, but that's okay because I really don't want people hanging around the hospital 'waiting' for our baby to be born. On that day, I think I just want Brian here and that's it. If things go well, we can then call people to let them know and maybe even allow them to come visit. Same if things don't.

This is all considering we get that far with no disasters befalling us. It's scary, this high alert, watchful waiting, but I realize how much better it is for Acorn and his or her body parts to be born as close to term as possible. I just hope we are 'choosing' right on this. I hope I don't look back and regret it.

Another good thing is that my brand spanking new heparin injections are only given ONCE per day. I'm not sure exactly why this is as I'm more familiar with the twice daily injections we give to NICU babies...but hey, if they want them once a day who am I to argue. Jabbing me just once per day in my fleshy flank is okay by me. The shot didn't even hurt that much last night and if I only have to do it for a few more weeks before my body can (hopefully!) return to it's healthy, mobile, pre-pregnancy state, them I'm cool with it.

So while I'm writing some 'good news' here this evening, I'm actually doing it to keep my mind off my sadness. It's after 9pm, Brian has gone home for the evening, and I'm once again all alone and pondering my worries. Tonight I am longing for home. I haven't been in my own house since May 5th. Two months ago. I didn't miss my house so much while I was at my parents, but here it's different. I was thinking tonight how nice it would be to stretch out on my own couch and read, or sit in my little patch of back yard and smell the evening air. Shower in my own bathroom and use my own towels. Eat off my own plates using my own cutlery.

I miss not being able to walk farther than the bathroom. I miss not being able to decide "what should I have for dinner tonight?" and then go about making it myself (not that I love cooking or anything). I miss the ability to choose when and where and how my life is ordered. I miss feeling healthy. I miss the feeling of 'homeyness' you get in your mind, your body and your soul when things are just safe, and normal, and comfortable.

None of these sadnesses outweigh my desire to bring my baby home healthy and safe, but after almost 15 weeks, the heaviness grinds you down. Sometimes I just have to cry for all I am missing. In the end, what I hope to achieve will make it worth it, but in the mean time, I reserve the right to be sad.

So tonight I would like you guys to do something for me. I have a feeling that quite a few of you are checking up Acorn and following our saga on a regular basis as I regale you with my life's story and pour my heart out into cyberspace. So I was just wondering if you could maybe introduce yourself, especially if you aren't a regular commenter, and tell me why you are reading. It's nice to hear from the world beyond my 4 hospital walls and I would love to hear what you are taking away from my posts. I feel I am affecting the world so little these days, chained to my bed as I am, that it would be nice to hear what you get out of keeping up with my life.

So, 'my peeps', who's out there?

Monday, July 4, 2011

In A Mood

31 weeks + 2 days, 14 weeks + 4 days post rupture, day 11 in the hospital (again).

So I met with Dr. W. briefly today. She's the doctor who will be taking over as my 'primary' while Dr. S. is on vacation (in the Caribbean, where he doesn't even want to be because he doesn't like the heat...Poor him. I feel like saying 'TRADE YOU! You stay here and lie in bed and bake this baby while worrying constantly about the outcome, while I go relax on the beach'. I don't want to fucking HEAR a complaint about a vacation. Anyway...)

I'm in a real bitchy mood tonight and it might have something to do with the fact that I just got jabbed in my side with my first...wait for it...HEPARIN injection. First of many as they are given twice a day! So now, after 14 weeks of bed rest Dr. W and Dr. S. got together and decided to 'prevent DVTs' (blood clots in my legs) by putting me on heparin injections. That's right folks. We are only just now worried about blood clots. Never mind the 14 weeks of bed rest I've already done. When I questioned 'why are we doing this now after being on bed rest this long?', Dr. S.'s response was 'well now you're in the hospital, so you're probably moving around less'. really. I'm just laying in a less comfortable bed with crappier food and more monitoring. Same bed rest, different locale.

Now, I'm all for not getting blood clots. In fact, this was something I worried about 14 WEEKS ago, and even asked about trying to prevent (with heparin). I was blown off...just like everything else about this pregnancy was blown off initially because 'hey, the fetus isn't going to survive anyway'. So I just continued worrying about it on my own, and did my best to stretch and move as much as I could, beg my husband for massages, and ensure that I get up to pee regularly to a) empty my constantly full bladder and b) to ensure I was at least doing some regular movement.

No it's not the heparin injections that bother me. It's the timing. Today during rounds I made the 'mistake' of asking "so, I was wondering if I could get physio to work with me? I mean, since I'm on bed rest and I'm a high risk cardiac patient, I'd like to be doing SOMETHING to ensure I keep my strength up". You know what the answer was?? "Oh...we don't have physio on this unit. It was phased out 6 or 8 years ago due to budget constraints. They still have it on orthopedics...but not here".

( floor) ???!!!!


I was literally shocked (and once again impressed with the hospital I work at where if you need physio, you get the next day. Damn, children are taken much better care of!).

So instead of being able to provide physio for 'oh yeah, a high risk cardiac patient...yeah might not want her to get blood clots...', my Dr.'s have done the only thing they can...order heparin. Cheaper than physio. Stings more too.

I'm seriously going to be writing a letter to the administration after all this is said and done. I cannot believe some of the things they are lacking here. And some of the things they aren't. Each of the nurses carries a (brand new) iphone which they can receive calls from patients' call bells. It's handy for preventing a lot of those overhead pages (absolutely appreciated!), but seems a little extravagant when you expect patients to pay $70 a week for a TV. And serve the same shitty food for breakfast EVERY day. I understand capital vs. operating costs...but come on, one physiotherapist for a floor isn't a huge budget constraint. Sheesh.

Also while Dr. W. was in my room on rounds she mentioned that we might try for 35 weeks.

Uh...okay, I get that you're new to my situation here and maybe you didn't get the message...but HELLS TO THE NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm literally on pins and needles as we speak considering 'risking' the race from 32 to 34 weeks. You actually might have to sedate me for that period of time because I'm going to be MAJORLY stressed out. So no way do I want to 'try' for 35 weeks. I don't want to push our luck anymore than we already have. Yes, bigger is better...but not with all the other risk factors we are facing. I think I must have looked panic stricken and am pretty sure I said something like "Um, no. I'm done at 34", because Dr. W. looked a little taken aback at my response.

Fortunately when Dr. S. came in later he said he's on board with booking a C-section at 34 weeks. I said "that will be July 21st". His response was that he won't actually return from vacation until July 25th, so if we did it before then it wouldn't be him doing it. I wanted to Dr. S., while I'm sure that would be a nice 'wrap up' for you to this whole 'interesting' pregnancy, I don't really consider you that integral to our kid's birth. Hell, you weren't there for Aidan's delivery and that somehow worked just fine (other than the quickly deadness of the baby). Just give me someone who can cut a nice line, lift my (screaming) kid out safely and hand him over to the NICU team, and then proceed to sew me up (staple me up?) quickly and neatly. M'kay?

Goodness gracious, Acorn. Mommy's in a mood tonight. Best try to sleep it off. Hopefully tonight we can avoid the 12:30am fire alarm like last night.

Just keep staying alive Acorn. Mommy will handle the rest.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Solid Ground

31 weeks + 1 day, 14 weeks + 3 days post rupture, day 10 in hospital (again).

Although I'm 31 weeks and 1 day pregnant, my future appears as a black hole. I don't know what will happen tonight, let alone tomorrow or next week or next month. I hope Acorn will be born with a scheduled C-section at EXACTLY 34 weeks gestation (which according to my September 1st due date is July 21st), alive, and breathing well on his/her own, with no signs or symptoms of infection, and will be ready in a short period of time to learn to eat, grow and come home, healthy and normal. I hope I will recover well after my C-section, avoid any infection, major pain, or other heart complications (Dr. S. was throwing around possibly watching for heart failure for up to a week after delivery).

I don't know what the reality will be. It frightens me and makes me feel so alone.

I am hospitalized in the building across the street from where I work, which I can see from my window. To me, that building represents control, power, and normalcy, everything this hospital doesn't. I remember walking down the street towards work in January, February and March of this year and looking across the street to this hospital. Every time I tried to envision me, heavily pregnant, healthy and normal, arriving to birth my full term baby. The trees would be out, it would be hot and I would be SO ready to meet my baby. Cares and worries for his or her survival would be falling away. Acorn would almost be here! Yippee! I remember DREADING, absolutely anything that resembled the situation we are now in. Praying that we could avoid any major complications like last time. Hoping things would just be 'average' with a side of cardiac monitoring to be done. I had lots of hope...until March 24th when things went sideways again.

It's weird how I almost envy people who are TTC or who are newly pregnant these days. Not because I don't love Acorn or would wish to be going through that process again...but because those people still have the possibility of everything going smoothly, and normally. I am happy Acorn has a chance to be born healthy and okay...but I would like that possibility to be larger and more assured than it is right now. What I wanted was "normal" and what I got might be a miracle...or it might not.

Brian is now starting to talk like the baby is going to be alive and okay. On the one hand, I'm glad at least one of Acorn's parents can think so hopefully for him, but on the other, I worry for Brian's sake. How can he get his hopes up? Doesn't he fear the possible fall? Or is setting your hopes high a healthy and normal thing to do, and it's me who is being a stick in the mud and unrealistically pessimistic?

I worry that Acorn will be born and will either die or be severely sick before I ever get a chance to hold him. I worry that I'll be up in the cardiac ICU, suffering from heart failure on the 16th floor while Acorn is fighting for his life down here on the 7th. I worry about what Acorn, Brian and my other family members will have to suffer because of my (2nd) wonky placenta and weak amniotic sac. I worry how many people are going to hurt if Acorn doesn't survive. I worry I will physically, mentally, emotionally and socially never recover. I worry that life will be cruel to us again.

The wait is agonizing. And after 101 days I want to stand on solid ground again. I want to know what will be. I just hope I like what I see.

Are you standing on solid ground these days? How does it feel?

Saturday, July 2, 2011


31 weeks, 14 weeks + 2 days since rupture, day 9 in hospital (again).

Today marks 100 days of bed rest (this time). What a milestone. We should celebrate. Where's the goddamn cake?

And while the leaking continues the bleeding has slowed for all of you out there who are following my every (too-much-information) symptoms. Let's hope it was in honour of Canada Day and we can just go back to our regular scheduled programming.

That is all.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Red for Canada Day

30 weeks + 6 days, 14 weeks + 1 day post rupture, day 8 in hospital (again).

Well, we made it to July. A freakin' miracle according to Dr. S.

But it looks like I'm staying here until delivery. Whenever that is. Now Dr. S. is saying we should maybe try to push to 34 weeks to avoid as many preemie problems as possible. And while that is awesome for Acorn (assuming he has working lungs of course), it makes me nervous (infection! cord compression! prolapsed cord!) and prolongs the agony of "will we or won't we be taking this kid home (in a car seat, not an urn)?". If I knew that it would all be worth it in the end, then what's 2 more weeks of bed rest when you've already done 15 at that point. It makes me nervous waiting when a 32 weeker has almost the same survival stats at a 34 weeker and a 34 weeker only has about a 5% lower chance of long term complications. But an infection or cord compression or prolapse can kill outright. It's very nerve racking.

It is also Canada Day here in my fair country. I loved this holiday as a kid. There were fireworks, flags waving and it was a great 'kick off' to the summer holidays.

Today, here in my hospital room however, it is much different. Today, I started bleeding bright red for the first time since my water broke. A 'common occurrence' for pPROM moms I'm told (and definitely experienced with Aidan last pregnancy), but something I had, so far, avoided this time, which I was incredibly grateful for. Now it hasn't been a huge amount of blood, so I'm hoping it stops (and hey, maybe even creates a nice temporary seal in my membrane?? You know, like closing the door on the way out?), but it was a huge let down and makes me even more anxious. I'm just so TIRED of my body. I don't even want to live in it anymore. It's always sore, achy, weakened and leaking fluid at unpredictable and inconvenient times. And if we have to add 'gushing blood' to that list I'm not sure I can handle it. I'm barely getting by as it is.

I SOOOOOOO envy regular pregnant women right now. Honestly, if I could just get up and walk down the hall without worrying my body's going to self destruct on me, it would be heaven. If I could just roll over in bed without feeling a slow 'drip, drip, drip', I could relax and maybe sleep for more than a few hours at a time. If I didn't have to worry about having everything I own at arms reach because once I'm alone, getting anything for myself becomes a 'risk' which I feel I have to weigh every time (how much do I actually NEED that sock that fell on the floor?) Actual 'pregnancy' symptoms that I've had are the LEAST of my concerns.

So I guess you could describe me as 'pissed off' today. It's a holiday. I would love to go outside (I haven't been outside since I arrived last Friday...and I've only left my room twice for ultrasounds in that entire time). But now I'm afraid due to this 'new' symptom of bleeding. Does it mean something is about to happen? Or is it just another hurdle I will have to deal with?

Maybe it's just my body's way of 'celebrating' the holiday. Red for Canada Day!