Meet Colin Michael

The 3-4th of July were crazy days.  Needless to say, I was NOT expecting my water to break before my cerclage came out, and I was NOT expecting to deliver a late pre-term baby.  But here we are, and Colin Michael is doing great for his gestational age.

imageBorn at 2:56 a.m. on July 4th, 2014, he weighed 5 lbs, 10 oz. and was 18 inches long.

I knew the exact moment my water broke.  I felt a pop, and then I was literally soaked with water. My water broke with my daughter, so there was no confusion what this was this time… and it was a mess… despite the cerclage.

As my husband raced around the house to grab the necessities… diapers for Hannah, phones and chargers, and my computer… our daughter sat on the couch watching quietly.  She knew something was wrong.  Mommy was on her hands and knees on the floor and daddy was running around the house like a mad man! How could you not?! LOL

We didn’t have time to pack much more because I started to feel contractions quickly after my water broke, and the last thing I wanted to do was tear through that stitch.  We’d figure the rest out later.  We needed to get to the hospital pronto.

I was scared.  This was not going at all how I planned in my head. The birth of your child rarely does.  I wasn’t too scared for my baby.  35 week kids can go either way… need breathing tubes and feeding tubes in the NICU, or be totally fine.  I was more scared for me. 

First of all, we were no where close to ready.  Rooms hadn’t been painted.  Closets weren’t set up.  Furniture hadn’t arrived. Oh yeah and the basement is under construction.

Second, and most importantly my stitch was still in.  Who the heck was going to take it out?? Were we going to get to it in time?

That process turned out to be much more complicated than what I thought.  My doctor was on vacation this weekend, I knew she would be. But she still called ahead to labor and delivery to let them know I was coming in. 

After check in they took me to a labor and delivery room where two doctors (pretty typical for a teaching hospital) sat down and we discussed how the stitch was going to come out. I opted for no medication to start.  I knew it was a relatively quick procedure.  In fact, I figured I was in enough pain with the contractions… just take it out in between and I’d be okay.

Uh… wrong assumption. Because the stitch was wrapped around both of my cervices, it was extremely uncomfortable and even painful at times when they tried to just get a hold of it. It was taking A LOT longer than I expected.  I looked from one doctor to another asking if it was over yet.  They just couldn’t get it.  At one point, they even asked what type of stitch I had! 

Since it was causing me so much discomfort to take the stitch out with no meds, we decided to just get my epidural put in. Kill two birds with one stone… no more contractions, and less pain to take the stitch out. 

So we waited… about half an hour to 45 minutes for the epidural to arrive. She was helping someone else who was having a c-section.  By the time I finally got it in, my labor had progressed so much that my doctors could no longer locate the stitch.  My cervix had swollen up completely around it.

At this point they had to call the on-call high risk doctor. I give the hospital major credit.  They only wanted one O.R. open during the holiday, but my doctors and nurses managed to get the other one open to take care of me. So off I went. They numbed me up a little more and in minutes my stitch was out.  I immediately dilated to 5 cm. In less than an hour I was at 8.  We got that stitch out just in time.

Now it was a waiting game.  I truly thought I was in the clear.  And then I started to black out. I had no idea what was going on, but I knew something was wrong.  All I knew was I was confused and I was about to lose consciousness. They later told me the color had completely drained from my face.  I told my husband and my mother-in-law to find someone quickly.  I did not want to wake up and have no baby in my belly, and somewhere inside something was telling me I needed to fight to stay awake.

My blood pressure had plummeted. Nurses came in, rolled me onto my left side and gave me medicine to get my blood pressure back up.  We had to… because when that happened to me, it also happened to my baby. And that was frightening.

What I didn’t know was that can be a side effect to the epidural.  It had never happened to me before.  But apparently it’s pretty normal, and once we got my blood pressure back up, the baby’s slowly returned to normal too.  

Finally, NOW it was a waiting game.

It took me 3 pushes and ten minutes for the little guy to come into this world. He was a lot bigger than I thought he would be!

When your baby is pre-term, a ton of people are in that labor and delivery room with you.  There your doctors, any family you want, and a full staff of folks from the NICU.  I knew that going in.  But as Colin came out he screamed.  It’s the most beautiful sound in the room.  And his was LOUD. In fact, it basically prompted the entire NICU staff to leave.  And that made me extremely happy.

They kept Colin in the hospital for longer than a usual full term baby.  We needed to make sure he was gaining weight, passed breathing tests, hearing tests, car seat tests, etc. We supplemented him with milk until mine came in.  Now, 2 and a half weeks later… he weighs more than six pounds, and my pediatrician says we need to stop treating him and thinking of him as a preemie… because he’s not acting like one. For that, I am so grateful.

You see, that night there were several 35 week moms who came in to UCH to deliver.  Who knows what was going on that caused us all to go into labor.  Three of those babies were still in the NICU when we were allowed to leave.  So we were so blessed to have a baby who did and is doing so well. 

Uterus didelphys threw me a couple of punches at the end of my pregnancy.  Since Hannah had gone full term, we didn’t completely expect my next baby to come so early.  But my doctors still warned me that it could happen.

Interestingly enough, both Hannah and Colin were the exact same size when they came into this world.  I guess we now know the threshold for my right uterus! 5 lbs, 10 oz, 18 inches long… time to exit!

Colin Michael is my little fighter.  And I can’t wait watch his life adventure begin!

Little buddy came at 2:56 a.m. Welcome to the world!! (We’re still figuring out his name )

Little buddy came at 2:56 a.m. Welcome to the world!! (We’re still figuring out his name )

Nurse says we’re calling the doctors! Here comes baby boy!
Last family of 3 photo!

Last family of 3 photo!

almost there!

Crap… Water just broke… Cerclage still in. Headed to hospital now.
Are you having twins? You still have til August???

35 weeks!

Ahh… the joys of nearing the end of your pregnancy. I don’t know what it is about being pregnant, but people feel like they can say ANYTHING to you.  I truly believe everyone just wants to share in your joy.  So, instead of letting my hormones go all righteous on strangers, I choose to laugh and play along.  Because let’s be honest, while you jest at my water breaking and me going into labor at any moment, the truth is with me… it’s a very real possibility.  And THEN what are you gonna do?

Before I get into some of my favorite comments, here’s the latest on me and baby boy: He weighs 4 lbs. 14 oz, and his measurements have dropped to the 32nd percentile.  Not at all surprising, and not terrible either.  He’s simply running out of space in my smaller uterus.  He looks great!  He’ll probably be just slightly larger than his sister when he’s born.  My docs don’t even care about my cerclage anymore.  It’s scheduled to come out in 2 weeks so it’s coming out soon, whether I go into labor before then or not.  

I know, I know, he looks high… but he is actually VERY low.  Lower than my daughter.  He sits right on my pelvis, on my right side… which explains a lot of my sciatic pain.  But he’s head down, and facing the right direction for delivery! That particular part makes this VERY real, and me pretty nervous… we still have a ton to do!

I’ve been seeing a therapist to help with my stress levels… and it has really been amazing.  It is probably the best thing I could have done for my mental health.  So, to distract myself from the stresses of getting ready here’s a few of the things that make me giggle every day.  

My favorite comments: “You are all belly!” — Can’t get enough! If you could say that to me every 5 minutes, I will love you forever! 

"You look amazing" — While I think you are lying thru your teeth, I love and appreciate your sincere attempt at making me awesome.  Will you be my new BFF?

"It looks like you have on a movie prop" — I actually had an actor say this to me once.  Me and Rob Schneider… 2012

Needless to say, Rob Schneider is now my favorite actor of all time.

"Has anyone helped you yet, because we don’t need you going into labor here at the counter.. (laughing)… When are you due? Tomorrow?" — Yeah, laugh it up chuckles, the joke’s gonna be on you when my water actually does break on your floor.  I wish I was due tomorrow.. but baby’s in there possibly til August.

"Are you sure you’re not having twins?" — Seriously? Seriously.  P.S. I know I’m large but the turkey timer (my belly button) hasn’t even popped yet.  So slow your roll, I’m still baking.

And finally… “I sure hope your husband is rubbing oil on you every night!” — said the old man behind me in line at the supermarket.  O.M.G. I was cornered and HAD to reply.  (me stammering)… fortunately I haven’t needed that yet… It was the most polite thing I could think of.  Nothing like that awkward feeling you just can’t escape!  He made up for it by eventually telling me I was 23 and looked too young to have 2 kids.  Poor man.  I knew he meant well, but REALLY??? Clearly this blog is all about getting personal… but not like THAT!!  I have to admit I laughed about that one all day. 

I’ll be addressing the rude lady who called the station to say that she knew I was pregnant and thought my belly was “disgusting” in a future blog.  Because in my line of work… we try to make everyone happy :).  Cheers!! 

33 weeks!

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The count down continues! Exactly 4 weeks from today my cerclage comes out! It honestly can’t come soon enough.  Baby boy is doing great! He’s super healthy and moves around a ton!  And don’t get me wrong, I am DEFINITELY not wishing for the baby to come earlier, but like last time, this pregnancy has been a rough one, and not necessarily all because of my Uterus Didelphys! 

Before I get into the fun times had by me this week… first I want to say how excited I am that this came out this month!! 

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I am so honored that “Her Life” Magazine in Denver decided to feature me and this blog on the cover of their June issue!  A HUGE thank you to them for the wonderful story! 

Now, back to the drama.  I don’t know what it is about my life… but weird s*&% happens.  I can’t do anything without it going to the extreme.  So, thank God for highlights like these during a horrible week.  

It actually all started out great.  My husband flew out of town for a few days, so it was Hannah and mommy time… some of our last… before baby arrives.  I had a chance to reorganize her room, do lots of laundry, and we even took a trip to the zoo with our great friends Erica and Beckham! 

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I felt so accomplished!!! And then it hit me.  The stomach bug from hell. Sunday… as tornado warnings passed just south of my home… as Hannah was sleeping… I was in the fetal position (as much as my belly would allow) trying to keep food down.  I was not successful, and I was getting dehydrated quickly.  I waited for the storms to pass to call my mother-in-law for help.  Thank God they live in town, otherwise I’m not sure what I would have done! She took Hannah for the night, and I tried… TRIED… to get better.

Ladies, if you have never been sick while you’re pregnant, thank your lucky stars.  We basically have no immune system… so colds and viruses last longer.  Good luck getting rid of that bug in a normal time frame.  Monday morning I waived the white flag of surrender and drove myself to labor and delivery.  I could tell my Braxton Hicks contractions had picked up, and I was still not keeping ANYTHING down.  Better safe than sorry.

2 I-V bags, and some pain pills later I was headed home.  Still… things just weren’t right.  I went back to work Wednesday but was sick nearly the entire time.  So Wednesday night, back to labor and delivery I went. Chris was home to take care of Hannah, so that made things easier.  But this time, it was 1 I-V bag and potassium pills.  My electrolytes had gotten too low, at which point they give you horse pills. Disgusting. If I had another viable option, I would have taken it.  Apparently, though, you don’t want this in I-V form, because it burns going in.  Very painful… and for me would have required an overnight stay. So if you can stomach swallowing them… bonus points for you! 

imageIt’s the one on the left.

I had them break the two I had to take in half, because I don’t take pills well in the first place.  (My prenatals are chewable) 

Fortunately for me, they stayed down, and I got to go home at 1 a.m. Thursday.  Finally by Friday I was feeling like a normal human being. 

The whole experience had me thinking there was no possible way I was going to make it through to 37 weeks when my cerclage comes out.  I physically didn’t think it was going to happen.  And that was so defeating.  I never got sick while I was pregnant with Hannah… and I’ve been sick A TON this time around.  

On the emotional side of it, I felt like getting sick while we had “girl time” meant I had failed.  I couldn’t take care of myself, and I couldn’t take care of my daughter.  That was devastating.  I give a lot of credit to single moms.  I don’t know how you do what you do.  You’re amazing.

The biggest concern with anyone, but especially me, about being so dehydrated is the increase in contractions.  They were Braxton Hicks contractions, but were coming 6-10 minutes apart.  And tearing through my cerclage with contractions is just not an option.  I don’t even want to imagine how painful that would be.

So, knowing I have other things at stake, I always take the extra cautious course.  

Now, I’m focusing on scheduling rest… because I’m not getting enough. And I’m trying to get better at asking for help. I know I’m stressed because I had another ocular migraine over the weekend.  So I think my body is trying to tell me that I’m not superwoman… as much as I’d like to believe that were true.  

Ocular migraines, sciatic nerve and 31 weeks!

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31 weeks!! The countdown is on! When I went for my growth measurement Thursday one of my doctors said he now considers my pregnancy “old”… commenting on how fast the time has gone since we were focusing on potentially putting in a cerclage. I’ll take that as a compliment. :)

Baby looks great… they estimate he weighs 3 lbs 10oz, and if he continues on this track he’ll be an 8 lbs baby if he were to arrive on time. Yikes!! Uh, Hannah was 5 lbs 10 oz and a joy to give birth to. I don’t even want to THINK about what an 8 lbs baby is like.  Let me put it another way, I know what my 9 lbs self did to my mom and her delivery.  She’s a remarkable woman, and I’ll happily leave those feats to her. Ha!

His growth has slowed some over the last 8 weeks, but not enough to alarm my doctors.  I’m curious to see what the next growth measurement is like in 4 weeks.

Meanwhile, it’s been quite the ride with my physical symptoms.  A couple of weeks ago I went to the ER twice because I started losing about 40% of my vision.  The first time it happened was while I was driving. I was pulling over anyway to get something to eat, but you can imagine my fear when I had an incredibly tough time reading menus and my phone. Not only was my vision blurry, but contained black spots as well. When I called my doctor they said to get to the hospital immediately.  I went, and funny enough it went away on its own, and the baby was fine. Then it happened 3 days later.  Once again, the ER couldn’t find anything wrong, but did tell me to keep my appointment with my eye doctor.

The diagnosis: ocular migraines.  They don’t know what triggers them (maybe stress?), and may not occur again for several more years. Weird! But I’m so thankful we have an answer.

Next up… my sciatic nerve.  I certainly don’t remember having THIS much pain with Hannah.  It’s like he’s sitting right on it.  Lately I’ll just be standing up and I’ll lose feeling in my right leg, or I’ll get horrible shooting pain from my hip down to my foot on my right side.  The only thing that cures it is laying on my left side for as long as I can tolerate to get the little dude to move some. And you can forget about being comfortable while leaning back slightly or laying on my right side.  Sometimes I have no choice but to do one of those things.  It’s just an extremely painful experience.  My doctor gave me a recommendation for a physical therapist at the hospital.  That just might need to happen if I’m gonna last another 2 months.

I found out at my last doctors appointment that he is head down (yay!), facing my left side.  So his little tushy continues to stretch my belly WAY over to the right. I wonder if that’s why I’m getting an outie (belly button) this time around, too?  Hm… the mysteries of different pregnancies.

Braxton Hicks contractions continue.  I’m REALLY hoping we keep him in there until the stitch is scheduled to come out in 6 weeks!! 

Aaahhhhhh!!!! So much to do!!! So, I better end it here.  Hooray for 31 weeks and a healthy kid!