Friday, May 22, 2009

Blast from the Past Friday

Wow. 12 years ago today, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my daughter Bug. I can remember SO vividly what happened in the days leading up to her birth! I've relayed this story once before, but I thought it was so fitting to share again today since it's Bug's birthday. I originally posted this in February 2008.

The Story of Bug

I was given 2 different due dates with Bug. May 30th OR June 6th. It was Monday, May 19th, and I was at work. I was a receptionist, so my job wasn't really very taxing on me. I figured I would probably work unti the day I went into labor.

About mid-morning, I started having mild contractions. Nothing too painful, and they weren't very close together. Throughout the day, when people would leave the building, I joked that I might not see them for a while because I was in labor. Some of them laughed, some of them looked a little worried. I was still feeling alright, but towards the end of the day I was feeling a bit more discomfort.

My mom used to pick Bubber up from daycare for me (they closed at 5:00pm and I didn't get out of work until 5:00), and I would pick him up from her house on my way home. I would usually sit and chat with her for a while, because my (then) husband, Dan, worked afternoons, so there was no real need to rush home. By the time I got to my mom's, I was feeling worse and worse. I tried to get in and out as quickly as possible, but in my family. that still means at least a good 15-30 minutes of talking. I finally got out of there, and made the 30 minute drive home.

I got home and called the doctor. He told me to go ahead to the hospital. I called Dan and told him he needed to come home (a 45min - 1 hour drive) right away. I called my mom and told her that I would need her to meet us at the hospital. Then I proceeded to go upstairs and pack my bag. (If you read my story of Bubber first, you already know I'm a procrastinator)

Dan got home and we went to the hospital. My mom met us there shortly afterwards. I was put in triage, since my water hadn't broken yet. They checked me, and I was at about 2. Meanwhile, I'm feeling STARVED because I hadn't eaten all day. My mom finally went and got me some soup from the cafeteria. The doctor decided to put me on an IV antibiotic because I had tested positive for Strep B. So started my stay in the hospital. I don't know if I ever went to sleep that night.

Tuesday morning, nothing had changed. The doctor still didn't really want me to eat (especially since I threw up while in labor with Bubber). So I was hungry, tired, and hurting. I was still having contractions, but they were few and far between.

Wednesday comes, STILL in triage, still no progress. At this point I am wanting to just pack it up and go home, but since I was on the IV meds, they didn't want to release me. A friend of mine, who was also pregnant at the time and on bedrest for pre-term labor, called to see how I was. While I was talking to her, my water broke. I think I might have caused her some serious hearing damage when I shouted with joy!!

Wednesday evening, after going another day with no real progress, my doctor finally gave me permission to eat, and he ordered that I get sent to a birthing suite so that I can get some rest. I remember sitting in bed watching the episode of Mad About You when they had their baby, and I started to cry. Those stupid TV people got to have THEIR baby, why couldn't I just get it over with?!? I got a shot of morphine that night to help me sleep. Of course, the moment I went to sleep (and for what seemed like every 15 minutes after that for the rest of the night), the nurses came in and checked my vitals. I did get a really nice male nurse who re-did my IV for me, because my hand started to go numb and that was nice.

Thursday, May 22nd. After a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG day of waiting, the doctor put me on pitocin, and I eventually got my epidural. (I was just reading a friend's blog and remembered something else...) So during this time, a bunch of nurses and such have been coming in to check me. At one point, a doctor came in and asked if some medical students could come in to watch while he checked me - I said, "Sure, why not, EVERYONE ELSE IN THIS HOSPITAL HAS SEEN IT ALREADY!" I think I had begun to lose my sense of humor by then. It wasn't too long after that, the doctor came in, checked me, and said, "okay, you can push when you're ready!" My mom sort of "accidentally" ended up being in the room, but she stayed out of the way and just sat in a chair in the corner and waited. I pushed a little, and because God has a major sense of humor, had a bowel movement on the table AGAIN. Man, was I ever embarassed! One of my nurses (who was really nice and very funny) commented, "I just got done in the geriatric ward, I thought I was done cleaning up poop!" It made me laugh a little, but I was still pretty horrified. It's weird, because for a while after my Bug was born, I didn't remember what happened next. I pushed a few times, and her head came out. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck TWICE. Bug's shoulders were stuck, but we didn't have time for that. So the doctor literally grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her out, nearly pulling me off of the bed in the process. He got the cord unwound and she started breathing fine right away. At 8:30pm, my 7lb 15oz, 20 in long Bug was born, complete with a head FULL of light brown hair. No wonder I had heartburn all the time!! LOL

When I had Bubber, I had issues with retained placenta. I actually had to have a D&C done about 2 weeks after he was born because I started to hemorrage. So the doctors knew that might be an issue this time, too. The placenta would not even come out. It was "stuck" to my uterine wall. No biggie, the doctor told me he'd take me to the OR and take care of it. They quickly prepped me, and before I knew it was in in the OR. I told the doctor I felt nauseated, and someone handed me a bedpan. I was helped onto my side when I heard a large splash, like someone spilling a bucket of water. The doctor had me put under anesthesia immediately. I found out later I had hemorraged a LOT. Enough to where they gave me a transfusion. I woke up in recovery and remember being SO cold. I was in shock. I ended up in ICU that night, and didn't get to see Bug until about 11:30 the next day.

(These pictures only go up to when she was 7 - All pictures since that time have been on digital, and they are all on a disc somewhere...)

Now Bug is a sweet 12 year old with a great sense of humor and a soft heart for others. She is a wonderful helper with her little sisters, and has recently started showing interest in helping prepare dinner (now if I could just convince her that cleaning up is just as fun...HA!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Tip O' The Day

This tip is actually relating to a pretty serious topic - helping the elderly, even when they don't think they need it.

My grandparents' house was always spotless when I was a kid. Like eat off the floor clean. As she got older, my grandma relaxed a bit in her cleaning habits. However, when I went to visit my grandparents' house on Mother's Day, I saw how "relaxed" things had gotten.

My grandma is very frail (like she weighs 70lbs and has had several mini-strokes). My grandpa means well, but he's no housekeeper. They have TONS of stuff, most of which could be thrown away or at least organized and put in one of their spare bedrooms. Grandma can't keep house like she used to, but both of my grandparents have refused help.

Last Thursday, my grandpa was getting something for my grandma and he tripped over something and fell. Luckily his youngest brother was there and able to help him up. Grandpa said he was fine, but by Friday my uncle decided Grandpa needed to go to the ER to get checked out. Turns out Grandpa has 5-6 broken ribs, plus a huge scrape/bruise on his arm. Apparently his congestive heart failure has flared up, and now he's being kept not so much for the broken ribs, but for the excessive amounts of fluid around his lungs.

Now, while my grandpa has been known to fall down, and has fallen down several times recently, I believe this could have been avoided. If their house was kept up better, Grandpa could have been using his walker or at least his cane to help him around. He wasn't using it because there was no room for him to do so.

Now my mom and my aunts have decided to work on cleaning my grandparent's house. They hadn't done so before because my grandparents didn't want them to. I think maybe now they know that was not the best idea. Sometimes people don't realize when they are in over their heads.

I'm sure my grandparents don't like that they aren't as independent as they used to be. I imagine that maybe they might be embarrassed by the condition their house has gotten in. However, as a family, we should have never let their house get to that point.

That being said, my "Tip O' The Day" is to say that when you have elderly friends or family members, check up on them often. If you visit them and you see that they need some help around the house, take the initiative to see if you can help them. They probably won't ask. If they refuse your help, you might just have to risk them being mad at you because you need to help them anyway. They'll get over it eventually.