Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Sad Ending to the Year... Part 2

ATTN: this is a long and drawn out, and full of gross details, but I couldn't figure out what to leave out. I'm sorry. Just skip it if you want!

So, home we went. Mom and Abbie and Sammi were watching the kids and puppies (yes, that mayhem was all going on right then, too. Never a dull moment. Did I tell you how much I owe my mom and mother in law?LOL!). Unfortunately, they had been playing beauty shop and Grant had twisted Abbie's hair around a round brush and it was really caught. Really. Knotted. Bad. In fact, it was so bad that it took me several HOURS to get it out. She was such a sport though and honestly, it was a healing moment for me. I was able to sit on the bed with loved ones and laugh. I sooo needed that right then.

My midwife was so deeply sorry about all we had gone through at Mercy. She really went to bat for me and spoke to the head of the L&D dept at Mercy. He was upset at how we'd been treated and volunteered to give me a d&e personally on Monday. I wasn't too thrilled with the whole idea of going back, but felt trapped and had no other options. My midwife had tried to get the doctor that did Tara's emergency c-section with Saige since he was so great, but the office said no. So, I had to wait the weekend to go back to Mercy.

Well, God, in His mercy allowed labor to start to progress at home. I was having contractions every few minutes and finally my water broke late Saturday night. We called Shawn to come over and stay the night just in case anything got dangerous and we needed someone to stay with the kids. I am SO glad he was there. Around 7am Sunday morning, while miscarrying, I passed out and had a seizure and stopped breathing. Thankfully Shawn was there to assess the situation and help Brent because I was totally out of it! They called 911 and I was taken to Upper Chesapeake. (Poor Cait totally flipped out when they brought the stretcher in. They had all just woken up and had no idea what was going on.)

When I got there I ended up having another seizure while I was hemoraging. Brent was pounding on the window in the room calling for the nurses. It all happened very fast and I don't remember a ton. But guess what doctor came in? The doc that delivered Saige! The one I had tried to get to do the d&e! God is so good!

There were a ton of people in the room and I was getting hooked up on all kinds of machines. They gave me a med to stop the hemoraging and also Dilantin, an anti seizure med. Well, as the nurse was putting it in the IV, everything started going black. I was fully awake but was quickly losing my sight. I told them that I couldn't see and Brent says that they stopped the med because my blood pressure dropped really, really low and they were bringing 2 crash carts into the room. I don't remember anything except being really scared and confused.

After I was stablized I was sent for a d&c. After being through all the stuff in the past few days, that was the least eventful thing that happened! It was cake! Because of the seizures and blood loss I had to be admitted to the hospital. I went for a CAT scan and MRI but neither turned up anything. But, when I had an EEG, the doctor came in for 5 minutes and said, "Well, your brain is 95% normal! Ha! Ha!" (I wasn't laughing. I was in shock and ready to cry.) In a few quick sentences I was deemed seizure-prone, put on medication, and lost all driving rights. Talk about overwhelmed. I've never been more out of all control of my life as I was during that whole experience.
I stayed in the hospital for 3 more days waiting for all test results to be finished and blood count to come up so I didn't have to get a transfusion. (a couple hundredths of a point and I would have)
Finally I was able to go home! I was weak and tired for several weeks till my blood count came up but I was glad it was all over.
Whew. I'm glad these two posts are over. I've been procrastinating writing it all down because it was all so overwhelming, but now that it's done, I can get back on to real life.

A Sad Ending to the Year

Back in September we had found out that we were expecting baby #5. I think I mentioned that in the midst of our Whirlwind Autumn. The next few months were full of the normal morning sickness and tiredness. We did a lot of "sofa school" and cut out a lot of the extras- like cleaning and eating balanced meals! LOL! But, I'm not joking.

I have to admit that I kept my heart guarded from becoming too excited about this baby since we had just lost one at 16 weeks this past January. Mentally I knew I needed to get past that first appt where we hear the heartbeat and past week 16 before I could really get comfortable with the idea.

Well, at 13 weeks we heard the heartbeat with huge sighs of relief. My wonderful midwife, Evelyn, practically screamed as she cried, "PRAISE GOD". (I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have a believing midwife!) I started to feel like everything was really "REAL". We went shopping for maternity clothes and started looking at baby stuff with the kids. We didn't buy anything for the baby yet because we were going to find out the gender and I wanted to buy just the right things.

I was due to have another visit around 17 weeks. I was really hoping to know by Christmas whether it was a boy or girl and I knew a sonogram wouldn't be able to be scheduled before then if I waited, so I was able to talk my midwife into letting me get a sonogram in place of my next appointment. We went into the sonogram with lots of excitement and anticipation, but as soon as I saw the tech's face, I knew. I knew that we'd lost this one too. They said that he/she had stopped growing around 13 weeks, so the day we'd heard the heartbeat could have been his/ her last. Sadness reigned. It was even harder to tell the kids since they had been so excited. Cait took it especially hard and we hugged and cried a lot that night.
But, the next morning is when all the real drama started. See, my midwife still wanted to see me the next morning, so we dropped the kids off at my mom's and headed over to Reisterstown. I had planned on just waiting it out and letting nature take it's course like last time, but my midwife really didn't think that was wise since last time I'd had lots of hemmoraging.

My head was spinning. I was still letting the whole death sink in and in 10 minutes I went from going home and letting things happen naturally, to having a d&c to having a d&e, to having to go through labor and delivery with pitocin (since I was so far along). Let me just tell you- I was overwhelmed. Labor and delivery is hard enough, but when you say the word pitocin on top of it, well, it just is enough to send me over the edge. And, I didn't know the doctor who would be doing all of this. (You have to understand- I balk at having a shot, much less all the intervention that forced labor would bring.) My midwife was trying to get in touch with her back up doctor so I could go straight to Mercy Hospital and just get it over with.
Brent and I headed to Panera Bread to get some lunch and wait to hear what time to report to the hospital. I couldn't bear to sit in her office with all the other largely pregnant mommies until the report came. We'll we waited for FOUR hours in that Panera Bread until finally I said, forget it- I'm going home. We can schedule it another day. Well, on the way home in the car, we finally get the call from the back-up doctor's office saying to come to Mercy RIGHT AWAY and I'll be fit in.
We arrived in Mercy and were whisked through registration (in the labor and delivery ward, of course), the nurse gave me a cup to pee in and said to get changed into a gown for my d&e. WHAT?! WAIT! What procedure am I getting? I asked to see the doctor before I did anything. The doctor was very sweet and kind but said that I was getting a d&e, not going through labor and delivery. Oh, and by the way, had I eaten anything?
Well, yes, I had just come from Panera Bread. Oh, boy. Since I'd eaten, I would have to wait until around 7pm that night to have the d&e. Ugh. I just wanted it all over. And sitting in the labor and delivery ward for the next 6 hours was not my idea of fun.
So Brent and I headed out to the car to get the laptop to kill time. As we were coming back in the doctor met us and said the plan changed again. (That's the theme of this story!) She was uncomfortable doing a d&e all by herself since I had the potential to hemmorage and there were no other doctors on staff through the night (talk about making me nervous!)so, I would have to spend the night and get the d&c at 6am or go home and come back at 6am.

I opted for going home. Soooo...EARLY the next morning (btw, we really hadn't seen the kids for 2 days now and I just wanted to be with them so bad!) we headed back to Mercy. I got hooked up for an IV and waited for the doctor. And waited. And waited. Then we found out no one knew WHO was going to do the procedure. I think about 5 different doctors' names were given to us over the course of the day-even though we'd seen no one. Then we found out no one knew WHICH procedure I was getting. D&C, D&E or Labor and delivery- each person said something different. Our confidence in the doctors and nurses was taking a NOSEDIVE.

Brent was totally losing his cool and I was very teary. The final straw was when some doctor came in all matter of fact and said he needed me to sign a consent form for my surgery. I said for what, and he said he didn't know! WHAT?! He didn't have a clue who I was, about my medical history or what procedure I was getting done!
I told him I wasn't signing anything and that I wanted to talk to the doc that was handling my care. He basically said that was impossible since that doctor was still at his clinic and wasn't scheduled to be at the hospital until 12:30pm. Then, WHY did I have to be at the hospital at 6am????
That was enough. Brent demanded an AMA (against medical advice) form and said that we'd lost all confidence in this hospital and doctor(s). We packed up our stuff and left. I was never so glad to be gone from a hospital in my life.
But, that still left me with how to deal with this miscarriage.... continued...

More Puppy Memories

Having puppies around was certainly a great experience- though not without LOTS of work. The first 4 weeks were fairly easy since Sadie did all the clean up work and the pups were too little to climb out of the box. BUT, when week 5 hit- look out! Suddenly they were shimmying themselves out of the box and finding themselves quite pleased with their newly found freedom! I bought a wire bookcase that I reconfigured into a taller pen with room for them to go potty and play. The only problem was that Sadie had a hard time getting in and out. So, we had to get creative and make a lower door for her to jump over, but that the puppies couldn't also get over!

Around this week they also started to eat some mushy food. What a funny mess! They were barely starting to walk so they kept falling over and often fell INTO the food! It didn't matter because one of the other puppies would just start licking the tasty food off the messy pup. We had a blast watching them interact.

The biggest problem was that the kids had to hold them CONSTANTLY! I found myself sounding like a broken record. "Put the puppy down while you eat. Put the puppy down and finish your schoolwork. Put the puppy down when you are in the living room. No, you cannot take the puppy with you to the bathroom." AAAHHHH!

Just when they started being able to climb out of the wire pen, I ended up in the hospital (more on that in the next post!) so my wonderful mom and mother in law got to experience the mayhem of that! They were climbing through the gate in the kitchen doorway and escaping through the house! And, since Sadie had said "Enough is enough!" we got to start cleaning up all their little "presents" throughout the kitchen! Thankfully we had an old baby corral that we kept them in while they were sleeping and eating so we could contain the messes. But, when it was wake-up and play time, the kids and I would arm ourselves with cleaning wipes and get prepared for poop-patrol!

They were so adorable that I was unsure of how I would be able to part with them! Yet, when they reached the 6-8 week stage, I was ready to send them to their families and have my kitchen back again. On January 11 they were ready to go home to their forever families and one by one our house got quieter and cleaner. But the kids got sadder and sadder. There were a few sad tears, but in a few days everyone was back to normal. I've heard back from a few families and everyone is doing well, except for Georgia-who jumped off the owner's table and broke her leg and now needs surgery.

We are glad to have a break but are happily looking forward to the next litter- whenever that is!

The End of Procrastination

Have you ever put off a job on your "to do" list so long that it starts to haunt you every time you think about your "to do" list? Well, that's how it's been for me with needing to update this blog. It's been about 5 months since my last post and A LOT has happened. In fact, our lives in a few areas are completely different. So, how do I catch up on all this momentous history- this huge elephant of a project? One bite at a time. Actually, I'm going to try to do this a chronologically as possible....stay tuned....