Thursday, July 23, 2009

Caleb Orion

Well, at my last post, I was impatiently awaiting the arrival of my little boy. Man, I need to be careful what I wish for, or more specific in my prayers--because I paid in getting him here. I've not written about it yet partly because we've been up to our ears in dirty diapers, every 3 hour feedings, nighttime madness, and parenting follies. The other part is that I don't know how much justice I can do in putting it all into words, but I guess I'll try my best.

So, on July 13th, I had a regularly scheduled OB appointment--my 40 week appointment. I figured we'd go in, say "Ok, well...when do you want this baby?!?" and then go home, get our bags, and be on our way to a planned induction for whatever day we chose. WRONG! I got there and my blood pressure was 160/100 (!) and my urine had 3+ protein in it (read--badness, even in the setting of how concentrated my urine was). So, I was pretty much diagnosed with preeclampsia. Really, I wasn't too surprised. I'd ballooned in the last few weeks, my blood pressure had gone from the usual 110s/60-70s to 130-140/80s in the last 2 appointments. The doctor sent us over to labor and delivery straight from the office. She said she would try to spare me the aweful magnesium drip usually prescribed for women with preeclampsia--I was thankful.

We went to L&D (we hadn't brought any of our baby-bags to the appointment--I sent Ryan later to get them). They started pitocin to cause contractions and we were on our way. The contractions started coming every 1-2 minutes but they weren't lasting long and weren't too strong. We went from 11 am-6 pm like that, me having moderate pain that was like strong period cramps, but I was holding my own without any pain medicine. My blood pressure stayed up, so they started the magnesium--but they started it slowly, and I really didn't have the bad effects of it.

At 6 pm, my doctor came in and we decided to break my water. I've seen this done, and I was in complete agreement with that decision, because I still wasn't in a great labor pattern. The breaking of the water wasn't very comfortable, but I knew it wouldn't last long. The doctor and I chatted while we were waiting for all of the amniotic fluid to come out.

And then....all hell broke loose (pardon the expression). I hadn't been paying attention to the heart rate monitor for the baby, but his heart beat went down to the 80s. When the nurse asked me to get on my side, and started getting the oxygen mask out, I knew what was about to happen. I didn't panic, I think I was in too much disbelief. The doctor told the nurse to turn of the pitocin. They had me lie on my other side. They called for terbutaline (to stop contractions). I told Ryan to go into the hall and tell my parents to go to the waiting room. Then they had me get on my hands and knees, butt up in the air in an attempt to relieve what was causing the baby distress. I saw the train wreck coming. Ryan didn't know we were going to have an emergent C-Section until the nurse called somebody else and told them we needed an OR "NOW!" So, they wheeled me down the hall, butt up in the air, to the OR.
We got back to the OR and they took off my home-made birthing clothes (yes, I actually thought I'd get to use them--I'd jinxed myself from the beginning...) and put the monitors over my belly. Heart rate still low. I didn't have any anesthesia up to this point, so they had to quickly do a spinal. They'd discussed putting me to sleep versus doing the spinal, I was telling them the whole time --"I don't care! Just do what you need to do!" In retrospect, I'm thankful that they were able to do the spinal, so I was able to hear the first cries of my precious baby boy. I was calm until they put the sheet up while getting me prepped. After the sheet went up, I started freaking out because it felt like forever since they'd checked the baby's heart rate, and I just wanted them to start the C-Section. They brought Ryan into the room at about the time I was crying, and I was blessed to have him there.

"Feeling" the C-Section was so weird. I was waiting to hear the words that would give me some relief- "uterine," meaning they'd cut into my uterus--usually they get the baby out quickly after this. I could tell they'd gotten him out by the relief of pressure off of my abdomen--it felt SOOO GOOD to have him out of my belly! He didn't cry immediately and they took him back to the warmer to be assessed. I finally heard his gruff, hoarse, low cry and I was just so happy to know at least he could do that. Turns out his APGARS were 4 and 8, and he wasn't breathing at first--he needed CPAP for about a minute to get him going.

It wasn't long before Ryan was able to hold him and bring him back to me to see his little face. I thought he looked pale...but beautiful. It was so surreal and strange to finally see the life that had been growing inside me.

I'm so thankful that I didn't have my water break at home. Caleb's umbilical cord was wrapped from one shoulder across his belly to the opposite hip. I really don't see how that would have fixed itself, or how he would have been successful in navigating the birth canal without impinging on the cord. I fully believe that God's hand was at work through the whole thing-- the pre-eclampsia leading to induction, the induction needing to be augmented by the doctor breaking my water, and the doctor standing right there when his heart rate went down. I'm sure some would say "Well, if you'd done things naturally without all this intervention, then it wouldn't have happened." But I'd like for them to tell me how an umbilical cord at 40 weeks can just magically unwrap from around a baby's body. Praise God.

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. --1 Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


My due date is less than a week away...and I want this little boy to come out! I swore I wouldn't complain at all during this pregnancy, but I really really need to, now! My feet are so swollen, I have carpal tunnel, I'm waking up pretty much every 1-2 hours to pee, I waddle, and I'm huge! I'm ready to get my prize now!

We've tried a couple of things to get this to move along...membrane stripping and something I'm not going to divulge on the internet. My mother and my mother-in-law keep saying "Go walk, go walk!" Um, hello, I swear, by the end of the day, I have edema into my thighs, so, no thanks! Last night was even a full moon, so I thought the moon's gravitational pull might do the trick- NOPE! I was hoping maybe for him to be born today, so that his birthday would be 07-08-09 (that would be a cool birthdate!) But I'm not holding my breath.

My due date is actually the 13th...I have an appointment that day, I'm thinking maybe we'll discuss the "I" word (induction)--hopefully. If that's true, then maybe we can try for a delivery on 7-15, which will be our 3rd wedding anniversary...wouldn't that be a great anniversary present?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Missing the Boat

So, I've not talked much about my plans for having my baby and residency on here, but I think that I have referenced it some. Normally, residency starts for everybody July 1. Since my little guy is due July 13th, I'm going to be starting October 1. Before we had to enter our "Rank Order List" for residency--this is where you put in the places you want to go in order--I called my #1 choice and told them about being pregnant and asked if I could start October 1. They were very accepting and willing to work with me, further confirming that it was the residency for me.

Our residency had orientation though, from June 8-June 30th, which was a little anxiety-provoking for me, because they wanted me to be up there to finish orientation which consisted of multiple certifications in medical stuff and lots of sitting around. I was worried because the new city is around 4 hours away from my current if I'd have gone into labor there, panic would have ensued. Thank God though, I did not. So anyhow, we've been back and forth from residency city to our city, and are finally in our city awaiting the birth of the baby boy.

Yesterday was July 1 though. And up until yesterday, I felt included, like I was doing the "new intern" stuff. But, I sat at home yesterday. While all of my friends started seeing patients for the first time as doctors, REAL DOCTORS. No more of the, "HI, I'm so and so, a medical student working with Dr. _______" They got to say, "HI, I'm Dr. _________ . I'll be taking care of you while you're with us."

I must admit, I feel as though I have missed the boat. Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy to have the luxury of taking time off and the blessing of having a baby soon (and a bit scared to death too)...but I just know it's not going to be the same starting October 1st. The nurses and other doctors won't necessarily know that I'm the same as a July 1 intern, my fellow interns will probably be settled in and comfortable with much of the day-to-day operations of the hospital and clinic, and then there will be doctor, new mom, terrified person.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Doggie Disappointment

This past weekend, we tried to take our dogs to one of the less busy dog parks in our city. We've found this one works out pretty well for us-- fewer dogs means a better experience overall for everybody, I think. This really stems from one of my dogs' social ineptitude when it comes to greeting other dogs. He's too gung-ho. He wants to great everybody, get right in their faces, and sometimes give them a nice sniff on the butt, or a hump or two. Usually, it's the getting right in another dog's face that doesn't go over too well (and occasionally the un-welcomed humping). Now, I'm no dog body language expert, but when he runs up to another dog and "gets all up in their grill," I really don't think he's being aggressive...just overly excited. Some dogs don't appreciate this excitement and I think they do see it as an attack. Here comes a ~70 pound Australian Shepherd at full speed... I don't blame them for getting a bit up-tight.

Anyhow, this little problem is what led us to going to the less busy doggie park. But this weekend, things didn't work so well. As soon as we got in the park, he ran up to a dog that was either an Irish Setter or a Golden Retriever (it was more red than gold) and it growled, bared teeth and moved away. The owner took notice, but then Jax kinda ran on to pee on something. Round 2 wasn't as good. He decided he wanted to get to know the stranger a bit better and ran after him/her. The dog eventually turned and went off. Prior to this, Jax was not growling or showing teeth, or anything. But when that dog responded as it did, he was on the defensive as well. When he started in with the dog, our other dog, Apollo, a Husky, started in to help protect his brother. The other dog's owner starts yelling at the top of her lungs "STOP IT STOP IT!" and using her little ball thrower to try to separate them. Ryan went in and just grabbed our two, as the second owner of the other dog was yelling "Whose dogs are these?!?" Ryan was right there...we don't leave our dogs unsupervised at the park. The woman ended up yelling, "We're leaving! We're just going to leave!" Thankfully, none of the dogs were hurt--it really didn't get to that point.

Ryan ended up putting our two on a leash and we walked around the park... I wanted to just leave, because I feel if you have to keep your dogs on a leash at the free-reign park, you shouldn't be there in the first place. I feel like such a failure when my boys behave badly at the park...but I get defensive of them as well. I don't like for people to think they are bad or aggressive dogs, or that they are starting fights. They're not the kinds of dogs that start fights...they want to have fun and run around and meet the other dogs. I've decided it just depends upon the chemistry with the other dog that will determine how things go at the park. I know I'm rationalizing, but if another dog can't handle my dog's overt friendliness...don't both dogs have problems? I feel like I've failed my dogs and am a bad dog owner when things happen--but how do you keep a social butterfly from being so social? I wouldn't know how to correct this behavior if I tried. And then there's the problem of him actually learning that other dogs don't like it when you get in their faces... I really doubt that you can hurt this dog...and if you can, he still won't connect the "I'm hurting" feeling with "Oh, maybe I shouldn't do that again" thing...especially in the social setting of the dog park.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Type of Worship I Prefer

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' " --Matthew 25:40

Let me say that I'm not writing this to "toot my own horn"--rather, I am writing as a more of a charge to some of the people at my church who disappointed me greatly this weekend, and to show an example of one of the few times where I've actually felt as if I'm doing something for God's glory. This Sunday, I felt as if I were truly worshipping the way that God would have me worship.

As my husband and I were walking into a side entrance (not the main one) of the church building, we saw a homeless man sitting in the windowsill of our building. He had his shoes off, his feet were resting on the ground, his head down, and the open, weeping sores on his grimy feet were glistening in the sun. I commented to Ryan about his feet and how horrible they looked--Ryan didn't have much to say. We weren't the only people who walked through those doors that morning, but I wonder if I was the only one to notice.

It angers me to think back on it. God clearly expects us to take care of people just like this man--so I was wondering, why was nobody reaching out to help him? I know some people didn't see him because they used different entrances into the church, fine...but what went through the heads of those who walked by?
  • Were they condemning, thinking "That guy's probably a homeless drunk--look at him here waiting for a handout! He's making our church look bad-maybe we should call the police to run him off."
  • Were they more worried about themselves, considering "Oh, well, I guess I could help him, but I might get my clothes or the church dirty if I brought him inside."
  • Maybe they were sympathetic, wishing "If I only knew what to do for him, I would do something...but I don't think I have the skills. Poor guy..."

I don't know which of the above applied, but honestly, I think that had a dog or cat been sitting outside in such shape, somebody would have given it attention immediately. I don't know what it is about people that we are less forgiving and less willing to help out. Perhaps it's that we think that people have done something to deserve what they get, or that they can help themselves out of situations. And I'll admit... I'm guilty of these thoughts many times.

Regardless, this man needed help, and I couldn't very well go and claim to worship God while this man was sitting outside suffering. Some people believe that Jesus or angels present themselves as people in trouble needing help...I don't know if I believe in all of that, but I certainly knew that God was watching me and honestly, I think He was testing me. I went inside, sat my things down, and went to the First Aid room we have (yep, we have one!) to see what supplies were available. I felt we had enough to be able to bandage the man up, so I went outside in tears and introduced myself and offered to clean his feet for him. By this point, I was trying to not bawl-- my pregnancy hormones + frustration + compassion for this man were coming out of my tear ducts.

He said he just needed some socks because his shoes had been rubbing places on his feet, but he would be ok with getting them bandaged up. I brought him into the church, sat him down, and talked to him for a bit. His name was Roger, he was originally from Mt. Sterling, but had been put in a psychiatric hospital in town for 2 months and then I guess just discharged to the streets...he had been in our city since December, and he'd never been homeless before. He said he used to have some good Red Wing boots that didn't bother his feet, but that somebody took them, and he was left with cheap shoes and no socks.

I soon did get some help from other people at the church--one guy was a paramedic, he got me some soapy water and towels. One lady who is a nurse helped bandage his feet with me...and one of the assistant ministers went and got him a few things that would be helpful on the streets, including some other shoes, some gift cards to fast food places, and some socks. And then there were the few who poked their heads in, kinda said hello, and disappeared into the not so dirty, stinky, unpleasant, and real areas of the church--back to greeting those in suits and dresses I guess.

As we left church that day, I saw Roger back out on the sidewalk--he had said he figured he'd sit out there for a while--he didn't know what he was going to do that day. As it rained that evening, I thought of him, hoping he'd found at least a small patch to stay dry in.

Lessson Learned--God gives us opportunities to show our love for Him all the time, we just have to look around us and accept those opportunities. He might even want us to be uncomfortable or get dirty every now and then.

What it's Worth--Knowing that what I did wasn't just for that man, or for was for Jesus.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Feeling it.

Dear goodness...I feel like a fat cow. I've got 11 weeks left (hopefully!)...or I guess 9 or 10 would be ok with me, ha ha. I just feel huge. My belly that is. I've not gained too much weight this pregnancy-- I'm on track to gain about 30 pounds total, which is normal.

I swear though, I think this child is huge! I've not gained much weight through my body, it's all in my belly. I feel like one of those yucky dog ticks that seems like it will burst as soon as you touch it! My skin seems it's as tight as it will go, and at any second, it might rip down the sides if I touch my belly because the tension is so great.

What am I going to do? I've got alot of time left in this pregnancy! Yikes!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Unexpected Vacation

Ugh. I've been off of school since Tuesday, and I'm not happy about it. This is my last rotation ever as a medical student and I'm working as an "Acting Intern" on Labor and Delivery, how apropos.

I've sworn this child might kill me before he is born, and he might also kill my medical career too. On Monday I had some (well, ummm not totally unprovoked) bleeding and immediately went to my hospital, where they found I was having contractions every 3-5 minutes. Joy. They gave me medicine to stop the contractions and sent me home, to have follow up the next day at my doctor's office.

They monitored me there for a bit, and I was having contractions still, but it didn't really seem like I was in labor because my cervix had not changed. Again, they gave me medicines to stop contractions. Right before they were going to take me off of the monitors and send me home...the baby's heart rate dropped to the 90s a couple of times and stayed there for about a minute (his heart rate is supposed to be 120-160). So, back to the hospital I went for monitoring. Again, a few contractions, and while there, the baby looked fine, so back home I went.

Wednesday, I stayed home all day on "bed rest." My mom came up and waited on me hand and foot, bless her. I had quite a few contractions that day. Thursday home again because they didn't want me to go back to school without being seen at the doctor's office first-- fewer contractions, and I saw my doctor that day. She did a test that can predict the likelihood of labor, and now I'm waiting on those results to figure out what we're going to do about school.

I hate all of this waiting, I feel terrible that I'm not there....I know and understand that the condition of my baby and my pregnancy are of utmost concern, but I feel like such a slacker. I think the people I have been working with are a sympathetic group, and I've been keeping them updated....but ugh, this is killing me. I hate this sitting at home when I know I'm supposed to be somewhere else. And I'm bored. So bored.....