One More Visit and We Get Our Own Parking Spot

Wednesday we had our scheduled appointment at Women's OB. Kristin was having contractions again all day. Dr. Fettinger did another cervical ultrasound and a pelvic exam. He stated that the cervix is still closed and thick. All good news. However, he appeared to over-react by telling us that we needed to head back to the hospital where Kristin would probably remain for the duration of the pregnancy. Once we got to the hospital we spoke with Dr. Jones who had other ideas. According to Dr. Jones, there is nothing to be alarmed about. The FFN test on Monday was negative again, which means there is a less than 1% chance that the baby will be born within the next two weeks. With the cervix being greater than 2.5 cm, Kristin is still in a stable condition. So it appears that these are simply early contractions that may continue or may cease. VERY VERY FRUSTRATING. Therefore, baring any major changes, Kristin will remain in the hospital over night for observation and hydration. Hopefully the contractions will stop and we will be able to return home.


Finally Connected/Update

We got our wireless router today, so I'm back in business and no longer feel cut off from the cyber-world!

Well, medication for me seems to be a trial and error issue to see what works to keep the contractions at bay. When we were at the hospital yesterday, Dr. Spence changed my Procardia from 30mg every 12 hours to 20mg every 4-6 hours. She instructed me to begin taking it every 6 hours, but gave me some leeway that if I needed to, I could reduce it to every 5 hours, then 4 if necessary. Though I know it's probably not the case, it seems as though the more frequently I take the medication, the quicker the contractions start.

So far, I made it almost 24 hours taking it every 6 hours before I shortened it to every 5 hours because of the discomfort and contractions. I'm drinking tons of water (five 32oz bottles of water a day - that's more than a gallon!), so I know dehydration is far from the problem.

Overall, I feel okay, pretty similar to how I did when we came home from the hospital last time. Sort of like I worked out my abs and back really hard - lots of sore and tired muscles. My biggest difficulty seems to be finding a comfortable position to sit in, and a comfortable position to sleep in.

Thanks to everyone
Rod for being such an amazing husband/father/support.
Mom and dad for everything - coming to the hospital, helping with the shower, making and bringing Thanksgiving dinner to us, making ready-to-serve meals for us, and I'm sure there's much more I can't think of right now.
Jeff and Marie for helping out with the shower, visiting me at the hospital, taking the time to come up to share Thanksgiving with us, the Netflix subscription :)
Jody for being such a great friend, for putting on an excellent shower, for visiting me at the hospital, for doing a little shopping for me ;)
Manna for being such a great friend, for sending me flowers, for calling me every day to check on me, for keeping my chat group updated on my situation, and just being a great support.
Bonnie for making some yummy food and sending it up with mom.
Bev for offering up one of her laptops for me to use.
I'm sure there are many more people I'm forgetting about, but want everyone to know I'm so thankful for all the well-wishes and prayers.

I'm trying hard to do everything I can to keep my body under control and keep little Victoria cooking for a lot longer! We've got a follow up appointment tomorrow afternoon with Dr. Fettinger for another cervical ultrasound - keep your fingers crossed that everything looks good!


5 more hours at LDR

Last night around 2 AM, Kristin began having contractions again. They started out slow and grew in frequency until about 4:30 AM when I had her call the hospital. Dr. Spence told Kristin to come in and get checked out.... Of course, once we arrived at the hospital and got Kristin all hooked up on the fetal monitor, the contractions pretty much stopped. After about 5 hours, Dr. Spence decided to change the medicine around a bit to try and help things out. So far, so good! BTW, we will be selling all of our old, still full, prescriptions on eBay later....in case you are looking for some decent smooth muscle relaxers.


And We Have A Baby Sitter

Today we received some excellent news. The neighbor, Charee Clark, agreed to be our daycare provider. She has raised 5 of her own children which are all in school. Charee is CPR certified and most of her children have taken baby sitting classes from the local hospital. Charee seemed to be very excited to help out. We are also excited!

Kristin continues to get better each day. I have ordered a wireless router which will be used with the laptop that was loaned to us. Thanks Bev! Hopefully the router will arrive on Tuesday and Kristin will be up and running. Till then you will be hearing from me. :)


More of the same

Well, it took a day or two to get acclimated to our situation, but I think we have it down now. Bruce and Karen are working on getting a laptop here so Kristin can begin to update her blog. Also received some more good news today...Spoke with Mrs. Clark (neighbor) regarding child care next year. She has 5 kids and is a stay at home mother. She sounded very interested in being our babysitter. This would be an ideal situation given our/my strange schedule. Kristin and I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving as we will be spending it with Bruce, Karen, Jeff, and Marie.


Free At Last!

If I have one complaint about Covenant Hospital...It would be the lack of quality Doctor time with their patients. Today, Kristin was told she would be going home soon at around 3:30 PM. We finally left the hospital at 10:30 PM. The good thing is, Kristin is home and feeling well. She is extremely tired, but the "bed rest" order will allow her to catch up on sleep for the next few months.

Once again, Kristin and I thank everyone for their gifts and we hope to be seeing you all soon.


Waiting for the word

As of Sunday morning at 8:30 AM, we are still waiting to see the high-risk doctor again to get the okay to go home. Kristin is feeling much better and we are both extremely optimistic about the next few months. I asked our nurse (Tammy) this question last night: "In your experience, what percentage of patients in our situation end up going to full term?" Her response...with a grin: "The better question is; how many of those patients do we end up inducing at 41 and 42 weeks?" So it seems that many women who experience pre-term contractions without any major cervical change actually build up a tolerance for labor. Hmmm could make for an interesting February.


Feeling better

At the end of the day, Kristin is feeling much better. She was able to get out of bed for a short time and finally eat some good food. Well, it was hospital food with no wine. Sorry Uncle Tony, Doctor's orders! :) We are all moved into the new room, free of roommates for the time being. Although the doctors will not say, Bruce and my professional opinion see Kristin staying in the hospital until at least Monday. If you would like to call or visit, contact me or Bruce
and Karen for phone numbers.


Latest Update

Once again this is Rod....

Kristin is doing much better, and Victoria is still doing well. Today the news has gotten better. Only a few contractions and a good amount of rest have helped a great deal. Kristin is now allowed to get out of bed...funny being she is too exhausted to do so. After swinging her legs over the bed, she called it quits and went back to resting. This exhaustion is apparently from the magnesium sulfate, which is a heavy muscle-relaxing agent. The liquid only diet is also off and I just ordered Kristin some fresh fruit and an egg salad sandwich. Hopefully food will equal energy. The bad news is that since Kristin is more "stable", they are looking at moving her to another area of the floor. Unfortunately she may end up with a roommate, which will essentially kick Bruce and I to the curb for the night. Luckily that unit is full at the moment so we remain in our nice private space.

Thanks to Bruce for coming and staying with Kristin last night. This allowed me to return to work and get some much-needed rest this morning. Also thanks to everyone that has called or sent Flowers. Post any questions in the comments section and I will answer or ask the doctor as soon as possible.

A few bumps in the road

First off, you should know that this is Rod writing for Kristin. It has been an eventful week for the three of us. I will attempt to update you, the brief version. Here it goes...

After 26 weeks without a *major* complaint Kristin began to have some complications on Saturday night. As you can see in her earlier post, we spent a lot of time at Covenant Hospital on Sunday night. They released us with an explanation of "Sometimes this stuff happens and we don't know why." Kristin returned to work on Monday with some minor pain which grew into major pain on Tuesday. At 8:30 AM, Kristin called me from work complaining of extreme pain. Since the amateur liability lawyers (work) refused to let her drive, I picked her up and we headed to the hospital for a second trip.

This time it was obvious that Kristin was having numerous contractions. A quick shot of Terbutaline (relaxes smooth muscle) calmed the contractions significantly. Everything concerning the baby still looked positive as Kristin was not dilated at all. After another 4 hours, Dr. Spence sent us home with a prescription for more Terbutaline and an order to have another cervical ultrasound the following day. Once home, the oral Terbutaline did little to nothing to stop the contractions.

Wednesday we headed to Women's OBGYN for our previously scheduled monthly appointment combined with the cervical ultrasound. Sunday's ultrasound showed a cervical length of 4.5 cm...Wednesday showed 3.1 cm. You may already know...the shorted the cervix gets...the closer you are to having the baby. Now, the sonographer warned us that this extreme change may be due to having two different people performing the ultrasound. Citing a few reasons that the measurements could be different on the same person. At this time we were told that Kristin was currently in "pre-term labor". Scary! The sonographer did a complete anatomy ultrasound which showed that Baby Victoria is right on schedule and healthy as can be. Finally some good news!!

Back to the hospital we go. After 4 more hours of intense contractions with no effect from 3 more shots of Terbutaline, Dr. Minnec made the decision to admit Krsitin to the hospital in order to get the contractions under control. A change in medication slowed the contractions for a majority of the night. Around 5:30 AM on Thursday, the contractions increased again. This called for another cervical ultrasound with the high risk pregnancy doctor. This time the cervical length was 3.1 cm again. They decided to start Krsitin on Magnesium Sulfate, AKA The Big Guns. This combined with a steroid, to help develop Victoria's lungs, quickly proved to help the situation. After a few hours, Kristin's contractions were reduced to 1 per hour, and then 1 per 1 and 1/2 hour.

What does this all mean??? Baby Victoria is doing well, and so is her strong, wonderful mother. Kristin will most likely be on "bed rest" for the remainder of the pregnancy...and unfortunately she will have to miss her shower on Sunday. One of us will keep you posted as things change.


Victoria this week

Your baby weighs more than 2 lbs (actually, 2.5 lbs, according to the doctor yesterday!), measures 9.6 inches from crown to rump and her total length is about 15.3 inches. If your baby were born now, she would have about an 85% chance of surviving. Nonetheless, your baby still needs another 13 weeks of in utero development to be considered full term.

Your baby's eyes, no longer fused shut, are now open.

Your baby's skin still has a very wrinkled appearance, but it is protected and nourished by the covering of vernix, a waxy coating that keeps the skin supple.

Your baby looks almost like a full term baby, but is still much thinner and smaller than she will be at birth.


4 hour trip to LDR

Well, after much complaining (done by me, of course) about abdominal and lower back pain, Rod strongly suggested I make some phone calls. I called the on-call midwife, who suggested I take a little trip to the hospital to get checked out. I've been a little emotional about the fact that I've felt relatively great this entire pregnancy, but the past few days have felt so achy and crampy every time I stand up.

Long story short, they put me on a monitor, checked all they could to rule out pre-term labor or any indication of it. They did a quick test to see if maybe a bladder infection was causing a problem, which came back negative.

The on-call doctor came in and did an ultrasound to make sure everything looked okay, and it does. Although she couldn't confirm that Victoria is really a girl (she's so shy!!). The doc did say I might just be one of those women who feels this way the rest of the pregnancy.

The one last thing they're going to try is to put me on antibiotics for a week. MaryJo (the midwife) said it might be the Group B Strep acting up, which apparently can have similar symptoms to a bladder infection.

We'll keep you updated!


Just couldn't help myself

Okay, so I made a little trip to Target last week and just couldn't help myself. I just wanted to have one or two articles of clothing for little Victoria, now that we know she's a girl! I tried so hard not to get all pink, but check out what I got - four outfits (all on clearance) for under $4 each! They're just so dang tiny!

Double Digits!!!

Check out the ticker at the top of the page! The countdown to when we get to meet little Victoria is now less than 100 days away!!! I think she might be getting just as anxious to meet us as we are to meet her - she's been moving around like gangbusters lately!


Happy Birthday, Jaja!

Last Saturday (Nov. 5th), we had a birthday party for my dad (Victoria's Jaja) at mom and dad's house. We had a great time visiting with family, and I only got scolded a few times from Rod to slow down and take a break :) . He's such a concerned daddy. Thought I'd share some pictures from the day!

Here are soon-to-be Uncle Jeff and Aunt Marie

And soon-to-be Jaja (grandpa in Polish) and Busha (grandma in polish)
~ Gonna stick with the phoentic spelling for now :)

And here's my Aunt Susan, telling Victoria how great she (Aunt Sue) is and how much Victoria's gonna love her!!


Crummy Yucky

Okay, I guess the not so pleasant pregnancy symptoms are starting to kick in.

I've had a sore back since last week. I thought maybe it was just too much sleeping in strange beds, between being up in Mio, and home, then in Lexington, and back home. Now that I've slept a few nights in a row in my bed, it hasn't gotten any better. I'm just a little stumped! I know how to deal with neck/upper back pain. I know how to deal with lower back pain. Those are both things I've had in the past, pre-pregnancy. It just seems that no amount of stretching, no number of pillows at night, no amount of direct heat (via the heated seat in the car) is helping the situation. Not much fun.

I had my first hot flash this morning, too. I had my bi-monthly orthodontist appointment to get my braces tightened today. At one point, I had to have her sit me up and let me go get a drink of water. That was the first time I've felt so nauseous this entire pregnancy - not a fun feeling! I got all hot and started to kind of panic. I guess all that excess blood was going right to my head! At least that went away, though...


Viability of baby

Bryn has this posted on her site, and I thought I'd share it on mine, too.

These are the survival rates for babies born preterm, by weeks of gestation.

Chances for Survival
Completed Weeks of Gestation at Birth
21 weeks and less 0%
22 weeks 0-10%*
23 weeks 10-40%
24 weeks 40-70%
25 weeks 50-80%
26 weeks 80-90%
27 weeks >90%
30 weeks >95%
34 weeks >98%
I got excited for a minute, thinking we were at 25 weeks, but am pretty sure "gestation" refers to age of the fetus. In which case, we've got two weeks to go before we're over that 50% mark...

Baby Victoria this week

From Fertility Friend dot com:

Your baby weighs just under 2 pounds (850g) and could possibly survive if delivered now. Your baby measures approximately 9.2 inches (23cm) from crown to rump.

She is growing fast and gaining weight now. Her skin is less transparent and is becoming opaque as fat builds up.

Your baby's heart is beating 120 to 160 beats per minute, as you have already heard at several doctor or midwife visits.

Until now, your baby's eyes have been sealed shut, but she reopens them this week. The eyes are almost fully formed and the retinas contain all the layers they will have when your baby is born. Your baby's eyes are blue right now, no matter the ethnic origin or eye-color of you and your partner since eyes do not acquire their final color until months after birth.

Your baby is lean right now, but is getting fatter all the time as fat is being deposited. Your baby's skin is getting thicker and paler and is becoming less red and wrinkled as more fat is deposited.

Your baby has eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails, though all are short and need to grow more.

25 week comparison!

I thought it would be fun to get the entire belly shot comparison up to this point. Check it out!


We'd like to introduce you to...

Victoria Mary Schanck

Currently weighing in at one and a half pounds, heart beat was at 136bpm - right on target!!