Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Our New Normal

I've been toying with the idea of blogging since I became a hospital patient last Thursday. There's been a lot swirling around in my head and while it's certainly not all processed, it feels good to write it out...like stretching a tight muscle. This blog was meant to be a place to record all about our lives and well, this is the biggest thing to happen to both AJ and I so it seems appropriate to document it here. First, let's get to what happened. As you know, I was ecstatic to put a bow on this school year and wrap it up. I had myself scheduled for a pretty busy last week of school and Wednesday evening I got to meet and go over some things with my long term sub. (I really believe it was fate that I was able to have that meeting just before all this occurred). I came home Wednesday exhausted and actually fell alseep on the couch in my school clothes (which I never do) and ended up going up to bed super early that night. I told AJ that I just didn't feel quite right: I was wiped out, achey and figured I was just limping toward the finish line on the school year. Around 4 am on Thursday morning, I awoke to being soaking wet and thought I might have actually wet the bed! Pregnancy bladder is weird and lest you think I just go around peeing, this surprised and freaked me out as well. I got up and while attempting to change clothes, a liquid gush came out of me and for about ten minutes just would not stop. I knew at that point, this was not normal and something was going on. I woke up AJ and he calmly called the 24 hr doctor line while I cried and took to Google (bad idea, Leslie) and began freaking out that either a) my water just broke at 29 weeks pregnant OR what I thought was more likely b) I was having bladder issues that the doc would just give me some meds to fix and I could be on my way later that morning. The doctor told AJ not to take me to our regular hospital because if it was an amniotic fluid leak, our hospital did not have the facilities to deal with a potentially very early labor and to go to the bigger hospital about 25 minutes away. I was fairly calm on the drive, still fully convinced there'd be a quick check up, maybe some meds, and I'd be able to make it to work by lunch. Well....

one of our cafeteria dates 

my home 

not a bad view  
      Almost immediately after arriving to the hospital the doctor determined my water did in fact break and that I would not be going home until the baby was born. Ummmm what??? I was put in a hospital gown, whisked into labor and delivery, hooked up to monitors, and started on some intense IV meds (some for baby's lung and brain development, steroids, antibiotics, and more). I felt sick, dizzy, and confused. Some of the medicine feels like fire flowing through your veins and I'd tighten my fists and repeat "it's for the baby, it's for the baby" over and over to make it through the intensity. In between being picked and prodded at, some NICU consultants arrived and told us that yes, no matter what, we would have a NICU baby. Boom. I have never ever felt more hopeless and afraid. The next 72 hours were crucial as that time would determine if my body would begin labor or if I might be able to buy some more time. I was moved from labor and delivery into the maternity ward late Thursday night and that's where I type this today. Tomorrow I turn 30 weeks pregnant and there are two scenarios that will most likely play out: 1) I go into labor naturally and deliver sometime between now and 34 weeks or 2) They induce me at 34 weeks or earlier if they see a need to have baby born sooner. I struggle every day with staying off baby websites. Want to feel like a depressed ball of crap? Google image "preemie babies." It's not fun and I've had to train myself to stop.


updating family 
    To say it's been surreal has been an understatement. I give thanks every single hour she stays inside and remember what one of the nurses told me: "Your body is a better incubator than any piece of technology we could ever offer." So we're scared. We're nervous. But we're hopeful. There have been rays of sunshine in all of this. Among them, the love between AJ and I. I cannot even explain the heights of it. Of course any good husband would be by his wife's side, praying for their child, and offering strength. But through it all, AJ continues to make me laugh. We still have fun together. Even here. True love is your husband washing your hair gently and lovingly while you cry in the shower. It's him bringing me a rose on Monday night for The Bachelorette. It's him showing up with a wheelchair and whisking me away on "date night" (hospital cafeteria). I always knew I picked a good one, but this experience solidifies the highs and lows and beauty of married life in a whole new way. I've also relied on the caring and love of others. My family has been here every single day and take shifts so I am never alone. It means so much. I've had visitors and emails, and calls, and notes, and flowers and it all is meaningful. Baby girl has a fan club and knowing she is being rooted for from near and far make us proud parents. We appreciate every prayer, well wish, and sweet comment. Today I attended a lunch for other women stuck here in the hospital led by NICU moms who have been here and get it. One woman had her teenage daughter with her who was born at just 25 weeks. I let lose in the class and proceeded to cry before I even told them my name, but it felt so good just to talk about it. To let it out and ask questions and to experience women holding up other women. And these nurses. Man. They are angels and their love and commitment to their patients picks up my spirit on a daily basis.

Libby made me this sign for my door 
 To keep myself from going crazy, I still make a daily to do list. It keeps me sane. The items on the list are silly things like "read," "shower," "color," "check email," "paint nails," but it gives me a mission and purpose. Between nurse check ins, daily fetal monitoring, wheelchair walks, books, and visitors, I honestly haven't felt too bored and the days really do go by quickly. I am still a ball of nerves and can't see a healthy baby wheeled down the hall without weeping, but each time they put the monitor on my belly and I hear that beautiful and holy "thump thump thump" of our baby's heart, I still smile.

"Enjoy the crazy good little miracle in life" 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Leslie! Fred loves the Bachelorette btw. Fred also loves ever minute baby decides not to come out. You aren't alone! Sending love, thoughts and prayers from San Diego and will look forward to more entries!