Friday, September 28, 2012

A root canal & non-stress tests.

28.3! We hit our first big goal Tuesday- 28 weeks. It's been a month since I went into labor the first time, and we're still hangin' in there. Earlier this week, we experienced the worst night's sleep of this entire pregnancy so far- thanks to one of my bottom molars which was being eaten up by a nasty cavity. Now, I've had some terrible tooth pain in my day. Despite my love of milk, I have incredibly weak teeth. Just like my daddy! It's pretty safe to say that every one of my chompers has had at least one cavity over the years. I really do brush and floss my teeth, I promise. In fact, I'm pretty obsessive about flossing. But try as I might to take care of them, they're still a bunch of weaklings. Oh, well. Weak or not, I'm glad to have them. They come in handy from time to time. Anyway, I kind of went off on a tangent there. My point was that I've dealt with severe tooth pain before, and it's the worst kind of pain... to me, anyway. But in the past, I was always able to pop an extra-strength Advil if I had a cavity that couldn't be filled for a few days. Now the only thing I'm allowed to take is Tylenol, and Tylenol really doesn't do ish. So I was in excruciating pain from about 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM, when it finally subsided a bit. Poor Joey couldn't sleep knowing I was in so much pain, so he had to go to work the next morning like a zombie. Luckily, I have an awesome sister-in-law who happens to be a dental assistant. She set me up with a last-minute appointment at her office to see what was going on. So I went in for that yesterday. Turns out, my tooth was so infected that we had to do a root canal. I've had root canals before, but this was by far the worst. Even with 4 shots, I still felt way too much of the whole procedure. To top it all off, I have a pretty severe case of "pregnancy brain", so when the dentist asked me if I wanted him to write a prescription for Lortab or Percocet to deal with the pain of the aftermath, I said, "Oh, I'm sure I'll be fine. I have Tylenol if I need it." Well, I guess in my mind I was thinking that I've had cavities filled before without any pain afterward, so what's the big deal? The fact that I'd just had a ROOT CANAL and not a regular old cavity filling seemed to have been lost on me at the moment. Needless to say, last night was another interesting one. But Cherish came to the rescue again and got the prescription called in first thing this morning, so my mouth finally doesn't feel like someone is mercilessly taking a hammer to it. I hate taking any medicine while pregnant & especially don't enjoy the side effects of Oxycodone. But it's perfectly safe and I'm not in (much) pain anymore, so I consider that a win-win. Another thing we did today was have our first of many non-stress tests at the hospital. Basically they just monitor Noelle's heart rate and movement to make sure everything is going smoothly. They also monitor contractions, and I didn't have a single one the whole time we were there! Very good news. Just a little over 8 weeks until this baby is full-term. My doctor still thinks she'll show up early, all things considered. As long as we make it to term, I'll be ecstatic. In any event, I'll be a mom in about TWO MONTHS. I still don't think I'll believe it until she is in my arms. I dream about her every night. In fact, I've been dreaming about her since I was 12 years old. And in a matter of weeks, those dreams will actually be coming true. "Is this real life"? Yes... yes, it is. =)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Today was a rough one. Being broke is stressful and scary, and Joey kinda has the weight of the world on his shoulders these days. The hardest part of being on bed rest is not being allowed to help out in any way anymore- I'm not bringing in any money, I can't pitch in with housework or cooking, (not that I've ever been much help in the cooking department) and while I'll admit it is nice to literally be ordered to just relax, it also makes me feel incredibly guilty. I feel like I'm just this blob on the couch making no contribution to anything whatsoever. BUT of course, that is not the case at all. I'm growing a baby, and that's pretty dang important. I'm truly grateful to be able to do so. Anyway, Joey had a particularly bad day at work and so when he got home, he vented to me for a bit. I guess you could say we both had a bit of a pity party for a minute. Meanwhile, the TV was on Sportscenter and they were doing a spotlight on this amazing 18-year-old who was born physically & mentally handicapped, who was able to overcome the odds and run on his high-school track team. In the first scene of the spotlight, it showed him struggling to put batteries into a toy firetruck. It took a few tries, but he did it. Joey and I just stopped and looked at each other, as if to say, "Wow. We're sitting here complaining about our money problems, and look what this kid goes through every day." I think we needed that little reminder of how lucky we truly are. Yes, we're already in crazy debt with hospital bills and lately it's been a struggle to even buy groceries. But we are in good health, the baby is in good health, and we have each other- not to mention amazing families who stand by us. I had another wake-up call just a few minutes after this, as I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw a status update from one of my former patients at the hospital. This patient is a beautiful teenage girl who two years ago was in a car accident which left her paralyzed from the neck down. Her status update? "I may not be able to walk, but that does not mean I cannot chase my dreams." And here I am feeling sorry for myself because I'm going to be on bed rest for the next 10 weeks. How lucky am I?! In a few months, I get to walk around all I want, care for my baby, and get back to normal. So many of my amazing former patients will never have that freedom. They inspired me then, and they inspire me now more than ever. It's true what they say about gratitude. Being grateful is the only surefire way to be happy. And I have so very much to be grateful for.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

26.2 (And comments!)

Well, another day down! We got our second round of steroid shots today. They're supposed to help tremendously with lung development, preventing brain bleeds & intestinal infections, (two very common preemie issues) and in general they just up her chances of surviving and eventually thriving if she does show up early. The shots went right into my hips/butt and stung quite a bit, but weren't nearly as bad as I expected. So there's that. Now... comments!!! Since we don't have an actual working computer here at our house, I've just been blogging from my iPad. Which is why I can't figure out how to do cool stuff like making paragraphs or posting pictures. It is also why I just figured out a few minutes ago that I had 7 comments awaiting approval! I was so excited to see them and to know that a few people actually do read this thing. To Alli, Mandy, and Mary- thank you so much for the comments. I feel bad that I didn't see them until now. Alli- I am so excited for the arrival of my 3rd GodDaughter. Cannot wait to see how adorable she is! Mandy- I love you and Tegan to pieces, and miss seeing you both at work. Mary- I did not even remember that Maddie was born so early! She is so smart, beautiful, and well-adjusted, you would never even guess it! Anyway. You're all wonderful, and I'll keep the updates coming. Until next time! Oh, P.S. I'm still planning on naming the babe Noelle, (Note that the spelling has changed. I don't want people thinking it's pronounced "Noal.") but Joey is still pretty set on the name "Jaycee." He has an uncle named Jay who he is close to, so the name has special meaning to him. And don't get me wrong- it's a cute name, and I like it. But my heart is still set on Noelle. I guess we'll just have to see what she comes out looking like to know which name suits her best.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Now that I quite literally have all the time in the world, I thought it might be a good idea to write about our unexpected hospital stay a week and a half ago. It all started on Wednesday, August 29th. I was at work, and started to feel some cramping. Nothing painful, just uncomfortable. But when you're 24 weeks pregnant, any amount of cramping is unsettling. Luckily, I was kind of an "extra" staff member that day. All I had to do was give some of the girls their lunch breaks, then I could go home. So I got home around 3:00, right as Joey was leaving for work. Since the cramps were just uncomfortable and not painful, I wrote them off as Braxton Hicks and just laid down on the couch for the rest of the night. I was watching the Republican National Convention, and the cramps got a bit worse. (Nothing but a coincidence, I'm sure. Haha.) I had a bit of anxiety, but I've been such a nervous wreck this entire pregnancy, I told myself I just needed to calm down and that everything was fine. Once Joey got home from work, I felt much better. This next part is probably considered TMI, but nobody really reads this blog, so I'm okay with it. Anyway, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling as though I had peed my pants. Well, I didn't. But there was clearly something going on. I immediately pulled out my doppler to listen to the baby's heartbeat and make sure she was okay. (Yes, I spent $60 on one of those things, and it's possibly the best investment I've ever made. For peace of mind, I'd be willing to pay a lot more.) Well, since the baby was fine and I wasn't feeling any more cramps, I decided to try to get some sleep and call my doctor first thing in the morning. I called & let my boss know what was going on, called the doctor, (or her nurse, rather) and she told me to go straight to Labor & Delivery in case my water had broken. I surprisingly wasn't scared, but I think that's because I was in shock. Our pregnancy had been incredibly uneventful up until this point. Once at the hospital, I changed into a gown and got probed for awhile. Not fun. I knew the nurse would have to be "up in my bidness" to see what was going on, but she also had a young, male intern shadowing her that day. Joey wasn't a huge fan of that! I'm going to keep some gory details out of here, but suffice it to say that my body was doing things it should not have been doing until December. Prepping itself to deliver a baby, only 16 weeks too soon. At this point, I was hooked up to a machine that monitored both the baby's heart rate and my contractions. Even though I was feeling absolutely nothing, apparently I was contracting pretty consistently. My doctor came in and checked everything out. Given the fact that I was in preterm labor, she told me that we'd be staying overnight for observation, and from there on out, I'd be on strict bed rest. I could feel my blood pressure go up right then and there- we're barely making ends meet with both of our paychecks combined; how were we going to survive if I'm not bringing in any money? Luckily, I am starting a family with the most amazing guy in the world, who seemed to read my mind and immediately told me not to even stress about money issues. "I'll do whatever I need to take care of us; you just focus on our baby." I sure am one lucky son-of-a-gun to have found Joey. I really am. He never left my side while we were in the hospital. I know he was scared, but he put on a brave face for me. I didn't have much anxiety during our hospital stay, despite what we were there for. I think the fact that we had nurses and doctors surrounding us made me feel that everything was going to be okay. Knowing that the babe was constantly being monitored made me feel so much better about everything. Oh! And my water had NOT broken. That's kind of important. Anyway, we were discharged from the hospital the next morning, and so far- so good. As good as things can be, given the circumstances. I'm on medicine to stop contractions, but am still having them from time to time. This week has been so much better than last, though. The first few days after the hospital, the contractions were still pretty bad. My doctor is more of a realist than an optimist, which I actually appreciate. She's had premature babies herself, so she knows her stuff. Also, she's a doctor. Anyway, we've set two major goals with her. The first is to make it to 28 weeks. If our princess were born now, she would live- but she would be in the NICU for months and would be so sick- it would be heartbreaking, and her mama is not strong enough to watch her go through that. So she's definitely NOT allowed to come out anytime soon. Once we hit 28 weeks, the risk of neurological problems goes way down. So that's our first goal. Our second goal is 32 weeks. The doc says that babies born at 32 weeks & beyond will probably only spend a month or so in the NICU, and by the time they are a year old, will be catching up on their milestones and thriving at a very similar rate of babies born full-term. So those are our baby-step goals. Only 2 more weeks until we reach the first one! I still am hoping for a miracle- that I'll be able to keep her in until her due date, and maybe even longer than that! I'm probably one of the very few people who would be just fine with being overdue- although that wouldn't be the case had I not gone through this whole experience! As scary as it has been, though, I'm glad it happened. Because now instead of wishing my pregnancy away and just wanting it to be over with- which was exactly what I was doing a few weeks ago- now I'm just so grateful for each day that I get to keep my little girl growing inside me. I'm SO incredibly excited to meet her, but I won't say "I can't wait" anymore. I can. =)