Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nightmares and OBs

It started with the type of imagery that comes from random thoughts settling in your mind. There is no timeline or pattern that makes any sense. Nightmares usually don't come to me in a beautifully laid out script.

I could hear what I thought was my cell phone ringing in the next room, but I was stuck in the dream, unable to wake up to answer it. I had a brief flash of the baby, and reaching down to feel a wetness between my legs. I went to check it, and all I saw were clots and blood.

I woke up with a horrible dread. It was 1 a.m. and I threw off the covers and ran to the bathroom. I snapped on the light, squinted at the light and checked. Everything was fine.

I sat on the toilet and cried, scared for no real reason. Scared for every reason. I had a dread cover me that I would not be seeing this baby born alive either.

I crawled back into bed, woke up Peyton, said in my little girl voice that I had a bad dream. He woke up slightly, shifted positions, held my hand and fell back asleep.

I buried my head in my pillow, tried to shake the feelings. I have been on autopilot for a few weeks now. Not happy, not scared. Just being. I assumed it would crash any day now. I wasn't prepared for such a horrific throw back into the pit.

I met with my OB yesterday and had a serious talking to about his staff sending me to the ER last week. I told him I felt he was Barack Obama instead of my OB and that we had to find a way to not do this again. I was pretty calm and rational for how pissed off I felt. I didn't cry, which is a feat with how pissed and pregnant I am. He apologized profusely. Said he would talk to his staff, said I should demand to hear to go to the ER from him if they suggest it again.

If you read all the comments about this OB online, they always say he is great, but it's his staff that sucks. The downtown office is better than the North office (which is the rich side of town, and I don't know if that makes any bit of difference, but that office is 10X busier than the downtown office). I switched to the downtown office after I got pregnant again because it was closer to my work. When I called on Thursday, I called the North office (because that is where he is on Thursdays). Silly me. And I am not surprised that they sent me to the ER. They were the same people who congratulated me on my pregnancy when I showed up at the office 3 days after I delivered Ronan stillborn--and they did it 2 more visits before Peyton (who is one of the calmest, nicest men on earth growled that our son had died and they needed to check their damn files before they opened their mouths).

I don't know how we will proceed. The OB knows my stance. I may have to become that psycho patient to his staff, but at least I feel he is on my side. If God is merciful, I won't have to call that office for any more issues anytime soon.

P.S. He found the heartbeat after only 2 tries this time. Maybe the girl felt that since he was being good to us, she would sit still and be dopplered.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life Touches Life

As Chris lead us to the small bed holding his daughter in the PICU, I saw Mckayla move towards the sound of her mother's voice.

11 weeks old, she looked about double the size since the last time we saw her. Her head was now covered with soft dark hair. Her eyes were brown and alert. She seemed to follow Peyton as he stood by her bed.

"Hey Mckayla," he said, touching her head.

I was overwhelmed with how I felt, seeing her and all the small infants in the PICU. How utterly scared their parents must me.

I thought about our girl, how so very long we need to go, how scared and unsure that I feel 24/7, how many times I keep telling myself, 'when she's born, everything will be ok." If anything, this experience has proved that there are no guarantees. If we are fortunate enough to bring our daughter in the world alive, there is no guarantee that we are meant to keep her for any length of time.

I touched Mckayla's outstretched hand and she grabbed my finger instinctively. Strong. Alive. Healing.

The girl kicked me then, a sign of solidarity, she and Mckayla kindred spirits.

Watch after her, little ones, I whispered a silent prayer to my children....

So far, so good...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Worst Case Scenario

Blindness. Mental Retardation. The baby definitely had a stroke according to the neurologist. An ophthalmologist is being called in for a consult.

Good things: She is responsive, eating, crying, her pupils are reactive. They were able to finally get a spinal tap to rule out infection. And....she is alive.

That's all I know for now----basically nothing.

Heading over to the hospital----will update when I know more.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I know I have talked about my BFF Chris' newborn daughter recently.

He called me tonight to tell me she was admitted to the PICU for seizures and a suspected stroke.

We are really not taking this news very well over here at the Reese and Peyton household.

If ya'll are praying and meditating folk, keep them in your thoughts/prayers. We don't need to add anyone else to this damn circle of friends....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Out of the Woods?

We took the Boy (Spencer) to my in-laws to help with a yard sale. They have 2 dogs and Spencer likes to play with the youngest one who reminds me a little of Bubba from Forrest Gump (they have the same underbite).

He ran, he barked, he wrestled.....he is acting like he is coming out of whatever it is that he had.

He has been spoiled with boiled hamburger and rice the last 2 days. He's been on Flagyl and he seems to have his appetite back with little to no blood in his stools. I feel he is out of the woods, but we are still being cautious.

Right now he is laying besides me snoring, tired from all the running around he did today.

Thanks for all the well wishes. I'll keep you updated....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Remains pregnant with baby in utero....

"Um, hello? Ms. Reese? What are your symptoms again?" the 12 year old receptionist asked.

I had called my OB to schedule an appointment because I was feeling pressure, and I just wanted to check it out.

"Vaginal pressure," I said and exhaled completely annoyed. I didn't know when my OB said 'call with questions', that I would get a girl who just graduated from pom-poms who was suddenly responsible for dispensing medical advice.

"Um, Dr. S. is very busy today, I suggest you go the emergency room," she said.

"The ER? Seriously?" I asked.

"That's what we suggest," she said. If you listened, you could hear the script pages being turned. I felt like I was calling to complain about my high speed internet and got Habib from India instead of calling my GODDAMN OB.

"Fine," I said and hung up.

I tried calling my Perinatologist.

"Um, we can't see you unless Dr. S sees you and says we should see you," an equally trained woman on that line said.


So I called Peyton and explained that if I wanted to get checked out today I would have to go to the ER.

"Are you kidding me?!?" he asked.

"I wish I was..." I said.

I hung up with him and talked to my boss. Told him how ass backwards this was and instead of going to a routine check up at an office, I was now going to have to spend the day at the ER. He shook his head and the insanity of it and told me to go and get checked out.

I drove to the ER ALL THE WAY ACROSS TOWN FROM WHERE I WORK (~30 miles), and tried to tell myself that the pressure was nothing. The girl kicked me as to tell me why yes....yes it was.

I got to the ER and it was pretty vacant. A few minutes later they come out with a wheelchair and tell me I am going to L&D.

"They told me the ER," I said in mild protest.

"You're past 20 weeks, so you get to go upstairs," he said cheerfully.

Upstairs is where I delivered Ronan. I have not set foot in that place, nor did I want to until I went into labor.

I go up and try to explain that I didn't want to be there, but apparently I can't get in to see my own OB who apparently is the equivalent to a rock star or a congressman.

"Oh, that OB group always sends their women here. It's not your fault. We'll take care of you," the nurse said cheerfully. I walk down to a room and I feel tunnel vision coming on. Panic attack.

"Strip down to this and we'll get a doppler on you," she said.

"OK," I said in a small voice. I felt like a scared little girl. I stripped down to nothing in the bathroom and tried to stifle my whimpering sobs. I walked out and laid in the 'birthing bed' and tried to shake off the memories of January.

Cissy walked in. An older nurse. I calmly informed her that the last time I was in this hospital I was delivering my dead son. And then I proceeded to cry hysterically. She held my hand and told me it was perfectly understandable why I would want to get checked out. She placed that dreaded doppler on my belly, but within seconds she found the heartbeat. Steady. She monitored me for a while and smiled. Baby looks good.

A few minutes later, Tannya, one of my nurses from January walked in to say hello. "I thought that was you!" she said. She asked how we were doing and was excited to hear about this pregnancy. She also reaffirmed that given my history that she would have come in too.

After 2 hours and an exam that showed a closed cervix, I was released with a paper that told me warning signs that should get my ass back into the L&D. She also released my orders to keep my appointment with Dr. S and that I was still pregnant.

With a baby in utero....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

$800 Later...

....Still don't know what is wrong with my dog. Some days are good and some days I come home to a crime scene of bloody poop all over the dining room carpet (which is Berber, which cannot be cleaned properly).

He has been seen by 2 vets---the young Dr. M and the ER vet. Bloodwork shows normal values, and I insisted that he send his poop for culture in case the antibiotic he prescribed earlier missed a particular bug (Bring on the microbiologist in me!). He could not rule out Parvo, but felt it was highly unlikely since Spencer is vaccinated, but if adult dogs do get it, it has to run it's course. There is no indication of pancreatitis. The x-rays showed no blockage, no masses, no stuffing left over from the spontaneous destruction of Lamb, his faithful squeaky toy, last week.

We threw out all his food and treats and bought a new bag of rice and lamb. He is on anti-nausea and on Flagyl in case it is IRB.

I was down right hysterical yesterday, because I was convinced he was going to die. It would be yet another cruel thing to add to my already shitty year.

Right now he is sleeping. I pray that he continues to rest and gets better. I can't handle much more of this stress....

P.S. The girl is moving around and kicking fine. I try to take stock of these precious moments.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Peyton hesitated when the alarm went off. I had to nudge him at 6:15 to finally get up. I got in the shower.

Please start to move....

This child is like me---so not a morning person. I secretly wished I had made a later appointment.

I got shampoo in my eye....I haven't done that since I was 5.

Just a little. A little kick. Come on. Show me the money....

I toweled myself off. Peyton barely acknowledged me. A complete 180, as he is the morning person, filled with smiles and kisses in the morning.

"Are you ok?" I asked.

"I just want to get this over with," he mumbled. Sometimes I forget how stressful it is for him too.

We left the house late (7:30), and the traffic was insane. Even though we live 8 miles from the hospital (all highway), we barely made it to the appointment at 8am.

We didn't talk in the 32 minutes it took to drive there.

You need to kick me.... I ordered to my child, still sleepy. Nothing.

We parked, sat in the waiting room. The nurse called me back. Everyone in that office knows our story and are always anxious to see how the baby is progressing. It is night and day from my regular OB. All the girls waved at me and tried to offer support even though the concern was on my face.

"How are you, Reese?" the nurse asked.

"Alright," I said.

I stepped on the scale and gained a whopping 8 pounds since my last appointment. I try not to be disappointed by telling myself that I was in the negative last time I was here because I was having such a bad case of morning sickness. In reality, I have gained 6 pounds total since I got pregnant. (I am a big gal---I am not supposed to gain a lot of weight, and I didn't with Ronan....I gained 8 pounds by 28 weeks with him).

"How's the baby moving?" she asked.

"I am only 20 weeks. She is not consistent," I tell her, defensive.

"Have you felt her move this morning?"

"No," I said.

"Ok," she said in a cheerful voice, her face giving her away.

"Let's take your blood pressure."

Pause. "It's a little high" she said.

"Uh, huh, " I said.

"Let's get you in the room and have a look, ok?"

The same ultrasound tech is waiting for me. Blonde, older woman, very talkative.

"I haven't felt her move this morning," I said.

"Ok," she said

She gooed up my belly and she zoned in on the heartbeat immediately.

"150," she said and smiled.

I could hear Peyton exhale loudly.

6 pictures and 30 minutes later, the peri walked in and looked at the baby herself.

"I agree. It's a girl. Her heart looks great, and all images show that a repeat case of Trisomy is very, very low," she announced.

"Ok," I said, relief seeping from my pores.

"Congratulations. This is great news," she said shaking our hands.

For this moment, this rare moment of bliss and hope, I will take this news and be happy. I will not think about all that could go wrong in the next 19 weeks. I ate harvest grain and nut pancakes at IHOP, drank my juice and felt her kick me. I saw my husband smile at me, eating his black cherry crepe. From the outside we looked like a happy couple expecting a baby. For this moment, I willed us to be.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is my boy. Spencer. Best dog in the world.

When we were crying hysterical after Ronan died, Spencer would drop the ball in my lap, as a way to say 'hey, no more crying now....'

Since Monday he's been sick with bloody diarrhea. A vet trip and $165 he seemed to improve. I came home today and he seemed to have relapsed. Blood everywhere.

A trip to the emergency ER tonight (and $265), his blood work is ok and they gave him more medicine to calm his stomach. I am praying it works. I gotta tell you that if something happens to this dog, I will not be ok. I will be the complete polar opposite of ok.

The entire 15 minute drive over there I am chanting to God "PLEASE do not take my dog. I cannot handle if something happens to my dog..."

I have this worry on top of my ultrasound tomorrow. I had a dream something was wrong. And that it was a boy.

I give up.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Appointment on Friday

I have an ultrasound on Friday. The pain was almost non-existent today. My discharge is the same, and the pain I have reminds me a little of a UTI, so I am going to ask to be checked out for that. My hips are hurting a little today and I have a semblance of riding a horse type of pain. I am feeling like it is truly round ligament or SPD.

I will ask about it on Friday, or sooner if my symptoms change. If it is SPD, I will ask for a referral for PT, even though I feel like it's useless. Today I feel less panicky---diligent, but not as insane as yesterday. Thanks for your comments and support. This sub-baby shit is almost too much some days.

I have a random question for everyone....mostly about superstitions.

The day before I was induced to deliver Ronan, I was preparing for a talk I was going to give at my alma mater. That night I went into L&D and needless to say, I never gave that talk.

I got an e-mail asking if I would like to speak again in October, when I will be almost 28 weeks. Exactly like last time...

Would you give the talk? Part of it feels like it is too much like the last time, and I sense a sort of Deja-Vu. I keep feeling something will go wrong if I give the talk.

And then my practical mind is trying to convince me that this is different. I will have 2 ultrasounds before the date, everything is pointing to not having a repeat situation.

I don't know....what would ya'll do?

Monday, September 8, 2008

20 week is supposed to signify something positive....

Round Ligament pain or is my cervix preparing for preterm labor?

Some moments I am sure it is ligament pain. Others I am not so sure.

A call to my OB said it's round ligament pain. If your discharge doesn't change or if you aren't bleeding, it's just a pain you have to deal with....

....but then I hear people's stories about similar pain and trips to the ER only to show their cervix is dilated.

If it was just hip pain, I wouldn't be worried, but I have this stabbing crotch pain to go along with it.


Why can't this be easy?!?!?!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I feel you.

It is ever so subtle, but I feel you, fluttering.

Please keep moving. 20 more weeks, give or take a couple of weeks.

I promise I will do everything I can to keep you safe in there....

Blood Pressure Be Damned....

I had a routine OB appointment on Friday, a whole 9 hours after I got off a plane from D.C. I had to do my marathon wait of an hour in the exam room, reading about what toddlers would find titillating. I feel the need to send them a subscription of Time, People or hell, Cosmo, anything. First of all, this is a woman's clinic. Women, young and old are seen here. I am sure Grandma getting her annual pap smear doesn't want to read Parenting, with the assumption that if she has children, she has already handled their terrible 2s.

Second, I don't really want to read about handling toddlers when I am trying like hell to handle a pregnancy without losing my freakin' mind. Pictures of smiling children still sends little nauseated waves in my stomach. I am still in a "I'll believe it when I see it" mood. These children on the cover of the magazine were obviously birthed by an oblivious woman who's only worry was if the baby was giving her stretch marks. I don't recognize these children. I want a magazine that encourages me to breathe, and show me how to handle the conflicting emotions that I have every waking hour of every day.

I talked to Dr. S and he said that he was happy with the results of all the genetic testing. He asked for the 1000th time if I was still taking my prenatal vitamin. I don't really know why he keeps asking me this. Have I suggested in my behavior that I would suddenly stop taking nutrients to feed this baby?

"I don't like your blood pressure today," he announced suddenly.

I was a little surprised. I am usually normal in his office and if I am borderline high, his nurse mentions it while she is ripping off the cuff.

"It's 140/88. I think it is creeping up and we should start taking care of it now, so that you and the baby will be better off,"

"Ok," I said.

"Dr. Perinatologist and I were just waiting for the time when it wouldn't come down, and I think this time is now," he said.

"Uh, huh," I said.

"I am prescribing X and this is very good in pregnancy. I want you to start taking it and tell Dr. Perinatologist that you are taking it when you see her on the 12th and we are going to keep monitoring it..." he said.

"Ok," I said.

"Are you ok?" he asked.

"Brilliant," I said.

He stopped and frown at me.

"Let's listen to the baby," he said.

I pulled down my jeans and he placed the dreaded Doppler to my jellied belly.

Silence. For the 3rd fucking time.

I CANNOT TELL YOU how that static sound fucks with me.

Dr. S kept searching in my lower abdomen. He began to look a little concerned.

I pointed to the area where Dr. C found the heartbeat last week, up high near my belly button. I heard the subtle beating of my baby's heartbeat. Dr. S. sighed heavily and smiled.

"Do you think my blood pressure will ever come down if you continue to have trouble finding the heartbeat every time I come in?" I asked in my usual snarky way.

He smiled and shook his head.