I don't want to come across as mean or ungrateful because I know everyone means well when they ask, but everyone is always asking me how I'm feeling, some people have even said, "get well soon!" I just want to clear things up... I'm NOT sick, I feel absolutely fine! Everything that is causing problems is inside the womb, there are no symptoms or side effects, no pain or bleeding, just issues that we cannot see or feel. We are lucky this day and age to have the technology to find these kind of issues beforehand because there are no symptoms leading up to it. Undiagnosed and untreated (early delivery), vasa previa has an extremely high mortality rate for the baby, but because we are taking the extra precautions, that rate drops considerably, and for this we are very grateful. In fact, the nurse I had today said to me, "do you know how we used to diagnose vasa previa?... By autopsying the baby!" It's a little morbid and scary, but that's the reality of this condition, we are so lucky to have been able to find this out early and be proactive about it. Many people ask me if things are still going well by 34 weeks (my scheduled c-section), will they push it further? The answer is no... it's just too risky to push further. It was recommended by the perinatologist that I deliver by 35 weeks, but because the baby is measuring big my OB/GYN wants to go a week earlier. It just means there will be a bit of a stay in the NICU, but that's definitely better than the alternative.
Another one I keep hearing is "get lots of rest!" I think that's kind of a given right now, I don't really have much of a choice, but to be honest, it's the last thing I want to be doing. I'd rather be able to go for a walk, even if it's just around the ward, or better yet, go outside for a little fresh air. Gary managed to take me outside for a few minutes the other day in a wheelchair and it was one of the best parts of my week! One of my friends put it very well, "bedrest always sounds great, until you're in the bed!" How true it is! I am very happy, however, that this baby will be a spring/summer baby and as soon as I'm recovered I can get outside every single day!!! And trust me I will... I will take advantage of every nice day we have after this experience. I really do fear that my body will be weak after all this, so I'm going to have to work at it a bit to strengthen it up. I had trouble holding Lexi for long periods before this, I probably won't even be able to pick her up after all this.
As you may have seen on my Facebook, I did get 2 lunch passes last weekend to go out for lunch with a friend and then again with my family. My doctor was on holidays though and I don't think she was too impressed with the other doctors for sending me out. For the record, I never asked for these passes, both times the doctor on duty told me to go out, and do you think I was going to say no? I was very careful while I was out, the only walking I did was to the car and back, other than that I was wheeled out of the hospital and back in. Nothing happened while I was out, but I don't think I'll get any more passes, which is probably in mine and the baby's best interest anyway.
Mentally, I'm hanging in there (sometimes by a thread). I have good days and bad. Generally though, I think I am staying very positive throughout this whole ordeal. Some of the nurses have even commented on how good my spirits are, considering the circumstances. I've really only broken down twice since I've been here (17 days), and God bless my little nurse the one night, she stayed with me through my tears and said a prayer for me. I am not a very religious person, my beliefs and morals are just to be kind and do the right things. But for many, praying helps through hard times, so if that's what you do, I appreciate any sort of kind words in whatever form they come. If you are praying for the baby and I, then thank you, if you are thinking about us, then thank you! We are so grateful for everything everyone has done for us!
When the baby is born she will be in the NICU for 2-6 weeks. This hospital has one of the best NICUs in Edmonton in regards to their setup and having the parents involved. We can literally spend 24/7 with the baby if we want, she will have her own little area with 2 places for us to sleep beside her. The mother in me wants to spend every minute with her, but it's not really going to be possible with another little princess at home who needs me, especially after all of this. The other day was very hard, Lexi was crying uncontrollably at home and my mom couldn't console her. She ended up face timing me and said, "mommy, I'm sad for you" so I asked why, and her response was, "because you're not here." In that moment I realized that it was finally hitting her. From the time I knew I was going to be in the hospital, I had always explained to her that I'd be gone for a while and that she would be at home with Daddy and Nanny (Grandma). But to a 4 year old, time isn't quite understood, so even though I said I'd be here a long time, I still don't think she realized how long, until now!
A couple other heart wrenching Lexi moments:
- when I left for the hospital, she said to me, "you'll be coming back soon, right?" (again not realizing the time concept). I think she remembered my last hospital stay of 3 nights and figured this one would be similar.
- when it was time for her to leave after one of her visits she hugged me and wouldn't let go. She said, "mommy, I wanna hug you forever!"
- so far she's only cried one time when it was time to leave from a visit, but several times she's said, "I want to stay until visiting hours are over" or she'll even say that she wants to stay the night with me. Oh how I wish she could!
Once the baby is born, I will be putting a little more focus on Lexi while the baby is in NICU. It will be hard leaving the baby alone sometimes, but Gary and I will tag team as much as we can. I will definitely be in every day to snuggle and feed the baby, but I need to set aside time for Lexi, I feel like she needs me more right now, and with the baby in NICU, there will be times when there isn't much I can do for her while she's being monitored. The nurses there are amazing and I have complete faith in them. I can call 24/7 and check on the baby, and we will bring Lexi along to visit as much as possible! Plus, I can't deny the fact that I may want to go home and sleep in my own bed for at least one night after spending a month here!! I need to be ok too, and my girls need me to be ok!!
Visitors are welcome in the NICU, depending on how she's doing, but a parent must always be present when the visitors are there. Visiting hours there are 11am-8pm. I'm hoping our stay isn't much longer than 2 weeks, I know that Lexi can't wait to have her mommy and sister home and have some normalcy back in her life again!
Here's a little blurb I wrote after my first week here, things have gotten a little better since then though. I think now that I'm practically a permanent resident here, they all kind of know what's going on. But I was so scared my first week...
I've been in the hospital a week now and my doctor is on holidays for the week. I honestly can't wait until she gets back, I see a different doctor everyday and I get different information everyday. Some people seem so uninformed on my situation that it scares me how they will react if an emergency does happen. Just this morning one of the resident doctor's mentioned about me going home. As nice as that sounds, I KNOW that's not what my doctor ordered. She claimed it wasn't clear on my chart, even though I've personally seen it in writing, so I had to tell the her I couldn't go home. Some of the nurses refer to my condition as placenta previa, I have to remind them that it's vasa previa; there really is a huge difference in the two, and it could come down to life or death for the baby if they don't realize that in an emergency. Some of the staff even ask how the bleeding is, I'M NOT BLEEDING, and if I was I'd be in the OR getting the baby out asap! Are these people even reading my chart???
My nurse yesterday told me that if anything happens and I don't feel like they are taking it as serious as they should, then I should speak up and demand for them to call the doctor and the charge nurse. Hopefully, it doesn't come down to that though. We had an ultrasound yesterday and basically nothing has changed, but the baby is growing well, in fact she is measuring at 5lbs 1oz (give or take 12oz). But because nothing has changed, we are optimistic that we'll make it to June 2nd without any issues in between.
Anyways, this will likely be my last blog entry until the baby is born, so the next ones should be a little more exciting and uplifting. I honestly can't wait for this experience to be over and to begin my new life as a family of 4... 7 MORE DAYS!!