Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2011

So this year ended on a pretty typical note-with me in the hospital for a week. When I went to the emergency room (pregnant women have their own triage in the Labor and Delivery ward so I didn’t have to go to the usual ER) I was told that I would probably only be there for a few hours. Well, I was there for an entire week.

On the plus side, the people were very, very nice. Even though it’s one of the biggest hospitals in the state, the nurses all remembered me and Toby so that was nice.

I really wanted to be home after the first day, but honestly I was so out of it by then that I barely even remember the first few days.

So I have something called hyperemesis. It only affects 2% of every pregnant women and it’s really, really dangerous. I’ve had it with all 3 pregnancies and nobody knows why it happens to some people and not others. Actually, I’m only partially sure that I had it with Sam. I was living in England at the time and the doctors kept telling me to “just eat some ginger.” After losing 20 pounds, Mom flew me back to the US where the doctors here got me under control in less than a week.

So how does this differ from “normal” morning sickness? Well, your blood pressure gets dangerously low, you get so weak that you can’t even brush your hair or get dressed, and you vomit at least 10 times per day. You also lose around 10% of your body weight. With mine, I hallucinate and get confused and disoriented.

On Christmas Eve, for example, I was so certain that I heard Toby crying that I almost called down to Pete to check on him. I did not even remember that he was gone. I went to the doctor on Thursday and then back on Monday and in that timeframe had lost 4 pounds. So far, I’ve lost 17. They pumped 15 liters of fluids into me over the course of the week because I was so dehydrated and it was still a couple of days before I could pee.

They were talking about hooking me up to a catheter and having a home health nurse come out a few times a week to administer meds to me but we decided instead to have me return to the hospital once a week to get hooked up to the IV and get meds and fluids that way.

It really is a mess.

Being back in the hospital was interesting. I was in the same part that I was in when I had Toby but it didn’t make me feel sad. It actually made me feel a little closer to him. I was a little disappointed that aside from Melissa and Hailey, I didn’t have any visitors. Oh, our friend Amy came in. Her son is 6 and was having his chemotherapy on the floor below us. She and her husband have to spend the night in the hospital, too. But I figured being there a week I might have people drop by. It gets really lonely and boring to be bound to your bed for that long.

I did have a panic attack last night when I realized that Toby and I will never be in the same year again. He will always belong to 2010 while I have moved on to 2011. That made me sad.

Our Christmas was nice. I got Mom and Pete flat screen TVs and some other stuff. Pete refurbished an antique dresser for me. It’s really pretty. I spent a lot of time sleeping, though.

Before Christmas we went to Toby’s grave and decorated it. We put poinsettias, wreaths, and other flowers on it. There were about 6 inches of snow covering the grave and it took me and Sam forever to dig through it to find the actual site, but it did look pretty.

It has snowed almost non-stop here for weeks. Good thing none of us are afraid to drive in the snow or else we would never get out to go anywhere.

We are really struggling as to what to do with Toby’s bedroom. I took one of his blankest, his pacifier, and little socks and made a shadow box with them. I’m thinking of getting a huge shadowbox and putting the blanket from his crib in it, a few things from his mobile, the outfit he wore home, and maybe some sea shells in it. (His room had a nautical theme.) At some point we’re going to have to take everything out of there because we’re going to Babies R Us and buying a whole new nursery set for this one. But it’s going to be really hard to get rid of his room. I’ve boxed up all of the clothes that he wore but I still have a closet full and dresser full of things that he didn’t. If this baby is a boy then I will pass them on. If it’s not, then I might just box them up and store them. I’m not going to send them to consignment or give them away.

Pete’s had a rough time lately. We seem to go for weeks without having any kind of Toby-related anxiety and then it just hits all at once. I have no idea what we will do when this baby gets here. I am going to hire someone to come in for about 7 hours a day and watch him/her so that I can sleep. I’ll do my work at night. I don’t know how any of us will sleep in a house with a baby in it again.

I’ve been studying the different SIDS theories and one of them (the biggest one) is that the baby lacks enough serotonin. So how do you get that to him? It is created in the first trimester. Smoking and drinking can lower your levels. Since I don’t smoke and I don’t drink when I’m pregnant, this doesn’t apply to me. But there might be other things that they don’t know about.

We are going to buy an Angel monitor that attaches to the bed and goes off if the baby stops breathing. That might give us some peace of mind, although it’s still true that SIDS is not 100% preventable.

Mom has decided to get a hotel room in Lexington when I go into labor so that they can stay close to me. We’ll probably do the Hyatt again. It’s very close to UK and it’s a nice hotel. This week, it was tough on Mom and Pete to keep driving back and forth because it’s about 1.5 hours away and gas is expensive. For the last 2 days, Pete just stayed with me and didn’t go home. The chair in my room made a bed and he said it wasn’t too bad to sleep on.

Because of the hyperemesis I haven’t been able to take any prenatal vitamins but I started on some Flintstone chewables today and they’re pretty good. They taste like gummy bears.

We are now planning our big vacation in March. We don’t know where we’re going yet, but we have a few ideas. I think we all need a break here.

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