28 January 2015

Postpartum Doctor Checkup

My six-week postpartum appointment was last week, Friday.  I was super anxious to meet with the doctor so I could see what the world was going on with my pelvic area.  Every time I’d walk from one end of the mall to the other, I would get this severe pain in the left side of my pelvis. 

When I explained this to my doctor, she was kind of worried that it may be scar tissue from my postpartum tubal ligation.  If it were that, then she said I would need to go back in for surgery again so they could remove the scar tissue.  She sent me down to get an ultrasound so she could see what is going on.

The ultrasound revealed that I have a cyst on my left ovary, which was causing the pain.  My doctor told me that the cyst could possibly go away on its own once I got my period back.  If it didn’t go away, then she said I would have to go on birth control for six weeks to help shrink the cyst away.  I thought that was a crazy idea since I just had my tubes tied.  But I’ll do whatever I need to get this cyst to go away, which will hopefully make the pain go away as well.

The ultrasound also revealed that my uterus is still very, very large.  I’m not sure how exactly it’s measured, or in what increments (cm, mm, grams, etc), but she told me a normal uterus is 100.  My uterus is 269!!  Two and a half times what normal is.  She told me that because of this, it will cause heavy and painful periods and that basically I will be having a hysterectomy sometime in the next 10 years.  It just depends on how long I want to deal with the heavy, painful periods.

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I am definitely not looking forward to having my period anymore! (not that I did before, but you know what I mean)  Ugh!!

Talk to Me:

Have you experienced heavy & painful periods?  Please share any relief suggestions you may have!

12 January 2015

Life With Baby #4

Maisyn laughing BLOG

Here we are, one month after the birth of Maisyn, and I wanted to share how our life has changed and update how she’s doing. 

Week 1:  Like I explained in the NICU post, Maisyn’s first week of life was spent at the hospital, which in turn meant parts of our days were also spent at the hospital.    I also had my tubes tied two days after Maisyn was born and was using her NICU time as my recovery time when I wasn’t visiting her.  I had a terrible time in recovery & had a rough couple of days after my surgery.

Week 2:   Her first weekend home with us was spent Christmas shopping and she was such a trooper.  The older girls still had school Monday & Tuesday before Christmas.  Wednesday was spent baking Christmas goodies while Maisyn slept in her bouncy seat. We then went to my sister-in-laws to spend Christmas Eve with Mr. Chaotic’s family. 

Week 3:  Christmas morning we opened our gifts & then spent most of the day trying to tame the chaos of toys.  Later in the afternoon, Mr. Chaotic’s parents came over for prime rib dinner.  We had Maisyn’s first doctor’s visit December 29th.  She was up to 9 lbs, 10 oz.  The pediatrician had to cauterize Maisyn’s belly button as it had been oozing since the day the umbilical cord fell off.

Week 4:  Having time off from school & the older girls spending time at Grandma’s kind of threw us off schedule a bit as I took advantage and used my mornings for sleep.  Not that Maisyn is sleep depriving me.  She’s a champ when it comes to sleeping.  Still on schedule as expected…eat, sleep, awake, eat, sleep, awake.  Every four hours almost on the nose.  We were supposed to go to a New Year’s Eve Party, however we decided to skip out as influenza has been going around like crazy here and I don’t want to expose Maisyn.  Girls head back to school, except Kinley, who has pink eye.  Headed back to pediatrician for Kinley’s pink eye and to have Maisyn’s belly button cauterized again.  It’s still oozing.

Week 5:  Kinley finally heads back to school and Bode, Maisyn, and I try to get into a routine.  Maisyn starts sleeping for 5-6 hour stretches during the night.  Days are spent being a little more awake.  If I’m not holding her, Bode is begging to hold her or she spends time in her bouncer seat, which she doesn’t seem to mind. 

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Miss Maisyn also seems to think it’s okay to suck her thumb.  She has never cared for her pacifier, however, I do not want her to be a thumb sucker.  I’ve heard one too many horror stories about how hard it is to break that habit once it becomes necessary.  It’s hard enough to get rid of the pacifier, I can’t imagine how to stop thumb sucking.  It’s not like it can be cut off & tossed in the garbage the way a pacifier can.  Also the stories about the damage thumb sucking does to the child’s teeth.  I truly don’t want to have Maisyn endure that.

Talk to me:

--  Did you have a good Christmas & New Year’s break?

--  Do/did you “allow” your child(ren) to suck their thumbs?  Was it a hard habit to break?  Were there any dental issues?

07 January 2015

Maisyn’s NICU Visit

Thursday Evening: We walked to where Maisyn’s NICU station was and immediately I was flooded with tears again.  She was back on the newborn warming table wearing just a diaper.  She had tubes into her nose, delivering the oxygen.  She was covered with monitors taped to her tiny body needed to measure her vital signs.  A cuff around her foot measured her oxygen levels.  An IV into her hand ready to give her the antibiotics she needed.  Tears streamed down my face as they rolled the echocardiogram machine over so they could check her heart to make sure the breathing issues weren’t caused from a heart defect of some sort.  I never realized how incredibly difficult it is for a parent to have a baby in the NICU. 

The pediatric neonatologist/cardiologist was there as the technician did the echocardiogram.  He assured us that everything with her heart was fine.  The reason she seemed to be having issues with her breathing was most likely due to an infection of some sort.  They would have to draw more blood work the next day to check her infection levels again. As of right now though, her visit would be a minimum of three days.

Friday Morning: I was scheduled to be at my surgery by 11:30 a.m, so we went over to the NICU around 9:30 to visit baby girl. Again, as soon as I start walking towards her little crib, I am overtaken by tears. I informed the nurse I would try to be back later that night after a little bit of rest, but she assured me she wouldn't see me until at least the next day. Mr. Chaotic and I took turns snuggling with Maisyn and rocking her. We came right between feedings so were unable to feed her during this visit.

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Friday Evening: Mr. Chaotic brought Kinley with him to visit Maisyn. Kinley thought it was so neat having to scrub in. LOL. Hubby got to feed her and Kinley was able to snuggle her little sister. Their visit was cut short by the nurses due to shift change in the NICU.

Saturday Afternoon: Maisyn's nurse called me to inform me that her infection levels had gone up so she wouldn't be able to come home on Sunday as she would need at least seven days of antibiotics, maybe even ten days. Also, they had tried taking her off oxygen, however, overnight her levels dropped. She had to be put back on oxygen. Hubby and I weren't able to get there until late afternoon (after shift change). Tears streamed down my face some more as I snuggled her, knowing she would be staying in the NICU longer.  She has to be off oxygen for at least 24-hours before she can be released.

Sunday: Still no change. Still on oxygen and still getting antibiotics twice a day.  And I still cry when I go visit her in the NICU.  Does it ever get easier?

Monday Morning:  Bode & I go visit her after we drop the girls off at school.  She was sleeping when we got there, but I took her out of her little crib so we could snuggle her.  I learned that she had more blood work taken early that morning and her infection levels have dropped!  Her oxygen level was at 35%.  We were there long enough for two feedings (four hours+).  Bode insisted we stay at the hospital for lunch.  While eating lunch, we called my mother-in-law so she could come to the hospital to visit Maisyn too.  Once she got there, we went back upstairs to visit.  This time, Bode was very antsy so we didn’t stay long.

Monday Evening:  Mr. Chaotic took the girls to see baby girl.  He learned that the nurse had lowered Maisyn’s oxygen levels to 25% and she was doing great! 

Tuesday Morning:  I had my MIL come stay with Bode at the house while I went to visit baby girl.  When I got the NICU, Maisyn was sound asleep.  Today was the first day I didn’t cry when I was there.  I picked her up so I could snuggle her while she slept.  When she woke, the neonatologist did his assessment of her.  He wanted the nurse to lower her oxygen, in which she did down to 21%.  The whole time I had been snuggling her though, the little tubes kept falling out of her nose, which basically meant she wasn’t getting any oxygen.  The nurse said that was fine though as they wanted to start weaning her off  if we wanted to bring her home Thursday. 

Tuesday evening:  Mr. Chaotic & Talyn went to the NICU and Maisyn was off her oxygen!  They took her off it at 2:30 that afternoon and she’s been doing great all day.  Best news ever!  Nurse mentioned that Maisyn had lost a little weight so that was a new concern.

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Wednesday Morning:  Again, I had my MIL come stay with Bode so I could visit baby girl and not have him being all crazy in the NICU.  Maisyn was still sound asleep and still off her oxygen! Instead of picking her up & snuggling her, I just let her sleep in her crib.  I asked about the weight issue and the nurse said there wasn’t an issue as Maisyn had been gaining weight.  When she woke, I changed her, fed her, and then just snuggled her for a bit.

Wednesday Evening:  The whole family went to visit baby girl tonight after supper.  It was complete chaos as the kids were acting all crazy and being loud.  She was still off her oxygen, which means she made it past the 24-hour mark and she was on track to come home Thursday.

Thursday Morning:  MIL came again today to watch Bode for me and this time she brought my nephew to play with Bode.  I went a little bit later than I had been because she had been sleeping till after 9:30 the past couple days.  Maisyn woke up shortly after I got there.  I changed her diaper and while doing so she pooped on me.  The neonatologist then did his discharge assessment.  I then fed her, put her take-me-home outfit on her, and we waited for Mr. Chaotic to show up.  While waiting, Maisyn’s nurse and I went over the discharge paperwork.  Around 11, Mr. Chaotic arrived.  I put Maisyn in the car seat, the nurse walked us downstairs and we said our goodbyes & thank you’s. We then decided to eat lunch one last time at the hospital.  I arrived home with her just after twelve noon and Bode couldn’t be happier!

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03 January 2015

January Goals

brand new ending

I have a few simple goals for the month of January.

1) Drink at least 8-10 cups of water DAILY

2) Start tracking my food again with SparkPeople

3) Get my butt back on the exercise train, once my doctor gives me the approval.  My appointment is in the middle of the month, so just a couple more weeks!

Side note in regards to exercise – I tried my hardest to get back on the treadmill January 1st.  I lasted 15 minutes, walking very slowly.  Embarrassing, right?  Ugh.  I began having some pelvic pain and then I noticed before I went to bed and again this morning that my flow picked up.  I don’t want to overdo it so I’m just going to wait these next few weeks out.  Rather than focusing on exercise, I’m going to be focusing on what I’m eating and tracking each and every morsel!

Talk to me…

What are your goals for January and/or the New Year?

01 January 2015

Completely Unexpected

As mentioned in my last post, Maisyn was born on Wednesday, December 10.  Prior to having her, my plan was to spend at least two nights in the hospital.  Turns out that my being gone just the one day was pure torture on my little guy, Bode.  He just cried when they came to visit me and meet their little sister.  When it was time for the kids to go home with Grandma, the tears would not stop.  Once they left for the night, I decided that Maisyn and I could go home the next day.

My doctor had come in early Thursday morning and I reminded her that I wanted to go ahead with the postpartum tubal ligation once I was released.  She had her team make the arrangements so I could have the procedure done the next day (Friday).  Once everything was settled, I took a shower so I could get my things packed and ready so Maisyn and I could go home later that day.  After my shower, I ordered lunch while Mr. Chaotic and his mom went to have lunch in the cafeteria.  Bode stayed with me as he wasn’t leaving my side. 

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Maisyn’s nurse came to get her so they could do her discharge assessment.  I ate my lunch, finished packing our things, and then went over our discharge papers with my nurse.  After she left, hubby, his mom, Bode, & I waited for Maisyn to come back so we could go home.

Rather than bringing Maisyn back to us, the pediatric hospitalist came to talk to us.  We learned that Maisyn’s oxygen levels were low and they needed to monitor her levels a bit longer and take some blood to check her levels.  She wouldn’t be able to go home that day because she needed to be monitored overnight.  I decided if Maisyn was staying another night, I was too. 

What seemed like an eternity later, the hospitalist lady came back and told us that they would have to admit Maisyn to the NICU for at least three days because her oxygen levels weren't staying where they were supposed to and her infection levels were elevated.  That’s when the tears started for me as I’ve never experienced the NICU before. 

A NICU nurse had come over to the regular nursery to work with Maisyn.  She brought her to my room so we could have a few moments with her before she was carted off to the NICU.  The nurse explained that we could come down to the NICU to visit if we gave her about 15 minutes to get Maisyn admitted.

Through all of my tears I then decided that since Maisyn was going to be spending her time in the NICU and not in my room, I could just go home.  Bode really missed me and wanted me back home.  I was also having my surgery the next day so I thought it would be best. Grandma had went to get the girls from school and brought them back so they helped gather my things while we waited to go to the NICU.  Grandma and the kids hung around in my room while Mr. Chaotic and I went to the NICU to see Maisyn and visit with the nurse.

Upon arriving at the NICU, we realized we had to “scrub in” to get inside.  We had no clue what to do so were lucky when there was a housekeeping lady outside the NICU.  She kindly explained to us that we had to take a special pack that had a scrub brush with soap built in and use that to scrub from fingertips to elbows for three minutes.  When we were done, we were to ring the buzzer and the nurses would let us in. 

…to be continued…

24 December 2014

Welcome Maisyn Ariyah!

I was scheduled to be induced on December 10th at 6 a.m.  Not because I was past due, just because my doctor said I could be anytime once I turned 39 weeks.  I know it’s probably frowned upon, however, it was a decision I had discussed and made with Mr. Chaotic.  I was so uncomfortable and just ready to meet my little girl.

I arrived at our hospital at 6 a.m, after hubby made a quick pit stop to McDonald’s for breakfast.  We checked in and were taken up to my delivery room, which I’ve actually delivered in before, twice if I’m not mistaken.  Once in my room I changed into my lovely gown and waited for my nurse to get me hooked up to my IV.  Of course it seemed to take forever, but when she finally did, she explained that there were five or so others that came into deliver as well.  Then there was shift change and a lot more waiting. 

Finally just after 8 a.m. my doctor came in to visit with me and let me know that her nurse practioner would be in to break my water, which happened shortly after 8:30 a.m.  We had decided to break my water before starting pitocin to see if that would help move me along since I had been sitting at 3.5 cm and 75% effaced since 35 weeks.  At first I didn’t feel much water at all and then all of a sudden I felt like I was peeing myself. 

Around 9:15 a.m. I started feeling some slight cramping. 

9:35 a.m. My nurse started pitocin since there didn’t seem to be much progress.  Still just mild cramping.

10:15 a.m. Really big contraction, but didn’t seem like anything major.  Was able to just grin and breathe through it.

10:40 a.m. Nurse came in to see how things were going.  I told her about the one contraction, otherwise just mild cramping.  She asked if I was ready for my epidural.  I told her to give me like 20 minutes since I was just having mild cramping.

11:00 a.m. Nurse came back to tell me that the anesthesiologist was on his way.

11:30 a.m.  Anesthesiologist finished my epidural and told me to take a nap.

11:44 a.m.  Baby girl arrives!!!

Honestly, the time between my epidural and baby’s arrival went so fast I don’t exactly know the details.  I just know that shortly after 11:30, I asked the nurse about my catheter because I really had to go pee.  She got the catheter in me and literally in seconds I started to feel so much pressure.  I told her I really had the feeling I had to poop, which means baby girl was ready to make her way into this world.  They had to call my doctor, who was in surgery just down the hall, to get to my room in time to deliver the baby.

You’d think after having three previous kids I’d be a pro at delivery, but I’m pretty sure it seemed like I was a first time mom.  I just know that all the times before, the nurses would tell me when to breathe or to bear down and give it all I got.  This time though, it didn’t seem like they were giving any assistance in regards to my breathing and pushing.  I was just in so much pain because my epidural didn’t have time to kick in that I forgot the proper technique.  In the end though, I got my baby girl through the birth canal.  I may or may not have screamed out so loudly the entire floor could hear me.

Our daughter, Maisyn Ariyah was born December 10, 2014.  She weighed 9 pounds, 6 oz and was 21.5” long. 

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I’ll be back soon with an update on our first two weeks with a newborn.

Until then, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas!!

16 December 2014

Bumpdate: Almost 39 Weeks


Last I left off, I was not quite 38 weeks.  I had my next weekly appointment on December 8 and baby girl was being quite active.  As my doctor listened to baby’s heartbeat, her rate was in the 210s!  At my previous two appointments, her rate was in the 190s but would drop back to the 160s within a couple minutes.  This time, however, baby girl was not returning to normal.  They hooked me up to the baby monitors to monitor me to make sure she came back down to normal.  They were afraid if she didn’t, she may have an infection and would have to induce me that day, rather than in two days.  It took just over an hour, but baby girl’s heart rate finally dropped back down to the 140s. Phew!  Other than that, everything was good…my weight had mostly stayed the same over the past few weeks as well, which was amazing.  Down a pound, up a pound basically.  My total weight gain for this pregnancy is 29 pounds.  Which in my books is pretty dang good!  However, it was the pre-pregnancy weight gain that caused me some issues so I have lots of work to do once my doctor gives me the all clear.