Monday, June 30, 2008

Day Four, Part Two

My protein counts finally came from the lab (they were a little slow). They've skyrocketed. I was at 292 last week and over 2,000 from Saturday. I'm off food and water for tonight and have another round of blood tests scheduled at 6am tomorrow morning.

Wish me luck. We may not make it to Friday after all.

But on the bright side, I married the most wonderful man. He showed up tonight with a home cooked meal of fajitas, chopped tomatoes, cheese, rice and ice cream. He rolled me out to the courtyard, grabbed the dogs from the car, and we had a picnic. It was wonderful to get some fresh air - I haven't been outside since Friday. It felt so good to have the breeze in my face and doggie fur on my hands. The food was divine, of course. :)

After dinner I even got a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my room. What an absolute sweetheart.

Day Four of Captivity

First off, the good news - all baby tests are coming in wonderfully. We had another ultrasound today and the amniotic fluid level is higher than it was on Friday - that's good because it was pretty low. They checked for 8 points of reaction from the baby, and s/he got an 8/8 - that's our little overachiever. :)

My blood work and protein counts also look better than they did a week ago, and my blood pressure is dropping.

Apparently laying around being waited on hand and foot agrees with me. :)

On the downsides, the upswing in results might be nothing more than a temporary reaction to the steroid injections I was given. They sometimes produce a "honeymoon" period. I'll have more tests tomorrow and the next day to see if the bettering is a trend or just a fluke.

It's really hard to lay around all the time. My back and neck are in a lot a pain - even with then new comfy bed. I did sleep pretty good last night, but was still exhausted by 11am this morning. A quick nap and I feel much better, but it's amazing how much of my strength is being zapped daily. Taking care of a newborn is going to be tougher than I even imagined.

I'm still retaining a tremendous amount of water. Dan didn't think I was quite as puffy today, but I think he was just being sweet :) He spent yesterday with Kai shopping for the last of the baby stuff we needed. I'm not kidding (or exaggerating at all) when I say the receipt was close to FOUR FEET LONG! I think we're up to a bout a $1000 an ounce for Little One now :)

Thanks for the phone calls and emails - keep them coming!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Club Med Update

Things are fairly status quo here. We know a little more...the docs have made an official diagnosis of preeclampsia. What does that mean? Not much :) except I will be a guest of the hospital for the foreseeable future.

The way I understand it, we will be walking a fine line everyday. The line between my health and the baby's. When it becomes too dangerous for me to remain pregnant, or too toxic for the baby, out baby will come. With luck, that will be sometime after next Friday.

I'm gaining nearly a pound a day in water weight, and really look it. I'm carrying around 20 pounds of fluid right now. Everything that could swell and get puffy is. :( I look a mess. I did get to take a nice soak in the maternity jacuzzi today, though, and that felt like pure heaven. The water was considerably cooler than I would have liked because of the baby, but even with that it felt so good.

I still feel good, except for a severe backache from having to lay around all the time. I just got an air bed that should help with that. Tylenol is the only pain killer I'm allowed, but it does help a bit.

Dan is bringing the pups by later tonight. I can go to the courtyard to play with the them as long as I am in a wheelchair.

Keep the calls and emails coming - you guys are the only thing making this bearable at all.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Greetings from Club Med!

(as posted by D., who is too lazy to figure out his own login at the moment)

Karen will most likely not be leaving the hospital without giving birth, but that could be between 3 and (I'm guessing) 7 days out. What this means is that anyone who bet on August in the baby pool is automatically out. She has or is at high risk of Preeclampsia but the baby is fine and she hasn't spiked into dangerous territories. The question at hand is just whether or not we have time to chill or of that nursery needs to be complete tomorrow. ;) Rest assured, she is being well cared-for and we're both concerned but not freaking out.

Why? Becuase it is very much beyond our control an influence! We've got great medical care, so the most important thing is to keep Karen from being too bored.

The room is decent with a little bit of a view and wireless access... call often!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Almost Like St. Louis...

We attended a fabulous show tonight! Keb' Mo' and Taj Mahal played at the Woodland Park Zoo. It reminded me so strongly of all those fabulous concerts St. Louis offers in the summertime. There were a few notable exceptions, however:

1. The concert was not free. It wasn't crazy expensive, but most definitely not free.

2. There were no bugs chewing on you the minute the sun went down. Oh wait, the sun hadn't actually set yet when the concert ended at 9pm. Gotta luv life in the Northwest.

3. We were not sitting in a pool of our own sweat, with fans frantically trying to impart some breeze to cool us down. Actually, it was chilly. By the end of the evening most people had on coats, or were wrapped up in the blankets they had brought to sit on.

All in all an awesome evening.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Standby Caller....

We had our follow-up visit with the doctor on Sunday. I was hooked up to fetal monitors for about an hour, and everything looked wonderful. My blood pressure was back down to normal, but my blood chemistry is still off. Specifically my creatinine levels (which are a measure of kidney function) are slightly elevated.

Today I am doing one more test involving the kidneys, and we'll see how it comes out. I have a follow-up doctor visit and an ultrasound scheduled for Friday. Our sweet, wonderful neighbor has offered to take my BP whenever I want to record it during the week to give to the doctor.

It's a little scary - especially when you walk into the maternity Triage center and the nurse says "let's see if you're having this baby today" in a very matter of fact voice. Guess that's what they do, but I sure wasn't feeling matter of fact about anything! So we're back to waiting and seeing. Keep praying Little One is able to call me home for at least another 3 weeks...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Slight Glitch

Well, we had our standard baby check-up today. Unfortunately this time there was a slight problem. My blood pressure was pretty high, so the doc drew some blood and hooked me up to a fetal monitor.

Good news - the baby doing just fine. The fetal stress test was completely normal.

Bad news - my blood test was slightly abnormal. The concern is I am in the beginning stages of preeclampsia - a very dangerous condition for both me and the baby. I am on bedrest for tonight and tomorrow. Sunday we have an appointment at the hospital for additional tests and monitoring.
I am currently at 32 weeks. Say a prayer we are able to keep baby baking for another few weeks.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sushi - The New Dog Treat

Well, the seaweed portion anyway. Who knew that dogs (at least ours) would go absolutely BONKERS over dried seaweed? Right now all three dogs are frantically barking, begging, woofing, sitting, being cute and doing whatever they think will get them more seaweed. I've never seen them go so crazy over anything.

My dogs are nuts.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dan's First (Unofficial) Father's Day

Why unofficial? Because he says it doesn't count since he hasn't actually met his child yet. :) Official or not, we had a great day together.

We headed off to Mt. Rainier National Park - about 2 hours from our house. We meandered down (at 7 1/2 months pregnant meander is all you can do!) and enjoyed the sights, sounds and spectacular weather offered. Click here for a few photos of our adventure.

We entered the park at the Nisqually-Paradise entrance. Believe it or not, the other entrances were all closed because of snow or damage from last year's floods. We stopped at Longmire and wandered the trail that circles the meadow. It was 3/4 of a mile long and very easy to walk (parts were even ADA compliant) - and that's about my speed right now.

Apparently there used to be a wellness center on the mineral springs back in the early 1900s. People came for the healing powers of the water. I'm not sure I'd look to orange water (because of the high iron content) to heal me, but... There were also springs so filled with carbon dioxide that where the seeped up from the earth it sounded like a can of soda opening. You could see the ground bubbling and hear the steady "hissss" of the bubbles. It was pretty cool. We saw a few deer wandering through there, and enjoyed the cool, quiet of the forest.

We stopped at several scenic overlooks - including Christine Falls. Christine Falls is a beautiful waterfall that falls under a quaint looking (but quite sturdy) stone bridge. I remembered it from my previous trip to Rainier in the 90's. Since the snow isn't really melting yet (too cold of a spring) the falls were relatively small, but still quite impressive.

Our last stop was Paradise. Paradise is the highest point (about 5400 feet) accessible by car. There is a visitors center there, and some stunning views of the mountains. We wandered through there, then Dan threw the requisite snowball at me and we headed back home.

A very enjoyable, and exhausting, day. Happy First (unofficial) Father's Day, sweetie!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The EPA Lightbulb Law

Thanks to my cousin Dean - I found this rather amusing. There are no easy answers, but I do appreciate his sense of humor about it.

Rep. Ted Poe Speech

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bundle Up - It's June

My apologies to all of you suffering through 90 degree heat and humidity in the midwest, but I though you might find some irony in this news story. Or perhaps this one.

Feel free to come visit and enjoy the cool weather. If you hurry, you can still get some skiing in :)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nursery is Underway

We spent a few hours today working on getting the nursery in order. We've got everything in the correct place (crib, changing table, rocker, etc), and went through all the clothes, diapers, and baby gear. We got most of it organized - for now. We'll see what wrenches the reality of having Little One here throws in my wonderful organization.

We still have some stuff to do - install a ceiling fan, install curtain rods, hang a few pictures and put up some Ikea free-floating shelves. One more afternoon...

We did take a break for some fun on Thursday. We went downtown and strolled around Pioneer Square for the art walk, then had some very tasty Italian food. It was a wonderful evening. I love date night with my husband. :)

Dan totally spoiled me today by making French caramel creme. My goodness it was good!! Lots of fresh berries (purchased this morning from the Market while I slept in), delicious, creamy, smooth custard creme with a light caramel flavor, topped with fresh whipped creme. It was beyond heavenly.

Dan's off to Seattle International Film Festival and I'm going to vege at home with a movie and the iron. I didn't want to go - especially considering how expensive the tickets are. He'll enjoy it immensely though, so it works out.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Come Visit!

We officially have a guest room! We moved the daybed from the nursery into the downstairs bedroom - so we once again have a nice, comfy place for people to stay when they visit us. Even more importantly (for you, our guest) it's on a separate floor from the nursery and has it's own bathroom. :)

We still have some organization to do in there, and might hang some curtains, but that's pretty minor stuff.

We also set up the crib and got the rocking chair in the nursery. We have a ton to do in there yet - but I feel pretty good about where we are. Another weekend of work and we should have it ready!

I'll be so ready to just sit and enjoy a quiet weekend with no work!