Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 - New Beginning

Our whole family would agree, 2015 was not our year. In fact, it was the toughest year in our lives. But it is now 2016 and we are ready to get a new start and a fresh beginning. It is going to be an amazing year!

I started out the year wanting to get some blankets knitted for Monet and Bridget. I want the girls to have matching blankets. I was able to finish Monet's and got started on the one for Bridget! (I know the photo is upside down, I am having trouble getting it to turn around)
I was on bedrest A LOT. Little Bridget needs to cook as long as she can! So we spent a lot of time together on the couch, eating snacks and watching cartoons. These kids really take good care of me when daddy is at work!
Tyson has been working really hard on getting the girls room done. He has created a really cool play loft above Monet's bed. The kids LOVE it!
ABE likes to help daddy out when he can.
Just a sweet picture of ABE and Monet playing quietly with Legos.
Monet has been practicing with her baby dolls. She loves to swaddle them and put them to bed. Her Grami Tami even made a special swaddle blanket with velcro to make it easy!
Bridget keeps cooking and we are very happy!
Tyson and I were able to go on a date, just the two of us. We went out for Indian Food and to a movie. It was so nice to spend time together and to kind of get away from all that has been going on lately. With all the worries and stresses, we needed a little time to focus on us.
This might seem silly to some, but it is something I have waited for my whole life. I was able to put a french braid in my little girls hair! This is a big moment for me. I can't wait til I have two little girls to play dress up with!
Sometimes, I get tempted to play with the equipment when I am at the Dr. I mean, I have so many appointments, and I see them use it so much! I bet I could figure out how to work the machines myself after all the times I have been in!
We LOVE family movie nights! Mattress in the loft, lots of pillows and treats, that is my kind of night!
ABE and Monet got to spend a lot of time with friends and family this month. I have had a lot of appointments. We are so lucky to have so many people around who love us and help look out for us!
As I said, we LOVE family movie nights!
Still cooking that baby!
Monet and I had a Girls Night In. We painted nails and took selfies. She is my best friend.
Just some more snuggles while on bedrest!
Tyson is ALMOST finished with the play loft! The kids are LOVING IT!
The girls room is done. Castle is built, curtains are hung and walls are painted. Now we are just counting down the days until little Bridget makes her debut and joins Monet!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Baby Bridget's Beats - 35 Weeks - Technology

We had another marathon day of appointments yesterday at the University of Utah hospital. Tyson was lucky enough to get the day off work so he could be there with me this time. It was so nice to have him there by my side and not have to be there alone. It helped a lot with my anxiety and the appointments went more smoothly having him there.

7:45 AM
We started with an echo cardiogram of Bridget's heart. She was in a really good position this time and they were able to get some really good and clear readings on how things look. Structurally everything is still looking great. The only thing that was different was that her heart rate was a little lower than it was last time. It was in the high 50s when it has usually been in the mid 60s.

The Dr took us into another room to talk with us. This made me nervous at first because he usually just talks to me in the room that we do the echo in. That, combined with the lowering heart rate I was sure he was going to tell us we were having a baby this week. Then he opened with "Well it looks like we are getting closer to having this baby"....... uhhhh how close doc!?! He went on to explain that things are still stable and he wants me to be monitored a little more often. He is comfortable with our scheduled delivery when I reach 38 weeks and thinks Bridget and I will make it to that date.

He then talked with us about after delivery and the pacemaker. This was the first time we got real solid details on how things will work. We found out that Bridget will get her pacemaker within days of being born. No more wondering if it will be minutes, days or months before she gets it, we now know. He also explained the procedure and how easy recovery time is. If Bridget is eating, sleeping and doing all the other normal baby things then she might only be in the NICU for a week, maybe two. This was music to my ears! I was expecting MONTHS!

Bridget will get a pacemaker inserted into her belly, the wires will be fed up and attached to her heart. She will have a scar on her chest and one on her belly. When she is around 8 she will have that pacemaker taken out and will get a new one inserted in her chest, near her collarbone. They have to wait until she is 8 for the permanent one because her ventricles will not be large enough or strong enough to feed the wires through until that time.

We then went over details on how the pacemaker actually works, the defaults, the battery life, the up keep and all of that jazz. It was really reassuring to know how far this technology has come and to know our little Bridget is going to be able to handle this just fine!

After that appointment Tyson and I had breakfast together in the cafeteria. Then we headed up to meet with my OB.

9:30 AM
We reviewed the echo information with the OB and let her know about the low heart rate. We talked about the contractions I have been having and went through a normal OB visit. Tyson was able to ask questions about the SSa antibodies that I carry with my autoimmune disease and we got an idea of how much risk we might put future children at with heart block.

Everything looked good from my pregnancy point. I am still on bedrest and am to take things easy so these contractions don't lead to labor.

We scheduled more Biophysical Profile (BPP) tests as the cardiologist had suggested. Originally I was going to have these done once a week until Bridget arrives and now I will need to have them twice a week. This is the 30-60 minute scan where Bridget is tested in 4 areas. She gets 2 points for each area. If she scores below a 6 then we will likely deliver her that day.

10:15 AM
I had a BPP done. This went really well this time. She was moving right away and she was in a good position to see everything we needed to see. We even watched her little diaphragm  move as she made the breathing motions. Everything on her little body looks perfect. She is so beautiful already and we just love her.

Anyway, she got 8 out of 8 on her BPP! This was a better score than she got last week and I was so relieved! I will head back on Friday to check again.

All in all, our marathon day was very reassuring. We feel more informed and more prepared for what is to come. For me, knowing that she will get the pacemaker right away helps me get ready for that. In 3 weeks I will be able to hold my baby Bridget in my arms and I am so looking forward to meeting her.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Baby Bridget's Beats - quick update

Today we had an ultrasound done to check on the little lady. The reason I get ultrasounds done so often is because that is really the only way they can accurately check her heart rate. With the doppler machine the heart rate sounds too much like mine and it is very hard to get an accurate reading. So, they check with an ultrasound where we can see, hear, and measure the rate.

At first scan, her heart rate was 59. Which sent me into an anxiety attack because I have been told that if her heart rate drops below 60 then we will be delivering. I also had a MEGA full bladder and had been waiting a really long time for my appointment so I was a bit on edge anyway. The ultrasound tech didn't seem phased, she just completed the rest of the scan and let me know she would have the Dr review things and would be back in a minute.

Well that minute turned into like 30 minutes which seemed like an ETERNITY. I laid on that ultrasound bed, in the dark, sobbing and texting my sister-in-law the whole time. Yes, I was overreacting. Yes, I blame the hormones and steroids.

The ultrasound tech came back in and asked if we could take another scan. I obliged and she checked Bridget's heart rate one more time. It was at 63. She monitored it for a while and it stayed there. She said she either scanned it wrong the first time or Bridget was just relaxing that first time but it is now stable at 63 and there is no reason to worry.

I then met with Dr Sullivan (my new OB) and she went over things with me. Everything on the ultrasound looks good. Bridget is in the 61st percentile for weight which is really good for a baby with complete heart block. Everything looks perfect. She is developing well and is hanging in there!

I will have a c-section when I reach 38 weeks. She still may come before that, but she definitely won't be in there longer than that. I am still to be on "mostly" bedrest.

I will now start to have weekly Biophysical Profiles done. This is an ultrasound that measures 4 key points. It measures: large movements like a kick or a punch, the fluid within the uterus, Bridget's breathing as well as small movements like fingers wiggling. These, along with heart rate monitoring, are going to give us better ideas on how she is handling things, how long she might be able to wait after delivery to receive the pacemaker and when she is best to be delivered.

All in all things are good. Just 5 more weeks and then we get to meet this little lady!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Baby Bridget's Beats - 32 weeks - Preterm Labor

Working hard to keep everything as up to date on this blog as possible. I know I still need to go back through the year 2015 and put down all the fun stuff we did! Believe me, I have every month broken down and almost ready to post. I took pictures and have journal entries for all of 2015 so one day I will be sure to get those all down and in this blog! With Bridget updates I have to write them as they happen so I get the most accurate record of things.

So, that being said, I have an update on the pregnancy.

Monday afternoon I started having really bad back pain and I wasn't sure if it was something to worry about or not. I asked my sister-in-law about when she had back labor and asked her if I should get in touch with my Dr or not. She advised me to call in (but was trying not to worry me) and I did. The nurse I spoke with told me to put myself on bedrest, watch for contractions getting more timely and to come in for a check up in the morning. She said it likely wasn't preterm labor and not to worry too much. I relaxed the rest of the day and let my kiddies take care of me. ABE and Monet were both so sweet, they hardly fought with each other and they kept bringing me drinks and snacks (most of the snacks had bites taken out of them already but that's okay with me).
 Tuesday morning I dropped my kids off with one of my sisters-in-law and headed up to Murray to meet with one of my many Drs. They did an ultrasound of Bridget and are very pleased with her progress. She is growing really well. She is measuring around 33 weeks so she is a little bit ahead of schedule! Her heart is still steady with a heart rate around 65. Everything other than her heart is perfect. She is a perfect little baby and is doing so well.

My Dr confirmed with me that I was right on the verge of being in labor. Which means I was experiencing back labor without dilation or anything like that. They gave me some medication to stop labor and sent me home to rest.

It is now 24 hours since I took the medication to stop labor and I am feeling much less pain and having less contractions/spasms. Just spoke with the Dr and he gave me some tips on things to monitor and advised me to stay on "mostly bedrest". This means no exercising, or chores that involve standing for long periods or lifting. I can go back to work but when I am home I am supposed to lay down as often as possible. Does that sound really boring? Yeah, it does..... Oh well, we will do what we have to in order to keep that little Bridget cooking for 6-8 more weeks!

Last week we confirmed that I also have Hyperthyroidism which means my thyroid is overproducing. This causes heart palpitations, fatigue and various other symptoms that I was experiencing but had just chalked up to being pregnancy symptoms. This is unrelated to the heart block and my autoimmune disease and also unrelated to the preterm labor. Just a bunch of random things going on with this pregnancy.

So, all in all Bridget is still doing great. She is developing well and is definitely a fighter! I just need to keep up with my new medications and rest so she can stay in there! I am a fighter too, even if I have to fight laying down, I will!