Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

We had a great Christmas this year even though I barely left the couch for most of it. Jason, as always, did a wonderful job of cooking and running the show since I wasn't able to be much help. Christmas Eve we went to mass and then came back to our home to have our families together. 

Our Christmas Tree
Before Christmas Eve Mass
Santa came by our house while we were at church and brought our nieces Kalli and Khloe new bikes! 

Christmas morning all our family came back for breakfast and to open gifts. 
Kalli opening more presents

After breakfast Jason headed back into the kitchen to start cooking our Christmas meal. We went with an Italian Feast theme this year. It did not disappoint!

On the menu was lasagna, mostacholi, meatballs, spaghetti, garlic bread, veggie pizza, salad, antipasto tray, and garlic bread.

My sisters, Kaci and Corie, and I on Christmas Day
The Sunday before we had Christmas at my Dad's house.
My family on my Dad's side all together for a picture
At my Dad's 

Here are a few pictures of my nieces from December. Love these two little girls. 

In early December Jason and I took Kalli to see Santa. She loved him! Kalli asked for a blue princess for Christmas. Not really sure what she meant, but a blue princess doll was exactly what she got from him this year!

Kalli and her Elf on the Shelf (named Elfie) when she stayed the night with us. Who knew Elfie could travel like that!

They were pretty excited about their new tutus from their Aunt Liz. 

Hope everyone had as good of a Christmas as we did this year! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our 24 Week Pregnancy Scare

 First off I want to say thank you to everyone for all the prayers, texts, messages, etc that Jason and I received last week. We appreciate it more than you know. It really helps calm you down during such a scary time when you know so many people out there are saying prayers for you and your little ones.

Last Wednesday, December 19th,  I had a scheduled 24 week appointment with my OB doctor. They started the appointment (as they usually do) with a cervical ultrasound to monitor how well it is holding up with the pressure of two babies. Right away I knew something was wrong. You could tell from the ultrasound screen that it appeared much shorter and was funneling (or opening) at the top where Mason's head was pushed up against it. We were informed that it was in fact funneling and since my 20 week appointment (where my cervix measured 5.5 cm long) it was now measuring 2.4 cm long. I was so disappointed. I knew this was something that often happened in a twin pregnancy, I just didn't think it would be happening to me this soon. Every appointment up until this point we left with such high praises from the doctor, being told to keep up the good work and everything looked perfect!
This time the doctor told us to go home and pack a bag and head to the hospital. They wanted to monitor if I was having contractions that can sometimes cause this shortening and funneling. I laughed! NO WAY was I having contractions. I mean sure I sometimes felt a twinge of pain here and there and was often uncomfortable after a long day, but no contractions! I mean I have TWO babies growing inside me. I didn't expect to feel fantastic all the time. Hearing the doctor say he wanted to know if I was having contractions seemed ridiculous to me.

So we ran home and packed a few bags "just in case" and headed to the hospital. They hooked me up to a heartbeat monitor for each baby and a contraction monitor. Sure enough the screen showed contractions. They registered about every 4 minutes or so. I was still in disbelief. How was this possible?? I didn't feel a thing! They then hooked me up to an IV just to get some fluids in me. By that time my mom had joined Jason and I at the hospital. I think I was still in denial that anything was happening. Mainly because I FELT FINE! About 3 hours later things began to change. The contractions were becoming more frequent (every two minutes) and lasting much longer on the screen (about 40 seconds). They started me with a shot of Terbutaline. After about an hour they realized this wasn't working so they started an IV of Magnesium Sulfate. This was interesting. My chest felt tight,  the room felt as though it was 200 degrees, my muscles felt like jello, and I felt like I was in a complete fog. Jason later told me I kept asking strange questions over and over again. And since the medicine has such weird side effects and obviously due to the contractions I was banned to the bed. No getting up or sitting up......lovely. Catheters and bed baths anyone? Yep...lots of fun stuff.  A little later the nurse came in and asked if I was feeling anything then. I said I was starting to feel a little crampy, almost like menstrual cramps. But nothing painful. I told her that if I was up and moving around like normal I probably wouldn't even notice them. She then had me put my hands on my stomach and feel. Right away I felt a twinge of slight pain and my stomach ball up into a hard knot. That's when I got scared. This was for real. Now I knew having these babies this early was a possibility.

I stayed the night at the hospital and didn't get a wink of sleep. The doctor came in a few times to see if I was dilating. I was not, thank God. But even with the large amounts of Magnesium Sulfate I was on, the contractions wouldn't stop. Then next morning I was told they would be transferring me to St. Louis . This was quite the ordeal. Stupid me thought, ok Jason get the car lets go. Nope it was either ambulance or helicopter. The weather that day in St. Louis was pretty bad. It was sleeting and snowing so they decided an ambulance was the safer choice. So I had to wait for Barnes Hospital to send their own ambulance and OB nurses down, pick me up, and head up to St. Louis. This was the most uncomfortable two hours of my life! Sure lets send the pregnant lady who we are trying to keep from going into labor on the bumpiest ride of her life! Makes sense to me.... I was convinced this ride was going to either break my water or make my contractions worse.

The ambulance ride. Yes I took pictures..... I had to do something to keep my mind off of how scary this whole situation was. I'll admit I did feel a little ripped off that they didn't turn the sirens on. ha! 
By the time I finally made it to St. Louis surprisingly my contractions had slowed but not stopped. Doctors were in and out. They again checked to see if the contractions were causing me to dilate. Thankfully, I never did dilate. My cervix still showed the same funneling and shortening but it had not gotten worse, so this was a good sign. A neonatalogist from Children's Hospital came in to talk to us about viability at 24 weeks and beyond. This was a very frightening and eye opening 20 minutes. At 24 weeks the babies had a 60% survival rate. This rate increased by about 10% every week with about 96% survival rate when we hit 28 weeks. She encouraged us to set short term goals for this pregnancy. She along with the other doctors were fairly confident at this point that I was not going to be delivering the babies within the next few days since my contractions were slowing and were not causing me to dilate. So she said 25 weeks would be our next goal, then 28 weeks. At 28 weeks she said we could relax a little bit. That if for some reason I went into labor the babies would spend a very long time in the NICU but probably in the end would be ok. Obviously the closer we can make it to 36 weeks the better, however we must take it week by week. So that's our do everything we can to make it to 28 weeks, then take it week by week so that we can hopefully make it to 36 weeks if not longer! I did receive two rounds of steroid injections to help mature the babies lungs just in case they decide to make their appearance early. This gives their little immature lungs a better chance.

Within about 2 hours of being in St. Louis they were able to take me off the Magnesium IV. I remained on the monitors the rest of that day until eventually I was having hardly any contractions at all. The kept me that night, all of the following day, and I was finally released on Saturday afternoon. I was told to be off work and take it easy at home until my follow up appointment with my doctor the following week.

I'll admit I was a little impressed with myself on how well I held it together during those 4 days. I was a little tearful when I first felt an actual contraction and it hit me that this wasn't a joke and having these babies right now was an unfortunate possibility. But as soon as we loaded up the car and pulled out of the parking garage to leave the hospital, I lost it. I couldn't stop crying! I think Jason was a little confused. He kept asking what was wrong and saying we are leaving, it's all ok now. When we left it was like I could finally relax a little bit and was unable to bottle up all the fear and emotion I had been holding in those past few days. I lost it again a few days ago when we went to our Christmas eve mass. I knelt down to pray as we entered the church to tell God thank you for watching over us and prayed for His continued help to keep these babies safe and healthy. That's when I lost it again. Yep, I was that person in church with tears streaming down my face. A little embarrassing, but oh well.

Yesterday was my follow up appointment with my OB back home. I was a little nervous about this appointment and didn't really know what to expect. I knew it was going to be decided at this appointment whether or not I was going to be placed on bed rest, or told I had to quit working, or even sent back to the hospital for more monitoring.

Jason and I had been discussing my work situation since we left the hospital. I was really hoping my doctor would allow me to go back to work for at least a few weeks if he performed more frequent cervical length checks, etc. Jason of course was ready to tie me to a bed and not let me up until the babies were safely born 12 weeks later! The doctor checked on the babies who were of course doing great as always. I still had not dilated, thankfully. And he decided I would come in for weekly to biweekly cervical length ultrasounds to monitor the shortening and funneling.

     Then he said what I had been more work. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who just live to work, but at the same time I do like my job and the thought of not working for the next.... who knows how long.... is a little scary! Will they hold my job for me that long? Will I go nuts stuck at home for the next three months? Etc, etc, etc. But when it comes down to it my doctor is right. It's not worth the risk, especially in my career (I'm a physical therapist) where I do have to be fairly active. I am not on bed rest (yet), however I have to pretty much stay at home and take it as easy as possible. No driving, absolutely no lifting, and spend most of my time on the couch with my feet propped up. He wants to hold off on starting any medication for contractions at the moment and see how my new life of leisure works. If medicine needs to be started in the future then we will cross that bridge when we get there. For now it's movies on the couch and weekly cervical ultrasounds. Thankfully I have a wonderful employer who (so far) has been more than understanding with me. (Let's hope they stay this way and I have a job to return to after my maternity leave!) 

So that's the story. Thank you again for everyone's prayers over those 4 scary days. And a big thank you to Jason, who never left my side, my mother who also slept on those uncomfortable recliners next to me each night, and to everyone else who visited and called. Your thoughts and prayers mean so much to us!
Jason taking advantage of an empty bed to sleep on in the hospital room. 

The view from the windows in our living room. If I'm stuck at home now, at least there is a pretty snow covered view! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

October and November Recap (and yes I realize it's now December)

Since becoming pregnant, the babies and pregnancy are all I've blogged about so I wanted to do a little catch up on what we have been up to the past few months. 

We started October with a Cardinals playoff baseball game.

Trying to warm up after the game

By mid October it was time for the BIG MOVE into our finally finished house! Of course moving day came with a horrible rainstorm!

The rain was only made worse by the fact that our landscaping isn't done yet so the yard was a compete mud pile. Ever tried carrying dressers across a muddy slick yard? Yeah me neither, but the guys now have! We even got the U-haul stuck in the yard, Talk about a disaster.

Eating some pizza and trying to dry off.

Even Kalli "helped" with the move!

Towards the end of October we celebrated my friend Megan's upcoming "I Do's" with a bachelorette party in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Megan enjoying the winery!
Out for some fun in our wigs!
This is one of my favortie pictures of the past few months. Kalli had a sleepover with us and wanted to practice taking care of "her twins" she said. I really think she was trying to give Jason some practice because she insisted they lay between them and then every few minutes she'd yell "Jason they're crying. Wake up!" Then the two of them would rock the "twins" and put them back to sleep only to have them "wake up" again 60 seconds later. It was really cute! She has been patting my belly lately and asking when her "tousins" (as she calls them) are going to be here.

Of course our last few months have also consisted of lots of Cowboys football. 
Kalli loves her cowboys too! 
We spent another weekend in Nashville to celebrate Jason's parent's 30th wedding anniversary. I am so blessed to have such great in-laws. I have always loved them but after hearing some friend's horror stories about their makes me appreciate mine even more! They are so good to me!

Mary Ann and Al in Nashville
Us with Jason's brother and his brother's girlfriend in Nashville 

We of course ended October with the cutest little Trick-or-Treaters around, my nieces Kalli and Khloe!

In November was Megan's long awaited wedding!
Maid of Honor and Bride to Be at the rehearsal dinner!

The pregnant bridesmaids! 

Megan's BIG DAY!!

Jason and I enjoying the party! 
Megan's wedding day was a blast. They definitely know how to throw a party! However, it was a long day for this pregnant chick!

From 8 in the morning hair and makeup............. 11:00 pm photo booth fun!  

November came to and end with our first holiday in our new home....Thanksgiving!

Jason did such a good job with all the cooking. He had never made a turkey before, so not only did he take on the turkey, but also made the mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and veggie casserole. He spent all morning in the kitchen. Not only did he do a great job, but I think he had a lot of fun as well. 

Jason and I love how well our families get along. It's so nice to be able to have both of our families together for the holidays! 

So that's our October and November!