Monthly Archives: February 2008

11 weeks 6 days

I have a small rant today.

I love my OB. He is really meticulous, caring, aggressive in treating what I have and ruling out all options.

However, my OB is part of a large OB group. The group has a phone bank of receptionists that take in all the calls and relay messages back to each of the doctors.

I do not like these receptionists. They brush me off when I call with statements like, “Well that just isn’t high on their priority list because they have urgent situations they have to deal with.” They are usually pretty rude too.

It is impossible to actually be transferred to one of the staff members in my doctor’s office. The staff members back there know me and my situation and are always so compassionate.

That is why on occassion I have had to just go in without an appointment or not wait for my message to be relayed to my doctor. I always feel like I have to bypass the phone bank.

I’m not a person who really likes to cheat the system or cheat in general, but sometimes I guess you just have to in order to make sure you get what you need.

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The PICC line

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11 weeks 5 days

Well I had my doctor’s appointment today. Getting ready for and going took everything out of me. I am so exhausted!

Got to listen to the heartbeat again. He found it much faster. It’s getting less awkward.

I brought up the nausea thing, but he says I have improved so I shouldn’t worry. He thinks this will all be over with soon. I haven’t thrown up since Monday or Tuesday (can’t remember exactly) so I’m doing OK.

Everything was taking a really long time. So I missed my ultrasound appointment, but it was booked wrong anyway. So they rescheduled it for next week. That means no lovely ultrasound picture for all of you and it also means that Stephen will have to miss that appointment.

Our church is going to be providing meals for us twice a week now, which will be really nice.

Anyway, I’m tired so that’s it for now.

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11 weeks 4 days

So Stephen and I discovered last night that baths are much warmer and more practical than showers. I can sit in the warm water and stay warm the whole time — no violent shivering. I can also rest my arm on the side of the tub instead of having to hold it up like a kid with the answer to the question in class. It’s also easier to get my hair washed and rinsed without getting my arm wet. Overall the experience was just much better than trying to shower. One thing I did ponder in the tub: how do you shave your legs once you have the belly? That’s going to be hard.

Speaking of belly, my weight is still fluctuating and not stabilizing. I don’t care if everyone knows my weight at this point, I’m not embarassed after all this. Pre-pregnancy I was 146. The day I found out I was pregnant I weighed 148. Last week I got down to 137. This weekend I went back up to 141. Yesterday I was 138. It’s something definitely to discuss with my doctor. At the most it’s only 6% of my pre-pregnancy body weight (I think I’m doing my math right), but still. When everyone you know keeps commenting on how thin you look it just feels a little weird, especially when you’re pregnant.

Another thing I want to discuss with the doctor is the link between hyperemesis and liver function. One of the ways I know I was pregnant and had a miscarriage last year is that my liver enzyme levels were really high at the time for no “apparent” reason. This happens naturally when you are pregnant, but my regular doctor started testing for all these autoimmune diseases because we didn’t know that I was pregnant. After I had what I thought was just a really crummy and painful cycle, the levels went back down to normal. I know my liver is working overtime right now processing baby’s stuff, my stuff and my out of control pregnancy hormones. I wonder if there is a link to this and me feeling crappy. I also wonder if anything can be done about it.

Yesterday our pastor’s wife graciously brought a bunch of food to Stephen’s work for us to enjoy over the next few days. We got some corn chowder (which I had been craving thanks to an episode of Take Home Chef yesterday), veggie soup, a whole cooked chicken, bananas, strawberries and some huge rolls. I was able to eat the corn chowder for dinner and it stayed down. So yesterday I got in that, a smoothie and a glass of juice. I did throw up once, but no food came back up.

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11 weeks 3 days

I don’t really have an update. I’m still feeling pretty crappy. I managed 1 smoothie yesterday and a glass of juice.

I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday so I’ll make sure he knows I still feel crappy. I also have an ultrasound that day and tests to screen for Down’s syndrome. Which means more poking and blood giving.

Today my home health nurse is coming out to change the dressing on my PICC line. Hopefully she isn’t grossed out by my stringy hair.

Taking a shower is difficult and not relaxing at all now that I have this PICC line in. I have to hold my right arm up the whole time so it doesn’t get wet and Stephen has to help shampoo my hair which means the door to the shower is open the whole time and I’m freezing. I miss taking long hot showers to at least just wash away some of the stress.

Next week Stephen has to go to this conference out of town so my mom is staying with me because I’m obviously incapable of taking care of myself. I really hate being so dependent on other people. I like to do things my way and in my own time.

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11 weeks 1 day

Last night Stephen’s parents came over for dinner. I didn’t feel very good. I didn’t eat.

Then I threw up most of my lunch. I’ve felt pretty crappy ever since.

Throwing up actual food is worse to me than water or bile. It stinks so bad. Like literally smells horrible. I don’t want to stop eating or anything, but ew!

I threw up this morning too.

I finally managed to eat one of the burritos left over from last night. I basically forced myself to eat it. Not sure if it is going to stay down yet. I just took some Zofran and hopefully that helps keep it down.

Stephen’s mom is getting a list started at the church for people to bring us meals a couple times a week for the next couple months. Hopefully I feel better by then.

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11 weeks

Having Ruth here has been so great. It’s like having my own personal chef and nutritionist. Yesterday was a good day for me food wise:

AM
-16 oz protein smoothie from Juice it Up
-Blueberry Pancakes with molasses (has lots of iron and other good stuff unlike syrup)
-Ruth’s special smoothie with all kinds of good stuff in it
-4 oz peppermint ginger lemon honey tea

PM
-Grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup
-4 oz peppermint ginger lemon honey tea
-homemade chicken soup and biscuit

It was fun having someone here all day too. I even made it to the grocery store.

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10 weeks 6 days

Well yesterday was infinitely better than the previous two days. I started to feel a little crappy last night, but I didn’t throw up. Afterall, I’m not doing much different so far. The PICC line is just more permanent than the other IV lines. I’m still getting the same hydration and medicines though. So like Sunday and Monday I still have times when I feel a little crappy even when I’m getting my hydration.

I wanted to focus on a few good, happy things this post. Simply because there has been so much bad lately.

First is the heartbeat. Pretty much every time we go in now my OB whips out his doppler and checks on the heartbeat. To me it’s still a little awkward. I have to unbutton my pants and I’m not even showing or anything yet, so he finds the heartbeat pretty low. But EVERY single time it comes across the speakers Stephen’s face just lights up with the biggest “wow!” look ever. It doesn’t get old.

The next one is that my sister-in-law Ruth is coming all the way from Newbury Park to help us out and take care of me and feed me for the next two days. She’s the best.

Also Stephen has just really stepped up through this whole thing. He’s missed work, he’s come home to give me food at lunch he’s done everything. If you are going to go through something rough like this… well I guess you don’t really know if or when you are going to go through something like this… but if you are, make sure you pick someone that will be there and will handle the situation.

This is a little off topic, but I forgot to mention something that the OB said the other day before he sent me off to the ER. He said that 3 in 4 of the patients at the medical group that have morning sickness this severe and this late into the pregnancy have girls. Just another prediction factoid for you.

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10 weeks 5 days

So yesterday and the day before were probably the most stressful, awful days yet.

I have never thrown up so much in my life. At one point, it was every 5-10 minutes.

I was finally able to take a Phenergan at 10 am and it slowed the throwing up to every half hour and then every hour which was an improvement.

Every muscle in my abdomen was so achy from throwing up so much that sometimes when the urge came I had to stop it somehow. I don’t know how I did it, but basically unless there was really something coming up I had to make my body stop. I don’t even know that stopping it voluntarily is the right way to describe it. It was more like my whole body just gave out and said, “NO MORE!”

As soon as everything opened up at 8 am, I started calling. First I called the home healthcare nurses. It turns out that they were certified to put in PICC lines, but they don’t do it on pregnant women because they’ve had too many complications with it. They said I should call my health insurance case manager and that they would be the ones to organize everything, rather than my doctor. I called my doctor’s office anyway because that’s what he told me to do in the morning if the home health nurses couldn’t do it. Man, I did not want to go to the hospital! The receptionist took down all my information and promised to pass it on to my doctor and his nurse practioner.

So then I called my GEMcare case manager. My case manager is a nurse and she’s been great through this whole thing. She calls every few days to check up on me and see how things are going. She used to work at the same OB group where my doctor is and is really familiar with HG. So she said that she would call and get everything set up for us to where we would have a specific appointment and not have to be in the hospital for days. Thank goodness!

Well after those phone calls is when the throwing up every five minutes began so Stephen handled everything else. It turns out they can insert a PICC line at a radiologists office and so all of that was set up.

At 12:30 I went to get some pre-lab work done at PAL’s main location and then we went to Truxtun Radiology’s southwest location. While we were waiting for my appointment I threw up twice in the bathroom. I was so afraid I was going to puke while they were inserting the line or something.

There was some confusion at the radiology place because they didn’t realize I was pregnant and so they wouldn’t be able to give me the contrast to find my veins. Finally they got it all straightened out and I was able to go in.

I had to lay all the way flat on a x-ray table which was really hard and uncomfortable. I thought for sure that was going to make me throw up. The nausea is always worse when I lay completely flat.

Somehow my adrenaline took over though as I started to get more and more nervous about the PICC line. I had read a little about it a few weeks ago on this HG message board that I check out from time to time. Some of the ladies said that it hurt really bad going in and that they bled a lot.

I think the concept of it just freaked me out a lot too. For those of you that don’t know a PICC line is like an IV, but it has a really long catheter which goes all the way up your arm and into your chest where it hangs out in a centralized artery. Because it is so deep, it is a much more permanent IV that can last for several months which is much better than getting poked every two days and my arms looking like those of a drug addict.

So first a nurse comes in and does a little prep work. She layed out a bunch of towels under my arm so it would be comfortable laying across the table and down onto the tray. I think this was also for the blood, but I can’t be sure. I never actually saw any blood. She used an ultrasound machine to check out my upper arms to see what would be the best veins to use. Then the doctor came in. There was further prep work They layed a bunch of blue papery stuff over my shoulder and part of my head and then also over my lower arm. Then they covered my arm with iodine and alcohol to sterilize it. Then the doctor used the ultrasound probe to look at my arm.

I got a shot of anesthetic right around where they had decided to insert the line. My arm never felt numb though so I’m not sure it even worked. Maybe I’m developing my dad’s insensitivity to anesthetics?

Then the insertion began. It felt just like getting an IV: a small poke to go in and then a little discomfort as it reached down into the vein. I couldn’t see most of what was going on because my view was covered. That was probably a good thing.

I know that the line went in next I could feel it a little bit until it reached my arm pit and then after that I couldn’t feel the rest. It didn’t necessarily hurt, just like I could feel that there was something there where there normally isn’t. My arm pit was a little uncomfortable the rest of the day. They cleaned up the area and taped me up and it was over.

Then I got an x-ray of my chest while wearing a protective abdominal shield. The x-ray showed that the line was in a little too far. So the doctor and the nurse came back in and pulled the line out a little bit then retaped me and sent me home.

After the adrenaline let down I threw up in the car. We got back home and I was able to take another Phenergan. The nurse came out and got my line all set up so I could use it and we started a new bag at around 6:30 pm. I was finally able to get a dose of Zofran and I didn’t throw up anymore after that.

I fell asleep on the couch and stayed there until 3:30 this morning when I went to our bed.

A nurse will be here later this morning to change the dressing on the line. I can’t even really feel the thing now. The discomfort in my arm pit is gone. My abdominal area is still sore from two days of throwing up, but hopefully that will be done for good. I haven’t thrown up since yesterday’s dose of Zofran, so that’s much better.

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10 weeks 3 days

I’m going to the doctor. He’s going to admit me to the hospital. Still can’t keep anything down. Feel like crap.

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