August 30, 2006

120/72 and Stonewalled

My appointment was on Monday, but I haven't felt like sitting down and writing this all out. Which is why it's 2 days late in coming.

I passed my Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) but only by one point. For those that don't know, for the GTT you drink this really sugary drink (50mg glucose) in five minutes. Then they make you wait an hour and they do a finger "prick" to check your insulin level. My doctor's office puts the cutoff at 140. If you're at or above that level they make you do the horrible 3 hour test. My insulin was 139 after the hour. I'm to watch my carb intake and the Nurse Practitioner I met with "will discuss it with my OB". Translation -- I'll probably have to take the 3 hour test considering everything else going on.

My swelling is not getting any better. I gained another 4 pounds between last Thursday and Monday. My face is starting to puff up and the swelling is up above my knees now. My hands are all swelled up and go numb at random times. The swelling goes down somewhat at night or if I sit for a couple of hours with my feet elevated. The problem is then that the tissue has been so compressed due to the fluids that everything feels bruised. I can barely move because the muscles in my arms and legs are so sore. I'm to switch to a no-salt diet.

My iron is low, enough that I'm technically anemic. They want me to take iron pills as well as my prenatal vitamins. I promised to work on my diet first and we'll check my iron again at my next appointment. Iron pills don't sound like much fun to my digestive system, if you know what I mean.

My albumin is "terribly" low. Pregnant women generally have lower albumin levels but mine is just about bottomed out. Albumin in your blood cells holds the water in your cells. When it's low, the fluid leaks into the tissue causing swelling. I'm to up my protein intake (but make sure it's no-salt). They recommended drinking protein shakes, eating hard boiled eggs, string cheese, etc.

The baby is still measuring way ahead. I have an ultrasound scheduled in 3 weeks at my next appointment (I'll be 31 weeks along) to get a more accurate reading. They're still really concerned that the baby is all of the sudden measuring that far ahead.

Because of all of the above, I'm on modified bed-rest. I'm to stay off my feet as much as necessary. Limiting myself to getting out of the house for doctor's appointments, work related trips and very little else. As for helping getting into the house -- no lifting or moving boxes and no absolutely no painting. At that next appointment, the situation will be re-evaluated. If the swelling hasn't improved I'll go on full bedrest.

To top it all off, Monday was my birthday. What a cruddy way to spend your day. I came home from the appointment and just cried. Then spent the night alone, on the couch, as C was over at the new house trying to get stuff done.

I think this is one birthday that I'd like to forget about. Or at least "do" over.

August 28, 2006

120/75 and Still Swelling

** I apologize that this may be old news for some of you. This is the first chance that I've had to update here on the blog. **

Thursday morning of last week, the 24th, I broke down and called the doctor's office about the edema. It had been improving at night. I would wake up in the morning and my ankles would look like they were normal size, although sore from the previous day's swelling. When I woke up Thursday morning it wasn't much better than the night before and the swelling had moved into my arms. My hands were randomly falling asleep and it was painful to flex my fingers. The swelling was also so bad in my right leg that I couldn't bend my knee or barely life my leg off the ground. I figured it was time to be seen by someone.

Upon checking my vitals at the appointment, it was quickly ruled out that the edema is NOT related to toxemia. Thankfully. My blood pressure is still really good and there was no protein when they ran the urinalysis. Unfortunately my weight had jumped 12 pounds in 3 weeks; much of which the nurse was attributing to the water retention. The baby was also measuring slightly over 32 weeks (based on fundal height). The nurse practitioner that I met with was concerned about the swelling, the weight gain and the jump in the baby's measurement.

They drew some blood so check my albumin levels and to rule out anemia. The initial concern is that I'm not getting enough protein and that's contributing to the swelling. Second concern was with gestational diabetes so they bumped my glucose tolerance test from Wednesday (30th) until just after lunch today.

I haven't gotten the results from the bloodwork yet. I was told however to continue doing what I had been doing -- drinking lots of water, staying off my feet and keeping them elevated, watching my blood pressure. And to start getting more protein in my diet.

Progress is being made on the house, albeit still slow. I think we underestimated the size of the project when we started. Plus both C and I are perfectionisits--we're learning to let quite a bit slide on this project. We're no where near where we wanted to be by today. It's going to make moving this week very interesting. We HAVE to be out of the condo on Thursday as they have offered its use to a new employee starting Monday of next week. Our goal is to get the master bedroom finished (all that is left in there is to paint the trim and do touch-ups) so we can at least have a place to sleep; followed by the master bathroom so we can have a place to shower; and lastly, the accent wall in the kitchen so we can get our fridge moved in and can have food in the house. We've already accepted the idea that most of our stuff will stay in storage and will gradually be moved as rooms are finished at the new house. Not the ideal situation, but we'll make it work.

Many people have been sending e-mails, checking in to see how I'm doing. I apologize that the majority of those have not been responded to. I'll try to keep updating the blog so that you know what's going on and I'll work through the e-mails as I get a chance.

I'm off to get my feet elevated for a while. Ugh.

August 23, 2006

110/70 and Holding Steady

My blood pressure that is...

I apologize for the lapse in updates over the last week. We got the fence issue resolved on Wednesday afternoon and officially closed that day. Keys in hand, ready to move in. Ready to begin the process of turning the house into ours.

As I mentioned before, we decided to repaint and fix some damage before moving our stuff in. We knew that it would be difficult to get it done in time considering we need to be totally out of the condo by August 31. But we assumed that it was doable. We've always managed to bust our ass and get stuff done on time.

We bought our house in Utah in the summer of 2003. I was a grad student at the time and had an incredible flexible schedule (and an incredibly understanding advisor). I would work on grad school stuff until lunch and then head to the house. The afternoons were spent doing all the stuff that we needed to get done before painting -- cleaning, taping, sanding, touch-ups, etc. As soon as C got out of work at 5pm, I'd have everything ready to go to start putting paint on the walls. All he had to do was change his clothes and find some motivation. When we finished with that project we figured that I had completed well over half of the work. Probably two-thirds while he did closer to one-third. I didn't mind at all. I loved feeling productive and I knew that it was making the process go so much faster.

Both of us had grand envisions that this project would follow similar suit to the one in 2003. What neither one of us took into consideration was a pregnant woman entering her third trimester and a nasty case of hyperemesis that still likes to flare. I worked almost all day Friday and Saturday: scrubbing walls, floors, kitchen appliances, greasy kitchen cabinets. By the end of both days my ankles were hugely swollen and I could barely walk. But I felt like I was accomplishing something worthwhile. My progress was much slower than 3 years ago and it was obvious that my flexibility has decreased incredibly. For some reason it proves to be much more difficult to be on my hands and knees scrubbing baseboards behind toilets!

Sunday morning rolled around and I felt horrible. Honestly, horrible doesn't even begin to describe it. Even after a full night's rest (at least 7 hrs) my ankles were still incredibly swollen. My ankles, knees, hips, back, arms and shoulders hurt. I could barely roll out of bed or walk to the bathroom. Which I needed to do frequently, because as soon as I opened my eyes Sunday morning the vomiting began. Along with the vomiting came the sickening realization that there was no way in hell we were going to have all of this work done and be ready to move in before the end of August. C would have to do 80% of the work and with him working 40 hours a week, this was going to be difficult. I laid in bed and sobbed for an hour. I was so mad that I couldn't do the same things that I normally could. I was mad that I work so much slower. Most importantly, I was mad because I knew that it meant I was going to have to resign myself to ask for help.

I'm stubborn. Plain and simple. Growing up in a single parent household, my mom taught me to be very independent. She could fix a toilet, wire a garage, change the oil in her car and was always proud of herself for what she could accomplish on her own. I learned how to do many of those same things (minus the electrical wiring) and was also very proud of my autonomy. The flip side of that is that my mom also HATES to ask for help. Despises it. Which has rubbed off on me. It makes me feel like I'm incompetent; it makes me feel like a failure.

After I laid in bed for that hour I finally broke down and asked C to call his mom and see if she could come out for the week and help us. I knew it was the best way to get things accomplished and try to stick to some semblance of a schedule. Fortunately, C rarely asks for help and she was incredibly grateful for the opportunity. She's here now through Sunday to help get the house painted. Which we did start last night by the way, most of the ceilings are done and we can start with wall color this afternoon, hopefully.

I've receive strict instructions from many (my mom, my sister, my father-in-law, every friend that I've talked to and countless web friends as well) that I'm to "take it easy" and let everyone else do the work. I have to admit that I'm taking it more easily than I normally would but I'm still helping. It's not in my nature to sit on my duff and watch everyone else work. I am sticking to lightweight projects though, taking lots of breaks, drinking lots of water and watching my blood pressure.

If it starts to creep up, I promise. I'll start sitting on my duff and watching them work!

August 16, 2006

A Minor Hold Up

When the sellers accepted our contract on their house, there was a tiny little clause in it stating they would pay for some special title insurance (I can't remember the name and C has all the paperwork with him at the moment). This insurance would cover us in case there was ever an issue over property boundaries, house location (on the lot), etc. The title company overlooked that clause and didn't prepare the extra insurance. In preparation to accept it they must send out a representative to do a quick survey on the lot to make sure there isn't anything in violation. If the survey looks acceptable then they'll provide that extra insurance.

So at lunchtime yesterday when we were signing the closing paperwork, we noticed that they hadn't completed this aspect of the deal. It was arranged that someone would take a look at the property in the afternoon. Once approved, the paperwork would be sent back to the mortgage company and everything would be finalized. Giving us keys in hand by the end of the day.

Didn't happen.

Come to find out when the owners put up the fence across the back of the lot they never had the property surveyed. The neighbors on both sides had already erected fences so they just needed to finish the section across the back. As many people would do, they just put it in flush with the two sides that had already been put up. Unfortunately, the neighbor on the north side of our property didn't put his fence in properly. It's four feet over the property boundary. Onto the bordering property, of course. So a good sized chunk of our backyard isn't technically ours. And due to this, the title company won't approve this extra title insurance until a resolution is faced.

C spent a good part of last night trying to get quotes on having a new fence installed. Our realtor suggested that the previous owners give us half of the money it would take to move the fence, since it was technically their fault. It would then be up to us to decide whether to actually use the money to move the fence or just pocket it and hope that it never becomes an issue.

I'm hoping that we hear something soon. Rumor has it that the old owners are trying to close on their new house in Las Vegas today, but can't until everything is finalized here. Hopefully that's somewhat of an incentive to get this taken care of quickly!

August 15, 2006

Surviving the Aftermath

What a weekend!

First of all, Thursday was definitely not a good day to travel. I arrived at the airport here in Idaho Falls first thing in the morning and had absolutely no clue about the increased security alert and the new travel regulations. Fortunately I could move some stuff around and get away with checking my main bag and all liquid items. Both C and I had fairly smooth days and on-time flights. It's just such a long day when we travel from here back to Detroit.

The rest of the weekend flew by in a blur. Friday was spent driving to the wedding, getting ready for the wedding and then the wedding itself. Saturday was more time in the car, then time spent with friends and family. Sunday was then, yet again, more time in the car (I put over 600 miles on the rental car in 4 days!) and then my flights back home.

I'll post some pics in the next couple of days. I came home to a huge amount of work and some serious jetlag. As the fog of jetlag lifts, I'll try to bring everything else back up to speed.

August 9, 2006

On the Road Again

Just can't wait to get on the road again...

So yeah, my "hickness" (and of course my love for Willie Nelson) shines through ever so brightly this fine Wednesday morning. Every once in a while it's important to remember where you came from.

My little sister--well, I guess she's not so little anymore--gets married on Friday. C and I head out tomorrow to Michigan for the weekend. I love going home to see my family but the trip preparations drive me nuts. Especially when there is a wedding or social event involved that requires us to dress up. For me, everything has to be just perfect down to the smallest accessory. First of all, I must start with the best outfit possible. Then, I make sure that I have the prefect shoes for the outfit, the perfect jewelry and my make-up has to coordinate. Then I try to make C's outfit match my own. For C, as long as his clothes are clean (which is debatable at times), he's good to go.

Preparing for this trip has been more difficult because of two things--pregnancy and our living situation. First of all, finding a maternity dress that I like has been a challenge. I ended up buying two different ones and will have my other sister choose before the wedding. And shoes...don't even get me started on that. I HAVE to have the perfect shoes to go with an outfit. I have lots of really cute dress shoes already. Unfortunately, not a single pair will fit my wide, swollen feet right now. Meaning I had to go out and find a new pair of dress shoes. Which has not been a very successful venture. Idaho Falls isn't exactly a mecca for shopping. Guess that I got spoiled when living in Utah. If I couldn't find something in Provo/Orem I could always head to Salt Lake City. I did find something that will work. It's just not nearly what I was looking for. Oh well. At least it's not house slippers! It hasn't helped either that most of our stuff is hidden in mis-labeled boxes in the storage unit. I can't find most of my make-up--stupid me only packed "essentials", thinking I'd have access to the rest once the movers delivered our stuff. Last night I realized that C's best pair of dress shoes have gone into hiding as well. Which meant I was frantic at midnight trying to think of a new outfit for him to wear while he couldn't have cared less. Ah the joys.

I'll be glad when the wedding portion of this trip is over so that I can relax in my frumpy maternity clothes and not worry about what shoes either of us is wearing.

Wish me luck. I hope that I don't have a hormonal meltdown over something silly.

August 7, 2006

Closing in

Upon logging onto the computer this morning I realized that at 25 weeks pregnant (to the day) I only have 5 days to go until my countdown in the double digits begins. I think that's when it may start to seem more real. Once I've gone well past the halfway point and have less than 100 days until this little one arrives.

I think that I'm still in denial. Even though the constant nausea and vomiting is a blatant reminder of my pregnancy I don't think that reality has yet to sink in. Even the barrage of kicks/punches the little one delivers doesn't quite make it seem real.

Perhaps it's because we've been so busy with work and preparing to close on the new house.

Perhaps it's because I haven't started buying any of the large items we'll need for the baby.

Perhaps it's because I still feel like crap and have yet to experience that "magical" second trimester where your energy returns and you enjoy being pregnant.

Perhaps it's because I still can't believe that luck turned in our favor and everything fell into place.

Who knows the reasoning behind it. Hopefully reality starts to sink in soon. My days are numbered and that number is dwindling.

August 2, 2006

Yet another

I once read that 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. For me I think that number is way off, unfortunately. It breaks my heart to know of the many women who experience that pain and carry those scars in their heart.

No one should have to experience that heartache and grief. No one.

If you've got a minute and have been following her story, stop by and let Kris know that she's in your thoughts.