Staying Sociably Connected…

Off the IV

November 2013

Week 16 brought a few more firsts for us.

Steve was able to feel the baby for the first time… it was an encouragement for him to know that the baby was ok.  We still haven’t made the pregnancy “Facebook Official” yet, in fact, only a handful of people know about the pregnancy at this point.  But that moment resonated with Steve, and he even posted “Felt something magical last night” on Facebook.  Call it hormones, but it choked me up when I saw that.

I began eating a bit more.  Soft, bland foods, still, but I was eating.  Scrambled eggs for breakfast, pasta for dinner.

This week, after church on Sunday, while my husband was at work I took the kids to lunch at Salsaritas (Gotta love Kids Eat Free days!).  I actually had a bit of energy to drive there, but the line was super long, and I regretted it.  But standing in line, a lady with a small child in a sling came up behind me, and said “Sorry you’ve got the PICC Line.  I had it too.”  While waiting to order, we chatted.  She had to have her IV for the entire pregnancy.  After a few months, her doctor let her unhook at night.  She told me that she too had trouble with people not understanding the symptoms.  It was encouraging for me to see that she had a healthy baby after all that stress that she’d been through.

Again: Let me break it down for you.  Have you ever had a stomach flu? or food poisoning?  It took a lot out of you, right?  You felt like you spent all day in the bathroom, right?  And the last thing you wanted was to eat or drink something, in fear of it coming back up.  But the relief you felt knowing that it’s only going to last a few days…  Yea, imagine all that, except you don’t know when it’s going to stop.  That’s HG.

Oddly enough, my nurse was off that week for my weekly dressing change, but her nurse was filling in.  She was also sharing with me some of the issues she’s seen with her patients. Again, it was really nice to know I wasn’t alone.

This week when my PICC Line dressing was changed, something felt off.  Usually, it doesn’t hurt, but later that day, I started feeling some pain.  I texted my regular nurse, and she came over the next night.  My arm (which is measured weekly) had swollen over the 24 hours from the dressing change.  And was very warm to the touch.  She sent me to the ER.

After 3 hours of waiting, blood tests and an ultrasound of my arm, I got my diagnosis.  Blood Clot!  Yay.  So my PICC Line had to come out.  I had 10 days of antibiotics to take, plus heating pads to the swollen arm, but no IV, no fluids.

As annoyed as the bag made me at times, I needed it.  At least I knew that on my worst days, that baby was getting what it needed.  Now, I don’t have that comfort.

The days following the IV coming out were some of the worst.  My nurse told me that many HG moms start to feel relief after week 16, but that week, it didn’t seem I was going to be one of those moms.

First For The Kids

14 weeks…

 

Yuppers… welcome to week 4 on the IV!

 

It’s gone from an annoyance to just a part of life.

 

At this point, all our immediate families know… We were timid about it, not really sure how everyone would handle it.  Especially the IV situation.

 

The kids had a day off school, and I happened to schedule my 14 week appointment for that day.  So my husband and I brought the kids with us to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

 

Usually, my doctor is pretty steady with getting their patients in.  I arrived, checked in, gave my urine sample like every visit, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  It was 90 minutes before I was called in to the examine room.  My weight went up, but it was all water weight from the last 90 minutes of just sitting.  We checked again after a potty break – only a 2 lb increase from my last visit.  Still under my pre-pregnancy weight.  Yay.  :-(

 

It was such a great moment for my husband and I to hear that baby’s heartbeat, knowing that baby is ok.  And it was great for our kids to hear it too.  We hadn’t really come right out and told our 5 year old son that I was pregnant, but we’d been prepping him.  After the heartbeat was echoing in the room, we told him.  The most priceless moment was him saying “I want a baby brother.”  It didn’t even seem to bother him that he wasn’t going to be the baby any more.

 

I began to feel movements around 15 weeks.  It was subtle, but as it is the 4th time around, I knew what  to be “looking” for.  I know my kids were eager to feel the baby, and would say that they could feel it, but I wasn’t quite sure that they did.  Either way, they developed a connection to the baby.

Cindy Ursell AKA Sociably Cindy will speak on creative for social media

June 11 – 11:30am-1:00pm

Cindy will cover topics such as:

Knowing your audience and when they are online • Attracting your target demographic • Using the correct “voice” to engage the target audience • Using a unified voice with multiple admins • How to properly address a demographic you do not fit in to

Hope to see you there!

Member $20* • Non-member $30 • Student $10
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Pfeil Innovation Center
420 N. Niles Ave.
South Bend, IN 46617

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Lonely

Week 13…

The only places I’ve gone in the last few weeks have been work and the doctor’s office.

I miss people.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and kids, but I use to go to networking events a few times a month.  I use to go walk around the mall just because.  I use to have nights out with friends.

One week before the PICC line was put in we had a game night with friends from work.  It was nice.  The kids were well-behaved, we got to enjoy some laughs and I didn’t get sick until we got home!  (However the next day wasn’t as kind…)

I haven’t been to church in weeks… my kids really miss it, too.  Steve has been training at his new job, so he hasn’t been able to take them.  Does anyone even notice that we’re not there?

We haven’t made our “Facebook Official” post yet, so I can’t vent publicly.  But I’m so lonely.  Part of me wants to ask my husband to take a day off with me and send the kids with a baby sitter, and just spend the day with me, no responsibilities.  But he needs to work, we need to save up for my maternity leave.

I’ve been invited to a few “direct sales” parties.  But I don’t want to have to bring my stupid backpack with me, and then deal with the fear of getting sick at my friend’s house.

Hormones are a pain, too.  It doesn’t help feeling lonely because of the isolation that the condition forces you into, to then be overly emotional while it’s happening.  Really, does anyone notice that I’ve been hiding?  Does anyone care?

Kids’ last soccer practices… one of the few times I left the house

 

Happy Birthday Emmalee

Emmalee, 8 years old

12 Weeks…

 

We were really hoping to only have the IV for a couple of weeks.

 

After 2 weeks, there was no way Bridget was going to let me off them.  I was still getting sick several times a day.

 

I began to eat one small meal a day, in addition to my Herbalife Monster Cookie Shake at New-Trition for breakfast: Mashed potatoes.  And not even made from russet or yukon golds… no powdered dehydrated mashed potatoes.  Seriously.  And I became kind of ‘brand specific”.  Idahoan, to be specific.  They were the only brand that tasted ‘good’ and would actually stay in my belly.

 

Life with an IV isn’t pleasant.  You have this thing in your arm, all day every day.  And you get this backpack.  It’s not attractive, so you can’t really pass it off as anything but what it is.  And it’s heavy!  The 4L bag weighed about 20 lbs, and after 2 weeks I was decreased to 3L, in hopes I would feel the need to drink more.  The 3L bag weighs about 15 lbs.  And you have to carry it with you wherever you go!

 

 

 

I adjusted my schedule so I changed the IV at night, so it wouldn’t be as heavy during the day.   But here’s the thing about having 3L of fluids pumped in your system everyday: in addition to the trips to the ladies room to get sick, you have to empty your bladder a dozen times a day too.  Imagine getting up at 3AM to go potty, and having to carry a 15 lb backpack with you… seriously.  Try it sometime you have to get up in the middle of the night – carry two 8 lb bowling balls in a bag and then tell me “It’s no big deal.”

 

The fluids helped me make sure the baby was OK, but there was still plenty of fear and doubt that baby was OK.  Then there’s the guilt about taking care of the rest of your family.  I was so sick that I had no strength to do anything.  Making dinner was hard for me to do.  I was thankful for my husband, and the care that he gave me, us.  But there were nights that he’d work late, and I’d be on my own to make dinner.  It was hard.  There were plenty of nights where all they had were PB&J and fruit.

 

I was so thankful for our friend Jenn making us dinner.  Though I wasn’t able to eat it, my kids did.  And there was plenty for dinner the next night, too.  We hadn’t even asked for help, she just went out of her way to help us out.  We are so thankful.

 

One thing that I’d encourage any mom dealing with HG to do, is not be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be embarrassed when it’s offered.  You are growing a person!  And you will occasionally need help.  So if someone offers, accept.

 

IV Drama

11 weeks

I don’t know about you, but I hate blood.

Having 3 kids, I’ve seen my fair share of cuts and scrapes.   But truly seeing your own blood….  ugh.

I just wanted to take a shower… I couldn’t take a shower with my IV backpack, so I had to unhook from the IV.  But I twisted off the wrong part of the catheter on accident, and suddenly there was blood.  It was extremely nauseating.

Thankfully my husband works in the medical field and able to clean my line and help me hook back up.  But I was getting sick while he was helping me clean it up.  So embarrassing.

My nurse was due later that day, she added an extender piece, which the hospital had not added, which is why I was able to twist off the wrong piece.  The extender would be easier for me to unhook for showers, but made to IV’s line really long.  I found myself getting it caught on things, tripping over it.  It wasn’t until a few days later that I learned how to shorten it.

Another issue was priming the bag/tubes.  The pump itself could prime it, but you had to hold the button on the machine for 15 minutes…  then my nurse learned a trick – put it up and prime it manually. HOWEVER… the bag is heavy, and to hook it on to the temporary IV stand was hard to do alone.  And the stand was very wobbly.

If anyone knows an easier way to prime the line, let me know!

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