Thursday, November 24, 2011


It's still Thanksgiving for another 40 minutes or so here, so while I'm still working on digesting dinner and pie, I'm going to write a post. And I'm not going to complain once. Nice change, right? ;)

I have so many things to be thankful for. Really. If I made a list, I don't think I would ever actually be done with it. But there are several that I want to share.

First of all, I'm grateful to be OFF BEDREST!! Woo hoo! No protein and my blood pressure is back to normal, so I am officially off the hook (barring any other scares this pregnancy). I'm so glad we have modern medicine that can detect some of these dangerous complications. But I am grateful to once again be able to cook and clean and grocery shop for my own family.

I'm grateful for the women I know who have been so willing to step forward and help us out by bringing meals, by keeping me company, by taking Amy for a little while, and for just generally making sure Brett, Amy, and I were okay. I am overwhelmed by the amount of help that was offered to us, and I'm grateful for the sacrifices others made in order to make our burden lighter.

I'm grateful for my family. That's such a simple thing to say, and I could write volumes just about my family! I have an amazing husband and such a sweet little girl. My mom is one of the best people I know in so many ways, and I'm so grateful that we chose each other. I have fantastic sisters who all influence my life in ways they may not even realize, but who make me strive to improve myself. I completely hit the jackpot with my in-laws. If I'd ever dreamt of having a second set of parents, Barry and Barbara would've been it! They are loving and supportive and just generally wonderful. Brett's siblings and their spouses, my sisters' husbands, you name it, I lucked out. Big time. I love my family, ALL of them. I don't know how I could be MORE blessed in regards to my family.

I'm grateful for the gospel. I haven't always been, and I'm glad that's changed! I'm grateful for the knowledge that my Heavenly Father loves me. I'm grateful for my Savior, who not only atoned for my sins but suffered in so many ways for me. I'm so thankful that even when my trials seem hardest, that I know I can turn to Jesus Christ, because He knows what I'm feeling and the pain that I'm in. I'm grateful for temples, because it means that I can be together with my family for eternity. What a blessing it is in my life to know that my marriage to Brett is NOT just "until death do us part", but that I will be with him and Amy and David and the rest of our children after this life. I'll be with my mom, and my sisters, and my dad. What a comfort that is to me!

I'm also grateful for the opportunity this holiday affords me to stop for a minute and reflect on the blessings in my life. We tend to get so caught up in the minutiae of everyday life, in the little complaints and slights that happen daily, that we forget how much we really have. I'm so thankful that I can take a few minutes to focus on all the good things in my life. There are just so many of them!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Warning: Crazy pregnant lady!

So, time for a funny story! I didn't think this was really worth writing about until I was on the phone with Miriam and the both of us were laughing about it rather uncontrollably. (Yes, there were tears, at least on my end of the line!)

Part of me being on bedrest means I'm stuck at home while Brett does the shopping. (Which drives me NUTS.) I've been waiting for our Christmas money to get here to get the stuff I need to make Christmas gifts this year. Well, it finally came, so I was ready to go shopping! Part of our trip took us to Walmart. I really needed to go in, but obviously can't walk nearly that much. Soooo.....

I used a "fat cart". (Yes, that's how Brett and I refer to them. It's not PC. I'm okay with that.)

Really, it was my only option. But me riding around in an electric scooter was NOT particularly attractive to me. Oh well. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right? Christmas presents were at stake here! So, I swallowed my pride (mostly) and commandeered a fat cart. (Not really commandeered, since I asked for one, but that sounds cooler.)

I figured I could either be embarrassed and miserable and wishing I were wearing a burqa, or I could at least TRY to make it fun. Brett got another cart for Amy to ride in, and we started off on our shopping adventure.

First of all, I am impressed at how quickly those things can go! Not that there was any danger of me outstripping Brett, but I definitely had no trouble keeping up. Also, it was WAY faster than I would've been able to walk.

Second, they have a surprisingly good turn radius (which was incredibly helpful, as I felt like I was in driver's ed again for the first little while), as well as stopping very quickly (also essential).

So, I got to zip around the store. A few times, if the aisle was empty, Brett and I would "race". Granted, he could've easily beaten me, but we made it fun by staying neck and neck most of the time. Amy thought we were hysterical. I'll do pretty much anything to make her giggle!

At one point I realized I'd forgotten to grab something, so I left Brett and Amy looking at work shoes and headed back to the grocery section. I was zooming. Yeah, not the best idea. I took a corner pretty fast to get into an aisle, and almost ran into a woman and her cart. Um....oops. I apologized profusely to the lady, who laughed it off. We exchanged a couple of jokes (including needing lessons to operate one of those things), she inquired about my pregnancy, and wished me luck. She was really nice. I was pretty embarrassed, but I'm glad she took it so well!

So if anyone needs a good laugh, just picture me zipping around Walmart in one of these babies:

I'm still here!

And I'm still pregnant! And on bedrest. That last part isn't so exciting.

I got a good report from my OB last week as far as my blood pressure and protein, so that was definitely a good thing. It looks like my pre-eclampsia is pretty mild, so yay! IF everything stays the way it is (which hopefully it will, since pre-e can escalate very quickly and without warning), I will NOT have to be induced. That would make me incredibly happy, even if it does mean I'm on bedrest for longer.

I just have to say this, despite knowing it will make Heather cringe: Bedrest sucks. Like, a lot.

I'm trying really hard to stay positive. I know this is just temporary, and I know it's the best thing for me and for baby David. But it is REALLY HARD. I feel completely fine, but I can't DO anything. It's really frustrating. Thankfully, we have a lot of help and support, so it could definitely be worse. At least we've got internet access! I'm bored most of the time, but I can't imagine not having the internet right now. I would be a basketcase.

I keep reminding myself that really, it could be harder. I can still get up, go to the bathroom, take care of Amy (mostly from the couch). I can scratch when I itch, I can feed myself, I can do my own hair (and sometimes even makeup). I remind myself that Heather has far more difficulties than I do, that her situation is permanent (at least in this life), and that she is STILL positive and happy. If she can do that, who am I to complain about a few weeks of bedrest?

We did have a scare this past Sunday. I hadn't felt the baby move more than a couple times in more than 12 hours. So, Sunday morning we packed up and went to the hospital to get monitored after trying every trick in the book to get him to move. Admittedly, I was panicking. Who wouldn't? Brett gave me a priesthood blessing before we left. Usually the blessings I receive are very comforting and reassuring. Yeah....that one wasn't. I was kind of disappointed, to be honest, because it only made me worry MORE. Especially considering a family member's loss very late in pregnancy because of a cord accident. Decreased fetal movement, especially as extreme as it was Sunday, is NOT something I will mess around with.

At any rate, we were monitored for a couple of hours. David's heart rate was good. I had a couple contractions, apparently, not that I noticed. The resident came in and did a long, thorough ultrasound. He looked great! His heart was beating properly, there was good blood flow, and we even got to see him take a few practice breaths. She also noted that the cord wasn't (at that point) up by his neck, which was an incredible relief for me. He moved a few times at the hospital and seemed to be perking back up. She estimated his weight around 5lb6oz (although ultrasounds are notoriously unreliable for fetal weight).

His movements picked back up like they normally do, so I'm back to being relentlessly attacked by my child. At this point, I don't mind. I'm so relieved that everything is okay.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy picture post!

Whew! After all that, I need a happy post. Let's see some pictures of Amy!

Cute girl in one of her new cloth diapers:

Feeding herself yogurt for dinner. As you'll see, this made QUITE the mess:

She decided the spoon wasn't working fast enough:

"All done, Mama!"

Aaaaand then the hand went in the hair. And the Amy went straight to the bathtub.

At playgroup, riding the fish mechanical-bull style:

And what outing would be complete without Amy showing off for random strangers? :D

How about a quick belly shot? This is me at 28 weeks and 5 days:

Since I'm stuck here anyway....

In my last post I wrote about depression, one of the things I've been dealing with lately. I honestly wish that were it. But of course, once I started getting my depression under control and was actually feeling better, something else goes wrong. Isn't that the way it usually works? *sigh* I'm really trying not to be too negative about this whole thing, but it's really difficult.

I had an OB appointment on Tuesday, where they discovered my blood pressure was high (150/90something) and there was protein in my urine (which is BAD). High blood pressure and protein in the urine are indicative of pre-eclampsia and related disorders, none of which are good. The doctor put me on modified bed rest until we figured out what was going on.

So after my regular appointment they sent me up to the Women's Evaluation Unit (WEU) to be monitored. It's right around the corner from L&D. I was on the WEU for about 2 hours. They took my blood pressure every 15 minutes, took another urine sample, and drew blood.

Confusingly, my blood pressure was normal and all my labs came back normal as well. So, we really didn't know what was going on. To help figure things out, I had to do a 24-hour urine collection (ew). Nothing like having a big jug of pee in your fridge, right? ;) We took the collection to the lab Wednesday afternoon once my 24 hours had expired, and were told we could call my OB's office for results in the morning. Great.

Thursday morning I called and the doctor wasn't in yet. (I hate that.) I was told to call back later in the afternoon, which was fine. Even though I wasn't able to help with Heather, I was going down to Mom's to hang out on the couch (with the added bonuses of Mom doing my laundry and making delicious dinner for my family). Technically I was discouraged from driving, but the midwife on the WEU had said I could go to Mom's. I liked her answer better, so that's what I did!

Just before leaving to drive to Mom's, the doctor's office called me back. (Which isn't good when they've told you to call them.) My OB's assistant explained to me that my test results were back. The normal range for protein in the urine is 0-0.15. My levels were at 0.52, more than triple what they should have been. That meant that I was officially being diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.

So now I'm on modified bed rest until I deliver. Yippee. Now, I have no problem lounging on the couch when I'm sick. But I don't FEEL sick. I feel fine, and I just started nesting a couple days ago, so I really WANT to be running around doing stuff. But I can't. I'm allowed to go to the bathroom, to shower, and to take care of Amy (although I'm supposed to really take it easy with her). I'm not supposed to be on my feet for more than a couple of minutes. I have to monitor my blood pressure throughout the day. And I will likely be induced somewhere around 36 weeks. Which is in about 2 1/2 weeks, the week of Thanksgiving.

I'm trying really hard not to freak out. I was completely unprepared for this. I'm really grateful that I have so many people willing to help us. The Relief Society (the women's organization at church) is especially helpful, and I know I can rely on them. It's tough because I hate asking for help, but this is one time when I really do need it. Mom and my friends are also great sources of help. I'm just so blessed to have so many people who care about me and are willing to sacrifice their time to help me out.

The downward spiral of depression.

It's been quite a while since I've updated my blog. I've had a lot going on the last couple of months and just haven't really felt like writing anything.

This pregnancy has been a lot harder than my pregnancy with Amy. I was working full time with her at the hospital, and although I definitely had joint pain (especially by the end) and dealt with morning sickness, heartburn, etc. I didn't have any real "problems". I wish I could say the same this time around!

I've dealt with depression for most of my life due to my abuse, etc. I've been in counseling a few times, and always found it helpful. After Amy was born, I struggled with post-partum depression. Since I lost my insurance coverage when I left the hospital, I didn't really have any way to seek treatment, so I dealt with it as best I could. It wasn't easy. I was starting to feel a little better, and then I got pregnant again. My hormones flew out of control, and I began sinking deeper and deeper into depression.

The scary thing about depression for me is that I'm not depressed so much that I don't know what's going on. I KNOW that my thoughts, anxiety, worries, etc. are irrational. I know that a "normal" person would never think that way. But I can't help it. In my head, it sounds completely normal. Of course I must've done something wrong and now my friends don't want to be around me anymore because they don't like me. Makes perfect sense when I'm thinking it, but once I actually voice it, I can tell how "crazy" it sounds. I just can't stop myself from thinking it.

A couple of months ago, my depression got really bad. I was never suicidal, nor did I want to hurt anyone else. But I could barely function. I was completely apathetic. I was lethargic. I had no appetite. I could barely force myself to eat. I had extreme difficulty making even the most basic of decisions, like what to wear, or what to dress Amy in, or what color diaper to put her in. I was lonely but I didn't want to be around people, because I felt like my negativity would bring everyone down. I got really good at faking being happy so that people wouldn't ask me what was wrong, or how they could help, because really, you can't. If I didn't have Amy forcing me to get up every day to take care of her, I would have happily stayed in bed all day, every day. I cried for no reason, sometimes several times a day.

In a nutshell, I felt horrible. I was more depressed than I had ever felt before, by a long shot. Fortunately, I was able to start going to counseling again. I've been seeing my therapist for over a month now. She, my OB, and I decided that with the way things were feeling for me, that I needed some extra help. So, for the first time ever, I'm on medication to help my depression.

The turnaround has been amazing. I've been taking meds for 3 weeks now, and I feel much, much better. I'm not back to my "normal" self yet. I don't know how long that will take. But between the medication and continuing therapy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. One of the hardest things about depression is that it feels so hopeless. Will I ever stop feeling this way? Will I ever feel like "me" again? Is this only going to get worse?

But there IS hope! I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that He and my Savior are with me. The trials in my life become bearable when I can remember that. He will not abandon me. He puts people in the right places around me to help me heal and to cope. And in my darkest moments when I'm sobbing in bed with the covers over my head and just wishing that it were over, He sends the Holy Spirit to comfort me and to remind me that I am not alone, and that my Savior has felt everything that I feel now.

I am so grateful for the knowledge I have, and for the love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for me.