Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Long Blow By Blow Account....

The transfusion went well. The doctor was visibly relieved when it was over. I don't know all the technical details, but the "normal" level of red blood cells (or something) is around 10 or 11. The baby had a level of 2. So, it was very good that we caught it when we did and that we did the transfusion. Otherwise.....it wouldn't have been good at all.

So, this is how my day went. First I woke up early (at 6:3o a.m.) very starving and very annoyed that I was only to consume a "light breakfast." Doctors do not understand how terribly hard that is for me. I wake up STARVING. Ravenous. Stomach growling before I leave the bed. So, I held out as long as I could by drinking water and tea. Then, around 8:00 I made an egg sandwich with egg, cheese and two pieces of Canadian bacon on a whole wheat English muffin. John said, "That isn't exactly a light breakfast." I said, "For me it is. I'm still starving."

We got in the car and were driving down the interstate to the hospital, my stomach growling the entire time. And then we got stuck behind a DiGiorno pizza truck....with a giant picture of a pizza on the back. I wanted to go lick that truck. I hate being hungry. John let me eat one peanut butter cracker.

At the doctor's office we sat around and waited FOR AN HOUR. I ate two Starburst candies. I was getting worried and agitated and ever more starving. My mind started racing through all the horrible possibilities. Then it started taking inventory of all the food in my purse--beef jerky, granola bars. Finally they called us back.

It was just in a regular ultrasound room. I laid down on the regular ultrasound table in my clothes. I figured I would have to put on a gown or something, but I didn't. I told them not to get any blood on my brand new (and AWESOMELY comfy maternity khakis). They said patients always seem to wear white or khaki when beta dine is involved.

They confirmed that the blood was the right type (my blood type). The doctor said it was from "Baltimore's finest." Ew. That doesn't sound so great to me. Some stranger's blood is now in my baby. I know it was screened for everything....but still. Freaky. I asked if we would be able to save the cord blood at birth and he said no.

First they covered my belly with beta dine and marked the locations for the needles. He numbed the two needle locations on my skin. Then came the amniocentesis. He stuck the needle in on my left side and it hurt like a BITCH. I wasn't expecting it to hurt. My uterus just cramped up and "grabbed the needle." It felt like labor contractions. Ouch. It seemed to take forever.

Next, they got started on the blood transfusion. The needle (which I never saw) was apparently very long and very, very thin. It is about the same width as the umbilical cord vein. John said it was about 10 inches long. They stuck it in just to the left of my belly button. It didn't hurt as much as the amnio one, THANK GOD. Because it was in there for about 30 minutes.

It was very tense and very scary. I was terrified that my breathing was disturbing things. The sonographer sat to my right and tried to keep the umbilical cord in view at all times. The doctor was to my left. There were three other nurses in there. John sat up by my head.

The doctor guided the needle down through my placenta and up to the point where the cord attaches to it. Then he just suddenly jammed it downward kind of violently. I wasn't expecting that at all and my legs started shaking. It took all my concentration to keep my legs still and my breathing from being too deep. We could see everything that was going on via a television screen mounted near the ceiling. The needle was this long white line down through the placenta.

It took him a long time to get the needle into the vein. I was really scared about this, because if he messed up and shredded the vein, the baby would just instantly die. I can't imagine wanting to do this for your profession. It was just so terrifying! The sonographer was trying to guide him in the right direction. This seemed to take forever and was really tense. I was getting worried. I hadn't expected it to take so long! I guess he doesn't really like to do these procedures this early in the pregnancy because the vein is still so thin and small. Great.

Finally he got the needle in and took a few blood samples of the baby's blood (that is when we learned the level was at 2). Suddenly the doctor seemed all agitated and yanked the syringe of blood off the contraption it was on and asked for a new....thingamajiggy. The nurses were scrambling around. John said one of the nurse's hands were totally shaking. My legs were starting to shake again, too.

Then my uterus contracted and pushed the needle out of the vein. So, we spent some more time trying to get it back in and watching the baby bob all around into it. I was scared he was going to stick the baby with the needle or that the baby would somehow damage the vein. I saw the baby's hand reaching toward the cord and cringed. Luckily he didn't have to paralyze the baby. I was really worried he would have to do that.

He took a syringe of blood and started injecting it. We could see the blood swirling through the umbilical cord toward the baby. He would occasionally say "I NEED TO SEE THE BABY'S HEART RATE NOW." The sonographer would scramble around and find it. It went up a bit (which is better than going down). They zoomed in and out and spent more time trying to make sure the needle was in the right place. John and the nurse both asked me a question and I just couldn't answer. I was too terrified to move. John stroked my forehead.

He injected another syringe of blood, and took a final reading of the levels. It was at a 10! So, he pulled the needle out and I really started shaking then. I just couldn't believe the whole thing had happened. My abdomen felt extremely sore and crampy and painful. Well, maybe not extremely....but more than I had expected to feel.

Because I have Rh negative blood, I had to get a rhogam shot in the butt. Any more needles anyone? Stick me anywhere but the uterus, please.

The doctor is obviously very good at what he does, but he is kind of.....different. John tried to shake his hand afterward and he just totally IGNORED John. It was really strange. Finally one of the nurses said, "he's trying to shake your hand." He answered, "Not until the baby is born." Oooookay.

I limped out of the hospital, one hand holding my crampy belly and the other trying to find the beef jerky to shove in my mouth. We went out for cheeseburgers and fries. Yum. Then, I came home and took a nap.

We had to cancel our Florida reservations. When we asked about travelling, the doctor said he really didn't want me to. I asked him, "What are you worried about happening?" And he said, "I worry about everything." Again....not so reassuring. So, instead we're going to a resort on the Chesapeake Bay with a heated swimming pool and a spa that offers pregnancy massage. It is nice to just be hanging out together at home as well.

It is strange not having Becca here. I am constantly trying to be quiet, or listening for her to wake up, or turning off the fan so she doesn't stick her fingers in it. We talked to her tonight on the phone and she started crying, "I want my Mama! I want you!" A few tears slid down my face. I miss her so much. My dad said she saw a photo of us and cried a little, but other than that she has been happy as a clam, digging worms and baking pies with my dad and playing with play doh with my mom. Dad is taking her to the "Snake Farm" tomorrow and then she'll be staying with Jo Anne and Jim for the rest of the week. It is Becca's Summer Camp! I am really relishing having unscheduled time with John home and nothing else to do. We are really relaxing. I should go....John is beating Guitar Hero without me!

26 comments:

Feener said...

oh you poor thing. i hope you are RESTING. that is a lot of stress on you and the baby. i will keep saying prayers.

oh and my heart broke a little when you said becca was saying she wanted you. sass did that once while at my mom's and it was just the hardest thing to hear.

The Smith's said...

Thank you for taking the time to update. I have been worried sick. Keep resting and enjoy your time with John. I know you miss Becca. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about her crying for you, but it is great for her to spend time with your parents and John's mom and step-dad. Grandparents are wonderful blessing.

The Peregos said...

Oh my word, I just started breathing again. i didn't realize I was holding my breath until I got to the end of the email and took a breath. WOW! I'm not sure why that doctor does what he does but I'm sure glad he does it. Enjoy the quiet, sleeping in, naps, etc this week. Joshua went to Italy with his Dad when he was 3. I was sure he would miss me sooo much. When I called he was on the phone for two seconds, "I'm playing with the trains Mom, bye." I was almost sad he was so happy with grandparents, but it was also a relief!

Marie Green said...

That is so scary and incredible and miraculous and, just EVERYTHING all at the same time! How crazy, the things medical science can do. Is the fifth's disease finished running it's course on the baby, or could the baby still have more trouble because of it?

WOW. How scary! You were very brave. I've been thinking about you and am SO GLAD that everything went ok.

Cheryl said...

Like the Smiths, thank you for taking the time to post. Been kind of frantically thinking about you all today. Your doctor may be a little weird but would you rather have mr. socially wonderful guy or fantabulous doctor? At least he seems to be totally on top of the situation. Eat some more yumminess (Digiorno anyone) and enjoy the time alone with John. Becca will do great. Still praying for you all!

Tracy said...

My stomach is in knots. Actually after all the talk of the needles, my neck is suddenly hurting again. I am so glad you are in good hands (even if he is weird, usually the best ones are a little different right)
NO HIKING OR FAST MOVING ANYWHERE on your trip. Also, don't stay in anything heated too long. Please try to relax. Let all of us worry for you!

Katie said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that we might need a second transfusion in a week or so, just depending on everything. He said that usually "parvo" babies don't need more than two....the baby's red blood cells should be back in usable form by then. Let's just hope they are and that the infection GOES AWAY and doesn't bother any organs!

Swistle said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this stuff, and also so glad these things are available for these situations.

Joel and Angela said...

I wish there was something I could do for you. Even thought your doctor sounds weird, He seems like he takes things very serious ans wants to make sure that everything is ok. Sorry you had to cancel your FL plans and I hope that you have just as much fun on your new trip!
A

nana said...

Thought your readers might appreciate a "Becca Update!"

Becca is amazing! She is so verbal and imaginative, and is doing so well at her job - which is to PLAY! Currently, Snow White has captured her interest and she IS Snow White much of the time. She's happy and secure and though she does miss her mom and dad, she's comfortable and at home with all her grandparents. We are thrilled to have time with her! Today she asked when she gets to see Gee Gee and Papa! Yay for John's airline which keeps us together often enough that Becca remembers us all!

Rest, Katie and John, enjoy your time together, and know that Becca is thriving in Texas!

joanna said...

Wow. How scary and awful and how brave you are. I take the doctor saying 'not til the baby is born' as a sign that he's not taking any credit for a job well done until then. That seems good - if not a little unnerving at the same time. Enjoy your little vacation around home!

Ann said...

I agree with the smith's as well; thank you so much for the update. I've been thinking about you all day. Enjoy the resort it sounds wonderful.

On a completely different note I've often thought my husband and I were the only married with children adults who played video games. I'm relieved to know there is at least one other couple out there that enjoys them as well :) Have fun!

Noo said...

I had a contraction when I read your report. And I am not even pregnant! You are a brave one. So sorry the procedure is painful and scary. I am glad for the positive outcome. I will be thinking of you and John with the highest hope that all will turn out just splendidly.

MaryB said...

Still thinking of you!

Enjoy your time with your husband. He sound slike a very special guy. Let him take care of you andspoil you. Im sure thats all he can think of to do right now.

Oh, and I second the commenter above who thought that the Doc didnt want to shake hands until he could do so assured that he had helped you to deliver a healthy baby. Weird, but admirable.

Hang in there! We'll all keep praying.

Hope Becca brought her sundresses and bathing suits it is H O T down here!!!!

Jen said...

What a DAY. I am amazed at what you have been through. Thank you for sharing - it's good to hear about what is going on. I hope you and the baby are okay and get lots of rest. Enjoy your "vacation"!

Angie said...

So glad that you updated. I'm just in tears through reading. How scary, Katie. If you have to do it again, perhaps it will be less scary the second time. And,Becca crying for you. You know that she is enjoying the time, though. I missed Ashlyn so much when I had to leave her with my mom when she was a year old. Then, when I saw her first later, she just wanted my mom. I couldn't believe it! She was over it by the next day and clung to me for several days later.

Rest. Enjoy your massage. Eat lots of food.

Natalie said...

My kids must be wondering why I'm crying. I'm so sad you're going through this. But, so thankful of modern technology! Enjoy your massage. Those are the best when pregnant. Throw in a pedicure while you're at it!

Hopefully, next week, things will have turned around!

Laura said...

Holy bajeesie! No idea what that means but it's all I can say about that. I can't even imagine how intense and scary that all must have been but hopefully the worst is over. We love you. Have fun relaxing.

Erin said...

Thank you for updating! I am so relieved that is over, but still so worried. Hope you really get some deserved rest this week.

marthamydear said...

I'm really glad you have such a good doctor. Even though he didn't shake hands (maybe they were a little shaky once it was all done and he didn't want you to know) it seems that he was happy with the result. Knowing that he worries about everything means he is handling the worry for you, and it is time to relax and let the baby get some good food. Maybe cheesy grits or something like that.
Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

Andrea & Ben said...

Thanks for the update Katie. We are thinking about you guys every day. I know you will keep us updated and we are so thankful that you are sharing.

vicki said...

Thank goodness you're there and not here in Alaska! I'm so sorry that it came to having to do the transfusion, but I'm so thankful that you're where you needed to be. For now, relax and let that baby get better. As much as Becca misses you, you KNOW she's having a ball. Take care.

Tootsie, Cookie, Captain Insano, Chainsaw and Baby Octopus said...

I'm so glad that you're getting such good medical care...even if the doctor's bedside manner is...well...without manners. Thank you for continuing to keep us posted. We look forward to hearing that this is all over with, soon. We love you!!!!!

The Quinn Report said...

Oh My God Katie, that sounds awful! I can't believe you're having to go through all of this. You are one amazing woman and much stronger than I am. I would be walking around a nervous wreck without any sleep. I hope that was the last and final one you'll have to do. Enjoy your vacation and relax, relax, relax! I'll be thinking of you!

MommyK said...

Geez, I think I need a drink after the stress of reading this post. My stomach was in knots! But I'm glad to hear that it went well and hope that you are enjoying your time with your H.

Lysandra said...

Glad everything is ok for now. We will continue to worry about you.