Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We Love Firemen

After my fabulous visit to the hospital this last week my sister offered to come up and spend some time keeping me down. Jeremy's mom is going to come out just after Thanksgiving for 3 weeks. We've got awesome family and I can't say enough of them. Well, here's the adventure we had Melissa's first night here. Jeremy was on call and we were all peacefully in our beds. At about 4 am the smoke alarm started screaming. By the time I got out of bed and calmed the scared dog down (so brave, at least Kate slept through it), it stopped. Then it started again, then stopped. I'm sitting there thinking, are you kidding me? Please don't let the house burn down. It didn't keep going so I had Melissa come up the stairs to where it was and see if maybe it was the battery, but it was plugged into the ceiling. There was no battery. We checked all around the house for anything that could be burning, had a hard time deciding if we could smell smoke, got back into bed and it went off again. So I called the fire department to ask if they could come make sure we weren't missing some smoldering fire in our house.

At 4:30am we had 4 firefighters over who walked through the house and checked the smoke detectors for us, took the old ones down, and since they determined it was a short in the very old contraptions, put a new one in and let me know I needed to go to home depot and get some new ones quick. They were super nice about the whole thing and I found myself grateful that they were 1-reachable, 2-awake, 3-took me seriously, and 4-were helpful.

It's true, this turned out to be nothing tragic (thank goodness). But I just wanted to give a shout out to those people who are up all night to answer phone calls from pregnant women scared their house is potentially on fire.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dad Always said I was Special

I don't know that everyone would like to hear about everything going wrong, but since this is as close as I get to keeping a journal right now I'll probably continue to post about the weirdness of pregnancy.

To make a long story short, Monday night I was throwing up blood. So since Jeremy was post call Tuesday morning we ran ourselves over to the lovely hospital to pump me up with at least some fluid. Our doc said I most likely tore part of my stomach and gave me some Zantac to tame the wild acid, but I mentioned that food was not digesting either and they gave me Reglan as well (on top of the 2 liters of IV fluid). Now, Reglan basically helps with gut motility, but there can be a few weird side effects. One of the rare ones is you get really depressed and suicidal. But instead, my body did the reverse. I went from being super sick and looking dead in bed to a sudden burst of energy and laughter. I couldn't stop giggling or moving and scared the snot out of my husband and the nurse because they'd never seen anything like it from something as mild as Reglan. Whatever happened, at least I could finally eat a couple popsicles! Our doc explained it is an extremely rare side effect and Jeremy just asked me, "Can you do nothing like a normal person? You don't even respond to medication like people should!" I'm just giving him a broader perspective as a physician.

So I'm home now. That's been three trips to the hospital so far, none of which have helped us feel any less clueless about what to do with me and I've never had so many pills to take on a daily basis in my life, but I'm not dead yet. I can look on this right now and laugh because it's so ridiculous, but maybe it's because they gave me the pill form of Reglan to take home.

My friend, Ginny, was here for the fun of all of that and what a lifesaver she was! Katie Lou did great with her and our freezer is stocked with food. I tell you what, there's nothing like good friends who you know understand you to help you feel like at least you haven't completely lost your mind, well, that or they remind you that you did have a mind at one point in time to lose. Sometimes in all of this I wonder....

Before all of that started, we were foster parents of a 7 year old English Mastiff from Thursday to Friday. She got along great with Pele and Katie Lou and was really sweet, but she was also in heat so I was changing her little doggie diaper every time she needed to go to the bathroom. Little's the wrong word. That dog weighed 140 lbs - more than 3x the size of Pele. She went back within 24 hrs.

All of this teaches me about limitations. I left high school and went through college feeling like I never wanted to be limited. I hated people telling me I can't do something (I don't mean safety things), or that dreams are impossible. Everything seems so black and white then. Then you start to face real life and realize limitations may be a reality during certain seasons of life. The stubborn side of me still fights that idea, but all that does is make me frustrated. If I decide it's OK to hold still for a minute and ponder instead of working to death for the sake of progress and efficiency, I begin to be a lot more grateful for the things I have. As much as this is stinking hard - the moments of despair, the constant weakness and sickness, the stress, worry, aching, and exhaustion - it has taught me so much more than I would have learned having an easy pregnancy. Compassion, patience (still REALLY working on that), trusting the Lord's plan and timing instead of demanding my own, humility, and especially letting go of that rigid image of how life is supposed to be if "you work hard and do everything right." I could talk about this forever, but I just want to say that I'm grateful.

I'm grateful for a husband that always does his best to take care of me. I'm grateful for a daughter who loves her parents despite their own perceived shortcomings. I'm grateful for a dog who really is the perfect fit for our family and knows what I'm asking when I just look at her the right way. I'm grateful for so many people so willing to help. I'm grateful that I'm not an elephant that's pregnant for 22 months. I'm grateful we have such a nice home to live in and that the weather has been as good as it has. I'm grateful our fridge and cars work. I'm grateful we haven't had a mouse in the house for a few weeks. I'm grateful I can see colors and that we have such beautiful trees and rivers around us. I'm grateful for Christmas lights that brighten up our kitchen when it gets so dark so early now. I'm grateful for the education and jobs I've had and the amazing roommates and coworkers I've gotten to know and love. I'm grateful my mom and dad always listen to me then talk sense into me and love me for who I am. I'm grateful for both mine and Jeremy's brothers and sisters and how much they do for us. I'm grateful for the sense of touch and how amazing it is to hug Jeremy and hold Kate or scratch behind Pele's ears. I'm grateful I can walk and talk (as incoherent as it is at times). I'm grateful I can read. I'm grateful for kitchen knives that actually cut food on the first try. I'm grateful I can hear music. I'm grateful for the power of prayers - both said and unsaid. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father knows me and watches out for me. I'm grateful I have a Savior who gives me hope when I don't want to hope anymore. I'm grateful that days come to an end and new days are always fresh with no mistakes in it.

You never realize how much you have and all of the things that can make you happy until you really think about it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Preggo Mini-Update

I'm still super behind in posting anything in depth and I think it would do me good to get my thoughts out, but this may still be brief. Let me just say that this Tues we've reached 28 weeks, which is a 90% good outcome for any little babies born without additional complications. We mapped out our gains for 28, 30, 32, 34, 35, and 36 weeks. I have a lot of mixed emotions because I want them to have the best chance possible, but so much of the time I'm so weak and sick still that there's a part of me says the sooner they're out the better. If they're in the NICU, at least there's a team of medical people to watch out for them besides their parents. That probably sounds really harsh or strange to some people. OK, a lot of people. Let's just say that I passed out today at my OB appointment, went to the ER AGAIN, my phone died an untimely death last night (not a dead battery, a dead phone) so I couldn't even reach Jeremy or the gal watching Kate, and even when I'm home and resting it is a serious BATTLE to get enough food and fluid down me for one day. Everything makes me cry right now. It is so hard to know that I can't do simple things like make dinner, do dishes, carry Kate up the stairs, hold her for more than a couple minutes, or even just sweep the floor. After any of the above, I'm on the floor for a good couple of hours just breathing and feeling my heart pound. My OB said I'm actually doing really well for twins. Sheesh, if this is well, those poor people who get put on real bed rest. I don't like feeling like I'm complaining all the time and I'm really working on keeping a positive perspective here. If we can just make it to December I may not care at all when they're born.

I can't be thankful enough for the ward we're in. We've had so much food brought to us and people are coming over to take Kate left and right. The neighbors walk Pele about 3 times a week. So I know Heavenly Father's watching over us and helping us hold this family together. But I don't know if I'll remember much of anything of our first year here in New Hampy. Bless those women who enjoy pregnancy so much or who have to go through so much to get pregnant. I don't know if I can physically, mentally, or emotionally handle this again.

If we could beg prayers off of anyone, even if it's just that I can handle the cabin fever of unofficial bed rest, or that Kate will know her parents love her despite making her the ward foster child, or that Jeremy will have the strength he needs for 12+ hour days then to come home and take care of his other patients, we will take anything. Please forgive us for any lack of phone calls or letters this holiday season and just know that we think of all of our friends and family with the warmest feelings in our hearts and can't thank you all enough for how you've blessed our lives. We know we'll get through this and we can't wait for the chance to pay it forward to others. For now we just keep counting our blessings that we've been as blessed and protected as we have.

Pictures Always Look Good

We survived our trip to visit family, though I must admit, after almost missing the connecting flight and she and I both taking our turns puking, there better be a really important event for me to ever fly again pregnant. I cannot praise the kindness of strangers enough who were so kind as to let her sleep on their laps so I could breath and who cleared the way for me and talked to the flight attendants about what was going on when I had to puke my guts out. On that happy note, this is a picture of Kate with her cousins on a fine September day.
So my sister, Ann, did her hair for me and she just loved running on the sidewalk right next to Grandma Sorensen's flowers. Then she'd stop and eat them.

Another set of cousins, same ages as the previous set.

Kate and her daddy reunited after a long trip away. You're looking at the battlefield visible from Little Round Top at Gettysburg. I can't describe how moving American history is to me. This is an incredible place that makes me so grateful that, despite our problems, I belong to this country. There was no logical reason the Union should have won this battle. The South had greater numbers, more experienced generals, and started off in better positions. But this site turned the tides of the civil war and, again, despite our imperfections, every human being legally has the rights of another in our country. (Although all lawyers, politicians, and other people in general may argue with me on that).

Driving from Philadelphia to home was a long trek and we tuckered out the little bug and her Grandpa.
Here's Kate and her dad wandering the streets of Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Jeremy and I learned the difference between a Mennonite and Amish buggy here and our jaws dropped at learning the price of an Amish quilt.
Unfortunately our trip lost us some of the more glorious part of fall at home. This is my favorite tree in the cemetery by our house. It had just started turning red in little patches at the top when we were leaving. At least we still got to see this much of it.
Here's dad with the pink marshmallow, I mean Katie Lou, before one of our morning walks. I was so happy to find something that still covered her hands and feet!
Fall leaves from the neighbor's tree. It's great fun until Kate realizes she's close to the road then runs straight for it.
Here's our Halloween costumes. I'm a pregnant cowgirl and the Bug's a witch, though there's no hope of a proper hat staying on her head.
OK, this is my favorite. We went trick-or-treating to our five neighbors and she was much more interested in swinging the bag around and running in the road, but it was fun to show her off. Plus she scored big for the few houses we went to. Reeses, 3 Musketeers, M&Ms, we're in a good neighborhood!