Baby Tjader's Journey

A life undefined by pPROM, prematurity and Cerebral Palsy.

Pity party June 30, 2010

Filed under: Bedrest — Aimee @ 6:40 pm

I came home from the hospital two weeks ago to begin six weeks of home bed rest. Now I have less than four weeks to go until I’m admitted to the hospital. Surprisingly, the time has flown by. I guess that’s bound to happen when you take two-plus naps every day. 🙂

It’s been an up-and-down kind of day. I know I’m bound to experience highs and lows, but I still can’t help but feel guilty when I get in a slump. I tell myself I need to suck it up and quit feeling sorry for myself. I have so much to be thankful for and SO MUCH to fight for.

Still, I can’t help but think about all that I’m missing out on while I lay here in bed. We’re missing the family vacation to Lake of the Ozarks this weekend. My sister is at the beach today and I certainly won’t be joining her this year. We’ll need to get rid of our tickets for the Bayfront Blues Festival in August. No 10-year high school reunion for me, although I wasn’t entirely convinced I was going to go. We’re partial season ticket owners to the Twins, but I’m relegated to watching the games on TV. No bike rides. No dog-walking. No work. No Eclipse movie. No baby shower. No more dreams of a healthy, natural pregnancy and birth. No Justin Bieber concert, either. 🙂

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I promise my next post will be brighter.

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20 weeks! June 28, 2010

Filed under: Milestones — Aimee @ 6:40 pm

This will just be a quick update, because my computer is on the fritz and I’m waiting to get it fixed.Today was going to be a big day for the Tjaders. It still is, just in a different way.

I’m officially 20 weeks pregnant today and it’s our 2-year wedding anniversary. We’d planned to celebrate with our 20-week ultrasound and hopefully find out the sex of the baby over a romantic dinner. We were going to have the ultrasound tech seal the results in an envelope so we could find out just the two of us. Then, we were going to get Tyler’s parents a “reveal cake” and also take one to Lake of the Ozarks for the Blanchette family vacation this weekend. Everyone was to cut into the cakes at the same time to reveal pink or blue, boy or girl. Obviously, we’re not going to Lake of the Ozarks and our ultrasound has been moved to July 16. All of that hoopla seems so silly at this point anyway. We just want a healthy mama and baby.

Instead, T and I are celebrating with takeout, cheesecake and a Twins game on TV. It’ll still be special. All of this really puts into perspective one of my favorite sayings — one that we have hanging in the bedroom: “It doesn’t matter where you go in life … it’s who you have beside you.”

 

Another good day June 25, 2010

Filed under: Updates — Aimee @ 4:58 pm

I woke up in a funk today, not sure why. I had an appointment with my midwife — my first “trip” away from home since I ruptured last week, so I should have been elated just to get out of the house. Tyler came home to drive me, and on the way to the clinic I looked at my notebook and realized we were 45 minutes late for the appointment. Great. I screwed up the time with my ultrasound next month. I called the clinic and we drove there anyway; she could see me in an hour. Once I got there, we didn’t have to wait at all.

I wish everyone could have someone in their lives like my midwife, Deb. We met her before we got pregnant and we both just knew that we wanted her to be on this journey with us. Now, I thank God that she is.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when Deb walked into my hospital room last week on her day off. She hugged me for a long time and we cried. She had encouraging things to say and set the pace for my positive attitude thus far. Despite the likelihood that my primary health care will fall into the hands of a team of doctors at the hospital, she assured me that she’d continue to be part of my care and support team. I’m so grateful for that, for her.

After a little pep talk with Deb, we took a listen to the baby’s heart beat. Strong, loud and clear! So good to hear. I remembered to ask about my amniotic fluid index (AFI) from my last ultrasound. I thought it was 2 or 3 cm. According to the American Pregnancy Association, normal fluid levels may vary, but are usually considered an AFI of 5-25 cm. My AFI last Wednesday was 6.7 cm!!! It’s still on the low-end, but it was fantastic news to me. Some women go for months with no measurable fluid and go on to deliver babies that make it. My AFI will fluctuate daily and at different times of the day based on the fluid I lose and the fluid baby produces. I will receive my next AFI July 16.

At that point, my day turned a corner rather quickly and got even better when two of my best girlfriends dropped by for a visit. They brought me lots of essentials — soap, mirror, underwear, toothpaste, magazines, etc. — and a new pair of pajamas and a robe!

Hey, if I can’t wear cute pregnant lady outfits, at least I can wear cute PJ’s.

 

Thank you June 23, 2010

Filed under: Bedrest — Aimee @ 9:53 pm

The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, coworkers, strangers has been emotionally overwhelming at times. It’s so good to know there are so many people out there who love and care about us. I need to get started on many thank-you notes soon, but really, there will never be an appropriate way to let everyone know how much we truly appreciate them.

A bulk of my day was spent napping on the couch with the dogs. Addie stopped by to trim Marley’s nails for us and Damien and Rebecca brought over enough food for an army! Tyler got home from work and we ate homemade whole wheat mac and cheese. I had a tuna salad sandwich and Tyler had a bowl of vegetarian chili, all courtesy of D&R. It was perfect timing, because we’d just finished the last of the food made for us by Isaac and Laura, Anne and Kris, and Rochelle. See, Mom, I told you people are taking care of us down here!

Now, we’re watching the Brewers beat the Twins. The dogs act as if they’ve been running around the neighborhood all day — lazy as ever — but they’re such good snuggle babies. It’s a good night, because I know that tomorrow is going to be a good day. Tyler has a meeting in the morning, but has the rest of the day off and it’s going to be nice outside. I think I’ll retreat to the backyard with a borrowed book.

For everyone reading this, THANK YOU. Seriously. Your e-mails, Facebook messages, texts, phone calls, visits and food are what’s keeping me strong.

 

Our new reality June 22, 2010

Filed under: Bedrest — Aimee @ 8:52 pm

My dear husband deserves a medal. And a vacation. I’ve been on bedrest for a week and so far, it hasn’t been too bad, only because of the generosity of family, friends and coworkers. After working long hours, Tyler gets home and has to worry about me, the dogs and the house. Not to mention his lunch breaks are now spent driving home to make sure I get something to eat and the dogs get let outside. And, before he leaves for work in the morning he walks the dogs and brings me breakfast in bed. Luckily and thankfully, a few people have dropped by with lunches and dinners and that’s been a big help. For all of the wonderful things he is, the last thing Tyler needs to be when he gets home at 8 p.m., is top chef.

I’m passing the time with books, movies, bad TV, naps and plenty of Internet time. This blog is a great outlet for me as I already miss writing for work, so thank you for reading. A girlfriend brought me the entire Sex and the City series and the first movie. I never got into the TV show, but I hear it’s a great, mindless way to pass some time. Can’t wait to get into it. (Thanks Lora!)

The highlight of my week was Sunday, Tyler’s day off. It was a gorgeous day in Minneapolis, so Tyler set up the backyard with chairs, including a reclining lawn chair with pillows for me. I laid out there for hours and visited with friends Isaac, Laura and Addie, and my sissy, Meg.

Spending most of my time in the horizontal position on a recliner indoors really puts life into perspective. When I get on the other side of all of this, I plan to fully take advantage of my surroundings WITH all of the people I love, especially Tyler and Baby Tjader.

 

One week!

Filed under: Milestones — Aimee @ 1:17 pm

I’ve officially made it a whole week without going into labor after I ruptured last Tuesday. I am now 19w1d. I’ve been feeling really good physically, so there are times I feel guilty about laying around while everyone else does everything for me. But, I know it’s best for me and this baby.

I only seem to be leaking small amounts in the morning after I first wake up, so I think that is encouraging. I continue to feel the baby move, usually in the evening after dinner, and cherish those special moments with him/her.

I’m writing down questions to ask my midwife when I see her on Friday. What position should I rest/sleep in? Will we do another round of antibiotics before I go into the hospital? Who will my doctors be once I get there?

Mostly, I’m just trying to relax and keep my water bottle full!

 

About pPROM June 20, 2010

Filed under: pPROM — Aimee @ 11:50 am

Rather than spell out the many complicated aspects of pPROM, I’ll summarize as best I can and provide a link to a support group website that has more information. There isn’t a lot of research on this condition and what little there is, is very outdated.

pPROM is the rupturing (tearing or breaking open) of the membranes (amiotic sac) before 37 weeks of pregnancy, which typically leads to early delivery. There’s no explanation for why this happens, although some research indicates infection and inflammation are a primary cause. I’d been having a very normal, healthy, uneventful pregnancy up until last week, so it will remain a mystery as to why this happened to me or if it will happen again.

Many women go into labor within a week of rupture, however others are able to make it to 34 weeks, when most doctors, including mine, will induce because of concerns about infection, etc. I’m told that my early rupture at 18w1d actually betters my chances for later delivery.

The loss of amniotic fluid could lead to major complications for the baby, including poor lung development to support breathing once they are born, and physical deformations.

Having said that, there are many women who go on to deliver babies who, after several weeks in the NICU, go home strong and healthy. There is hope! That is why I’m on STRICT bedrest (I’ll tell you what that’s been like in another post) with daily goals to ward off infection and drink about a gallon of water! Although I will continue to lose fluid, the more I drink, the more baby pees, and the more fluid baby produces. Right now, it’s all about getting that baby to urinate!!!

Here’s a link for more information.