Monday, June 27, 2011

Middle Name

So we are really stuck on a middle name for Carter. For some reason this has just become a pain - do we name him after someone in the family or just pick a cute name? Then we still have to decide which name to use once we make that decision. Brayden's middle name is a family name - it's both Rubin and his dad's middle name. Cameron's name is just one that we picked b/c we liked it. Here are some ideas for Carter:

Family:
Carter Richard Chrisman (my dad's name)
Carter Sheffield Chrisman (my mom's maiden name)
Carter Ryne Chrisman (Ryne Sandberg and both of our brothers have Ryan in their names)

Cute:
Carter Brooks Chrisman
Carter Mason Chrisman
Carter Bryce Chrisman
Carter Lane Chrisman
Carter Jace Chrisman
Carter Jax Chrisman

Opinions? And please no additional suggestions - we have too many as it is!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today's post is a more personal, emotional one. I'm not trying to complain or make people feel sorry for me, I have just had a lot of time to think and need to get it off my chest.
I have lived in Illinois for 7 and 1/2 years now, and I still do not have anyone here that I can call my best friend. I have always been so busy with my family that it has never been a big deal I guess, but now that I'm sitting here alone every day the realization has kind of slapped me in the face. I mean I don't want to sound pathetic - I have a lot of good friends up here. I have work friends, church friends, Rubin's friends, and his family. But to them I will always just be a "work friend" or "Rubin's wife." I don't have a special connection with anyone here that I can truly call a best friend, and that they could say the same about me. I still have best friends from high school and college, but they all live over 12 hours away from me. I don't have anyone to just to shopping with or go out to lunch with, or right now that will just come over and hang out with me and keep me company for a couple of hours. I know that it's my own fault - I have never really made the time to form relationships with people. I have always had an excuse, but with working, going to school, and having young kids at home I'm not really sure where I'm supposed to find the time.
Okay I'm done whining for now - I guess after 3 weeks of sitting here the loneliness is starting to kick in, especially without my boys here to at least keep me busy and entertained. Maybe it's the fact that I just watched Sex and the City 2, which was a terrible movie, but I guess I'm just jealous that they all have each other.
Guess I'll go watch some more HGTV or start a new book :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dr Appt Update

So today I got to leave the house!! I have never been more excited to go to the doctor - I dried and straightened my hair and put on make up and cute clothes. Oh the joys...
Anyway, I had an ultrasound and appt with the MFM Specialist. The first part of the u/s went great. They said Carter looks super healthy and his measurements are perfect, actually a day ahead. I still have placenta previa, so it hasn't moved up and doesn't look like it's going to. He also re-diagnosed the vasa previa. There are definitely veins around the cervix area and although they can't tell for sure if they are actually covering the cervix, it is too close for comfort so he thinks we have to call it that. I am back home now and still on super strict bedrest, and he really doesn't want me moving at all other than to the bathroom. I know that's what they had told me before but I guess after 3 weeks I probably relaxed a little and was moving more than I should have been, but now knowing about the vasa previa he has me scared enough to listen and do as I'm told. If I go into labor at any point it is super dangerous and life-threatening so we have to make sure that doesn't happen. He said they will probably do a c-section at 34-35 weeks, and after looking at the calendar I'm actually hoping for 34 weeks - it is August 8! My other 2 boys birthdays are 5-5 and 2-2, so 8-8 would just be awesome!
I'm still feeling great (and have only gained like a pound and a half in the past month, which is amazing), but there is definitely still a major risk, so keep praying that I don't start bleeding again or go into preterm labor at all. Both situations would be really bad right now.
I have an appointment with my OB next week and then go back to the specialist for another appt and ultrasound in 3 weeks. Will keep everyone updated!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bonnie and Linda "Clean Sweep"

So this weekend (Fri/Sat), Rubin's stepmom and her sister came over to help me organize all of the toys that had taken over my house. By the end of the weekend, my coat closet, laundry room/pantry, living room, and basement were completely cleared out and organized! For those of you getting ready to yell at me, no, I didn't help with any of the manual labor. I sat on the couch and they would bring me piles of papers, bins of junk, etc. to sort through and decide what to keep and throw out. We got rid of a TON of junk!! Had to pay some guys to come and haul everything away. We also ordered a new couch and loveseat for the living room, so we had the guys move the sectional down to the basement and threw out the old nasty couches we had down there. Here is a before picture of my basement and then some after pictures. They did an amazing job and I feel about 50 pounds lighter with all of the clutter gone!! I just hope we can keep it this way!!!
Basement "Before":


Basement "After"


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Meals

Several people have asked how they can help us or if we need meals, etc. One of the ministries at our church called yesterday and they set up a Meal Baby site for us. If you are interested, you can go on and sign up for a day to bring a meal or purchase restaurant gift cards, etc. We have had so many people ask and this is a great way to keep everything organized so we don't end up with 3 meals on the same day and then nothing for 2 weeks or whatever. Anyway, they told me to share the link with anyone so I figured here was the best place to do it.

http://mealbaby.com/viewregistry/512650

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well, 2 weeks ago today my life went into a tailspin. It doesn't seem like it's been that long, so I guess that's a good sign that time seems to be going by pretty quickly. I am missing my boys like crazy but we have skyped them a few times and they are having a great time. Brayden is absolutely loving camp and all of the fun things he has been doing, and Cameron is loving playing with his cousin Bailee (they are only 6 months apart).
I know I mentioned that I was going to continue to work from home at least part time, but after researching it more it just isn't going to work out, so I am filing for disability.
I wish I had something more exciting to update but there isn't much going on right now :) I am trying to convince Rubin to buy me new couches. Now that I'm spending so much time on this one it's getting on my nerves more than it ever did and I think it would make a great basement couch, so wish me luck with that!! I have been watching way too much HGTV and am making a list of projects I want to tackle once I'm allowed to get up (although then I'll have 3 kids including a newborn so it's not like I'll have time or energy to do any of them).
Okay I guess those are all of my random updates for now. Thank you all for the prayers - keep them coming and I'll keep him cooking :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

26 Weeks

Today I am 26 weeks along - another week under my belt and another week that Carter is getting bigger and stronger!! I have been home from the hospital for a full week now, and so far things have been good, but last week my mom and the boys were still here to keep me company. Yesterday morning my parents left with the boys and I cried like a baby as they drove off. I don't know why - I'm excited for them to get to spend this time and am thankful for my parents taking them. Rubin and I had even talked about when they would be old enough to send them down there for a week or so in the summers. It was just hard to see them go. I think we have decided that they will probably be gone for 3 weeks and that is a long time!! I also finally had my first emotional breakdown yesterday since this whole crazy ordeal started. I asked Rubin to do something for me and then kinda lost it - I just hate feeling so helpless and not being able to do anything. I have to ask him to do everything - get me a drink out of the fridge, make my food and bring it to me on the couch, grab me some Tylenol and on top of that he is now expected to pick up the house and do everything else that I can't do anymore. I just hate having to rely on someone else so much and hate putting the extra responsibilities on him. Hopefully we will settle into a routine over time and with the boys gone the house should stay fairly clean once we get it that way. I knew it wouldn't be easy and I guess I'm just starting to feel the frustration. Please continue to pray for us as we continue on this long road.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blessed

I just wanted to update and let everyone know that things are going fine so far. I know everyone is still asking how I'm feeling etc., and want to let everyone know that I actually feel completely fine. I have had absolutely no pain or discomfort at all, but that doesn't really mean anything. I felt completely fine the day I started bleeding, and still felt fine while bleeding. There is just no warning sign - I can be completely fine one minute and then start bleeding the next, so it is just the fear of the unknown.
To answer several more questions:
Yes, my mom is still taking the kids back home with her this weekend. There is absolutely no way that I can be left here to watch the kids by myself. If it was just Brayden then maybe, but with a 2 year old it is impossible.
Yes, this is our last baby. I had really wanted one more, although Rubin was completely against it (which doesn't mean much....I'm convinced I would have eventually gotten my way :)). After hemmoraging with Cameron and now this, I have decided that there is no way I can put myself or my family through this situation again, so I will have my tubes tied during my c-section. Maybe we can adopt someday.... ;)
Work is being very flexible and we are currently trying to come up with a plan for me to work from home so that I don't have to go on disability for quite as long since it is only 50% pay. This will be a huge blessing for us, and it's not like I have anything better to do while laying here!!
For those who have asked what they can do for us - this week we are fine because my mom is still here so she is feeding me :) After she goes home next week with the boys, visits, food, anything would be welcome. I will be laying here by myself day after day while Rubin is working, and meals are limited to me grabbing something out of the fridge and maybe using the microwave for a few seconds. If it requires standing for longer than that, I'm not allowed to do it, so my meal options will be pretty limited fora while.
I think that answers most of the questions from people but feel free to ask if you want to know anything else :)
I also want to take a few minutes to thank my family for how amazing they have been. My mom just took off and flew up here on a minutes notice, and Rubin's family has been awesome with helping out and stopping by. I also have gotten several pair of VS Pink pants, since I was wearing my absolute favorite pair on Thursday and had to throw them away (and I don't just go by myself $50 sweatpants on a regular basis so these were kind of a prized possession!). I am truly blessed and feel very loved and cared for. I also wanted to quickly mention that the nurses at the hospital were A-MA-ZING. They all genuinely seemed to care about how I was doing and would call or stop by on their days off just to check on me. They were all super!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Well I have been home for almost a day now, and although I was a little nervous about leaving the hospital, I have to say I'm very thankful to be here. I was able to sleep in my own comfy bed last night, spend time with my husband, mom and kids, watch TV, and sit on my own couch. I just sat outside on the patio for a couple of hours and watched the boys play in the pool and sprinkler (and enjoyed a little sun!). I know everyone is worried about me following orders to stay put, and I completely understand why you all are. I know that I can be a "little" stubborn at times :) But I also know that this is what I have to do and I will do anything I'm told to keep this baby safe and healthy, so I'm listening. It's not easy - there are definitely more temptations to get up while at home and I keep seeing things I need to pick up or throw away etc, but I'm trying to just let it go and relax. I feel like a complete lazy bum - it's so weird that a week ago I felt guilty that I haven't really been exercising, and now I'm not even allowed to stand up for more than 10 minutes a day.
Today I told Brayden that he would be going to Nana's house for a couple of weeks, and was a little nervous that he would be sad to leave me and wonder why I wasn't coming, but we just told him it was his summer vacation since we can't all go on one now. He will get to go to my mom's daycare which has a "summer camp" type program and he is soooo excited about it. He said "I get to go on vacation for 2 whole weeks without my parents? Wow, most kids probably don't get to do that." Hopefully he handles it well while he's down there - I'm sure they'll keep him busy enough!!!
I can't express again how thankful we are for all of the prayers and well wishes from everyone. I know I haven't responded to you all, but I have read every message and we are very appreciative of everything.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Home!

Well I just talked to the doctor and they are going to let me go home. Everyone seems to be a little nervous still (including nurses and doctors), but she said that she feels comfortable that I live so close and can get here quickly if anything happens. She said now is the time to try and see how it goes and see if I do okay at home. I am not allowed to leave the house other than to come to dr appointments and can't stand longer than it takes to take a shower, but they will allow me to go upstairs at the end of the day to go to bed so at least I don't have to sleep on the couch. It is still going to be a very long and boring summer, but hopefully I will be more comfortable at home. Chances are I may end up in and out of the hospital a few more times over the next couple of months, but hopefully things remain stable enough that it won't be too crazy.
Thank you all for the kind words, thoughts, prayers, visits, and junk food (the nurses are constantly commenting on my candy stash). From this point on, I guess no news is good news!! I will update as things change!

25 Weeks!

I am 25 weeks along today - thankful for every week that passes :)
I just had my ultrasound and they no longer think I have vasa previa. There are veins there, but they appear to be over to the right and not covering the cervix. I still have the placenta previa and partial abruption, so I am still considered high risk for bleeding again. They are considering sending me home on strict bed rest. My OB should be stopping by my room at some point this afternoon to talk to me about it and we will go from there. She mentioned this morning that if I go home I should expect to probably be back and forth to the hospital a few more times throughout the pregnancy. I will update everyone after I talk to her, but either way it is great news that there is no vasa previa!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday

Nothing much to update today. Things are still good. They have taken me off the IV and I'm allowed to shower once a day which is kind of exciting. They moved me downstairs to the mother/baby unit yesterday since things appear so stable, so I guess that's good. The room is a little cozier, but a hospital room is a hospital room. The specialist stopped by again this morning just to check in. At this point we are still just waiting on the ultrasound tomorrow. If it is vasa previa, I am for sure here until delivery and she thinks they'll probably move me back upstairs because any bleeding will be a dire emergency. If it's not vasa previa, chances are that I might be sent home and then I don't know what the restrictions will be there - still full bed rest, partial, nothing? I didn't ask too many questions today - will just wait and see what they say tomorrow.
I will be 25 weeks tomorrow, so that's huge. The survival rate goes up with every week he stays in there!!
Everyone keeps asking how I'm staying so calm and positive, and I really have no explanation other than that God is just giving me a sense of peace about everything. There is no way that given the situation I was in when I walked in here on Thursday that I should not be hysterical, but I have just had this feeling of "everything is going to be ok" and can't really explain it. And what's the point in whining and complaining about bed rest. No, it's not ideal or fun, but this is where I need to be so I might as well have a positive attitude and make the best of it. Every little freedom I get is a big deal and I am appreciative of them, and also know that they can all be taken away immediately if something else happens.
Well, they are getting ready to hook me up to the monitor for an hour, so gotta go. Just keep praying!! So far they are working!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Still Waiting

At this point nothing has changed - we are still just sitting and waiting, and I'm still pregnant! I saw a MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist) this morning and it was just a quick check in. She is a partner of the guy who has been treating me, and we are just waiting for another ultrasound on Monday to have more answers. They are still not 100% sure that I have Vasa Previa because there was a blood clot blocking the view when they did the ultrasound on Thursday. He wants to look at it again on Monday and see if that's still what they think is going on. Basically, if it is Vasa Previa, I am here until delivery. If it's not and is just the placenta and blood clot they are seeing, they may send me home, although if I bleed again I am here to stay. So at this point, we just have to sit and wait and pray for no more bleeding before Monday and then hope that they can get a better picture with the ultrasound.
I have been doing a little research on everything they have told me about, and feel that this is actually a blessing in disguise. Most of the time, vasa previa is not diagnosed before delivery, and then during delivery the veins can rupture and threaten the life of the baby. Because they know (well, I guess think) I have it, I am in much better shape because we know I have to have a c-section and will not let me go into labor on my own so that we do not put Carter in danger of losing his blood supply. We just still have to hope and pray that it does not spontaneously bleed on it's own.
Several people have asked what they can do to help us out, and honestly right now I can't think of anything. My mom is on her way here as we speak and will be taking care of the boys at our house for the week and depending on how things look after this week she may take them back to Arkansas with her for a few weeks, so at this point child care is taken care of. I don't really need food or anything - I have snacks that a couple of people have brought over and can order anything I want from room service. Meals for the family aren't necessary because A) my mom will be at home and can get the boys fed and B) Rubin and the boys don't really eat normal meals anyway...
For those of you who have asked about visiting, feel free to come by anytime. I am in the labor and delivery unit so there are no visiting hours. The only restrictions are 4 people in the room at a time and no children besides my own. Please do not feel like you will be bothering me by calling, emailing, texting, or visiting. I am just laying here with nothing else to do so entertainment is welcome anytime!!!
Again, thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Freedom!

So I just saw the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and they are very pleased with the way everything is going so far. I have not bled at all in over 24 hours and the baby's heart rate has remained stable. They took me off the catheter and I am now allowed to get out of bed to walk to the bathroom. We still have a long road ahead of us and things could change at any moment, but for right now things are looking good. He said that delivery does not seem imminent so they have taken me off of the antibiotics and magnesium. They are going to do another ultrasound on Monday to see if they can get a better view of what is covering my cervix. They have a suspicion that it is the baby's blood vessel, and if that's the case I am still very high risk and will be here until delivery. If it isn't, things look a little better but I still won't be out of the woods. Thank you all for the prayers!! We are feeling them so much and appreciate them more than you all know!!

Long Overdue...

So it seems fitting that the last time I updated was Brayden's first day of kindergarten because yesterday was his last...guess I didn't have much to say? Unfortunately it seems that this blog has gotten more use for medical updates than fun stuff, but I wanted to give the longer version of what is going on for those who are interested, so here you go...

Yesterday morning I was sitting on the couch with Cameron (who had a 101 fever) and stood up to get him juice when I felt the bleeding start. I grabbed him and drove across the street to the ER where they freaked me out for a while trying to figure out what was going on - there were probably 20 people in the room and everything was pretty up in the air at first. They were trying to figure out if Carter still had a heartbeat and coudn't because my heart rate was elevated to 150 so they couldn't tell if it was mine or his with just the monitor. After an ultrasound they were still unsure of what was going on with the bleeding, but could tell that he was okay so they moved me up to labor and delivery. I have been told that I have placenta previa with a partial abruption, and vassal previa. Basically my placenta is low and has separated into 2 pieces. One of the pieces is covering part of my cervix, which is where they think the earlier bleeding came from. There are also veins connecting the 2 pieces of the placenta that are laying across my cervix. They have said that it's not really a question of IF I bleed again, it's when. If it's determined that the blood is coming from me but they are able to keep us both stable, they won't do anything. If the blood is from baby and he is in distress, the will have to take him by emergency c-section. So, I am here on complete bed rest until either I bleed again and the worst happens, or I make it far enough that they can just take him by regular c-section.
Right now I am 24 weeks and 4 days. His chance of survival at this point is a little less than 50% so every day is crucial at this point to just keep him in there. They are giving me steroid shots to develop his lungs and another medication that is supposed to protect his brain. If he survives, his risk of complications is extremely high - very probable CP, brain damage, etc. Each week is a huge milestone, and at this point the major goal we are shooting for is to make it to 28 weeks (June 27) where his chance of survival goes up to almost 100%. If I make it to there, then I think they will shoot for 32 weeks (July 25) and I assume at that point they may just go ahead and take him.
It seems really strange to be in the hospital and instead of hoping to get better and go home soon, hoping to have to stay here for a really long time. It is going to be hard on the boys but we will make it work. My mom is coming up tomorrow to spend some time here and if everything is still the same after a week or so she will probably take them back home with her to Arkansas for a few weeks. I'll miss them both terribly, but it would be a huge help for us to not have to constantly worry about who can watch them.
Thank you all for the prayers and support. I have had a ton of people ask if we need anything, and at this point all we really need are prayers to keep this baby in there! I am very open to visitors as I feel totally fine - I am in no pain or discomfort at all. I have a feeling I will be extremely bored after being here for another day or so, so don't feel like you are bothering me if you need me for anything!
For now no news is good news, but I will update if there are any changes.