Category Archives: Medical Thoughts

Why I wrote about my depression

I thought I would say a few things that I should have said yesterday about why I wrote about my depression.

First, I wrote in the hope that anyone else who is fighting depression will feel less alone. I know I felt very alone in some of the hardest times, even when I was surrounded by people who loved me would would have helped me if I had said anything. I hope you will reach out to me if you need help.

Also, I’d like to do what ever I can to help get rid of the stigma that has surrounded mental health. I grew up with the attitude that mental health problems are the same as physical health problems. I’m not embarrassed to say I have Asthma. No one, myself included, should be embarrassed to say they have a mental health problem. Often, the first step to getting the help you need is to say that you are struggling.

Third, it’s part of my fight, to admit that I have depression. I am best able to control my depression when I say, out loud, on paper, or what ever, that I’m fighting it.

Last, hopefully this will help someone see the signs of depression in themselves or in those around them and help them get help. Because, as it was with me, sometimes you can’t see it yourself, and you need someone to help you see it.

Remembering the Hard Stuff

Cardio appointments are always a mixed bag emotionally for me.

On the one hand I spend the whole time being SUPER grateful that Peanut is well and that we have not been to the Cardio in two years.  SUPER grateful for the miracle of her life.

On the other hand I relive, especially in the time between doing the echo and seeing the doc, every fear and pain that I went through when she was born until I stopped being in a constant dread of her dying, which was at about 19 months.

This last Cardio appointment was a little nerve wracking for me, we were there a few months early because Peanut had been complaining about feeling short of breath, which can be a sign that something has gone wonky with her heart.

She is fine.

But that current fear reminded me.  It reminded me to pray and feel grateful.

I feel very blessed to have wonderful doctors, wonderful family, wonderful friends, and a wonderful Father in Heaven who has helped and continues to help me and Peanut.

I think remembering past trials is probably always like that, you remember what the pain was like, you can feel it the same way you can feel someone’s pain when you see them get hurt badly.  Sometimes it’s even more then that.  Sometimes you relive the pain.  Hopefully, you relive the joy too, the relief you felt when the trial ended or when you understood what it was all for.  Hopefully you pray just as hard as you did during the trial after the trial, prayers of gratitude for what you learned, for help received.  I always try to remember to do that, to pray with as much fervor as I did in that PICU.

How do you remember the hard stuff?

Being Sick

I know I’ve said this probably every time we go through a round of sickness in my house, but I HATE IT.

I HATE it when my kids are sick.

I HATE it when Husband is sick.

and I HATE it when I am sick.

We have spent the last three weeks churning through a long illness that sent Meatloaf to the ER and got Husband admitted to the hospital.

I thought I had escaped.

But then it descended.  The weight in my chest, the coughing, the feeling of malaise.

The question I’m always asking myself at this point in an illness is “Am I sick enough that the Doctor will give me meds?”  I hate waiting for that threshold.

So, which do you think it worse?  You being sick or your kids?

Birth Story part III

So, I guess this is technically no longer a part of the “Birth Story” but it’s part of the same hospital stay so I think it counts.  Last time, I told you the initial diagnosis.  Here’s what happened next.

So, right after all this my best friend showed up to see us.  I missed her call asking what room we were in.  She got to the hospital with her husband and came looking for us.  When she got to my room my mother in law was there and told her what was going on and how to find us.  Husband and her husband gave Meatloaf a blessing.  They said it was all going to be okay.

Then the NICU doctor came and told us the result of the echo and what the plan was.  We were keeping him on O2 until the result of an echo the next day, hopefully the hypertension would go away and we would then be able to wean him of the O2.  He also said the best thing was to make sure he didn’t get upset or stressed so they moved us from the group NICU to a private room so he wouldn’t be stressed by the other babies crying.

Then my mother got there.  She had been about to get on a plane to come when we found out that something was wrong with baby boy so we just had my brother in law bring her to the hospital before we told her.

So I pretty much just stayed in that room with Meatloaf that whole day.  I went back to my room a few times when he was sleeping to eat and lay down.  Mostly my nurses had to hunt me down.  I’m really glad that I do so well after I give birth or that would have been WAY harder then it already it was.

That night I had he nurses call me when ever he needed to eat.  It worked out pretty well, the would call, I would walk down the hall and feed him and then he would go back to sleep and I would go back to my room.

The next morning when my nurse finally found me she let me know that because of the way insurance works I had to check out of my room that night by 9:00 pm.  Husband and I tried to figure out what we could do.  We live to far from the hospital for me to come back and forth to feed baby boy, and I really didn’t want to leave him if I didn’t have to.  There is a hotel next door that caters to the Cancer patients that come to the hospital so we figured we could stay there if we needed to.

The next echo was done and then we waited for the results.  The hardest part was when 9:00 pm came and I had to check out of the hospital without my baby, even though I just turned around and walked back to his room once I was done.

Birth Story Part II

So, last time I told you what happened when Meatloaf was born.  Let me continue the story here.

So after all that the moved us to the postpartum room.  I sent Husband home shortly after that.  I always send him home, although I wish I had not when I had my c-section.  I had a quite nice night with my new little sweet baby.

The next morning my pediatrician came by to check Meatloaf.  As you probably know, Peanut has mitral valve stinosis.   So, we always check my babies in a mirriad of ways before they are born to make sure they are okay and won’t need special care when they are born.  But, there are somethings you can’t check for.  When the pediatrician checked him he said that he had a murmur and so we needed to get an echo.  I wasn’t too worried about it because we had a fetal echo done before he was born and I knew all the parts were there.

My doctor came and checked me and would have let me go home that day but I asked her to let me stay because I knew it was going to be a while before they did the echo and I didn’t want to have to check out before he did.

So, about 10:30 they came and took him to get his echo.  Husband got back right after they took him and so we went down to the nursery to watch.  They were doing the echo and I could tell something was not good because of the way the echo tech acted.  She had them take his blood pressure and his O2 stats.  When I saw his O2 stats I started to cry.  He was in the low 80’s and you are supposed to be in the high 90’s.  I started to cry.

Just then my kids walked up to the window with their Granny.  I tried to not let them see me crying but poor Peanut did and got all worried.  I feel really bad about that.

Mean while they immediate hooked Meatloaf up to oxygen and his stats came right up, which was good.  They took him back into the intensive care part of the nursery and we were able to bring the kids in one at a time to see him.  Peanut looked so sad and worried. Cake and Lunchmeat were not.  Cake was just super happy to have baby boy born and Lunchmeat was just excited to be somewhere new.  Peanut asked if he was going to die and my heart just about broke.  She then wrote a card for him.  Here it is.IMG_20131115_130732_171IMG_20131115_130724_187

Here’s a cute baby pic to make up for how sad the story is at this point.

IMG_20131106_133124_681 They told us that he had patent ductus arteriosus.

More later, but as you can tell by the happy baby picture, all is now well.

Birth Story

So I guess it’s a good idea to write down the birth story for Meatloaf (or what ever I decide to call him on this blog) before I get to far from it and forget all the little details that I would want to remember.

So, all my children have come early, and with the 20 week ultrasound they put the due date for this baby six days early, so I had this expectation that he would come early.  Despite having braxton hicks, which I had NEVER had with any of my other pregnancy’s, not a one. And also having some real contractions (nothing serious or long lasting) I reached the day before my due date and was still pregnant.  At that point I was VERY miserable and basically aching all over, as well as pretty much mentally losing it.

Husband went to my doctors appointment that day and being that I’d never been pregnant that long and the fact that my doctor could tell he was going to be big, we talked about what we could do to move things along.  My doctor said that she would have stripped my membranes, but there was nothing there to strip, which I couldn’t decide at that moment if that made me feel good because that must mean I was close, or feel despair because there was nothing she could do for me to move things along.  She said I was at a four, which apparently is considered active labor even if you aren’t having contractions.  We scheduled for an induction the next week in case I had not had the baby by then.

We picked up the girls from school and then went to my mother-in-laws house to pick up Lunchmeat.  One of my sister-in-laws was also there.  I basically commiserated with them and I decided that despair was pretty much how I felt.  My sister-in-law told me I would have the baby that day.  She later told me she just said that to make me feel better, that it wasn’t a command or anything, but apparently my body listened.

While at my mother-in-laws I started having a few easy and irregular contractions.  They were like what I had been having so I didn’t really encourage me.  They stopped after a while, but then about five that evening they started again but this time they were regular and getting harder.  By six Husband was thinking it was time to call the doctor and get my mother-in-law to come watch the kids.  I called the doctor and we left for the hospital.

Right now we live about 45 minutes from the Hospital where I was going to deliver and this whole time Husband has been concerned that we would not make it to the Hospital in time.  We did, but that car ride was not fun.  I don’t know about you but being able to move around while in labor is the worst thing for me, so having it sit buckled up in a car for 45 minutes was not the most fun thing that has happened to me.

Once we got to the hospital the check in people were all busy.  The front desk people looked at me and said, they would get a triage nurse and see if they can take me back now.  The triage nurse came out and the first thing she asked was how many baby’s this was for me.  I was in the middle of a contraction so I couldn’t talk so I just held up four fingers.  She got a slightly concerned look on her face and asked me if I felt the urge to push.  I shook my head no and she thought for a second and then said she would take us right back to triage.  They got me all hooked up and checked in and they checked me and I was at a six, and 100%, I forget what station I was at.  I thought that was all pretty good.

A few minutes later they got me a LDR room and Husband and I moved there.  About fifteen minutes later my doctor, who wasn’t even on call that night came in.  She decided she wanted to deliver my baby even though she was not on call, which I thought was totally awesome.  She checked me and said I was a seven.  She asked me if I wanted my water broken and I said sure, so we did that.  I expected to throw up, because I had every other time my water broke, but I didn’t, I expect it’s because the doctor did it instead of it happening naturally.

About an hour after that I felt what I though was the the first urge to push, the nurse came back in and I asked her to check me, she said I was at 7.5, which I must admit caused me a great deal of unhappiness.  I was shocked that I had progressed so little from the time my doctor had been in there.  I then got on a ball and a very short time later I felt a few more of what I thought (and it turned out I was right) were urges to push, but since the nurse had said I was only 7.5 I figured they were not and it was so hard that I pretty much gave up.

I told Husband that I couldn’t do it any more and I needed medication.  He told me that he wasn’t going to let me have any because he knew that I would be mad at him afterwards if he did.  I told him I couldn’t do it any more and he told me that I could.  It was at that point that he knew that the baby was ready to be born.  He called the nurse and told her that I was asking for meds and she asked me what kind of meds I wanted.  Husband said no, that means she is ready to have the baby now, you need to check her.  So I tried to get on the bed so she could check me.  My contractions were so close together that I only got from the ball right at the end of the bed to the foot of the bed before another one came and my body again tried to push the baby out.  The nurse told me, “Don’t push!”  My response was, “I can’t”!  She then refined her statement to “Try not to push.”  It think it was probably at that point she realized that it was time to get my doctor.

I don’t know about you but when I am in labor, especially at the end, I can’t really pay attention to what is going on around me, pretty much I rely on Husband to tell me after the fact what else happened in the room.  So apparently four nurses and my doctor came in, the only one I was really aware of was my doctor, which if you know me, that’s pretty weird.  She got everything all set up and two of the nurses got everything set up for the baby and the other two were helping the doctor and me.

Once everything was ready and my next contraction hit my doctor told me to push, and I did.  In between pushes I would rest and I heard a lot of comments by the nurses about what great control I had.  My nurse who had been taking care of me before delivery had commented on that before as well.  apparently once he crowned I took a little break and everyone found that amazing.  Once he got a little father out it turned out he had his hand up by his head.  Once he was head and shoulders out my doctor told me to reach down and get my baby, so I pulled him the rest of the way out.  Honestly, if I hadn’t been in labor I wouldn’t have done that, not because it’s yucky or anything, but because I would have logically though I was too tired to do that, someone else should.  but when I get to pushing, especially this time, what ever I’m told to do I just do!  I don’t think about it or anything.  Again, if you know me you will see how weird that is.

Baby boy squeaked when he first came out but once I had him he didn’t cry.  He just laid there looking at me.  That is the best moment…that first one.

Eventually the nurse wanted to come take him, pretty much to make him cry because he hadn’t made any noise other then that first squeak.  As soon as she touched him he started crying big time, so she didn’t take him then because she got what she needed out of him without moving him.

A little bit later they did take him to weight him and all that other stuff they do.  My placenta had not come out still so my doctor had me push a bit and it came out.  Am I the only one who feel like that is the real moment labor is over, that’s such a sense of relief!

So the whole thing took just under four hours.  I think I had a little bit of shock because it was so fast, after baby boy was born I started shaking a bit and felt really cold. I was fine a few minutes later.

He weighed 9 lbs 13 oz.  His length was 20.5 inches and his head was 14 inches.  When the nurses were weighting and measuring him they kept making astonished comments and sounds.  Apparently they were flabbergasted that he was so big, and I had a v-back with no meds.  Apparently the head size (which I’m going to have to double check to make sure I’m remembering correctly) was so astonishing because I didn’t tare or anything they they checked it twice.

Husband told my doctor that he knew it was time when I asked for meds, she said “Oh, you didn’t need meds!  I wouldn’t have let you have them anyway because I knew you could do it and you were so close.  If it was going to go on for a long time, then sure, but you didn’t need them.  You have such great control, you are really great that this.”

Once my doctor left the nurses talked about how my doctor is as close as you can get to a mid-wife while still having a doctor because of her approach to birth.  Which is one of the reasons I chose her.  She is really great.

Well, that about sums it up.  I’ll write what happened in the following days some time soon.

Questions?  Comments?  Did I tell you something that I forgot to write down here?  What happened at your births?

Silver Lining

There is a Silver Lining to everthing, I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before.  I try to find it in life.   Some times I succeed, some times I don’t.  I’ve been working on a way to find it with my whole migraine issue.

I think I’ve managed to find one. 

My medication makes me lose weight. YA!

That’s it. 

I’m sure I’ll think of something else later.

So, what are some Sliver Linings you’ve found for some not-so-fun stuff in your life?