Thursday, June 26, 2008

Part II of Pregnancy #3

The time is now around 2 pm when I get transferred on 1-25-05
I am now on the antepartum floor and I have had 10mg of Morphine injected into my body. I am now tired and sleepy from the drugs and the pain is a 6 out of 10. The pain is much more bearable and I am able to get comfortable. We are no closer to an answer as to what is wrong with me. This is very frustrating to me because as far as I am hearing from the doctors and nurses I am staying at the hospital for “observation”. An ultrasound was not done one time on the baby. My biggest fear was that this was a baby issue and it was stumping me as to why an ultrasound was never done or talked about. To help reassure me that the baby was okay I was hoping at some point for someone to want to have an ultrasound done to look around. I would even bring it up to the nurses and doctors and I was getting blown off. I just wanted to know that the baby was okay. That there were no signs of an impending miscarriage, but my wants were different than the staff at the hospital. My mom stayed with me as long as she could, but at some point she had to leave to go help my sister with Joey and figure out a plan as to how she was now going to rearrange her schedule. Jeff was now at the airport and trying to find a way to get home.

When I would wake out of my groggy state there were two things concerning me. One was that the time seemed to keep getting later and later and there was no one in my room taking me for tests to figure out what was going on. The second was that there seemed to be no plan. Now call me crazy but I don’t think it is normal to experience the pain that I experienced and think it is okay to send someone home in the morning with no answers as to what is going on.
At some point I started getting angry. I took matters into my own hands. Yes, I was in a hospital and you would have thought that these people were on top of this and trying to come up with a diagnosis. I didn’t see this happening so I got on the phone and called my OB at her office. I told the receptionist that I need to speak with my OB and that I am in the hospital can I talk to her like now. She ended up calling me back and I explained to her what was going on. I said Dr. H why is no one doing an ultrasound? Why is no one trying to figure this out? What do you know? I don’t feel comfortable with this “observation” and the possible discharge in the am with no answers. She was shocked that thus far nothing had been done but she also stated that maybe the reason was because I was pregnant I was unable to do some tests they would normally do to rule things out. For example Cat scans and even MRI or using any type of dye. So I said to her can’t they use ultrasound?

She must have made a call, because now things started to move along. At some point a general surgeon came in and did an exam on me. He made a comment about opening me up in the am to have a look around. Um excuse me? Remind me NOT to sign that consent form. I was able to learn that they were going to start ruling a few things out. (Ovarian cyst, splenic artery aneurysm, and gall stones). I remember my dad coming and staying at the hospital with me. We were watching American Idol. I also remember that it kept getting later and later. I was supposed to go for the ultrasound around 6-7pm. I don’t think I ever left the floor until after 9:30pm. I do remember though that to have this ultrasound done they wanted a Foley catheter in place. So I had the joy of having my first Foley catheter inserted! I was finally wheeled down to the room where the ultrasound was done to look around. I tried really hard to ask the tech to give me a peek at the baby. I just wanted to see movement, but she was unwilling to do that “stating she is not trained in OB”. I don’t know why a little glimpse just to see movement and put my mind at ease would be such a big deal, but I guess her job may have been on the line. I would never have told anyone, I just needed reassurance.
Around 11:00 pm finally we had an answer! I had hydronephrosis of the left kidney with fluid obstruction. They were unable to see a kidney stone and did not know if I had passed a stone or if one was hanging out. I was relieved to have an answer as to why I had all this pain and know what was happening in my body, but I was now a bit puzzled. I had never had a kidney stone before and no one in my family has ever had one either. I was also told of a study that had been done and the worst pain rated was from labor and second to that was the pain from a kidney stone. Good to know that this was not all in my head and I was just being a wimp. I was able to get some sleep now that I had a diagnosis and the plan was to meet with the urology staff in the morning to find a treatment plan. I was also so relieved that the general surgeon would no longer be coming to my room and talking to me about possibly opening me up to “have a look around”.
I met my urologist in the morning. He was a very nice man. His name is Dr. Geller. Now that we had a diagnosis it was time for a plan. The nurses had already been straining all my urine. At this point so far there had been no stones passed. I am a person who is a doer and so I felt more comfortable with doing something for this problem as opposed to doing nothing. This pain that I had been feeling was something that I never wanted to feel again. As far as waiting it out and possibly passing a stone or getting by with pain medication was not something I wanted to endure. The other option was to insert a stent to allow the water and buildup around the kidney a way to escape. The thing with this though is to dilate the kidney more. Once the stent is in the stent stays in until the end of the pregnancy. The procedure is called cystoscopy with left ureteral stent. He explained the procedure and I was able to confide in him about the loss of Samantha and Sydney. He was very empathetic and he reassured me that they would have someone come down after the procedure to do fetal Doppler’s. I was also able to have him talk to my OB and I did as well about having an ultrasound done before I left the hospital. This was more for peace of mind than anything else. I was now able to eat if I wished and the following day the stent placement was scheduled. The Foley was still in place and I know that I asked several times to have it removed and finally someone wrote an order for its removal. (Like we are talking 7 pm) I was NPO at midnight. I think that day was just spent sleeping and visiting with my parents and I want to say that Jeff may have been home then also.

The day was basically a waiting game. The urology team was running late basically all day long. I finally went down to have the stent put in late evening. I am talking after 10:00 pm. They used an epidural for anesthesia so that the baby was safe and also so I would not feel anything. Dr. Geller told me something interesting when it was all done and over with. What he told me was that when they put the stent in some fluid that was cloudy and dark came out. *Could that have been the stone? Could that have been the cause to all of this?* He did not know so he went with the plan and left the stent in place. This is the quote from the medical records “her left ureteral orifice was surrounded with edematous bladder mucosa.” Here is another quote after the stent was placed “thick urine with debris was seen coming out of the stent located in the patient’s urinary bladder.” This is always something I will wonder only because of the complications and pain associated with the stent and what lied ahead. I wonder if the remainder of the pregnancy would have been a piece of cake as opposed to all the fun that a stent caused. What if after the fluid came out instead of using the stent and just exiting without this contraption in place would the pain and all the symptoms associated with it have gone away since the obstruction seemed to now have been taken care of? After the procedure as promised there was a nurse that was there to take Doppler’s. Once again the sweet sound of a heartbeat was heard. The following day an ultrasound was also scheduled to look at baby and anatomy.
As promised in the morning before being discharged I was wheeled over to the floor for an ultrasound of the baby. The baby measured 16 weeks and 1 day and was perfect. Even though I tried to find out it was too early to determine the sex of the baby. The amniotic fluid volume was normal and so was the placenta. After being discharged I was excited to get going again after this bump in the road. I was happy to see Joey as well. There were a few things though that started to take place. One was in the ‘feeling’ that something that is not supposed to be in my body is now in my body. The sharp, constant, unbearable pain was gone, but now there was a new pain and uncomfortableness associated with the stent. One evening Jeff, Joey, and I went to the mall to use some of our Christmas gift cards and to do some returns. I know almost February, but being sick for now two months this was the first chance we had to get out. I remember that after shopping we got in the car and I had a breakdown. I was so uncomfortable and my back was hurting all the time. In some ways it felt like metal in my back. I can’t put into words these new feelings and pain I was having. I had moments where I just felt sorry for myself. I thought I had gone through so much with Joey’s pregnancy and then the loss of Sam and Syd this third pregnancy has to be an easy one right? Third time is the charm isn’t that what they say? This was not fun at all. I liked the breathing baby in the end of it all, but not all this stuff going on during incubation of the little person. Another thing we would soon be facing was the one year anniversary of the deaths of the girls.

Late February I noticed something new with my whole stent. I would void in the toilet and there would be blood. I have sent a lot of urine to the lab for analysis and something they always check is if there is blood in the urine. That test did not have to be done. You could see the blood when you looked at my urine with the naked eye. This blood was also fresh blood. Like when you cut yourself. The first time it happened I freaked out and thought it was blood from the vagina. After a bit more investigation I found it to be from my urine. This caused more stress and worry for me. I would then call my urologist and worry about the stent. Is it digging into something it should not be? Is this another sign of what I experienced previously? At some point I was also put on Ditropan. Ever seen that commercial? Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now? Well that was me. The Ditropan was to help with bladder spasm, urgency, and frequency. When I went to Dr. Geller’s appointments I would always get a chuckle as I sat in the waiting room. I was always the youngest person in the waiting room and I felt like one of the elderly waiting to see the doctor. I always wondered if they were on the drug too.

We were getting close to going on a family trip to Florida and to take Joey to Disney. My parents have a condo in Sanibel and we were going there after we spent a few days with Mickey. This was a trip for Joey. I still felt bad that he missed the trip in December because of his sick mom. I went into the hospital on the 28th. I went in for hematuria (blood in urine) and left sided pain. The pain started getting worse (not like before, but worse than what I had been having after the stent) the pain was not being relieved by the Percocet. Another thing that was a stress was being pregnant and taking so much pain medication. I would take a half or a quarter of one as opposed to taking a whole one. Then I got to the point where I did not want to rely on Percocet so I flushed the pills down the toilet and tried Advil instead. They would do an ultrasound of the kidney when I went and find the stent to be in good position as well as no new hydronephrosis. It was found that the stent was causing irritation. This in and out business would continue for a few weeks. Ultrasound, morphine, and then send me on my way.

The day before our trip to leave for Florida I had an ultrasound. Baby was doing great everything with the pregnancy seemed picture perfect and it is a GIRL. This brought feelings of happiness as well as sadness.
Before leaving for Florida we made a quick stop to have some photos printed of Joey making the announcement of the sex of our baby.

While we were in Disney I was in the restroom before getting ready to leave to go to the park. While voiding I felt something strange. When I looked in the toilet a LARGE clot was in the toilet bowl. The fear of it all brought tears. We got through the day and tried to make the best of it. The walking was painful, but again as a mom you suck it up sometimes for your kids. The Ditropan allows me to get by with having the stent (a drug for spasms).

4-12-05 a urine culture came back positive and it was time for some antibiotics

4-17-05 another ultrasound our little Gabrielle is doing well. She is now breech and but is growing in the 20th percentile. There is concern about “an unusually thick placenta”. I am now 27 weeks and there is a recommendation to have a repeat ultrasound in two weeks for growth and also to take another look at the placenta

4-27-05: back to the hospital, this time for vomiting, fever, pain and cramps. Now I also begin to having burning in my urethra when voiding. An IV was inserted and the fun begins again. This time they decided that it was not due to the kidneys or an infection from the stent, but gastroenteritis.
5-5-05 follow up ultrasound. Baby is now in the 25th percentile for growth. Stated they were concerned about a possible “mass” with the placenta in the past, but now there is not a concern he thinks the thick part is from the placenta bending.

6-15-05 today I was seen for an amniocentesis. I was 35 weeks along and the blood in the urine was getting worse and so was the pain. If I passed the amnio and the lungs were mature we were then going to go ahead with the induction as soon as possible. As my luck would have it the lungs of Gabby were not mature and so we continued along.

6-25-05 I was now inpatient in the hospital and we were going to go ahead and start the induction. I was 37 and 3 days. This is the last family picture of the three of us before going into the hospital the following morning. I went in the early morning. Joey spent the night of the 25th with my parents (nana and papa) the plan was after the birth to have kept the epidural in place and then Dr. Geller would come to the hospital for the removal of the stent.

June 26th 2005

Delivery went well. No problems or complications what so ever. Great epidural easy as cake labor and delivery. This was the calm before the storm. This story will be continued.


Jaime said...

Holy Cow! The fact that there is more "storm" to come is just shocking! You poor thing! I don't think I could have handled any more. You must be so strong!
What a sweet girl, though!:)

angie said...

Oh my goodness. Laurie. I don't even know what to say. Your pregnancies have been ROUGH. I can't believe they didn't check your kidneys first thing. I'm a medical moron and that's the first thing i thought of. I love the last picture where her feet are black....Happy Birthday to your lovely "baby".

Jocasta said...

Once again "Nooooo don't stop!"

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

You've had some shoddy medical care, that's for sure! I can't believe this gets worse. You really should send this to a publisher because its great reading. The whole time I'm thinking, "My god, how did she get through this" and "I'm so glad this didn't happen to me!" You are one strong woman.

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