Sunday, April 22, 2012


Please don't get me wrong... I am so very thankful that I am dealing with this situation than a worse alternative...  look away if you are not up for petty whining.

I'm homesick.  If you are following along on Caringbridge, you have an idea of the day to day, the great week Ella had and in general, the story.  And I'm handling it.  Most days I'm handling it with humor and a smile.

But when I get back to my room in the lovely hospitality house (that I am truly so thankful for)...  there are times I get homesick.  Especially in the shower.

I honestly think all of this would be a 'little bit easier' if I could go home at the end of the day.  You know the feeling when you walk in your house?  The 'ah, I'm home' feeling.  You are surrounded by your personal comforts.  You are in your safe place.

And I'd have my dogs.

I just don't have that here. It's a lovely place, but at the end of the day, it's a room. A twin bed.  Very little counter space (you can't wash & dry your pump parts in the same place, you have to move from bathroom to counter in bedroom for wash/dry).  I have to sit on the bed and pump.  The water pressure and temperature of the shower fluctuate frequently.  There is no TV.  I am latching on to an unsecured internet signal that is not overly reliable.  No food or drink other than water in your room.  Hospital grade sheets & towels... that sometimes have strange stains on them.

My room is by FAR better than the hospital room I was in... so it is a matter of perspective.  It's just not HOME.

Knowing that this will be my life for the next 2 - 3 months (although I'll be moving from my current location to stay at a friends house/guest room)... 


I really am fine and grateful.  I hope you understand the need to let it out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Protein Levels

Here is an excerpt from my latest CaringBridge post if you are not following along.

Note - when you go to CaringBridge, you are asked for a password if you have previously established an account, as in you've followed someone else on CaringBridge in the past.  The password is not specific to my journal.  Also, I'll never know that you read my journal unless you leave a comment; I know more about my readers on Blogger than I do CB)

Other note... Ella is making some steady progress over the last couple of days (as chronicled on CB) for which I am tremendously grateful.  I've decided that I definitely do not want to duplicate posts between this site and CB on a regular basis, but still figuring out how to balance it as in the near future I just don't see how I can keep up two separate spaces at the same time.  I'm not going anywhere...  I just need to figure out the balance.  Once things calm down...


I'm too tired tonight to go into a detail of my 'condition' and its impacts, I do need to summarize a few tidbits tonight.  My follow up with the Asheville high-risk OB is in the morning... so hopefully I can come out of that with more information and finally write that entry about my health.

I did, however, speak with my local (to Charlotte) OB today.  I called my nurse there this morning and told her I would like to know what the results of my 24 hour urine test were, the test that I completed on Thursday morning before Easter.  And additionally I told her I'd like to make an appointment to sit down (or by phone) with my doc - Dr. R - to review what led to all of this, if it could have been caught sooner, etc.  Simply put, closure.

Dr. R called me today, we had a good conversation.  I'm not going to go into the full detail on this discussion at this time, just the highlights.

*Remember, my OB appointment on Tuesday before Easter was with a different doctor in the practice, Dr. V. as patients are encouraged to rotate their appointments after 20 weeks between the different doctors in the practice in the event your doctor is not available at the time you deliver.  Fairly standard practice.

While I turned in my test to the doctors office by noon on Thursday, I'm told the results for my 24 hour urine test were not received from the lab by Dr. V until after I had already called my nurse on Monday to report what had happened and that Ella was here.  

Dr. V actually had to call the lab for the results (Dr. R was on vacation last week).  Apparently when the lab ran my test they didn't believe the results and decided to rerun the test.  I have no idea how long it takes to run these tests, I just provided the sample.

The good news is my liver was not affected, it was normal.  

I did have just a little bit of protein in my urine... below are the thresholds for protein in urine for a pregnant woman:

< 300 Normal
> 300 Pre eclampsia
>5000 Severe  Pre eclampsia

My results...  23,000

Go on, the normal response to this is OMG!!!  Yes, this is 4 1/2 TIMES the threshold for 'severe'.  You can say it again.. OMG!!!

It's a wonder I was functioning at all...  

At this point, I don't know what having this information a few days prior to when I went to the ER would have, or would not have done for Ella and me?  Obviously things happened the way they did for a reason, but there was definitely a process breakdown between the lab and the doctors office that needs to be addressed (and Dr. R sounded like those discussions were already underway).  

As I mentioned, I have a follow-up with the Asheville doctor for myself in the morning.  And Dr. R and I discussed a number of other things.  There are a lot of thoughts to put together around all of this so it's going to take some time to write that post.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

CaringBridge Site for Ella

We have gotten a CaringBridge site set up for updates on Ella.  I have not quite figured out exactly how I will integrate with the blog (just give the link to you, duplicate the posts or expand on the detail of the posts in a more personal manner).

For the moment, here is the link.  I posted two Journal updates tonight to cover...

  • Why did I have to have an emergency c-section at 25 weeks?
  • How is Ella?

Thank you again for all of your comments and positive support!  It means the WORLD to me and my family!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Just an update that things are continuing to progress day to day.  I just have not had time to write things down.  More to come as soon as I can.  Just a quick check in.

Ella wearing Grandma's wring as a bracelet while experiencing Kangaroo with Mommy (skin to skin)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Introducing Ella Caroline (15 weeks early)

While visiting my family in the mountains this past weekend, I was so miserable I went to the local ER and was diagnosed on Sunday with preeclampsia and things happened very quickly. I was transferred by ambulence to a larger hospital in Asheville with excellent high risk/NIKU care.  I ended up delivering Ella Caroline at 12:12 am Monday. She weighs 1.25 lbs and was immediately labeled a “rock star” for how well she is doing given her rate of prematurity (25w2d – her estimated due date was July 21) !

I am still fighting the effects of the preeclampsia and am pretty weak. I am having good moments but they are taken with my visits to Ella and pumping (and dealing with insurance/medical leave) so I am not texting or typing well yet. The greatest joy was visiting Ella today. When I saw Ella for the first time this morning, she knew me.  She was crying and I reached in and touched her tiny little head with one of my hands and her arm with my other hand. I spoke softly to her and she immediately calmed and peacefully rested. She knew my voice. She recognized her mommy J

I know that I am completely behind on reading and responding to all of your loving messages and I can’t wait to read them. I have been gaining strength, but I will likely be in the hospital through the weekend. Ella will be here for a couple of months. We don’t know yet if we will be able to transfer to Charlotte at some point or if we will remain in Asheville for her NICU time.

My dogs are in good care with my parents enjoying the mountain air. I will get to each and every message as I regain energy.  I have had fabulous support between my mom and my BFF and appreciate all of the offers of support to come help in Asheville as my friends are available. I will be taking you all up on it.

I am currently trying to keep things very calm and peaceful and get a lot of rest as keeping my blood pressure down is a must. Thank you all so much for all of the love, support and prayers. Please keep them coming!

(Typed by my BFF - who flew up from Florida yesterday… I just don’t have the energy to type yet)