Our little family

Our little family
Wife Woman, Husband Man, Catcher and The Hoskinettes.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well i'm almost at 25 weeks in this pregnancy, every week feels like a milestone. Last week when i saw the dr he told me the exact numbers they look at to classify how high risk my pregnancy is. Right now they test the protein in my urine weekly by making me collect it for 24 hours and then doing a quantitative analysis of exactly how much protein is present. Last week the protein had jumped up from 150 which it had previously been (and is the normal range) to suddenly being 242, which was a large jump and i was worried about it. However they said the exactly number when they start to worry is 300, when it's over 300 accompanied by blood pressures over 140/90 then they officially classify it as pre-eclampsia, which left untreated can result in restricted growth of the baby and seizures in the mother. Once pre-eclampsia has officially set in they watch it close to see how fast it gets worse. During my pregnancy with Elaine (my oldest) i had pre-eclampsia, which after having the baby (which is the only known cure) turned into something even more dangerous called HELLP syndrome. HELLP is an acronym for the symptoms of a disease which shuts down the kidneys and liver and kills red blood cells, in many cases it can be deadly. Because it is a pregnancy related illness, the only cure for HELLP syndrome is delivery of the baby, in rare cases like mine, where it occurs after the delivery, there is no cure. My body eventually fixed itself but it was a very long recovery. Now you can understand why we adopted Maggie after Elaine :) We were not in a hurry to have another pregnancy like that. Our pregnancy with Katie was not as bad, very easy until the end, the blood pressure spiked at the end of the third trimester which is why she was delivered early.

Now to the current issues, after further tests my protein is now 312, and my blood pressure when i have been up is in the 160's/100's we're looking at official pre-eclampsia, now it's just a waiting game to see how quickly it progresses. There is no other way to get it to stop than to eventually deliver the baby. Because this set in so early, the dr is very concerned about it turning into HELLP syndrom again, we're crossing our fingers and arms in prayer at this point. I don't know when this baby will be born, but the dr says we're probably looking at yet another february birthday. none of my babies were ever due in february, but somehow that seems to keep being when i have them. Katie and Elaine were both due in March, but born in February, Catcher is due in April and may be born in february....i can't imagine that again lol. Just waiting around and thought i'd update you.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

bed rest continues

I saw the dr on Christmas Eve, he was concerned about me being out of touch for Christmas and wanted to keep tabs on my blood pressure. The blood pressure was even higher at the appointment and he was very not happy about that. It seems at each point he tries to give me his most optimistic opinion of how far he thinks this pregnancy will go. In the beginning we were shooting for 35-36 weeks, which is fine, that's what the other babies i've had were born at, i know what to expect of a baby born at that gestational age, they do fine with just over a week in the NICU. Then his estimate went closer to 34 weeks. At this appointment, his optimistic opinion of the length of this pregnancy is 30-32 weeks, that's a little more scary when the dr is hoping to stretch it that far. Now i have to see the dr every week, and hope i don't end up in the hospital waiting for 30 weeks. He also said he's gonna give me the steroid at 28 weeks to help baby Catcher's lungs mature, as it is going to be some time around then that he's most likely going to have to be born before my body tries to shut down.

I'm trying to be okay with having a baby that early, knowing he's going to be in the NICU, and just hope he's going to be healthy eventually, but truthfully it's all really scary. a baby this early has chances of so much going wrong, most survive if born after 28 weeks, but it's going to be a long road and i'm just hoping i have the stamina to not fall apart during the whole experience. Trying to take care of three kids and recover from kidney stone surgery and the c-section, and having a baby to visit in the NICU which will most likely be in Stockton, it just feels like a lot, and i'm not even there yet. I'm trying to remember to breathe and just hope that all goes well until 28 weeks, a baby born before then has much lower chances of health, let alone survival, i'm trying really hard to keep my body together, but it's just so strange that my body is trying to shut down and fall apart just because i decided to have another baby.

Sometimes i wonder why i decided to have another baby, well not just i, it was Adam and i both who decided we wanted this. But this is now the third time i've put a baby at risk because my body didn't handle being pregnant, so far this is the worst yet as far as pregnancy goes, but there's just no way to predict how a pregnancy is going to turn out, and i wonder if i had known that it would have been like this, would i still have chosen to do it?? I don't know, i mean if i knew the future and knew that the pregnancy would be like this, maybe i would also know the outcome of the baby, and if he'll survive, or if he'll have permanent life-long problems from being so premature, would any of those things really make me not want him any less....i can't imagine anything that would make me not love this little guy and i haven't even met him yet. I live in fear of the future of his little life, and how much my body is putting him through. I know in the end it's all up to Heavenly Father, but i hate not knowing.

Aside from all of that, Christmas was pretty good. The kids loved everything they got, they got less than we normally would buy, but they were happy anyway and didn't even notice the smaller amount. they got the things they asked Santa for, and that's what they were looking forward to. Several times i heard the kids say " i got exactly what i wanted!!" It was good to hear. I suppose that balances it all out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

how early is too early?

It's been a long few weeks. three weeks i think now, since the start of all the drama, the kidney stone and now the blood pressure. My blood pressure's been creeping up every time i get up it shoots up high, when i lay back down it goes back to normal, so bed rest has been the name of the game for a while now. The OB dr was getting concerned about the rising blood pressure and whether it is because of the pregnancy or because of the kidney, it's hard to tell. He ran several blood tests to make sure other organ functions were normal.

You see when i was pregnant with my oldest daughter Elaine i had what is called HELLP syndrome, it's not common, but my current dr is trying to make sure i don't have it again. HELLP syndrome shut down my liver and kidneys and caused my body to start destroying it's self from the inside out. As is obvious i did eventually recover, but having blood pressure problems this early could be a sign that HELLP syndrome is going to recur in this pregnancy, which could have disaterous reprecusions. Well the blood tests showed that i'm not currently experiencing any symptoms of HELLP, however they made me collect my urine for 24 hours, which i've had to do several times during this pregnancy, so they can get a quantitative analysis of how much protein is in my urine, excessive protein is a sign of kidney failure. Well i saw the results online and compared them to the past results i've had and it is about twice as high, and VERY above normal. So i know i'm going to be hearing from the dr about this and i'm just a little concerned to see what he says he wants to do. Protein in the urine combined with high blood pressure usually means immediate delivery but it is just way too early to deliver this baby. The big question right now is which is causing which. Is the kidney stone shutting down the kidney, which is causing the protein in the urine? or is the pregnancy causing the high blood pressure which is causing the kidney to have more trouble than it would? We already know this baby is going to be early, it's just a given at this point....but the question now is....how early? i'm getting nervous about the whole thing, i thought i'd post a blog to put the questions out there and when i know the answers, i'll post about that too. keeping our fingers crossed.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Between a stone and a hard place

It has been at least two weeks since i've been on the computer. No it's not intentional. About two weeks ago i started suffering severe stabbing pains in my back, and on a pain scale of 1-10 i rated this pain somewhere around a 9 and a half. To give you some perspective the worst pain i've known prior to this, having had two c-sections, was about an 8. I couldn't sit or stand, or lay down or move anyway that made it more comfortable. AWFUL! after only an hour of this, i was shaking and in tears, so my husand took me to the ER. They were concerned because being 20 weeks pregnant, there's only so much they can do for this kind of pain. Well after a quick urine sample it was diagnosed as a kidney stone. Now i had gall stones during my last pregnancy, that lasted a few days then eventually disipated and wasn't too bad at all, pain level of around a 7. This was completely different. They sent me home with HEAVY pain medication, which they assured my was safe during pregnancy. then other medication was prescribed for the side effects of the medication. So all told i was taking three or four different pills every four hours or so and if i missed a dose by even a half hour, the pain was horrendous. So we went back for a follow up appointment with an OB doctor. My doctor wasn't available but the dr who saw me said i needed to have more tests done so that i could go see a Urologyst who would decide what if anything could be done for the stone.

The problem was that the tests the dr ordered were x-rays. During the second trimester of pregnancy it is NEVER advised to have an x-ray if at all avoidable. So the tech refused to do the x-ray and sent me back to the OB with a note for him to call them. So here i am, in pain and pregnant and tired, and my medication is wearing off and now i've got to go back up to the third floor to give the note to the dr and wait to see what he wanted me to do. So i did that. But i had to wait and wait while the dr fought on the phone with the radiology department, now i think that if the OB says it's ok, he probably knows a little more about what is ok for the baby and what isn't, the fact of the matter is, to be able to help this stone get figured out....they needed to see where it was and how big it was. So he conceded to doing a CT scan instead, i don't know if that's less radiation or not but he said to go back down to the first floor and get a CT scan done. So i again marched down to the first floor, and waited for a CT scan. Well because it was the day after thanksgiving at this point, the building was not fully staffed so they had to send me over to the hospital portion of the building to get the CT scan. Now this is not a small building here, the is the Kaiser Medical Center in Modesto, half medical offices, half Hospital, and now i had to walk all the way over to the other side of the building to get the CT scan, i'm hurting a lot by now because the medication has long since worn off and my husband had taken the kids to get them food becasue we'd been here so long by this point that they were starving for lunch.

When i get to the CT room, the tech tells me that because i'm pregnant he can't do the scan. I broke down and started crying at this point... I tried to explain everything to him and finally he said "ok if you sign this paper i can do it" Well the paper says i know all the risks i'm putting my unborn child in and in short says, i'm a bad mom, and i know it and i want to get the scan anyway. I'm crying as i sign this because i know i can't see the urologyst if they can't see the stone. (the OB did tell me this was all not going to harm the baby but i was quite worked up at this point and was thinking more about the pain and hassel i'd been through than anything else) So i get the scan then eventually meet back up with the husband man and kids.

when i finally saw the urologyst after all of this i had stopped taking pain medication because on the days my husband works i simply cannot be comatosed on the couch all day which is what the pain medication does. So by the next friday (the day of the appointment) i was hurting more than i'd hurt in SEVERAL days, somewhere between an 8 and 9 on the pain scale. So i was already i a little cranky and weepy from hurting, but i had to drive myself to the appt, because Adam was working and my mom was watching the kids, nobody left for driving, so i get there and i'm starting to feel positive that maybe there's something this dr can do to fix this and it'll all be over soon.....BOY I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG!!!!

The dr shows me the CT scan (kinda cool to see i must say - saw the baby in there too) The stone looked rather big to me so i asked her how it compared to the average stone.... it's 7mm (millimeters) which sounds like a relatively small measurement, but people rarely pass anything over 4-5mm. Which then of course means the only option left for removing it is surgery. Because of where it's located they can't do shock wave therapy and becasue of what it's made of there's no medicine that will dissolve it. ok so surgery. the catch is, they won't do the surgery until after i have the baby, because it requires at least 2 hours under anesthesia and they WILL NOT consider doing it while i'm pregnant. However, if the pain is unmangeable they will consider putting in a stint (i'm hoping this is an alternative that will fix it) this is a straw they put in to allow better urine flow around the stone and that would stay in until after i have the baby also, it might relieve some of the pain associated with the stone....however it causes pain all it's own. You see the stint, although it is a straw, it's rigid, and it's like having a stick in your back, and movement can cause it to push on the muscles around it, causing back spasms. Oh joy.

Well the dr called today, (monday), and at this point i've pretty much been laying around doing nothing because that's the only way to not hurt without taking heavy medication. She says since laying around keeps the pain at bay, they won't put the stint in unless i show signs of loss of kidney function. So at this point i'm on couch rest till either the stone passes, or till the baby comes. Either way it appears to be a long road of laying around. You have no idea how boring this is!!!!!!!!!! I can't even lay or sleep in my bed, laying flat causes more pain, i lay on our new couch (which i love thankfully) in a semi sitting up position which seems to be the most comfortable...i even have to sleep out here. I've tried a couple times to go sleep in bed and it just doesn't work....i end up needing pain meds, where as if i sleep sitting up on the couch...i can make it without pain meds. I know that not using pain meds is the safest thing for the baby, and not getting a stint is also safer because even that procedure requires some short sedation. I know this is all for the good of the baby, and maybe i won't be the mom who guilts my kid with the story of the 15 hour labor....but i can be the mom who gives the guilt trip about the 4 or 5 months of bed (couch) rest and kidney pain!!! hey a mom's gotta have something.