Thursday, November 10, 2011

God is good!

Lots of good news this week!

So last week at my 28 week appointment, I had my 1-hour glucose test to see if I am at risk for gestational diabetes. The nurse called the next day to let me know that my blood-work was good, except for my blood-sugar being elevated so I would need to come back and do the 3-hour test... oh joy. I went in on Tuesday this week to do that one. The glucola drink was twice as sugary as the last time and made me feel nauseous for the first hour after drinking it. Luckily I didn't have to stay in the office in between the hourly blood draws so after the first hour, I went and walked around at Walgreens and then during the last hour I walked around at Publix a little and that made me feel a little better. When I was done, the nurse told me she would call in the morning with the results. I was a little nervous waiting for the call... when she finally called, she said she had good news, woohoo! I passed! The first draw was a little elevated but the others were good, so no gestational diabetes for me! One less thing to worry about :).

Then on Wednesday afternoon, I had my appointment with the neurologist. She did a basic neuro exam and asked me a bunch of questions (most of which seemed to be asking me about stroke symptoms), then looked at my eyes since the ophthalmologist said my optic nerve was a little pale. Based on that and what I told her about my vision, she said from a neuro standpoint, she thought I was fine. I asked about the abnormality on the MRI, and to my surprise she hadn't actually looked at my MRI yet, so she went to look at it and came back. She said she was not impressed (which I'm thinking is with the techs or radiologist) and said it was an incidental finding (i.e. not affecting my vision) and that there might not be anything even there and it's just the way they cut the slides and went from one image to another.... or it could just be something from an old injury when I was young. She asked if I had any and I told her about the car accident I was in in 5th grade and got a concussion from... and she said, "Well there you go!" So she was not at all concerned about that and just to be on the safe side, I will be going back after little man is born to get an MRI with contrast (which I can't have while pregnant) to check everything more clearly. So as of right now, it doesn't appear there's anything to worry about... so hopefully this vision thing is just a weird pregnancy symptom and will be gone after I give birth :).

Today, Ken finally got orders! And he did get Norfolk, which was the best option for him right now. He didn't get the ship he wanted, but we're hoping it will work out for the best this way. The ship he's going to will only have one more deployment and then be decommissioned (which supposedly is an awful schedule and why Ken didn't want this ship). The nice thing for Ken is that this last deployment is supposed to be an "Around the World" type tour where they stop at a lot of ports so Ken will hopefully get to see lots of cool places. Then from what he's heard so far (not sure if it's actually true) but the deployment is not supposed to start until a little after the baby is born... so hopefully he'd be able to come home when he's born and spend time with us before he leaves, which would be awesome! He does have to report mid-December though, so he may not actually be here for the birth but thankfully I have Bobbi to help with that. Plus, she's the one who's been going with me to all my childbirth classes anyway.

And lastly, speaking of childbirth... I received some reassuring info at my 28 week appointment last week about going natural. I spent most of my appointment talking with a L&D nurse who is training with the midwife at my OB's office to become a midwife. I hadn't planned on asking some of the questions I had thought of from my childbirth class since I have some time, but since she worked at the hospital I'll be delivering at, I figured I could ask a few things about the hospital. She did see on my chart that I didn't want an epidural and she asked if I wanted to try without it or just not have it and I told her it was completely off the table, not an option due to my scoliosis. This then got the conversation going about going natural. She said that there are a lot of nurses at the hospital who are knowledgeable and have experience with natural births and that some of the rooms have tubs that I can labor in... all of which made me feel tons better. I also asked if I can bring a birthing ball and she said that would be fine. She said my OB's office is very supportive of natural births (which I hadn't worried about). She also said that I wouldn't have to be hooked up to an IV... just have a port in case of emergency, or a fetal monitor so that I can be up and move around when I need/want to. I told her I didn't want to be on my back at all, and she agreed that being on your back is the worst position to be. Then the actual midwife came in to make sure I didn't have any other questions and also talked a little about me going natural. She said that since I have told them now that I want to go unmedicated, they will not even offer me anything while I'm in the hospital and that I should come up with a code word and tell my birth coach what it is in case I think I might really actually want something once I'm in labor as they won't give it to me if I ask, unless I use the code word so they know I'm really in need of it or whatever. But she was confident I wouldn't need it. I thought that was pretty great :).

Well, that's all for now. I'm looking forward to spending a nice long weekend with Ken :). (Sorry this was another long update... I'm going to try to do more smaller updates instead of these big long ones!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Update

Ok, so it feels like a million things have happened in October.... so I'll try to recap here.

My childbirth classes started right after the shower (I have now been to 4). They are once a week and unfortunately all the way down in Jacksonville (technically Mandarin). The method taught is The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth. Yes, in the days of epidurals and pain killers, I am opting to go au' natural. Part of my decision is based on the fact that I can't/won't have any needles put in my spine due to the severe curvature of my scoliosis, that I'm allergic to the codeine family of drugs, and that I am not a fan of heavy duty pain killers in general... I don't like how I feel. So knowing these things, and the fact that I am all about natural ways of eating (organic, made from scratch usually) and staying healthy and/or relieving pain (acupuncture & chiropractic care)... this seemed right up my alley. Plus the program has a nationwide success rate of 80% of women who complete the class going on to have completely unmedicated childbirth. Plus, since I go to acupuncture, I will be getting help there at the end to help birth go more naturally. Add in my stubbornness/persistancy and I think I have a pretty good chance of not getting any medications. I have really learned a lot so far in class and there's still 8 weeks to go. I haven't been doing all of my exercises like I'm supposed to every day, though I do most of them sporadically, I'm hoping to get myself into a good routine with everything now that I'm not working anymore. :)

Ok... so all the craziness with Ken... back in May, he passed a kidney stone and turns out he still has one in each kidney so he cannot go back to a sub. So the paperwork that medical submitted for Ken to get officially disqualified subs and have his job code changed to surface can take 6 months to go through. We weren't sure for a while if it would really take that long or if they could just get him on a carrier. Eventually, they told him that he would have to just fulfill his orders that he already had to a sub in Norfolk until the paperwork went through and then they would move him to a carrier... sounds stupid, right? Send him to a sub even though he's not supposed to be on one with kidney stones. Well, a few weeks before the shower, they tell him that his sub orders have been pulled/canceled (someone finally realized the idiocy in sending him to a sub when he's being sub-disqualified) and the command in Charleston decided that they would put in for him to be extended there for a year, which gives 6 months for the paperwork to go through and 6 months that you are supposed to get to negotiate for orders. He would be moving from the shiftwork he's been doing for 3.5 years and go to a M-F normal working schedule with weekends and holidays off. It sounded too good to be true! That Ken would actually get to be home for the holidays and to continue helping around the house with stuff I can no longer do too well, be here for the baby to be born, and then be home for weekends and holidays for a while after and get to spend time with us before having to go to Norfolk and be going out to sea. Well.... it was too good to be true. They denied his extension at the detailer's office leaving him in limbo without orders. As soon as the paperwork goes through (anytime between now and February), they will immediately give him orders to a carrier. Luckily he's kept in contact with the surface detailer so that he can still get Norfolk when that happens. The good part is that while he waits, he did still get moved to the M-F day shift and is home every weekend and off on holidays... so I will enjoy it while I can and hope and pray he doesn't get orders before the baby is born. So that's where we are on that!

And most recently, there's the trouble with my eyes... it started mid-month and I first only noticed it when I was in fluorescent lighting. It's not that my eyes are blurry per say, it's more like they aren't fully adjusting to certain lighting and it makes my vision just look off.  The best way I can describe it is that it's like when it's bright and sunny out and you come inside and your eyes take a minute to readjust and it's like mine get almost back to normal and stop. I started noticing that it wasn't just random and it was actually there every day.... I notice it most with fluorescent lighting, computer screens, and when I try to read something. So I decided after a week, that I should let my OB know and see if this was just a weird pregnancy thing or something I needed to get checked out. I had an ocular migraine in college too and wondered if maybe this was a just different version? When I called the office, he was in surgery so I spoke with his nurse who suggested I call my eye dr and see what she thought. So I called my optometrist and they got me in that morning. She couldn't see anything that would explain my vision issue but just to be on the safe side, she wanted me to see an ophthalmologist. So I had to go see my primary doctor that same day in order to get the referral. Luckily I was able to get in right away and got the referral. Later that night, my OB did call me to let me know that he couldn't make anything from my symptoms so we would see what the ophthalmologist said. The next morning, I got a call from the ophthalmologist saying they had my referral (much faster than I thought!) and they got me in that afternoon. They dialated my eyes and still she wasn't sure what the cause might be, but did comment that my optic nerve looked pale. She then wanted me to have a field vision test done but I would have to do it the next day since my eyes were dialated. So..... the next day I have to drive to their office 45 minutes away, since they are only in town on Mondays and Tuesdays, and do the field vision test. I've done these kind before and I tend to blink a lot which actually messed up the test for my left eye and I had to start that one over. After that was done, it did show that I had a small dark spot in the vision of each eye and she was still a little concerned at how long my vision issue had been going on, so she called my OB and discussed me having an MRI to check if I maybe had a tumor (even benign) on my pituitary gland that grew because of pregnancy hormones and was putting pressure on the optic nerve. Oh great, like I need something else to worry/freak out about. So my OB talked with my primary doctor to get me a referral for an MRI. The hospital called the next day and go me scheduled for the MRI (without contrast). So I get the MRI and they tell me my doctor will get the results in 2-3 days. Well, I get a call from my OB the very next day.... the faster you hear, usually is not a good sign. So he tells me they did see something on the MRI but it doesn't look related to my vision issue and that they think it could be a small blood clot in one of my veins and that now I needed an MRI with contrast to get a better look. So now I'm freaking out that I might have a blood clot in my brain, oye! Since the last MRI was set up so quickly, I assumed I would hear from the hospital the next day to get the 2nd one set up. Finally, later that afternoon I hear from my OB. They sent my scan to another radiology group that typically looks at the weekend scans and they are calling this thing on the MRI an asymmetric non-specific signal abnormality (whatever that means!). So my OB didn't know what that meant either and mentioned something about them wanting me to get a CT with contrast (a big no-no for pregnant women) so he said instead of exposing me to another scan, that he was going to set up a neuro consult and we would see what comes of that. So after I talk with him, I of course try to google the term he used to see if anything even popped up or I could get an idea of what it might mean.... and nothing. So after I talked to Ken, I called my mom to let her know what was going on. She said she would call her SIL who is a nurse to see if she had ever heard of that term. I decided to call my friend who is a physician's assistant to see what her take was on the situation. She said that it basically means they don't know what it is (which is what my mom's SIL and my aunt also ended up saying) and that I shouldn't worry about it too much. Some people have abnormalities that are normal for them. Now I'm trying not to worry about it to much, and since it's been almost a week now and I have yet to hear about the neurologist, I'm assuming my doctors aren't too worried either. Surely if it was something to worry about, I would have heard something by now. I have my 28 week check-up tomorrow (11-2) and plan to ask about it. Hopefully I'll get to see my OB and not the midwife so that I can ask him about it.

Well, that's October in a nut shell... though it looks like a big nutshell looking back at how long this got. Hopefully there will be better news in my next post :).