Thursday, March 22, 2012

The beginning of the Journey - Pregnancy Weeks 6 & 7

Its been a roller coaster few days for us.

On Thursday March 8th, after a week of feeling queezy, we decided to take a test. I had to convince Neil that it was time to buy the test, he was in favor of waiting a little longer. But once we had the test at home, he wanted to take it at once, and I was the hesitant one. We bought the electronic kind, that reads clearly "pregnant" or "not pregnant" and it only took about 20 seconds to plainly show "PREGNANT"! Neil was overjoyed; I cried uncontrollably. The next day my work moved our warehouse across town. It was a tough day of non stop boxing and moving, which really wore me out, but I didn't feel comfortable saying that I didn't feel up to par. It was still a bit surreal.

I spent all of Friday night and most of Saturday morning on the couch. Saturday afternoon we headed to Mountain Grove with the Simmonds to visit the Freeman's. I knew it was nearly impossible for me to get through the whole day without Amanda or Kimberly asking me about being pregnant. Sure enough it came up within a couple hours, so I just told them the news. They were both very happy for me, but I was still so surprised/scared it was hard to talk about it. By that evening I was feeling worse and I felt pretty sick most of Sunday as well, although I managed to play bass and sing at church, teach Sunday school and go to small group.

The next week at work was different being in a new building, but I tried to take it in stride. All these changes happening all at once was a little overwhelming! I made it through the whole day at work, but had a hard time because I didn't bring enough to eat. Nothing sounded good. That night Neil went to the store and made me an incredible snack bag, chalk full of yummy treats pregnant women had recommended. There were Ritz crackers, Club crackers, Animal Crackers, Graham Crackers, Ginger Snaps, Ginger ale, Ginger mints, peppermints, peppermint gum, rice cakes, almonds - so many good things to choose from! And when the smells at work started overwhelming me, I could just smell my gum and it would all be better!

Tuesday I woke up feeling sick, so I came into work a little late. I took my big snack bag to work with me, but was feeling so bad by 12:30 that I headed home for a long lunch. When I came back to work, I broke the news to my boss that I was pregnant. He was so excited for me and Neil.

After taking a 3 hour lunch break on Wednesday, I knew I wasn't going to make it through the rest of the week. I asked for the day off on Thursday, and since I already had Friday off, the timing was perfect for a long recovery weekend. When I got home, Neil gave me a huge boquet of roses! He said, since I was going to be home for several days, I needed something beautiful to look at - and boy were they gorgeous! I had to move them across the room to be admired from afar because the smell was too strong (can you believe it?).

Thursday was a pretty good day for me. I was able to sleep some and eat a little bit. Neil waited on me hand and foot. He let me lay on the couch while he worked like a slave bringing me cold rags, ice chips, frozen gatorade, water, kleenex and emptying my trash can. That was on top of working a full time job, doing the laundry, cooking for himself and cleaning the whole house for guests we were supposed to have on Friday night (but ended up not having - shoof!) Friday was a little bit worse, I didn't feel like eating anymore. Saturday and Sunday were spent throwing up almost every two hours. We called the emergency line at my Dr's office and got the Dr on call. He was less than helpful. He basically said, its not a big deal, you don't have to eat. Just keep drinking fluid and its ok to throw up all the time, as long as you are throwing up less than you are drinking. This will probably go away after 12 weeks. booo. That was exactly NOT what I wanted to hear. So I said, well so I just need to hang in there until I can see my Dr? He said, well there isn't anything your Dr can really do for you either. Just keep drinking or you will have to go to the ER. I felt so deflated after talking to him, like he took all my hope away. I knew there were helpful things he could suggest - why wouldn't he help me? After that Neil decided to call his parents and tell them that we were pregnant, mostly because he was needing some moral support I think. Neil's mom came to the rescue and found two over the counter vitamins/medicines that help with nausea. I felt like I had a little bit of hope after all, and Neil and I decided that if my Dr was anything at all like the on call Dr, we would be finding a new physician. I knew that they could prescribe a number of medications to me, but that he just wasn't being helpful or sympathetic for whatever reason.

I desperately needed a shower, but I was too week to stand on my own. On Sunday Neil had to help me stand and clean me up. Unfortunately I couldn't even keep down the over the counter vitamins at this point because I was so dehydrated, so on Monday Neil took me to Urgent Care. I threw up in the car on the way to the facility, and walked into the Urgent Care carrying my trashcan and looking puny. The nurse made me wear a mask, and then realized that I was pregnant, not contagious. I don't think I needed to wear the mask anymore, but I did to ease the mind of the other patients who didn't know that I was pregnant and thought I was about to infect them with the flu! After finally meeting with the quirky triage nurse, who wanted to make all kinds of small talk even though I was obviously green, I ran to the bathroom to throw up again. People kept coming in and out of the bathroom and all I wanted to do was hide. Every smell was so obnoxious.

When I came out of the bathroom they had a room ready for me in urgent care. They ended up giving me three bags of fluid and three shots of Zofran (an anti-nausea medicine). Unfortunately none of this helped. I still felt very nauseous, even though I had stopped throwing up, and the IV fluid made me shiver all over. The nurse checked my blood and urine samples and determined that my white blood count was spiked as well as a few other things. They wanted to me meet with a surgeon and have an ultrasound of my gallbladder. They wheeled me down to the ER and did the ultrasound. I asked the nurse if the ultrasound would show us the baby also - she was not amused. She said, oh, you're pregnant? it won't show the baby. By this point we had been at Urgent Care for 5 hours. Neil was starving and trying to tide himself over with vending machine food. I decided that some of my nausea might be from hunger as well, since I hadn't eaten in 4 days. The nurse brought me an orange popsicle that I sucked on with glee, for about 2 seconds. That was all I could handle as it was too too sweet. It made me feel worse, so I stopped eating. The surgeon never came by and after 6.5 hours in the clinic, Urgent Care sent me home. The quirky triage nurse, Lisa, came back to give me a parting dose of potassium. She had a sweet heart, I think, but she was just clueless. She handed me the pills and said, "sorry if I smell like garlic, I just had a huge garlic potato. It was so good!" I tried to hold my breath so I wouldn't throw up. Then she asked if I would like a wheel chair to take me to the car. I said yes, but if I had known she would be the one pushing it I would have said no. Neil went to get the car and she attempted small talk the whole time he was gone "where do you work? is your husband always this nice? how are you feeling?" she wasn't getting the hint that I didn't want to talk. She asked me if I would be warm enough once we got outside, and I told her yes, that I was feeling a little hot. She said, "oh yes, I hate it when I feel sick, and then its all hot and humid and muggy and stuffy around me. It just makes me want to blllaaakkk! I had friends who were sick through their who pregnancy. I mean everytime they turned around it was like blllaaakkk blllaaakkk blllaaakkk, I mean the whole time! Every little smell, anything they tried to eat - blllaaakkk" I don't know if she thought the vomiting sound effects would be comforting to me, but I was about to lose it. Finally I started asking her every question I could think of to make her talk about anything besides me and throwing up. Neil took me home and I slept the whole rest of the night until the morning.

After we left Urgent Care, Neil called my parents and told them the news. He wanted to call them earlier, because he knew they would be concerned that I was on the IV, but we had such a lack of information it would have been a pretty fruitless call. I was so disappointed that our parents had to find out with a "bad news" phone call. I had been dreaming for months about how we would tell our families when we were finally pregnant, and now Neil had to tell them on his own, and explain that I was desperately ill. I couldn't even stand to listen to the conversation because it made my stomach even more upset.

I had my first Dr's appointment on Tuesday morning March 20th at 11:20. I remember thinking about this around 9am and wondering how I was going to get ready in time, since I was moving so slowly. This time I managed to take a shower by myself, by sitting on the floor of the tub and doing a combination of bath/shower. I went to the bathroom when I got up, and immediately realized my mistake. I was going to be asked for a urine sample as soon as I got to the Dr, and I knew I wouldn't have any more urine for several hours at least. I tried to take sips of my water while holding my trashcan at the ready in the car. We arrived to the Dr's office on time and met with the nurse. The first thing she wanted was of course a urine sample. I tried and tried but couldn't produce anything. She suggested that we do the informative part of our meeting while I tried to drink fluids. This was easier said than done since I hadn't eaten in 5 days at this point and had only been sipping on Gatorade intermittently. My stomach was definitely not used to full drinks of liquid. I drank all through the speech and we tried again. Still nothing. I asked the nurse if we could continue with other parts of the exam and do the urine test at the end. She said that until they could determine that I was pregnant, there was no need to do any of the rest of the exam. I explained to her that the Urgent Care directly on the floor below this office has taken both urine and blood samples just the day before - couldn't they get the samples from there? Apparently not. So I sat in the lobby for about 40 minutes, still trying to drink as much as I could without throwing up. The Gatorade was so sticky sweet in my mouth - I didn't want to drink anymore. But straight water was too harsh on my stomach, so I had no choice. We tried a third time to no avail. Finally, I told the nurse that it wasn't going to happen and maybe we just needed to reschedule. She checked with the appointment desk and said, yes lets try later this afternoon, like 1:20? I said that that sounded great!! and what time was it now? "Oh its 5 till one" she replied. 20 minutes. Just 20 minutes? They wanted to reschedule me for "later that afternoon" in 20 minutes!? Exasperated, I huffed over to Neil and told him I wanted to sit in the car. He took me to get a sprite and a water and a bag of potato chips. The first real food I had eaten in forever! He told me that there was no rush, and we would just go back when we were good and ready. When it was almost time, I had decided that it wasn't worth the stress, that we would just reschedule for another time. After the last couple days, I surely didn't need to get stressed out because I couldn't pee in a cup. Neil called the office back and they decided that they could go ahead and draw my blood to determine if I was pregnant. They said it takes longer (overnight) to determine this, but they could do it. We headed back to the office and the nurse (who was nice, but a little brisk before) was patient and slower paced. She had me sit down while she tried to find a vein to draw my blood. She didn't want to use the arm that the IV had been in, since it was swollen and slightly bruised, so she attempted to do my right arm. Unfortunately this proved a difficult task. Another nurse came over to assist, and then a third. With all three of them standing around me, poking my arm (as gently as they could) I started to feel a little faint. They gave me an ice bag and decided to try the IV arm. After the third attempt, they gave up. They said I was still severely dehydrated and this was making my veins hard and tiny. They rescheduled the appointment for next week and gave me orders to drink water and drink water and drink water! That night I was feeling somewhat better and was even able to eat a little bit. After spending my 6th night on the couch, my back was killing me. At 6am I was able to get up on my own, pour a new glass of water and walk to bed, all on my own! Things are definitely looking up!


Nicole said...

Oh Julie, I hate that this has been so difficult so far, but I am glad you are feeling better. I am also SO glad that you are writing on your blog again, I'm anxious to read more & read throughout your pregnancy! You're going to be so dang cute!! Love you friend! : )

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you to be starting your family, but so sorry you are so sick. I wish I could do it for you. Hopefully it will get better and better. I love you and want you to feel wonderful.