Monday, January 31, 2011

Settled in at Children's National

It's a girl!

Caroline Grace Duncan was born at 1pm!...details and more pics to follow.


Matthew is tapping his foot to the heart monitor. These contractions are coming 4-5 times every ten minutes, which is progress... but we're not as far along as initially discussed. We've managed to avoid an epidural so far. Baby is tolerating labor well, and we're anxious to see how well she'll handle living in the outside world.  

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Let the fun begin...

After an emotional goodbye to Parker, Matthew and I are here at the gloom and doom hospital. It will be quite a while before I even get started on pitocin, but the nurses seem nice and we haven't run into any big problems. Parker is hanging out with Nana, Papa Keith and Brette. He made me cry as we were leaving by whispering to me "can I come too?" He has been running a low grade fever for about 24 hours, so I'm super bummed that he won't be able to come see his baby sister any time soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Testing out my new phone...

Matthew and I got new phones so I'm learning to blog to keep everyone updated from the hospital.  Yay, technology!

Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Having a Moment

Truthfully, my crappy day started yesterday. It's progressively gotten worse, and now I feel like I can't relax. I had my second appointment yesterday with Doctor Downing. First I had to be tortured by the ultrasound people to get a "biophysical profile". I have a great husband that refrained from throwing things during the 2 1/2 hours it took for these people to do their jobs. Washington Hospital Center, as a whole, should be demolished with about half of the staff inside. It panics me that I'm depending on these people to keep my child alive.

I'm angry because I can't just be happy and excited about our new baby. I'm not excited at all. I'm nervous and anxious, and thoroughly overwhelmed. I've asked that people not go crazy sending little girl clothes (not that I'm not grateful to those who have), it's just really hard to look at it. We have absolute hopes for the best, but I can't imagine coming home from the hospital without a baby seeing all of this stuff around.

I'm feeling ultra guilty today about Parker not really understanding what's going to happen to his life in less than 2 weeks. He senses something is up, which is why he's riding a demanding attention wave. It just breaks my heart when he asks me, "what's wrong, Mama?"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shout Out to SBH

I really want to thank the great ladies that put together Sisters by Heart. I received the package you sent and I know it's supposed to be functional, but it means a lot to me knowing that someone out there has been there and cares. I have learned so much from your blogs and from just being able to ask questions that you won't think are crazy. Hopefully my being as prepared as possible will work out in my favor...I already feel like I'm going to medical school, just wait until she gets here, huh? Well done, and keep up the good work! I really appreciate it!

The Waiting Game

Since the cardiologist ever so conveniently dropped the ball on putting in a referral for me to see a civilian obstetrician, I have been in Tricare limbo...waiting for a piece of paper. My due date is still far enough away for me not to be really worried (yet). I would, on the other hand, like a chance to be relatively comfortable with the person who's sole responsibility is to ensure I have a baby without any undue complications. The doctor actually called me yesterday morning, and we have an appointment to "talk" Friday morning. Maybe by then I'll have an official referral so I won't feel like a criminal slinking in back doors to meet with doctors "off the radar". Dr. Downing seems to be a pretty down to earth kind of guy. One would have to be, I guess, specializing in cases that have to be rushed next door to Children's. The man could show up in an Elvis costume and I can't say that I would mind much, as long as he's good at his job. I know this is REALLY early to say...but if I ever have another child, that baby will be born in a inflatable pool in my living room. Smiling? I couldn't be more serious. After what I saw of this hospital, and the minimal care I'm expecting for myself, all I can hope is that we're doing what is best for this baby. At times, it's hard to convince myself that the right thing to do is subject such a small, helpless child to these unimaginable things...not knowing what the outcome will be. The other options are just as difficult, and how could doing nothing be right?

Monday, January 10, 2011

More (almost) Bad News

We had our Cardiologist appointment today at Children's National to get acquainted with the Doctors and get a second opinion of sorts. All along I feel like I've been able to smile and nod and keep my mind right to ask appropriate questions and really understand what is/will be going on. Well, all along we have been told (not that our Cardiologist at Bethesda was lying) that no other complications could be found. Today that came crashing down. The director of the fetal heart program took some extra time with us and explained that there were some things she found concerning, but wouldn't know for sure if it would be a problem until the baby was born and had an EKG. Knowing this, my "holding" time will be greatly reduced and she'll be taken directly to Children's National to be stabilized. She also went over and actually drew pictures of what the surgery actually entails, including the "what ifs"of what they may find after birth. So, worst case scenario, she will need a trip to the cath lab to open some narrowing or obstructed passageways before the actual surgery. The bypass complications that were breezed over before were in the forefront of our conversation, also. In addition to bypass, the surgeon (Doctor Jonas) uses a type of unsettling technology utilizing cold temperatures to control blood flow, and hopefully minimizing long term brain damage and learning disabilities. Using this method, the surgeon will have less than one hour to complete the palliation before the risk of death and brain damage rise significantly.
Parker is helping us choose a name, every day it seems to change. He still kisses my belly and talks about his "baby sister", but I'm not certain that he understands that there is a baby in there. He's been a little on the clingy and needy side for the past week or so, I'm pretty sure he's picking up on my stress and preoccupation with appointments...among other things. I'm worried about how he will actually cope with me not being around. Hopefully whoever is on shift will be able to bring him up to see me on a regular basis so he won't end up with abandonment issues...or jealousy issues. On the other hand, with all of the Grandparents around, he just may end up not missing me at all.