Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Almost There

Today Tate is officially full term. After all the weeks of restrictions and medications and fear, I get to spend this day cuddling with Maggie and waiting on Tate, not at Medical City. It's going much better than we originally imagined.

The past two weeks have been relatively uneventful, hence the lack of posts. I'm allowed to move around more, but my muscles atrophied so much during the eleven weeks of bed rest that I can't do much without getting sore and tired. Every day is a little easier, but my doctors say it will be months before I totally recover. I still see my primary doctor weekly, but now my appointments are like every other pregnant woman's appointments... not that much happens. Life is pretty boring for the first time in months.

And so, now we wait. Tate could be here any day, or it might be several more weeks. Either way we're almost there.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Normal Again

Today I made my first trip back to Medical City.

It was incredibly weird being back on the other side, walking in to a regular appointment like all the normal pregnant women. For the last two months, any time I was outside of the Antepartum Unit it was blatantly obvious that I was one of the "sick" people. I rode in a wheelchair. I wore hospital bracelets and pajamas. I watched the other people walk around, but I clearly wasn't one of them. Today I was, or at least that's what anyone would have thought looking at me.

The walk from the garage to the office (which is in no way long) was by far the longest I've walked in ten weeks, so by the time we got upstairs I was exhausted and sore. The actual appointment was uneventful and lasted maybe fifteen minutes (which gave me just about enough time to recover for the walk back to the car), and then, unlike the last time I was in that office, I got to walk out! We stopped at Chick-fil-a on the way home to celebrate, and I got to eat fresh, unsoggy french fries for the first time since July. It's such a little thing, but these days things like crisp french fries are hugely exciting.

As of tomorrow Tate will be 35 weeks, and I'll be allowed to move again, at least a little. Judging by today the transition won't be easy. Three hours later I'm still completely exhausted from the brief excursion to the doctor's office, but at least I'll have time to build back a bit of stamina before Tate gets here. Hopefully he'll wait two more weeks...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


We're home.

I thought that if we finally got to this day I'd have lots to say, but as I've laid here all afternoon, not much has come to mind. We are obviously incredibly thankful that this day even came. When I look back at old posts and think about all the stress of the month of August, I sort of feel like a drama queen, but the fact of the matter is, I wasn't creating drama. All those risks were real. For MANY weeks, even well into September, everyone was nervously waiting for the day that the treatments would stop working and we'd be transferred back to labor and delivery, not the day I'd be discharged. It's only been in the last week or two that things really settled down and everyone started seriously discussing the possibility of going home... and now we're here.

The first day home has been relatively uneventful, spent primarily laying on the sofa while Kevin works on things without me and Maggie watches anxiously to make sure I don't leave again. Aside from location, my job hasn't changed. I'm still on strict bedrest, still taking the nasty meds to keep contractions at bay. In another week I'll be allowed a little more freedom (and already asked for permission to go get my hair cut), but anything that requires much walking or standing will still be off limits. Getting to go home was a big step, but the next few weeks will still be challenging... in some ways more than before. It wasn't so hard being compliant at the hospital most of the time, but it's much more difficult now that I'm so much closer to freedom.

At any rate, Tate is still doing great. He's growing just like he should, and the latest guess at his weight is 5 1/2 pounds. He wouldn't let the doctor get a good look at his face today, and since we're officially done with the weekly high-risk appointments, it's likely we won't get to see him again until we see him in person. Only a few more weeks to go!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Bunch of Nurses

When Adrian arrived on the 7th floor at Medical City, we were terrified. How would we handle Tate being premature? How would we handle her being stuck here, and me having to handle the house and work? How would we handle sonograms and monitors and blood tests? How would we handle the food? Could we both keep it together long enough to do what was best for Tate? Starting with that first night, a large portion of our question started being answered, and those answers would continue coming every day for two solid months.
Way back on August 4th, I had to go home to take care of Mags and try to get some things in order while leaving my shy, terrified wife alone here in the hospital. She took some medicine to help her sleep, but it had the opposite effect. She was alert and alone. A patient, caring nurse whose name A didn’t remember in the morning stayed here in the room with her for a long time to keep her company and assure her that everything would be ok. Now after all this time, Tracie still comes in every night she’s here, whether she is A’s nurse or not, just to see how things are going and keep us entertained.
On the morning of A’s first sonogram here, we were again scared. We didn’t know the doctor past a quick meeting on the day she was admitted. We were worried that the sonogram might reveal after a couple of bad ones in a row. A spunky, redheaded nurse came to take A to that first sonogram. She kept the mood light with a great sense of humor. She picked on the doctor a bit, and things didn’t seem so scary. Tara gets the award for best wheelchair picker even though she lost to A in today’s day long water drinking contest.
On the first couple of weekends we were there, we were still adjusting. Those were definitely some rough days. There was no routine and nothing good on tv. A chatty, fun nurse would come and visit far more than she had to. She spent tons of time getting to know us and helping us get adjusted. I specifically remember a tough time early one Saturday night. I got back to the hospital after a quick run out, and there was a nurse sitting in a chair next to my wife’s bed, holding her hand; showing empathy that I didn’t know existed. In the last week, she has made it her mission to toughen us up and prepare us for parenthood. Mostly, Deeanna has succeeded in reminding us that you can’t make up truly caring for people.
Aside from a select few, the nights of sitting at the hospital run together. The monotony of the nights always begs for something different. TV can’t make up for some great stories. One nurse has always has some great ones to tell. Her first reminder has always been for A to take her vitamins, but after that, she always sticks around to make us laugh. We’ll always remember Patty for being a lot of fun, and we won’t forget our vitamins.
One Sunday night a couple of weeks ago, we had a bit of a scare. A was having some contractions that were more intense than any she had experienced. A nurse that is particularly calm was assigned to A that night. She hooked A and Tate up to the monitors, and assured us that no matter what was happening, they’d be ok. Even though we were terrified, she didn’t show one bit of panic. Diana was the perfect nurse for that night.
We had been there a while before A was assigned to one of the nurses. Once she was, we quickly struck up a conversation of a place near and dear to both of us, College Station. Her kids are about our age and are Aggies. She made sure we were comfortable and had everything we could possibly need. She is quite the crafty lady as well. Tate will be well decked out in the awesome striped shoes and bib she made for him. Thanks to Caryl for her craftiness and kindness.
I could go on for pages about these and the other nurses and assistants of the Antepartum unit. These words don't do them justice. They will hold a special place in our hearts for the rest of our lives. We couldn't have made it this far without all of them. They've made it possible for me to go to work in the mornings and go home at night. I have known that A is being well cared for by a group of people that aren't just good at the clinical side of their job, they care about and love my wife and son.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I've been running around too much to keep perfect numbers, but in the last 60 days, I've:
  • Slept on this lumpy, pull-out couch somewhere around 15 nights (and parts of 20 or so days)
  • Called or sent an email each of the 45 nights I've gone home letting A know that I'd made it home
  • Hit up the Chuy's takeout counter at least 10 times (and many other takeout counters at least once)
  • Bought 9 weekly parking permits
  • Watched 3 1/2 seasons of Mad Men (and probably more episodes of Say Yes to the Dress than that)
  • Gone down the hall to get water and/or ice no fewer than 100 times
  • Told Maggie how much A misses her every day for 60 days
  • Been outside of a 10 mile radius of this hospital room 0 times.
As long as all goes as expected, I'll should be taking my wife home in two days. We've been through enough to know not to take that for granted, but we can't help but be excited. She'll still need to take it easy for at least a few weeks, but we'll be back to living in the same place. Maggie has spent the last 60 days waiting patiently for A to walk through the door She'll be so excited to have her best friend home, and I will be too.