Monday, January 19, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home. My German-language-filled Holidays.

I've been home now for 1 week. Where was I? Someplace warm? Someplace exciting? Well, no, not really. I was admitted on the afternoon of December 24th, just as I was beginning to prepare the evening meal to share with my inlaws, to the Uni-Klinik in Muenster for observation.

Minimum 2 day stay.

They did not like the 24-hour blood pressure test results. What is that you ask? Because I am high-risk, the perinatologist (high-risk OB) wanted me to track my BP for 24-hours. I went to my local Hausartzt (regular doc) who fitted me with a BP cuff and a machine that would track the measurements. It went off every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night.

As I was admitted, they placed an IV. Thankfully, the doc who placed the IV admitted it would hurt. And it did. They started a magnesium sulfate drip - to prevent strokes and seizures for my sporadically high BPs. (We're talking 5 times in a 24-hour period of 180/130 BPs. Yikes!)

Then they sent me up to ICU. Where I was hooked up to all kinds of machines for monitoring.

They ran lots of lab work.

And came back and explained they were treating it as severe preeclampsia and would back off appropriately.

I stayed there for 2 weeks. Of the 2 weeks, I was on an IV drip for 12/14 days.

During that time, my german language skills improved so much that I was able to watch german TV AND understand it enough to laugh! Seriously. Of course, I tended to watch cartoons - Sponge Bob is still funny in german.

After nearly 1 week of good labs, I begged them to let me go home.

I've been home now 1 week and in a state of hibernation. I guess you could say I was/am in shock from it all.

While there, we toured the NICU, met with the neonatologists who explained what we could expect from a baby born at 28/29 weeks gestation, met with the anesthesiologist, was re-explained what a c-section is and how it is done in Germany, had daily NSTs (sometimes more than one when little girl was sleeping) and shared a room with strange German women.

I had a follow-up appointment today at the Klinik. My dx is officially mild preeclampsia. I'll be seeing the peri every 2 weeks and my regular OB every 2 weeks - basically one appointment per week.

So far, I'm okay and little girl is okay. Tomorrow is 31 weeks gestation. I'm so thankful to still be pregnant but recognize that the road ahead is quite long. Lots of time for lots (either good or bad) to happen.

I've ordered 2 prenatal yoga dvds to help me STOP stressing (he he - yeah, if you know me you can imagine how obsessed I've become with this all). Hopefully they'll arrive within the next 2 days - amazon.de and amazon.co.uk ship amazingly fast.

For now, I'm enjoying my time with Bubba Joe. Oh - and loving the household help that has taken over all household chores - laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. I really am able to just relax and enjoy my family.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weihnachtsmarkt Muenster 2008

BJD and I by the Nativity Scene at the Aegidimarkt in Muenster


Me, in front of the Nativity Scene

BJD, eating a krakauer wurst. The guy behind him, with the braids, called me BJD's verlopted - his fiance. How sweet.


One of the things I love most about Muenster - the musicians playing. Most were good (these were very good).

BJD standing in the center of the city, looking his best!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I'm thankful for today

A short list:



1) My newfound friendship here in Germany with the aptly named G.



2) Medical technology.



3) My husband.



4) Germany's socialized healthcare system that recognizes the importance of work/life/home balance (and will be providing us with daily household help for the next 4 weeks, paid).



5) My amazing son who reminds me that faith is there and has not left me.



6) Knowing other mamas who've been there, with varying outcomes. And no matter what the outcome, still come by and cheer me on.



7) Being up for 2 hours in the middle of the night (can't sleep but man and I tired!) so I can share this list with you



8) ANTIBIOTICS! People, they work!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quick update

Because I haven't written in a few days, just wanted ya'll to know I'm still alive.

I'm miserable, but alive.

I've still got this cold. But it's progressed from sore throats and generally feeling like crap to my inability to use my nose for breathing. And when my nose does decide to work, my lungs don't - so I end up coughing.

Oh the joys of cold, wet, German weather.

At least keeping the windows open (and the heat on) keeps the air cool enough to breathe.

Bubba Joe is still coughing but is generally much better. BJD was also sick - but his cold was gone by the time he went back to work. (BTW - here in Germany his doc took him out of work for 3 days for his cold for him to get better. His company must honor the docs writeup.)

The good news is that I finished my 2nd 24-hour urine collection. BJD bought me some test strips a few weeks ago when I started not feeling well just to check my protein levels (should be 0). Before sending in my sample, I took a dip test and yeah! it was 0!!!

Saw the OB Friday. She thinks little girl weighs 1kg now. Wow. I'm 26 weeks. I have no clue what it will be like to hold and nurse and take care of a full-termer. But I'm hopeful!!! and planning on it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random Facts Tag - thanks Crystal!

Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you (check out her beautiful belly!)
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

So here goes:

1) I used to be scared of the dark. I'm talking I shared a room with my sister and if she got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I'd wake up from a dead sleep and cry until she came back in. To this day, I try to be "brave" and not be scared. But sometimes, I'm still pretty freaked out.

2) I've always had vivid dreams. Not just during pregnancy (although this time around they are a bit more extreme). I've dreamt about my great-grandmother just after she passed away. I've dreamt about my dad. But one of my most memorable dreams was as a little girl. I dreamt I was playing in the backyard and there was a hole in the ground. I loved dressing up, dresses, heels, the works. I dreamt I accidentally lost a heel in the hole. Then the devil himself came up from the earth angry and violent. He blew down my house (like the wolves in the three little pigs). And being a weird dream, it was only the front of the house. The framewas there - you know, like a dollhouse. And there was my family, doing what they would normally be doing.

3) I love cartoons. And dry humor. And mindless humor. One of my all-time favorites is Dude, Where's my Car? BJD has even taught our son to say, Dude! Sweet! and I love it.

4) I have strong religious convictions. But I don't believe in pushing them on anyone else. I was born and raised in a Christian home, but did not understand what it meant until college. It was there that I first really learned what it meant to be a Christian and began following Christ. I've always found it interesting that some of the most horrible critics are those in our own faith. And perhaps that's why I don't push. I sadly met too many people right after being a Christian that were highly critical and judgemental. That life is not for me.

5) I'm learning to embrace life in Germany. I've spent the first year comparing good versus bad, what's better in the States and just missing things. Which I find odd. While in the States, I tried hard to incorporate more German things. Now that I'm in Germany, I try to incorporate more things from the States.

6) I'm watching The Simpsons right now. As is Bubba Joe and BJD. We're a family of fans.

So who to tag ... who to tag ... let's see.

My sister, at Life, the Universe and Camping
Em's mom, yet again, at steeped insanity
Donna, at Life With Amelia
Denise, at A Woman with Hobbit Feet
Jeff, at Inklings of Faith
and lastly, Charly, at Throck Manash

Have fun ya'll!

Photo Tag ...

Oops. Guess I should be checking my blogs, er, tags.

Heather over at Bubbles and Ducks tagged me.

Fourth file, fourth picture.

And I just rearranged my pictures folder!

This is a picture Bubba Joe's Dad (aka BJD) took on his new camera phone. I think it's a nice profile of our little man.


And what I realized after I posted is this picture shows Bubba Joe's right ear.

While his right ear may not seem so different from his left ear, the truth is that his right ear is slightly more pointed than his left. Why? When he was in the NICU (remember, he was born early due to preeclampsia) I unknowingly replaced his hat without checking his ears. This meant his ear was slightly bent under his hat. I don't think it hurt him though (certainly not like the daily blood tests he went through).

His ear is much less pointy than in his baby pictures (it really was quite noticable) but it is a constant reminder of his NICU experience ... just like the permanent scarring on his left foot as a result of the hospital bracelet rubbing his skin raw (he was so tiny they put it on his leg).

So who am I tagging? Hmmm, let's see.


My sister, over at Life, the Universe and Camping
Em's mom, at steeped insanity
G, at From the Big Apple to the Big Bear
and Megan, at Worcester Wonderland


So, have fun! Remember, fourth file, fourth picture. And tag four people.


I know I've got at least one more tag out there I've got to do ... I promise I'll get to it!

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