Saturday, February 26, 2011

Still Holding On...

I apologize for not having written an update this week.  As you know, this little boy is full of surprises and once again, has kept us on our toes.  On Monday I attended my regular monitoring session at Labor and Delivery which determined the course of events for the remainder of the week. 

These monitoring sessions last about 30-45 minutes while I'm connected to bands that listen to the heartbeat, detect fetal movement and the heartbeat during that movement, in addition to, another band that follows any possible contractions that might be taking place.  I am not allowed to fall asleep during this session because I have to click a device that marks any fetal movement I feel.   It almost feels like a buzzer from a game show... I feel like there should be some loud, buzzing alarm with lights spinning every time I get to click that button, but unfortunately it is only a little black mark made on very long strip of paper that I have no idea how to read or understand. 

Now, the sound of the fetal heartbeat is a special one for an expectant mother, however it is also very loud and usually very fast and after hearing it so much for the past few months in total fear of what might happen, it begins to sound like a ticking time bomb.  So, here I am waiting and listening, trying to find things to occupy my time - playing solitaire on my phone, clicking channels on the TV, checking Facebook, and BabyCenter... thank goodness for smart phones or I may not make it through these sessions.  Through all of this, I still find myself getting antsy.  About 25 minutes into the session, I began to doze off - oops!  As soon as I drifted, I heard Landon's heart beat drop to a very slow, almost (what I felt) non-existent heart beat.  This jolted me around to view the screen and the next thing I see is the nurse running in to check on us.  The look on her face said it all.  I knew something wasn't right. 

It is very common for the heartbeat to fall off the monitor and it takes a little while to relocate it.  When this happens, you either can't hear it anymore or it becomes a very faint distance sound.  This was not the case.  It was a clear, slow thud that I knew indicated a deceleration.  I am usually able to reposition myself or the monitor to find him again.  However, this was different.  After checking the machine, the nurse quickly had me turn over and it dropped again.  She had me flip sides, and finally after a few seconds (felt like minutes) the heart beat picked back up again.  At this point, I was shaking with nerves.  You see, last week at the perinatologist office the prognosis looked far more promising than before, except that we did not know how often the decelerations had been happening and for how long.  IF these were occurring often and for long periods of time, he indicated that we may have more serious problems on our hands when Landon arrives.  Since no monitoring session had detected this since the time in Houston, I felt good about our new prognosis and moved forward.  This sudden setback was devastating! 

As I mentioned in a previous posting, after the monitoring session I head downstairs to get a biophysical ultrasound.  Things looked great (fluid, movement, etc.), except that the tech did not witness any fetal breathing.  She has 30 minutes to see this on the screen and if not, I fail the ultrasound.  This test is subjective and usually not indicative of major problems, had she been able to monitor longer, she may have been able to see what she needed to see.  However, in our case, with the combination of the decelerations and the failing ultrasound, I was pretty much a nervous wreck and it appeared to be enough of a concern for the nurse to contact my dr.  Not to mention, I was beginning to get hungry and my hands were shaking.  I asked the nurse if I could eat something and she said, "I'm sorry, but we are going to put you back on the monitor and I'll see what I can do, but I doubt you are going to be able to eat."  At this point, I feared we were likely headed toward an emergency c-section.  I called Patrick and he left work and headed straight to the hospital. I made a MERT alert (Marlo Emergency Response Team - ha ha - to begin putting into action the plans for Merrick, etc.)

I remained on the monitors for another hour to hour and a half and thankfully, there were no more decelerations.  The on-call doctor for our office was being kept abreast of our situation and would be by at some point to discuss what he would like to do.  Thankfully, it took some time for him to arrive and this left me with a very long monitoring that did not pick up any more decelerations.  So, I was allowed to go home and to see my regular OB the following day. 

I have to say that I am thankful for a very proactive OB and that she always errs on the side of caution, however sometimes it can throw us into a tailspin of fear and anxiety.  At our appointment on Tuesday morning, she did indicate that decelerations can happen, but as long as they are not consistent then usually they are nothing to be alarmed about.  However, in our situation, being a high risk pregnancy, she sees it as a concern that we should probably check out.  Her recommendation on Tuesday morning was to attend my regular session on Thursday as scheduled, however this time, I would remain there for 4 hours.  She said have a good breakfast at 6 am (giving my body enough fuel to last many hours and enough time to digest before I might have to have a c-section), pack a small bag, and be prepared that we may have a baby on Thursday IF they see anything out of the ordinary.  This made sense to us as Patrick has repeatedly asked the question, "How can they only see what they need to see in a 30/40 minute time span - shouldn't they watch him for longer periods of time?"  So, knowing that I would be monitored for such a long period of time, I knew we would know how things really looked. 

We spent all of Wednesday packing a hospital bag, preparing for the arrival of Landon, and mentally prepping myself for what was to come.  Let's just say that nesting from a couch is not fun, so needless to say Patrick and the housekeeper were not too thrilled throughout the day as I requested 'this to be cleaned' and 'that to be moved.'  I headed to bed early Wednesday night, woke up at 5:30 am and headed to eat a breakfast that consisted of a Belgium waffle, eggs, and sausage.  Surely, this would keep me full for the upcoming hours.  At 10:00, I headed into the hospital and began the session.  This time equipped with a book, magazines, and my favorite device, my phone!

I waited and waited and waited.  Thankfully, after 4 long hours - Landon did great!  Go figure!  I have decided that he will likely be an Olympian gymnast and I suspect will come home with the gold medal at some point, considering he seems to flip positions each time we are checked.  I also think he will be the child that will keep me guessing for the rest of my life and will likely be responsible for turning my head fully gray, therefore forcing me to spend thousands of dollars over the years to keep it the natural brown it currently is (wink, wink).  In any case, the more we move along... the more excited I am to meet this little guy.  He seems to be quite a character and his arrival will be such a sweet blessing!

I've said it once, twice, and many times over... thank you tremendously for your support, prayers, and thoughts.  We are 35 weeks today with 4 more to go before the schedule c-section.  We are amazed at the journey we have been through the past few months!


  1. You are amazing Marlo! I love your posts, thank you for keeping us updated. I continue to pray for you, Landon and your family.

  2. Wow. God bless you all. Once he is here, we will drink some well-deserved wine. Love Sue (I'm on Jake's account) xoxoxoxoxo