Saturday, August 8, 2009

No More Drama, Please!

Did you read my last post about our relaxing vacation? Well, the drama hit the fan the day we left and has been going strong ever since. :-)

The morning we left the lake for our 10-hour car ride home, Maddie came down with a fever. She'd also had a bad diaper rash for a few days prior, which we attributed to being in and out of the water so much. Now, normally this would be no big deal, but her kidney reflux surgery at OHSU was scheduled for this coming Monday and the doctors said she couldn't show any signs of sickness (even diaper rash) for the week prior to surgery. When we left Montana around noon her fever was at 100 degrees. A few hours down the road in a car with luke-warm air conditioning and an outside temp of 102, her fever was 102.7. Once we hit Spokane, WA it was 105 outside and her poor little body had rocketed to a dangerous 104 degrees! She was being a real trooper in the car, but you could tell she was just so miserable. I tried cold packs on her head, a portable fan blowing on her, baby Tylenol...nothing was working. We called her pediatrician who said we could either take her to the emergency room when we got to Portland or just come to his office in the morning--he suspected a bad urinary tract infection and/or kidney infection, which was the exact reason she was scheduled for surgery. We finally arrived home at 10:30pm and I spent a restless night sleeping next to her as she was in and out of sleep, deleriously narrating her strange dreams. The next day at the dr. she had to be catheterized for a urine sample AND get a shot of high-powered antibiotics (sooo not fun). Her fever went away for about 12 hours, but then spiked the next day was another shot. The lab results came back that she had a urinary tract infection that turned into a kidney infection (thus the 104 fever) and since she wasn't responding to the regular forms of antibiotics, she'd need to go on Cipro for 10 days. When the doctor prefaces this news by saying, "We usually don't use this drug on anyone under age 18. It can cause bone problems and she's at risk for rupturing tendons. It's often used after people have chemo or are exposed to anthrax"--well, you know that's not good! In light of these developments, her surgery was cancelled. Yes, the surgery that we've been waiting on for the last 6 months!! Dang it! We'll find out on Monday when it'll be rescheduled...hopefully sooner than later.

Although, not too soon...because I have drama of my own. The last time James was measured (three weeks ago) he weighed 1 lb. 8 ounces and was the size of a 24-25 week baby (2-2.5 weeks behind). Yesterday he was measured again and only went up to 1 lb. 14 ounces and is the size of a 26 week old (now 4 weeks behind) and his growth curve is flattening out at a time when it should be spiking. This really troubled my doctor. Also, my blood pressure was up again, so I have to do another 24-hour-urine test for pre-eclampsia. Strangely enough, I told Keith just a couple days ago that I just had this gut feeling that James was going to come early. I didn't have any physical symptoms to back this up, but I just felt like a change was coming. My doctor said, "There is a possibility you could make it another 5-6 weeks [I'm now 30.5 weeks along], but I just have this feeling that something is going to pre-eclampsia or that James will stop growing...and I wouldn't be surprised if we have to deliver you in the next 2-3 weeks. I want to see you again on Tuesday for testing and we may give you steroid shots to help the baby's lungs develop more rapidly." Holy cow, 2-3 WEEKS! He's not even 2 pounds yet! Actually, he weighs less right now than I did when I was born at 26 weeks. That's scary premature!

So now we need your prayers badly! Of course, if my womb is no longer able to provide what James needs and he has a better chance on the outside, then I'm okay with delivering early...but it will be no easy road. Probably a month in the NICU at Emanuel, problems with breathing, maintaining body temperature, jaundice, feeding. Preemies are also at high risk for bleeding in the brain, which could cause significant damage. He'll need to be one heck of a fighter and have God's angels watching over him every step of the way.

Considering all this, deciding when to reschedule Maddie's surgery gets would be a nightmare to have me in the hospital and/or James in the NICU at the same time that Maddie would be having surgery at OHSU. I know all the details are in the Lord's hands, but things could get rather tricky around here!

Oh, the other big development was from those 12 vials of blood they took from me a couple weeks ago. Turns out they did discover something! I have a double genetic mutation of the MTHFR C677T gene. I inherited one faulty gene from both my mom and dad. This gene controls the homocysteine levels in your blood, which controls blood clotting. This mutation has been linked to all my pregnancy problems...early miscarriage (2), stillbirth (1), pre-eclampsia (with Maddie and possibly again), and can cause blood clots in the placenta/umbilical cord which block nutrients and oxygen to the baby (growth restriction in both Nicholas and James) because my body does not process folic acid normally, which is key for preventing birth defects and growth problems. There's also been links to cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, Alzheimers (all conditions in my family history). {People in my family, take note! You could have this too and just not know it! Get tested!}

My doctor said this condition is fairly rare...only 1% of their high-risk pregnant patients have the double mutation. The key to preventing problems is to keep the homocysteine levels low. And how do you do this? Some complicated treatment? Nope. Take an extra folic acid vitamin and a baby asprin once a day. When she told me this, all I could think was SERIOUSLY?!! You've got to be joking. You're telling me that we've lost THREE babies, gone to endless doctor visits and been riddled with stress and there's a possibility that this all could have been avoided by me taking a VITAMIN!!! Honestly, I was ticked about it. I remember doing research about blood clotting disorders years ago and mentioned it to both my OB/GYN and to a perinatologist in this same office that I had a consultation with after we lost Nicholas. Both of them said, "Well, you've had one healthy baby, so I really don't think it's a blood issue." Of course, how was I to know, but now I wish I had pushed for the testing! Hindsight is 20/20.


Brooke said...

Wow... I agree with the title of the post- NO MORE DRAMA! I'm so sorry to hear about Maddie's infection AND postponed surgery. And of course, continued prayers for you and the little guy. We'll be anxious to hear more news about everything in the coming weeks.

I admire what a strong woman of faith you are!

Katy said...

This morning at church the following verse was quoted. Acctualy the entire message was about change and how God is always with us; no matter what. Isaiah 43:1 "But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.'"

I will be praying and know that the Lord has already put a plan into place to take care of you. Of this I am confident.

Heather Elizabeth said...

Sweet Lisa-We will continue to pray for your family. Stay strong and TRUST in the Lord always. We LOVE you!

Allison McKenney said...

I am praying for you and your whole family. I love you heaps.