After having told this story about a million times to our friends and family in the past...3-4 days...(how long has it been??? we don't get much sleep around here; it all seems like one big day so far)- I figured I would take advantage of our last quiet morning here in the hospital to jot down a quick version of how little Avery became a cute little summer baby, instead of a Halloween baby like Steph and I expected!
I have to begin by saying that Stephanie had had the easiest pregnancy either of us had ever heard of! Ever since we saw that little pink line on the pregnancy test way back in February, we had to keep asking ourselves... "Are we really pregnant???" Steph was never bothered with any morning sickness, weird cravings or anything. Week after week, we just kept looking at each other in surprise that this pregnancy thing was so easy! (little did we know...)
Fast forward to July, and we begin to make plans to visit my family who recently moved to Oregon. We don't get to see them too much, so we decided on the week of the 24th of July, giving us a couple extra days to be with them before Steph went back to work. That month, Steph actually began showing a pregnant belly, and was getting swollen feet... but we still felt like we somehow dodged the bullet and were having the easiest pregnancy ever! We had also recently moved into a new, two-bedroom apartment and were scrambling to get our things moved in before we left for our 12 hour road trip to Oregon. By the afternoon of the 23rd, we were "mostly" situated in the new place, packed in our little car- with a bed made up in the back seat for Steph to put her feet up and rest, and drove up to Oregon. That week, Steph had hit her 28 week mark...and we were shocked at how quickly the weeks had gone by and wondered how quickly those next 12 or so weeks would go before we hit our standard 40 weeks, and welcomed a new one into the world! She had checked with her doctors office before we left, and they said it would be fine to travel as long as we got out regularly and walked and took a bathroom break and knew of a doctor in the area up there...just in case. For the first time, Steph's blood pressure measured a little high and the nurse apparently saw small traces of protein in her urine test...but each of those were looked at as something to keep an eye on, but not to worry about.
So, we found ourselves in Oregon having a great time with the grandparents and aunts-t0-be (my parents and sisters), relaxing by the pool, riding bikes, walking, floating down the river, and shopping by day... but by night, Stephanie began to have excruciating pains in her upper abdomen, that we could only assume was heartburn or digestion issues common to pregnancy. She would be up all night while I or her angel of a mother-in-law would stay up and try to rub her stomach or walk with her. We called the doctor on call back in Utah, who suggested that it was probably heartburn and to go get some over the counter medicine for that and other digestive problems. We did that, called the pregnancy helpline and got all the advice we could, and still ended up with advice and medicine for normal pregnancy digestive pains. By now, Steph was also having on and off pains along the right side of her abdomen, and her blood pressure fluxuated from high to normal, but she had long periods of time during the day when she felt fine... so we thought that we had caught the problem and were getting things under control. So, we continued to play and relax, and when the pains came back the only things that helped a little were tylenol, massages and TLC from my mom, warm jacuzzi baths, and blessings from a half-awake husband.
We enjoyed ourselves being with our family so much, but there was some feeling of relief to be headed back Wednesday...because we had our next pre-natal appointment at 9 am the next morning. The long drive home passed quickly, with Steph only having an hour or two where she actually had any pain. We chatted a lot on the way home and had a good time together. A couple times, we just made the comment that this would be the last road trip we would ever make as just the two of us... little did we know!!! We got home that night, and only had energy to get all the stuff out of the car, and into the apartment. We went to bed deciding that the plan for the next day was for us to go to the drs, then Steph would go to work, and I would go wash the car, and clean the apartment. We had just ordered our crib and were excited to get our second room all ready for the baby. It was still full of stuff from moving, and we wanted to have it all ready by October, so I was going to make a good dent in it to surprise Steph.
I woke up the next morning to Steph pacing the small hallway in our apartment in pain like she had up in Oregon. We ended up in a small argument over whether a pregnant woman should take Tylenol or not (an argument which I won, after looking it up online, showing my ailing wife that I possesed the medical prowess to care for her!! ...heavy sarcasm intended)... So, she took the Tylenol, and we got ready to go to the doctors...armed with questions about how to get rid of her pains and what kind of fiber a pregnant lady was safe to take! (they seemed like the right questions at the time!!)
We got to the doctors and were greeted with the usual full waiting room, and as usual, got back into our room about 45 mins late. The doctor greeted us, checked the baby's heartbeat- just as clear and normal as ever... and sat down with us to run through Steph's chart. He asked if we had any questions, and Steph asked about her pains she'd been having and told him about being instructed to take care of it with heartburn medicine etc. He skimmed the chart, and commented that he noticed her blood pressure was high-which was unusual, because it had been so great her whole pregnancy. All of the sudden, it seemed like he glanced down to something on the chart that he hand't seen yet, and said that her protein levels in her urine were unusually high. He looked up and said, "I'm going to send you down to the hospital for some tests". We both looked at each other and kind of groaned...because we had done the same thing a few weeks before, and it had turned in to a full day of sitting around and waiting for lab results that hadn't amounted to much. On our way out, I tried to ask some questions about the fiber she should be taking, but the doctor kind of brushed it aside and said "you need to get to the hospital to get those tests"... We were obviously on two different pages!
Steph called work on the way to tell them she would be late, and we both just laughed and grumbled about our bad luck saying "Well, there goes the day!". It was a relief when we were taken to the same room we had been in for testing the few weeks before by the same nurse, who had become a friend to us during the last visit. We had told her last time that we really hoped she'd be around for our delivery, and were delighted to see her again!. She told us that this was actually her first day back on the job after having been terribly sick for a week. We just said how lucky timing always seemed in situations like this. My brother Brady sent us a text saying that he was out doing errands, and could bring us some pizza or something for lunch if we wanted. He knew what a bummer it was for us last time to sit around and wait for the tests, and figured that he and his wife Taryn could come help us pass the time. We looked at each other and said, "Why not?"....
We chatted with our nurse, and waited for the test results to come back and just tried to kill the time. I was sitting on the chair next to Steph's bed, texting our parents...just trying to update them that we hadn't gotten any news back...just that her blood pressure was high, but no real news to worry about, when the nurse came back in. She sat down at the foot of the bed, looked at Steph and said "You're really sick". I went over to hold Stephs hand, and comfort her, when the world stopped...the nurse said "You're going to have your baby today, maybe tomorrow"....The rest of what she said about Steph's liver enzymes being sky-high, and having to be transferred to another hospital 45 minutes away, and all the rest kind of blurred together as we tried to comprehend what she had just said.
(to be continued... i'm too tired to type anymore!!)