The Lamb family has already had an exciting 2013. We rang in the new year with some friends of ours from church. Of course, given the age of our children, the party stopped at 7PM, and we were in bed by 10:30!
My Grandma Ward was quite ill around the holidays and sort of just stopped eating. We took her to the hospital, and she was able to get some fluids. We are accepting that at age 94, she has had enough. She was able to return to her assisted living apartment under the care of Hospice. The Hospice team thinks she probably has a few weeks left. I am so glad that I have been able to visit her regularly since moving back to Minnesota and the girls were able to develop a relationship with her.
I started feeling some pain in my back and abdomen on New Year's Eve and figured it was just from a growing baby and being tired from the Christmas season. The pain kept coming back all week, but would go away when I rested. Last Saturday I had a pretty full day by 3PM, and the pain had returned. I felt bad enough that I canceled a fun pedicure date with a friend and had Ken go sledding with the kids by himself.. By 5:30PM, the pain was much worse and I actually called Ken to come home. Thankfully, my mom was still in town helping with my Grandmother, so she came over to watch the kids.
Ken took me to labor and delivery at the hospital. They took a while trying to figure out what was wrong. I was seeing a team of midwives, and they are not credentialed to give pain medication. Thankfully, they transferred me across the hall to the obstetrics ward after a couple of hours and they were able to start an IV and give me something for pain and nausea. An ultrasound showed that my right kidney was dilated and full of fluid. This usually occurs with kidney stones, but no stones were found on the ultrasound.
I can't describe anything else about my first night in the hospital exept that I was in constant pain that was barely managed with drugs and I was very sick. Fortunately, the pain went away mostly by Sunday afternoon as long as I laid on my left side. A urologist saw me and said they would do another ultrasound to check for kidney stones and think about putting a stent in my ureter to help my kidney drain. Two more ultrasounds later, they still could not find any evidence of kidney stones. Their best guess is that the baby is sitting on my kidney and ureter, preventing my kidney from draining. The urologist was not interested in putting in a stent at this point because they would need to use radiation to the pelvis to place the stent and it would have to be replaced every 30 days. That means 2-3 more stent placements before the baby is born.
I was finally discharged from the hospital on Monday afternoon. I was not sent home with any medication for pain or nausea. Because I was having contractions when the pain was really bad, the doctors want me to come back to the hospital if the pain gets worse and not try to manage it at home. I switched my care from the midwives to the chief ob/gyn who took care of me while in the hospital so that my kidney condition can be more closely monitored.
My mom stayed in town a few more days and has been taking care of the kids, cooking, and doing laundry. She has to go home tomorrow. Thankfully my sister Catie is coming for a few days with her daughter to help me. I am so grateful for their help and for a playmate to keep Meghan busy. Meghan has been a handful and is not taking my absence and inactivity very well.
I have just been resting a lot and trying to figure out how much I can do. Today we took the girls for haircuts (that's another blog post...Camille had over 9 inches cut off to donate to Locks of Love) and even with my mom driving and carrying Meghan to the car, I still ended up with quite a bit of pain. Right now the baby is 26 weeks and could live outside the womb with a lot of medical help. I am hopeful we can make it to 37 weeks and have a healthy baby.
Please say some prayers that my kidney gets better, or at least does not get worse and that the baby stays in for another 11 weeks. We would also love some prayers for Camille and Meghan. Camille is doing okay with the upset routine, but I am really demanding that she help a lot. Hopefully she doesn't get tired of being mommy's helper! Meghan is going through a vicious phase of the terrible two's in addition to still struggling with the fact that she has to receive her "grow medicine" shots twice a day. Please also pray that my Grandmother's last days are peaceful and that especially her children are able to cope with the dying process.