Saturday, March 27, 2010

We Just Can't Win...

I feel like the subject of the majority of recent posts pertain to me not feeling well or me being sick. The truth is that I've been sick more often than not recently and it's been really difficult for me.

It all began with bronchitis about a month and a half ago. I was able to battle that pretty quick with the assistance of antibiotics. Then about two weeks ago, I unknowingly had a UTI and I'm fairly certain that it hasn't completely cleared up. I was on antibiotics for a week and I honestly don't think that particular antibiotic did the trick. I discussed the UTI with my OBGYN at my last appointment and he sent my specimen to the lab for more in depth testing. Now, I had to go to the urgent care center this morning because of an infected abscess. The doctor was able to drain the abscess and insert a packing to wick the remaining infection out. It was pretty darn painful, before and during the procedure, especially because the injection of lidocaine didn't numb the area very well. I'm on antibiotics again, so hopefully this will treat the abscess and prevent further infection. With both the UTI and the abscess, I ran a slight fever, but a fever nonetheless.

It's just concerning to me that I've been ill recently because I want to be as healthy as possible for when I go into labor. I'm also concerned at the use of antibiotics this late in my pregnancy. I know the doctors wouldn't prescribe anything that could cause significant damage and these infections could harm the baby if left untreated, but I still worry. I hope I'm not creating any type of immunity to antibiotics for the baby because that could affect her for life. It's especially difficult for the doctors to prescribe the proper antibiotic for the particular infection because I'm allergic to sulfa-based antibiotics and the use of any "cycline" antibiotics this late in pregnancy is not permitted. I've been prescribed a Z-pack, Macrobid and Keflex. I'm hoping the Keflex works and clears up the UTI and the abscess. Here's to hoping...

I've also had issues with swelling of my ankles and feet and slightly elevated blood pressure. My BP typically runs 115/75, but recently it's been 130/90. It's not in the preeclampsia range yet, but the increasing rate is something the doctor wants to monitor. Today at the urgent care center, it was 141/90, but the nurse seemed to think it was due to the extra pain I was experiencing. I'm going to bring today's BP reading to my OBGYN's attention at my next appointment, just so it can be addressed. Anyway... to combat the swelling and BP, I've been on modified bed rest. Over the past 2 days, I think I've spent a total of 5 hours not on the couch or in bed and it's driving me crazy! My patience has paid off because my swelling has been minimal and I'm feeling more rested. It's boring, but I'm trying to enjoy this "me time" as much as possible.

I've also moved up the begin date of my maternity leave to April 2nd. I was going to begin my leave a week before my due date, however with the medical issues I've been experiencing recently, I decided to begin my leave 2 weeks before my due date. My decision has been supported by my family, friends and my supervisor. I needed the reassurance of my supervisor because in my mind, that's who monitors my progress and achievements. She let me know last week that she truly appreciates the hard work I've been putting in and that meant a lot to me. I have been busting my butt to ensure my caseload is in good order before I leave. With the reassurance of my supervisor and coworkers, I now believe that my hard work has been noticed and will be appreciated. Now... only 4 more days of work!

Sadly, this is all that has been going on with us. I've been kind of a bum recently because I haven't been feeling well. But I'd rather be a bum than push myself too far now and pay for it later. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks... as we approach the home stretch of pregnancy. All my medical issues appear to be pretty minor in the scheme of things, but still a major concern, as I am 37 weeks pregnant. Three more weeks, three more weeks, three more weeks!

Love always,
Ian & Kim

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's AWESOME baby!

It's that time of year again... MARCH MADNESS! College basketball is so much fun to watch and I never grow tired of watching game after game. The games this year have been quite exciting to say the least; a few upsets and a few OT wins. Close games are far more exciting to watch than blow outs, that's for sure.

Ian's favorite team, the Florida Gators, played yesterday but lost in double overtime. The Gators played BYU and by the end of the second OT, BYU maintained a lead and managed to hold onto the lead until the bitter end. My favorite team, the Maryland Terrapins, play tonight against Houston. I honestly don't know much about Houston, but I'm hoping the Terps continue to play well and win tonight. Another Maryland school made it into the tournament this year; Morgan State University. It's a small historically black university in Baltimore and unfortunately their first game was against WVU... and they lost. Oh well, on to the next game!

Last year I was not working, so I was able to watch the majority of the tournament. This year I'm working, but I'm able to follow scores on my iPhone. One of my coworkers is a huge Duke fan, so I'm sure as Duke progresses, I'll be keeping her updated on the score of the Duke games. I didn't join a pool this year because I simply didn't have the time. I'm actually pretty good at picking who will win and won a pool a few years ago. Ian is in several pools this year, so hopefully he'll win some money.

This weekend, we'll be around the house... watching basketball. Doesn't sound like such a bad weekend to me. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, so hopefully we'll be able to do something outside, too. I'd love to take the dogs to Fort DeSoto, which is a state park with a dog beach. The boys love running around in the sand and even enjoy getting into the water. I have a feeling the water may be a little chilly, so there won't be much swimming. The boys could use the exercise and fresh air, so I'm hoping we can take them on Sunday.

Well, that's what's going on in the Lasher household... basketball, basketball and more basketball! GO TERPS!!!

Love always,
Ian & Kim

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Being of Irish heritage, St. Patrick's Day is typically a big holiday for us. This year we will not be celebrating with green beer or Irish car bombs, but that's okay. Our little leprechaun is well worth the sacrifice of not imbibing on St. Patrick's Day. I also think the corned beef and cabbage would have given me major heart burn, so I opted to not pig out on the yummy delicacies. The City of Tampa has begun the tradition of dying the Hillsborough River green. I think that's kind of neat, even if the city ripped the idea from Chicago.

St. Patrick's Day reminds me of my grandparents... whom I miss dearly. I remember going to Mom-Mom and BeBop's house on St. Patrick's Day and eating corned beef and cabbage with the entire family. I can remember the smell... I can remember the taste... and I can remember how I felt... blissfully happy to be with my family and celebrating our heritage. My Aunt Kathy hosted a St. Patrick's Day dinner at her house last Sunday for the McGrains; unfortunately we live 1,000 miles away and could not join the family. Perhaps Ian and I can start our own tradition of a St. Patrick's Day dinner with our family and friends in Tampa.

Until my next post...

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

- Irish Blessing

Love always,
Ian & Kim

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our First Trip to Labor & Delivery

Well folks, I did something I never thought I would do last night; went to the hospital 4.5 weeks before my due date. Obviously everything is fine and we were sent home about 2 hours after we arrived, but sometimes it's better to be safe than sorry.

We had new carpet laid throughout the house Saturday and Sunday, which was a quite a stressful process with a house full of furniture and "things". We stayed up late and woke up early throughout the weekend, in order to ensure our house was well prepared. Our hard work paid off and the carpet was laid by early Sunday afternoon. We have now begun the process of reorganizing the house. The carpet looks great, feels great and is more kid and pet friendly. I only wish we had more time to enjoy it, but we're too tired and too busy.

Apparently all the activity triggered some health issues for me. I've been more tired than usual, feeling uncomfortable and using the bathroom more often, but I chalked it up to being pregnant. The weekend was very short and busy, so I didn't have much time to relax. I have a difficult time sitting around, doing nothing, so I kept going. I wish I would have listened to my body because my body was trying to tell me to stop and rest. By Sunday evening, I had some cramping and spotting, so I called my OBGYN. She told me to rest, drink a big glass of water and go to L&D if I don't begin to feel better or if I begin to feel worse. I drank a huge glass of water, ate some crackers, laid down and even took a warm bath. Unfortunately, I did not begin to feel better and so we made a trip to L&D. The nurses hooked me up to a fetal monitor and I gave a urine sample. I had a few contractions during the 2 hours, but nothing strong and nothing frequent. It was great to listen to the baby's heartbeat for 2 hours, although she wasn't very cooperative. Her heartbeat could be easily heard, only when I was in an uncomfortable position. When I was in a comfortable position, her heartbeat was faint or the monitor wasn't even picking up her heartbeat. I didn't even realize I was having contractions while I was being monitored, so I asked a ton of questions. The contractions were nothing to be concerned with because the baby was responding well and I wasn't dialated. I was also running a low grade fever of 100.0, which is actually not considered a fever because it wasn't 100.4. My urine specimen on the other hand... well that presented some major issues. I had protein, bacteria, ketones and blood in my urine, which meant that I was dehydrated and my body was trying to fight an infection. The nurse consulted my OBGYN, diagnosed me with a urinary tract infection and prescribed an antibiotic. We spent about 2.5 hours in L&D and I'm so glad we went because I never would have known I had a UTI. All things considered, a UTI is nothing and both the baby and I are doing just fine.

Obviously I stayed home from work on Monday so that I could rest. It's the first sick day that I've taken that I didn't think about work or actually do work. Before I fell asleep last night, I thought about firing up my lap top and working from home, but I quickly decided that I needed a day of doing absolutely nothing. I didn't do any house work, not even a load of laundry. I laid in bed, watched TV and napped on and off. It's been suggested that I stay home again tomorrow to rest some more, but I don't think I could take another day of rest and relaxation. I'm afraid if I stayed home tomorrow, I couldn't relax and I'd be doing house work. I haven't decided what I'm going to do, but I'm definitely going to listen to my body.

That's about all that has been going on in the Lasher household. We're such exciting people these days. The excitement will surely increase in the upcoming weeks, as the arrival of our little one approaches.

Love always,
Ian & Kim

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Fever!

As many of you know, it's been unseasonably cold in Florida this entire winter. Now, I know that a Florida winter is nothing compared to a north east winter, however it's been pretty darn cold here! According to the weather forecasters, the cold weather should be gone for good! Bye bye winter... hello spring!

Things around the Lasher household have been busy to say the least. We've been busy with work, preparing for the baby, things around the house and other typical tasks of life.

Ian is working 6 days a week and I've been working 5 days a week. Tax season is in full swing and I'm looking forward to the end of March and the end of tax season. Ian doesn't handle personal taxes, so the April 15th deadline doesn't matter to him. The bulk of his work is due by March 15th, which is only a week away. It will be nice to have my husband back and I can't wait! Work has been busy for me because I'm trying to tie up loose ends before I go out on maternity leave. Case management is probably the worst job to leave because you're not dealing with companies or things; you're dealing with people and peoples' lives. I have to ensure my cases are in order because my co-workers will be the ones managing my cases while I'm gone. The next few weeks will be very busy at work, but I'm prepared for the task at hand.

I had a total of 3 baby showers... can you believe it? First, my friends Lisa and Jenn hosted a baby shower for me in late January, which was amazing! They did such a great job and I couldn't have chosen a better group of people to celebrate with. My friends Dawn and Stephanie actually flew to Tampa to spend the week with me and to celebrate! Then, my aunts hosted a baby shower for me in Baltimore and I flew up to Baltimore for the weekend to celebrate with friends and family. It was such a great baby shower and I was able to see everyone without traveling all over the city. I even managed to get all of the gifts on the plane and back to Tampa. Don't ask me how, but I was able to do it! Lastly, my co-workers were able to host a surprise baby at work. I work with an incredible group of people and they did an incredible job of surprising me. Needless to say, we practically have everything we need for the baby and I have our friends and family to thank. We do have a few odds and ends to pick up, but we have some time to finish up our shopping. My goal is to have the nursery organized by the end of March.

We're having new carpet installed in the carpeted areas this Saturday and Sunday. I'm looking forward to have new carpet, but I'm dreading the preparation and aftermath. We have to put everything away, with the exception of the furniture, which will be moved by the installers. I feel like we have so much to do and not a lot of time to do it all. I know it will all be worth it in the end, I just wish I had a magic wand to wave to take care of everything that needs to be done. I'm looking forward to having the house finished, organized and clean. Knowing that my house is in order would relieve so much stress for me. I'm very thankful that we have a few more weeks to get everything in order before the baby arrives.

The baby will be here before we know it! As of this Friday, we will have 5 weeks until my due date. I'm eager for her to arrive and I can't wait to meet her! I must admit that I'm over being pregnant and I can't wait to have my body back. My back hurts, my ankles are swollen, I have a lot of pressure and the Braxton Hicks contractions are uncomfortable. I know each pain and uncomfortable moment will be worth it in the end and that's what keeps me going. It's crazy to think that in a few weeks, it will no longer be just the two of us; it will be the three of us! My pregnancy has been great and I really can't complain. I've experienced the typical aches and pains of pregnancy without any complications and for that I am grateful. I hope the next 5 weeks go just as smoothly as the past 35 weeks. We started a prenatal class through the OBGYN's office and it consists of a 4-week crash course in labor and delivery. We will learn the stages of labor and what to expect during delivery. It will be nice to have a general idea of what to expect and how to handle various situations that may arise. I've already made the decision to have an epidural, but it will be beneficial knowing how to relax prior to having the epidural.

I decided to take the day off today because I haven't been feeling very well. I've been so tired and uncomfortable, not to mention that I've had a terrible headache on and off for the past couple of days. A day of rest and relaxation is exactly what I needed. My ankles are swollen today, my headache isn't as bad and I haven't had Braxton Hicks contractions today. I'm going to get through the next 4 weeks at work, but I've come to the conclusion that it's okay to take time to rest and relax. Not feeling well is my body's way of telling me that something isn't right and I need to take it easy. It was difficult reaching that conclusion, but I'm glad I've finally come to terms with it; I have to take care of me and the baby before I can take care of anyone else.

Well kids, that about sums up what's been going on around here. Just preparing for the arrival of the baby and trying to get by... day by day.

Love always,
Ian & Kim