About Me

Hi! I'm Abby. My husband, Carl, and I are happily married since October 2007. Our little family of 2 (well, 3 if you count Chief, the dog) added one more in October 2011 when we welcomed Audrey Elizabeth, our first child into the world. Our life was forever changed. And to add to the joy and excitement, we added another daughter, Clara Marie, in May 2014. I wanted to create this blog originally to document all the milestones throughout my pregnancy with Audrey so we could remember that special time in our lives. And now I get to write all about Audrey and Clara and our life with these amazing "Larson Ladies", which is so much more fun!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Broken ankle at 30 weeks pregnant

Original update from Saturday, 2/22/14:

Last Wednesday (2/19/14), I arrived at work just like any other normal day.  But that day was different.  I got out of my car, stepped onto the sidewalk leading to the door, and a few steps later slipped on some ice and severely dislocated and broke my ankle.  I don't remember anything about how I fell, how I did not land on my belly or my wrists, how I even landed.  I was carrying some bags (my laptop, a bag with a change of shoes to wear inside the office, my purse, etc.), so I might have landed on one of them?  And I now believe that I fell the way that I did because I was instinctively protecting my baby.  I didn't have any pain in my belly or anything indicating that I had fallen on my belly... so much that I didn't even think about that possibility until the EMT asked me about that and if I had felt the baby move since I had fallen.  I just remember lying on the ground and looking up at my ankle that was now deformed.  My foot was almost perpendicular to my leg bones.  It just wasn't right.

There was a guy that was walking up to the door that I flagged down and told to run inside and get help.  I was able to reach my purse, so I called 911 right away and asked that they send an ambulance.  It was right at 8am and there were a number of people arriving at that time, so over the next couple minutes a number of people had gathered around.  There were some nice people who put my bags back in my car.  There were also a number of close work friends who were around offering to go to the hospital with me or call anyone I needed.  My main thought... Carl was on an airplane on his way to Denver for a conference, and I knew immediately that I would call my in-laws and see if they could come meet me at the hospital.  In this day and age of cell phones, I don't know anyone's phone numbers!  So it was just easier that I call the people I needed to once they got me into the ambulance.  When the ambulance arrived, the EMT said "this is going to suck for you because we have to move you and I can't give you anything for pain since you're pregnant".  Yeah, I figured that.  I was prepared for that.  And at that point, I can honestly say that I was in shock or denial or something.  I could feel my ankle and feel some pain and that it just didn't feel right, but it wasn't throbbing/piercing pain, so I could really think clearly and keep it together.  Once inside the ambulance, the EMT took off my shoe and sock and wrapped my ankle in a pillow.  I looked away while they did that.  I knew what it looked like with my sock and shoe on, and I certainly didn't want to see it without my shoe and sock on.  So, I distracted myself and made some phone calls.  Big Carl left work immediately and met me at the ER.  I also called my Mom right away, mostly just to inform her.  But she cancelled any plans she had, packed a bag, and got in the car to drive up to the hospital to be with me.  I don't know what I would have done without them at the hospital with me.  So thankful for them.

They took me to St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights because they have an OB there and they'd be able to check and monitor the baby appropriately.  I waited just a little bit in the ER before the doc came in to talk with me.  He explained that they were going to take x-rays and that they had called ortho because they would be the ones to reset my ankle.  He didn't elaborate much on too many details.  I think he didn't want me to know how bad it all was.  Which is a good thing.  In fact, when my mom came, she took a look at my ankle and I told her that it was just dislocated.  We laugh about it now, but she said that she knew there was no way it was only dislocated.  There was a cut on the top of my foot where the bone started to come through the skin.  Bad news.  Pretty funny now when we look back on it.  Again, I continued to be in denial.  I was concerned, though, about the baby and how we would be able to manage my pain and not affect the baby.  The doc said they could give me morphine.  By this time, Carl had landed in Denver.  I had no cell phone service in the ER but Big Carl did, so I asked that Carl call my doctor to inform her of what had happened and ask about the safety of morphine.  She said morphine, in small amounts, was fine and harmless to the baby.  And then she was insistent that we get an ultrasound ASAP.  She wanted to know how the baby was doing after the fall.  I kept feeling the baby move so that was good news to me, but I was in agreement with my OB doc... I wanted an ultrasound to be sure.  We expressed these concerns to the ER doc and he said he would work on it.

Not long after, they took me in for an x-ray.  And of course, since I'm pregnant, I had to sign a scary waiver explaining the health risks and impact on the baby.  Very scary.  But they needed x-rays so they could see how bad it was.  The x-ray techs were so nice and they quadruple shielded my abdomen.  They had 2 aprons that they folded in half and placed over me.  They got quite a few shots and I had my eyes closed the entire time so I didn't have to see my ankle.  They were being as quick as possible, but it still took a little bit of time and by that time the pain was setting in.

Here is one of the first x-rays they took that shows just how badly dislocated/broken my ankle was:

Once they got me back in my waiting "room" in the ER, the nurse came and was able to give me 4mg of morphine.  That relaxed me for a little bit but wore off quickly.  The ortho doc still hadn't come, and I was concerned about the pain associated with him resetting my ankle.  I thought we had missed our window.  The ortho doc finally came between 12:30-1pm I think (after we had been there for 4ish hours!).  They were able to give me more morphine, but I was in a lot of pain and it just didn't help that much.  Thankfully, he was able to give me a local anesthetic to numb the pain while he reset it.  I could still feel pressure, but no stabbing/throbbing pain.  They had me move to the edge of the bed with my legs dangling off.  And the doc was talking to me asking me about Audrey and about the new baby... basically distracting me.  But nothing can distract  you enough when someone pulls on your broken ankle to put it back in place.  Holy cow.  Again, so thankful that my mom and big Carl were there with me to encourage me.  Once the ankle was reset, the doc put a [really heavy!] plaster cast around it.  It was soft around the outside top layer, but hard on the underneath.  Then, I had to get more x-rays.  There was a possibility that he would have to redo the reset if the x-ray didn't show what he wanted, but thankfully he didn't have to do that.  He said that I needed surgery within the next week, as long as my OB doc approves that and they can come up with a plan to keep the baby safe.  We were hoping for that because the other alternative would be to wait until after the baby is born (10 more weeks).  And at that point, they'd have to "be creative".

Now that we have a plan for the ankle... how about the baby?  The ER nurse had come in at one point to hear the baby's heartbeat, which we heard very faintly.  But still no ultrasound or true monitoring yet.  They didn't get me up to OB until 3pm-ish.  They hooked me up to 2 monitors, 1 to monitor the baby's heartbeat and 1 to monitor contractions.  Heartbeat was strong, clear, very good... in the 150s, which is what it has been throughout my pregnancy so far.  But... I was having regular contractions.  I had 3 contractions within the first 5 minutes she had me hooked up to the monitor.  Not good.  They gave me ice chips, a huge cup of water, hooked me up to an IV, and then ordered me dinner hoping it was just because I hadn't eaten or drank anything since 7am that morning.  (I was so thirsty, but they wouldn't let me drink down in the ER for fear I think that I would get sick.)  After about 4.5 hours of monitoring, thankfully the contractions stopped.  It ended up that I really was contracting only because of a lack of food and water.  Thank God.

While I was waiting there being monitored, I talked to Carl and he said that he was able to get on a flight that night so he could come home.  I assured him that all was ok, but he said that he really needed to be here.  And my mom and big Carl agreed.

We got home from the hospital about 8:30-9pm, and Audrey was already in bed.  Joyce had picked her up from daycare and took care of her thankfully. She was surprised when she woke up in the morning and saw Grammy there.  And then when she came downstairs and saw me with a "boo boo", she was kind of alarmed and scared I think.  Very hesitant around me.  She's warmed up a little, but still a little hesitant.  Look at the card she made me at daycare.  So cute and thoughtful of her teachers to help her make that for me!

I met with an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Baylis, yesterday to discuss the plan for my ankle, and we have surgery scheduled for 7:30am Monday morning at Chris in Oak Lawn.  He came up with a plan with my OB doc and the doc on call to have an OB nurse with me for the entire surgery, monitoring the baby on a fetal monitor.  So that's really good.  They'll probably keep me overnight on Monday night so they can closely monitor me and the baby as I recover.  I feel really comfortable with the surgeon and the plan that he and my OB have in place.  I know I'll be in good hands and at a great hospital with the greatest care.

It will be quite a long road from here.  6 weeks in a cast after surgery with no weight on my ankle, and then a boot after that.  Maybe I'll be out of the boot by the time I have the baby.  We will see!

I have great support here in Carl, my parents, and my in-laws.  We're doing pretty well!  Considering...

Week 29 Update

Post from February 11th, 2014

Today I had another doctor's appointment, to meet with the doc and to have another ultrasound.  They never told me why they scheduled this ultrasound as a follow-up to my Level 2 ultrasound back at 21 weeks, and my doctor said that she hadn't heard that anything was wrong so it was merely a formality.  

Carl comes to all appointments with me where we have an ultrasound, which is so nice and supportive.  And I think it helps him feel connected too.  I'm always glad to have him there at my appointments.  We went back to the ultrasound room, and as I was getting ready for the ultrasound the tech tells me that my glucose test results came back high.  She caught me off-guard because I thought she was only going to do the ultrasound.  Well, she told me in so many words that she wasn't supposed to be telling me these results.  Her exact words... "act surprised when the doctor tells you."  And no wonder, because the specific results she gave me were wrong.  She told me that my score was 133, and that the cutoff was 140.  And then she proceeded to lecture me on how to be more healthy during my pregnancy and that I need to avoid white starches.  I just bit my tongue and kept saying, "uh-huh" and "ok".  But who the hell is this woman?  She has no idea about my history or my health or my pregnancy or my anything.  Really rubbed me the wrong way and upset me.  I held it together through the ultrasound.  Seeing pics of our baby girl and her moving all around will make anyone's mood better!  The baby had a strong heartbeat at 152ish beats per minute, and even though she couldn't say exactly what she needed to get more pictures of or why we were there for that ultrasound, she said that the baby looked really healthy and all was good.  Here are some pics:

[Pictures coming soon]

My doctor was on call that week, so we saw the Nurse Practitioner Julie.  She confirmed that my glucose lab results were high.  My true score was 142, which is just slightly higher than the cutoff of 140.  She made me feel better about failing the 1-hour test by saying that usually when people score in the 140s or 150s for the 1-hour, they almost always pass the 3-hour test.  Everything else was good.  She feels good about how the baby is measuring and my weight and overall health.  So that's encouraging.  I still left feeling discouraged and annoyed that I had to take the 3-hour test.  But oh well.

So then I get back to the office and my phone rings.  It's the receptionist at the doc's office saying they want to schedule another ultrasound.  When I asked why, she said very nonchalantly, "they just want additional views".  And that's it.  She couldn't give me any more information.  I lost it at that point.  I told Carl and told him that I would call back later to get more information, but I just couldn't right now because I couldn't quit crying.  I was discouraged and felt like I was getting smoke screens regarding the health of the baby and my health.  Carl called the doc right away and talked to the Nurse Practitioner we had met with that morning, and she explained what had happened and apologized that they didn't give the information up front.  She explained that the ultrasound tech thought she saw some fluid around the baby's heart.  The high risk doctor who reviews all the ultrasounds wasn't in the office that day and he wasn't able to review the ultrasound images until after we had left.  He wasn't alarmed, but thought it was a good idea for us to have another ultrasound in 2 weeks just to get some additional looks and to be sure.  

Usually I look forward to my ultrasounds and checkups, and I know it could be a lot worse so I feel like I'm over-reacting.  But I just want this baby to be very healthy, and it's upsetting that there is any doubt about that.  Will update after my 3-hour glucose test and the next ultrasound...

Week 25 Update

Post from January 15, 2014

Weight: 25.5 lbs
I've gained A LOT more weight so far than I did with Audrey. Ugh. And if I gained 39 lbs with Audrey, I bet I will end up around 45-50 lbs with this one. Tough subject for me, but I'll admit, I've been eating a lot of crap and I've only worked out twice in 6 weeks. 6 weeks! I struggle to find a routine that fits with busy/demanding workload and picking up Audrey from daycare. Or maybe we just need to move to a warm climate so I don't have to rely on the gym as much. Here's what I hope...the baby is born healthy and at a healthy weight. I will kick my ass back in shape, I know it can be done because of what I accomplished after having Audrey. I don't mind sacrificing my body/weight for a short time for a healthy baby girl!
Size of baby: weight of a rutabaga
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: heartburn, shortness of breath when I carry Audrey up the stairs (but I think I'm just out of shape!), stomach bug (again!) 2 weeks ago which took a little time to bounce back from, general tiredness from not sleeping through the night (for a # of reasons). Oh, and really dry hair/scalp. Feeling pretty good, though, overall.
Movement: I felt this little girl move really early on, and about 5-6 weeks ago Carl felt her for the first time! I thought it might be too early, but she was kicking hard! I'll feel her down low and up in the ribs, mostly on my right side, simultaneously. She's a mover.
Sleep: I haven't slept through the night for a few years now. This is due to Audrey sometimes (even though she's a pretty good sleeper overall), but mostly just because I have to go to the bathroom, or I have stuff on my mind.  Most nights I fall asleep on the couch. I'm trying just to go to bed when tired, but that would mean going to bed really early! Ha.
What I miss: Getting my hair done, though I guess I'm saving a bunch of money so that's good! I'm rockin the ombre look.

I'm ready and anxious to meet this little girl! I don't want to wish away any time... but... is it April yet??

It's a Girl!

Post from 12/17/13

Today we went to the doc for our Level 2 ultrasound.  I am 21 weeks along (tomorrow), and feeling pretty good.  All went well at the ultrasound and the ultrasound tech said that the baby looked healthy and already weighed over 1 pound! And we're still on track for April 30th due date.  Here are some ultrasound pics:

[Pictures Coming Soon]

We chose not to find out the gender of the baby at our appointment, but rather later that night when Audrey came home.  So we had the ultrasound tech put the tell-tale ultrasound images that said the gender in a sealed envelope for us to open later.  I bought both pink and blue balloons and a pink cupcake and a blue cupcake, and then we opened the envelope together.

It's a... Girl!

[More pictures to come]

Audrey's excited to be a big sister, and I'm excited for her to have a sister.  I love the relationship that my sisters and I have, and I know that Audrey and new baby sister will have a great relationship, too!

Now we must decide on the perfect name for our baby girl...