Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Catch Up Post - What You Missed in the Last Six Weeks


The last six weeks have been a blur for us.  I am sorry we didn’t take the time to post updates, but I remain fairly unapologetic because at the time, we really didn’t have much spare time to send blog posts.  Now that I have a few minutes, here is a quick update from our last six weeks. 

Monday, August 6

I started a two week, between semesters, vacation.  It was going to be our last vacation as a family with only one child, as Dana was about 8 months pregnant.    For practical and financial purposes, it was a stay-cation, meaning we were going to stay in Hiltrup for the duration of the vacation.  As the vacation time approached, I wrote out a list of stay-cation ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ that I planned on blogging about.  My ‘Do’s’ included, ‘workout each day, go to the driving range 3 times per week, extend my daily Bible reading/devotional time’.  My Don’ts included things like, ‘Sleep too long’ (a vacation problem of mine) or ‘Don’t check the stock market.’ I barely check my Hotmail or Facebook accounts, but I check the stock market incessantly.  It’s like heroin.  If I don’t know what the market is doing each day, I can’t stop thinking about it.

I digress.  Monday August 6th, started exactly as planned.   Take Dylan to Kindergarten in the morning, workout for an hour immediately afterward, hit a bucket of golf balls and work on my horrendous putting at the driving range, get washed and pick Dylan up…all before lunch!  I couldn’t have scripted it much better.  Vacation was off to a great start. 

Tuesday, August 7

Dana is now having a lot of pain in her leg.  Undeterred by her desire to spend a girl’s night out with her new English speaking friends in Münster and watch a screening of Footloose, she goes out for the evening. 

After a great time out with her friends, she can hardly walk up the stairs afterward.  This was a sign of things to come. 

Wednesday and Thursday, August 8-9

Dana is out of order.  She can’t move and remains in bed for the next two days.  Nurse Bryan handles the household chores, child care, and cooking.  These things were not on the ‘Do’ list. 

Friday, August 10

We asked the Doctor at Dana’s weekly appointment about the debilitating pain in her leg.  The Dr. said that this was normal pregnancy pain and that the baby had shifted downward and was probably sitting on a nerve, thus giving Dana a lot of discomfort.   She advised Dana to stay in the house and not have too much movement, if possible. 

Saturday to Thursday, August 11-17

Each day, Dana is in more and more pain.  She was in so much pain it brought her to tears just to go to the bathroom.  Like idiots, we wait to see the Dr. until her set appointment on Friday morning. 

Meanwhile, I have cycled through my repertoire of cooked meals and dinner ideas and we are back to the top of the order.  Dana was able to help me expand my cooking portfolio by instructing me from the bedroom.  I wonder to myself if she is doing this on purpose just so I can learn how to steam broccoli or make sloppy joes for the family.  Needless to say, this was not a fun week for anyone.  Insisting that I stick to my ‘Do’ list, I try to sneak out for an hour every other day.  Instead of working out or playing golf, I am so tired from my new job (respect to all of the house frau’s) that I choose to go outside take a nap instead.   

Friday, August 18

I will skip over the excruciating details of trying to get Dana down the stairs and into a taxi to get her to the Dr. in the morning.  Let’s just say it is something that Dana and I would like to both forget.   When we get to the Drs. office, it was quite evident that we needed some extra care (it was probably either the crying or me carrying her that tipped them off), so they told us to get to the Hospital as soon as possible.  We borrowed a wheelchair and I pushed her up the street to the Hiltrup Hospital. 

I left Dana at the hospital after checking her in, packed her luggage back at the house, and picked Dylan up from Kindergarten.  Again, these were not on my ‘Do’ list. 

I had essentially been on my own for Dylan for the last week and a half, but having Dana in the bedroom was really helpful.  I now found myself totally on my own without a cooking coach.  Worst of all, walking the dog a couple times a day proved to be a really long and arduous process.

Monday to Saturday, August 20-25

Dana remains in the hospital all week.  It has now been determined that she has a blood clot in her leg.  After a rough first trimester of pregnancy from January to March, having Shingles in May and June, she now has a blood clot.  We have been lovingly calling this ‘The Year of Dana.’  The risks of a blood clot during delivery are potentially extremely dangerous.  We are really scared.   On the bright side, this did increase my Bible reading and devotional time for both of us. 

I am officially back from ‘vacation’ this week and I am more stressed than when I left two weeks ago.   This entire week was a complete blur as each day I would take Dylan to Kindergarten in the morning, go to work until noon, pick Dylan up, visit Dana in the Hospital, get Dylan to take a nap, dinner, shopping, cleaning, blah blah blah.  Oh yeah, the dog.  He still needed to be walked.  It was exhausting.  I would try to do some extra work while Dylan was napping in the afternoon, but some days I would fall asleep during the process of trying to get Dylan asleep. 

Sunday, August 26th

Help is on the way!  Dana’s parents come for a visit.  This had been planned all year, and it couldn’t have been better timing.   Dylan and I picked them up at the airport in Düsseldorf around noon.  We made it to the Hospital around 5 pm and were able to celebrate Dana’s 22nd birthday in the cafeteria.  I had literally bought her gifts at the last minute (12:55 pm. earrings purchased, and 12:59 pm frame purchased for her Münster poster).  Both stores closed at 1:00 pm.   

The party goes on without a hitch.  Dana is feeling better and is starting to move around a lot more.  The Heparin shots for her blood clot seem to be helping. 



 Monday, August 27th

After 10 days in the Hospital, Dana is allowed to come back home for a week until her scheduled C-section on September 4th. 

Thursday, August 30th

Oops.  The Drs. at the hospital call and let us know that they mis-counted the days of her pregnancy and that the C-Section will be on September 11th.  They asked if the September 11th date would be ok because…you know, September 11th.  We were asked this repeatedly.  We figured it would be a good day to be born because there is a chance it would become an American holiday, so having no school or work every Birthday would be nice.  Besides, moving the C-Section back a week would put Dana past 38 weeks, which is much better than 37 weeks from a brain development standpoint. 

Friday, August 31st

Dana’s parents have been extremely helpful all week long.  Her Mom immediately stormed into action and soon had our place in tip top shape.  Dana’s Dad walked Oscar for me and helped me with some long neglected house projects.  It was a really nice week. 

I rented a wheelchair to push Dana around when we went out and about.  It was not a robust as Dylan’s kinderwagen and I nearly tossed Dana out of her chair at the first two bumps.  I still haven’t heard the end of those mistakes.  Sigh. 

We tried to the best of our limited abilities to show them a good time around Münster.  


Opa and Dylan

18th Century sidewalks + wheelchair with wife in it = fight

Pinkus Brauerei in Münster

Oma holding the fort down with Dylan

Monday, September 3rd

I went with Dana’s Dad back to Düsseldorf in the afternoon to get him checked into his Hotel and show him around the city (i.e. check out a couple of Breweries.)  He had an early flight the next day back home.  Dana’s Mom extended her stay until the end of the month.  With everything that was going on, she couldn’t stand to leave us as we were.  We were so happy she decided to stay. 

Tuesday to Sunday, September 5th – 9th

I go back to work for the remainder of the week and things are almost like normal.  This was to be short lived because by the end of the week, the C-section date was upon us.

Monday, September 10

We admitted Dana back into the Hiltrup Hospital on Monday morning and talked to the Doctors about her procedure the next day.  It was a little nerve wrecking, but mostly exciting.  The nurses were so happy to see Dana again.  How many hospitals have nurses that give you hugs when you come back? 
On her way to the Hospital...the only pregnancy photo on record

I get the call in my office in the afternoon from Dana…there has been a change of plans.  The blood clot had become bigger and they were moving Dana to the University Clinic downtown.  We reluctantly agreed that she should go to the Hospital where they have more specialists, but we were sad that the friendly nurses and Doctors were no longer going to help us through the delivery. 

Monday evening, I get a call from Dana, who is really upset.  Evidently, there had been another change in plans.  The blood clot, which started at her groin, was now so big it was almost down to her knee.  More stress, more uncertainly.  The doctors there now coming up with another birth plan.  Maybe they would do a natural birth.  Maybe they would wait until her water broke, whenever that happened.  But, maybe we still do a C-section.  What started as such a pleasant day had ended in disaster.  As the birth rooms at the University hospital was filled to capacity, she was put in the overflow room.  As friendly as the nurses were in Hiltrup, the nurses were cold and well, really unhelpful.  A lot had changed in one day. 

Tuesday, September 11

A lot of waiting today.  A lot of plan changes.  Maybe we have the baby today, maybe tomorrow.  At least the waiting for potentially two weeks option was off the table. 

The good news is that Dana’s blood clot was being treated more effectively.  She had not been taking enough medicine before.  Like I said, whether she liked them or not, she was in much more capable hands. 

Wednesday, September 12

There was finally room on the schedule to deliver.  It was going to be natural and it was going to be induced.  We had a 6 hour time frame where they could take Dana off of the Heparin and bring her blood back to normal. Also because of the Heparin, Dana was unable to take any pain killers or have an epidural.

The inducing started around noon.  Nothing really happened, as they just gave her a small dose.  We had quite an enjoyable afternoon, drinking coffee and talking in the cafeteria.  It was also nice to just be there and spend time alone with my wife.  We even asked ourselves, ‘Does this count as a date?’

To sum up my mental state at the time, I asked Dana this question as I was finishing the last few boxes of a crossword puzzle. 

Bryan:  Hey Dear, can you please help me with this.  Three letters for a popular deli sandwich, hyphenated.  I have so far, B (blank)  T.  
Dana:  (Looking up from her book)  Are you serious?
Bryan:  Yeah.  It’s two consonants, so I has to be a vowel.  BAT? BET? BIT? BOT?  BUT?
Dana:  BLT!  It’s BLT!  How did you not know that?
Bryan:  Oh yeah.  That fits!  Let’s pretend that I never asked that question.

The action really started at 4pm when Dana took a second dose of whatever the inducement pill was.  We were advised by the ‘Hebamme’ (a nurse trained in delivery) to walk around for an hour and come back with an update.   Our Hebamme was awesome, but she didn’t speak a lot of English.  As the delivery wore on, Dana ceased to understand any German whatsoever and it was up to me to be the translator.  So, that was my role in addition to sacrificing my hand (and its normal circulation) to be mutilated for the evening.    

The next four hours are graphic and personal, so I will ‘yada, yada’ up until 8:45pm…. Brady Robert Foltice officially arrives via natural birth!    He was 3.555 grams /7 lbs. 14 ozs.  and 51 cm long (20 inches).  He missed the 3.900 grams over/under set in Vegas, but that was probably a good thing for Dana.  The blood clot stayed in place, thank you Lord, and Dana resumed her blood clot medicine a few hours after her delivery. 
Family photo (kind of)

Dylan and Brady


Friday, September 14th

I received the call from Dana while I was at work to come pick her up.  She was being released from the Hospital.  She is quickly recovering from her delivery and both she and Brady are doing well.  Oma is staying around until September 24th and things are started to get back to normal, albeit with a new baby in the house. 

This pretty much catches you all up with the latest happenings.  I intend on doing better with the frequency of blog posts. 

2 comments:

Rivercity Maven said...

As another American living in Germany who recently moved to Bremen from the Frankfurt area, I enjoy your posts because I'm usually having those same experiences. Good luck and congrats on the new addition to your family. Your posts are great!

zalp said...

Really dramatic, what happened to you in the last weeks.
Excellent post on that!

Congratulations / "Herzlichen Glückwunsch" and all the best / "alles Gute" to the - now - four of you!

Greetings from Southern Westfalen to Northern Westfalen!