Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Quiet on the Uterine Front

We're at 25 weeks, 5 days. The night was quiet, except for the periodic wheezing of Lisa's inflatable leg warmers, which apparently sprung a leak around 1 a.m. (Imagine Neil Armstrong as a high school cheerleader circa 1982 and you get the idea). In any event, the nurse had a new, leak-proof set ready this morning.

This morning we had a visit from Dr. Levine, who in addition to being a member of the same practice group happens to be Dr. Bohmke's husband. We think they're a good couple.

Well, no news is good news. We'll keep trying to produce as little of it as possible.


Early Admissions

It's been another quiet afternoon and evening at Camp Falvy. Just what the doctor ordered, so to speak.

Miles continues to draw compliments from the nursing staff on his impressive heart accelerations.

We have now cycled through nine full nurse shifts in our time here at Swedish, and we of course have our favorites. Cammy, who was on duty when we first arrived, is back again tonight, and we feel we're in good hands. "I'm so glad you're still here," she said -- not something you'd normally say in the hospital context, but it now makes perfect sense to us. She had just returned from a visit to ten colleges with her son--all while we've been in the care of Swedish Hospital.

Now that's a Milestone.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Good Ultrasound

Dr. Bohmke called with the results of this morning's ultrasound: she's "delighted." We're looking good. There is no change in the general situation, and amniotic fluid levels are in good shape.

Dictated by Lisa

25 weeks, 4 days.

In the Southwest Wing, they call it "25 weeks and change".

Every day that we spend here, and Miles spends inside, is three days Miles does not have to stay in NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) once he is born.

I would say that I am reasonably stable. Contractions come and go, as do the medications to quell them.

Miles is doing "exceptionally, beautifully well", in the words of several of our nurses.

I am off my IV drip, for the most part. I am wearing self-inflating moon boots on my legs, to avoid blood clot formation.

I am reasonably comfortable in my fancy bed (the nurses say it costs more than a new car). Unfortunately, something as simple as rolling over requires calling in the calvary. But the nurses are very kind and accomodating.

Another challenge is keeping my body flat and at an upward sloping angle. I can't sit up in bed for the time being, but am keeping a very low profile.

I'm looking out the window at beautiful fall colors and a sunny day. Thanks again to everyone for your well wishes, prayers and support. It's been really overwhelming, and a great reminder of what is really important in life.


Sunday, October 29, 2006


We'd like to thank everyone who has called, e-mailed or dropped by at the hospital over the last few days. Your support has meant the world to us.

Yesterday we enjoyed (yes, actually enjoyed) a pleasant evening, watching the sunset from the window of our new view condo at Swedish, with live guitar, companionship, grooming and supplies from home provided by our wonderful family and friends.

Lisa is currently reclining in the Trendelenburg position. No, this is not a property development in the Central Cascades. This means the bed is pitching up at about 10 degrees.

Dr. Bohmke is here now and she has good news. Further study of the yesterday ultrasound pics suggests that the dilation and prolapsing are not as advanced as originally thought. That doesn't mean we can go for a bike ride, but Lisa will get some milder drugs to replace the magnesium IV drip, and her fluid restrictions are now officially lifted.


Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is going on?

A: We (Lisa, Dean and our future baby) are at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. Lisa has been in pre-term labor since Thursday night (10/26). The fine folks at Swedish have so far been successful at slowing things down, and everyone is doing fine.

Q: What is this web site for?

A: To keep our family and friends updated on the latest developments. (Thanks to Aly Frei for setting it up).

Q: Should we be worried?

A: Well, it’s a bit on the early side to be having a baby. We are 25 weeks plus 2 days pregnant (36 weeks being full term). Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, there is a reasonably good survival rate for babies born at this stage, but there is also a significant risk of complications. With each passing day and week that labor and birth can be delayed, the risks diminish. Thus, strangely enough, our goal is to stay here in the hospital for as long as possible, while our baby gets a little more gestation in before being born. We are very pleased to have gotten through the first 48 hours in good shape. There is a long road ahead of us, but we are feeling very optimistic.

Q: How did this happen?

A: Unaware that anything was amiss, we went to Swedish for a routine ultrasound Thursday afternoon. Everything looked fine with the baby, and we were beginning to discuss our dinner options. The doctor proceeded to check the cervix, but we assumed that would just be a matter of routine as everything had been fine at Lisa’s last exam a little more than a week prior.

The doctor suddenly told Lisa, “You’re in pre-term labor.” She told the assistant, “Call Triage. Call Dr. Bohmke. We’re going to the hospital.” It took us both a few moments to digest this news, which represented a significant departure from our evening plans.

Five minutes later, Dr. Bohmke (our OB) met us in the triage unit and the fine folks at Swedish immediately swung into action. Lisa was dialated 1.5 centimeters and the amniotic sac was beginning to prolapse through the cervix. Dr. Bohmke outlined steps that could be taken to diminish contractions and delay the process, but obviously we were at high risk for a very early birth. It was possible to delay birth by days, weeks or even months, but the first big test was to stabilize the situation and get through the next 48 hours. In any event, we learned that Lisa would not leave the hospital until she gave birth.

Needless to say, we were rather overwhelmed by this turn of events. The worst-case scenarios flooded into our minds and took some time to recede. But even at that troubled hour, it was deeply reassuring to be in the hands of the tremendous professionals here at Swedish.

Even though we were facing a difficult trial, we also realized that we were incredibly lucky. If we had not had a routine ultrasound exam scheduled that afternoon, we might not have become aware that Lisa was in pre-term labor until it was too late to do anything to slow it down. Instead, it was our good fortune to stumble upon the problem when we were just across the hall from a first-rate pre-natal unit.

Q: Where do things stand now?

A: The situation seems fairly stable. With the help of medication, contractions have slowed almost to zero. Another ultrasound this morning confirmed the general impression of stability. Levels of amniotic fluid look good. Lisa is confined to her hospital bed, but is in good spirits. We’ve made it through the first 48 hours, giving the doctors time to administer steroids that will help the baby’s lungs grow (one of the biggest challenges of premature birth). We’re settling in for what we hope will be a long haul.

Q: How is the baby?

A: He continues to look good in all the ultrasounds, and is kicking away merrily. If he misbehaves, we tell him, “Go to your womb.” We have made it clear to him that he’s got three months’ rent paid up, and that there’s no point in leaving before then.

Q: Is there any truth to the rumor that the future baby’s name has been revealed?

A: Absolutely not. “Miles George Falvy” is top secret, and will remain so until his birth.

Q: What about reports that Dean has lost his mind and thinks he is the patient?

A: These are greatly exaggerated. I did strain the MCL (medial collateral ligament) in my knee playing soccer on Wednesday night, less than 24 hours before this drama began. This has diminished my functionality and led to a certain amount of confusingly patient-like behavior here at the hospital (like wearing a knee brace, propping up my leg and hopping around on crutches). However, I am getting back on my feet and hope to be at full speed shortly.

More updates to follow soon.


First Post

Lisa, Dean and their tough little guy are all doing well. 48 hours since hospital admission and still pregnant!! Thanks for all your well wishes and please continue to keep us in your thoughts and send positive energy our way.