About Katie Shea Design

Mom, Social Media Influencer, Content Creator & Founder, #Designer of #REUSABLE Magnetic #Cupcake Wrappers #Luxury http://about.me/kdecosmo Brand Ambassador #VZWBuzz #LifeOnFiOS

Pregnancy, Cholestasis, Preeclampsia and a Miracle

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Pregnancy, Cholestasis, Preeclampsia, and a Miracle …. Dec 12th was supposed to be the day my grandson was to be born into this world by C-section at 37 weeks gestation.

My daughter Elizabeth’s High-Risk OB Dr. determined that 37 weeks was as far as he could let the pregnancy go without risking many complications for mother and baby.

Elizabeth started her pregnancy being seen by a High-Risk OB Dr. because she has Crohn’s Disease and Sjogren’s syndrome.  Two autoimmune diseases that can complicate pregnancy numerous ways.

The end of the first trimester Elizabeth and her husband were given the news that their baby could have complications with his heart because of Elizabeth’s Sjogren’s syndrome.  They were told that if there were to be heart complications they would show up between the end of the first trimester to the end of the second trimester.  Every ultrasound was scrutinized.  A trying time for the expectant parents, nerves were raw as they leaned on their faith.  They chose to believe that all would be fine with their child’s heart.  

Everyone drew a sigh of relief when the second trimester came to a close without any sign of heart complications for the baby.

The third trimester brought on an onslaught of itchiness all over Elizabeth’s body.  The last week of September my daughter asked me if I had experienced itchiness during any of my three pregnancies.  Definitely not because I would absolutely remember if that happened to me.  She told me the itch was all over her body and increasing in severity by the day.  I told her that was not a normal pregnancy problem and go see her Dr. ASAP!  She was only 27 weeks pregnant and I suspected something was going awry.

We were so glad that we had her baby shower three months before her due date of Dec 30th.  We originally planned it for Oct 1st because her brother was getting married Nov 5th.  It definitely worked out in hindsight because Elizabeth’s itchiness and what was to follow in her pregnancy.

My gut feeling was that her auto immune diseases were complicating the pregnancy.  I did not feel qualified to have an opinion on whether or not it was in any way normal to be itchy all over since I do not have either of those medical conditions.  Although her cousin Courtney suspected she was experiencing a condition called cholestasis, I wanted my daughter to have blood work to confirm or rule out anything related to the itchiness all over her body.

What is obstetric cholestasis?

Obstetric cholestasis is a condition of the liver which occurs in some pregnant women. Cholestasis means there is a reduced flow of bile down the bile ducts in the liver. Some bile then leaks out into the bloodstream, in particular, the bile salts. These circulate in the bloodstream and can cause symptoms.

What are the symptoms of obstetric cholestasis?

Typically, symptoms occur after 24 weeks of pregnancy when the hormone levels are at their highest. Sometimes it develops earlier in pregnancy.

Severe itch without any skin rash is the most common symptom. The itch can be all over, but it is often worst on the hands and feet. Commonly, itch is the only symptom. It tends to get worse until you have the baby. The itch can become severe and affect sleep, concentration, and mood.  It can become distressing.  Although obstetric cholestasis does not cause a rash, the scratching caused by severe itching can cause visible marks on the skin.

Elizabeth’s Dr Appt (in her 28th week of pregnancy, first of week of October) resulted in her immediately being diagnosed with suspicion of cholestasis pending confirmation by her blood work that would take a week to receive the results.  Her High-Risk OB immediately began treating her for cholestasis with drug intervention.  My daughter was so itchy that she was scratching her entire body with a hair comb!  

The blood results came back in her 29th week of pregnancy and confirmed the presence of a cholestasis condition and a very bad case.  Her bile acids were extremely high as well as her liver enzymes.  Elizabeth’s Dr. increased her dosage of meds and started monitoring her even more closely. She had 2  Dr. visits a week, ultrasounds, blood pressure monitoring/logging, constant dialogue with the Dr via tests, email, and phone calls.

Elizabeth’s blood pressure was elevated during her 29th week of pregnancy and her feet began to fill with fluid.  The Dr. suspected Preeclampsia and tested her by measuring proteins in her urine and monitoring her blood pressure throughout her days.

The Preeclampsia was confirmed in her 30th week of pregnancy in addition to her Cholestasis condition driving her crazy with severe itching all over her body.

What is Preeclampsia?

“Preeclampsia (pre-e-CLAMP-si-a) is a condition unique to human pregnancy. It is diagnosed by the elevation of the expectant mother’s blood pressure usually after the 20th week of pregnancy. According to guidelines released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the diagnosis of preeclampsia no longer requires the detection of high levels of protein in the urine (proteinuria). Evidence shows organ problems with the kidneys and liver can occur without signs of protein, and that the amount of protein in the urine does not predict how severely the disease will progress. Prior to these new guidelines, most healthcare providers traditionally adhered to a rigid diagnosis of preeclampsia based on blood pressure and protein in the urine.

Preeclampsia is now to be diagnosed by persistent high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy or the postpartum period that is associated with high levels of protein in the urine OR the new development of decreased blood platelets, trouble with the kidneys or liver, fluid in the lungs, or signs of brain trouble such as seizures and/or visual disturbances.

Important symptoms that may suggest preeclampsia are headaches, abdominal pain, shortness of breath or burning behind the sternum, nausea and vomiting, confusion, heightened state of anxiety, and/or visual disturbances such as oversensitivity to light, blurred vision, or seeing flashing spots or auras. Preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy impact 5-8% of all births in the United States.

Most women with preeclampsia will deliver healthy babies and fully recover. However, some women will experience complications, several of which may be life-threatening to mother and/or baby. A woman’s condition can progress to severe preeclampsia very quickly.

Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy can be devastating diseases, made worse by delays in diagnosis or management, seriously impacting or even killing both women and their babies before, during or after birth.”

Having both Cholestasis and Preeclampsia put Elizabeth and her child at extreme risk.  The Dr. told her that she needed to feel her baby move at least 10x every 90 minutes.  If she did not feel him 10 times she needed to get in the car and get to the hospital ASAP.  Every minute counted.  Elizabeth felt the heavy responsibility of monitoring her baby’s life and was having trouble sleeping in conjunction with insane cholestasis itching.

It was touch and go whether Elizabeth would be able to attend her brother’s wedding on Nov 5th which placed her pregnancy in her 32nd week.  The Dr. said he could take the baby as early as the 32nd week if he deemed necessary.

The Dr. gave her the go ahead to attend her brother’s wedding that was one hour away from the hospital she was going to deliver her baby at.  Her liver enzymes and bile acids were on their way down and her itchiness was not increasing.  She needed to monitor her blood pressure frequently and make sure the baby was moving 10 times in 90-minute cycles.  Again a very big responsibility to feel like you hold your child’s life in your grasp.  We made a game out of taking blood pressure readings while hanging out in the hotel the night before the wedding.  Making light of a very serious situation.  Thankful that she did not have to miss her brother’s wedding.

The following two weeks there was bi-weekly ultrasounds and Dr. visits.  Elizabeth kept a blood pressure log in her iPhone.  Her 34th week the Dr asked to see her blood pressure log and admitted her into the hospital on the spot for observation.  They did a liver enzyme test and found her enzymes were off the charts and blood pressure consistently high. The baby’s heart was monitored as well.  It was decided the baby would be delivered that night or the very next day.  

While delivering the baby and cutting the cord it was discovered that there was only a drop of blood left in the cord, not enough for a cord blood sample to be stored.  

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When I went to the recovery room to see my daughter she told me through tears that it was a very close call.  If the baby was not delivered that day he most likely would have not made it in utero past the following 24 hours.  The placenta was found to be a mess and ceasing to support the baby through the cord.

We call our grandson the “Miracle Baby”.  Born at 34 weeks gestation and weighing 4lbs. 3oz. 17 ¼ inches long.  He has overcome so many obstacles and is a thriving little fighter Preemie!  Anthony Joseph spent 18 days in the NICU.  He gained a half pound in only three days while at home nursing every 2 hours.  

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The purpose of this post is to make people aware of Cholestasis and Preeclampsia.  I had three pregnancies and never experienced either of those conditions so I was unaware of the signs and symptoms my daughter was experiencing.

Both conditions are very serious and if not caught and managed very closely can be deadly to mother/child.

Being “Present” in 2017 Using Tailwind For Instagram

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One of my goals for 2017 is to intentionally be “Present” throughout each day.

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What do I mean by being “Present”?

Digital activities can rob enjoyment of each moment as it happens if attentions are not intentionally focused and prioritized.

Wherever I go nowadays I can’t help but notice the digital-focused hush with a device in hand.

Most people use a smartphone as a business tool and/or personal entertainment.  This is a blessing and a curse to be able to have access and to work all hours of the day and night anywhere.

I am constantly looking for solutions to minimize time spent not engaging in real life be it in my business or personal relationships.

As a digital content curator and courier, I use a variety of social media platforms to achieve my objectives.

I was so excited to learn from Tailwind that they now have a Scheduling and Analytics App for Instagram!

Tailwind for Instagram is an Instagram scheduling and analytics tool built on the same platform as Tailwind’s popular Pinterest marketing tool.  It is designed to enable bloggers, influencers and marketers to schedule their Instagram posts in advance on a desktop computer or a mobile device.

Anything that shaves time off of a task that I am already doing regularly is what I am always on the hunt for. “In time trials, Tailwind for Instagram was 60% faster than the scheduling process that many marketers use today, involving emailing images to themselves and downloading them on their phone.”

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I have been using the Tailwind app for Pinterest since 2013.  The Tailwind App has enabled me to be laser-focused on my pinning priorities as well as helping me drill down with my followers and group boards.

I manage many Instagram accounts and am looking forward to minimizing my work time by using Tailwind for Instagram just as I have with my very successful Pinterest account.

Please stop by Katie Shea Design’s Instagram or TakeAway IG Instagram.

I am looking forward to being intentionally more “Present” in 2017 Using Tailwind For Instagram!

To start a free trial of Tailwind for Instagram, visit the Tailwind homepage HERE 

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Gilmore Girls On The Road With Verizon FiOS

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I watched past seasons of Gilmore Girls On The Road With the Verizon FiOS App.verizon-fios-tv-menu-free-gilmore-girls-special-katiesheadesign-fiosny

The Verizon FiOS app enabled me to catch up on all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls prior to the release of the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls which was made available on Black Friday.

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The Netflix revival of the Gilmore Girls consists of four 90-minute episodes.  I have been streaming whenever I have a few minutes and wherever I can.

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My Verizon Wireless service in conjunction with my Verizon FiOS App makes all this streaming possible.

Disclosure: **I am a member of both #LifeOnFiOS and #VZWBuzz Ambassador Teams–  selected teams of influencers for Verizon FiOS and Verizon Wireless who love the FiOS and Wireless service. Compensation was provided and opinions are, as always my own.

Cousins Reunion!

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Our cousin’s reunion took place this past weekend in North West New Jersey.  Our cousins Mary Catherine and husband Bob were our hosts.

We all knew we needed to bring our appetites because Mary Catherine had been cooking and baking all week posting all her creations on Instagram and Facebook.  She is a culinary pied piper in our family.

Mary Catherine has a deep love for keeping old Italian family recipes and traditions alive, as well as starting new cherished ones. She loves creating meals that are  simple and delicious while bringing family and friends together to her table.

Creating a welcoming atmosphere is another gift Mary Catherine possesses.  We used to call her our Martha Stewart but we now believe she has far surpassed Martha.  We all have encouraged her to finish writing her cookbook and share with the world her fine taste and hospitality.

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How food is experienced has everything to do with the decor, with the rituals surrounding the meal, with the company, and with the experience.  Food is drama, the table the stage, and the cook is the tamer and hero.

When we finally settled down to the table the conversations were all over the map literally! We come from all walks of life and continents.  Lots of laughing, story telling and catching up.

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Katie Shea Design Images were all shot with a Verizon MotoZ Smartphone.

Disclosure: I’m so excited I received a MotoZ Smartphone and three Moto Mods as part of my relationship with Verizon. Thanks Verizon for letting me play with this amazing smartphone technology!! #Droid #MotoZ from @Verizon #VZWBuzz #ad .

 

Choosing a Mother-Son Dance Song

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Choosing a Mother-Son Dance Song has been a long process for me.

I did not realize that the process of choosing a special song to dance to with my son on his wedding day was going to conjure up so many memories of our mother/son lifelong journey.

He is our oldest son and the second one of our children to be wed.  The process of a son planning a wedding vs a daughter is a completely different experience.

I never knew how much time I would be putting into choosing a special song until I started listening with a very intentional ear to many Mother-Son Dance Song lists.

The whole process became very emotional for me as I sat listening to each song trying to pair the song’s lyrics somehow with my son, and our mother/son relationship all through the years.

Our relationship began during the nine months carrying him in my womb.  We connected in a very special way in addition to actually being attached umbilically during my pregnancy LOL!

My first look at my son was me seeing a scowl on his face.  I would soon learn that scowl was when his comfort was disturbed otherwise he always wore a smile.

He smiled so much that his football coach had to tell him not to smile while he was tackling someone on the football field!  Both Memories are so carved out in my long term memory.

Certain words in many of the songs provoked some deeply buried, cherished memories to resurface while clutching a box of tissues. I am wondering how many mothers of the groom have experienced this flood of emotion as I have.

I had many song sessions that brought me down memory lane and each time I narrowed my selections more and more.

I had a song chosen months ago but somehow I did not feel it was perfect for my son and myself  to dance to.  Back to square one using a fresh ear revisiting some of the sites I used already.  I thought I was past the emotional responses the music invoked in me. Nope, not only did I cry like a baby, but so did my husband when I had him listen to my new and final selection for my Mother-Son Dance Song.

My husband and I have prayed all of his life for him to find someone to share his life with.  I know that he is counting the days to marry his best friend!!

What song did I choose for our Mother-Son Dance?

November 5th, 2016 is the wedding so stay tuned!

These are some of the sites I used to review potential song selections for our Mother-Son Dance:

Mother – Son Dance Songs

Mother-Son Wedding Song Ideas

Wedding Music Ideas For the Mother-Son Dance

Top 100 Mother/Groom Dance Songs

I used my Verizon MotoZ smartphone with the JBL SoundBoost Speaker Mod to hear each song very clearly whenever and wherever I had some downtime.  What is great about my MotoZ smartphone and the JBL SoundBoost Speaker Mod is I am able to access instantly a powerful stereo sound and it’s features of a kickstand, a built-in battery for 10 hours of playtime and speakerphone capabilities.

Disclosure: I’m so excited I received a MotoZ Smartphone and three Moto Mods as part of my relationship with Verizon. Thanks Verizon for letting me play with this amazing smartphone technology!! #Droid #MotoZ from @Verizon #VZWBuzz #ad .

Happy Anniversary With MotoZ Moto Mods

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A few weeks ago I became a grateful recipient of the new MotoZ Droid Smartphone with three amazing Moto Mod accessories and a storage case!

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Most intriguing to me was the idea of having a projector in my pocket that could project videos and photos up to 70 inches wide onto any flat surface! The concept of having the capacity at a moment’s notice to present a project, idea, document, image, video or view a movie with one or more people was exploding my mind!

I wanted to use the projector for something very special.  I decided to produce a 33rd wedding anniversary video for my husband.

While editing my anniversary video I used the JBL Soundbooth Speaker to play the video through for a preview before surprising my husband.

I played the video on our bedroom ceiling for our 33rd Wedding Anniversary with my Moto Insta-Share Moto Mod projector.

Preparing all the images for this very special video spent lots of battery time. Editing images for hours really tested the MotoZ’s Moto Mod Power Pack Battery life. I went for almost a whole day without having to charge up my smartphone.

I have more creative ideas to use my MotoZ’s Moto Mods in my work and my everyday life.  Stay Tuned!!!

Disclosure: I’m so excited I received a MotoZ Smartphone and three Moto Mods as part of my relationship with Verizon. Thanks Verizon for letting me play with this amazing smartphone technology!! #Droid #MotoZ from @Verizon #VZWBuzz #ad .

 

Travel Made Easy With My Smartphone

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How many people would love to explore a new city but feel directionally challenged like me?

I found this wonderful smartphone app CityMaps2Go that can be a constant companion for directions, dining, shopping, transportation and sightseeing! There is a free version available and paid versions as well.

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You can confidently plan your travel by downloading maps for cities or countries prior to your trip.  You can use the maps even when you do not have wifi.  I love that this app tracks my position on the map so I know exactly where I am.  Make sure you download the maps while you have a WiFi connection.

Having a reliable wireless connection is a priority for me especially while traveling.  I am a Verizon Wireless User and take full advantage of their International Trip Planner Tool.  This Planner Tool helps me find the best compatible International Plan and also helps me know which networks I can access on my trip: 4G LTE, 3G, and 2G data.

You can view some Verizon Wireless International Travel FAQs HERE

If you are not already a Verizon Wireless User and want more information about their plans or how to switch over to Verizon Wireless, please visit this link.

Having a currency converter on your smartphone when traveling to multiple countries makes travel much easier.  I find the Currency App to be the most up to the minute for currency conversions.  Before you start out from your hotel with wifi availability calculate your currency so you can make the conversion without using data.

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I like having things in one place so I do not waste precious time searching all over the internet.  I love using the Trivago App that gives me all my hotel options with the lowest available prices.

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While I am traveling in the USA I take full advantage of my Verizon FiOS TV Service by using the FiOS Mobile App.  The past two weeks I have been on and off traveling and did not want to miss either of the conventions.  I was able to set up my DVR on the road to record what I could not watch live with my app.

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When I was finally home I took my iPad out on my patio and hopped on Verizon FiOS App to enjoy watching the convention poolside.

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Image shot with Samsung Galaxy Note5 #VZWBuzz

Disclosure: **I am a member of both #LifeOnFiOS and #VZWBuzz Ambassador Teams–  selected teams of influencers for Verizon FiOS and Verizon Wireless who love the FiOS and Wireless service. Compensation was provided and opinions are, as always my own.