Thursday, May 31, 2007
So...we get another week. Which is great because this weekend is a pretty busy one for our family. Let's hope I start feeling better soon.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I am trying to enjoy the last few moments of being a miraculous incubator, but the aches and pains of late pg (not to mention the intense contractions) keep making me hope for sooner rather than later. I will post the results of my scan tomorrow ASAP...if I get to come home. My appt is a 1:30pm an they take about an hour.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
-On Friday B went to visit his sister, Bethany, and her new baby girl. He offered to take E along, and I was fine with it. I had a whole day off. J was home, but stayed with my dad while I enjoyed my Mother's Day pre-natal massage. It was wonderful. I should really treat myself more often. I also had so much time to clean. My floors were picked up, mopped, and vacuumed. Our bedroom was dusted and cleaned (except for one pile of laundry). I emptied all but 2 of the boxes that have been stacked at the top of the stairs since we started moving rooms several months ago. 2 of 3 toilets were cleaned and several loads of laundry done. I was nesting hardcore. It felt great to accomplish so much.
-On Saturday we welcomed home friends Allen and Cynde. They just brought their new baby girl home from China. It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life. We were waiting there with red, white and blue balloons, posters, flowers and pink teddy bears with such anticipation. They were held at immigration for awhile, so our wait was longer than expected. When they walked through the door, tears filled my eyes. I am really glad I was video taping for them, otherwise I might have just started blubbering. It was so touching to see them reunited with their older daughter, Phoebe, and instantly become a family of four. They have been waiting so long for this, and they deserve all the happiness in the world. She is even more beautiful than her pics online. WELCOME HOME JOSIE!!!!!
-We also saw Pirates 3 last night. Don't bother if you can wait for video. The ending was a cop out. Totally hated it. Although...you do get to see Johnny Depp without a shirt!
-Today was mostly uneventful. E slept in late and was really cranky. The rain was pouring down, so we decided to play hookey from church.
The day would have stayed uneventful if daughter #2 would have cooperated earlier in the day. She went almost 4 hours with no movement. I tried 2 donuts and a sugared soda, and nothing. I panicked and called the Dr. They sent me to the hospital for monitoring. The baby was more active once we got there than she has been in months. I could not believe it! It was like she was performing for an audience. What a waste of time!
They also did a sonogram. She weighs about the same as she did last Thursday and is still breech. It was really cute to see her though. She was holding her toes in front of her face and playing with them. She also was moving her mouth like she was saying "mama". Her fluid level is down from Thursday, but still "within normal limits". Basically normal right now is anything from 7.8cm-28cm...I have 8cm. So I have a whole .2 cm of fluid saving me from being "below normal". Wow. Hope I can hold on to that .2. It doesn't seem like much.
They told me to rest and see my Dr as usual on Thursday. Until then...I'm thinking watery thoughts.
Happy Memorial Day everyone!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
In other news...
- E had her 9 month well visit today. She is 17 1/2 lbs (25th %)and 28 inches tall (55th %). The Dr. is pleased with her growth and motor skills. She said she's "perfect"! We were already aware of this. :)
- J had his last day of 1st grade today. After being not-so-successful at the limbo (and who is when you are as tall as he is??), he was awarded "Most Outgoing Student" and an Honor Roll certificate. At the end of the party his teacher said "You are all officially 2nd graders!" I got a little weepy.
- B's sister had her baby yesterday. She gave birth (with no drugs because her platelets were too low for an epidural) to an 8 lb 5 oz, 21 inch long baby girl named Mallory. She also suffered pretty serious tearing, so keep her in your prayers for a speedy recovery. From what I understand, we are still waiting for the middle name to be decided. Baby Mallory is our 3rd niece. This family has a lot of girls!
- Dad's preliminary biopsy came back as no tumor present. They sent the cells on to the "experts" for further study. Right now, this is the best case scenario. Now it's a wait and see game.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
We may even send a small gift to the winner. They calculate by points. The least amount of points wins. So, for example, the wrong gender is charged 400 points, wrong date is 1 point per hour, and so on.
Join all the fun here:
P.s. No one should get the gender wrong. That question is the easy one!
Happy 6th Birthday Phoebe!!!
Yesterday we picked her up just before J got out of school. They played video games and drew pictures for awhile while E napped. Then, we took them to the park and out to dinner to celebrate. It was really interesting having all three kids. It gave B and I a taste of what we are in for when we have three of our own. All I can say is we both went to bed pretty early last night and B made the comment that we will never be going anywhere in public again once this baby arrives! It wasn't that the kids were badly behaved or anything. In fact, they were really good and (for the most part) followed directions. It was all going well until E started screaming in the restaurant. She was tired and is cutting a tooth. She cried the whole way home and J and P were saying they couldn't take anymore. So between the crying of the baby, plus two kids yelling to quiet her up, all B and I could do was laugh. This is a good thing. It could have been worse.
All in all, we had a great time. Here are some pics I took at the park.
I'm even cute when I pout...
E's first slide experience.
On top of the world...
P tried to go up with J, then called for help. She decided she wasn't old enough to be on top. She said she will be "old enough when I'm 7 like Jacob!" So cute!
Monday, May 21, 2007
We made it to 32 weeks yesterday! YAY!
As I was reading on a preemie website the other day, there is a world of difference between a 29-30 week and a 32 week baby. All my newsletters say that she should weigh in the neighborhood of 3.75-4 lbs. Still a little small in my opinion, but not scary small. There are even some 32 week babies that can breathe on their own and a lot of them only require CPAP for a few days (continuous positive airway pressure). Here is more info from kidshealth.org:
A nasal CPAP device consists of a large tube with tiny prongs that fit into the baby's nose, which is hooked to a machine that provides oxygenated air into the baby's air passages and lungs. The pressure from the CPAP machine helps keep a preemie's lungs open so he or she can breathe. However, the machine does not provide breaths for the baby, so the baby breathes on his or her own.
Picture of a preemie on CPAP:
Saturday, May 19, 2007
We only really need one more thing for the hospital and that is a going home outfit. I found one I am in love with at Dillards, but for some reason I want to wait and see how big she is when born. E could have easily worn a preemie size going home, and J did wear p clothes home. So I don't know why I didn't just snag it when I saw it. Maybe it is just my hopes for a healthy 8 pounder!!! I have always wanted a nice butterball for a newborn, but even my full-term baby (E) was not quite 7 lbs.
I fully believe now that I am ready for the hospital, that it won't happen for awhile. I packed a month early with E and it delayed the birth. This is a good thing. Hope it works out this time.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
My Dr. is a lot like my dad. Very laid back. He doesn't make scary faces or give you scary information very often (not until he feels a reason to give it). During every pregnancy I have had, something has come up that lies outside the normal range and he has never batted an eyelash. He just matter-of-factly says it like it is. I admire that about him. He always then tells me that I will be fine, and I will deliver a healthy baby (which I might add, I always do deliver healthy babies and I don't intend to break the pattern now).
Today while looking at the baby on the sonogram screen he quietly said "She's breech", (which we knew) "Ah look at that great pocket of fluid" and "see that wonderful respiratory action?". He even said she's like a movie star with a camera on her...she knows she's being watched and performing well. I started to say "Great! See you next week". Then he started looking at other things. He didn't say much, but I could see clearly he was looking around the area of the placenta with great detail. Not much fluid around there. I really couldn't see any. He said nothing still.
After the sono he casually said "I don't think you will be able to carry to term".
Term is a funny, uh, term if you will. Term for some people is the full 40 weeks, to others it is 38 weeks, or 36. A full-term baby is considered to be any baby born after the 37th week of gestation. However, he would never take a baby at 37 weeks unless he absolutely needed to.... even though it is "full term". So I was thinking maybe I could get to 37 weeks when he said these words.
Then the bombshell:
"I would be prepared to deliver in 2-4 weeks", he said.
What???????? %&$#*@!!!!! Um.....how????? Wait...I still have painting to do. I don't have a mattress pad for the crib....or newborn jammies....the bedding...
They they strapped me up to the monitor. The nurse was told (my Dr had to run off to surgery) that if the reading was not perfect to make me stay there until he got out of surgery. I am assuming it was ok, since I am home now. But for awhile, we were concerned. Usually it takes 15 minutes. Mine was at least 45.
I am 31 weeks right now. The baby is not mature enough to breathe onhe own most likely. But, in his experience, fluid levels only go down after this, and I don't have much. We are worried about cord compression. If it ever appears to be unsafe for her in there, he will take her. It's as simple as that.
So, I am packing my bag tonight. "Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best" is the phrase I hear so often. I have seen NICU babies before with all the tubes and wires on them and the thought absolutely horrifies me. This one time, I hope my Dr is wrong.
They also put a stint in to open the ureter. If there are no signs of cancerous cells, he will wear the stint for 4 weeks and they will check it out again at that point. This was the best case scenario in our opinion. Now just praying the cells are normal!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
My mom lost one of her best friends to cancer this past January. Gina Holland was our priest's wife and one of the most genuinely kind people I had ever known. We didn't even have much time to say goodbye, it happened so fast. One minute she was at Church, and the next she was gone. I still think I see her at times in a mall or passing crowd. It's just not fair.
Here it is several months later and as I type, my dad is still in surgery (his 2nd in a matter of weeks) to decide which stage his cancer is in and what treatment options he will need. My dad has had a long battle with cancer. This is nothing completely new. He was first diagnosed when I was a sophomore in college. Bladder cancer...highly treatable. He had years of remission, followed be recurrence, then remission again. Now we find out there is not cancer in the bladder, but possibly in a kidney. Yikes! He may even lose one. . My dad is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet. He is laid back and isn't easily rattled. In fact, upon discussing how he was feeling one night, he casually remarked to my mom about why did she let him cancel his life insurance policy. Even in a frightening situation, that's how he is. Calm and laid back. He works out, eats green things occasionally and doesn't smoke. People like this shouldn't get cancer...right? Where does this come from? Why is this happening? It's all very numbing and scary
As I was sitting here trying to take my mind off the fact that my dad's ureter is being biopsied and studied, I received an email from our choir director. A friend that we sing with has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Phil Meyers. Such a great guy. Always has a smile on his face. I keep repeating to myself "it's not fair, it's not fair". But will that make it all go away? Absolutely not.
In times like these I find that prayers and words escape me. As I turn to the Lord for comfort, it feels like when you scraped your knee as a child and the minute your mom asked what happened and hugged you your emotions poured out like a waterfall. Tears come. That's all. Words to prayers are forgotten and I just stare into space. And again those repeating words in my head "it's not fair".
They made us change it to a "sick" visit. So the Dr. basically looked in her ears, down her throat and listened to her breathe. Then she said, "she has a virus". At the time E was feeling fine. Her fever broke that morning and she had been playing, babbling and generally happy all morning. When we got home things were different, she spiked a fever again. We were all pretty miserable again for the rest of the day. Thank goodness she got some sleep last night.
Well at least SOMEONE did!
Have you ever seen that episode of Seinfeld where the dog barks so much Elaine eventually dog-naps the pipsqueak and dumps it far away so she can sleep? That was our neighborhood last night. Our next door neighbor's dog got out and sat in her driveway barking from 1:30-6:30. Somehow the owner didn't hear, or didn't care. At one point I went out to run the dog off, but I chickened out. Hey! I am desperate for sleep these days, and anything that takes that away....
Monday, May 14, 2007
She has been very restless and clingy today. Nothing seems to make her happy, although occasionally she will just start laughing out of the blue. I spent most of my day int he rocking chair with her. Usually she won't stand to be rocked unless she is very sleepy, but today it was the only way to console her. In my many rocking chair hours I tried to recall holding her for the first time 9 months ago. She was so tiny. Not so much anymore.
We have her normal well baby visit tomorrow, so I didn't feel the need to arrange another Dr. appointment. We will hopefully find cause for the fever and also get to see just how much she has grown in 3 months. At the last c/u she was 15 1/2 pounds and 25 1/2 inches tall. It is really remarkable how fast they grow up.
Here are some recent pictures of her in the bluebonnets. Happy 9 months baby girl! We love you!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
One person I am particularly thinking about this M-Day is one of my dearest friends, Cynde. Right now, as I type, she is probably meeting her new baby girl. They left for China this past Thursday after a 2-year wait to adopt. B and I have been thinking all weekend about what they are doing, where they are and how long until they meet their baby, Josie, for the first time. Now that time is here. We are filled with so much emotion as all of this happens on the other side of the world. It seems surreal and dream-like. We can't wait to see her picture, to meet her in person, to let the girls meet and play together and to welcome her to our extended family. You can follow all of the excitement of their journey here.
Another person I can't stop thinking of this M-day is myself. I mentioned to B that this is my first and (God-willing) last M-day as a mother of two. From now on, I will be a mom to three. What a great gift! But am I up for the challenge? Only time will tell. For this M-day I had three wonderful gifts: J went to church with me, my family gave me a gift certificate for a prenatal massage, and E took her first step unassisted! Priceless.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Sleep did not come, which is surprising because I am exhausted all of the time these days. There was another problem...I was hungry. I am used to being up with E and J around 7:15 and eating. Now it was closer to 9 and my tummy was not happy with waiting. I finally dragged myself out of bed and stumbled downstairs.
"What are you doing up?" said B.
"I'm hungry", I mumbled.
As I ate the usual bowl of high fiber/low taste cereal, B gathered up E, put her in the car and drove to Starbucks to buy me a much needed latte. When they returned, E was ready for her morning nap so I rocked her and then went back to bed to enjoy my coffee. But then I was awake. So did I relax? Nope, not me! Nesting instincts overpower any will to relax at this stage, and now these instincts were powered by caffeine.
So I finished painting the office. It's done. YAY! (I will post pics when we get the furniture and boxes sorted out.)
After shopping with my mom and E most of the day, I had to take J to a B-day party. My back was in pretty bad shape from all the walking I had done so B went upstairs to get J and have him sign the card. I was in the recliner and took my eyes off of E for one minute. I heard her behind me and thought nothing of it, until, uh oh. I realized she went after B. I jumped out of the chair just as she climbed up her first stair. Yes...my baby (not yet walking) is climbing stairs. What was supposed to be a quiet evening while J was at the B-day turned into a panic to find a pressure gate to block the bottom of the stairs (we have had one at the top for just over a week now).
For those of you who have not had the pleasure of having your own little ones, you would never believe how fast they go from one major milestone to another. Just yesterday, E didn't know how to maneuver the stairs at all. To her, the stairs were a baby gate. She watched one of our cats climb the stairs as if she was taking mental notes, and the next day she has it down. With B watching from top and me right behind her, we decided to let her climb to see what she could do. She climbed 4 stairs, all by herself. She is growing up so fast!
Friday, May 11, 2007
I also mentioned that my back pain has been so horrible I can't get anything done. Tylenol is no longer doing anything for the pain. They said the baby is not only breech, but probably turned in a position that puts a lot of pressure on my back. Nice! So he prescribed Darvocet. Wait a minute! The problem, Dr. G, is that I can not get anything done with my back pain. D takes away the pain, but it also knocks me out. Oh well, it makes sleeping at night a lot easier.
Here's hoping the baby turns soon!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
At 2:15 AM the door from his room peaks open. It was a loud crash, but nothing major. E sleeps on. At 2:45, B comes in to bed (probably lost the satellite signal) after checking on J. He is still crouched under his blanket holding his ears (J, not B). We doze for a few minutes before... CRACK!!!! ...it sounds like the lightening is hitting our house. B goes again to check on J and, as he does, J comes running in to our room with his blanket. Worried about E, we wonder if we should check. I turn up the monitor...nothing. E sleeps on.
The storms go on for what seems like hours. Finally we all fall asleep at some point. And then the alarm goes off. What? It can't be time yet! It takes several attempts to wake J and B. Somehow he gets to school in the nick of time.
The day is going by in a fog. Today's forecast is for cloudy skies. No rain. Let's hope it stays that way. Maybe this is Mother Nature's way of preparing me for being up all night with a newborn again. E has been sleeping through the night (12 hours straight) for about a month now. I have become accustomed to having a decent night of sleep. What a rude awakening this summer will be!
Monday, May 7, 2007
- Did you know your baby is nearly three pounds now?
- Her head is getting larger to accommodate a period of rapid brain growth. Don't forget to continue to "teach" your baby in the womb by exposing to music, literature, and simply talking to her.
- A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her. As she grows and fills your uterus, the amount of amniotic fluid will decrease. Funny, you certainly won't feel any lighter!
- She spends more and more time practicing opening and closing eyelids. Her eyes can move from side to side, following a light source. She may even reach out to touch the light.
- Early lanugo is beginning to disappear that served to protect your baby's skin from the water in the womb. Your little one's own hair may begin to appear.
- Toenails are entering their final growth stage.
- Bone marrow is now in charge of red blood cell production. These red blood cells will continue to service your child's body by transporting oxygen and removing the wastes (carbon monoxide and other gases).
- Your baby has the capability now to produce tears -- yes, within the womb.
- By the end of this week, your baby is now 15.7 inches (39.9cm) long and weighs 2.91 pounds (1319gm).
It is so amazing to me what our bodies are capable of. Every time I see my babies on a sonogram or feel their movement inside, I am reminded of the beautiful gift God gave humans to create life. These pictures were taken of a real life 30 week baby in utero with a fetoscope.
How can anyone see or partake in such a miracle and not believe in God or some higher being? It boggles the mind!
Saturday, May 5, 2007
We went to Amici's in Downtown Old Carrollton. The atmosphere is cozy and romantic and the food was spectacular. The place is BYOB so B brought a few beers to drink since we couldn't exactly share a bottle of wine. We topped it off by sharing the most amazing tiramisu. Yum.
We had not, honestly, been on a date (by ourselves with no friends and no children) since before E was born. It was so great to finally have a moment to ourselves where we weren't hurried by housework, dissertations or sounds coming through the baby monitor. What a wonderful evening. I think all couples should do this (way more often than we do). Of course we talked about E and J the whole time and eventually left speedily when we realized we missed E and wanted to catch her before she fell asleep. It's strange how parenthood changes you. We walked in the door after picking E up and chatting for awhile with her god parents, turned off all the lights downstairs and decided to turn in for the night. As we were brushing our teeth I told B to look at the clock...it was 9:45!!! We about fell over laughing. It felt like 12 AM or later. What party animals we are!
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Works for me! However, I am in so much pain today that bed rest sounds nice. My bones in the pelvis are not handling the baby's bottom being so low down there very well. Walking is nearly impossible. Ouch! Somehow I have to make it to the mall to get a B-day present for B. I haven't been able to since I was on bed rest, and it doesn't help that he keeps telling me he doesn't want anything.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Dr. P said the fluid is low, but she does still have some, which is good news for the baby. He said it was low enough though to suspect a tear or rupture in the membranes somewhere, so he sent me to my OB for nitrizine testing (basically paper that turns from yellow to green if amniotic fluid is present). He also scared me by saying if that test was positive I would be admitted to the hospital right away.
I don't have a lap top, so you can assume safely that I am not in the hospital. The test was negative. Whew!
I DO have to go back AGAIN tomorrow to see Dr. G (he has been out of the office) and set up "an action plan for the low fluid issue". Those were nurse K's exact words.
Action plan? I asked. What exactly can you guys do for me to help?
Her answer: Nothing. We can't do anything to replenish the fluid. He will most likely put you on bed rest and monitor the baby frequently.
My response: "OK, what IF I lose 5 more cms of fluid over the next 2 weeks??"
Nurse K: Then we will have to deliver the baby early.
Woah! What???? I can't have a baby at 32 weeks. I don't have time to sit in a NICU all day and stare at my helpless baby with tubes and wires all over her. I knew this could be serious, but come on...give me some fluid God....this is scary!
We won't know anything else until tomorrow. I am praying for the best (no bed rest, healthy full term baby) but preparing for bedlam. I can't imagine our house without me being involved. I like my house clean. I like the dishes to be put away before bed, and the trash taken out when it is full. My dear B and J (the Texas tornadoes) do not share my enthusiasm for cleanliness. How can I sit in bed all day and let the filth acquire around me and not do anything? Dr. G may have to admit me if he wants complete bed rest. LOL.