Thursday, November 27, 2008

Abundance

There is so much to be thankful for not only on this day, but everyday. I wanted to take a few
moments to mention a few things that come to mind. In no particular order...

Blake, Nugget, parents (both sets!!), siblings and their families, aunts, uncles, cousins, Grandmother, high school friends, college friends, church friends, work friends, blog friends, Otter Creek Church staff and family, Woodmont Hills church family, FBC Columbia church family, churches in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Georgia that have prayed for our family, meals we have received for 14 weeks, phone calls of concern and encouragement, prayers that I know about and those that I don't, being anointed with oil and prayed over, email, blog comments, Facebook comments, text messages, friends taking me to and from appointments, support from Blake's boss and co-workers, Blake's job being .6 miles from our house, financial provision during economic difficulty, insurance, our home, our education, our freedom in the US, our military, Finley Grace, Caroline Grace, the blessings that have followed because our daughters short lives, this little boy who has spent 31 weeks and 1 day inside of me, Dr. B, Dr. C, their nurses and staff, the nurses that cared for me while I was in Baptist, prayer, salvation,
grace, the Trinity, forgiveness...

We are blessed beyond measure. We have been given far more than we "deserve" while
"deserving" none of it. It is my hope that we all take time to count our blessings on this day of thanksgiving.

There are several families around us who are spending their first Thanksgiving without their father/husband/grandfather. Thinking of the Curtis family, the Cochran family, and the Meador family today...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another update

While not as good as the last two visits, today's appointment went well. My numbers were down a little today, 18-20mm. I can't say that I was all that surprised. I have had a few more contractions in the past couple of days. I took terb, which seemed to do the trick. I am still armed with a round of Indocin if needed for the next few days. He gave it to me last week "just in case" and I haven't needed it so far...

The little guy isn't as small anymore! His estimated weight was 3 lbs 8 oz. It is very exciting to see those numbers go up. Oh how I hope he hits 4 lbs while still tucked away, safely, inside!! It will be another 2 weeks before they take another weight estimate and that will be 2 days shy of 33 weeks!!!! Let's just get to 31 first! I am starting to get way ahead of myself.


The only bad news was EXTREMELY minor. I won't be taking that wheelchair trip to Target until next week! That is if things are still stable. "Let's get to 32 first." Of course, I am not going to argue with that one! What is another week at home when you only been to the hospital for the past 14 weeks? I think I can manage one more. I will only get out of Dr. B thinks it is safe. I am not going to take any risks when we have gotten this far!!


If all goes well, I will not go back to see Dr. B until next Monday. While I was relieved to hear he will be in town over Thanksgiving, I don't want to see him until December 1st!!!!!December... WOW! Who would have thought 14 weeks ago it was even possible for me to make it to December???? We are so blessed...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

48 left

Another good day. Still in the upper 30's. All Dr. B could do was laugh...again. He doesn't know what to think about me but will gladly take the good report.

The little guy was showing off today. He stuck his tongue out at us repeatedly. It was hilarious. The sonographer was cracking up the whole time. It was fun to watch in real time. She took a few stills. If you think 4-D pics are creepy, you should see the 2-D of him with his tongue out!! I will spare those that spook easily this time! He was doing a lot of practice breathing today, which is good. Blake hasn't been able to make my appointments lately so he had not seen him in a while. He was surprised by how much bigger the little fellow looks. His cheeks have filled out and his arms and legs appear to have more "meat" on them compared to when Blake saw him last! We will get an estimated weight on Monday. We're hoping he will be over 3 pounds by then. Pushing 4 would be even better!

If all goes well Monday, I will cut back to once a week appointments. I may even be approved to take a little outing for an hour or so via wheelchair! So, lets hope things are nice and quiet over the weekend!

It is crazy to think this little guy will be here in 48 days or less!!! Obviously the closer to 48 the better! That is the 37 week point and they say they won't let me go any longer than that. Wow...that doesn't seem that far away...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last night of the 20's

Tomorrow will be the big 3-0! (No, it's not my birthday, that was in March!) To top that off, my cervix was back in the 30's yesterday!! Upper 30's that is. How thrilled am I to announce it has been a really good week??

I was pretty stressed through Thursday of last week. Then, I started a round of Indocin and the contractions calmed back down. I did not need a terbutaline for 60 hours! I have only had to take one a day since Saturday. This has helped bring my stress level is WAY down and I am back to just hanging out! It has been so uneventful that there is not a whole lot to write about. I thought I would drag the good news out over a 2 day span to keep the posts coming!

Dr. B had not received the ultrasound report when he came into the room on Monday. When I told him the numbers, he just laughed! I think I have the most random cervical lengths he has ever seen! Let's just say he was pleased with the news! One of the side effects of Indocin in decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR)/urine output in the baby, which can lead to decreased amniotic fluid. As a result, he has been watching my fluid levels closely. Those numbers were also great. If things are still good Thursday and next Monday, my appointments will go back to one time a week. We should get another weight estimation by Monday. I am eager to know how much weight the little guy has gained. I had to increase my calories when I left the hospital and it is really showing on the scale. Please say some of it has gone to him and not just my hips and thighs!! :)

I hope the pics were fun to see. I purposefully did not include a shot from the backside or a shot of the face! They are both starting to puff up a bit! I am more than happy to let you think I am a tiny pregnant person. My belly is the ONLY firm thing on my body at this point. The rest is nothing but mush...literally...

I don't think it is coincidence that the contractions calmed down and my spirits were lifted on Thursday. It is amazing what a little prayer can do!! He has heard our pleas over and over. You would think I would learn to share it with my prayer warriors rather than hold it in. I am proof that there is POWER in prayer. If I would just ask!!! Thank you for being so willing to lift my concerns to the Lord!

I will let you know how Thursday goes...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Somebody is taking over


And he looks like this...




All is well! More on that later!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

29w1d

I know, I know...it has been a while...again. To be honest, there has not been too much new information to report. Let me see...I have come out of our bedroom four times since I have been home. I have been playing Tiger-Heli on the original Nintendo and have a sore spot on my left thumb from the arrow buttons. I finished my 14th book and am now on number 15, Confessions of a Shopaholic. My Boppy Total Body Pillow from Target is starting to flatten a little but I still love it and sleep with it every night. I have been working on this for several hours now and just learned that baby boy's dresser will be arriving shortly. It will pass right through the living room, where I am lying on the couch. I will refuse to look at it. I have seen a picture text of it, which was on the verge of too much info!! If it comes from PD's in Franklin, there is no need to approve it in my mind. "It's from PD's" is enough for me!! Anyway, the first piece of furniture will be in the baby's room by 6:30 pm!!


Like usual, I spent good chunks of the day on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday having contractions. I called Dr. B on Tuesday and he changed my meds a bit. I thought about paging him at least 10 times yesterday (his off day) but didn't. Basically, I have been a nut case, trying to determine if what I am feeling is different or not. Todays appointment confirmed it for me. Things still look good. Another negative fetal fibronectin test. The news couldn't be much better for me! Physically, the ultrasound looked better than Monday, 15mm-17mm. Amazing!!! It is looking like we should confidently reach 31 weeks. That is HUGE!!!

The mental...I think an admission to an adult psych floor is warranted. Plain and simple, I am nuts. I am clueless as to what my body is doing at this point. I am pretty sure that most females would have been to the hospital 100 times with these contractions. But not me. This is NORMAL!!!! Rounds of contractions 3-5 minutes apart for an hour or more at a time, multiple times a week is NORMAL. That is what all the books say, right??? I might as well throw away What to Expect When You Are Expecting. Clearly they were not expecting me as a reader!


In my defense, I don't know how anyone could be anything other but crazy with the number of contractions I have on a daily/weekly basis. I guess I should be grateful that they are just now starting to wear me down mentally. Afterall, I have been relatively sane for a good part of last 12 weeks on bedrest! That does not even include the 17 weeks before. Keeping my composure at least half of the time isn't so bad, right?

Oh dear, nothing irks me more than a complaining, pregnant girl. (Is it weird that I can't refer to myself as a "woman"? Denial maybe?) Having walked through the past 2 years, it seems so selfish for anyone to gripe over such a wonderful gift. If I am honest, that is why I have been hesitant to post. The last thing I want to sound like is that person. I am SO thankful to be here, 29 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I could not be more excited about this little guy. How blessed am I to have tons of ineffective contractions? Very!!! I would prefer that all sensory nerves to my uterus be temporarily out of order...but that is not really an option. :) I don't want to sound like I am complaining.

I selfishly come to you asking for prayer, again. For perseverance, peace, perspective, discernment and patience to get this baby here, healthy and in our arms. I thank the Lord for each day He has given us and ask that He forgive my worry, doubts and fears. As I have read time and time again, God knows when this little guy will make his appearance. He is not "sleeping on the job"...Psalm 121, Psalm 121, Psalm 121. If I keep saying it over and over in my head, maybe is will sink in. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

The latest

I just got back from my appointment and am now home. It is amazing how exhausted I feel! It is not like I walk all that far. But, apparently, lack of walking over the past 12 weeks has taken its toll on me. I have the 10 month waddle going on but am only at at 7.25 (almost)! I guess the process of getting up, getting ready, getting in and getting out zapped all of my strength. What a little bed rest can do to the body!!

Obviously, my appointment went well enough to keep me out of the hospital. My numbers weren't great, 8mm, but they were no worse than 2 weeks ago. That measurement was following a pretty big contraction. Dr. B said, more than likely, if I was scanned for 3 hours straight, my numbers would be all over the charts. That comes as no real surprise, seeing how I have been doing this for weeks now...back and forth and back and forth! My contractions increased a bit over the weekend so I have had to take more terbutaline. I can definitely feel the effects of the meds more since taking a break from it, which is a good sign. My blood pressure seems to be tolerating Procardia well so I will increase my dose to twice a day tomorrow. Of course, I also got my weekly dose of progesterone today as well. I think I should open my own pharmacy... :) I go back on Thursday morning to see where things stand. At least that gives me a few days to work up some energy!!!

On a different note...the painting is done! I hear it looks really good but have yet to see it myself. And I still have no desire to cheat! Blake does not have strong opinions on most topics related to that room. However, he does NOT like it to be referred to as a "nursery." He thinks that sounds institutional. His preferred terminology is "the baby's room." What in the world??? I will just go with it and refer the the room across the hall as "the baby's room" from here on out. I guess it does sound a little sweeter! That boy cracks me up!!!

Speaking of the baby's room, my designers are here so I will go! Updates to follow...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I am typing this post from my very on bed! There is a certain dog, curled up in a ball, lying beside me! He is getting way too spoiled in all of the madness...

Yesterday, Blake picked me up around 5:15 pm but rush hour traffic got us home around 6:00pm. I felt a bit strange to pull into the driveway and walk into the door. Thankfully, I have not been a ball of nerves like expected. I know it has been less than 24 hours but I think I am off to a good start! Sadly, I think my calves are sore from walking up the stairs! I was again reminded that any and all muscle tone I had before this pregnancy is officially gone. However, I will muster up the strength to hold this little guy for sure!

I have an appointment with Dr. B on Monday afternoon. I will be eager to see where things stand at that point. As we were leaving, the nurse told me to keep my bags packed "just in case." I am hoping to avoid that for at least a week or two! I am trying not to worry too much about all of that. One day at a time...

On a different note, there were slight paint fumes coming from the spare bedroom! From what I hear, we lack one more coat of paint on the walls. At my request, the decorating of the nursery has been taken out of my hands. I am giving input on likes and dislikes, but I don't want to see the finished project until this little guy comes home. Seeing how the room is across the hall from our bedroom, I would normally be tempted to take a sneak peak. But not this time! The thought of seeing it for the first time with him in my arms is enough to make me stand my ground!!

I guess that is the latest. All is well at the moment and I hope it stays that way. Will let you know if there are any changes!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baptist Round 1, Day 10

I looks like this will be my last day in the Predators Suite. Dr. B came by early this morning. We decided to go ahead and try managing my care from home. I have been feeling good about this idea the past few days. Of course, I started to get "cold feet" last night and even earlier today. I keep reminding myself how calm things have been over the past few days. I will be on the exact same meds and will maintain the same level of bedrest. It also helps to know I will be seeing Dr. B on Monday and Thursday of next week, with ultrasounds both days. And he will be available all weekend if I have any questions or concerns. So, I will be monitored very closely. If anything changes or makes me uncomfortable, I will come right back!!

I hope that is not necessary. It would be nice to spend the next few weeks at home, with Blake. I just pray for discernment as I leave the hospital. I don't want to be overly anxious, stressing
over every sensation I feel. On the other hand, I would hate to minimize contractions and miss something! Healthy balance would be great!!!

That is the plan as of 12:00 pm! If anything changes I will update. In the meantime, I ask you pray for us as we make this transition! Peace of mind... :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Baptist Round 1, Day 9

How did Nugget get in here???? Blake just walked him right in on a leash!!! :) A lot of hospitals will allow you to bring in pets. They have to be well behaved and need to have seen a vet in the last 30 days. As Blake F. said, "How about the last 30 seconds?" All Blake had to do was bring in a copy of his (Nugget's that is...) shot records and that was it. It is kind of funny to think that I now have a copy of Nuggets records on MY medical chart! I hope they don't get us confused.

Blake called before he came up and I asked him to bring the dog. "You will probably be home in a few days...no need to do all that..." I did not know he talked to the nurse at lunch about bringing him up last night and was already planning to do so. Sneaky little devil! Of the two of us, I was more excited to see Nugget than he was to see me. He was just thrilled to be out of the house. Like always, he was in scavenger mode and wanted to sniff every corner in search of available food sources. One track mind!

My ultrasound looked good today. My cervix measured 18mm-20mm which was a little better than Monday. Dr. B stopped in before the ultrasound. I am finished with the latest round of Indocin. That leaves me taking Procardia, with terbutaline PRN. I have only had to take one of those in the past 48 hours. He wants to see how I tolerate the decrease in meds over the next 24 hours. If all looks well in the morning, I will most likely go home. Again, he was quick to say that my comfort level in leaving is also a factor. The past few days have been very quiet, as far as the contractions are concerned. My anxiety has definitely decreased to the point where home sounds kind of nice! Blake says he would love to have me back! Awwww... Followed by, "You better hope they let you out while I'm on lunch or you will have to call a cab. Or take a metro bus to Bellevue and wait until I get off." Don't worry, he's all talk. He would be more than happy to block out a few appointments on my behalf!

Looks like I have at least one more night in the Predator's Suite! I need to figure out put in on hold until the next hospital stay! Whenever that might be. I don't know what I would do in a regular room. I have gotten pretty spoiled. Actually, I don't care where the put me as long as my nurses are the same! They have been WONDERFUL. Maybe I could take just take them home with me. We have an extra bedroom! Supposedly Nicole Kidman took a couple for her very own. And no HIPAA...I did not hear that from a nurse. I heard it before I was even admitted. No one violated the rules...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Baptist Round 1, Day 8

I had a special visitor...



The first day of my third trimester was pretty quiet! My ultrasound should be first thing in the morning. I will post something when I know details. Could Nugget be any cuter??? Such a good dog...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baptist Round 1, Day 7

It was negative!!! The fetal fibronectin test, that is. Once again, I was CERTAIN the test would be positive. Shows you what I know. I am slightly "in tune" with my body but this is one I keep missing. I will happily be wrong!!! :) So, it looks like we have another 2 weeks where my chances of going into labor are less than 1%. I know it seems confusing. One might ask, "Have you not been in labor all week??" Technically speaking, the answer is no. Just a ton of contractions and a very, very dynamic cervix. To be in labor, your contractions have to be progressive and your cervix has to consistently change. Not the case here. Just a shorten cervix, at times, with a ton of REALLY annoying preterm contractions.


It is also a good to report I have not taken terbutaline since 6:00 am. After hearing the results of my test, Dr. B changed my order from every 4 hours to PRN (as needed). Right now I am just on Indocin and Procardia. My contractions have been minimal today, with no major runs. I have appreciated the break both physically and mentally. I hope to go another 36 hours without needing it. Like I mentioned before, if we can flush it from my system, it will be more effective for future use.

An ultrasound is still planned for Thursday morning to get a cervical length. With the way my body works, it could very well be back in the 20's or 30's. Who knows! I am not going to try and guess what it will be and I won't be surprised one way or another!! If things look good, we will discuss discharge home on Thursday! Dr. B was quick to say it would also depend on our comfort level with returning home. A few days ago, I would have quickly elected to remain in the confines of the Predators Suite. Today I am feeling more at ease and the thought of going home seems "do-able." For now I will just relax and wait to see what Thursday holds.

Just a few tidbits on the little one. I was able to hear his hiccups on the monitor this morning. It was precious to hear what I have been feeling for a few weeks now. Between is heartbeat, hiccups and movement, the monitor can be very loud! His movement patterns are becoming more consistent and he is quite aggressive when he is awake. Unfortunately, he prefers to hang out in the lower half of my abdomen...not so comfortable. I have tried to convince him I have a fairly long torso and he is free to move up. He doesn't listen very often. I am thinking that is not a good sign!!!!

I think that is about all for today. It has been a day full of positives as far as the pregnancy is concerned. Well, the test was negative but that is a "positive" outcome... Oh you know what I mean!! Tomorrow is the big "28" and tomorrow is in 55 minutes :)!!! To God be the glory!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Baptist Round 1, Day 6

I had my ultrasound this morning. My numbers were not as good today, 1.6 cm/16mm. I cannot say I was surprised by that and am taking the news well. Dr. B actually came in later this morning, which allowed him to see the ultrasound report. He did not seem all that concerned with the results. A calm doctor is always encouraging! So, the plans...

Like every other Tuesday, I am scheduled for another dose of progesterone. He will also repeat the fetal fibronectin test in the morning and should have those results sometime in the afternoon. As of today, we are decreasing terbutaline to 3 times a day in order to it flush it from my system. He would like to keep me off it for a few days in an effort to increase its effectiveness for future use. If my contractions increase, we can restart it at anytime. I have been taking Procardia once a day for several days now. There is the possibility to increase my dose in the future if needed. He does not want to so that just yet because it lowers your blood pressure and mine tends to run fairly low anyway (sorry to rub that in your face Melissa!! :)). The current dose has not effected me so far. I am scheduled for another ultrasound Thursday morning. We will discuss possible discharge home at that time. Of course, that will depend on how I tolerate the med change over the next few days and how my cervix looks.

I am happy to stay here as long as needed. Although there are perks to going home on Thursday, I will be fine either way. Despite the changes seen on ultrasound, my stress level is low. I am just happy we know where things stand at the moment. So far, I have not had a run of contractions today, which helps my sanity! That being said, they usually start in the afternoon/early evening. I am hoping for a break tonight. Speaking of tonight, Blake is off tomorrow so I will have my roommate back!!!! That thrills me to no end.

That is about all I know for now. I will post an update of the fFN test results when we get them tomorrow...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baptist Round 1, Day 5

I realize it has been a while since I posted and I have gotten a few folks worried! I am still at Baptist and our status has not really changed. Since it is Blake's off weekend, he has been able to spend lots of time here with me. To say I have enjoyed having him around is an understatement! When I am at home, I feel like I see him all the time...works .5 miles from our house, 2 hour lunch, etc. It is not as easy for him to pop in when I am here!

The past few days have been fairly typical as far as contractions are concerned. I tend to have at least 2 rounds a day that require I be out on the monitor. I then spend about an hour to an hour and a half drinking TONS of water (going to the bathroom every 10 minutes or less) and take an extra terbutaline if needed. The contractions themselves, can be pretty intense. Unfortunately, when they start up, my comfort level decreases. I have to admit, this pattern has taken a toll on my emotions over the past 2 days. The number and intensity have gotten me really discouraged. As much as I try to keep a positive attitude, doubt, fear, concern and worry creep in and take over at times. Considering the past, anxiety is part of the deal. I am grateful that these "bouts" are few and far between. I guess I thought I would be able to breath easier once I hit this point. Somehow, knowing how important each day inside the womb makes me want him to stay put even more. "I have to make it at least X more weeks..."

I guess it is just me trying to make plans, figure this out. As strange as this sounds, it is just now sinking in that we are really going to have a baby. All I can think about is his well-being. I am having to remind myself that his weight, his length, his hair color and his birthday are known to my Lord. He is not surprised at the number of contractions I have each day. He will not be caught off guard if I go into labor. As I recite Psalm 121 over and over in my mind, I know I am promised my Protector will not slumber or sleep. He is a shelter right by my side. I just pray for the strength to let Him and His promises, alone, carry me through what is to come. I forget sometimes...

To lighten things up a bit, Blake and I just returned from a tour of the NICU. I asked the nurse if we would be able to see it sometime and she had us there within an hour. I have heard others rave about the new facilities but I wanted to see it for myself. Having only been open for a month, the "state of the art" facility is absolutely amazing. How reassuring it is to have a visual image of where he will be in the event the NICU is needed. We were very impressed to say the least! We got to meed Max and Kate while we were there! :) Precious...

I guess that is all for now. I will have an ultrasound in the morning and of course I am eager to see how the ole cervix is holding up. It has definitely been challenged the past few days. I promise to update when I know more. I would love your prayers in the meantime!