Sunday, February 28, 2010

Growing and Dreaming


I've made it into the 20's. It seems like such a milestone to me although I know I have so much farther to go. So I've been thinking...and if you'll humor me a little...and let me dream for a moment.

Awww...if I make it to 36 weeks without hospital bedrest what then?!

If I make it to 36 weeks I plan to spend a day pampering, nails, toes, the works. I may even get a massage. I'm seriously considering cutting my hair short again unless someone can talk me out of it. The idea of maintaining long (frizzy, unruly) locks with 2 little boys running around just doesn't sound too appealing. I want to feel beautiful again.

If I make it to 36 weeks I plan to beg the doctor to remove the cerclage since he hasn't officially decided when he plans to remove it...36 weeks or during delivery at 39 weeks.

If I make it to 36 weeks I want to spend the last 2-3 weeks of my pregnancy (if I make it 2-3 more weeks) working on the nursery. It's no where near completion. In fact completion of the nursery is still so far away it's like looking through a dark tunnel. I still need to lay the floor in that room. Sometimes I wish I had a few little elves to come complete that room for me, but, alas, it will wait. But since I'm dreaming...someone come do a room makeover for my little boy and surprise me!

If I make it to 36 weeks I want to spend a few days organizing my house. We moved into our house and I was put on bedrest just a few short weeks later, so we still have 50% or more of our belongings in boxes. I'd love to at least get my kitchen put together.

If I make it to 36 weeks I want to thoroughly clean my house so it's ready when we bring Evan home.

If I make it to 36 weeks I plan to take Ryan to the zoo...and walk! The new Children's Zoo is opening in a couple weeks and while right now I can go on brief outings I will need to remain in a wheelchair while my crazy little boy runs around. Of course if this dream happens I better make sure it's a day when I'd be happy and comfortable to go into labor too!

If I make it to 36 weeks I want to take Ryan down to the lake and walk around, exploring the nature around our house.

If I make it to 36 weeks I want to go shopping and buy those much needed/wanted baby items that we're going to need including buying a cute "going home" outfit for Evan and something new for Ryan too.

If I make it to 36 weeks I plan to enjoy it!

If I make it to 36 weeks I find myself dreaming of all the things I'd do, but in reality with 6 months of bedrest behind me I may only have the strength and energy to do one thing...lay around and enjoy my sweet little boy...only wishing that I had as much energy as he does.

Finally, if I make it to 36 weeks I had probably better stop having all these contractions now. I've had plenty of uterine irritability this past week and while for the several days post-17P shots I usually have no contractions, this week I've stayed pretty consistent with 1-2 contractions an hour on most days.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


We finally had a day that was absolutely gorgeous. Ryan and I took advantage of it and spent a good amount of time outside. I sat in a chair most of the time, but when the opportunity arose I grabbed my camera and had some fun.

Since we haven't been to a professional photography studio since Ryan's 2nd birthday (and we probably won't unless we run across an exceptionally awesome deal) I was so delighted when Ryan plopped down on the ground in a perfect spot for some great pictures. The only thing that could have made it better is if my camera battery hadn't croaked.

Awww...what a cute 3-year-old little boy!

(Come on spring...we're ready!)

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Meaning of Names

Warm and Comforting
Origin: American

Young Royalty
Origin: Celtic/Gaelic

God is Good
Origin: Welsh

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

High Five!

I had another appointment with the perinatologist this morning. I was more than ready for this appointment because I had developed some concerns...contractions, more pressure and feeling more "down low", and a couple other things.

One of the worst things about having a history of high-risk pregnancies is that there is rarely a time when you just completely relax and have no concerns or fears. You have days and maybe even weeks when you rest and relax and feel as though all is well, but it takes just one little minute change to make you wonder. Talking to another mom with multiple pregnancy complications she said it well, "with every little thing you wonder if everything is okay. You worry if things are going poorly and if things are going great you worry about that too." I try not to worry in excess. With each of my pregnancies I've had a time when I've just had to place my kids in the arms of My Savior and rest in His comfort. That doesn't mean that I don't beg Him for their health, healing and safety. I even have a tendency to take them back as if I can be the one in control, but ultimately they (all 3 of my kiddos) have been placed in God's hands and I need to just learn to let them stay there.

At any rate...I had another peri. appt. today. I was in desperate need to have my mind put at ease. I wasn't trying to not be hopeful and optimistic, but I entered the office prepared for the possibility that it was time to move in to the hospital or at the very least it was time for strict bedrest (which I'm really starting to think will be less stressful for me if I get put in the hospital as opposed to trying to fight the challenges of strict bedrest at home). I told you I had some concerns.

The appointment went well. Baby Elmo looked great. He was in a very difficult position to get any good pictures. He was facing my back, head down and very low. This wasn't of concern to the doctor, but it is why I've been feeling so much extra movement and pressure "down low". He is measuring 20 weeks 1 day and 12 oz. With all the weight and pressure (and punches) down there I was pleasantly surprised when the ultrasound showed that my cervix has actually gained some length...3.3cm up from 3.0cm! WooHoo! It's not much, but I'll take it. The contractions aren't causing any cervical changes which is a very good thing and as long as I don't have more than 4 an hour it's okay. The other concerns I had were addressed and I left feeling good about me and baby.

Of other interesting news from today...
I saw the placenta on the ultrasound today. It's the first time I've really seen it. In the past I've been told "here it is or there it is", but it's kind of one of those times when you just nod and say "okay." The placenta is on the backside, so it's Sometimes it's I don't know if one is more common or not. It doesn't really matter, but I thought it was interesting. It also explains why I started feeling Baby Elmo so early and why I feel him so much...every little kick, punch and even when he's just rolling around. There is no cushion (placenta) between me and the baby. That also probably explains why when he curls up in a ball it is often quite uncomfortable. I wonder if all the surgeries I've had along with endometriosis issues has made my uterus more sensitive because sometimes Baby gets in a position that almost hurts. I also wonder if this is a cause for the extra irritability. Awww...questions....

I return to the Perinatologist in 2 weeks at which time they will be doing the regular checks and complete ECHO on Baby Elmo.

So High Five for a great day!

Evan Alexander Stanfill
we're so excited to meet you. You're already wild and crazy and super fun. You're full of life. You're a great blessing to our family. We're praying that you're born healthy and strong...just please stay put until at least June 23rd.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


When we moved recently the moving process didn't fair too well with one of our fishies. In fact the move led to his more "permanent" move that would have ended with a swirly ride down the "jacuzzi" (see: "Flushed Away") had we not felt it a bit too well...

The point being, our tank of 2 goldfish and 1 pleco, was down to one lonely goldfish with his unsocial pleco companion. Last Thursday I stopped for a brief moment at the pet store and surprised Ryan with 3 new goldfish!

Now we have a family.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Very Random Thoughts (Very)

I'm watching the Olympics, so we'll see how "put together" this post ends up being...

Things are going well. Nothing much has changed around here. I have another appointment with my OB tomorrow. I've started on a pretty comfortable schedule for doctor's appointments. I'm seeing my OB every 4 weeks and the Perinatologist every 2 weeks. My OB appointments are pretty general--blood pressure checks, urine checks, the occasional blood level check. The appointments with the Perinatologist involve cervical checks and more ultrasounds!

After my last visit with the Peri. I was so excited about the lack of change in my cervix that I've loosened up a little...breathed a sigh of relief...and have probably started doing more than I need to be doing. Technically I'm still on "modified" bedrest and I'm not doing much, but prior to last weeks doctor's appointment I was laying around most of the day and letting/requesting everyone else take care of all of life's details. "Daddy, Ryan needs googin'", "Daddy, Ryan needs a new nappy", "Nana, would you mind...", "Nana, could you...". You get the point. Lately I've been doing more of the little things (probably so I don't have to ask so much because you know me...I hate to ask for anything) like getting Ryan's googin', running bath water at night, starting the washing machine in the morning, etc. I'm also sitting up more and laying down less. I'm hoping these minor changes in lifestyle aren't negatively affecting my cervical length and strength especially since I don't have much room for change.

Ryan has been extra needy lately...especially at night. I'm fairly certain his increased neediness is related to the lack of "normal" around here and possibly some developmental changes. He is handling things like a trooper. I'm very proud of him. I will admit, however, that I am beginning to agree with the whole "3 is the new 2" thing and I'm amazed how many mom's have verified my feelings. Ryan has definitely had a change in attitude and boundary-pushing lately. We flew through the 2's without anything "terrible", but 3...well 3 has been a different story already. I'm hoping that some of his acting out is not just the new him, but rather a little bit of backlash from the life changes around here. The blessing in all this is that his Nana has started to see the need for boundaries, limits and discipline afterall he's not so innocent and sweet.

Ryan's extra neediness and "3-ness" concerns me greatly when it comes to thinking about the possibility of hospital bedrest. No one has mentioned hospital bedrest, but I continue to mentally prepare for the possibility. I most definitely wouldn't be surprised by it. I just desperately hope and pray that I can stay out of that hospital until maybe the last few weeks. Please pray with me. Ryan will adjust. We all will if/when it happens, but the adjustment will be HUGE for my little man.

Baby Elmo is an active little guy. Very active! He has started to get pretty rambunctious in his movements and occasionally his kicks give me a start. My uterus seems either extra sensitive or somewhat irritable and when he balls up on one side or another it is often quite painful. I can tell it's not a contraction when it happens because half of my uterus is soft but there will be a nice little ball of baby on the side causing the pain. Ornery little feller. By the way...he still doesn't have a name.

I'm still having a few contractions from time to time, but they seem to be less now that I've started on the weekly P17 shots. The P17 shots are shown to help prevent preterm labor. They're thick and painful, but worth it. The big thing I've noticed this time is the extreme fatigue they cause for a few days afterward. I'm absolutely useless for a few days.

Now for a little whining. I'll try to keep it short. I have so much for which to be thankful. Okay so I really only have one thing to whine about this evening. Bedrest restrictions mean activity restrictions. Lack of activity means lack of muscle movement, so lack of tone, lack of strength. My back and hips are especially feeling weak and sore. Okay...speaking of sore...I'll whine about one more thing. Round ligament pain is not so enjoyable. is good. I'm so happy to be 19 weeks pregnant with a healthy little boy and we're having no problems with this pregnancy. I've already been on bedrest for 6 weeks and it really doesn't seem like it's been that long. I only have 17 more weeks to get to my main goal and 18 weeks to make it to my ultimate goal, full term. I have a wonderful, happy, strong-willed 3-year-old who still loves to love on his Mommy and is starting to love on Baby Elmo (my tummy) too. What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy New Heart Day

My "heart baby"...

Brandy Danielle Stanfill
09/04/03 - 02/14/05

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Birthday Party Fun

Today we had Ryan's 3rd birthday party.

It was all about cars...and cute little boys...and family...and fun.

We ate cake!

We drank, green and red...Ryan picked them all out himself.

We had a wonderful time with family.

We opened lots of presents.

We played with bows.

We played with cars.

And when all was said and done we had one very tired incredibly special little boy!

Thanks to all our family who made this day extra special.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Ryan

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to Ryan!
Happy Birthday to you.

Wow! I can't believe it! Ryan is 3! It was just three years ago today that we welcomed this little miracle into our lives. It was one of the scariest days of our lives. Here is my journal entry recapping the days leading up to his birth and shortly thereafter:

January 29, 2007
We went to the doctor to have some things checked out because I had become nervous about the health of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, to our surprise, the doctor found that my body was not holding the baby inside well at all, so he immediately admitted us to the hospital. That evening I had a "rescue cerclage" procedure to help hold the baby inside. We were absolutely blessed with the success of this procedure. The plan was to stay in the hospital from this point forward until our little Peanut was born. Our hopes were to remain for 10 weeks so our baby could reach 32 weeks gestation.

February 10, 2007
Everything has been going well overall. We have had some ups and downs physically, but emotionally we are doing quite well. Late in the evening I began to have some contractions and bleeding. The nurses gave me Brethine to stop the contractions and it worked.

February 11, 2007
The contractions and bleeding have continued. I have been given Brethine several times today, and the contractions stop for a while then start again. Finally early in the afternoon it was decided to move me to the labor and delivery floor and start Magnesium to put a stop to labor. Labor continued despite all efforts. At about 5:00 p.m. it was decided that our little baby was going to be born and a C-section was going to be the safest for him because an ultrasound revealed that he was breech.

At 5:31 p.m. our little Peanut came into the world. He weighed 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 1/2 inches long. He was at 24 weeks gestation.

February 12, 2007
Peanut has made it through his first day of life. This is awesome. The doctors say he is extremely critical but stable, and we will have to take everything on an hour-by-hour basis.

February 14, 2007
Peanut is doing well. His ventilator settings are set at about 25% oxygen. He breathes above the ventilator at times, and rides the ventilator at other times. His blood gases have been looking good. We received news from the doctor that the ductus in his heart has closed. This is a great blessing since they were giving him medicine to close it, and if it didn't close surgery would be required.

February 15, 2007
Peanut has a real name now. His name is Ryan Andrew.

I have been discharged from the hospital today. It is terrifying to think of being 30 miles away from from my little boy instead of just a 5 minute walk

Today Ryan is a happy, healthy, wild and crazy 3-year-old! He truly is a miracle and a wonderful blessing. So let me introduce you to my preschooler:

  • He knows his colors...very well...and loves to tell you the color of everything. It wasn't that long ago that he had some colors but out of convenience called everything "yellow-blue-green". Now he knows them and with the exception of when he's extra excited and begins to stutter he names them all with accuracy.
  • He can identify some letters and I'm always amazed when he calls out a letter he sees in a book or on TV. We haven't spent much time talking specifically about letters but it's neat to see his interest.
  • He doesn't seem to have a favorite color.
  • He does have a favorite movie...CARS! And for the past 5 months we have watched that movie at least once a day...sometimes twice on 6 out of 7 days of the week.
  • He loves cars. All shapes, sizes, colors. Anything with wheels and it's all good. Between home and Nana's house he probably owns 100 or more cars.
  • He usually finds a favorite 2 or 3 cars per day to play with. It's not that he doesn't play with others but he picks a few favorites and keeps up with those for the day. Each day is a different set.
  • He still likes books although his interest isn't as intense, but I sure do love it when he wants to curl up on my lap with a book.
  • He has learned the art of throwing a fit.
  • He has also learned the art of pouting and will, when needed, display a pretty nice act of dramatic pouting in hopes that someone will have sympathy.
  • He can whine with the best of them, but when at home it's a one-way ticket to his bedroom.
  • He speaks more clearly with each passing day. His clarity is often dependent on his excitement...more excitement=more speed=less clarity.
  • He identifies many animals some of which I'm surprised he knows because we don't talk about them often. I'm finding that he picks up stuff often with the first introduction and with his inquisitive nature he learns from everything.
  • That's good...and sometimes not so good.
  • He loves to be goofy and make himself and others laugh. He often tells us if something is funny, even if he is the one who did it. "That's sunny!"
  • He usually has a new phrase pop into his vocabulary every month or two that is completely unexpected. His most recent phrase is "Oh My Gosh!!!" I have no idea where he got it. We don't use 'gosh', but we do use 'goodness' as in "oh my goodness". What's hillarious is that he uses it in the most appropriate places at just the right time and with perfect intonation and voice fluctuation. It's crazy.
  • He loves his dogs one day and despises the next.
  • He still loves the outdoors. Unfortunately we have been stuck inside due to inclement weather since sometime in November. This is one of the coldest, dreariest winters I can ever remember and we are all ready for some sunshine and warm temperatures. Ryan especially.
  • He has cabin-fever...a severe case.
  • He hasn't been sick this season..."thank you Jesus". He ran a fever one evening but I think it was related to exhaustion instead of a true illness. Either that or his immune system kicked some major butt because the next morning he woke up just fine.
  • He is already attached to Baby Elmo and whenever he sees an ultrasound picture, hears the heartbeat, or walks into clinic with me his excitement turns into explanations about "Baby Elmo" and "Momma's baby tummy".
  • I think his excitement will change when the baby is actually here. He's been number 1 for 3 years and sharing his momma is going to be a big life change for the little guy.
  • I do believe he is going to be a fantastic big brother.
  • He does much better when we stay on a fairly strict schedule.
  • He still really functions at his best when he takes a good afternoon nap...2-3 hours or so.
  • He goes to bed at 8 unless he hasn't had a good afternoon nap at which point his bedtime gets moved to 7:30.
  • Occasionally he wins a free ticket to bed even earlier...he's a miracle, not an angel.
  • He's a birthday-boy!
  • He keeps asking for birthday cake.
  • I can't wait to take him to the zoo again. If I make it to 36 weeks without being hospitalized going to the zoo is the first thing on this pregnant momma's list to do with her big boy.
  • We're having a birthday party for Ryan on Saturday.
  • Ryan is a miracle
  • A blessing from God
  • My little man!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You Won't Want To Miss This!

Appointment Update

I was hoping to upload something very exciting, but it hasn't worked yet. I'll keep trying.

So today I had an appointment with the perinatologist. I went expecting a cervical length check and hoping to get a quick little peak at Baby Elmo. I was pleasantly surprised when they ended up doing a complete and thorough ultrasound of the baby.

First of all...he is most definitely a HE! So now I can add some blue to the blanket I'm crocheting. The ultrasound tech took a very close look at his organs, spine, heart, brain, bones, etc. Everything is looking good. We are at a higher risk of having a baby born with a heart defect, so it's always a relief to hear that at this time the heart is showing no signs of defects. Baby Elmo is measuring at 18 weeks which according to the calendar I will be reaching 18weeks tomorrow. His approximate weight is 8 ounces.

The other big check today was my cervical length. Cervical length can change despite having a cerclage. The cerclage helps and has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of a premature birth related to incompetent cervix. It is, however, not a guarantee. This leads to the necessity of regular cervical checks. The shorter a cervix is the less "holding power" it has and the increase risk of preterm labor. That being said, some women have a short cervix for weeks and manage to stay pregnant to term. They usually need closer monitoring. Okay so that was my little rant about that. So...

My cervix measured 3 cm today which is within the normal range and the doctor expressed no concerns. He encouraged me to keep doing what I've been doing. I return for another check in 2 weeks.

Ryan and Nana went to the appointment today too. Ryan was super cute. As soon as we walked into the exam/ultrasound room Ryan exclaimed, "Momma, baby tummy! Baby Elmo!" He has already figured out what goes on with each of my appointments. He knows that he either gets to "see" Baby Elmo or "hear" him. I'm so glad he is so excited. I just hope that excitement sticks around for when the baby actually arrives. (I wonder how long he'll think I have a baby in my tummy after the baby arrives?...hmmm.)

Nana is really enjoying going to appointments with me too. This is the first pregnancy she has been able to be this involved. I think she's already super attached to this little boy. Today she told me she didn't care what we named him just as long as we bring him over to her house. She LOVES her grandkids and loves to spend as much time as possible with each of them.

Baby Elmo
We think he looks a lot like Ryan.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Appointment Tomorrow

I have a doctor's appointment with the Perinatologist tomorrow. I'll post all the details tomorrow evening. Have a great week everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby Check


Today we had a more medical check on Baby Elmo. I called the doctor this morning because over the weekend I began having some cramping/contraction-like pains that have been very irregular, but considering my history I felt it best to call and check with the doctor. I spent a couple of hours being monitored and after everyone felt all is well with me and the baby I was given the instructions to go home and continue what I've been doing...taking it easy...aka bedrest.

Tomorrow I start my weekly P17 injections. All I can say about those are OUCH! If you've ever had them you know. If you've never had them just take my word for it. These are another "preventive" measure that we're taking to prevent preterm labor.

I have an appointment with the Perinatologist in a week. I'm really looking forward to that appointment. I have a load of questions to ask him. I have another appointment with my OB the week following, but it's just a regular check up.


Ryan went with us for our monitoring. He was the cutest! He, of course, was very concerned with everything they were doing to his mommy...the monitor, the sounds, the blood pressure cuff, the was all concerning. I think if he could have his way no one would have been allowed to touch his mommy without checking with him first. He has learned what Baby Elmo "sounds" like and when he started hearing the heartbeat he started talking about "Baby Elmo". No only did we think that was cute so did the nurse. Baby Elmo was very, very active today and kicked the monitor a lot! Can we say WILD?! Daddy might want to rethink his wish for a "calm, mild-mannered" baby boy. Ryan didn't know what to think about all the extra noise coming from the monitor and held his ears after a while. After the initial activity ended Daddy and Ryan went for an adventure around the hospital hallways in search of some juice. They came back with Ryan's choice...chocolate milk...something he doesn't generally care much for but thoroughly enjoyed today. Anyway...our experience was great today...all the way around...just a good day.