Monday, May 31, 2010

Things I've Heard Today

"I'm cookin' meatballs. They be hot."

"I want groda bars."

"I want peanut butter jelly sanwich."

"Owww! I got an owie."

"I hurt my owie."

"Oh look Ryan got an owie. I think so."

"Daddy! Daddy! I need to find a place to park."

"Sometime Baby Elmo come out of Momma's tummy."

"Baby Elmo stuck in Momma's tummy."

"Oh no! My nose tickles."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Home, Nest, Abode, Castle, Residence

It's so good to be home! I sure did miss my home.

Things have been going well upon my return. The first night was rough. I couldn't sleep, couldn't get comfortable. My mind wouldn't settle and I had more contractions than normal to top it all off. Thankfully it was only that first night that was a bit alarming. Since then I've adjusted peacefully into my new surroundings.

Ryan is loving my return home. Initially he wanted me to be up and around and I guess back to "normal" but after explanations that I must remain in bed for a few more weeks he has once again accepted my altered-mommy role. For most of this week he has been very possessive of my time. He wanted to be the one and only one for which I'd give my time and attention. Possessive...but he's earned every right to be. He's doing better but he doesn't want to be very far from me. Thankfully he's calming down a little and we are able to play together on the bed. One of the greatest things for me through this new adjustment has been all the cuddles. He's not typically a super-cuddly kid, but this week he's relinquished some of the wild and crazies for some mighty awesome cuddles. I love, love, love it!

We've had some pretty funny moments with Ryan this past week. Through mid-week every time it was time to go home (Ryan and I go to my mom's house each morning and return home each evening with Daddy) Ryan would wave and tell me good-bye. When we would tell him I was going home with him his eyes would light up and his smile would grow wider in excitement. "OKAY!" he would exclaim. Each day was new and exciting to have momma come home again. On Thursday evening as we were driving home Ryan suddenly stopped with his normal story-telling in the backseat and said, "Can we please take momma back to the hospital so I can go up the stairs and down the stairs and get some worms?" (gummy worms from the vending machines on the 6th floor).

We're gradually trying to help Ryan understand that for now Momma will be staying home with him, and when it's time for Baby Evan to come that we will go back to the hospital and Momma and Daddy will have to stay for a few nights. It will be a short stay and Ryan can come see us everyday. I don't know how much he's understanding but hopefully it's enough that our return to the hospital won't be a total shock to him.

Speaking of hospital...I can't believe we're getting so close to a safe delivery of this precious little boy. 34 weeks today!!! I only have 2 more weeks of bedrest. On June 12th all the restrictions will be gone and the medications will be no more. I'll be a "normal" (although weak and sore) pregnant mommy! I'm so excited...and a little anxious too. I know how long 2 weeks can feel but I also know how fast it passes once you reach the end. After 2 weeks we can have this baby anytime! Our c-section is scheduled for July 2nd. I don't know that anyone is really expecting me to make it all the way to the 2nd, but then again my body could suddenly decide that being pregnant isn't so bad (and that would be just about fitting for the way things go).
Since I'm now 34 weeks pregnant I suppose it's a good time to give an update...

Evan is probably weighing between 4-5 pounds. It's really hard to say how big he is since our last ultrasound at 32 weeks only had him measuring 3.5 pounds which was a bit smaller than I expected.

He is moving around great. It's an adjustment to go from being monitored 2 times a day to having no monitoring, so all I can rely on now is how well he's moving and how I'm feeling. All is well!

I'm feeling well. I'm not having many contractions throughout the days and nights with the exception of right around the day of my P17 injection. I'm now self-injecting those. I figured with only 3 injections remaining there was no since in trying to schedule someone to come give those each week. I know it's silly, but I felt like I'd accomplished something pretty amazing after that first shot this past Tuesday!

I guess I should be a little more honest. Feeling well is more of a generalized statement. Pregnancy related...yes I'm feeling well. However...(and here's my gripe so skip the rest of the paragraph if you're not in the mood) back hurts, I'm so sore I can barely walk (from all the bedrest and loss of muscle tone), my bladder is full all the time (reminiscent of those first few weeks of pregnancy), I'm not sleeping well because it's so hard to get comfortable and stay that way for very long (thankfully I have 3 different beds to choose from and I rotate between all 3 each night), the heartburn is a killer, my appetite is mostly non-existent because there's not much room left and...the heartburn is a killer, I'm so, so, so ready to be able to sit up more than lay down (which is probably ok by the doctor but I don't want to take any chances yet). On the bright side...most of these are just common pregnancy relate issues and that's awesome!!!

I came home with these medications: Procardia 1/day to keep my uterus calm, Terbutaline as needed to combat contractions if they occur, Magnesium Oxide and Potassium supplements each night to help relax my uterus. Prenatal vitamin each day. Levothyroxin each day for my thyroid (something I'll be taking from now on.

So for now we just hope and pray for another uneventful two weeks. Ohhh how it delights my heart to think of taking this baby home with us and skipping the NICU altogether.

I'll try to get some new pictures up soon.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Going Home!


I'm going home today!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Things of Beauty

Ryan recently brought to my attention the importance of beauty. Strange you say? Actually not so much, but it involved hair and a plastic cup lid. I'll explain the story in a minute, but in the meantime his *interest* or maybe *obsession* with beauty led me to do some thinking...and considering. About boys. And how they think. And I guess since I'm going to be the mom of 2 boys that's not a bad thing for me to think about.

I grew up in a female-dominated home, but femininity was often replaced by tom-boyishness. (Yes I know that's probably not a real word.) Not that that is an entirely bad thing. It has done a lot in the shaping of who I am, but I'm not so sure if it hasn't overshadowed the importance of beauty a little too much.

Beauty is important. Inward and outward beauty. The world is filled with things beautiful. Flowers, waterfalls, warm summer days, people, love. Creation is beautiful. God's love is beautiful. The story of redemption although dramatic and war-like is also one of beauty. God calls his church (those that love and believe in His name) his bride. Brides are beautiful. Broken sometimes but beautiful. The Bible has many references to beauty. My goodness...just read the book Song of Solomon. It is filled with passion and beauty. Which leads me back to...

The male mind and the importance of beauty. (Leaving the passion out of the equation for a minute). I recently read Beth Moore's book, So Long Insecurity. It was great and I recommend it to every woman even if she doesn't think she struggles with insecurity. Now I'm attempting to read Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge. It's another very good book but I'm having trouble concentrating these days and I'm struggling with some of the issues at hand. Another book by John Eldredge is Wild At Heart. I read it a few years ago. In his book, John discusses the innate, God-given dream that every little boy be a hero, to conquer, to accept the challenge set before him and set forth on this adventure with his bride (his beautiful bride) right by his side. The sad fact however, is that too many men have this dream stifled, beaten out of them. Whether through their own dads, their family, their friends, a lifetime of failures, or just life itself...with all it's disappointments.

I agree with John Eldredge in this. I grew up with a brother and from a very young age his dreams always went something like this..."I want... 'to be a fireman/policeman/soldier' and 'get married to a beautiful girl' and 'have a family' and 'we can do this...and that' and 'I will be big and strong and...'" You get my point. Thankfully he has, for the most part, been able to hold on to that dream and he continuously strives to be the hero of his family.

I'm just starting to see some of these same dreams pop up in my little boy now. It's exciting. It's scary. He's only 3! Things like being STRONG when a swing flies back and hits him in the mouth but instead of running to someone in tears he hides behind the slide and cries silently to himself. (I wasn't there for that episode but I've seen it before and we often "walk it off" together...away from everyone so if he needs to cry he can without the onlookers. Afterall, he's only 3!). HERO--when Ryan's baby cousin cries he tries endlessly to "fix" it by bringing one toy after another (amazingly they are often age-appropriate). PROTECTOR--he's beginning to show signs of wanting to protect me. And finally...

...The importance of BEAUTY (and the whole story behind all this and what prompted all the *thinking*)...
The other day Ryan was visiting me at the hospital and he *checked* the common areas that need shaving...underarms, legs. How did he know? I don't know. I've been out of the house for nearly 9 weeks now and haven't been in the "normal" role of a woman/mom since January, but somehow he just knew. He keeps check of these things almost every time he comes, and he's more than blunt when telling me it's time to shave. Bless his little heart. (Shaving has been on the very low priority list for me since it requires standing for much longer in the shower here at the hospital.) So the other day the conversation went like this, "Momma need to shave 2 arms". Wanting to fix the problem he grabbed a plastic cup lid and pretended to shave me, "Shave Momma's 2 arms. Now Momma PRETTY."

Like I said before, bless his sweet little heart.

Thankfully I have many more years with my little boys being just little boys, but I know that someday they will be grown men. In the meantime...I want to help them grow into the men God has created them to be... complete... whole... sensitive... respectful... considerate... wild... with hearts on fire for the things of God...including that God-given, innate dream to be strong heroes on this adventure called life.
Not that I'm feeling all that beautiful right now, I do find pregnancy to be a thing of beauty. A beautiful picture of new life.

I am looking forward to a day or even an hour of pampering so I can feel beautiful.

I love bags. My husband probably thinks I'm crazy. I recently purchased this diaper bag online. I think it's beautiful and I hope it lasts for many years to come...
Baby Update
Evan is getting bigger and stronger every day. Every day I stay pregnant is just one more day for him to get stronger and healthier. I'm 33 weeks pregnant! Whoa...that's amazing! Evan is probably weighing a little over 4 pounds now and will continue to grow at a rate of approximately 1/2 pound a week. He is probably somewhere around 17+ inches long. However long he is my ribs can testify to a tiny hiney and my bladder can still testify to the presence of a hairy little head. Well really my bladder can't tell if he has hair, but the ultrasound showed an abundance.

I won't lie and say that I don't have rough days. Some days I just want be "done with all of this". Those are usually the days I'm feeling the loneliest, most comfortable, crampy, etc. Some days I just hurt all over and I wander if my body can handle much more. Thankfully I only have a couple days each week like that. I feel so guilty when things turn back around and I once again hope and pray we "make it".

Now think about this...if I can just make it 3 more weeks (36 weeks) we are pretty much in the clear. Each week between now and 37 weeks drastically reduces the likelihood of a NICU stay. Barring any unforeseen complications most 36-weekers don't have to make that infamous trek to the NICU. If I make it to 37 weeks I will be considered full-term and the NICU team won't even need to be present during delivery. I'll also have broken all previous records...for me that is.

And just for the sake of scheduling...if by some chance I'm able to go home and my body mysteriously decides that pregnancy isn't in fact something terrible, we have a c-section date:

July 2nd

Evan's's finished.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Final Ultrasound

I had an ultrasound this morning. The last one with the Perinatologist.

Baby looks great! 3.5 pounds (smaller than I was hoping). Head very low (my bladder testifies to that). Lots of hair. Face up. Chubby cheeks. Plenty of fluid. Good heart rate and blood flow through the cord. I don't know what I'll do if I actually have a chubby baby with hair. I told my OB I was trying to break all records...more than 36 weeks and over 6 pounds! He laughed. :)

Cervix is shorter. 0.6. Not that much shorter and at least everything is on the correct side of the stitch. Dr. did an exam (oh's been awhile since I've had one of those). Stitch is in place and holding well. I'm not dilating.

Overall it was a good visit and a great way to start my day and start bringing an end to hospital bedrest. Not that I'm counting but...10 days 13+ hours until I'm out of here!

Now about the picture...
He's very, very low and without much room so his face is smashed up against my uterus. That being said we were only able to get a good 1/2-shot of his little face. I think his mouth is partly open. His arm is tucked up against his cheek with his fingers pointing down as if posing for an "aren't I cute?!" moment.

Oh...and one more thing...

Dear Madison,
I promise he'll be cuter in real life!
Love, Aunt Julie

Saturday, May 15, 2010

32 Weeks!

32 weeks today. Hooray!

77 days on bedrest at home

53 days so far on hospital bedrest

130 days total bedrest

14 days until I can go home

28 days total until I'm finally off bedrest

35 days to go until our little boy is considered full term

56 days until my original due date

All is well. I'm still pregnant! I almost can't believe we've made it this far. 32 weeks is HUGE! I had a rough go of things a couple of nights ago. More contractions. More irritability. More movement and pressure "down low". It's the first time in several weeks that I've had the "I don't know if we're going to make it" feelings. The reality is...I may...I may not. I want so badly to make it to at least 36 weeks and I know myself well enough to know that I'll be a bit disappointed if we don't. It's just that we're so very close.

Evan is getting bigger and putting more pressure on my cervix and the stitch is pretty much the only thing keeping him from making his escape. Right now it's baby's head, stitch, and 0.8cm cervix. I have another/final ultrasound on Tuesday to see how things are going. I'm anxious about the cervix measurement. I'd love it if we saw some lengthening before going home, but I'll be happy if we at least see no shortening.

I thought I'd have more to say, but I'm very tired today. So I guess if I get a burst of energy I'll write again later. Otherwise you can expect an update after Tuesday's ultrasound.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Now that we're getting so close to not only reaching a major goal (32 weeks) but also receiving the ticket home, time has slowed. It's crawling.

We can make it! We can make it! We can make it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

So these...
came from one of my favorite little boys. Therefore, they are some of my favorite things. This was Ryan's Mother's Day present to me. He was so excited to give them to me. Friday morning he came bouncing into my room exclaiming "Happy Mom's Day! Happy Mom's Day!" He handed me a pink sack containing a pink monster truck and a pink "candle" (air freshener--but he associates candles with smelling good and wanted Mom's room to smell good) that he picked out all by himself. It was the sweetest thing in the world. Also in the sack were shower gel and lotion from Bath and Body Works. Those came from my mom and they, too, were a very pleasant surprise. Something simple to bring the feeling of beauty to this hospital-bound Mommy.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers reading this. I hope everyone around you makes you feel like the most amazing person on earth today showering you hugs, kisses, gifts, and appreciation. May your heart swell today knowing that you've made such a huge difference in the lives of your husband, kids and everyone else around you.

Happy Mother's Day to my amazing Mom. I want to be just like you in so many ways. You've guided me, encouraged me and challenged me. You've always helped me to see life with a "silver lining". Thank you. And thank you so very much for stepping up and being a "mother" to my son while I'm gone. He sure does love his Nana. You're an amazing Mom and Nana. I love you.

Happy Mother's Day Diana. You, too, are an amazing Mom and Mimi. You're love touches so many...from your own kids (pets included) all the way through to the smallest of your grandkids.

Happy Mother's Day Sharon. You are a great Mom and Gigi. I hope your day is blessed as much as you've blessed others.

Happy Mother's Day Sue. Thank you for loving our family and being there for my dad.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Here's a peek at our sweet little miracle, Evan. He's now 30 weeks 4 days old and is weighing around 3 pounds 5 ounces. Isn't that awesome?!

My apologies for the whiny post yesterday.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ultrasound today--

Evan is weighing approximately 3 pounds 5 ounces. He passed 8/8 on the biophysical profile. No change in the cervical measurement from 2 weeks ago. I'm grateful for no further shortening.

I'm very grateful for the good report. Unfortunately the experience itself was horrible. I sat in a wheelchair for over an hour in a little room waiting. Why don't they wait to come get me until they are actually ready?! I don't know if the tech had never done one before but she took some measurements, had to retake them at least twice and after finishing and leaving the room came back twice because she "forgot" to measure a few things (aminiotic fluid level, blood flow through the cord, etc.) When it came time for the trans-vag u/s for the cervix she looked at the wand and asked me, "do you stick this thing in or do I?" (Sorry for those that up until this point had no idea how the cervical u/s was done.) Are you serious?! Needless to say that ended up being the roughest (most violating) cervical u/s I've ever had. I'm hoping that horrible ultrasound doesn't start anything tonight. So far no extra contractions though. That's good.

3 hours after leaving for the u/s I was returned to my room feeling a little like Cinderella. Just another ugly stepchild. Anything but a beautiful pregnant mommy walking around with her ever-expanding belly showing off the miracle of new life growing within her. Anything but that lovely pregnant mom planning her nursery, shopping for cute baby things, attending showers. Anything but that special person strangers give up their place in line for, help in ways you never expected and showering her with oohs and aahs because the miracle of life growing within her is so noticeable and so aah inspiring.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We Made It! We Made It! We Made It!

We made it to 30 weeks! Hooray!

At 30 weeks...

He should weigh somewhere in the 3 pound range.
He should be approximately 14-17 inches tall.
His is experiencing major brain development.
His eyes are opening and closing. He can notice light vs. dark too.
His eyelashes and eyebrows are fully grown.
His "plumbing" should be fully functional with all the right parts in all the right places.
Lanugo is leaving.
Bone marrow is now responsible for RBC development.
Being out of the 20's is awesome!

Now onto a new goal...

32 weeks!