Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 3

I was released from the hospital a little before noon. I was able to get a little rest in at home this afternoon as well. We made it to the hospital two more times to see Buddy, plus Uncle Fman, Aunt Missa, and Meemaw went to visit him when we weren't up there.
The nurse says he is doing well. From the tests they do they can tell what the machines are doing and how much Buddy is doing, and he is doing a lot. They are going to run some more tests tonight and maybe try to take him off his breathing tube. We will know if they did that when we go back tomorrow. They also gave him some caffeine today. They will be doing that every morning because it helps with breathing/lungs, I think they said. So I told Buddy he will be like his Great Aunt Karin who needs her coffee in the morning just to function. :) This kid will be ready for Starbucks in no time!
Being the typical teacher, I decided to bring up books for Hubby and I to read today. I read "Are You My Mother?", which one of my childhood favorites, and Hubby read "You Are Special" by Max Lucado. There was a dedication page in it from Meghan, a friend of mine in high school because she gave it to me as a gift. Hubby read that dedication page, and it was so fitting - the well wishes and prayers from then applied today. Amazing how words still speak to you ten years later.

first 30 hours





The first 30 hours for Buddy have gone as well as can be expected. The doctors remind us that he is critially ill. That is why he is in NICU. That being said, he is doing well for his gestational age and arrival. This morning the nurses told us he had a good night and he has a good personality. He was calm and relaxed last night. He looks pretty cozy in his incubator, and Hubby and I have figured out our heart just melts when baby yawns. Cutest thing ever!
I get discharged soon - waiting on that as I type. It seems weird to be leaving the hospital without my baby, but we will be back a lot each day to visit.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

He's here!

Buddy arrived May 29 at 11:07 PM via regular delivery. He is 3 lbs, 6 oz. He is 16 inches long and his head is 11 inches around. He came out crying, and the doctor said he is "feisty."

Mid-afternoon yesterday I sent Hubby home to get some things to work on while we sat around the hospital because I figured things would be like Monday and Tuesday - sitting and waiting to move to a room with less monitors once my complications went away. However, around 2:00 I got up to the bathroom, and I had to use the nurse button for what I saw. Three nurses came in and whisked me back on the bed and called my doctor and the doctor on call. My doctor was on his way out of town. The doctor on call checked me and realized that I was in labor and at 4-5 cm. Of course I text Hubby(the cell phones had issues in that room) with the word "Baby" - our code for him to know to come ASAP. The doctor checked me on the ultrasound, and I was still on the monitors, and Buddy was still looking good, as he has all week. No distress and good heartbeat.
My mom was already on her way back to Missouri because I was thinking next week would be difficult with Hubby starting a new job. I had just talked to my dad earlier in the day saying he didn't need to come because nothing seemed to be happening different. Of course they got the news that I am in labor, and both sped (or continued speeding) to Missouri. My brother, my sister-in-law, and my cousin arrived to keep us company and entertained.
Even though I was hoping not use an epidural in my original plan, I decided to do so that way if I needed a C-section really quick the anesthesia they used would probably not have to be general. It did not hurt like I feared it would, and although I am a huge supporter of people going natural (since I wanted to), I am now a huge fan of the epidural. It helped me stay relaxed a bit when I really needed to in order to keep baby safe, and it kept the pain away for the most part.
At some point I got to an 8. I was there for a long time - through a shift change of a new on-call doctor and a new nurse. It was also around this time that they brought in all of the baby stuff - scale, warm bed, etc. Around 9:30/9:45 they broke my water. Then things picked up from there. The nurse gave me the quickest birthing class ever (since mine were scheduled for June). A couple of rounds of pushing Another NICU baby was born just before Buddy, so the doctor came pretty much in right after that. Another round of pushing, and I heard the most beautiful sound I have ever heard in my life. My baby was crying. They let me see him briefly. He continued to cry while being weighed and such. He passed his Apgar test. They brought him over again very briefly for us to see and kiss him. Talk about "you had me at hello." Then they took him to NICU.
I was able to move to my new room about 1 AM. We were able to see Buddy in the NICU before we headed to sleep. The staff there were talking to Hubby and I about a variety of things - very little of which I remember at this point - all of it is a fog. He is hooked up to wires and tubes. He has hair and the cutest little fingers and toes. He looks so helpless though just laying there that it breaks my heart to not be able to pick him up and hold him. The nurse in the NICU also used the word "feisty" to describe Buddy. Apparently he spent a lot of time last night looking around and doing some crying before he wore himself out and they put the breathing tube down him.
I know this entry is like a big ramble, but I want to be able to remember what happened. I think I put in all of the important stuff. We will post some pictures eventually, but we don't have that camera attachment with us right now.
We thank you for your prayers for a safe delivery. We know God has given us the strength and peace to get through this last week, these last 24 hours because so many people are praying. Please continue to pray for Buddy's health - that he would grow and develop the way he needs to. Please pray for us on this roller coaster ride we are now on.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Second Verse, Same as the First

Things were going well yesterday/last night. I had an interesting roommate situation which I will someday publish in a short story format. Let me just say I have never heard the f-word or the term "baby daddy" used so much in such a short amount of time.
So I was all settled in for the night, awaiting the arrival of my roommate's baby daddy, when complications started again - worse than they have been so far.
The staff here was great. They quickly monitored and assessed the situation, and in very little time I was wheeled back to labor and delivery. They gave me another shot for the contractions. The doctor on call determined I was not dilating, but he wanted to keep me in this section should there be an emergency or anything else they would need to do quickly.
So we are back in labor and delivery until they decide it is safe to send me back down the hall and monitor me a little less. I have been back on the monitors since a little after midnight last night. All the medical professionals say Buddy is looking great on the monitor. My dr. ordered some more blood tests to see if they can figure anything else out.
My cell phone cannot get a signal for some reason in this room I am currently in, but at the time the wi-fi is working well.
We continue to just wait and see what is going to happen next. Just when things seem to calm down, everything starts over. We are thankful that even though we didn't understand why they kept me in the hospital yesterday, we now know that it was much easier getting everything assessed last night being here rather than driving in from home - and much less scary as well.
We will keep you updated as we know more.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation

So I was supposed to have about 10 weeks after school let out to finish preparing for baby - you know basic things like birthing class, tour of the hospital, packing a bag, finishing putting away 6 years of teaching supplies. :)
I got the biggest shock of the day shortly after I sent Hubby to run some errands and was about to settle down for a nap. My doctor came in. I assumed he was going to say "Let's get you out of here tomorrow," or something like that.
Even though things have settled down, he and the high-risk doctor want me to stay until I deliver. I said, "Here in the hospital?" "Yes." They want to be able to monitor Buddy and I every day, and since they don't know what caused the bleeding and contractions, they want me here should anything happen.
My motherly instinct feels relieved that I have a doctor who is concerned enough to keep me here to be safe. The control-freak, checklist, have-to-have-a-plan side of me thinks, "What?!"
So here I will be until further notice. I can't say thank you again enough for everyone asking, "What can we do?" At this point, I don't know yet. I am hoping to figure out what a routine will be like here. Hubby starts his new job on Monday, so visitors during the day will most definitely help me pass the time. I will update more on here once I know more.

Thursday

Again, most of this is on facebook - but for those of you not on facebook...

-I went the whole night without any contractions/bleeding. This puts me one step closer to going home.
-High-risk dr. came and spoke with me in person this morning. They do not know what caused the contractions/bleeding. There is not anything wrong with the placenta, I don't smoke, and I don't have high blood pressure. He said right now there is a 15-20% I will not make it to 35 weeks. So we are taking that and saying there IS an 80-85% chance I will make it to 35 weeks.
-I hope to hear from my doctor later today about a time table for going home.
-Buddy is still doing fine. High-risk doctor says he looks good.
- My parents left to go back home around 11 today.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday update

Had some bleeding and contractions start up again Tuesday/Wednesday around 1:30 AM. Those settled down later in the morning (I think - it is all becoming a blur of what happened when). I was able to get some sleep last night even with that going on. Exhaustion took over.
I was able to shower this afternoon. It is amazing how much better a little soap and shampoo can make you feel.
They don't know specifically what has caused the bleeding/contractions, but the nurse said they have ruled out all the typical "bad things." She explained what they are guessing caused it - which is pretty much in non-medical terms "just one of those things." Obviously she explained it a little better.
I am taking a pill now every 6 or so hours to keep the contractions away. They have moved me out of the labor and delivery room to a room down the hall still in the women's section. I couldn't tell you more about the wing because my tour and birthing classes are schedule for NEXT month. :) The room I am in requires less monitoring since everything is going well. I am still on bedrest except I have the freedom to get up to use the restroom. I will never take this freedom for granted ever again.
I am heading to sleep now but a couple of specific prayer requests:
*Rest
*No bleeding/contractions tonight/tomorrow
*If all goes well tonight/in the morning, my parents will head back to IL

*All of the unknowns about the upcoming days/weeks - especially not knowing when I get to go home and hubby starting his new job next Monday.
We have been completely blessed by the messages everyone has sent via facebook/email/etc. I am much less the emotional wreck I thought I would be, and I know that is only because of the power of prayer and loved ones encouraging us.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday 2 PM and 7 PM update at bottom

This was pretty much in my facebook status, but I know a lot of our family members do not have facebook, but check the blog.
I had a 2nd pill to keep contractions/bleeding at a minimum. So far the drugs are working. C is hooked up for a bit right now to the monitor for his heartrate check. It is doing well mostly in the 120-150 range.
M is finally napping a bit on the pull-out chair, but I can't seem to get comfortable enough to really fall asleep. Funny because I am a world-champion napper.
In about an hour I should be getting my other shot of steroids. I am pretty sure I will be here overnight again, and not sure how long after that. It just depends on how well things go.
We are so thankful for everyone's thoughts and prayers. I can't seem to say it enough. Every day and every hour makes a difference right now. We know that God is in control amidst the chaos right now, and your prayers are what are helping us experience His peace.

UPDATE 7:20 PM TUESDAY Second steroid shot was administered. Praise God. Seriously. And we are now 4 hours past the shot time, so we are definitely beyond the worst case scenario. Did I mention that stuff is thick? A NICU doctor came and talked with us about the different scenarios of having a baby at 29 weeks. A lot of the information was familiar because dear friends of ours spent quite some time recently in the NICU here, and knowing their story of God's goodness and provision to them helps ease my mind a bit.
My parents arrived (they rode together) early evening. It was good to laugh. I have a really loud family - especially when there are a lot of us together and when we are all picking on my brother. I was afraid at some point a nurse would come in and tell us to keep it down. I sent them out to get some real food for them. I am here another night at least. No one has really mentioned when I get to go home. I guess it is too early to tell. Contractions are minimal and bleeding has stopped again. Buddy impressed Meemaw (aka Babushka), Grampy, Uncle FMan and Aunt Missa with his good heartrate on the monitor. He even cooperated and stayed on the monitor when I moved to sit up. I still haven't slept a really decent amount, so I am hoping tonight to be able to crash for at least a few hours.
We continue to say thank you (it sounds so weak) for your continued prayers for us. We don't really know what we need right now. It is a big question mark. We find strength and encouragement knowing there are so many people out there caring for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

waiting...

Bleeding started again 3:30 AM accompanied by contractions. More ultrasound testing, shot to stop contractions,and I have to stay in bed now.
Specific prayer request this morning - my dr. came in about an hour ago to talk to me about C-section possibilties and then he met with the high risk dr. Baby continues to look good - they have his monitor off right now b/c he looks good and he moves around too much to keep on the monitor. They are still monitoring my contractions. They gave me a different medicine just now to help with contractions/uterus. A lot of wait and see. They are sending someone from NICU to come talk to us in a bit about all of the possibilities/scenarios.

Prayer requests - Things look as good as can expected with the bleeding/contracions, but the drs and nurses keep emphasizing they want me to at least make it to 3:00 for my 2nd steroid shot. Every hour after that shot helps Buddy.
They want me to make it to 30 weeks if possible - and of course every week after that is even better, but if there is any danger they will probably do a C-section.
Called my mom - she and my dad are heading down right now just incase they do have to do a C-section today or in the next couple of days. Pray for their safety.
Praise - This may seem silly but they are letting me eat breakfast in a little bit! We weren't sure, but I got the okay to do so. :) And the nurse who did my IV early this morning got it on the first go around without too much pain. This never happens. It usually takes a whole team of people several tries to get my IVs. :)
I will let you know more when I know more.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hospital

We are sitting here in my hospital room with not a lot to do but sit right now. Hubby was able to go home for a bit, let the dog out, bring me some things (including his computer), so I thought I would update everyone since there is nothing else I can really do right now.
I woke up this morning (after many wake-ups throughout the night to use the bathroom as usual) and noticed I was bleeding. This is not a normal thing at this point of the pregnancy. So I called the nurse on call at my doctor's office, and they had me come in to the hospital. Buddy did not move at all this morning, even after drinking some water before we left. (He usually moves when I drink something.) We arrived at the hospital L&D triage, and got hooked up to some monitors, asked questions, etc. Heartbeat looked good right away, and shortly after being hooked up to monitors baby started moving some.
The doctor on-call was in surgery for quite awhile, but everyone at the hospital was helpful and kind. Ultrasound of baby looked good - he is 3 lbs and according to the ultrasound due August 8. They did an ultrasound of the cervix which at the time looked to be 2 cm dilated. I was moved from L&D triage to a room in labor and delivery.

This afternoon the dr. came in. I don't know if I can explain this like she did by drawing a picture, but my cervix isn't thinning at this point nor dilated in the way they thought. It is shortening and there is something called funneling going on. Again, her picture explained it better than words. Since this is my first pregnancy to get this far, they have nothing really to compare it to for me specifically. My cramping is contractions, but it is irregular and what the nurse is calling "contractionettes." The bleeding has gone down, and my cramping is almost non-existant. The doctor has said at this point I am not in pre-term labor, but I am at high-risk for pre-term labor. They went ahead and gave me a shot of steroids for Coleridge's lungs and will give me another tomorrow afternoon. I am in the hospital until at least tomorrow after that shot. They can't tell me if I will go into labor soon or will make it the full time - there is just no way to know right now. The good thing is the dr. said that even if I went into labor right now,Buddy's chances are very good. They have me on the monitors, and Buddy is keeping us on our toes by continuing to move a lot so that they have to readjust my monitors every so often.
So now we just sit and wait. I will update tomorrow most likely, and my mom has been good about putting things on facebook for me since that is a great way to send information fast.
THANK YOU everyone for praying. Although really scared this morning, I feel so much better after hearing from the doctor and being taken care of here. We really appreciate your thoughts, words, and prayers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Past The Wishing

In my living room are some empty boxes and an empty tote, a couple of boxes and a tote with school things to be sorted through and put away. In our computer room is a box from the garage of various things from my Yuma days which I have pretty much shredded now (so now the box is almost empty). I think there may be another box or stack of things for me to go through in that room. Last week M cleaned out a ton of things in our garage - gave away or threw away a lot of stuff and brought some things in for me to look through one more time. He moved all of my boxes and things from my classroom. He also repacked some of my school things that I have brought home so that they store better. What a guy! I feel like the last couple of weeks have been packing and unpacking. And if you know me I am not a fan of either. I am handling the process much better than I thought I would. Much better than any of my other seasons of packing/unpacking.
I haven't done much this weekend because I have just been exhausted from the end of school. However, I hope to accomplish getting the remaining items sorted and in their proper places in the very near future.
Friday afternoon felt so strange. I turned in my keys. There is nothing left in my classroom that is mine. And it isn't my classroom any more. I said good-bye to the people I saw amidst the chaos of the last day of school. I got choked up at a couple of points. I will still be in southwest Missouri for an unknown length of time, so I know I will see my co-workers again - that made the good-byes seem even stranger to me because I am not moving somewhere new yet.
I drove home from my last day of work listening to an old Sara Groves cd - Past the Wishing. I specifically remember listenig to this song when I moved out to Yuma, knowing absolultely no one. I think Sara Groves music has been a part of every high and low and transition of my life since I learned of her in college. It seemed appropriate to drive home to this song.

I’m standing at the foot of this mountain
Wishing so bad that I could touch that sky
But in the time it takes to make my wish
I never take a step and I never try

I wish that I were closer to Jesus
But not enough to get me out of bed
For an early morning prayer before the
Rushes of my life take me instead

I'm past the wishing
Past the wishing
Past the wishing

I'm gazing in these deep well waters
Where the pennies of my life have all been cast
I’ve decided I am going to save my money
To do something that lasts

You've shown me my man of Macedonia
You're calling me further on
And I'm tired of saying it's a nice idea
I wish it could be done

I don't wish that I could go I am going
I don't wish that I could be I am being
I don't wish that I could do it I am doing
By the grace of God I am doing

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Butt-Dance

Those of you who know my brother will appreciate this story. Those of you who do not will probably just think my family is weird.
For many years my brother has had a dance move called "The Butt Dance." I am not sure when it started exactly, but it has been around a very long time. There are no words to really describe this dance. One actually has to see it to appreciate it. But the name at least gives you a little bit of an idea of what the dance involves. If you were at my wedding reception, you will most likely recall the brief moment Forrest displayed this wonderful choreography.
Buddy has apparently inherited "The Butt Dance" gene. Every now and then I swear I feel his baby bottom thump a few times against my belly, as if doing an imitation of Uncle F-man's dance. It is not a limb, it is round and I think the head is somewhere else. (I have felt the head try to poke out of my belly as well - as if baby boy is trying to sit up or something.) All of these movements inside are very strange because I have no control over them. And some of them make me laugh. Such as the Baby Butt Dance.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I am woman, hear me roar


The entire Pack'n'Play is now fully assembled, including the evil changing table with the ridiculous poles that had to attach and fit under material at weird angles. I am very proud of the fact that I put it all together. Round 2 was much easier than Round 1. Amazing what a good night's sleep does for one's sanity. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pack'n'Play

This week my co-workers threw me a baby shower. I am so thankful for their generosity and their friendship. My sister-in-law was kind enough to take the pictures, so I will post them when I get them.
Tonight I decided to unpack some things I received at the shower. I only got through box #1 - the Pack'n'Play. It sounds so simple, like something that should come out of the box pretty much ready to be used. Haha. I assembled the main structure first. It was easy - unfold according to the directions waiting to push down the middle and put in the mattress pad. Then there was the changing table and bassinet accessories. I first tried putting the poles that go to the changing area in the bassinet (which was impossible). Simple reading error, but in my defense the pages in the direction booklet stuck together so I thought the two accessories shared a set of directions. The picture did not help to let me know that this was not the case. Then when I figured out that mistake, I could get the poles into the material of the changing table, but trying to click them together was not working at all because they don't really fit easily together at the correct angles at the correct moment. I continued to look at the directions and the supplies, getting angrier by the moment and finally throwing things down in surrender as well as to take some time to "take a step back." Blah. I was not thriled about doing this.
Perhaps it was not the wisest thing trying to put something together after spending all day outside/on a bus for about an hour each way with fourth graders on a field trip. I may have used up all my patience allotment for the day.
Tomorrow I hope to look at the directions again, smile, and easily put the remaining pieces together. Then I will laugh about how silly it was to be so frustrated tonight.
Wishful thinking.
Perhaps instead the Pack'n'Play elves or fairies will come put those poles together the way they are supposed to be.
More wishful thinking.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Long Post About Next Year

There is really no easy way to tell people at work the following information. It is not something I want to say at PLC as a "celebration" because although I am content in my decision, there have been and will be a lot of tears (from me) about my decision. I figured I would post about it on here, and people can know about it and circulate the info that way.

I had been planning to come back and teach next year after taking six weeks for maternity leave. It is my opinion that women (and men) should have a choice in whether or not to work outside of the home. Hubby and I have had discussions about this even in our dating, and we have both always felt that if possible I would have the choice to teach or to stay home. Well, that choice kept weighing on my mind the last few weeks. I have felt completely unsettled no matter which pro/con list I examined. I love teaching (most days). I feel like I am good at my job. I don’t view it just as a job, but as a calling. I love what I have been able to do in terms of piloting a co-taught classroom. I have a fabulous co-teacher I get to work with. I wouldn’t be moving classrooms this year (something that has only happened once in my teaching career). After four years of Hubby being in school, we would finally have a true double income. I am not a "traditional" wife. He is a better cook. I do not enjoy housework. I have a sewing machine I still don't know how to use. I am proud of the fact that I have a solid education, and would love to pursue a PhD or EdD at some point. Yet with all of these things I still felt unsettled and unsure about going back to work next year.

I have prayed, I have waited and listened, I have been in the Word more lately than I have in months, and I have gathered advice and insight from all viewpoints. I turned in my letter of resignation yesterday. I am going to stay at home with Buddy next year, and perhaps do something part-time/at-home to bring in some income.

There are many reasons for this decision. One reason is Hubby may have an opportunity to do something different this fall/winter, which would require him to relocate. I think another reason is that my mom was a stay-at-home mom for the most part until I was 12. And when she went back to school to finish her degree we had my grandparents around for any childcare needs. We do not have that here. Additionally six weeks to spend at home with Buddy before I go back just doesn’t seem like enough. I have never been a mom before, and I have no idea how I will feel about working or staying home, but I know that I can always teach again if the stay at home thing doesn’t work for my personality/our family. I cannot go back and redo the first several months of my child’s life if I would choose to continue to teach and that didn’t work for me.

I know the last 6 years I was called to teach. I know that I may be called to teach again even in another year. But next year I sense God is calling me to trust. That is what He continues to stir in my heart. Trust Him to provide financially in the midst of an income cut and added expenses, to provide a new outlet for my strengths and abilities, to provide direction for our family if we relocate, to provide new friendships and strengthen old ones, and to find my identity in Him rather than in a new role or an old career. My first "decision" as a mom is one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but I can be confident that God is with me. Let this new adventure begin! (Well, not quite yet -technically in August it will begin.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Surprise!


Today I had my first baby shower. It was a "surprise" shower organized for my co-teacher and I by our room mom.
My teacher friend (whom I happen to co-teach with) and I are both pregnant and due within a couple of weeks of each other. (No, we didn't plan to coordinate our pregnancies. We have been asked that about three hundred times.)
The baby shower was very sweet. I didn't have my camera at work, but here is a picture of what my students bought for Buddy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Graduation Weekend



Hubby graduated Friday earning his Master's in Psychology. Not only did he graduate, but he earned the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. I am so proud.


Wednesday night my mom arrived, Thursday evening we had dinner with the Nevada crew, Friday was graduation and more eating festivities followed by some card playing later that night, Saturday my mom left in the morning to go back home and I caught up on some sleep in the late afternoon/early evening, and this afternoon we hung out with family some more over lunch. My eating and sleeping schedule is very thrown off! :)
Buddy enjoyed the graduation festivities, though I was glad to have a seat on the aisle since graduation lasted awhile.
Hubby has been offered a job in town which he would start June 1. He still has a few internship hours to wrap up this month. We have been praying through some decisions we need to make in regards to the future - especially decisions concerning the next months. My prayer life had been pretty dismal until recently, but the Lord has been speaking to me a lot about faith, trust, and sacrifice - all very difficult things for me. A great deal of the lessons I have been learning the last couple of weeks have been on the theme of "seasons." The season of student has ended (for now) for us, the season of parenting is about to begin, and we are watching to see what else this season of our life is going to bring us. Change, we know, we just aren't sure of all of the details yet. I hope to share more about this portion of our journey, but at this point I need to wait until I am certain about which doors are opening and closing for us.