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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

26 weeks, 1 day! Christmas week

I never thought I would make it this far! 26 weeks! If Ryleigh were born now, there is an excellent chance she would make it. The end to all of this is actually in sight now. 4 more weeks and we should deliver.

Yesterday's appointment showed my fluid levels to be 5.6!! That is really a great number. I would like for it to get a little higher. I have to honestly say that I have been a little lax on my bedrest. I have been up more than I should be. It is just so hard to watch Dwaine do all of the work and especially if he is not feeling well. We are all sick now with colds. Ethan has another sinus infection, Dwaine and I both have caught a cold. No one is feeling very well. I actually helped with dinner last night. I know I shouldn't do that. It seems like I leak more when I have been on my feet. So this week, I am really going to concentrate on staying on my butt. Last week I started bleeding again. I didn't call in this time because it was no different than last time. I know it isn't normal to bleed but when I told him at my appointment yesterday, he didn't seem too concerned. Just watch it closely. I have been taking my temperature and monitoring the baby's heartbeat twice a day. I love that heart monitor. Also within a week's time, Ryleigh has gone from breech to head down and back to breech again. She obviously has enough fluid to move around like that. If that is the case, she should have plenty of room for her little chest to breathe and there is a huge pocket of fluid around her face so she can breathe it in.

We had a really nice Christmas. I didn't go to mass on Christmas eve like I had hoped to. I started bleeding the day before so I didn't want to risk it. But that's ok because it was still much better than being in the hospital. I should be able to stay home at least until after New Year's. I am hoping he lets me stay home until the end but we'll see. So, Christmas was really nice, the boys ended up spending the night Christmas eve. I was so glad they did. We had our traditional KFC for dinner and then Ethan opened a few gifts. He opened a couple of gifts from mommy and daddy and he really wanted to open David's gift too. He got a drum and xylophone from mom and dad, and a drill and coloring book from David. This was the first year that Santa came to our house. So in the morning, Ethan opened his gifts from Santa. His favorite gifts were "Bud" Lightyear and Woody. We stayed in our jammies all day long and watched TV. Mostly we watched A Christmas Story.

Dwaine got us a new video camera and a bag for all of my camera equipment. The kids are coming back from OK today and we will celebrate once more tomorrow. The kids will open their gifts and Carrie will have to go back on Thursday. She wants to go to my next appointment on Thursday so that will be cool!

We have a lot to be grateful for this Christmas and I know that the New Year will bring us a new baby girl.

Monday, December 20, 2010

25 weeks today and Merry Christmas to me!

So guess what I got for Christmas today?! Amniotic fluid! Liquid gold! Fluid levels at the low end of being actually NORMAL!! Praise GOD!!

I really can't believe it. So here is how today's report goes. My AFI is 5.7. I haven't had any leaks to speak of for almost a week now. Not that I won't have a big gusher soon but at least for now, things are actually fairly normal. Every day of good fluid is another day of good lung development. Soak it up now, Ryleigh! Speaking of my little peanut, she has flipped around from facing my front to facing my back. She was breathing like a champ during the entire ultrasound and today they measured the ratio of heart to chest cavity. NORMAL!! Lot's of times when there is a prolonged lack of amniotic fluid the chest has no room to expand and the heart will take up the majority of the chest cavity. But, not so here. She has lungs! And a good amount of lung tissue too! Normal lung tissue! My prayer now is that she won't have to be on a ventilator when she is born. I am asking for more and more things along the way, so now I am hoping she won't have to be on a ventilator.

We asked the doctor today if things were going as well as can be expected. He said actually they were better than that. Out of all of the women he has seen this happen to, he said I am in the top 5% for successful outcomes! Talk about winning the lottery!

Yesterday, I had a really crappy day. I'm not sure why, just hormones I guess. I started to feel a bit overwhelmed by the holidays and feeling really lousy about all of the things Dwaine has to do to keep up and then I ask extra things on top of that. He has so much going on right now and I feel so helpless not being able to do anything. I have to talk about my friends, now. I have been blessed with the best people in my life. First of all, if people were not praying for us, we would never be where we are today. Second, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and I know it is my own OCD but I was really wanting my house to be in ship shape condition for Christmas. It is never really dirty or nasty but it hasn't been vaccuumed in over 2 weeks and the floors and whatever else. Now a clean house to me is like a trip to the spa. It feels wonderful!! That's just the way I am. I've gotten better about it but still not completely over it. When I was single, I would vaccuum twice a week and the place was immaculate! Now my house is lived in but not a pig pen by any means. I was really OCD before so I think I have let a little bit of that go. It just feels so nice to not have dog hair stick to my socks. Now to the point. My friends have volunteered to come over this week and take care of all that for me, like Santa's little elves. They are always willing and eager to help out and I don't even have to ask. I only hope to repay them someday.

I have so many other friends who have helped out by either calling or visiting or running errands for me. There are others who have brought countless meals and have kept us well fed. I am grateful to all of these people who have touched our lives. People who have been close to me for years and people whom I have just gotten to know more recently. Also people whom I have never even met in person. People I have met online in a support group. Another woman who has shared her story with me personally who also shared the same doctor and the same problems I do. These people truly care about me and what happens. I am overwhelmed.

I guess what I really want to say is thank you to all of these people. I love all of you and I wish you every blessing in the world. Also know that I keep you all in my prayers daily. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And Ryleigh's too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

24 weeks 2 days.

Not like I haven't been counting or anything like that...

So I am feeling so much better about everything this week. Most importantly, I have stopped bleeding. That is a big relief. Many other things are going on to make me feel much better about everything. First of all, I am seeing my high risk OB twice a week now instead of just once. I get two ultrasounds every week now to monitor baby and fluid levels. More of a way to do outpatient care rather than to be admitted to the hospital this early. It looks like I will be home for Christmas unless anything else crazy happens. I have my outpatient appointments set up through the end of December!

I got both of my steroid shots this week. So Ryleigh's lungs should be bulking up in no time!! 24 weeeks is the magic number for viablility and generally when steroids are given to help baby mature faster. Only one drawback this week is that I am leaking a ton more fluid than I have before. I used to go for 3 or 4 days without any leaking and then when I did, it would just be a very small spot or two. Now I am soaked during the night and sometimes in the day too. Every day. On Tuesday's scan my AFI was 4.6 so that is still good for me but I am anxious to see what it is going to be tomorrow. I'm not really worried just because I can still feel her moving around quite a bit and since she is getting bigger, she is making a lot more fluid too. They estimated her weight this week at a whopping 1.5 pounds!!

On a side note, I have taken up crochet and just finished my first baby blanket for Ryleigh. I had planned on doing it while I was in the hospital but got a start on it and went to town. I have some ribbon to add yet but wanted to wash it first. Here is a little look at it.

I had a really good model to help demonstrate my work :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

23 weeks, 6 days! - week from he**

Wow! What a week this has been. Usually I post right after my doctor's appointments on Tuesdays but this week has not gone so well.

Tuesday, I had a terrific appointment at both doctors. I had an AFI of 4.9 when 8 is the bottom of the normal range. Now it doesn't sound like much, but that is the most fluid I have had yet!! I was so excited and Dr. Grant said he would not put me in the hospital at 24 weeks. He definitely wanted to wait probably a couple more weeks. This would put me through the Christmas holiday!! Christmas at home, WOO HOO!! Tuesday afternoon, I came home and had a very small leak. No big deal for me, it happens usually after an appointment just because I've been up and around and ultrasound probe poking on my belly. Well, the fluid was a little different color, darker, almost orange. I know, TMI but to me, that meant maybe blood. I called the doctor back and he told me to keep an eye on it until Thursday. He was out of the office Wed. I called Dr. Moreton just to make him aware too. Well, Wed. eve. I started spotting blood. Ok, so I am keeping an eye on it, right? Wed. morning, I am now bleeding pretty heavy or what seemed heavy to me. More than I care to notice. I call the doctor's office again and they are still not extremely concerned and want me to keep an eye on it all day. I bled all day Wed. off and on. Thursday morning I am still bleeding. I call back and he wants me to come in. Another ultrasound shows everything is still fine and exactly where it should be. Thank GOD above! So he tells me to go home and basically not move, which I did.

Meanwhile (oh, it gets better) Dwaine starts to get the remains of Ethan's crud that he had last week and very quickly starts to deteriorate. This happens Tuesday after my wonderful appointment. Needless to say, everything went to hell in a hand basket fast. Dwaine had to go to urgent care Tues. eve. Got an antibiotic for whatever crud he has going on. Wed., he felt worse and went to his doctor for more medicine. Thursday he starts puking and whatever else goes on with the stomach flu not to mention his respiratory issues and coughing up nasty stuff. Thursday he felt so bad, he could not even take me to the doctor. David took him back to the doctor Thursday afternoon and they gave him IV fluids and something for nausea. He started to feel much better.

Meanwhile, (oh, I'm still not finished) Ethan cannot get over his cold. He feels like crap too! Dwaine took him to the doctor on Friday again and he had a double ear infection and a sinus infection. Between the three of us, I thought about just calling in hospice and assuming we were all done for! David and Ryan were here with us Wednesday and Thursday to help try to nurse us all back to health and help with Ethan.

It's the weekend now and I think we are all turning the corner. Dwaine is feeling much better and so is Ethan. My bleeding has pretty much stopped but I am leaking more fluid than I normally do. I'm not really too worried about that, though. I hit the 24 week mark tomorrow. I should get steroids sometime very soon and this means also that Ryleigh has reached a point where she can definitely live outside if she had to. Everyday I can stay pregnant and infection free add a huge benefit to her at this point. So we have hit a big milestone.

Things are looking up and with God's grace, we made it through. It could have been much worse so I am just glad it wasn't and that we are all doing better!

Monday, December 6, 2010

23 weeks! and some random thoughts

Well, today I am 23 weeks. 7 more weeks and Ryleigh will be here and hopefully healthy and strong. I am starting to actually look forward to Christmas especially since I may not be in the hospital yet. I have bought some gifts online and have a few home made gifts to give this year. I have at least had time to get ready for Christmas as best as I can anyway. I never have this kind of time to get ready. I love the cold weather. I hope we get to start up the fireplace soon.

Ethan has been a very sick boy. Just a virus, I'm sure but he has been miserable and not sleeping well at night. I feel so bad for him when he doesn't feel well. Dwaine has been twice as busy taking care of Ethan since he requires so much more attention and has had to make a trip to the doctor and take another day off work since he has been sick. Now Dwaine is sick too. So he has to do everything while HE doesn't feel well either. I am praying I don't get sick. I don't want anything to happen to this baby and getting sick would not be a good thing.

A couple of things I am very grateful for this week. The lady who has been cleaning my house came today and that is such a huge help and it really does make me feel better to have a nice sparkly house! I love that! I love it even more since I didn't have to do it. And she does a really good job. I am thankful for Dwaine's kids who have also been a huge help during all of this. They are so great! Carrie is going out of her way to come and see us over Christmas since we can't go to Oklahoma this year. David has been doing some babysitting for us as has Ryan. And, David goes and brings lunch home sometimes too. Ryan has been a huge help with chores like cleaning and vacuuming and making sure the trash gets taken out. He has also been babysitting a lot too. Mostly so I can get to my doctor's appointments.

Dwaine and I have decided that for Christmas, instead of getting gifts for each other, we would hire someone to have our bedroom painted. It is the last room of the house that hasn't been painted. It needs it bad and has for a long time! He is coming tomorrow to paint and it should be back to normal later this week! I am so excited!

During this time of crisis and anxiety, I have found many things to thank God for. He has really been faithful to me and it seems like you never realize that until something sets you back. Even though this has not been a pleasant experience/pregnancy, God has been there with us the whole time and even through my lack of trust in Him, he has so far proven me very wrong. I can trust and it's OK. Whatever happens, He has taken care of us and always will. I have nothing to worry about.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

22 weeks + 3 days

Dr. visit update....

Well, apparently I have been accumulating more fluid lately which is great news! Ryleigh is still doing very well and doing everything she is supposed to be doing. Good girl! She is practicing breathing and swallowing, she has a full stomach and bladder. There is more fluid around her chest and belly which gives her lungs more room to expand and try to breathe. These are all very good things. My fluid levels went up to 26 and 12 this week. So everything is looking good! Now for the best part. Drum roll, please....

He told me if I keep doing this well and the baby stays stable, he might postpone my hospital admission a couple more weeks!! That means, I may get to spend Christmas at home! I will still have to spend several weeks in the hospital but after Christmas, I really don't care. He said that one risk of going into the hospital is that when they monitor me twice a day, if they see any type of deceleration in the heartbeat, they will probably automatically whisk me away to surgery before the baby is ready. He said a deceleration is normal once in awhile but if they see it on a monitor, they have to act on it and that means maybe jumping the gun on the delivery. So, if I don't have any problems, no cramping or bleeding or pain, they just may leave me where I am and leave well enough alone for a couple more weeks.

My uncle has been having a rough time but apparently he is doing a bit better these last few days. Thanks for prayers from everyone who has been praying for him. Not sure how long he will have to be in the hospital but they changed a few of his meds. and it sounds like he is doing a little better. So that is another blessing.

Ethan has come down with a cold. He had to have another flu shot the other day and it always seems that a couple of days after the flu shot he always gets just a little bit of a cold. My friends came over last weekend and put up a small Christmas tree for us. Getting our big monster tree out this year is just not practical. So we left it stored away for next year. Ethan loves the Christmas tree. He wants us to turn the lights on every morning when he gets up. He loves to look carefully at the ornaments on it and touch them. He is gentle though, he doesn't try to take them off. I think he will have a fun Christmas this year. Next year will be even better and I am going to go all out next year!

Monday, November 29, 2010

22 weeks and venting again...

Just after Thanksgiving and I don't want to appear ungrateful. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for so many things right now. Here are a few, for example. First, I am thankful that I am still pregnant. I think all of my doctors are too because they both said so. It is a miracle in itself that this is even possible. Generally 9 out of 10 cases of women whose membranes rupture, usually all end in the loss of their pregnancy. So I am indeed thankful that I am one of the lucky ones that has made it this far. The next thing I have to be thankful for is that I am 22 weeks along this journey today. 22 weeks is a magic number because Ryleigh is on the brink of viability (for lack of a better term). There are some known cases of babies who have survived being born at 22 weeks. Every day after this is a huge blessing. When we get to 24 weeks, chances are even better for us. I have so many other blessings in my life that there are just too many to mention. I could literally, go on forever.

Now the reason I am so angry today. My uncle Jim who lives in Quincy is very sick and it is not looking good right now that he will make it. He had a stroke a few weeks ago and has now developed pneumonia. He is back in ICU and there has apparently been discussions of putting him on a ventilator. Basically, this means life support. Now, I am really close to my aunt and uncle. They are my mom's only living relatives that I know. So basically they have, in a way, taken some role as parents to me. I want to be at home right now to be there for him. I am stuck on this stupid couch and cannot go anywhere. If something bad happens, how can I get home? It would require me travelling 2 hours to Quincy which I am sure my doctors would frown upon with good reason and if something happened to me while I am at home, there is no hospital there that could take care of me or Ryleigh. So this really sucks and once again, I am feeling very helpless. I want to go home but for the sake of my baby, I can't. Now, I know that everyone says that God never gives you more than you can handle. But come on, really??? What impeccable timing God has here. Can't we just please have one crisis at a time??? Excuse me if I am a little angry right now but I just can't seem to help it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

21 weeks + 1 day - today's doctor appointment

Today has been a very good day. Let me throw a few technical terms out there first.

First and largest SVP 26 mm!!!!!!!! Crazy good!! Second smaller SVP 12 mm!! Very good too considering anything above 10 is awesome! That is by far the most fluid the baby has had since this whole nightmare began!!

Second and most important. While my wonderful girl, whose name I am not sure of yet but will find out soon, was scanning me this morning we actually watched the baby's chest moving. Know what that means, folks?? She is practicing breathing!! Apparently something that is unheard of at 21 weeks. Normally she said that they don't see that until around 28 weeks. My child is an overachiever already!! What a good girl! Way to go, Ryleigh!! She was also doing some sort of swimming/dance routine in there. Moving around like crazy! Also another excellent sign. So as of now, her chest is not squished and she is able to change positions. Right now both doctors are saying that for her living conditions, she is behaving like a perfectly normal baby! Can you understand how that makes me feel?!?! I wish I could go to the doctor for a scan every day. I think it would give me a little more piece of mind :) Dr. Grant is hoping that I make it to 30 weeks which makes me feel a whole lot better than 28 weeks. We will just have to play it by ear and once we hit 28 weeks, we will see how she is doing. I would like to keep her baking as long as possible. 3 more weeks until I go into the hospital. 9 more weeks and hopefully this whole ordeal will be over and we will have a healthy baby.

Now since I have neglected mentioning Ethan lately, here are some cute and funny things he has been saying and doing.

Last week he tells me "Mommy, I tired. I need coppee (aka coffee)" Today he says "Kelley, zip it". Sure he heard that from daddy. I asked him where baby Ryleigh is. He says "Wiley in mommy's tummy", Wiley in Etan tummy", or "Wiley in daddy's tummy". As he was acting up one day, I asked him if he wanted to go to time out. He says "yes, mommy, I go time out". Guess I will need to come up with something new for time out. He is still the cutest little boy on the planet and I cannot wait until I can pick him up and just squeeze the love right out of him! Can't wait!

Monday, November 22, 2010

21 weeks today!! WOO HOO!!

Today is Monday which means that I have survived another weekend. Oh, how I used to look forward to weekends. Time off from work, time to spend doing fun things with family and especially Ethan. Looking forward to hearing what others did with their time off. Now, I hate the weekends. I actually dread them. I look forward to Monday when I can say that I am another week farther along in this hellish pregnancy. I know every woman on bedrest can relate to this.

This weekend for whatever reason, was by far the worst. I hate being stuck in here when everyone else is outside or doing family things. I miss the holiday parades, getting ready for Thanksgiving, putting up Christmas decorations and I hear everyone else talking about it. It feels like people are being rude or something by telling me those things. Now, I know that is not the case because obviously, I loved to tell people how much I accomplished over the weekends and the fun things that we did with Ethan, etc. So I did it too. It just makes me jealous, I guess. I am sitting here on the couch, trying to save my baby and feeling selfish that I don't want to be stuck here. So there were a lot of mixed emotions going on this weekend. I think the closer the holidays get, the worse it may become. I am also not looking forward to spending 4 weeks worth of nights away from my son. I have never been away from him overnight and now I have to do it for 4 weeks??? That is almost asking too much. Well, it is asking too much.

Last night, I had a reprieve, though. My husband who has been feeling bad for me all weekend, took me for a ride in the car last night. I wasn't exerting myself, just sitting back enjoying the ride with my window open and Ethan chattering in the back seat. I LOVED THAT!! Next we decided to stop and pick up some dinner to take home. It just so happened that we drove by our church which I haven't set foot in for 6 weeks. He pulled into the driveway and asked if I wanted to go in and just sit for a little bit. Well, of course I did. So as the tears welled up, I made my way inside and just sat there and soaked up every moment. Then we all went into the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and prayed together. For a moment, I had gone to heaven.

By the time we got home it was like the weight of the world had been lifted off of me even for just a moment. Bless my husband for everything he has had to put up with. He is truly a rock for me. I don't know what I would do without him and I am positive that if this had happened in my first marriage, the baby probably would not have survived and neither would I. I would have gotten 0% support there.

So for this week of Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for even though I am in this predicament. First, I am thankful that my baby is still alive. Second, I am thankful for the support and strength of my husband and for his strong faith. I am also thankful for my faith which upholds me during this time. Next, I am extremely thankful for my support system beyond my family which includes my friends, my long distance family who do not live here and all of their kind words, deeds and prayers. I am very truly blessed for this Thanksgiving. More so this year than ever before.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

20 weeks, 3 days

Today, I am half way through week 20. Feels like a milestone to at least know that if this were a normal pregnancy, I would be half-way there. This pregnancy unfortunately, has been anything but normal. As my dr. would say, we passed normal a long time ago. But, I still have faith that this is all going to turn out ok. Now, at least I can start to feel little Ryleigh moving around a bit. Every time I feel one of her little kicks, I am completely reassured that she is still ok and still with me. Sometimes I just try to lay as still as I can just so I can feel here movements.

Our ultrasound this week was good. They took measurements of everything. Head, chest, belly and all long bones. According to her measurements, she is right at the 50th percentile. Perfect! They estimated her weight at 12 oz. So not even a pound yet. She is such a strong little girl already. However, one setback that happened is that I had a huge leak right before my appointment. A leak very comparable to the first one. So everything I had saved up the last two weeks was gone right before my ultrasound. But, the doctors are happy that she at least had two weeks of good fluid that she could swim around in so all was not lost and my fluid measurements were not much different than the week before. I had a minor leak this morning but nothing big to speak of. It is a little disappointing though because I think that after 2 weeks of no leaking at all that maybe I am part of that lucky 1% that has resealed. Well, that definitely didn't happen.

Last week, I was crying because I will have to go into the hospital in a couple of weeks. I have completely changed my attitude about all that. I realize that when I get to the hospital, if she is born early, there is a good chance she will still make it. I think once I am there, it will almost be a relief now, in a way. Then, just 4 weeks after that, she will be here.

I have been communicating with another woman who had been through this exact same thing. My doctor was kind enough to get us both connected and she has been more than willing to share her experiences with me. I have found this to be extremely helpful since she had the same doctors and was in the same hospital. She has a cute little 4 year old boy to show for all their hard work and tears. She sent me a picture of him that I keep in my inbox so I will be reminded of the goal at the end of all this. I am very thankful to have found her.

I still count all my blessings and there have been so many. I still thank God every day for all of my friends and family who are supporting us and lifting us up in prayer. Also, so many people have stepped up to help out with cleaning and cooking and errands and some babysitting. It is the little things that make the hugest difference. Just knowing that everyone is behind us and that we are not in this alone.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Random thoughts..

Well, today is day #31 of house arrest. Still feeling cautiously optimistic but also still not sure of what the outcome of this will be. Dwaine and I met with the neonatologist yesterday. He was very nice, very intelligent and seemed to be very caring. Of course, we learned more gloom and doom yesterday also. I now know what the terms hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension are, I know a little about respirators, ventilators and feeding tubes. I know about how difficult it will be to get an airway into my baby, I know about underdeveloped lung tissue and I know about how the heart can take over the chest leaving not much room for lungs. I know the uterus compresses against the baby's chest. I know a lot of things now that I may have been better off not knowing, but we need to know these things just in case. We need to make decisions on how much and how soon we think the baby will be "viable" How soon is too soon and can the baby live if it is too soon or do we let her go? That is the most cruel decision of all. We also learned how technology has developed in even the last couple of years. We learned how much more they know about this problem than before. I know if this had happened with Ethan, there is a really good chance, he wouldn't be here just by how far they have come in the last 2 years. Those are the good things. I will try to focus on these and I will try to focus on those PROM women who have succeeded in having healthy babies. The ones who seemed to have more difficulties than me. The little ones that made it. Those babies are my heroes.

My prayer now is that I can give this situation over to God and let Him handle it. Worry does me no good and it doesn't benefit Ryleigh either. Now, I am praying for patience, acceptance and trust.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pity party

Ok so if you don't want to listen to me feel sorry for myself, it's best not to read this but I have to get it out so that it will go away. So here goes.

First, we will preface this with some good news though. My appointment yesterday went really well again. Everything still looks great as far as the baby goes. Fluid is hanging in there, not quite as good as last week but not bad either. So all in all, good news.

Here comes the "I feel sorry for myself" part. In talking with the dr. yesterday, I made the mistake of asking him if I would be spending any time in the hospital before this was all over with and he of course, told me "yes". It looks like I will be heading to the hospital to spend the rest of my pregnancy when I hit 24 weeks. That's 5 weeks from now. The exact date would be during the week of Dec. 13. So what does this mean? Well, it means I will spend Christmas in the hospital, that's what it means. It means I won't be able to participate in the holidays at all, really. It means no Christmas cards will be sent out, no shopping will be done, and the part that makes me most sad is no Mass on Christmas eve and no family time on Christmas Day. Now, maybe I would be able to handle this if I knew I would be getting out shortly after that. No, I won't deliver until the last week of January. Won't be going home until February and will more than likely have a sick baby in the NICU until Spring. By the time this is all said and done, about half a year of my life will have slipped by. Half a year of Ethan's life will have slipped by and I am not a very good part of it right now as it is.

I can't even take care of my little boy now. I asked Dwaine to leave him home with me this morning while he went to work and I couldn't even take care of him. I am scared and I am starting to question myself as a useful person and a mom. I know that what I am doing is best for our little girl. I am scared there is a pretty good chance she still won't make it. Then all of this time, all of this effort will be for nothing. It makes me furious just to think about it.

It has been forever since I have even had real clothes on. No makeup, hair looks like crap and sweats all the time. Makes me feel really pretty. Every day makes me think that this has been one more day that I have kept my baby. But could this be the day where it all ends? I think about that all the time. Is this the last day I'll have my baby with me? It scares the crap out of me.

I know I am not looking at the big picture right now either. I actually do believe that this will have a positive outcome. I feel like it will anyway. I hope God is not going to disappoint me. I feel like every time I learn to trust, something is taken away from me. It happened when my mom died, then my dad died, now I am afraid of losing a baby. I really don't think I can handle that.

Ok, I think I have purged enough and hopefully I will begin to feel better now. Just needed to get it out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Doctor's report

Well, I had my weekly doctor visits yesterday. I am now seeing both doctors once a week. Dr. Grant, my high risk specialist, and Dr. Moreton my regular OB. Dr. Grant has pretty much taken over my case but the two communicate and share reports weekly. Dr. Grant does an ultrasound weekly and checks the baby and the fluid levels. Dr. Moreton has taken over the role of counselor which is very helpful to me at this time.

So first, I had my weekly ultrasound. Here's how the fluid levels go. They find the largest pocket of fluid and measure its length in mm. I have two pockets of fluid (bonus!) I ruptured on Oct. 12th and have no idea how much fluid I had and at the time, I was in no state of mind to even think to ask. I just knew it wasn't enough. The next week, that single pocket of fluid measured 13 mm. The bottom of the range is 10mm so that is great! And that is when they found the second pocket of fluid. Not sure what it measured that week. The next week, 10/26, That large pocket went down to 11 mm and the second pocket was 6 mm. One close to normal range, the other one, far from it. This week 11/2, the large packet measured 18 and the smaller one measured 13!! YIPPEE!! I drank like a fish this week (water, that is) so I like to think I had a hand in helping things along - besides what God did. Little sis was moving around and swallowing with a full stomach and bladder. All excellent signs. The doctor congratulated us on a job well done this week and told us he would see us next week. So good report!

Next was Dr. Moreton (my counselor). He always makes sure my mind can handle all of these things. He also knew how excited I was about such a good report. He also helps me to become aware of reality. We aren't out of the woods yet. I know this may still end up with a bad result, then he tells me that God has a plan in all of this and whatever happens, he says he is proud of me for trying to do the best thing for this baby. He also vows to do everything in his power to see that this baby gets every chance for survival. How many doctors would say that? How many doctors would tell you that they are proud of you for choosing life for your child? How many doctors would tell you that God is watching over you? I don't know of a single one, except for him. I have a new respect for him and I trust in everything he says and does. I am so blessed this week.

November is the month of Thanksgiving. Right now, even in this inconvenient circumstance, I have so much to be thankful for.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family vacation

Marathon runner

I have recently come to the conclusion that bed rest is very similar to running in any sort of distance race, whether it be a marathon or a half marathon or whatever. I recently completed my first half marathon this past July. I trained for it for over 5 months. During that 5 months we learned to build endurance and speed. Those 5 months also required a lot of patience. Not only do you have to have patience to complete the distance but you have to have patience to complete the training. There are setbacks along the way. One or two missed training runs can cause a delay or make it more difficult to accomplish the goal you have set for yourself. Injury is also a big setback. You need time to heal and then try to make up lost time that you were not running due to the injury.

When it finally came time for the actual race itself, I was very scared. Scared that I would not be able to finish. Scared that I would end up being disappointed in myself. Scared that I would disappoint everyone else that I told about running in this race. I didn't want to come back and have to tell everyone that I could not finish. The morning of the race, the odds seemed to be stacked against me right away. It was so humid, I could hardly breathe. After I completed the first 3 miles, I became so nauseated I didn't know if I would be able to finish. When that happens, your mind starts to tell you to just give it up, it's not worth it. What glory is there in finishing anyway? About the 8th mile, it started to rain. Not just any rain but a severe thunderstorm and by this time I was at the very end of the pack. The police were behind me telling me that they would be happy to drive me back to the finish line. I was about two seconds from jumping in that car and saying "forget this!" Then a girl who was with me said that she was not quitting unless they made her quit. So amidst the rain, wind, lightning and nausea, I decided that I was finishing this thing come hell or high water!!

Well, I finished. I cried as I crossed the finish line. The rush from that accomplishment was awesome! And it was a lesson learned that I did not know I would use until now. (did I mention that a week later I found out I was pregnant? So not only did I run in the conditions mentioned above, I was pregnant too!!)

If I can finish a half marathon, I can do this bed rest thing too. The race was a lesson in patience and a lesson in controlling what my head tells me. My head tells me that I won't be able to do this without going stark raving mad! My head tells me that there is a high probability that I may still loose this baby especially since there is no chance yet that she can live outside my body. My head is telling me that my body is not a good home for this baby anyway. My head tells me that even if I make it, there still may be something seriously wrong with this baby in the end. My head tells me that all the odds are stacked against me.

My heart tells me that I can do anything with God's help. My heart tells me that God will not leave me. My heart tells me that even if something does happen, He is here to comfort me. My heart tells me that the prize at the finish line is so valuable that there is nothing that will stand in my way to get it. During the run, I listened to my heart and I knew I could do it and I did! Now, I am learning again to listen to my heart and I know I will reach the end and there will be a wonderful outcome and a precious little girl at the finish line. I know that with so many people praying for us, there is no way that God will deny us this child. He is just making us work for her. No one said it would be easy but it will be worth it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 17 of house arrest

Our latest trip to the doctor was two days ago. Every doctors visit includes an ultrasound, a visit with Dr. Grant and then a follow up visit with Dr. Moreton. So first thing was the ultrasound. It didn't show as much fluid as last week. There was a SVP measuring 11mm and another pocket measuring 6mm. The bottom of the range should be at least 10 mm. I don't know what it was last week, I think I was a little too freaked out to remember to ask. The baby still appears to be in stable condition. We could see her bladder and her stomach which means that she has enough fluid to swallow and for kidney function. Both excellent signs. We also watched her suck on her hand and move her jaw which means she was swallowing too. Good news! Dr. Grant came in after that to explain everything to us. He was slightly concerned that the fluid level was not as much but he said it would fluctuate. After two weeks of bedrest and finding out there isn't as much fluid is, to say the least, a little disheartening. Seems like you try your best and it isn't good enough although I know I am not in control of that situation. He also said that if the fluid consistently goes down or no more is made, they would check possible problems with my placenta. GREAT, another potential problem. But I know that is just something he has to prepare me for just in case. I am not thinking that anything else is wrong and I am going to drink a ton of water this week. Overall though, he gave us a good report.

Next was our visit with Dr. Moreton. He is my regular OB and since Dr. Grant has taken over my pregnancy, Dr. Moreton acts mostly as my counselor. He does his best to make sure that mentally, I am able to cope with things. Which, some days are better than others. He is also trying to get us set up with a neonatologist. He answers all of my questions, no matter how dumb I think they are. He has even called me at home to check on me.

I am lucky to have such wonderful doctors taking care of me. I truly feel like they care about me and about keeping this child healthy and alive. Not once did either one of them try to talk me into terminating this pregnancy which, I think is a wonderful thing. I could never do that. So they are trying to give her every opportunity to make it by taking care of me.

So, now we keep doing what we are doing and wait until next Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A fork in the road

I know I haven't blogged in forever but now is a new twist in our journey.

In July, I found out that I was pregnant with our second child. Miracle of all miracles! We wanted two children and now with Ethan getting ready to turn two, we figured we were ready again. We were still signed up for the adoption in case we could not get pregnant again. This is a true miracle that it happened twice! I had the usual pregnancy symptoms or the same ones I had with Ethan. Indigestion, nausea, fatigue, you know how that all goes.

On October 12, 15 weeks into the pregnancy, one of the worst possible things happened. My water broke. The medical term for what happened is preterm premature rupture of membranes or pPROM. It happened at 6:00 on a Tuesday morning while I was asleep. No symptoms, no warnings, just leaking almost all of the amniotic fluid. Frantically I called the doctor who told me to come in as soon as the office opened. The grim look on his face told us everything we already dreaded. He said that the baby was still alive but most likely in the next couple of days, I would go into labor and miscarry. We were devastated. My OB also called down the hall to an OB high risk specialist who agreed to see me right away. While in his office, he did two more ultrasounds and told me that if I heeded to strict bed rest, there was a chance that the baby may live to prematurity. Which means that as soon as they think the baby can live on her own, they will do a c-section and she will live outside the womb until she is ready to function on her own outside the NICU. Yes, we also found out that the baby is more than likely a girl.

So to make a long story short I have made it two more weeks on bed rest, and our little girl has hung in there right along with me. There is still some fluid but not a lot. There is enough for the baby to swallow and filter through her kidneys. These things are both crucial for the survival of our baby. And, we have hundreds of people praying for us. That is what helps the most. I have found a great support group online for women who have the exact same condition that I do. I guess you call it a condition. I have done more research on PROM than I ever imagined since I have never heard of it before. You see, it only happens in 1-2% of all pregnancies. So unfortunately, I am unusual. Maybe I should have bought a lottery ticket that day too. Seems like my chances of hitting the lottery would have been better than this.

There are many things that can go even more wrong down the road but we are praying for nothing short of a miracle in this pregnancy. After all, Ethan was a miracle so I believe in miracles. So for now, everything is stable and we just take one day at a time.

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Christmas with Chris & Stacy &Lily

We finally celebrated Christmas together in January. We very much enjoyed spending time with my brother and his new wife and Lily.

In case you haven't noticed, I have changed the layout of my blog just a bit. It was originally supposed to be a journal of our adoption journey. However, that is on hold right now. As sad as it makes me, I can't keep writing about something that I really don't think is going to happen. We have been logged into China for almost 3 years now and it looks like it could be about 4-6 more years. There are many reasons why. At least that is what the China government says. I really am tired of explaining them all. I feel as if I am defending them and I can't. It is a tragedy and I would rather not explain the wait times any more. So for now, we won't be blogging about our adoption anymore. Thanks for understanding.

In the meantime, we are enjoying Ethan with all of our hearts and are extremely lucky and blessed to have him in our lives. He is truly a miracle.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm finally walking! 1/7/10 at

This pretty much tells you all what we have been up to lately. Being a mom is a blast!