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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!