Thursday, June 30, 2011

14 weeks & new room preparations

Yay for 14 weeks. Only 26 more until 40 weeks!

This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.

In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.

Other than tired and hormonal, I'm hanging in there. And I've developed a rather odd craving for McDonald's of all food. Seriously, this baby has some taste. Why can't I crave something good for me? Like fruit?

We got Elisa's bedding in the mail this week and she was soooo excited. She immediately jumped on the package and demanded that we take it out for her to look at and play with. She gets angry when we take it away and put it up lol.

She also has discovered running. It's so hilarious watching her run back and forth in the room, her little shoulders pushed back and this look of pure ecstasy on her face. You can just see in her eyes her imagination as she sees the wind in her hair, etc. It's so cute. She also has started breaking into random song, a combination of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, ABC song and Old McDonald. She really is growing up before my very eyes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Busy weekend

But not too busy that we weren't able to enjoy the simple things in life. Like splashing in water!

Saturday, however, was a day of productivity. Daddy and Elisa went out and had a great daddy and me day and I stayed home and began work on the guest room. I got my list made, the extra stuff we've stored in there for 6 years for who knows why, tossed out. We made room in our bedroom closet to move stuff into there that was stored in the guest room closet by giving away any clothes we haven't worn in years. I got the bedding purchased and the painting party "on the calendar."

Lets just say that the 2nd trimester energy must be in some ways coming in. However, I may have over done it as I spent yesterday evening and all of today just flat worn out.

But I'm excited. I showed Elisa my idea for her new room and she got really excited (as much as a 19 month old can. But she did jump up and down on her knees and point at the screen with an excited noise when I showed it to her.)

I'm hoping by involving her as much as I can in the process, the transition to the new room will go much smoother. My goal is to have her room done by August so we can start naps in the new room then and hopefully by her birthday have her transitioned entirely to the new room. That gives me two months to clean out the nursery and get it prepared for Shrimp, and Elisa 2 months to adjust to the new surroundings before her world goes completely upside down.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Odd longings

Pregnancy after a preemie.

It's a rather daunting prospect. In some ways, it's allowed me to be able to relax a little bit more and enjoy this pregnancy more. I'm not so scared this time around. Not like I was with Elisa. Every appointment I went to for Elisa, I was terrified she would be gone. Every day I waited for that other shoe to drop.

But thanks to what I went through with her, I know so much more. And it's allowed me to fight to get what I needed from the medical field so far. It's made me a "priority" with the doctor's office. I love my OB, but I wasn't too thrilled with her back staff. And this time, I'm not scared every time I go in. Even when I went in for spotting, I still wasn't scared. It's sort of like I just have this peace with this one. That it is what it is and it's going to turn out how it will turn out. It's like in having my heart broken and picking up the pieces and carrying them around has in some odd way increased my faith in God. As I've said before, He gave me everything He promised me He would. Just wasn't the way I would have liked it.

So that being said, I will admit to a few things. And the reason I'm writing tonight. I just feel a need to say it.

Flashbacks. Yes. They are back. Those last 3 weeks of my pregnancy with Elisa keep flashing through my mind at odd random moments. Don't really have any pattern to them. They just appear. I'm told from friends who have had pregnancies after traumatic ones like having a preemie, that this is common and that they will most likely escalate badly from 26-29 weeks and then once I'm beyond 30 weeks will slow down and even possibly go away. I hope so. For the most part I'm handling them ok. But they do make me sad.

In addition, I find myself with this odd desire to go back to Arizona. I think it's because it's "known." I know how things work at that hospital. I know the people. I know the NICU. I know how it works and runs and how to work the battles that inevitably come up there. I know who to turn to in order to get something done. It's just known. And in a world of unknown right now, it's comforting.

Doesn't mean I'll go back. Still want to have this baby term and at home. But someday, I will go back to show Elisa where she started her life and hopefully meet some of the amazing people who helped make it possible for her to come home.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Week 13 and shrimp!

Yeah, maybe it's this description that I really got the Shrimp nickname with Elisa? Lol, oh well. Here we are at 13 weeks:

Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.

I'm exhausted and not sleeping. Not just from Elisa being sick but just from constant back aches when I lay down. But this too shall pass!

Elisa seems to be doing better. Fever only spiked the once yesterday precipitating the visit to the doctor. We gave her motrin today when she started acting like another was coming on. She's still not eating well but we've found a trick with the nebulizer.

Apparently giving her the piece she can bite and chew and then putting cartoons on loudly to cover up the sound of the neb and medicine coming through the tubes keeps her occupied. So far she's taken in parts of Finding Nemo and Veggie Tales the Star of Christmas. As much as I love singing to her, singing for 15 minutes straight is hard lol. Glad this has worked. Plus it seems to be keeping her much calmer and less distressed than just my singing.

What a night!

Fun times right?

I've avoided this scene for 19 months. Rather surprised I've gotten away with it for that long. So was the doctor and nurse we saw tonight when they realized how early she had been. I also found it quite interesting how concerned they became when they heard her lungs and then found out how early she was. Seemed to ramp up their concern a little bit about her lungs sounding so bad.

So what's the story? Well, ever since we came back from vacation, Elisa just hasn't been herself. Up hours at night screaming. We couldn't find a cause. No fever, no nothing. She's had a bit of a runny nose and a cough and was pulling at her ear. So we watched her, suspecting an ear infection, but with the absence of any sort of fever (which was really high the last time she had one) just thought maybe she had a little cold.

Then we find the molar. AHA. Cause of it all, right? Wrong. The fever told me so. Teething does not cause fevers. So off to the doctor we go. We also thought she may have had a UTI due to some other symptoms she had.

The result? The ear infection we suspected. Pretty badly I guess as it warranted medications this time. That and to kill two birds with one stone. It's possible she does have a UTI but the doc didn't want to test as the meds for the ear infection would clear it up if she did. Her lungs were full in all quadrants but the bottom. Joy. Oh joy oh joy. So home we went, our arms full of medications and a new addition to our family. A nebulizer. I don't think I've ever heard or seen her scream quite so much as she did when she saw that mask coming towards her. And I have to do this 4 times a day for the next 2 at least. If not longer. Depending on how she sounds on Friday.

Fun times. She's zonked out. Wish I could be.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

12 weeks

So, I'll try to post every week right now and hopefully this time, we get to week 39.

We have made it to the all important "12 week" mark. Meaning the risk of miscarriage has dropped dramatically. So Shrimp #2 is well on his or her way to term. As term is our next battle.

The most dramatic development this week: Reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over two inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

I've been able to find the heart beat since week 10 (yay!) but not regularly. Shrimp does like to hide from me on a regular basis. But I always find them again. I hope we don't like to play hide and seek as much as Elisa did though.

So you may be wondering what our "plan of action" is. Well, if you remember back a few months ago when I was ranting all about Makena and the p17 shot? So I will be placed on the p17 but have already made it clear to my provider that I do NOT want the Makena version. Since they are still making the compounded versions, I have that right. Starting at week 14, I will begin receiving these shots weekly until week 37. I will be monitored much more closely and even will be receiving cervix length checks (I'm assuming by ultrasound, I haven't asked the method yet) beginning at week 18. They are doing this just to make sure an incompetent cervix wasn't the cause of Elisa's PTL. I've become familiar with the local perinatal group who will take on my care if I do end up in pre-term labor again and they will be consulting with my OB. Don't worry, I did scout out a new OB well in advance to embarking on this journey. And they are stating that unless I am contracting, there is NO reason to take Shrimp at week 37 and that I can go as long as 39 weeks. I'm hoping for every week and 39 weeks would be awesome! So that's how it stands at the moment.

In other news, we just returned home from an AWESOME vacation.

Elisa is a GREAT traveler. She handled each new place with ease and slept fairly well for the most part. Only had trouble with her one night, really. All the others, she adjusted to the time change and the different surroundings with ease. We drove up to Michigan and saw my aunts and uncles from my mom's side and then returned home through St. Louis where we saw two old friends and even stopped to visit the zoo. It was a BLAST and we are still trying to recover from all the excitement. I think we'll need a week to get our energy back. I'm glad we planned it to have at least a weekend to recover before getting back to the grind.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Puddle jumping and....

(sorry for the blurriness. I took these using zoom on my phone camera, and well, it just isn't good lol)

Elisa has loved water from the very beginning. I've heard over and over about babies who can't stand bath time. Many say it's because they are cold or something like that. Regardless of the cold or not, Elisa has always LOVED her bath.

No surprise that puddles would also attract her. And boy did we find some puddles.

We did not, however, enjoy the sand in certain parts of the puddle if we were standing in it. However, we did get massive enjoyment out of flinging the sand and water up in the air and onto ourselves. The result?

What's that on her shirt? Besides the dirt? I'm a big sister?

Yup. Shrimp #2 is safely baking away so far. Due December 29th (Daddy's birthday!!!) However, if I manage to get to term, the longest they will let me go is December 22nd. So here's praying for 26 more LONG UNEVENTFUL weeks.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's all about perspective...again

I realized something today as we were hanging out at the pool. Met the father of a 9 month old.

And we began discussing the birth weight of our babies. He has a rather large 9 month old and said her birth weight with pride.

And I, just as prideful, announced that Elisa was 2 lb 13 oz at birth.

Didn't go further and he didn't ask. Maybe he assumed she was early. Either way, it didn't matter.

I'm PROUD of my preemie. And am amazed by her.

We went on to discuss current weight. I'll admit. I chuckled when he said this 9 mo old was 3 lbs heavier than my 19 month old.

Ahh. The passage of time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fun in the sun!

This is what I will call a lazy post. In other words, nothing but pictures. Enjoy!

Oh, well, these need captions. Like mother, like daughter...we are "organizing" the cups.

Dunkin' Daddy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why I share Elisa's story

John 9:1-4

New International Version (NIV)

John 9
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

Now, the verse starts out a bit strange when you think about the point of the story. But without the start, the end doesn't make much sense.

You are probably wondering, what does this have to do with sharing Elisa's story? Well, it's like verse three says "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."

Elisa's story is amazing. Scary, but amazing. She survived and thrived. I personally believe it's because of God. She was meant to be here, God made it happen. It's like a fellow preemie mom said:

"It is entirely God's Providence and Grace. At least, it is so in my book. I remember feeling the entire time on bedrest this strange Peace and Comfort, knowing that everything will be a-ok. When I delivered my son at 28,3, I kept thinking - 'this can't be, God promised me it will be ok'. Guess what? God delivered. He did not reneg on His promise. It's just that it went down differently than I thought it would."

I feel much the same way. I share her story so that maybe others in the same shoes will see it and have hope. That maybe they will believe and maybe they will find the same comfort I have found. No things didn't go the way I wanted them to, but they had a purpose. God delivered to me what I asked for, a healthy baby girl.