Sunday, October 30, 2011

Photo bomb!

Since I'm just way too tired from this crazy weekend to do anything else but post some photos, check out these from Elisa's party.

Oh and here's a sneak peak of the maternity pictures! :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

2 years later

Dear Elisa,

There are no words adequate enough to describe how much your father and I love you. These last two years have been full of such joy and love. They started out rather scary, but you quickly showed us that we had nothing to fear. You were stronger than your circumstances.

As you've grown in both skills and personality, you've shown us a little girl full of tenacity, stubbornness and a love for drama and attention. In the lime light is where you love to be. You search the room for the best place to perform in order to gain the most attention.

Your smile and your laugh light up a room. In fact just your presence and aura does. You catch on so quickly to new concepts that you constantly amaze us. Preemie what? You weren't early. You were just little.

As we enter the next chapter of your life and welcome into your world another brother or sister, just remember that we will always love you. In many ways our love for you will be so different because we fought for you so hard. You may never know or understand just how much we fought for you, to give you the best we could after life threw us a curve ball we couldn't stop and didn't want.

We hope that on this day of your 2nd birthday, you will somehow know all that we feel for you, even if you don't understand it yet.


Mom and Dad

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So in awe

Totally amazed and in awe that I only have 6 weeks left until term. 42 days. When I started this journey, I never expected to end here, really. I was continually warned that after all that went down with Elisa, I was more likely to have another preemie, even earlier than I had her. That there were things they could do to help prevent that but of course there is no guarantee.

So here I sit, amazingly, at 31 weeks. Two whole weeks past Elisa. One week away from lung maturity. 3 weeks away from suck, swallow, breathe being developed. 3 weeks away from where they won't stop labor if it happens. 6 weeks and this little one could be here. After this week, 4 weeks until I'm on leave.


At my appointment yesterday, the doc mentioned that she thinks something more than just pre-term labor was happening with Elisa. Maybe it was some sort of infection or bad placenta. They tested both my placenta and my amniotic fluid in the hospital and both of those came back negative. Maybe it really is the p17 making the difference? I had an irritable uterus with her as well as this one. But this one, it didn't do but minimal change to the cervix? Could my stress be more under control? I don't think so...I'm a high stress person. I just AM. Also said they don't schedule the c-section until 4 weeks before, so probably not until mid November will I be able to schedule my day. But oh well. :)

Today, I am 31 weeks. Tomorrow, Elisa is 2.

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

5 more shots. The countdown is truly on.

Oh! And for the first time, boy overtook girl on the poll! Girl had such a big lead for so long I'm surprised. But I guess we'll see in December. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I can and WILL do this.

Sometimes we just need a good 'ole pep talk. This whole pregnancy thing is hard. Made even harder, for me, anyway, by all the memories and thoughts of what could have, should have been with Elisa.

But the reality is it WASN'T with Elisa, but COULD be for this little one. It really could. I am just 5.5 short weeks away from that amazing magic number of 37.

And you know what? I'm actually going to DO all of those normal, pregnant momma things that I never got a chance to do with Elisa.

The obligatory belly shot. (I swear I looked better in the mirror...I just don't photograph well lol)

I've scheduled a pre-delivery tour with the hospital we will deliver at. Seemed a bit silly since I've already been there twice and have a good idea of what the room looks like. But honestly have no clue what will happen once I get there. So hoping to get those questions answered.

And I've schedule a maternity shoot with my soon to be sister-in-law. She is dabbling in what has always been a hobby for her and since she will be here for Elisa's party this weekend, I asked if she'd be willing to take some of me. I am sooooo excited. I know she'll be able to make my mug look somewhat good.

I'm also planning on speaking with my OB tomorrow about *gasp* scheduling my c-section date!!!! I had originally thought that Dec 22nd would be the perfect day (39 weeks on the dot) but I sit here now and wonder, what about Dec 14th or 18th? Both are very significant days. December 14th was the day Elisa was released from the hospital. December 18th was the day we finally came home. Since I don't know the first thing about scheduling a c-section we will see what they say in terms of what dates I have available to choose from. :)

Fun things I'm finding about this part of the pregnancy.

1. I can no longer see my toes unless I bend forward a little bit.
2. I keep hitting my belly on objects. I'm just not used to it being there!
3. Random strangers keep coming up to either congratulate me or "oooh" and "ahhh" at my belly.
5. Sometimes I wonder if anyone else notices the squirmy belly. Then I have to giggle because I think too much it's like Alien. There's this little human in there squirming and dancing around and one day is going to want out.
6. Someone once said when you get this far you get to do the guess what body part that is game. Yup. Doing it, and it's a blast. Although I do get scared sometimes I'm going to poke something rather important. Oh and I've found, this one pokes back. Buggar.

Ahh two more days to 31. Next appointment - tomorrow. Some day soon I should be getting that third trimester ultrasound thanks to the GD. Wow, this pregnancy has flown past...

Monday, October 24, 2011

These are the moments to remember

Elisa's version of the ABC song.

I love this little girl so much. Her spunky personality. Her unwillingness to sit still for a moment. Can't believe she's almost two.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What a fun day!

Yeah. This is going to be one of those weekends that I need a week to recover from.

Decided to take advantage of the little bit of energy I had while I had it.

The day started with some good ole organizing and cleaning. Meaning I finally packaged up all the clothes in the corner of the bedroom that were meant to be donated as I no longer wore them. Some were as old as college days that I just couldn't part with. But my bulging closet and lack of room for more clothes determined the need to get rid of a large portion of my unused wardrobe and give it to someone who would actually get use out of it.

Then came good ole fashioned retail therapy. In the form of some Halloween decorations and, well, more organizational tools. Finally had an idea of what to do with that darn catch all breakfast bar in the kitchen. Hopefully when it's done, that counter can remain a bit cleaner.

The day is never complete without doing something for someone else. Even though being pregnant prevented me from joining in the fun, I did "supervise" a crew from Quest as they raked lawns in a nearby neighborhood. Next up? Raking each others lawns! :) Something I will truly enjoy. Again from the sidelines. But maybe this time I can make some cookies. That I can't eat, but hey, it's not for me is it?

Finally, after dinner with friends and family we went to the Pumpkin Parade! It was our first time visiting but was really a neat idea. Lots of local organizations carved pumpkins, placed them along a path in the park and opened it up for everyone to walk through. There were some very creative pumpkins. Including one with the words "RIP Mom" carved in it...hmmm. Wonder if I should be scared about that one...

Elisa even became an honorary firefighter! :) She actually posed for a picture!

Tomorrow means even more crafting (I know, two weekends in a row?!), building the shelves for my organizational idea and putting up more Halloween decorations. Yeah, I'm going to be tired come Monday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

30 weeks

And this about explains my thoughts on the matter.

I'm shocked, really. I LOVE that I have a 3 in my number of weeks and that it is the FIRST number instead of the last. But still, I can hardly believe I'm sitting here.

I actually went and scheduled my "pre-delivery" visit with the hospital that I am now confirmed to be delivering at. Since I made 30 weeks, I can now deliver with my current OB instead of being transferred. Which I rather like. Much closer hospital than to the one I'd have to go to if I were to have delivered before now. I went back and forth with myself on having this visit. Mainly because I've already been to L&D at the hospital twice now. I think I know what the rooms look like. And it's not like I have a choice in rooms. I'll get what I get when I get there. And that's fine. But ultimately decided to do it so that I can get answers to those questions that are burning in my brain. Like, what happens in a term c-section birth? Do I get handed the baby immediately (of course after it's cleaned up and checked out by a pediatrician) or do I simply get shown the baby and then it goes to a well nursery while I recover? Does baby stay with me in recovery if I do get to see and hold him or her immediately? Do I go to a separate recovery room or will I be put back in my original "holding" room in L&D? Is there a separate post partum area? With it being a c-section I'll be in more than just overnight. Probably 4 days like I was with Elisa.

Sooooo many questions...that I have no answer for. It really is funny to me. Here I am with kid number 2 and I don't know any of these things? Seriously. I find it odd that it seems like I am more "comfortable" with a premature birth because at least then I know what to expect. All of this is completely new territory for me. Here I am. 30 weeks pregnant. And actually looking like I may get 7 more weeks out of this? Now things could change at the drop of a hat, I am aware of that. I have no notion of any sort of "birth plan" or plan at all when it comes to this whole thing. If there is anything Elisa taught me, it's that I can plan all I want when it comes to kiddos....but ultimately they hold all the cards.

So...Shrimp 2 at 30 weeks:

Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

Amazed that Elisa is 8 days away from being 2. And we are 11 days from November. I start leave the first part of December. In all reality, I only have about 6 weeks of work left...that's not much time at all. And then, then we will be a family of 4...

If you haven't already...guess if Shrimp is a boy or girl! I love seeing the numbers go up. Interesting that girl is winning so far...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Getting into the spirit.

The holiday spirit that is.

I haven't really "felt" that spirit for a few years now. Not sure why. Just didn't seem to hold the same excitement and anticipation that it did as a child. I'd have bouts where I was really into it, and then others where I could care less. These last few years have been on the just could care less side.

So I was surprised as I sat here today and I got bitten by a bug. The crafty, holiday spirit, lets decorate the house for Halloween bug. Really?

So...I did. I googled for ideas and suggestions. I found some great things for Elisa's party the end of this month. And I found a how to on making Halloween cut outs.

Now let me preface this picture by saying I am NOT an artist. I am very creative, in my own way. And I have great ideas of things I'd love the create. Unfortunately, they never turn out in real life as I see them in my head. So usually, anything crafty, I leave alone. Still don't know what got into me...

What was even better was I didn't spend a dime on any of this! I used things I already had sitting around at home. Gobs of construction paper from Andrew's teaching days, a bit of laminator paper leftover from a bright idea early last year that, well, never panned out. Elisa loved them. Kept walking up to the pumpkins saying "Hi pumpkin!" Of course, we have to keep admonishing her to not pull them off the door, but her little eyes just lit up watching me put them up.

So for now, I'll sit back and enjoy my little bit of attempt to bring some holiday spirit to our house.

I even have vague notions of changing it out to a more "fall" theme for Thanksgiving. Although...we'll see how I feel when November comes around before I go that far. But right now the idea has merit.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

29 weeks and counting...

At 29 weeks:

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

Sadly, I don't need Babycenter to tell me what my baby looks like at 29 weeks. It's something I know from personal experience.

I can easily imagine what this one must look like now. Only it's probably bigger thanks to the GD. Maybe even venturing on the 3lb mark, with how close Elisa was to that three pound mark. And, well, Elisa as right on 15 inches at 29 weeks so it's easy enough to imagine this one is as well.

Odd to think about as I feel this one squirm in me. But I won't go down that road right now. Right now, I'm just going to still take it day by day. Because, to be honest, I'm struggling a bit with anxiety. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

At this weeks regular OB appointment I learned a few things. 1. The recent contractions I've been experiencing are not considered labor, so I don't have to worry (yet) about having to deliver possibly before 36 weeks. In fact, my doc said I can schedule my c-section for 39 weeks and if I end up needing it before then, well, it happens before then. 2. I'm apparently a "pre-term contractor." Not entirely sure what that phrase means but I'm taking it to mean my body just likes to have contractions. Since I've been having them for 10 weeks now and as I get bigger, the more I get. I've had several bouts of 9-10 an hour. Just LOVELY. And 3. They won't try to stop labor after 34 weeks. Now I'm not entirely happy about that one. I'd want them to fight to keep this baby cooking until term. I was so surprised I didn't think to ask why. Hopefully I'll remember next time. But information I've received from friends seems to indicate that it's either because of the classic cut of my section or that it's more dangerous for baby to stop labor at 34 weeks than to allow it to just happen.

Either way, I'm hoping for 10 more weeks. Just 10 more weeks. That's not too much to ask is it?

Monday, October 10, 2011


This picture has been spreading around my Facebook friends. Seems especially relevant to me right now as I feel my confidence waning towards actually making it term. Maybe it's the upcoming milestone of 29 + 1, which occurs on Friday. Maybe it's the constant UTI's causing contractions and contractions do a number on my psyche. Maybe it's the changes that I'm sure happen in the third trimester, but I don't know what's a normal change. And what's not.

Who knows. All I know is with God's help, I made it through the premature birth of Elisa. Surely I can survive the unknown of the third trimester pregnancy, when in all reality I know this baby could come anytime now? And I have no control over it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


On this day, I was picked up extra early by the shuttle service to head to the airport. I think it was something stupid early like 4 am or something. I remember thinking it was odd that the cramping I'd been experiencing only in the evenings was still there that morning, but I dismissed it. I chatted with the driver, and was excited as I knew this would be my last plane ride of the year. Little did I know.

I board my plane, all seems well. I'm trying to stay hydrated. Hard to do on a plane. Land for the layover in Minneapolis I believe and go on the hunt for a bathroom. Found it hard to believe that EVERY bathroom on the long trek from one gate to the next was CLOSED for cleaning. Was it a conspiracy? Not only were they closed, but only the WOMEN'S were closed. I chatted with a vendor right across from the bathroom and she said she would just go to the door and tell them I'm pregnant and I gotta pee! Thankfully, one opened up right then. I was desperate enough I would have gone in the mens lol.

I don't notice the cramping at this point, think I was just too busy. I remember feeling extremely tired but chalked it up to being 26 weeks pregnant and flying. Flying takes it out on me at the best of times. Finally we load the plane and leave for Phoenix.

I remember the descent into Phoenix and I had this odd flutter/feel in my chest. Like an odd inclination that SOMETHING wasn't right. But I didn't know what it was. Left the plane and headed to baggage claim to wait for my checked bags. On the way, I found yet another bathroom (ahh the life of the late 2nd trimester, early 3rd trimester). While in there, I noticed something odd. That something was THE plug.

And I went, that's not good.

So I called my OB's office, who advised me to head to the nearest hospital. I didn't go right away. No, I had luggage to get and a rental car to pick up. Why on EARTH I thought it was a good idea to wait in an hour long line at the rental car company, not to mention the shuttle ride over there is beyond me. But all I can think is I must not have been that worried. I mean, those re-grow right?

Finally get my car and head down the highway. A local friend had recommended I go to Banner Good Samaritan as it was right by the airport and right off the highway. I tried to follow the hospital signs from the highway, but lets say they were not well marked.

The type A in me was on the phone with the insurance company, making sure that hospital was in network since I didn't have the ability to look it up myself. As I was pulling into the ER parking lot, they advised me it was.

In I went, hustled through the ER in a wheelchair (I still didn't realize I could go straight to L&D) and dropped off at L&D. The triage/admittance nurse taking my information was due the same day I was. I remember looking at her, and looking at myself. I hardly looked pregnant compared to her.

I still remember the shock in the doctor's voice when she checked me, finding out I was dialating and contracting. She had been reassuring me that this happens all the time, it's nothing really. I had even asked her if I should call my husband and she said not yet. Next thing I know, people are flying around me, turning me on the bed, shoving IV's in my arms and shots in my hip. I have NO clue what they are giving me. Later I find out it's starting a big bullos dose of Magnesium and the first round of the steroid shots. Sometime during this I call Andrew. Andrew calls my mom, my mom calls me. At some point someone called my boss. All of this is a blur. Doc comes in with an ultrasound machine to do a quick scan for size and asks me if I knew it was a boy. I didn't and again, the shock in her face of uh oh, she didn't want to know. Then I'm in a hallway. I know my bum is flashing everyone, but the magnesium was making me so sick and I was in such shock, I didn't really care. I start to dry heave. A new doctor, a perinatologist, is standing by my bed telling me they are preparing a room for me (I'd only been in the triage section so far.) The doctor and nurse had to scramble to get a bed pan as I emptied the entire contents of my belly. Next up in the IV was an anti-nausea med.

I don't know where my items are that I brought in with me and at this point I don't care. I know I ended up with all of them at one point later that day. My friend came to visit me who was local and found my rental car and my suitcase so I could take out my contacts. I don't know if I ever washed the makeup off my face. Maybe a nurse did? I don't really remember much from this point on. Too much magnesium maybe. Phone calls telling me my husband would be there in the morning, the hotel I was supposed to go to arranged to pick him up. My parents would be there later that next day. They'd stay in the hotel room arranged for my original stay.

Two years later and two weeks to the DAY further on in my pregnancy. I'm in my own bed, in my own home. The milestones keep coming.

Pretty soon, I'll reach a whole new one. The one of being the MOST pregnant I've ever been. Saturday, October 15th can't get here soon enough.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ringing in the new trimester

With a visit to L&D.

Let's just say that my kiddos know how to create drama. This coming from a person who, really, deplores drama.

Yesterday, I woke up with more of the mild cramping I'd been experiencing with my previous UTI but I noticed it was now intermittent. I decided to burn up some of my vacation time and took yesterday afternoon and today off.

Good thing I did. When around noon, I was still noticing the intermittent pains and some what I call more like contractions (but not painful) I thought I should lay down and count these. Put Elisa down for her nap, and did just that. Imagine my surprise when I counted 9 in one hour. After laying down and downing 64 oz of water. Oh joy. So call into the doctor and 20 minutes later "orders" to go straight to L&D. Drop Elisa off at grandma's and off we went.

Of course we get there and hook up to the monitors and I don't have a single contraction in the first 20 minutes. I'm going, great, they are going to think I just freaked out. Nah, why would I do that? The nurse did seem rather surprised when they started showing up, and not only showing up but increasing in both intensity and frequency. She was rather surprised to hear they didn't hurt. After about 90 minutes she came back and gave me visteril (anti-histamine and anti-anxiety that also has the added effect of relaxing the uterus). Once that kicked in about 45 min later, the intensity and frequency finally began decreasing. Urine sample came back with more UTI. Yup, so I'm guessing the first never entirely went away. After about 2.5 hours, they sent me home with instructions of modified bed rest and to keep my appointment on Wednesday. Also a prescription for this visteril so I can take one when I notice the contractions ramping up again.

So here I am. Lounging in my bed. Fast running out of things to occupy myself (why'd I take today off again?) but I'll deal. I just keep thinking, 7 days from today, Elisa was HERE. One more week and I will reach that "final" milestone of being pregnant the longest I ever have...and that's a milestone that I hope to meet day, after day, after day until at least Dec 8th. If I keep contracting like this, my hopes of pushing delivery off until Dec 22nd (39 weeks) is going down hill fast. Most likely, I'll be lucky to talk her into Dec 8th. But fight for that 37 weeks I will. Tooth and nail.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Third Trimester

And we made it. The third trimester.

I've had trouble coming up with a really cute blog for this one. I think in some ways I'm living in a sense of unreality. Can't believe I'm really here. I've said it before. I'll probably continue to say it. So I thought I'd find some funny quotes on the third trimester, but all I found was this question and answer session.

Q. Since I became pregnant, my breasts, rear-end, and even my feet have grown. Is there anything that gets smaller during pregnancy?
A. Yes, your bladder.

Q. What is the most common pregnancy craving?
A. For men to be the ones who get pregnant.

Q. What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A. Childbirth.

Q. The more pregnant I get, the more often strangers smile at me. Why?
A. 'Cause you're fatter than they are.

It made me chuckle at a time I really needed a laugh. There were many more but these were the most tame and the ones I was most comfortable posting.

At 28 weeks:

By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

4 more weeks, the lungs are developed. 6 more weeks, suck, swallow, breathe is developed.

My doctors first goal for me is 30 weeks. After 30 weeks I can deliver with her practice at her hospital. Before 30 weeks I'll have to be transferred to a different hospital with a higher level NICU. So far...that's 2 weeks away. The fFN gets me to 28 & 4. They held Elisa off for 3 weeks...if something were to happen I hope they can hold this one off just as long. Since I've still been having frequent contractions, but with no pattern, I told my doc's nurse today that I do want to speak with her about tocalytics next week. I can't handle the contractions, even though they are braxton hicks and from what I'm hearing from friends are normal for this stage in the pregnancy. Tell that to one who delivered due to UNDETERMINED pre-term labor. How am I supposed to know that THIS contraction is non-productive but the next one may be? So I'd rather not have any at all, if I can avoid it.

And now, here's little miss.

She's so smart she scares me sometimes. She can already pick out letters, numbers and colors. Of course it's only at the point that she can tell that a 1 is a number and A is a letter but may or may not actually give you the right letter. She has at times properly picked out "blue" and "red" but I've noticed her default choice for the color is "blue" especially if she doesn't know the color. She enjoys counting her way down the stairs, but instead of repeating 1, 2, 3 over and over it's 8, 9, 10. She routinely breaks out into the alphabet song, but prefers "Q, R, S, T, U, V Now I know my abc's!" She gave me her first 4 word sentence last weekend. "I'll go get it!"

Her personality comes in leaps and bounds. Just the other night, she was fighting going to sleep, so I told her to close her eyes and to go to sleep. The stinker clenches her eyes shut just enough they look like they are shut but you can tell she's peering at me from underneath the slit and she has the BIGGEST grin on her face behind that pacifier. Took every ounce of me not to laugh. I did smile though, so my "go to sleep" reprimand probably lacked heat.

She is a never ending challenge.

But what a wonderful challenge.