Sunday, January 31, 2010

Abby after 2 pm snack

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Abby is being moved to

Abby is being moved to the less intense side of NICU.WooHoo

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mommy and baby are doing

Mommy and baby are doing well. Both are getting some needed rest

3 lbs 5 oz 16.5"

3 lbs 5 oz 16.5"

Baby Abby

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Finally headed back to the

Finally headed back to the OR

We r now looking at

We r now looking at 11 now errrrrrrr oh well such is life

We are still waiting to

We are still waiting to go into the OR. ugh

Another c-section had to go

Another c-section had to go ahead of us so angie will go in soon. Will keep u posted.

Can't Wait!

This song has been stuck in my head for days. I cannot stop singing it. The lyrics speak to me about this pregnancy, Abby, and my faith in an amazing Heavenly Life-Giving Father. Oh I cannot wait to meet this baby girl, this miracle, this kiss from heaven!

I'm walking a new walk
I'll never be the same again
Dancing a new dance
In Your Holy Spirit rain
Your breath of life has overwhelmed me
And set my spirit free

I'm living a new life
Underneath Your morning star
Running a new race
In the shadow of Your Love
Your love is immeasurable
Too deep to comprehend

My Jesus, dream maker
My Jesus, life giver
I'm living under the kiss of heaven
And I'll never, ever be the same again

I'm singing a new song
In the presence of the King
Giving You my heart
That is all that I can bring
You lit a fire inside of me
That I thought would never burn again

My Jesus, dream maker
My Jesus, life giver
I'm living under the kiss of heaven
And I'll never, ever be the same again

My Jesus, I surrender
My Jesus, Yours forever
I'm living in the embrace of heaven
And I'll never ever be the same again

I thank You, my Father
For all You've done and all You are going to do
My past behind me and You before me
I press on for more

My Jesus, dream maker
My Jesus, life giver
I'm living under the kiss of heaven
And I'll never, ever be the same again

My Jesus, I surrender
My Jesus, Yours forever
I'm living in the embrace of heaven
And I'll never ever be the same again

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

50 Things to Do on Bedrest

Disclaimer: Please consult your physician before beginning any activities.

1. Make a list of all of the foods you will eat when you get out of the hospital and off of the gestational diabetic diet.

2. Daydream of chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter between them.

3. Watch it snow outside your window.

4. "Decorate" the pine tree outside your window with "Christmas ornaments" in your

5. Have your husband bring your children to your window to see you. Use sign language to communicate with your five and three year old.

6. Get as much information as possible about your situation and how to care for a very tiny premature baby.

7. Learn the nurses names.

8. Learn the nurses children's names.

9. Swap pictures of your children with the nurses because now you've become family.

10. Add sushi to your list of food.

11. Color a picture for your children out of the latest Toy Story coloring book.

12. Be gracious when your son critiques your picture you colored because "the wings on the rocket are supposed to be red, not yellow."

13. Find out how many times you can order sugar free jello from room service before someone says something.

14. Begin watching the "Trilogy" movies with your husband, starting with Lord of the Rings and ending with Pirates of the Caribbean.

15. Watch a documentary on eggs. The incredible edible egg!

16. Play Tetris on a hand held game.

17. Pray. Alot.

18. Pray some more.

19. Text random messages to friends and loved ones.

20. Count the holes in the ceiling tiles. There are 60,284 holes in my current hospital room.

21. Take a very, very long shower everyday, caring not for the wasted water, because it is the only time you get to stand up all day.

22. Drool over your husband's pizza and french fries while you eat Another chef salad.

23. Take your blood sugar, one more time, because you failed the gestational diabetes test by ONE point. Don't be bitter!

24. Make a list of all of the things you need to buy for the baby. Then, begin handing out assignments to the wonderful relatives helping you.

25. Scare the bejeebers out of your nurses by not breathing in the middle of sleep a couple of times a night.

26. Get fitted for a CPAP machine and a prescription for a sleep study for sleep apnea when released from the hospital.

27. Take a tour of the NICU at midnight.

28. Update your blog. If you don't have a blog, start a blog.

29. Surf the internet for infomration on a c-section, since you've never had one.

30. Establish a living will.

31. Listen to praise music.

32. Facebook. Twitter. E-mail. Read blogs.

33. Learn to read every monitor in your room.

34. Find pictures within the pictures on the wall. There's a black panther in the beautiful mountain scene. My last room had Wonder Dog in the clouds.

35. Experiment with putting your snack by the window and watching it freeze!

36. Have someone straighten the very crooked clock on the wall.

37. Chat with the chaplain, making contacts for your church plant.

38. Learn the nurses schedules, so you know what day is best to deliver, giving you the best chance of entering the NICU before it has been 12 hours of recovery time for you.

39. Read buckets of information on pumping breast milk for a preemie and subsequently nursing.

40. Have a chat with the IT Tech about the lack of internet access in your room. This could result in it being fixed within five minutes flat.

41. Take time to share your thoughts, fears, and feelings with your husband.

42. Nap.

43. Get very frustrated when a "light" goes out on your imaginary Christmas tree outside. Search through the strand of lights until you find and replace the burnt out light bulb.

44. Don't make the mistake of telling anyone about the light in the Christmas tree outside, you might get a psych consult.

45. Get a visit from the "quality control" team of the hospital, to answer some questions, because "you've been with us so long!"

46. Do Not under Any circumstances watch "A Baby Story" without first finding tissues. When the nurses scold you for crying because you were watching "A Baby Story" and tells you to change the channel, listen to them.

47. Move from your left side to your right side for a few hours. Reverse. Repeat.

48. Take an extra trip to the bathroom. Brush your teeth again. Comb your hair again. Reluctantly get back in the bed when you've run out of "legitimate" things to do.

49. Read comments, encouragement, e-mails, and text messages from friends and loved ones. These will get you through the day better than anything else!


50. Remind yourself daily, it will all soon be worth it!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Light at the End of This Tunnel

Abby's c-sections has been scheduled for Friday, January 29th at 7:45 in the morning. Ever since we scheduled the c-section she has been knocking her tests out of the ballpark! LOL! Silly girl!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Passing and The Plan

We had a great ultrasound of Abby today. She passed with an 8 out of 8. Then, she passed her NST's. So the doctor gave her a 10 out of 10 today.

So, she is currently doing really well. However, we are still showing some resistance in the blood flow from me to Abby. About one out of four of our NST's are showing decreased movement, or contractions, both or other issues. Based on the information over the past several months, the doctors have decided that it is time for us to deliver. We all feel like we have pushed things to the limit. Therefore, the doctors will be speaking tomorrow and scheduling a date for a c-section. They want me to be 35 weeks, which will be this coming Friday. So, the surgery will either be Friday or Monday at this point, we should have a date by tomorrow we think. Patrick and I are both very relived to have a date in sight. The stress of not knowing has really been difficult. We're also in total agreement with the doctors that there are just too many variables of things going well and then them changing quickly. I'll remain in the hospital until the surgery date and will continue the intense monitoring we have been doing. That way we can deliver earlier if necessary for some reason.

Patrick and I had an excellent nurse last night who gave us a tour of the NICU here at the hospital. We've received alot of information and are really pleased with the care here.

So, these are our prayer requests for now:

* That the doctors, Patrick and I will have wisdom as we schedule this c-section for Abby.

* That the surgery will go well and my recovery will be very quick, allowing me to care for Abby.

* For Abby's development and growth between now and then.

* That our nurses and doctors will know exactly how to take care of Abby and I.

* That things will go smoothly without any unexpected complications.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24th

Five years ago today, this beautiful boy made me a Mommy.

Look at that red hair! We heard that hundreds of times when he was a baby.

Look at my redhead now! He's such a handsome, intelligent, compassionate boy. Happy Birthday Aiden!

Sunday Update on Abby

Today has been a good day. The only change has been that I have started having some contractions. The doctors have said this is nothing to worry about. At this point, if I go into labor, then we will deliver Abby. Doesn't look like the contractions are regular at this point. We're looking forward to tomorrow, Monday, when we will have another ultrasound done, to check the blood flow. Since we made our goal Friday, of 34 weeks, we are not sure what the plan is now, except that it is a day to day decision. Hopefully the ultrasound tomorrow will give us more information and allow us to get a plan.

It's not the best picture in the world, but here are Abby and I at 34 weeks!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nothing New Here

Well, nothing has happened. Abby is continuing to pass all of her tests right now. We've been told that nothing will be done over the weekend, unless she is in serious distress, which is not happening thank goodness. We will have another ultrasound on Monday. Other than that, I'm just trying to find ways to break up the monotony of the day! I believe your prayers are making Miss Abby stronger and stronger, thank you so much! Please keep them up!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another Day of the Babymoon

Patrick and I are jokingly calling this time in the hospital our "babymoon." Most expecting couples go to a nice hotel and a restaurant to spend time alone. We chose a very small hospital room. Ha!

Today started out to be very frustrating. When we were admitted on Monday afternoon, the attending OB ran some tests and tried to send us home. He did not even look at me, just at my test results from that day. Patrick and I both protested getting sent home. The next morning our MFM was livid that he had attempted to send us home. That is exactly what happened to us this morning. The same OB saw my test results and tried to send me home. However, when our MFM came in to look at the same test he wasn't pleased with the results at all. When I told him the OB wanted to send me home, well, let's just say he was not pleased and hopefully that has been resolved.

As the day progressed, the MFM decided to do another ultrasound. He felt like the bloodflow would prove that we needed to deliver Abby today, based on her NST's. However, Miss Abby had other plans. She passed the bloodflow portion of the ultrasound with flying colors. That is something she has Never done. We are all in shock! She also had great movement and our amniotic fluid was great. She did not practice breathe, so she got a 6 out of 8, instead of an 8 out of 8. Therefore, the final determination was no delivery this weekend, unless something crazy happens on her NST's. I believe we will have another ultrasound on Monday. All of that to say, I truly believe your prayers are working for Abby. Please continue them! I will be 34 weeks tomorrow. That is the first goal they wanted for me. Yay! We've got about seven hours and we've made it!

Now, let's pray that Abby does Not have a secret desire to share a birthday with Aiden (Sunday). It would be really nice if they could at least be a couple of days apart. :) At the same time, the wait is killing us. I hate the current unknown of day to day.

Also, we do not know what doctors we will be seeing on what day. Some of the OB's do not understand this situation at all. We are very pleased with our MFM's though. On top of that, the nurses really do not understand. It is difficult and frustrating to continually explain to a doctor or nurse why you are in the hospital. We have had some amazing care. However, we have also had some very frustrating care. To look at me or to look at most of our test results, Abby and I are perfectly healthy. However, you must have a comprehensive view of the situation. Unless we've explained it to them, the nurses do not look at our history in my chart. Most of them are unaware of Colin's death from Intrauterine Growth Restriction. They see Abby passing tests with flying colors, but do not realize that she is measuring six weeks behind. In other words, Abby has Intrauterine Growth Restriction. They also do not realize that my placenta was the issue in Colin's death and that the bloodflow issues we are experiencing are the only way to see if it is repeating itself, which, it is. Abby is a strong little girl, but she's not getting the nutrients and oxygen she needs or she would be growing. Please pray for this situation. Pray for the nurses and doctors. Pray for Patrick and I, in particular our frustration levels. There are times I feel like I am being treated like the "over protective, paranoid, first time Mother." I feel like I'm having to constantly justify why a doctor has me on strict bedrest in the hospital! I don't understand why I'm having to do that, if the doctor thinks it is necessary, shouldn't that be enough?

One of the most surprising things about this hospital stay is how many people I have gotten to tell our adoption story too. I have encountered so many that are interested in adoption, but are not ready to take that next step. Please pray that God will use us as a light in this place, not only for those considering adoption, but also as a witness to Him and His love.

Finally, I have been very sad today. I cannot really give you an explanation why, I'm just sad. I've cried quite a bit. I was sitting in a wheelchair, in a hallway, waiting for my ultrasound and literally got to watch a brand new baby girl being assessed by the nurse. The baby was screaming and healthy. The Daddy was SO excited and proud and I heard him exclaim, "It's our first girl!" I was so happy for them, but it made me so sad too. I began to cry, again. At this point I don't know if I'm grieving a "normal" pregnancy and birth, if I'm just terrified, or if there is just so much emotion in there that there is no way I'll ever be able to sort it all out. I've written on this blog before about my battles with depression. That will not help Abby at all right now. Please pray for my emotional health. I haven't stopped relying on my God. I still believe He is in perfect control. Thank you so much for your comments, well wishes, encouragement, and prayers! We truly need them and treasure each one!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Update on Us

Today has been a much more informative day! Yay! The doctors have agreed that I am in the hospital for the duration of this pregnancy. So, that was the first thing we found out.

Then, the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist (MFM) decided to run a contraction stress test on Abby. Basically, they put me on oxytocin and began contractions to monitor Abby's heart rate and see how she would handle labor right now. Abby passed that beautifully. This means that she is not under too much stress right now and can stay inside the womb for a little bit longer. When we asked, how much longer the answer was, "well, we will re-evaluate tomorrow." So, basically this is a day by day situation. The doctors really want me to make it to 34 weeks (Friday). They are really, really hoping for 35 weeks, next Friday. They are not anticipating us getting past that point at this time. The farther I can make it, the less aid she will need in the NICU. However, because she is so small, we will definitely be spending some time in the NICU. Thankfully, the hospital we are in has a level 3 NICU.

For now, the plan is to monitor Abby three times a day in the hospital. Based on those readings, we will make a determination each day whether or not to deliver. We'll also be doing ultrasounds and other tests as necessary.

Our internet connection seems to go in and out alot here in the hospital. The best way to contact either of us is through our cell phones, in particular a text message.

Updated prayer requests:

* Continue to pray for wisdom for Patrick, myself, and our doctors.

* Continue to pray for Abby to grow, remain healthy, and to develop, especially her lungs.

* Aiden's birthday is Sunday, we will be moving his party to a later date. Pray the logistics of all of that work out well.

* I miss my boys. Because of the flu they are not allowed to visit me in the hospital. (Before I had time to publish this, my MFM agreed to let me go to the lobby to see the boys for a little while today. An answered prayer already! It was great to hug and kiss on them!)

Thank you so much for your prayers and notes of encouragement! We truly do appreciate it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Quick Update on Abby

I'm not really even sure where to start. We don't really have a whole lot of information as far as what the next step is for us.

We came into labor and delivery on Monday afternoon. Over the last couple of days Abby's movements have slowed down quite a bit. She is still moving, but no where near what she was. For example, on Friday I could get 10 kicks in 15 minutes. By Monday I was barely getting 10 in 2 hours. So, long story short, we headed in to the hospital. The doctors on call were not familiar with me or our history. They did a biophysical profile (ultrasound) on Abby and said she passed it with flying colors that they were sending me home and that I should follow up with my regular doctor in 2 or 3 days. However, Patrick and I were very uncomfortable with those results. Even we could see on the ultrasound that she was not moving like she has been and that they did not check the blood flow from her to I like our MFM does. We kept saying, "it's not that she isn't moving, it's that she's moving less." Finally, I got a new nurse and she actually sat down and listened to me and what I was saying. This is exactly what happened with Colin. I noticed a decrease in movements. So, she talked to the attending physician again and they agreed to monitor me overnight and then send me straight to my MFM for an ultrasound the next morning. I was already scheduled for these appointments on Tuesday anyway.

So, we stayed overnight in the hospital. Our MFM did an ultrasound this morning. Abby is now measuring about six weeks behind, instead of four. However, she has gained some weight. She was 2 pounds 12 ounces and they now estimate that she is 3 pounds 2 ounces. So, there was some growth. That's good.

The other thing that is important to check in our case is bloodflow. Our MFM is seeing an increased resistance to the bloodflow. This means that she is getting less and less blood, in other words, less oxygen and less nutrition.

Because of Abby's size and the blood flow issues our doctor feels like we are approaching delivery. In his words, "I want her to develop as much as possible, but we do not want to get greedy." So, we are still in the hospital. They are still monitoring me. Since that ultrasound with our MFM we haven't had a whole lot of communication with our doctors. However, we have seen an attending with our regular OB office. The information we received at the ultrasound and the information we received from the attending conflicted quite alot. We are very confused about what the plan is right now. The attending said we would be heading home and coming in for more frequent monitoring, but we don't have a timeline or what that means. The attending said that the goal was 36 weeks. Our MFM gave us the impression that our goal is this Friday, which would be 34 weeks, and that possibly we would be doing an amniocentesis soon to check the maturity of her lungs.

These are our biggest prayer requests right now:

* Wisdom for Patrick and I to be the best advocate for Abby that we can be, to know what she needs and when to push for it. Patrick and I both have a "gut" feeling that we have run out of time. We both believe that we are at the point that Abby is safer on the outside than inside. Yet, we are trying to balance the medical knowledge of those God has placed in our lives at this point.

* Wisdom for our doctors. Our MFM, Dr. Hanif and our OB Dr. Tom.

* For Abby's continued safety, growth, and development.

* For a clear plan. We need to know what our next step is and what our doctors are thinking, without all of the conflicting information.

* For our boys. Aiden's fifth birthday is this Sunday and we have a party planned for him. I really want to be there. Pray this situation works out for everyone's best interest.

* For the grandparents. In particular, my Mother as she is caring for the boys right now and traveling mercies for Patrick's Mom, she will be flying in on Thursday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Letter to my Daughter

I've been trying to figure out how to blog about what is currently happening with our pregnancy. I just haven't been able to do it. I finally realized, I was trying to talk to the wrong audience.

Dear Abby,

I doubt that you will ever know how precious you are to your Mommy. Right now I'm sitting in my recliner in the living room feeling you kick me from the inside. Those kicks are like gold to me. I'm literally counting every single one of them and timing how long it takes you until you kick me again. If at any moment you stop kicking me your Daddy and I will rush to the hospital. Your touch means life. You respond to Mommy singing and to your brothers laughter. You especially seem to like it when you hear your Daddy's voice. You really like it when Mommy eats chocolate, but the doctors have asked me to stop having sugar for a little while. Sorry about that!

There is something about Mommy's body that isn't allowing you to get the blood and nutrients you need. The doctors don't know how to fix it. The only thing that might help is for me to be on strict bedrest. When most people hear that Mommy can't do anything but get up to go to the bathroom, they feel sorry for me. I would love to be up and shopping for you! There's still so many things I feel like we need to do to prepare for you to be here. But baby girl, if me not moving keeps you alive and helps you grow a tiny bit, I'll ask them to paralyze me.

Right now, you should weigh about four pounds. The last time we checked you were about 2 pounds and 12 ounces. Your growth is about four weeks behind right now, except your head, it's right on track. You're going to be smart like your brothers! We can't check to see how you are growing again until Tuesday the 19th. I pray several times a day that God will help you gain weight and those little bones of yours will gain in size. The two week wait between measurements on you is excruciating for me. It seems to last forever.

Right now, we have three doctors appointments a week. We go see Dr. Tom, our OB, on Tuesdays and Fridays. The nurses put a monitor on Mommy's tummy, so we can hear your heartbeat and listen to you move. They always ask Mommy and Daddy if we want them to turn the machine where we can't hear you. It always makes us laugh. Daddy and I ask them to turn it up. There's nothing as precious to us right now as the sound of your beating heart. It's like a galloping horse. You really hate the monitors. You kick them really hard and one time you made one come off and fly across the room. Mommy understands! I don't like how the monitors feel, but I sure do love that they let me listen to you.

On Tuesdays, after we see Dr. Tom, we go see Dr. Hanif, our perinatologist. This is my favorite appointment of the week. We always get to see you on the ultrasound. They check to see if you are practicing your breathing, your heart rate, how you are moving, and most importantly they check the blood flow from me to you. We always get a great look at you. You are already so beautiful! I love looking at you! These appointments are where we determine if you get to stay inside Mommy or if you are in danger and need to come out. So far, you've passed the tests and are still inside.

Most babies stay inside their Mommy's tummy for 40 weeks. You and I have made it to 33 weeks. This is good! But you are still so tiny. Even preemie clothes will not fit you right now. I packed your diaper bag last night and everything I put in it would be too big for you, but it all said it would fit up to five pounds. I would give anything to have to find something bigger for you to wear, so let's try to make it to 34 weeks, okay? After that, you and I will talk again and we'll aim for 35, deal? The doctors tell me that our ultimate goal is to get you to 36 weeks, so only about three more weeks little one. We can do that! After all, you come from a long, long line of incredibly strong women! You have two grandmothers (Mimi and Nan) that I cannot wait for you to meet, they've both been an incredible inspiration to me and I know they will be to you too!

There are so many on the outside that are waiting to meet you. Your Daddy, he's head over heels for you sweet girl. You're gonna get anything you want from him. Mommy is pretty sure I'm going to have to watch him really closely or we won't have any money for food because he's buying things for his baby girl. You have so many here that love you. I cannot wait for you to meet your family. I cannot wait to hold you in my arms.

I wouldn't be honest if I said I wasn't scared. I'm terrified of losing you sweetheart. That's why we've asked so many people to pray for you and Mommy. We've asked them to specifically pray for you to grow. I know that God is knitting you together in my womb. He promises that. I know that He is in charge sweetie and He knows exactly what you need.

We named you Abigail Jaicee because Jaicee means healer. Daily, I am asking God to be your healer. Oh sweetheart, you know how I said your touch is as life to me right now? Well baby, that's only a glimpse of what the touch of our Savior is like! His healing, life-giving touch, that's what we pray for and set our faith upon. When I first found out about you, I referred to you as a Kiss from God, that's how you got your nickname Hershey. I am anxiously waiting to hold you. I know that you have been (and will be in the next few weeks) kissed by our God. What an awesome privilege it will be to hold in my arms a kiss from my Father.

Grow sweetness! I love you!