Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Greatest Thing I Have Ever Done.

            When I think about the GREATEST thing I have ever done it is a no brainer – Having a child.  I find it crazy considering I remember in high school I thought I didn’t even want kids.  There are so many things that I wanted to do in life.  I wanted to be a cheerleader in junior high, I was, I wanted to be on the pompon squad in high school, I was, I wanted to join a sorority in college, I did, I wanted to work for Disney, I did, I wanted to get married, I did.  Of course I thought each of these things was the GREATEST at the time.  And then I had my first child.  Everything else in life I had done up to that point seemed minuscule in comparison. 
            Being a mother is an awe inspiring thing.  It is unexplainable to people who have not yet had children of their own.  What wouldn’t you do for your child?  I can’t think of much.  From the moment your day starts until it ends your child consumes you.  Grant is an early riser.  First thing he wants the moment his feet hit the floor is milk.  I wake up every morning to this little voice saying, “Milk mama MILK!!!!!”  I could go on about the whole day but I will spare us all that.  The point is from sun-up til sun-down I am consumed by my son (when I am not at work of course).  Being a parent is the hardest job, yet most rewarding, I have ever done.  It is also the greatest.
            Since being a good parent is such a huge part of most mothers’ lives, I want desperately to be a good parent to my new baby.  And I will be in the only way I can in this situation.  It is difficult knowing that surgeons, specialists, and nurses, will be his ‘mother’ figures more than myself during the beginning of his life.  I am wondering how I will handle handing off one of the “greatest things I have ever done” into the hands of virtual strangers?  Hopefully fairly well since I don’t have much a choice in the matter!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some More 3-D Pics

     There are VERY FEW benefits to a high risk pregnancy.  Thus far I have deciphered two.  The first of which being you get lots of 3-D ultrasound images of the baby.  I almost went somewhere and paid to have this done during my first pregnancy.  The second is that during the time in the NICU, there are round the clock nurses there to take care of your baby.  This will be the closest I will ever come to a nanny.  As I said there are very few benefits and yes, I would much rather NOT be going through this it all………but I have to try to find a silver lining somewhere!  J
Here is baby with his fingers in his mouth.

He finally took them out!

Thursday, March 24, 2011 need to pick a position and stay there!

First of all let’s start at last Friday night… sooner I posted the last post about the baby being transverse, I started feeling him shift around.  Soon the shifting turned PAINFUL and I came to the conclusion he was flipping.  For about 2 hours I was seriously uncomfortable as he maneuvered his way into whatever position he was going for.  Luckily I had read online that if a baby is transverse at the point in pregnancy, like my baby was, it could feel like you were going into labor if they move into a completely different position.  So I didn’t completely freak out when I was in a good amount of pain and my stomach looked like something from the Alien movie.  It took the baby a good 2 hours to ‘move’ positions.  My stomach, which has stretch marks just from him flipping positions, was sore the rest of the weekend.  So it was hard for me to tell what kind of position he had flipped into.  Of course I was hoping for head down!
            Fast forward to my most recent round of appointments at the Fetal Care Institute this week.  We started with another Fetal Echo.  I convinced them to use the ultrasound machine to tell me if he was head down because I couldn’t stand the suspense…………..and HE WAS!  YIPEE!  So we now run the chance of having a normal deliver (hopefully) and he better NOT be thinking of getting out of that position.  I can’t take another 2 hour round of flipping.  OUCH!
            So back to the Fetal Echo – the actual function of the heart still looks very normal.  Good good good.  The negative – it appears the left side of the baby’s heart is somewhat small.  The doctor feels that it is small due to the position it is in and room it has to grow.  She didn’t feel, at this point, it was affecting the functionality of the heart.  Since the heart is growing in a different place, it may just have to grow a little differently.  But from the testing done, even though it is slightly misshapen, it seems to be working normally at this point.
            Following the Echo we had another upper level ultrasound.  This is where things get interesting.  The bigger the baby gets, the more difficult it is to get a clear image of his organs.  I had trouble spotting things that I have become accustom to seeing on a regular basis!  And some of the organs I was hoping to see, like the left lung, we could not see at all.  The docs told me it is not necessarily because it is not there; it is because it becomes increasingly more difficult to see from this point on.  So it is somewhat of a guessing game.  The baby is weighing in at a whopping 5lbs. 4oz.
            Both Dr. Yang and Dr. Vlastos still give us a positive vibe about the outlook of our baby.  He has come a LONG way over the past 8 months.  I am just now entering the 9th month of pregnancy.  Ye Haw to that.  This has been the easy part I guess.  The hard part begins once he is born. It appears that all CDH babies go on what is best described as a roller-coaster after birth.  They have a honeymoon period after birth where they are lookin good.  Then things will go way up and way down.  You just have to hope that your baby pulls through and back into the unloading zone of the roller-coaster.  I guess where you would “get off the ride” equals getting to take your baby home.  Which is ultimately what EVERY CDH PARENT HOPES FOR, as only 50% get to do it. 
            I have been following several other blogs of CDH parents who are due close to me.   Several of them have had their babies.  Some of the babies are still in the NICU fighting the CDH battle, while others joined the other CDH cherubs in heaven over the past several weeks.  My thoughts and prayers go out to each of those families – both those who are sitting day after day with their babies in the NICU hoping for a miracle and those who are grieving the loss of their miracle.  I feel every baby is a miracle, no matter how long they are with us.  I know soon I will be in their shoes.  I have tried to prepare myself the best I can for it.  But you can only do so much when you are on my end.  The rest depends on the miracle coming into this world on or around April 26th.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Transverse?! You must be kidding me!

The baby had been in the breech position over the past several weeks.  Though not the most desirable position, it was very comfortable for me!  About 4 nights ago he started moving around so much it was UNREAL.  I thought he was going to come right through the belly.  Needless to say, after my regular OB appointment today, we are pretty sure he is back to being transverse.  This means he is lying SIDEWAYS in the belly.  I have another ultrasound next week so we will know for sure.  There is still the chance he will flip to head down for delivery; let’s hope he does.  Otherwise he will most likely be coming C-section.
                Having him in the transverse position at this point it borderline painful.  I am almost 35 weeks along.  So he is running out of wiggle room.  And every wiggle HURTS.  It takes me forever to get moving in the morning because I am so sore from him being in such a crunched position.  OUCH OUCH OUCH!  I have had a serious conversation with him explaining if he moved to head down we would BOTH BE MORE COMFORTABLE.  Too bad I don’t think he was listening………….

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tour of St. Mary's

     Recently I went for a tour of St. Mary’s Hospital to see exactly where I would be delivering this baby.  The nurses were lovely.  First I toured the labor/delivery area.   Then I got a tour of the NICU.  The baby will be intubated immediately following birth.  In other words, he will have to have something breathing for him.  I believe they do that right there in labor and delivery the moment he pops out.  Then he will be transferred down to the NICU to get stabilized.  What he will need to be stable completely depends on him.  They will also do an umbilical catheter at this time.  As soon as he is stable, he will be loaded up and transferred to Cardinal Glennon.  If everything goes smoothly, which I am hoping for, it would only be a matter of hours before he will leave.
            I have already toured Cardinal Glennon’s NICU, which is where he will be living during the first several weeks or months of his life.  The tour at Cardinal Glennon didn’t bother me.  However, touring at St. Mary’s did seem to strike a nerve and I found myself tearing up and trying not to cry.  I am not sure why.  Possibly because it is so close now.  Or maybe it was hearing the babies cry in the NICU.  Or maybe it is just knowing that is where everything that I have been waiting months for will unfold.  I am not sure. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In my mind.....

In my mind I really have only played out positive scenarios.  I have game plans in place for once the baby is born and is transferred to the NICU at Cardinal Glennon.  I have already assigned positions for my family members.  I.e. who is watching Grant, who is going with the baby, who is staying with me, etc.  I guess you could call me a planner or a “Judging Personality Type” according to the research of Myers-Briggs.  I plan my work and my play.  I am a schedule orientated person.  It puts me at ease knowing there is a game plan.  Of course, the best laid plans don’t always work out.  I am fully aware of this.  But at least in my mind, we are locked and loaded and as ready for this as we can be.
I am not ignoring the fact that my labor and delivery could play out a lot of different ways.  I am just focusing on the situations I want to play out and how we are going to handle them.  I think this helps me keep a positive attitude.  Keeping busy also helps me stay positive and my work and home life have helped tremendously with this. 
I love my job.  I am a lucky person to be able to say this.  I enjoy what I do and look forward to my work (most of the time of course!).  I have put a lot of focus on my job over the past few months and this has enabled me to keep busy.  Not to mention my home life.  Anyone with a child/ren at home fully understands this.  They demand your attention.  And for the second you do not provide them with attention they eat a bottle of gummy vitamins, write with a permanent marker on their new comforter, or stuff 45 hotwheels cars in a porcelain piggy bank (not that I have personally experienced any of this ;)  So between work and home, I do not have a lot of time to sit around and just DWELL on negative stuff.  Which has been a blessing through this entire journey.
Baby boy in my belly is still super active.  It is quite obvious when he is awake due the constant kicks and jabs to the rib cage and bladder.  While cleaning out the refrigerator today I went to the sink and turned on the garbage disposal.   The loud sound must have startled the baby because he literally jumped in my belly.  It was the craziest thing.  We are down to 44 days left until my due date.  Not that I’m keeping track…………….. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hitting a Wall

So I have been trucking along just fine with work and life – up until this week that is.  Hitting 8 ½ months has been like hitting a wall.  I am very tired these days.  Typical, normal pregnancy thing I do believe.  I try to squeeze in a nap when I get home from work when it is possible.  It isn’t possible a lot of the time with a 3-year-old however.

Sleeping is also hitting an all-time high on the difficulty meter.  Between the constant trips to potty and take Tums, I am up easily 5 times a night.  Bummer to someone who prizes their sleep.

Baby boy was in a transverse position about 3 weeks ago.  Next he flipped in to the breech position.  This has been MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE than the whole transverse thing he had going on.   WOW.  Not comfortable at all.  I will find out in a couple weeks if he has moved to ‘head down’, which is what he needs to be for delivery.  Otherwise he may be making a C-section appearance.  I have about 7 weeks left before D-day.   I can’t believe we are nearing the end of this pregnancy.  I would say something like “time flies”……..but it has been the complete opposite.