Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just Call Me Mrs. Doctor T.

It's been so busy that I almost forgot to announce that I am now Mrs. Doctor T. Yes, the husband finally defended his PhD dissertation and was successful. So, I'm now married to a doctor! What a pity it's not the kind of doctor who goes on to earn tons and tons of money but I still love him anyway.

White Christmas - Fail

It's December 29th and so far NO measurable snowfall in good old Milwaukee. I see this as a good thing. Sure, there was no white Christmas this year but since I know it will eventually snow, and snow a lot, the longer we can put it off the better in my book. The way I see it, now when it does snow I can take comfort in knowing I just need to get through January, February and a little bit of March before spring arrives.

Christmas turned out to be quite nice. The kids were thrilled with their gifts and I feel like the amount we got them was just about right. QT got a scooter, SB got a Mario racetrack and the Sully, well, he got some fun animals to hang on his car seat and play mat. Oh, and he'll be getting a helmet in a few weeks to help round out his flat head.

Sully has been in physical therapy for torticollis for three months now and although his neck, head and arm movement have all improved, the flat spot on the right side of his head is not improving. We took him last week for measurements and as we suspected, he has moderate plagiocephaly. The therapist explained that everyone has an asymmetrical face and head and so any measurement 6mm or less is considered normal. Thankfully, Sully's face is within that normal range. But, when his head is measured from the back to the front there is a 17mm difference between measuring the left and right sides. That's a pretty big gap and so he will definitely need a helmet. Right now we're just waiting to find out from our insurance company how much, if any, they will pay. Helmets aren't cheap.

So yesterday was the day - the two year anniversary of me losing Trey. I thought about him from time to time and am sad but time really does begin to heal all wounds. Obviously, having Sully makes it less painful but I can honestly say that you can't just replace one baby with another. Having a baby can bring such joy but it doesn't just automatically dispel the sorrow of having lost a child and I wish more people understood that.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Memories

It's coming upon Christmas which seems to have snuck up on me this year. Perhaps that is because it has yet to snow more than just a dusting and the temperatures here are still in the high 30s and not in the teens as is so common during Wisconsin winters. It seems strange to not just not have a white Christmas but to have a "warm" Christmas.

The closer we get to Christmas the more the memories come flooding back to me. Memories of when I was kid running downstairs to a room full of gifts left by Santa. Oh, the wonder of a Barbie dream house so big it needed an elevator, a globe with bumps marking the mountain ranges, a big head with hair I could style any way I like...........Christmas definitely is for kids. I can't wait for my kids to come downstairs this Christmas and open all of their gifts. The wonder and excitement of children just can not be matched.

One memory I'd rather not have is that of my first miscarriage. I remember small details of those days two years ago as if they just happened yesterday. Seeing my doctor for a regular check-up, listening to a nice strong heart beat and yet leaving his office feeling as though he knew the baby was going to die and he just didn't know how to tell me. Sitting at a friend's house eating lunch and thinking how strange it was that my food aversions had seemingly disappeared. Lifting QT in her car seat and lugging her up to the door and later wondering if that didn't cause the placenta to pull away. Putting together toys for the kids for Christmas and then just seeing blood everywhere. Hearing the excitement in the ER nurses voice when she found the baby's heart beat. Seeing the ultrasound tech shake her head no a few days later when I asked if everything was okay with the baby. The ante-partum nurse handing the husband and I a little box where our dead son lay tucked into a little flannel sleeping bag. Going home to a house filled with leftover Christmas joy only to feel completely empty inside. Even two years later it's hard. Even with Sully's smiling face it's hard. People have said to me "oh, but at least now you have Sully" and although I understand why they say that, Sully hasn't replaced what we lost. After all, you can't just replace one child with another.

I can't wait to make some new, joyous, memories this Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Christmas

While reading books to the kids last night I thought back to what was one of my favorite Christmas books:

Then I grabbed my iPhone, clicked on my Amazon app and with one or two clicks ordered it. Tomorrow night I'll be scratching and sniffing the orange, peppermint and Christmas tree. Ahhh, the sweet smells of Christmas. I can't wait to share it with the kids.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ho Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Actually, I don't really like Rum but lately I've been thinking about starting to drink a little more. Things around here have gotten, well, a tad overwhelming. Here's something I've learned: having a baby is sometimes hard; having a baby, an almost three-year-old and a five-year-old is sometimes hard; having a baby, an almost three-year-old, a five-year-old and a husband getting set to defend his dissertation, all the while working full-time, is always hard!

The holiday season seems to just bring so many things with it. There's decorating to do, presents to buy and wrap, cookies to bake, visits with Santa to set up and all the while the laundry piles up, cheerios mark the living room floor begging to be vacuumed up and new bills arrive daily that need to get paid. More and more I've been stressing over money. Normally I'm a big believe in everything will work itself out but at the same time we've been hit pretty hard this past year with medical bills, some expected and some unexpected, which have sucked up the little extra savings I had. Add to that now making a car payment for the first time in quite a few years, a pay freeze at work, school tuition and daycare for another child, not to mention the diapers and formula and things have gotten a lot tighter. A lot tighter.

One unexpected expense has been physical therapy for Sully's torticollis. And now, although his neck muscles are loosening, his head is not reshaping how it should and so he will be fitted for a helmet. The helmet is $3,200. I feel like waves of bills are just crashing in on me. Every time I come up for air a new wave comes crashing in. Hopefully this will be the end and the tide will go back out and we'll make it a few months without any new, big expenses.

In more joyous news, the kids are super excited for Christmas. We are opening multiple Advent calendars each night and talking about how soon it will be baby Jesus' birthday. Saturday we attended a pancake breakfast with Santa and great fun was had by all:

Okay, so Sully doesn't look all that happy to be with Santa but trust me, he had a good time. QT was a little shy when it came time to sit with Santa so no pictures of her with Jolly Old St. Nick, but she did take a minute to tell Santa what she wanted when he got up and walked around. I guess I should be pleased that she's not willing to just sit on any old man's lap.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Was Promised an Extra Hour

Daylight Savings Time promises us an extra hour so why is it that I never seem to actually get an extra hour? Saturday night Sully actually woke up to eat twice instead of his normal one time and then the kids were up bright and early at 6:00am. So much for getting an extra hour of much needed sleep.

Life really seems to be catching up to me lately. I'm tired all the time. In the mornings I hit the snooze button twice just trying to eek out a few more minutes of sleep. During the day I am so forgetful that I literally have to write even the most basic things down on sticky notes. Things like, eat lunch, or drink coffee. Then, I forget to look at the notes and end up forgetting to do the very things I wrote down. By the time I get home I'm basically ready to crawl into bed. Last night I sent the kids upstairs to get their pajamas on right around 5:30 p.m. which is nearly two hours prior to their bedtimes. I keep hoping things will get better once the baby is sleeping through the night but I'm doubtful.

Halloween was amazing, with the kids just being as cute as they could be. SB was Anakin Skywalker, QT was an owl and little Sully was Yoda:

My return to work was hectic but with one big project complete and another almost complete I'm hoping it will slow down just a tad. It's amazing how the days just seem to blend into one another and before I even realize it, it's the weekend again, and then it's Monday again and the start of a new week. I still can't believe Thanksgiving is in two short weeks, much less that it's practically Christmas, something I'm reminded of with each store I step into.

Hopefully I will start to update things here more - if only I could find the sticky where I wrote that down!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And So it Goes

This week I turned 40. Honestly, in my head I am still right around 30, although my body feels like it's about 60. Forty rewarded me by having my back go out while putting the baby down in his crib. Very nice. I guess I just don't feel like I can have have a newborn and be 40. I also feel as though at 40 my life should be figured out and it's anything but. Yes, I have a career, a house, three kids, a dog and a cat but I have no big retirement account, only a very small college fund for the kids and I just have this feeling that I'm not yet completely settled. Maybe it's because we still don't know if we're done having children or maybe it's because the husband is still in graduate school or maybe it's just not wanting to acknowledge that there are things we really need to get working on - saving for retirement being just one example.

Also in a sure sign that time is passing, on Tuesday I return to work full-time. I scheduled myself with some long weekends for the first two weeks in an attempt to ease myself back into the groove of things. I enjoy working so actually doing the work isn't a big deal. However, getting three kids up and out the door two days a week when the husband works earlier than me will be hectic, as will going back to not getting home until sometimes between five and six and trying to figure out how to get everything that needs to get done, done before the kids need to be in bed. Also, I will really miss picking SB up from school. It's so nice to see him coming running out yelling "Mommy" and then giving me a giant hug. I've also had a lot of fun taking the kids on outings to places that we normally wouldn't go to on a weekend. One more big thing is just the flexibility I have right now to just run downstairs and throw in some laundry or to do the dishes as they get dirty so I never come home to a sink full of dirty dishes or to run an errand when there aren't as many people in the stores.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mommy English

Do you know Mommy English? The longer I am a mother the more versed in Mommy English I seem to become. It's apparently a language that you acquire over the years of trying to convince your children to do things they are either reluctant or flat out refusing to do. Unfortunately, there is no Rosetta Stone course for Mommy English and instead you just have to learn while on the job. Right now, my Mom English seems to revolve around food. A few weeks ago SB was refusing to even try mashed potatoes. I sat there astounded that a child who asks for french fries morning, noon and night was refusing to eat what is essentially mashed up french fries. And then it dawned on me, he doesn't know mashed potatoes are mashed up french fries, heck I doubt he even realizes french fries are potatoes, instead choosing to believe they simply sprout from the ground golden brown in perfectly shaped sticks. And so I told him in a cheery voice "eat your mashed up french fries young man" and you know what? he did!

Just the other morning I had another opportunity to hone my Mommy English skills. Both SB and QT were ignoring their pumpkin swirl bread I so excitedly had bought at the store and no amount of reminding them to eat their breakfast was working (big surprise there) and so I changed my words. No longer was I telling them to eat their bread or their pumpkin bread, instead I asked why they weren't eating their Halloween bread. Their ears perked up and they took a whole new look at the slices on their plates and what do you know? they ate it!

So now I am on a mission to rename anything and everything if it would mean that my kids would eat more veggies or clean their rooms or just do things in general that will make not only their lives better but my life easier.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Running Out of Time (and Energy)

I have just about a month left of my maternity leave and am realizing more and more with each passing day that my goals are not getting accomplished. They are not lofty goals, they are simple goals, like getting the dining room table cleared off once and for all, organizing the nursery so Sully can move into his own room once he's too small for the co-sleeper, coming up with some sort of workable schedule to get everything done every week (the basics of laundry, meals, etc), putting together an easy to navigate work wardrobe so I don't have to try on three outfits each morning before figuring out what still fits me and what doesn't and sorting through all the toys in my house to get rid of all the junk and make it easier for the kids to find what they want and clean up after themselves. Yesterday I did manage to accomplish one goal, which was trimming the tree in the front yard and the bush in the back. Of course, there are a ton more bushes to trim but I'll take what I can get. Hopefully the cool weather today will inspire me to get back out there and trim up at least one more bush.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bottles of Different Shapes and Sizes

A bottle for the baby, a bottle for mommy to drink right now and a bottle for mommy to drink once all the kids are in bed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What a Wonderful World This Could Be

I have sort of been avoiding all the September 11th hype these past few weeks. It's been ten years and yet when I watch the footage from that day it seems like just yesterday and my sadness over the enormity hasn't faded too much from how it was that very morning. Last night though as I settled into feeding Sully I turned on the television and there was a September 11th special just starting and I couldn't turn it off. It was footage taken that day, footage that showed the first plane fly into the tower, footage from inside the lobby where fireman were trying to figure out what to do and how to help, footage of loud bangs emanating from the roof as bodies crashed down, footage of one tower and then the other crashing to the ground..........and as I watched, I held my little, innocent Sully bear and hoped and prayed for a better world for him.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Up All Night

The Sully Bear has been an eating machine lately. Holy cats, it feels like he's eating constantly. Last night we were up four times to feed him and the last time, around 4:00 a.m. got sucked into watching a movie so even once he'd fallen back to sleep I was still up and am still up now at 12:30 p.m. Despite the incredible lack of sleep, it's the most wonderful feeling in the world though when after he eats I put him on my shoulder to burp and after a few minutes he falls asleep and I just get to hold him, listen to him breath and stare at his beautiful face.

SB finished up his first week of K4 and it seems to be a success. He really enjoys school and seems to be loving the all day format. He's excited to nap on his nap mat, excited by outdoor recess and even excited by hot lunch. I figured he'd shy away from hot lunch for a while but he wanted it the very first day of school. That it was pizza probably helped. When he got home I asked him how he'd liked his lunch and he said it was good and then I asked if he'd eaten his carrots and he thought about it just for a second and then said "ahhh, probably not." Probably not, as if he wasn't quite sure if he had eaten them or not. I for certain knew that he hadn't and when I asked him why he didn't eat them he went on to explain that they were the "wet" kind. I can only assume that means they were cooked carrots, in which case, very gross and I completely understand why he didn't eat them.

QT has been missing SB which I just find ever so sweet. I miss him too although not as much since normally I'm going to work during the week so I'm pretty used to not seeing him during the day. It amazes me to think that next year even QB will be in school. They are just growing up far too fast.

As for me, I'm healing. My bruises have turned a lovely shade of purple, black, yellow, green and blue but they aren't as sore and I am no longer taking the Percocet but am popping Advil off and on because my back is still sore.

I'm also half-way through my maternity leave and feel as though I've accomplished so little. I'm in the middle of re-working my wardrobe, trying to purge all the things I wear but don't love and all the things I never wear but it's been slow going. I've managed to make meal plans some weeks and just wing it most others. This week I managed to cook two meals from scratch and both turned out well. One was an Italian casserole, basically ground beef, onion and spaghetti sauce topped with a mixture of sour cream and mozzarella cheese and then topped again with crescent roll dough. The second was a Low Country Boil of red potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, onion, smoked kielbasa and shrimp. The husband really enjoyed this one and it was super easy to make because as the name implies, you just boil everything in a big pot. The goal, of course, is to have a meal plan that gets stuck to every week but it just feels as though something always crops up. My plan for last night was to make Spanish Paella but then it was 95 degrees with close to 100% humidity and there was no way in heck I was going to have the stove on for over an hour to make it. We opted for hot dogs and chips instead.

My goal this weekend is to come up with a really workable weekly schedule for all the things that need to get done. That plan may include hiring someone to take over some of those things that need to get done. Right before I had SB I hired a cleaning person to come once a month and it was wonderful. I gave that up when money got tight and money is still tight but my sanity is worth something, right? So, I'm considering looking into a cleaning person again and for more often than just once a month since we've added two more children, a dog and a cat to our household since the lazy days of a life so long ago I barely remember what it was like.

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of All Day

Today I sent Shannon off to his first day of all day school. Wow how the time flies. He was so excited, I think it was the husband and I who were a little sad. There's a certain freedom when your children are young and not tied to any schedule other than the one you choose to put them on for meals or naps. Now, not only am I tied to my own work schedule, but to his school schedule as well. Soon I will be that woman at work who is explaining why I need a certain week off from work because "that is when my kids are off from school."

Doesn't he look so grown up in his uniform?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rough Ride

Was I just talking about a great vacation? I guess I spoke too soon.

Wednesday the husband and I got up early and took the baby with us to breakfast at a great greasy spoon in St. Germain. We got home in time to round everyone up to go horseback riding. The plan was for my nieces to go riding and I figured I'd hang out with my sister until they got back and the husband was going to take our kids to a park to play. Well, then my sister said that she was going to go riding with her daughters so I figured what the heck, I'll go too. The last time I rode a horse I think I was ten years old. The last time my sister rode a horse she was five and the experience wasn't a good one. Her horse walked straight into a bush and stopped and much screaming and crying didn't get it out of the bush. Little did we know that this trip would prove to be far worse.

We arrived, paid and then signed a release - you know the ones, you agree to not sue even if you are maimed or killed. Then we were assigned horses. I got Big Blue and yes, he was very big. We were ready to go when three other people decided to take a ride as well so we waited while they mounted up and then we were off. We rode through the woods and it was pretty easy riding. Every so often one of the horses up in front would slow down to grab a bite of grass or would just lag behind and then we'd all trot a little bit to catch up. Mainly the horses just seemed to do what they wanted without much direction from us. They followed one another, sped up when necessary and slowed down the same way. We were about half an hour into a 45 minute ride when my horse trotted a little bit to catch up to the rest (my horse was last) and the last thing I remember is my horse coming really close to my sister's horse in front of me and then I felt like I was falling. The horse was up on his hind legs and I was trying to hold on but I could feel myself falling off to my left and then bam! I landed on my hip and behind and had the wind knocked out of me. I saw my horse running off into the woods, I saw my sister turn around and call to the guide saying I had fallen off and then I tried to stand up. No way so I settled back down into the dirty trail. But then I saw my horse coming back towards us and I got up because as much as falling off a horse hurts I was guessing having a horse trample you would hurt far worse. While I was trying to stand up something happened, all the horses spooked and they were gone, all off in different directions taking their riders with them. I could hear the kids screaming and the guide was off her horse trying to control things but not having any luck whatsoever. I just started walking up the trail to find everyone and my sister wandered dazed and confused out of the woods. She was covered in blood that was coming from a large cut on her head. Next we came upon the mom and daughter that were riding in front of my sister and although shaken up, neither were injured. We found my nieces in a field just a little ways up the trail. One had a big bump on her forehead that was bleeding a bit and the other was scared with a twisted knee. It was a pretty crazy scene with kids screaming and crying, specially after seeing their mother covered in blood. It took a bit to get everyone calmed down and I tried to assess my sister's injuries. As I tried to clean the blood off her face I could see how deep the cut was, down to bone and told the guide that we would need to go to the emergency room. The guide had no way to communicate with the stable but luckily I had brought my cell phone. She called for help and about ten minutes later a pick-up truck came and took us back to the stable.

The husband was there waiting for us and we transported everyone to the hospital in Eagle River. I think that was the most action that emergency room has seen in quite a while. My sister had a cat scan of her head, one niece had an x-ray of her knee and the other of her back and I had one of my pelvis. I was also checked to make sure my kidneys weren't bleeding. My nieces and I were found to be fine, albeit sore and badly bruised, but my sister was diagnosed with a broken nose, broken occipital lobe and the cut required 11 stitches. The doctor also said she needed to see a specialist in Milwaukee the next morning so the rush was on to figure out how to get her back in time.

Needless to say, this is not how I saw our vacation ending.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Real Real Gone

I'm on vacation. Wait, I'm on "vacation." I'm actually still working part-time from home and although I'm not at home, I'm with my three children and two of my nieces, not sure that qualifies as a vacation or just the same work in a different place. But, it has been fun. We are staying at a beautiful house with plenty of room for all of us, a short walk down a hill is a sandy beach and a good swimming and fishing lake. We brought the boat and the kids have been out numerous times just on fun rides and also for fishing. They have spent time on the beach making sand castles and time in the lake swimming. Today, during a rain storm, the kids colored and played old school marbles. It's wonderful to see how happy the kids are taking part in such normal activities. You don't necessarily need a trip to Disney Land to have a great vacation.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair

Yesterday we all went to the state fair. It was fun, although tiring, to get everyone out and about. QT loved seeing the cows. Given her addiction to milk she as thrilled to see where the milk comes from. SB liked all the animals but I think really liked riding all the carnival rides more. The husband took SB and QT to see the pig races while my younger sister and I walked around with Sully just taking in all the booths full of mops, cheese graters, slicers and dicers, etc. Sully garnered quite a bit of attention for being such a cutie. People just seem to be drawn to babies.

As for eating, I think I did pretty well with not going overboard. I had some mini-chocolate chip cookies, some bbq pork nachos, some sour cream and chive fries, Mexican style corn and soda. I think that's it. I didn't even get any hot candy nuts which I LOVE. Oh wait, I did bring home some popcorn mix which I snacked on last night. I didn't have any deep fried butter though, or deep fried snickers bars, or deep fried macaroni and cheese, or deep fried beer.......or really anything deep fried other than the french fries and I somehow got out of the fair without eating anything on a stick. It's a miracle.

I don't think I've been eating as much during the days in general but I do seem to be eating quite a bit a night before bed. As of this morning I've lost over 20 pounds since having the baby but I can say I'm not making any effort to keep that off and seem to have just resigned myself to the fact that I will eventually gain it back. I suppose I should start thinking about adopting a healthier eating plan but it just seems like so much work on top of all the work I'm already doing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Due Date

Today is my official due date. I know it hasn't even been three weeks but I'm going out on a limb and say this is actually easier than I thought it would be. Now, I know saying that is asking for a world of trouble to drop down from the sky but I really do feel that way. I also know that things will change substantially once I am back to work full-time, commuting, at home more and more with the kids by myself and things will really change once Sully is mobile, but I'll take what I can get and right now that is that things are good.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back to School

It's amazing how quickly this past week has passed by. How is my little boy already two weeks old? Things have been going really well with everyone. I am feeling a million times better, SB and QT are still excited about their new little brother and the baby is both a good eater and a good sleeper. The last two nights he's been up right around 4:00am for a feeding and I find myself almost falling asleep while feeding him and then, when he's done and it's time to put him pack in his bed I don't, choosing instead to let him cuddle on my shoulder and we both sleep. I love holding him and in the quiet of the early morning it's nice for it to just me him and me.

We've gotten out a few times now as a family of five and it doesn't seem as overwhelming as I thought it would but I suppose if it were just me and the kids it might me. Last weekend we went out for breakfast and today we did a quick trip to a pizza place and to get SB and QT new shoes.

SB starts school in just three weeks. He'll be going full-time to school and it's just hitting me how much he's growing up. School supply shopping and buying him a uniform really made things real to me. He's really going off to school, everyday for easily the next 15 plus years. How did that happen? I know he'll love school but I'll admit to be a tad nervous. It's not even so much about him being away every day, it's more all the things that will change. We've never had a strict morning schedule. SB could wake up naturally and he'd be eating breakfast as I was heading out to work. His school starts at 7:45am so now he'll have to be up by a certain time so that he can be at school on time. In the past we've taken fall family trips around Columbus day because I would have that day off of work but now with him in school we'll have to work our trips around his schedule, which, of course, everyone else I work with who has kids is trying to do the same thing so it makes it hard to get off. He'll have homework and permission slips and he'll need a lunch each day and oh my gosh, so many little things that just add to my ever growing list of things to keep track of. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my stuff, much less all the stuff that a kindergartner seems to generate. Some parents find discipline challenging but I know that for me keeping track of different schedules for three kids will most likely be the toughest part of motherhood for me. I'm also just not sure I'm ready for the loss of freedom him not going to school full-time has allowed us.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

One Week

Sullivan is now just over a week old and honestly, it feels as though he has always been with us. He sleeps and eats a lot and sometimes we're lucky and he opens his pretty blue eyes. I'm in awe of how we created this little person. I try and tell myself that he is the baby we were meant to meet and raise and that for some unknown reason, Trey and Therese weren't. When I watch him sleeping I think about how lucky we are but underneath, way underneath, there is still some sadness over our losses. I never thought having a baby would make up for the losses so I'm not surprised but I was surprised by how quickly that sadness came back up.

Right when I had him, when I could feel him slipping out of my body, I was sobbing with happiness and relief. He was here and when I heard him cry I thought he was safe and healthy and when they laid him on my stomach I thought he was perfect. Later in the afternoon I received flowers with a card that said "the third time is the charm." Third time? This was my fifth pregnancy and fifth child. The third time indeed wasn't the charm, nor was the forth. I suppose "the fifth time is the charm" just doesn't have the same ring and really, this was supposed to be such a happy day, not a day to dwell on the past. And so I choose to focus on what is here in front of me and what is in front of me is pure joy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Meet Joseph Sullivan

Joseph Sullivan arrived at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, July 23rd. He weighed 8lbs, 9oz and was 21 inches long.

The husband, SB, QT and, of course, I are all so much in love.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Induction set for 5:00am tomorrow morning.

And the Amnio Results Show Lung Maturity!

Tuesday I had another ob appointment. I was 37weeks and 2 days and 3cm dilated. That is exactly the same place I was with QB and I went into labor less than a week later. My doctor said he'd schedule an induction at 39 weeks or I could have an amnio performed to test for lung maturity and if it came back showing maturity that he would schedule an induction for this weekend. Apparently things have changed in the last two years and it is now unacceptable to schedule an induction prior to 39 weeks without proving lung maturity.

So, yesterday I had an amnio done. The procedure in and of itself wasn't bad at all. First, they did an ultrasound to see how the baby was positioned and to measure the amount of fluid. Then, the perinatologist came and guided a very long yet very thin needle into the upper part of my baby belly. I chose to watch everything on the ultrasound so I didn't see him put the needle in. I felt a small poke and then another poke as the needle went through the uterus. It was actually pretty neat to be able to see the needle on the ultrasound and then see the fluid moving around as it was drawn up into the syringe. What I actually felt the most was him pulling out the needle but even that isn't what I would describe as painful.

After the amnio the baby's heart rate was monitored for about half an hour. Unlike Tuesday when it was mainly in the 150s, with just a few spikes into the 170s when I was having contractions, yesterday it was mainly in the 170s and getting into the 180s. I really hope that issue resolves itself after delivery as I hate thinking there might be something wrong with the baby's heart.

As I was walking back to my car the nurse called with the first set of results and it was borderline. Apparently, they do a quick test and then if that doesn't come back showing maturity they send the sample for further testing. This morning I got the call that the extended test showed that the baby's lungs are mature. So, now I'm just waiting on my doctor to call to let me know when he wants to do the induction. I've known now for some time that I'm going to have a baby and yet I'm now a huge bundle of nerves. I'm scared things won't go smoothly and I'll regret choosing the induction, I'm scared that something will be wrong with the baby, I'm scared that I'll develop another blood clot even only being off the blood thinners for a day or so, and now, as I feel the baby moving inside me, I'm even feeling a little sad knowing that this may be my last day pregnant - ever. I feel as though I'm ready and as though I'm completely unprepared all at the same time.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Lately I have been trying to figure out ways to simplify my life. Adding a new baby to the mix seems counter intuitive to simplifying but adding a new baby is what has spurred my desire to simplify. Most of my nesting this time around has revolved around things like getting the kitchen counter tops cleaned off and re-organizing underneath the kitchen sink and the bathroom closet. I've throw away a ton of stuff that I either haven't used in years or honestly have never used. Just how many different types of cleaners does one lady need, specially one who doesn't clean all that often? So, slowly but surely I've been trying to pare things down. I've packed up books, clothes, shoes and household items to give away and have felt great about doing so. And yet, when I look around my house I still see so much clutter. The dining room table, no matter how hard I try, never is cleaned off for more than five minutes. My closet is still so stuffed full of clothes, in a wide range of sizes, that I don't think there is room for any more to go in. The den a/k/a the playroom is bursting at the seems with plastic toys that my children are better at taking out and playing with than they are at putting them away.

I think part of simplifying isn't just about getting rid of stuff but getting rid of certain expectations I have. In my world, the toys are displayed neatly in bins and are organized according to type of toy. You know, all the toy dinosauers are together, all the Matchbox cars are together, the Goodnight Moon game box actually contains all the pieces. In this world I would never be asked "where is the mommy" that goes with the dollhouse because, of course, the mommy would always be with with dollhouse. Too high of an expectation for a four and two-year-old? You bet. And so, part of this process for me is giving up on my vision for the world. Or, put a better way, perhaps not giving up but modifying my vision. With the toys my vision has adjusted to include that the kids will put their toys away prior to heading upstairs to bed each night. I don't care where they put them, so long as they are contained in a bin somewhere. You want the mommy for the dollhouse? Then go start digging!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You Can't Change the Plan Now

From the time of my second pregnancy to now my doctor has always said that I'd be scheduled for an induction at 38 weeks due to the shoulder dystocia I had with SB. Today, at my 36 week appointment, he changed his mind and said he wouldn't schedule an induction until 39 weeks, despite not only the history of shoulder dystocia but now a history of DVT, being on blood thinners, two losses, high fetal heart rate and a very, very quick birth with QB. I work best when I have a plan and I certainly think it's too late in the game to be changing the plan now. Also, need I remind him that with both SB and QB I went into labor on my own no later than 38wk1d?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm Getting Too Old for This

None of my pregnancies have been what anyone would call easy but at the same time they haven't been hard. Yes, I have morning sickness the entire time (threw up yet again this morning) and yes, I'm tired and yes, I get huge and uncomfortable but it's never seemed all that bad. And, despite those annoyances, I have always really enjoyed pregnancy. This time around I'm still enjoying it but I'll admit it's been harder on my body and far more tiring than I ever could have imagined. Is that because I'm pregnant, have two young kids, work full-time and have the residual worry about losing another baby or is it simply because I'm 39? Either way, I'm either getting too old for this or I've got too much else going on for this.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Smidge of Drama

Whenever we discuss having babies, the husband makes me promise that the next pregnancy and subsequent delivery will be drama free, as though that is something I can help. He claims I promised him a drama free experience this time around. I do not recall ever saying that, although I'm sure that I agreed that no drama would be good.

Yesterday, there was a smidge of drama. On Wednesday my doc referred me to a perinatologist so yesterday morning I went to work as usual and was waiting for it to be after 8:00 a.m. so that I could call and schedule an appointment. Before it even hit 8:00 a.m. though my doc called to say that he had spoke with the peri and they both agreed that I needed to be admitted to the hospital for 24 hours so that they could monitor the baby's heart rate. So, after only about 15 minutes at work I was leaving, heading home to back a bag, and heading to the hospital.

Once we arrived we got situated in a birthing suite and I was hooked up to the monitors. The baby's heart rate was high, in the 180s and they could see that I was also having some contractions. Over the next five hours or so I watched tv, the husband worked on his laptop and the baby did somersaults in my belly. The heart rate ranged anywhere from the 150s to as high as 210 at one point. In the afternoon the peri paid a visit and he said that although the heart rate was on the high side that so long as it was going into the 200s and staying there he wasn't really concerned. His advice was to test me for some thyroid issue, send me home and have me return twice weekly for non-stress tests. So, a 24 hour stay turned into about a five hour stay and I was happy to go home although still a bit nervous about why the baby's heart rate is so high.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

34 Week Ultrasound

The baby looked really great at the ultrasound. The heart rate started in the 130s which was good news. Measurements show that the baby is actually closer to 36 weeks than the 34 weeks I actually am. No big surprise there. A little later on the heart beat started really going and went into the 180s. It could just be from movement or something else, even though the heart looked normal on the scan. So, I am being referred to a perinatologist just to get a second opinion. What's one more doctor at this point?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Welcome the Newest Member of our Family

I give you the 2010 Ford Flex SEL in Cinnamon Metallic:

Isn't she beautiful?

Slow Down Baby

I had an ob check yesterday afternoon. Normally they are pretty uneventful. I sit in the waiting room, I sit in exam room, the doc checks the baby's heartbeat, we discuss what's coming next and then I leave. Things were going normally yesterday except that everything was sped up. My wait both in the waiting room and in the exam room were shorter than normal and then, when the baby's heartbeat was checked it was quite sped up. The first reading was over 200 beats per minute. The second, taken just a a few minutes later was in the 180s. Over 200 is never normal and although 180 can be normal in the first trimester by 34 weeks it should be quite a bit lower.

So, I was sent over to the hospital to have the baby monitored. I was there a little over an hour in which time the baby's heart rate ranged from the 140s to the 160s, with a few spikes when there were kicks. In the end everything was declared fine and I was sent home with instructions to keep track of the baby's movement. I also have an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow afternoon which will help determine the size of the baby as I am measuring a full two weeks ahead.

I have been feeling the baby move a lot today which is great since I am now super paranoid that something is going wrong and if I went too long without feeling movement I would freak out. It's going to be a long four weeks until I deliver if I continue to wake up every half an hour to make sure the baby is still moving.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011


The baby has been really squirmy lately and it's awesome. I love to not only feel movement but SEE movement. With SB I can remember feeling a bit awkward, like I had an alien in my stomach who was trying to get out. But, by the end of my pregnancy with him, and in my subsequent ones, the movement is something I've come to treasure and it's something I miss terribly once the babies are born.

I'm also missing Therese terribly. A year ago today was my D&C.

In brighter news, my front yard is about to get bushes! Maybe a year and a half ago we had our front bushes removed and our front porch replaced. The porch looks great but then we didn't have the money, time or energy right away to re-landscape. My aunt, a master gardener, drew up a plan for us so last weekend we went to the nursery and picked out 15 shrubs. A few are green, a few are yellow and a bunch are a very pretty deep red. I think it will be wonderful to finally have some color in our landscape. Now we just need the weather to cooperate so that everything can actually get planted. This week started out crazy out, like in the 90s, but then turned crazy cold, like in the 50s, and now today it is raining and chilly with more rain expected. If I can just get my act together I'll try and take some pictures of the progress and final results.

In darker news, I am finally getting my hair colored again today. The gray is really showing right now because I've been too lazy to do any root touch-ups over the past six weeks or so. It's gotten so bad that the mailman at work actually commented on it. He was coming in to collect the mail when I was leaving to go home so he held the door for me. I dropped my id badge, bent over to pick it up, and when I stood up he said "you could really use a touch up, your gray is showing." Gee, thanks buddy, like I didn't already know that. Normally the comments pregnant ladies get are about their huge bellies, but me? Nope, it's my gray hair that stands out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


There are some anniversaries you look forward to like your wedding anniversary and others not so much. This morning when I left the house it was hot but a slight breeze was blowing and I could smell the faint scent of lilacs in the air. I could also feel the baby squirming around in my belly. All seems good until I remember this day last year. My ultrasound appointment was in the morning and I can remember sitting in my kitchen sipping coffee, working the crossword puzzle and listening to the radio. I can remember what I was wearing, my navy pants, white t-shirt and green sweater. I can remember knowing deep down what the ultrasound would show and yet also having this tiny little sliver of hope that things would work out. Of course, things didn't work out and the baby had died. So, I'm a little sad today thinking how I should have a six month old baby girl.

And yes, before anyone says it, I am grateful to be currently pregnant with what I'm hoping will be a happy and healthy baby. I am also grateful that I have two wonderful children at home who give me big hugs and kisses everyday. However, no amount of gratitude for what I have can totally relieve the pain from having lost two children. There are still times when I look at SB and QT playing and I wonder what it would have been like had Trey or Therese lived. I wonder how different our family would be. Watching SB and QT grow up makes me think about the two little ones I will never get to watch grow up. I'll never seeing their budding personalities or see what they would have grown into. Loving your kids who are with you makes you all the more keenly aware of what you have lost with the ones you will never know.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Who Are These Women?

I know there are women out there who breastfeed for two plus years, make their own organic baby food, cloth diaper and don't ever watch television when their kids are around but really, who are these women?

My husband and I have a running joke in which I discuss my "fantasy world." You know, the one in which I change bed sheets more than once a month, my home is amazingly clean, laundry is washed, dried and put away all in the span of a day instead of a week, a home-made dinner is set on the dining room table each day and we all gather round and chat about our days..........

For me I am basically in "get by" mode. I do enough so that my house isn't a complete disaster, my kids have clean clothes to wear and food to eat, but I know my limitations both with time and personally. I just do not have the personality, drive or energy to do many of the things that I know other women choose to do. And you know what? I don't really feel guilty about it either. I think one key to being a happy and successful mom is knowing your limitations.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When it Comes to Mothering, I'm a Slacker

Clearly, I am a slacker. My last post was over a month ago. I honestly do think about stuff to write about all the time, it's actually sitting down and writing the posts that seems to get away from me.

Most recently my slacker ways were pointed out by my children. SB and QT are very excited about soon having a baby brother (no, we do not know the sex yet but they are convinced it will be a little boy) and so they are constantly wanting to look at pictures of themselves from when they were babies. When SB was about to turn three I made a photo book for him of pictures from the first year of his life. My intention was to make one each year, and of course, to do the same for QT. But, being the incredible slacker that I am, I only ever made the one. SB is obsessed with looking at it and can describe exactly what is going on in each picture. Poor QT just stands there and looks at me asking where her book is. Ugh!

So, what's a slacker mom to do? Get busy making QT a photo book, obviously. Easier said than done though as when I started to put it together I realized that I don't have nearly as many photos of her as I have of SB from his first year. In fact, I don't have a single photo of her first Easter and although I have pictures from her baptism they are all of before or after the mass and none of her actually being baptized. I'm sure that somewhere, someone else in my family has pictures of the actual baptism, and that they probably provided those to me but do you think I have any idea where "real" photos would be? I deal much better in electronic media.

On the baby front things are progressing. I am measuring a week ahead but feel as though it's more like four or five weeks ahead. I can feel a lot of pressure when I walk which is uncomfortable but manageable. I'm 29 weeks and realized this morning that I only have 8 or 9 weeks to go. How time flies. All of my blood work has come back good and at this point I'll be seeing my ob/gyn more frequently. He is trying to decide how closely he wants to monitor the baby as we move forward and I am trying to decide how I want to handle scheduling the induction. Right now I am leaning towards having an amnio done at 37 weeks to check for lung maturity and scheduling the induction as soon as the test show that the lungs are mature. However, I'm scared that the procedure will put me into labor and then if the lungs aren't mature we could be facing another NICU experience and, if I go into labor on my own it sort of defeats the whole purpose of having an induction which is to allow me time to be off of the blood thinners and be able to get an epidural. Decisions, decisions.

I have at least one more visit to see Dr. Coulam. She will do more blood work as well as an ultrasound in another two weeks to check in and see how the baby is doing. I'm excited to get to see the baby again.

Since I am running out of time and it's been basically proven that I am a slacker, here are a few things I need to get done pre-baby:

1. Figure out how we are fitting three car seats into our cars.
2. Schedule a tour of the birthing center as we are trying out a new hospital (not my choice).
3. Make test runs to said new hospital as it is further away from our home and had we tried to go there when QT was born I would have given birth to her in the car.
4. Clean out the bassinet so the baby has somewhere to sleep.
5. Buy new bottles so the baby has something to eat out of.
6. Potty train QT.

I'm certain there is far more but those seem to be the most pressing. In composing the list I have finally come up with an area which I haven't been slacking in - buying clothes for the baby! I have accumulated quite a stockpile of cute clothes which can be worn by a boy or a girl. Having said that, I have to add another thing to the list:

7. Drag old baby clothes up from the basement, sort through them for what we may need and what should be given away and then wash all of it.............or maybe that can wait until after we have the baby and I know which set of clothes I need, boy or girl. Being a slacker, I don't want to have to sort through both sets!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Could I Be Any Lazier?

I suppose I could be if I didn't have to work and didn't have two young children at home, but given that those things aren't changing, I think I'm being about as lazy as possible.

To update:

My last two natural killer cell levels have come back completely normal so that is great news and such a relief.

My last thyroid panel also came back normal. It's been easily over a year since it really got wacky so it's nice thinking it's found it's way back to normal again.

My last ob check was good. The baby's heart rate was good and I've been feeling lots of little kicks and twists and turns so an active baby makes for a happy, less worried, mom.

My last heparin check came back low but I haven't heard back from the doctor if he wants to up my dose or if I should just get it re-checked again in another month. I'm wondering if having the test run so far away from when I do the actual shot is making it come back low. At least it came back showing there was some in my blood which wasn't happening when I was only doing one shot a day.

So, all in all, things are on the right track and I find myself smiling more and worrying less.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Half-Way Point

I'm 20 weeks today and have reached the half-way point. Technically, since I will have this baby right around 38 weeks, I really hit half-way last week. It's exciting to think how close we're getting. Each day I feel a little more movement which is very reassuring.

I had a short doc appointment Friday and the heartbeat sounded good. My heparin levels were rechecked and, unfortunately, came back non-existent again. So, it's looking like I need to return to twice daily injections. I've been doing them for so long that it really isn't a big deal, it's more just one more thing I have to remember.

Today is a rainy day and I wish the weather were nicer so that I could get the kids out of the house. They've been cooped up all winter and we all just want to be able to get out. The nice weather this past week was such a tease since today and the rest of this week isn't supposed to be super nice. I don't know why I'm not used to this having lived here 39 years but every year I'm frustrated with how long winter and spring are.

Well, QB is beginning to scale the tv stand to try and reach the Leapster so I have to run!

Monday, March 14, 2011

And the Baby is Declared


We had the anatomy scan last Monday and the tech said everything looked normal and "perfect." It's still hard for me to put faith in the word "perfect" because I've had perfect before turn out in an awful way but I'm trying my best to stay positive and believe that we will have a great outcome with this pregnancy. Our baby is healthy and that is what matters.

I've begun feeling movement, ever so slight, and I enjoy it but find it unnerving that it's not all that often and not very strong. The placenta is right in the front so I believe that is keeping me from feeling as much movement as I felt in previous pregnancies at this point. I'd love to start feeling some super kicks just so I can be even more certain that everything is going the way it should.

Despite being 19 weeks, I spent some quality time in the bathroom this morning throwing up. Ahhh, vomiting up stomach acid, a great way to start the week.

Other than that, not much else to report. I drove down to Dr. Coulam's for bloodwork last Wednesday and am hoping to not hear from them. No news is good news. I also had my progesterone, thyroid and low-molecular weight heparin levels checked and two out of three were good. My progesterone falls within the normal range and although my TSH is still too low the other levels are good and I'm told there's no need for concern. My heparin level, however, was non-existent so that makes me wonder if I'm on a high enough dose. I plan on having that rechecked this week when I go in for my regular ob check.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Have to Admit It's Getting Better

My anxiety that is. I'm starting to sometimes say things like "WHEN I have the baby" instead of "if I have the baby." And yet, just typing that out scares me because I'm worried that I'll have to take it all back. My sanity is kept in check in no small part due to my doppler. I do a quick heartbeat check everyday and it helps to get me through.

So, I think my anxiety over the pregnancy is getting better, little by little. My morning sickness hasn't gotten the message to get better. I continue to throw up on a somewhat regular basis, although it isn't everyday like it has been in past pregnancies.

Other things are getting better as well. I had a small tooth disaster this weekend. Who knew that eating cheese poofs could result in cracking off half a tooth? I now know. So, instead of enjoying a leisurely President's Day off from work, I spent three hours at the dentist getting fitted for a crown. Oh joy. Naturally, I declined to sign up for dental insurance this year because it's just so darn expensive.

Also on the mend is my foot. Tuesday while innocently walking across a restaurant floor I slipped on a puddle of water and fell. Yes, fell onto my right knee, in front of everyone standing in line waiting to order and everyone sitting there eating. It was quite embarrassing and so my reaction was to pop back up, declare myself "just fine" and to move on. Little less than an hour later I realized that I had actually injured my left foot, which had twisted in the fall, and I was unable to walk normally. At this point I'm still limping a little but I believe all will be will in another day or two.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

You Just Can't Have it All

I can remember having this awesome feeling back in fall of 2009 that everything was falling into place. We had two wonderful children, I was pregnant with our third and the husband had a contract teaching job which we both hoped would lead to something more permanent. It almost felt like things were too good and I kept wondering when it would fall apart on us. And, sure enough, it did fall apart because we lost Trey.

Here we were again, me pregnant with what we hope will be our third living child and the husband with another contract teaching job which we hoped would extend into next year. Which has to go since we all know you just can't have it all? It would appear that perhaps the teaching job has to go. I'll admit, I'll take that over losing the baby, although it is hard to raise a baby with very reduced income.

I typically have a strong belief that things will work themselves out and so I'm hoping that is what will happen here. The contract teaching job will come through, or even better, a permanent teaching job will appear, or we'll win the lottery and somehow it will all work out. We work hard so why can't we have it all? Is that just too much to ask or expect?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vday For Better or for Worse

Valentine's Day turned into quite the haul for me. The husband got me a new television for our bedroom, a sweet card, a box of delicious chocolate truffles and a dinner at the Melting Pot. I got him a card. Hmmm.........

Last year we celebrated Vday with dinner at the Melting Pot as well and it was a lot of fun. The food was good, the wine was good and we enjoyed ourselves in spite of still being somewhat in the fog of having lost Trey. This year, I can say that it wasn't so great. We had a reservation but still had to wait about 45 minutes to get seated. That meant we didn't even get to start eating until after 9:00pm. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I'm in bed and most nights, I'm asleep by nine. Additionally, I had a bad afternoon with several vomiting episodes so going too long without foods wasn't an appealing option and yet, eating wasn't all that appealing either. The food itself was just so-so this time around and very over priced (although I guess you should expect that on Vday.) I'm not sure we'll be going back. I guess I'd go back but only if I can choose whatever I want from the menu instead of being tied to a set menu.

Over dinner we discussed divorce. No, not for ourselves, but just divorce in general. I talked about how I had read a study that if you go back and ask divorced couples if they knew on their wedding day that they would some day get divorced the majority say yes. I find that so intriguing. The day I married the husband I had zero doubt in my mind that he was the right guy for me. I sure hope that I continue to feel that way forever. Marriage certainly isn't always easy, even I know that and we're just going on six years, but I do look at it as we've already been through what I'm sure constitutes the "for worse" in the wedding vows so hopefully the coming years will be filled with more "for betters" than "for worses."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ambitious Sunday

Yep, it's not even 9:00am and I've already made a meal plan for the week. Now I just need to get to the store, purchase everything and then actually have the energy during the week to make the meals. It sounds so easy and yet my plans like this normally fall apart.

When I was a kid both my mom and dad worked so when I look back at how the house was always clean, the laundry always got done and we had a "real" dinner every night, I wonder how and the heck did my mother manage that along with three children. I say my mother because my father certainly didn't help with any of that. I'm sitting in my living room right now and it looks as though we're running a daycare out of our home. There are blocks everywhere, a race car track, little doll house, train table, etc. just all out and about. The husband vacuumed on Friday but I'm not quite sure I can remember the last time I dusted everything. It was probably the last time we had anyone over. And the last time I made dinner? Well, I guess last night I did manage to make a box of Kraft mac 'n cheese but does that really count?

Other working moms, or non-working moms, or working non-moms, I'm not picky, PLEASE tell me how you manage to get it all done.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

14 Weeks and Moving Forward

So, here I am still pregnant and officially past when I lost Trey.

Today was the last of my weekly visits to Dr. Coulam. The ultrasound showed a baby that is really getting big, measuring a few days ahead and still with a good heartbeat. My natural killer cells are elevated yet again but I have been sick the past week or two so hopefully that is why. Even though I won't be seeing her every week anymore, I will still return to Evansville each month for blood work. If my levels remain elevated that is more IV intralipids in my future. I was sad to leave the comfort of her office. Her nurses are so very nice and her office also holds no bad memories for me as opposed to Dr. Bear's where all I seem to have are bad memories. It will be weird to not see the little guy every week but who knows, maybe I can implore Dr. Bear to let me have bi-weekly scans for a little while longer at least.

This weekend I have an appointment with the endocrinologist to have my thyroid re-checked. The morning sickness actually seems to be picking up as I've been feeling more nauseous more often and I've been throwing up quite a bit more. It's still nothing like what it was with SB, QT or Trey, but it strikes me as odd that it would pick up starting in the second trimester. My suspicion is that my thyroid is over-suppressed and the hyperthyroidism is what is making the morning sickness more intense. I'll feel better once it's checked out.

In related news, I'm slowly but surely weaning myself off of the progesterone. I know I was told to stop using it at nine weeks but I knew I would not stop until this point. I've scaled back from four pills a day to two and some days I'm only doing one. Next week I see Dr. Bear and so I'll ask him to check my progesterone levels just one last time and so long as they are good I'll be all done with the messy progesterone.

I think SB has caught on to the fact that I may actually have a baby. The other day at breakfast he said something about "when you have your baby" and then sometime later said "when I have a little brother." I asked him if he wanted a little sister and he said "no, I already have a little sister." Smart kid.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Time of Highest Risk

According to Dr. Coulam I am in my "time of highest risk." Hmmm, is that supposed to make me feel better? To be honest it's just been freaking me out. It's not as though I needed her to tell me that because I know exactly when things went wrong in my previous pregnancies and I know right where I am today. I know my anxiety is up because I think about using the doppler a lot more, like even on days when I've had an ultrasound and have seen a perfectly healthy baby.

My visit on Tuesday was good. The baby's heart rate has come down and is in the 160s/170s now. The baby measures right on track and Dr. Coulam says the placenta looks good. For the first time this pregnancy my natural killer cells came back completely normal. I had to laugh a little considering that I have been sick with a cold/flu thing for over a week now and so isn't it strange that they would be normal while I'm sick when illness is what should activate them?

I have what will possibly be my final appointment with her next week Wednesday. At that point I will be past my loss with Trey. We're hoping for another normal natural killer result and another good ultrasound and then it will just be me and Dr. Bear from here on out. It's super weird to think that I may be entering a phase in this pregnancy where I'll be treated just like every other pregnant woman.

So, despite the anxiety, I have been feeling pretty good about things and have even done some things like get out and wash all my maternity clothes. I've been reluctant to wear any of them because I felt that it would be bad luck but considering how huge I am (I look 25 weeks) I gave in and started wearing some of the tops and today I actually wore maternity pants as well.

Today I am mailing out the invitations to QT's second birthday party. I can't believe my little girl is turning two and I can't believe I've managed to keep this pregnancy a secret from my family this long. My plan is to be wearing full-on maternity clothes at the party and then everyone will know that I'm pregnant.........or they will think I've gained a lot of weight.......hmmm, maybe I'll actually have to tell them.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Where Have I Been?

I've been meaning to get on and write something but the time just keeps slipping away from me.


NT scan went well. The measurements were well within the normal range and I found out today that the blood work came normal as well.

Natural killer cells came down a bit and hopefully tomorrow I will find out that they have actually reached a normal level. However, I'm not holding my breath since I've never had them be normal this pregnancy and I've also been battling a cold/cough so if anything I'm assuming they will be elevated due to that.

I made it past twelve weeks without any bleeding.

I had my progesterone level tested and it came back at 44 which means I could probably actually really stop using the Prometrium but I won't because I'm paranoid.

So, those are the big highlights but I must admit that this week and next are a very anxious time for me. It's just so hard to feel secure with this pregnancy when everything was going so well with Trey and we still lost him. We've started talking about if we should find out the sex and how to rearrange the bedrooms and possible names and it's fun and yet in the back of my mind I can't help but wonder if we're jinxing things by even daring to discuss our future as if for certain there will be a baby in it. I know that's silly but it's how I feel.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Wonderland

It's snowing here today. I've always thought that snow was pretty - all the white on the bare tree branches can be stunning - but, then it turns gray and slushy. It's wet and you have to brush it all off your car and shovel it and well, it just becomes super annoying. Also, it doesn't help that I know it won't be gone until March. So, every winter I begin to wonder why it is exactly that I live where I live. I suppose it's just a matter of this is where I was born, where I grew up and where my family is and that has a strong hold on me that even crappy winters can't break.

I've begun using the doppler and have been having success in hearing the heart beat. Sometimes it can be tricky to find and it fades out pretty quickly. I find it frustrating that the actual heart rate doesn't register at all on the monitor. I get readings of 125ish even when I can hear the little galloping horses that is the baby's heart beating. I'm hoping that right now it's still just too early and that the further along I get the better it will be at showing me what the real heart rate is.

More about the heart rate - at the last ultrasound it was 188 and that worries me just a little. When we were in the ER with Trey his heart rate was 190 and that was right before I lost him. So, yea, that makes me worry that it's too high. I saw my ob the other day and he said it was fine but I still would love to see it lower this week.

I'll be going to see Dr. Coulam this week and next and I also need to schedule the NT scan for next week. I know it's silly, but I've been having trouble picking up the phone to call and schedule it. I just keep thinking how with my last pregnancy I didn't even make it that far and how with Trey I did and the scan was great but in the end it didn't matter. Have I mentioned by how much I need this pregnancy to work out?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Time Keeps on Tickin'

Each day brings me one day closer to the time I lost Trey. I'm getting more and more nervous the further along I get (isn't it supposed to be the opposite?). Dr. Coulam keeps telling me that the baby is developing normally and I assume she thinks this should reassure me but Trey was developing normally as well so I don't take a ton of comfort in that. Oddly, this week, after another good ultrasound but super crappy blood work, she said again that the baby is developing normally but then ominously added "but I can't guarantee it will continue on that way." Gulp.

So yes, my natural killer cells are right back to being super elevated. I'm so frustrated. I don't understand why just when they start to go down and I get another infusion it seems to be reactivating them. Should I not even continue to do the intralipids since it only seems to be making things worse? Dr. Coulam suggested we see what the levels are like next week (so, the results from this week) and then proceed with a third intralipid infusion assuming the levels are still elevated. She said that even in her most difficult patients she never sees it take more than three infusions for the natural killer cells to get under control. I sure hope that she's right and that everything happens in time to allow the baby to continue to develop and you know, actually be born healthy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Can't Lose This Baby

Today's ultrasound was wonderful. First, there was some encouraging news about my natural killer cells. The number is coming down and although it's not within normal range yet I'm hopeful that the second IV of intralipids will force them back to where they should be. Second, the baby was so adorable. I could see him (using the universal "he" because it sounds so much better than "it") wiggling around and could make out the little arms and legs. It just made me want to cry and all I could think was "I can't lose this baby."

Honestly, my heart can't take another loss, especially after seeing what I saw today. I can remember at one of the ultrasounds with Trey he was sort of waving to us and that image has stuck with me even more than a year later. I want the memories from this pregnancy to be good and joyful ones.

Dr. Coulam told me that I can stop the progesterone as well as begin to taper off the dexamethasone. Both of those things make me nervous.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


We stayed in last night. The kids went to bed at the normal time, I fell asleep probably a little after nine and the husband worked on school stuff. He came to bed right before midnight so I woke up in time to see the new year come in and then I fell back asleep. So, not a very exciting New Year's Eve but that's okay.

Last year we went out. We were trying to distance ourselves from the pain of losing Trey. I can remember thinking how I hoped 2010 would be kinder to us but in the end, that isn't exactly how it worked out. The end of 2009 was when I lost Trey but at least the beginning of that year had brought us QT. 2010 brought another pregnancy and another loss. Hopefully, I'll be able to look back and think how it also brought us this pregnancy that will ultimately lead to a healthy baby being born in 2011.

Happy New Year everyone. May 2011 bring us all only good things.