Monday, September 26, 2011

The Journey: Week 26 and Appointment Update

September 25
How Far Along: 26 weeks and 1 day.

Size of Baby: 
Our little bug-a-boo is on average 14 inches long (head to heel) and weighs about a pound and two-thirds. Or for comparisons sake...the length of an English hothouse cucumber.

A picture of an English hothouse cucumber!


Picture of Baby: No ultrasound this week which means no picture...boo.

26 weeks: The network of nerves in my baby's ears are better developed and more sensitive than before. He/she may now be able to hear both mine and daddy’s voices as we chat with each other. He/she is inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his/her lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he/she is born and takes that first gulp of air. And he/she is continuing to put on baby fat. If I’m having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum--a trip that will take about two to three days. (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Maternity Clothes: I still have some clothes that I can wear (hence the belly shot below) but I mostly stick to maternity.

Weight Gain: Up 4.5lbs (in just 6 days)...YIKES-A-ROONIES. But in my defense I was a bit constipated this week...so here's to hoping next week I don't gain quite so much. My total weight gain now stands at 22.5lbs.



Belly: 
6 weeks
16 weeks
AND 26 weeks!!!

Stretch Marks: Nope. Now and then I put a lil cream on the belly but I am hoping genetics is on my side :) Meaning my mom and sis don't have stretch marks. BUT if I do...then it is what it is!!!

Sleep: Let's just say it hasn't been the best this week. And the last few days have been especially bad since I came down with a nasty cold and sore throat on Friday morning.
 

Symptoms: Thinking my antibiotics are responsible for my off (meaning nauseous) days :)

Food Cravings: Nothing specific.

Gender: Getting more and more excited to find out if we'll be adding a lil man or a lil lady!!!

What I Miss: A good nights sleep. Sleeping use to be one of my most favorite things. But now I almost dread going to bed because I know it's going to be a long night of constantly waking up to pee or blowing my nose.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Registering tomorrow with my sister!!! And my 27 week appointment which includes a growth scan, an ECHO on baby's heart (standard with my office because Bug is an IVF baby), and rechecking Bug's kidneys (praying that the hydronephrosis that was found at 23 weeks is still mild or better yet...gone).

Milestones: Two weeks from my next goal of 28 weeks (which means 2 weeks past viability)..boo-yah!!!

Emotions: A lot less anxious than I was a week ago. And oh so very thankful to be done with cervical checks. And I told Brian that he does NOT need to come with me to my prenatal appointment tomorrow...now that is HUGE for me!!!



APPOINTMENT UPDATE
So I actually did it. I actually went to a doctor appointment without the hubby. So proud of myself!!! And a good appointment it was. Baby's heartbeat (with doppler) bounced between 153 and 154. And I got my first tummy measurement...and I landed right between 26 and 27...perfect since I am 26 weeks and 1 day. Not much else to report on besides the fact that I get to look forward to my glucose test in 2 weeks. Praying I pass!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Helmholdt Happenings

One of my most absolute favorite things to do is to spend time with my beautiful nieces and nephews!!! So when Brian went hunting last weekend I joined my mom in watching the Vugteveen kiddos one night. My niece Addisyn loves taking pictures and always asks me if she can take a picture with my camera...which I always have handy in my purse. Here are 2 of her shots... 

Me and Kylynn
Grandma and Easton

Then last Saturday after the craft show my sis (and her 3 kiddos) and I hung out at my mom's for awhile. One of Cambrey's fave things to do is play sticker book with Aunt Linnie...so sticker it up we did!

Me and Cambrey

Now to THIS weekend. Yesterday we got to celebrate this little cutie pie's birthday...


Cambrey actually turned 4 TODAY (Happy Birthday Sis)!!! So as of today I officially have a 5 year old niece...a 4 year old niece...a 3 year old niece...a 2 year old nephew...a 1 year old nephew...and a 2 month old niece. It gets a bit crazy when all the kiddos are together and it's only going to get crazier next year with the additions (YES additions) of baby Helmholdt AND another Vugteveen babe (my other bro and his wife are expecting their first in mid April)!!! Anyways enjoy some birthday party pictures...

Take 1...Cambrey, Ky, Addi, and Cole.
Take 2...somewhat better. My nephew Easton wouldn't sit for a picture...that stinker.
A barbie birthday!
"Mom...its make-up." I just LOVE how excited she was!!!
Aunt Kristi with Brinley
The Easton-ater!!!
Uncle Brian and Cole sharing a moment...
Cole just stuck his finger in his sister's cake (without her noticing)...he was quite proud of himself.
Making a wish...
Me and the hubster...LOVE him!!!

And then today we celebrated this beautiful baby girl's baptism. What a beautiful Child of God...
Sweet Brinley Mae
 
And that's the latest and greatest...until tomorrow!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

First "Little Buys" for Baby H

My mom bought me this gender neutral outfit a few weeks ago...thanks mom!!! I'll just have to add a splash of pink or blue!


And then last weekend I went to the Hudsonville craft show and made my very own first "little" purchases. Good thing I don't know if baby bug is a boy or girl because I would have came home broke :) But I did tell Brian that I took home LOTS of business cards and that when our babe arrives I WILL be doing some ordering!!!

Burp clothes...
And his/her baptism booties!!!

And my first (of many) diaper purchases...with a $6 off coupon!!! I've been told to buy Huggies/Pampers for newborn diapers and size 1 and then after that whatever goes. I guess we shall see :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pregnancy After Loss (Part 2)

***If you didn't read Monday's post...make sure you do so you can catch-up on part 1***

FETAL MOVEMENT...
"I over analyze everything. If the baby hasn't moved for a half hour or 15 minutes, I freak out. I wish I could enjoy it more than I do. I feel kind of bad about that. But I just don't see any way around it other than to quit worrying, and that's absolutely impossible."

Ohhhh is this ever me. I have had many freak out moments over the past few weeks. I just want Buggy to be moving ALL THE TIME. Because when Buggy is moving I feel that Buggy is alive and well (and this makes me VERY happy). But of course I have moments when Buggy is moving that I get scared. Sometimes I think to myself...am I contracting or is that just Buggy growing bigger and bigger and becoming harder in my belly? There have also been times when Buggy has kicked my cervix and believe me...it has stopped me in my tracks and has nearly made my heart stop. As you can see...I want the movement to be on my terms...and there to be no crazy business. And I of course prefer Buggy to NOT use my bladder as a trampoline. And now that I am being overly honest...every now and then I feel a little leakage and I of course go to worst case scenario...is it amniotic fluid. Oh be glad you aren't me...

THIRD TRIMESTER...
"I'm mentally trying to prepare myself for the first time I meet this baby and what happens if it has Jacob's little face...I don't want to feel like we're replacing the one we lost." It is common to get nothing ready for the new baby, especially if you had to put away unused baby things before...Avoiding preparing is a way of protecting yourself and does not mean you won't love this baby. Others may not understand but you need to do what feels right for you.

I have been so afraid of jinxing anything (even though I know I cannot jinx anything) that I hardly dare buy or prepare anything. My goal was to wait until 20 weeks and then 20 weeks turned into 24 weeks. Although I did ordered the babe's bedding at 20 weeks but the glider ordering didn't happen until 24 weeks. And also at 24 weeks we Brian finally set up the crib and changing table. Most people have their whole baby's room set up by this point in their pregnancy. And then there is the little big thing of registering. Most people are so excited to register but for me it is a BIG deal. The plan is now to go a week from Monday. Yes...the plan was originally to go this past Monday but something came up so at 26 weeks it will be...as long as my cervix cooperates...and there I go being pessimistic again...aghhh. And then of course this past week I have finally started picking up a few "little" items here and there. The thing is I thought that I would start enjoying this pregnancy at 24 weeks but now even 28 weeks isn't good enough for me. I just want to be 32 weeks because then I truly believe that I will finally feel that this dream of mine is going to come true!!! 

COMMUNICATING  AS COUPLES...
"We met with a psychologist who specialized in infant loss. She helped me and my husband through our differences in how we dealt with our fears and grief." Just as the loss of your baby may have put a strain on you as a couple, your next pregnancy is likely to test even the strongest relationships. Individuals grieve differently. The progress through emotional and spiritual stages at different times, in different ways. You will find these alternating "ups and downs" to be a part of your next pregnancy also. "I really think one of the biggest impacts is on our marriage because we dealt with it differently. I went to the pregnancy after loss support group, saw a therapist, and my husband just really held everything in."

Couldn't agree more that husbands and wife's grieve EXTREMELY differently. And that we also deal with the emotions of a subsequent pregnancy differently too. Brian gets very frustrated with me when I say things like...boy Buggy why do you always stick to this side of my uterus or if I say to Brian look at how hard my belly is on this side. He gets really concerned that something is wrong so he always asks if what is happening is normal. I typically reassure him that these things are normal but he told me last night that he wishes he could just put me in a bubble for the next 3 months. But I know it's only because he cares so much about me and the baby. 

CONCLUSION...
You will always be a different parent than parents who have never suffered a loss. Some parents are able to see their changed view of life as a gift from their deceased baby. "If our first baby had lived, I know we would have been good parents. We would have done all the things we'd learned to do, but we would have done them with much less consciousness. Going through the deep traumatic loss of having our son come and leave so quickly made us more conscious human beings in this world, which allowed us to be different parents to the children who came after him than we could have been to him. I believe that's true."

The angel's that made us parents...
Alayna Joy 6/24/10

Ella Adrianna 6/30/10

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Journey: Week 25 and Appointment Update

September 20
How Far Along: 25 weeks and 2 days.

Size of Baby: 
Our little bug-a-boo is on average 13.5 inches long (head to heel) and weighs about 1.5 pounds. Or for comparisons sake...the size of a rutabaga.
A picture of a rutabaga!

Picture of Baby: 

The babe's profile and body...(don't mind the staple in his/her head)!

25 weeks: 
My baby is beginning to exchange his/her long, lean look for some baby fat. As he/she does, his/her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he/she will start to look more and more like a newborn. He/she is also growing more hair--and if I could see it, I'd now be able to discern its color and texture. (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Weight Gain: So on Sunday morning I completely forgot to weigh myself. And by the time I remembered that I had not weighed myself I had already eaten breakfast and I was fully clothed. But I stepped on the scale anyways and low and behold I was up 2.5lbs from last week. I then decided to reweigh myself on Monday morning BEFORE eating and with NO clothes on and I was down a pound from last week. Now I will admit here that my nerves were in FULL FORCE and I was on my antibiotics (and you all know how they work)...so I am going with the down a pound...which puts my total weight gain at 18lbs.


Belly:

Baring the belly :)

Best Moment of the Week: Completing week 24 and moving on to week 25.

Movement: Happiest when I'm feeling my little bundle of love shaking his/her thang in my belly. And she/he is definitely a mover and shaker (most of the time anyways)!!!


Food Cravings: Been enjoying me lots of FRUIT. And I've been craving HOT chocolate lately too.

Gender: Buying gender neutral :)

What I'm Looking Forward to: 28 weeks!!! Which means my babe has a 94% survival rate (with few developmental delays). But lets be serious...this babe better not come until at or after 38 weeks.

Emotions: Anxious for my appointment on Tuesday. And praying like crazy that my cervix is still cooperating.



APPOINTMENT UPDATE
Ahhhh...I LOVE good appointments!!! Baby's heartbeat was beating at 153 today (same as last week). And my cervix came in at 34mm with NO FUNNELING!!! But man-oh-miskins was I ever a basket of nerves waiting to be called back to the ultrasound room. I was visibly shaking. We did have to do the vag wand once again but I'm thinking it will be our last encounter...well that is until we start infertility treatments again. 


Dr. J did say that if I'm feeling at all uncomfortable that we can switch my appointment next week from a prenatal appointment to a prenatal appointment plus a cervical check. But I told him absolutely NOT...I am done with cervical checks. I told him that I wanted to end on a happy note and today was a VERY happy note. So here's to next weeks PRENATAL (only) appointment!!! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pregnancy After Loss (Part 1)

My counselor gave me a book to read after our last counseling session together. And as she handed me the book she said...I bet you didn't know there was a book written just about you!!! And even though this book was not truly written about me...it very well could have been. I wrote the title of the book below and included a few a lot of blurbs for your reading pleasure!!!

WHEN PREGNANCY FOLLOWS A LOSS:
PREPARING FOR THE BIRTH OF YOUR NEW BABY
by Joann O'Leary PHD
Clare Thorwick RN

WHAT THE BOOKS ABOUT...
The loss of a baby during pregnancy or in the newborn period is the most devastating event parents can undergo. Our children are not suppose to die before us. Few people understand the conflicting emotions that surface during a subsequent pregnancy nor that these feelings are normal, given your life experience. Embracing the life of a new baby can be daunting when others may not understand you are still a parent to the baby who died. But that baby is part of your family forever. While each family has their own story there are also many commonalities. This booklet is a compilation of families' experiences. It is the hope that the voices of other parents will help you find a new way of being and coping.

THE DECISION TO TRY AGAIN...
However you are feeling, a new pregnancy and a new baby will not take away the memory or love for the baby who has died. You will always be a parent to that baby. This baby will be a sibling, not a replacement.

Brian and I immediately knew (well I immediately KNEW) that we wanted to try for baby #3 soon after we lost the girls. We knew the new baby could and would never replace Alayna and Ella but we hoped he/she would heal our broken hearts. When we lost baby #3 (Luke) our hearts broke all over again. And then once we were given the okay to try again boy oh boy we were overjoyed to learn that we were expecting baby #4 but within a week anxiety set in FULL FORCE. This pregnancy has brought me to tears more times than I care to count. As happy as I am to be carrying our fourth child...my heart is still broken over the girls and Luke. It's hard to understand how I can be so happy and so sad at the same time. But I miss my girls every day. I still think about them often and even more so now that Buggy is growing bigger and bigger in my belly. I think about all the things I never got to experience with them and it breaks my heart. But I know Buggy would not be if they (or Luke) were so all I can do is believe that God's plan is more than perfect. And that in heaven I WILL get to hold ALL four of my precious babies...and that is what keeps me strong and keeps me going!!!

THE FIRST TRIMESTER...
"We felt so confident the first time we were pregnant and then it was all taken away." Your initial joy can sometimes turn to fear that this baby could die too. "I worry that we are going to have to go through it all again." The loss of innocence that pregnancy means a live birth causes many parents to say, "We are cautiously optimistic."..."I don't know how you can be happy and scared as hell, basically in one moment. You're happy, but what's going to happen is the next thing."...It is common to want to isolate yourself from other pregnant people. Their blissful ignorance is something you have lost. It is self protective to stay away from baby showers and holidays where other babies might be present. "During my pregnancy I had a lot of angry feelings toward other pregnant women and families with young children. I would always assume that those women were all so blissful and happy and had never experienced the tragedy that we had. It helped to write down all those angry feelings about how life can be so unfair. I was pleased to find that others in the support group had these same kinds of feelings..."

Pregnancy SUCKS. I am not gonna lie. I LOVED being pregnant with the twins. I had not a care in the world. But I have wanted this pregnancy over (meaning I have wanted it to be December) since we got our BFP in April. I am happy but just like the quote above...I am scared as hell at the same time. There is always something for me to worry about. And I get really jealous of people who float through pregnancy with not a care in the world. Not that I want them to experience my stress and anxiety but it would be nice if they would tone their excitement down around me. But at the same time I know that they deserve to be excited so I just try to avoid those super duper happy pregnant people.

THE SECOND TRIMESTER...
Loss changes the experience of pregnancy; it is normal to have heightened fears and anxiety throughout. For women, it can be stressful paying attention to what is going on within their bodies. For men, it is the constant worry about the well being of their partners and babies, as well as dealing with their jobs and other responsibilities. Both fathers and mothers tend to be more attentive to the physical changes in a subsequent pregnancy...When the new pregnancy exceeds the gestational age of the prior loss(es) normal changes of pregnancy can be frighteningly unfamiliar. You will have no way of knowing they are normal and may need additional reassurance...

"To ask parents not to be anxious is to ask them not to breathe. This can actually increase anxiety and is disrespectful to our experience." (Jane Warland, nurse midwife and bereaved parent)

"What helped me the most was that my husband and my family and my very close friends let me grieve. They listened when I needed to talk. They hugged me when I needed to cry. They were there."

I am so so so thankful for those who have sat and listened to me as I have talked all about my fears. My mom, my sis, my sis-in-law, a few close friends, a few close coworkers, and my counselor have let me talk to my hearts content about all the stress that this pregnancy has brought about. But they have also encouraged me to try my very hardest to enjoy this pregnancy at the same time.  

Stayed tuned for part 2 which will be coming on Wednesday...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Angel Has Her Wings

Yesterday was a heart-breaking day to put it mildly. My sister-in-law's dear friend Julie (and her husband James) unexpectedly lost their only child...their precious little girl...Mikayla Rose. She was only 5 and a half years old and she was one of my 5 year old niece Kylynn's bestest friends...and for that matter my 3 year old niece Addi's too.

But here is why her story touches me so deeply. James and Julie struggled to get pregnant for how long I don't know but they struggled (which obviously I can relate to). And then Miss Mikayla decided to make her debut at 25 weeks (and I believe 2 days). But despite her preemie status Mikayla was like any other little girl except that she had had a few more hospital stays than the average 5 year old. And on occasion I had the privilege of caring for her during these occasional hospital stays. She was the sweetest little girl who touched so many lives.

Last night I slept horribly. I had nightmares all night long and woke up about every 3 hours. And every time I woke up I thought of James and Julie. It reminded me of those long July nights after we lost the girls. When every time I woke up I wondered if I was just having a nightmare and then when I realized that I was not...I just wanted to fall back asleep to forget the pain. Oh how my heart breaks. And then this morning I read this post on my sis-in-law's blog...AND I LOST IT. Sometimes life just isn't fair. I can feel their pain...oh can I feel their pain. And although our loses are very different from each other...the end results are the same...we both lost our only children. And being an angel mommy (and daddy) is no easy task. Please please be in prayer for this couple...not only in the week ahead but the months and years to follow.

Mikayla Rose I pray that my little girls were there to meet you as you were ushered into heaven and into Jesus' waiting arms. I pray that they are showing you and telling you all about the beautiful place you now get to call home. And I hope that you are telling them all about their crazy cousins Kylynn and Addisyn who they never got to meet. Mikayla you will be missed by all but especially by your mommy and daddy. So send them your love every now and then.


Daddy, please don't look so sad,
Mama please don't cry.
'Cause I am in the arms of Jesus
And He sings me lullabies.

Please, try not to question God,
Don't think He is unkind.
Don't think He sent me to you,
And then He changed his mind.

You see, I am a special child,
And I'm needed up above.
I'm the special gift you gave Him,
The product of your love.

I'll always be there with you,
And watch the sky at night:
Find the brightest star that's gleaming,
That's my halo's brilliant light.

You'll see me in the morning frost,
That mists your window pane.
That's me in the summer showers,
I'll be dancing in the rain.

When you feel a little breeze,
From a gentle wind that blows,
That's me, I'll be there,
Planting a kiss on your nose.

When you see a child playing,
And your heart feels a little tug,
That's me, I'll be there,
Giving your heart a hug.

So Daddy, please don't look so sad,
Mama don't you cry.
I'm in the arms of Jesus,
And He sings me lullabies

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Journey: Week 24 and Appointment Update

September 13
How Far Along: 24 weeks and 2 days.

Size of Baby: 
Our little bug-a-boo is on average 12 inches (1 WHOLE foot) long (head to heel) and still just over a pound in weight. Or for comparisons sake...the length of an ear of corn. 

Picture of Baby: No picture this week which I was bummed about...


24 weeks: 
 My baby is growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him/her at just over a pound (yes for the third week in a row…just over a pound). Buggy must actually be nearing 2lbs since he/she weighed 1 pound 9 oz as of this past Tuesday!!! Since he/she is almost a foot long, he/she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his/her body is filling out proportionally and he/she will soon start to plump up. His/her brain is also growing quickly now, and his/her taste buds are continuing to develop. His/her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his/her air sacs inflate once he/she hits the outside world. His/her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon. (Information taken from babycenter.com)


Maternity Clothes: I can still wear some non-maternity shirts/dresses but more often than not I have been wearing maternity EVERYTHING :)

Weight Gain: Up another 2lbs...making the total a pound less than 20.


Belly:

and a close-up shot of the big-o-belly :)


Stretch Marks: Haven't noticed any yet but I can definitely feel my skin stretching...thinking I should just start slathering on some anti-stretch mark cream...

Sleep: I love when I sleep for a solid 4 hours.

Best Moment of the Week: Every time I feel my sweet love move...and making it to viability!!!

Movement: Movement is becoming more and more as Buggy grows bigger and bigger. I can def feel his/her head or butt frequently. And Buggy LOVES the right side of my uterus...doesn't care so much for the left side. Last night I told Brian to come and watch my belly button...it was moving up and down as Bug was doing his/her thing. He said he didn't need me to show him that again...men.



What I'm Looking Forward to: Hitting the 28 week mark...an important milestone in a baby's development. And I'm also looking forward to registering which will be happening a week from Monday (with my sister)...yea!!!

Milestones: I made it to 24 weeks...can you say VIABILITY baby!!! But Buggy PLEASE stay put for at least another 13-14 weeks.

Emotions: Still anxious but every day it gets a little bit better.



APPOINTMENT UPDATE
Ahhhhh...pregnancy is suppose to be ENJOYABLE. Enjoyable...ha. Enjoyable would NOT be the best word to describe this pregnancy. Anxiety-producing would be a much better fit. 


On Saturday in the midst of another anxiety filled day I was talking to my mom on the phone saying that I just wanted this pregnancy to be over (meaning that I wish it was December already). But my wise mom said...Lindsey you just need to take this pregnancy one day at a time and try to enjoy every day that this little life is inside of you. And so I will try. I will try my best to enjoy every minute that Buggy is growing inside of me but all this anxiety is getting really old. And then today I got a card in the mail (from my mom of course). The front just said HOPE. And the inside said...Hope has the power to make the world look better. I can already picture you heading into a happier time. Hope you can, too. Perfect words for another so so appointment...


As I was leaving my house this morning for my doctor appointment I said a little prayer. I prayed that this would in fact be my last cervical check. As always the nerves were right there with me as I laid on the table. And the nerves picked up a notch or ten when the US tech (who NEVER vag wands me unless she "sees something") said that we would have to do the vaginal probe today. Oh boy...what's wrong now was all I could think. Well my cervix was still nice and long and closed BUT Miss funneling decided to rear her ugly head again. My cervix would have been 38mm but Miss funneling brought her down to 31mm. Now I know that I am still measuring in the normal range but I just HATE that I funneled again.


So before my nurse took my blood pressure I told her that I could already feel the blood pumping and that it was going to be high. Sure enough...it was 140/78. Dr. J came in and told us right away that he was once again NOT worried with the little bit of funneling. He said you still have an excellent measurement. And also reminded me that funneling occurs in EVERY pregnant woman. I just happen to have weekly ultrasounds so my funneling gets caught more than the average pregger. He then said I know we talked last week about this being your last cervical check and switching you to every other week appointments but would you like to come back next week for another cervical check. I immediately said YES. And he said...then that's what we will do. He gave my arm a squeeze as we walked out and said that he will continue to do whatever I need to feel comfortable (and keep the anxiety down). He didn't even mention coming in on Thursday for the cervical recheck or taking me off work which actually made me feel better. So after the appointment I still ran all my errands but this evening and tomorrow I am and will take it easy. Unfortunately I still have to work both Thursday and Friday. But on the flipside it encourages me that he doesn't think I need to be on any restrictions. I am a little lot more calm this funneling go-around BUT it sure would be nice to walk out of an appointment with NOTHING BUT GOOD NEWS. Here's to praying that my wish will come true next week!


PLEASE be praying this week that week 25 really will mark my last cervical check and that I will walk out with NO funneling and a perfect measurement still within the normal range. However, I do know that at this point in a pregnancy that everyone's cervix naturally starts shortening but I am hoping for one more week of normal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nursery Happenings

Slowly but surely we have started thinking about and buying things for the nursery. Back in my naive days when I thought we'd just get pregnant right when we wanted (this would be when we were planning our wedding and building our house) I had decided to paint the future nursery yellow because when we got pregnant I wanted it to be a surprise. Well fast forward a few years and an IVF later and we were expecting twins. We obviously decided to find out the sexes since twins take a little more planning. And after we found out that Ella was for sure a girl I told Brian that if both the babes were girls that I wanted to repaint the room. His response...absolutely NOT. I was still trying to talk Brian into letting me repaint the nursery when I was in the hospital with the girls but once they were born the subject was obviously dropped.

When we were fairly far along in this pregnancy Brian asked me if I wanted to repaint the nursery. I said no that I wanted to keep the sunny yellow color since we weren't going to be finding out the sex of this babe. So sunny yellow it is. And I LOVE the color!!!

And we didn't have to shop for a crib or a changing table since we had already received two cribs and a changing table as a baby gift the weekend before I was hospitalized with the girls...

(our crib and changing table but NOT our baby's room)

So my (our) first big purchase this pregnancy was the babe's bedding which I ordered when I hit 20 weeks...

(This is the pattern...just substitute the pink for yellow. Plus I ordered a 
second crib sheet that is black with white dots.)
(And this gives you a little more of an idea...even though 
this isn't the exact print or color...just the correct pattern.)

Next on my agenda was looking for a cute bookshelf for the nursery and then Lindsey (at Worth the Wait) posted some picture of her baby boy Foster's room and I fell in love with the bookshelf that she had purchased. I asked her where she got the bookshelf and told the hubby that we needed to make a trip to IKEA...which we did this past Friday!!! I first checked to see how much it would cost to just buy it online and have it shipped to our house but when I read $350 for shipping I told Brian that we would have to make the 2 hour drive. Let me just mention here that this was only after double-checking to make sure that the bookshelf would be in stock at the Canton IKEA. The computer said that there was plenty in stock at that location. The icing to the cake was when we got to the bin where the bookshelf was stored and it said SOLD OUT. Brian walked away (swearing under his breath) to double check the bin number. Thankfully there were two bins of the bookshelf...otherwise it would have been a loooong drive home. Neither of us had ever been to IKEA before and one of us will never go back...I bet you can't imagine who said that they would never go back.

"the bookshelf"

And then USA baby was having a huge sale this past Saturday and since the in-law's wanted to buy us a glider as a baby gift we asked them to meet us out there for the last big nursery purchase. We were there for over an hour (an hour and a half to be exact) because I was having such a hard time deciding which one to get. At first I was trying to decide between these two styles (not the colors)...


The top chair was super comfy but also very bulky. We thought it would be too big for the nursery so we were leaning towards the second chair in this print (see the picture below).


However, this chair was not extremely comfortable compared to the top chair but because I really loved the print I kept going back to it. But we took another look around and finally decided on this rocker...


We ordered it in a canary yellow suede fabric (not what's shown) in white wood. As much as I loved the black/white swirl...I just didn't think it went that great with the white wood and they didn't have it in black. But I always said I wanted a white rocker with a yellow cushion so I guess I'm getting my wish!!! I left the store very happy with my decision.

Now we just need to order a mattress for the crib and start putting stuff together. Hoping this will happen sooner rather than later. Although we have some time since both the bedding and rocker will not be arriving for another 6-8 weeks.

So of course after purchasing the bookshelf on Friday and ordering the rocker on Saturday morning my anxiety set in BIG time Saturday afternoon. I am always so worried that I might jump the gun by ordering stuff. I know this all goes back to ordering the cribs and changing table and then getting hospitalized ASAP when preggers with the girlies. All I can do is keep reminding myself that this is a different pregnancy and that my doctor feels very confident that I will go full-term with baby bug. In the end all I can do is pray for strength to make it through each and every day of this pregnancy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

VIABILITY BABY

I have finally made it to week 24...


All I can say is that I have been looking forward to this week since we first heard that we were expecting again. My baby NOW has a fighting chance of survival if he/she were to be born today...(buggy you are NOT allowed to be born today though). Making it to 24 weeks means the world to me since no life-saving measures were taken for the girl's lives. At 21 weeks and 21 weeks 6 days...there was nothing that could be done. You don't know pain until you watch your own child's heart stop beating before your very eyes. It is indescribable. But here we are and we (baby #4 and myself) are going (and growing) strong!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Journey: Week 23 and Appointment Update

September 6
How Far Along: 23 weeks and 2 days.

Size of Baby: 
Our little bug-a-boo is on average more than 11 inches long (head to heel) and weighs just over a pound. Or for comparisons sake...the size of a large mango. 

Picture of Baby:

Bug was being a stinker (again) today and wouldn't show his/her profile but we did get one awesome shot. The picture below is of bug's arm/hand hiding his/her profile and his/her leg is touching his/her hand. Quite the acrobat if you ask me!


23 weeks: If I turned on the radio and swayed to the music...with my baby's sense of movement well developed by now, he/she could feel me dance. And now that he/she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound, I may be able to see him/her squirm underneath my clothes. Blood vessels in his/her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that my baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him/her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now--such as a dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner--probably won't faze him/her when he/she hears them outside the womb. (Information taken from babycenter.com) 

Weight Gain: Up another 2lbs. Drum roll please...total weight gain is now at +17lbs.


Belly: Picture taken (today) meaning Tuesday after a day at work. I almost didn't post it because I don't care for myself in it too much but then I thought who really cares. So here I am in all my glory...
Looking tired and MUCH bigger than 9 days ago...

Stretch Marks: I feel like I'm being stretched but I don't have any marks...yet :)

Best Moment of the Week: Getting to see my sweet lil love TWICE this week. Although I could have gone without the scare. And Baby Hemy's stroller arrived this past Friday so I can't wait for Brian to get it out of the box. My sis and sis-in-law told me I should cruise with it up and down our street...I told them I would pass even though I knew they were joking.

Movement: Becoming more and more pronounced. He/she sometimes has quite the fierce kick but this mama LOVES it!!!

Gender: Still holding out for the surprise!!!

What I Miss: I cannot wait until I am not so cautious about every little thing I do. And I must say that a good run would do me wonders but sedentary is the name of the game until this lil baby wants to make his/her debut. 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Praying that tomorrow at my appointment we hear that my cervix is long (preferably longer than 31mm), tightly closed, and that there is no funneling in sight. 

Milestones: We're almost to week 24!!! And as of Sunday (23 weeks) we officially entered month 6...now that's something to talk about!!!

Emotions: Still anxious with some excitement.



********************************************************
APPOINTMENT UPDATE
We had the most WONDERFUL appointment today!!! It was so so so good and I walked out so so so happy...well there was one little thing that didn't quite go our way (and I'll get to that) but otherwise it was PERFECT :) My cervix measured a whopping 44mm today (YEA!!!) and the even better news was that there was absolutely NO crazy business going on down yonder. Praise the Lord!!! And baby's heartbeat was 155 today. 


In addition to today's cervical scan we also did a growth scan and I am proud to announce that Baby H is a whopping 1lb 9oz...which puts him/her in the 92nd percentile. For comparison Alayna and Ella were 14oz (at 21 weeks) and 14.7oz (at 21 weeks and 6 days) respectively. So yes we got one big baby growing in my belly. And because Buggy is so big Dr J told us that if  I were to go into labor tonight (and before he continued he said I by NO means believe you will) but that Bug would have an above average survival rate (60%) because of his/her size. He also told us that because things are looking so good and because I am 23 weeks (and 2 days) chances of me going into preterm labor are slim to nil...sweet music to my ears!!! We were SO encourage by all this wonderful news. All I got to say is keep growing Buggy...KEEP GROWING!!! And cervix...stay closed until at least 37 weeks!!!


The only down side (of today) was that we found out that Bug has mild hydronephrosis. Now since I happen to be a nephrology nurse this news doesn't really concern me but it would still be better if we didn't have to deal with it at all. Thankfully it's very mild. They like to see 4mm or less of urine in the kidney and Bug's was at 6mm. Dr. J was not at all concerned and chances are it will go away once our sweet bundle is born. Read more about hydronephrosis here. Tonight I told Brian that I think we're having a boy because hydronephrosis is way more common in boys than girls. But then Brian reminded me that Ella had hydronephrosis too. So I guess we still don't know...

Monday, September 5, 2011

An Update + Labor Day Weekend

Today I am 23 weeks and 1 day preggers!!! However, I am already on the countdown (ONLY 6 MORE DAYS!!!) to hitting the 24 week mark...yea for viability!!! And maybe JUST maybe I will breath a lil bit easier (although I'm not counting on it). 

First things first...so like I already mentioned (in this post) I had my follow-up US last Thursday and Praise the Lord that everything was back to normal. What a nerve-wracking two days. Pry lost a few pounds with all the added stress...but I'm sure I packed those pounds right back on this weekend. After seeing my US results on Thursday...Dr J was even more sure of the fact that I had definitely had a contraction during Tuesday's US but he (again) reassured me that having a contraction at this stage of pregnancy (and not feeling it) is all very normal.
 
Let's just say that I was VERY happy to hear (on Thursday) that I had not been dilated at all on Tuesday but only slightly funneled. I guess funneling can come and go in a pregnancy and that its all very normal (per Dr. J). But as always I am praying for a good report at tomorrow's appointment. My cervix measured in at 31mm on Thursday which my doctor said was way more my norm than the 40-44mm from Tuesday. I am just really praying that tomorrow my cervix is longer...still tightly closed...with absolutely NO funneling. I get worried when my cervix is hovering just above the normal range but I HAVE to believe my doctor when he says that everything looks perfect. After tomorrow's scan we have only 1 more cervical check and then we move to appointments every 2 weeks...hopefully I can make the 2 week stretch. If I can't my doctor said that I can always call and make an appointment :)

Here's the two pics the US tech took. I wasn't too impressed with her or her picture taking skills but oh well...
My love's lil face
and waving at mommy and daddy!!!

Anyways onto Labor Day Weekend...we had a wonderful Labor Day weekend away with my family (at my parents cabin) but I must say...it always feels good to be back home. This year I really took it easy since I didn't need any crazy business happening 6.5 hours away. So no 4-wheel rides, horsing around with the nieces/nephews, or long walks for me. I laid low in the cabin reading my book, taking naps, watching movies, playing cards, eating, and playing a lil bit with my nieces/nephews. The cabin also means not caring about what one looks like. We do have running (indoor) showers and electricity but barely there make-up and wet hair is typically my cabin look...(however this is pry the reason why I'm only including 1 picture of me among the hodge podge of pictures taken this weekend)!!!


Get ready for picture overload (of my beautiful nieces and nephews)...
I just want to eat her up!
Brinley's 1st trip to the cabin.
Uncle Brian with baby Brinley...what a pro!!!
Had to have a picture with their yummy cookie bars...
Going for a ride...(bro) Brandon...my dad...(aka Papa)...the hubby
...(bil) Jason and the 4 oldest grand-chillens.
Cole climbed up and had some snuggle time with Aunt Linnie :)
The boys: Cole and Easton
Cole giving E some loving...
The girls: Brinley, Cambrey, Addisyn, and Kylynn...aren't 
they B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!
Addi wanted a turn hanging on to Brinley but can you tell that she had 
had enough of being passed around...poor baby.
We calmed her down and Kylynn got a turn!