Monday, November 30, 2009

A Good Woman, A Good Cause

I've been here for 7 weeks and Russ and I have no doubt made some new friends while we've been here--nurses, housekeepers, security guards, doctors, patients, and folks from the cafeteria. One friend in particular is my nurse, Joanne. She has been my night nurse many evenings and is a lovely human being. She is working her last shift at the hospital tonight to return home to her husband and her life in Ghana.

(doesn't she look cute in her new Longhorn scrubs?)

Joanne is a nurse and midwife who has dedicated herself to mothers and children in Africa (and Austin)! She is part of an organization that raises money to buy formula for the surviving infants of women who die during childbirth, to support a community feeding program, to pay school fees for young adults, and buy basic goods for these families and severely ill women during postpartum. Donations are welcome and appreciated!

Joanne's presence is something Russ and I look forward to. She is knowledgeable, kind, and a calm presence in our lives at this crazy time. She is one of the reasons our stay here has been "enjoyable." I can only imagine the impact she is making in Ghana.

The nurses organized a going away party for her and Julia and I were able to get out of our rooms and join them. I've been looking forward to it all week! They hardly recognized me with makeup and my hair halfway done. I'm so glad they allowed us to join them to say farwell to our nurse, our friend Joanne. She's made an impact on each of us and hopefully she realizes how special we think she is.

(Jackie, Chris, me, Laurel, Joanne, Julia, Stephy, Lily, Karen, and Sarah)
(Joanne, Chris, Laurel, Karen, Lily, Stephy, and Dr. DiStefano at nurse's station--Melinda, Annabelle, and Patricia are missing from the photo)
(Me, Dr. DiStefano, and Julia)
(Dr. DiStefano and Joanne)
(Russ poppin' the sparkling apple cider--thanks Lily!)

We are looking forward to seeing her again in June and meeting her husband too!

Goodnight Joanne!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dearest Little One,

I'm not thrilled to be laying here, but I have been able to focus on you more than the "normal" pregnant woman usually has the time and energy to do. For a few weeks now, you curl up just so your cute little hiney (don't you love that I already know how cute it is?) sticks up on the right side of my belly. You know what? I pat your hiney when you do that! I love it! It's not an uncomfortable feeling, but I know it when it comes and your hiney is there every time.

When you wiggle around, I say, "Hi Baby!" and when your Daddy is here with me, he looks up and smiles and if he's close enough, he'll put his hand on my belly to feel you move.

I sure do enjoy listening to your heartbeat every day. I'm going to miss it when we're not here anymore. Some days it can lull me to sleep. It's so peaceful to hear you beating away in there. I've learned a ton about your heartbeat. It's good and strong and the nurses tell me that it looks great (but I know that already because they've taught me so much)! I know what a good strip looks like and what worries the nurses. You haven't done it much, but you HAVE done it. Stinker.

Your big brother things if he talks into my belly button you can hear him better. I think it's so cute and pretty clever too. You are going to love that boy (well, most of the time)! He calls you "his baby" and thinks that you are a girl some days and other days he thinks you are a boy. One day he said you were a girl but that he wanted a brother. He will love you up whatever you are.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Heart Full of Gratitude

I started the day full of emotion. I could feel it sitting just under my skin, about to pop right out of my eyes. I knew I'd cry at some point and it started with texts and emails from friends and family.

I've always been a thankful kind of person, thankful for the amazing family that I have and loving married into I'm also very aware of my wonderful friends. This year though, I feel completely overwhelmed with thankfulness.

When you boil it down, I AM thankful to be here. Thankful to be celebrating my 50th day today. I am thankful to have 150 less days in NICU because I'm still here and still pregnant. Thankful to be 30 weeks and 4 days into this pregnancy.

I am thankful to the doctors and nurses who continue to take care of me and are thrilled at the lack of excitement going on in my room. It's a blessing to be boring here.

Yesterday was sonogram day and immediately the doctor commented on how big the baby was (YAY!). 2 weeks ago the weight was 2 lbs and 14 oz. We're shooting for 4 lbs. next week for our next weight measurement (and at the rate people are telling me I'm growing, I'm confident we'll get there!). We continue to see the baby practicing breathing, moving (LOTS of showing off for Dr. D yesterday), and saw the baby making sucking movements. My fluid went from a disappointing 3 last week back up to a 5 this week! I am thankful for all of the good things we're seeing on our weekly sonograms.

I am thankful for my precious little boy for hanging in there while Mommy's in the hospital. I'm thankful for Russ, Mom, and Karol for playing Mom (and Dad) while baby and I are in here cooking.

I am thankful for my family who went out of their way on this special holiday to visit and bring me "to go plates" even though the cafeteria was offering a special holiday meal. No thank you. It just wouldn't have been the same without Karol's broccoli cheese casserole or Grandmom's wild rice stuffing! Thank you!

I'm already looking forward to next Thanksgiving, being home with our family of 4, and being so incredibly grateful for the gifts God has given us. I'm looking forward to cooking in my kitchen, eating at the table with my family, and being very aware of just how blessed we are each and every day.

(Thanks so much for the family photo Katie, I absolutely love it. It was worth all 7 takes!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

New Tradition?

I tore this recipe out of the newspaper a week or so ago and wanted to make them, but didn't think it would happen. But... thanks to my sweet mother and one more trip to H.E.B., it did!!

Gobble, Gobble!!




Recipe can be found at my food blog, No Onions.

Monday, November 23, 2009

While You Were Out

While you were out Mommy,

I missed you AND I loved spending all of this time with my grandparents and Daddy!

Last night I made Aunt Robbye laugh by singing, "We will, we will....ROCK IT!"

Today Daddy called and I didn't want to talk to on the phone. Daddy called back and pretended to be Santa Claus to trick me. After we hung up, I asked Aunt Robbye if Daddy was Santa Clause.

Today I went to lunch at The Wagon Wheel with Nunny, Buzz, Aunt Robbye, and even Daddy met us there while he was working close by. I charmed all of the old timers that were there for lunch! The waitress walked up and I said, "What is your name? My name is Riley." I ordered some milk, all by myself, without anyone asking AND when the waitress walked away, proudly announced, "I'm waiting." Not in a rude way, but in a proud way to let everyone know that I was being patient.

Here are some other fun things I've done while you were out...

Helped Buzz and did a little leaf blowing,
did some digging,

played garbage man with leaves,

rocked out,

helped Daddy put the baby's dresser together,
and rode a horse at Abbie's birthday party.
Did the doctors and nurses say you could come home yet Mommy?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Big 3-0!

Today is not my 30th year, but my 30th week! Another milestone good it feels! Our next big one is 32 weeks.

This week according to

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

This week according to

As baby's skin smoothes out, her brain just keeps getting more wrinkled. All those grooves and indentations increase surface area, meaning more room for that oh-so-essential brain tissue. She's also adding some brawn -- her grip is now strong enough to grasp a finger.


It’s getting fun to play with your baby now, even before she’s born. By week 30, her senses are fully developed so that she can taste, touch, see and hear. If you poke at her foot stretched across your belly, she may kick you back. You will probably find yourself talking and singing to your belly all the time now, as you wait for your baby to make her entrance.Your baby is now about 15 ½ inches long and weighs almost 3 pounds. Her brain is still developing, as her head grows larger to accommodate it. Early lanugo is starting to disappear, as she begins to gain fat deposits to insulate her body temperature. Her toenails and fingernails have grown long and her bone marrow is starting to function. Your baby can actually produce tears now, and she can move her eyes and head towards a bright light.

I'm thrilled with each moment of progress, each day of development, each blessing!

All I Want for Christmas...

is to have a healthy baby.
is to be home with my family.
is to see/smell/squeeze Riley in his pajamas and read books at bedtime.
is to sleep in my very own bed next to my very own husband.
is to take a bath in my very own bathtub.
is to walk in my front door.
is to kiss my puppy.
is to enjoy fresh air for more than 20 or 30 minutes.
is to hear Riley talking/singing to himself on the monitor in the morning.
is to make my very own coffee in my very own coffee-maker from my coffee cup.
is to do something FUN with my little guy.
is to do some holiday baking.
is to have a healthy baby AND have my life back.

Let the countdown begin. 30 weeks today, 4 weeks to go!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Blessed and Less Worried

Today was a pretty worrisome day. Everything is okay, I just know it. I've been axious all day for the sonogram.

Lost a little more fluid than usual today.
Baseline (average) heartbeat was abnormally high.
My temperature was a little high.

All of these things added up to a little stress for me today. Then, our specialist called to say she had several emergencies pop up and a medical event this evening and wouldn't be able to make our usual Thursday sonogram, but that she'd be in tomorrow before noon. I totally understood, but was still worried and disappointed (I wanted Russ to be here and my nerves to be calmed).

Our nurse ended up calling the doctor and telling her all of the news and that she would feel better if we looked at the baby and didn't go another day without checking things out. She was going to squeeze us in.

There was indeed less fluid. I went from a 4.8 to a 3. Not the news I wanted to hear, but the news I expected. Dr. said that while it's not ideal, it isn't as critical now as it was 4 weeks ago. There was tons of fetal movement yesterday and she said that all of the movement could kick out some of the fluid. There is also the possibility that the fluid will increase now that baby has settled. I'm looking forward to next Thursday already...jeez!

We saw a full bladder (more fluid!), movement, breathing, and we even saw baby's eyes looking around!!

I am working on finding peace as we speak. Knowing that God has a plan for this baby and me. Knowing that we'll be okay and looking back on how far we've come. (We arrived 6 weeks ago at 23 weeks and 4 days. Today I am 29 weeks and 4 days--in case you couldn't do the math, I did it for you!)

Already feeling more blessed (and grateful) and less worried. Looking forward to Sunday's milestone of 30 weeks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Mother's Prayer for Her Unborn Child

A Mother's Prayer for Her Unborn Child

Blessed and Merciful God,
Thank you for the gift of life.
Thank you for the life of the child growing inside me.
Thank you for your love that is shaping and forming
this child's life into divine perfection.
Thank you for shaping this child's mind.
Thank you for shaping this child's bones.
Thank you for shaping this child's destiny and for writing up on his or her heart.
Thank you for filling this child's entire being with your loving light.
Thank you for knowing and calling this child's name even as it is being formed.
Thank you for showing me how to love this child even before it is born.
Thank you for giving me a healthy appetite for those foods that are giving and life sustaining
while this child is growing inside of me.
Thank you for keeping me from harm and danger while this child is growing inside me.
Thank you for peace of mind while this child is growing inside of me.
Right now I give to you all of my concerns for the health, strength, and well being
for the precious life growing inside me.
Right now I call forth your grace, mercy, and the loving light of your presence
to fill my being and sustain the life growing inside me.
Prepare me for this birth. Prepare my mind. Prepare my body.
Bless me and this child that its birth will happen easily and effortlessly,
under the grace of your peace.
Protect this baby in my womb wit your Love and care until the time of his or her birth.
I give your angels charge of this child.
I give you charge over my entire being.
I give you thanksgsiving and praise for this blessed life growing inside me.
May this prayer be lifted, heard, and accepted into the highest realms of all that is good.
For this I am so grateful.
And So It Is!

Thank you Tara for sharing this with me. It means the world to me!

Tara brought this prayer to me my first week in the hospital. I couldn't read it because I was just a little emotional upon arrival. I was afraid for our baby. I was worried that if something were to go wrong that I wouldn't be able to handle it as gracefully as those before me. I was afraid of the unexpected, the unplanned, the "taken for granted."

Now that I've adjusted and know that God will carry me through any situation, I have read this prayer many times. After a week of adjusting to the shock of what was happening and the loss of control of what was happening in my life, I wrapped my head around our situation and accepted it. I am so thankful to be here.

I am so thankful for the people in our lives who have taken care of me and my boys. We are so grateful for the prayers and positive thoughts, they are a blessing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bedrest is Busy!!

In case you're wondering how I spend my days, you're in good company, I am too. I'm spilling it today and keeping a schedule:

6:45 Enter nurse practitioner. She comes in every morning to listen to me breathe, listen to my heart, push on my belly, check my feet for swelling, and ankles for pain. All is well, as usual, except for her cold hands!

6:50 Might as well go to restroom since I'm awake. Don't forget to wash your hands!

7:10 Look at email on Blackberry--delete overnight spam. IM with Russ for a few minutes--that was a pleasant surprise. I need my Snuggie--it feels cooler in here than usual. Is it cold outside?

7:30 I'm wondering about coffee. I don't drink it every morning in here and can't make it myself, so...I'm waiting on a nurse to come in OR I may have to call and ask very nicely for someone to start a pot of decaf. Bless their hearts. Bless MY heart that I can't make my own dang coffee.

7:50 Call to find out who my nurse is--Stephy! Call her and ask her to make coffee!!

7:55 IM Tina a little to0! Check email, blogs (completed a quiz on Bakerella's site), and Facebook. Anxiously awaiting coffee!!

8:05 Wonder what is going on above me. It always sounds like moving furniture. ALL DAY...until about 11:00 at night. WHY???

Wonder how Russ and Riley are doing this Riley being cooperative and sweet? I sure hope it's a good morning at home!

Hoping I'll have time to squeeze in some of the book I'm reading while I drink my coffee (hint, hint), AND have time to take a shower before Ellen at 9:00. (Boy, life is different in this bed...) There goes the furniture again...

8:15 Bathroom again...hands too. My hands are so dry! I try to keep lotion on them, but I go to the bathroom so often, it just washes off. Argh!

8:20 Get everything ready for shower. Coffee--anyone, anyone?

8:30 Stephy comes in with fresh water and ice (aaaah, thank you, but where's that coffee?). Temperature=97.5 and blood pressure is 114/56 and heart rate is 80. Good to go! Visit with Stephy a little--she's going backpacking in Argentina in the spring--what a wonderful experience (and out of her box, she's a little nervous)!

8:40 Stephy brings me a big ol' cup of decaf with the whole bottle of pumpkin spice creamer so I can hook myself up. Thank you! Aaaah.

8:45 Read from the funny book Kaley brought me "One For the Money" by Janet Evanovich, while sipping on my hot coffee in silence. Love the coffee, love the book! Thanks Stephy and Kaley!

8:50 Great interruption--a phone call from my sweet husband on his way to work. Not a great morning with Riley, but they made it through. Back to my book and coffee...

9:00 Finished chapter 5, turned on Ellen, but still working on coffee. I"ll wait until after she dances to get in the shower. I love her AND her D.J.! Ellen and I like to dance to the same kind of music. I wish I could be dancing right along with her, but for now, I have to sit, watch, enjoy the music, and giggle! Oh NO, her back is still bothering her...she danced last week!

9:10 Awww jeez...she's dancing to The Pussycat Dolls today. Yuck on them, not Ellen and her dancing!

Call Stephy and ask for clean sheets and towels. I like to have them change my sheets while I take a shower. I sure wish that happened at home too!

9:40 Out of shower, excited about the clean sheets! All dressed up and nowhere to go.

Called "Room Service" and ordered French Toast, strawberries, and cottage cheese. P. Diddy is on Ellen...which means I may have missed Robert Pattinson while in the shower. I did not know that Ciroc vodka was P. Diddy's vodka (is that his name today?). His vodka is made from grapes and other vodkas are made from potatoes.

While in the shower had the thought that there is NO need for exfoliation while in the hospital because between the towels and washcloths, you're exfoliated and in dire need of a heavy moisturizer (sure wish I could reach my feet and back a little easier). I'm about to put my night time moisturizer on my face it's so dry in here!

10:00 While waiting for breakfast, delete a few more messages from my overwhelming inbox. Down to 179 unread messages and 2, 230 messages in my inbox. This is a problem, I know. Lots of them are recent photos and videos of Riley that I haven't been able to save on computer at home, but it's still a problem...

10:15 Breakfast is here!

10:20 Stephy called to see if I was ready to be put on monitor. I'm not--still eating.

10:30 Potty break, brush teeth, moisturize

10:45 Monitor baby's heartbeat and monitor contractions. This is such a peaceful time for me each day. On occasion, I still have to press on the heartbeat monitor so I can hear the heartbeat better. Sometimes I have to momve the pressure because baby is squirming around so much. I feel lots of baby movement at this time because I'm really focused on it. Also, I think baby's not crazy about me pushing on his/her space. I usually turn the volume down on the t.v. and pay attention to baby's little heartbeat. We're listening for accelleratoins and decellerations. D-cels aren't bad, but they are a little worrisome. Because I have low fluid, when the baby moves around he/she may compress the umbilical cord, which slows the heartrate. We want the heartrate to pick back up to speed quickly. As baby gets older, we hear fewer of them, but it's not as frightening as it was when I arrived.

I also take this quiet time to pray sometimes, or to think about baby growing big, strong, and healthy.

Often, the nurses show me the strip (the heartbeat tracked on paper) and tell me how good it's looking, or explain what we're seeing. Several of them have mentioned how you can look at the strip and see how baby's matured in the 40 days I've been here!!

11:15 Potty break! Plug in my leg compression thingy's. I'm supposed to wear these to prevent from getting blood clots because I'm just sitting here. They're not my favorite thing, but I do wear them. Sometimes.

Russ calls to chat about his insurance updates through work on his way to Burnet.

11:30 Call Mom because Russ would like to request some of her homemade chicken noodle soup. Can't talk long because the urge to pee hits me like a ton of bricks. Back to the bathroom...unplug legs from compression thing first. Jeez!

Plug legs back in.

Giada's on Food Network! Cooking with kids--baked macaroni and cheese cupcakes (with veggies)!

11:40 Called Karol to catch up and try to solve the mystery of the missing pajamas. Talked about baby stuff and all the things that still need to be done. Jeez!

Housekeeping came to clean room--not Virginia though, she does the best job!

Lots of talking on the phone right now to occupy my time--Russ, Karol, Mom, trying to schedule doctor appointments, sign up new baby for pediatrician, etc. Wheeee! Thankful for the time to do this I guess--normally I'm teaching Math right now...

Ina Garten is making a yummy looking soup, but I've had mute on for a while.

1:10 Where does the time go? Potty break! Pediatrician's office is out to lunch...and they're 10 minutes late.

1:15 Man, I wish I worked at a pediatrician's office answering phone's so I could have an extra 15 minutes for lunch every day. Still no answer.

1:30 Stephy in for vitals--blood pressure and temp. all clear. She brings more water and ice, bless her heart.

1:40 Butt hurts. Time to go sit in the rocker, by the open window and read another chapter of my book I guess. Better take a potty break while I'm up!

2:10 Mom calls to tell me about the goodies she bought Riley at Lakeshore. Good times!

2:20 Karol calls to tell me she bought some preemie diapers and a little preemie outfit.

2:25 Surprise visitor comes in to visit. Her friend (and someone I know) is visiting her niece down the hall in ante-partum. Small world!

2:40 HUNGRY! Call Stephy and ask her to warm up my Dan Dan Noodles that Russ brought me (Thanks, Babe!) Stomach's growling!

Called Russ to tell him about visitor and patient down the hall.

2:45 Dan Dan Noodles!! Gotta love being pregnant (with an ever-growing belly)--so hungry and 5 bites later you're stuffes. Don't worry. I'll take a break and then eat some more.

Visitor returned with her friend to say hello and that we were in they're prayers. How sweet it is!

Volume up on t.v. while I wait for Oprah. Cooking shows or HGTV between Ellen and Oprah usually. If they're lucky, I'll hear them.

3:30 Want to eat more, but absolutely can't.

Looking at baby stuff online! Maintenance comes in to hook up a DVD player for me. Says he's going to see what they can do to get a mini fridge in here. Just like home-ha!

4:00 Stephy's here to put baby and I back on monitors. Oprah!

4:35 Off of monitors, "Baby looks great today!" nurse says. Yay Baby!

5:03 Russ is here, surprise!! He's going to finish reading the paper and I'm going to pay some bills online.

5:20 Blood pressure 105/53 and temperature is 98.5. All good! Back to paying bills.

5:30 Potty break and wheelchair ride outside with Russ to feel this cold front.

6:00 Potty break. Back in bed!

6:10 Blog hopping. Admiring Tina's photos at! Stephy came to say "Bye!" Who will my night nurse be? Will we get lucky and have Joanne?

6:45 DanDan Noodles take #2!

7:00 How I Met Your Mother

7:10 Joanne came for blood pressure and temperature. All good! Got to hear about her birthday weekend and we talked about having babies in Africa. (She's here working a few months while her husband is in medical school in Ghana. Her last day at the hospital is Nov. 30 and she will be missed!)

7:40 Mom calls to give a report on the evening. All is well at home, thankfully. He ate well, played outside, Mom made him some hot chocolate for after his shower, and she's breaking out a new puzzle.

7:50 Potty break. Go through pile of mail.

8:30 Big Bang Theory! Joanne stayed to watch.

8:40 Potty break

9:00 Taylor Laughtner on Jay Leno!

9:15 Riley called while reading books in bed.

M: What books are you reading?

R:Maisy at the Fair, Shapes and Colors

M:What pj's are you wearing?

R:White with monkeys and lions and giraffes.

M:Goodnight, I love you so much!

R: I love you so much!

9:20 Visit with neighbors!

10:00 Back to bed, potty break. Russ heads home. I miss him already.

10:15 Back on monitors--heartbeat good, no contractions. Take prenatal vitamin. Visit Joanne.

11:00 Call Russ and tell him goodnight. Take Ambien. Do I watch Jimmy Fallon or read?

Potty break!


Sunday Comics

I've definitely had some laughs while I've been here! Here are a few before I forget them:

*Russ and Riley got haircuts and Russ's is shorter than he's ever had it. Riley said, "Daddy, I like your short head!"

*Russ and I went to visit our (hospital) neighbors Brian and Julia last night. Russ brought a few beers and a bottle of some tequila for Brian's nerves (an Aggie needed a shot during the A&M/OU game). We were sitting around telling stories and every time a nurse came in to check on Julia, Russ and Brian had to hide their beers.

Brian asked the nurse to check his throat because it had been bothering him. She showed up with a tongue depressor and asked him to say "Aaaaah!" Brian, trying to hide beer breath is pretty difficult while saying "Aaaah!" six times.

After she finally left after the diagnosis of a red throat, we all got a huge laugh out of it all!

*Julia also had some flowers in her room that were dropping pollen. They wanted to get them out in case that might have been what was bothering Brian. During a nurse visit, Julia just asked the nurse to take the flowers, vase and all, out of the room...just in case. She had NO idea that Russ had been hiding his beer can behind the vase since we'd been in the room. Russ grabbed it just in time.

*Riley called this morning to tell us that he was going to Old McDonald's for breakfast with Nunny, Buzz, and Aunt Robbye.

*Riley and I have had many conversations about the buttons in this room. Most often it's about the nurse/doctor button on my bed and on the remote control and how we don't push the buttons because Mommy doesn't need the nurse right now. Immediately after a conversation about these buttons, Riley was leaving and found himself face to face with my nurse. He said to her, "Mommy doesn't need you!" I heard my nurse reply, "Oh, really?"

Every visit for a couple of weeks, Riley would walk to my bed, eye the buttons and say, "I hope I don't push the doctor button, Mommy."

Friday, November 13, 2009


Yesterday was Sonogram Thursday and with every passing sonogram, we breathe a sigh of relief. This week was no exception.

My amniotic fluid index (AFI) was 4.8, which was a little less than last week, but the doctor said there was more fluid than was actually quantified. She looks for pockets of fluid surrounding the baby and she doesn't measure the pockets of fluid that have umbilical cord in it. The umbilical cord was actually floating in fluid last night, it's normally not, so that was a good thing. In all actuality, I think my fluid level stayed about the same. It will fluctuate, but we have been lucky and it has continued to rise with every sonogram.

We saw the baby move--this sonogram showed a very active baby! We saw the mouth open and close, the chest expand and contract (breathing practice the doctor calls it), and we actually saw an eye open and close.

3 weeks ago when the doctor measured baby's femur and head and calculated that the baby weighed approximately 1 lb and 11 ounces. I was hoping for a weight of 2 1/2 pounds this time, but to my surprise, the weight was 2 lbs. and 14 ounces!

Russ said that all of those Reese's Peanut Butter cups were paying off and that maybe we should name the baby Reese's. I replied, "Reese! That could be a boy or a girl! I like that name, yes!" But....Reese and Russ sounds pretty silly, doesn't it?

All of the PROM ladies in "my" unit had good sonograms last night, so it was a good night for all of us. Yeah babies!! Yeah Mommies!!

Your prayers bring us peace and comfort during this time. It is not an easy thing for any of us, but we are so thankful to still be here, with this baby. A friend told me that each day I'm here is 3 less days in the NICU. So far, I've saved 111 days in NICU for this baby. What a blessing! And while I'm talking about blessings, the doctor said we'd go to 34 weeks. That would give our family a little Christmas blessing too (the week of Christmas possibly)!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trading Spaces

(thanks for the title Rach!)

Last night, some amazing friends and Bunco girls were at my house emptying out what was my scrapbook room and moved it into the guest room to make way for our little baby on the way. Do you have any idea how much stuff was in there? I've been overwhelmed at the thought. These girls are amazing! They worked all day, drove across town (all live south and then some), stayed at my house being movers and organizers until 10:00 or so and headed home, and back to work today.

While some moved and oganized everything into the guest room, Russ and Valerie took on the crib. I think Gage, Amelia, and Savannah helped out too!

I think they had a little fun too, perfect! (Thank you Erin for going to the house and taking these pictures for me!)

I never thought these things would be happening without me. I sat here dying to know what was going on, what they were doing, wishing I was home with my friends and my family being a part of this transformation, BUT I am so very thankful that these girls had this idea and spent their precious time helping Russ and I. We are so grateful.

Next on the agenda is assembling the dresser/changing table and painting the room. My fabulous in laws are planning to paint. They brought me paint swatches and the nursery pillow to choose some from here. I chose a shade of khaki called "Toast." Russ will have to make the final decision based on lighting in the room, furniture, etc. I know they will make me proud.
Thanks to all of you! I am amazed...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The nurses here have become our family, they've been great. They take my temperature and blood pressure ever 4 hours, let me sleep through the night without interruptions now, fill my water bottle with the good ice, and I've even had to ask them to warm up my food in the refrigerator (ugh).

We decided they needed a small token of appreciation and I called in a cupcake order and my sweet mother picked them up for me. "They're so pretty I don't want to eat them." I said. My mother replied, "YOU aren't going to eat them!" Ha, busted!

I had to take pictures! Thanks again Cupprimo, you came through yet again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Date Night x 2

Yesterday The Bee Movie was on HBO in my room and Russ brought Riley up here to watch a movie with me. His 3.75 year old attention span doesn't sit for many movies, but I had extremely high hopes for some snuggle time!

We did get snuggle time, but only because of the popcorn...and the cottage cheese and fruit plate I ordered from the cafeteria. The attention span lasted as long as the food (45 minutes), but I felt great about getting all of that fruit in my little boy!
Tonight, Russ is off to a Thai restaurant our neighbors (in Room 264) recommended as we are addicted to Pad Thai and Tom Ka. I'm trying something new tonight...with red curry. Yum! We are looking forward to Big Bang Theory together--other than football, the other show we actually make a point to watch together.

Riley's at the ranch with Nunny and Buzz for a couple of days. They picked him up before naptime today and he said to Nunny, "I haven't taken my nap yet. Thank you for picking me up before my nap!"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

28 is my new favorite number!

I'm celebrating--balloons, streamers, party hats, and Kool and the Gang--hear it? We are celebrating 28 weeks of pregnancy and a huge developmental milestone. When I arrived, my doctor said we had more of a chance of losing this baby than keeping it. Today we are as hopeful as ever!

At 28 weeks (from

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

28 weeks from

Baby's now the size of an eggplant! Baby's lungs are mature enough that, if born right now, she has a pretty good chance of surviving (with help from medical technology). Her skin is still pretty wrinkly (one byproduct of living in amniotic fluid) but will smoothen as fat continues to deposit.

We're still praying for more time, but everyone seems to breathe a sign of relief at the 28 week mark. My next big goal will be 30 weeks, but my short term goal is still daily. I enjoy watching the nurses (or Russ) change my weeks/days on the dry erase board in my room. I think they enjoy adding that day as much as I do!

The nurses have noticed baby maturing based on the heartbeat we listen to 3 times a day. When I arrived, I had to push the monitor at an angle into my belly so that we could hear that little (but strong) heartbeat in there. Now I only have to push when it isn't loud enough or baby's moving around. This weekend the nurses explained that they can now see the parasympathetic nervous system developing (fight or flight response) and it is visible in the heartrate--a great sign for neurological development.

Every day is a blessing and I realize that more than ever now!

Friday, November 6, 2009


I'm kind of jumping into the middle with this post. Hopefully at some point I'll have this whole journey documented.

Today I am 27 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Last night was our weekly sonogram. I SO look forward to Thursdays and seeing what's actually going on in there. I'm 50% excited and 50% anxious each week. I'm excited to see progress, but afraid of what might be there/or not be there at the same time. I love my new high-risk pregnancy doctor, she's delightful.

Once again, our prayers were answered and we had good news. My Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI) was a 5.25. When I arrived here at the hospital, it was a 0 and has continued to increase each week. We are so thankful for every tiny bit. So thankful to see our baby's bladder full on the screen! (Did you know that amniotic fluid is baby's urine? And they "breathe" it in and it is essential to their lung development? It still blows my mind.)

The doctor also looks for certain movements from baby. Last week she saw 8/8 and one more, so the teacher in me requested extra credit on that one!! 9/8 sounds great to me! Last night we saw them again--mouth opening and closing, chest cavity expanding and contracting, and other various baby wiggles.

I'm by no means in the clear, but have come so far since arriving 4 1/2 weeks ago.

Dr. Akin arrived this morning for our morning visit and said he wrote up some orders for me to begin some physical therapy. This was great news as I have been worried about my body just sitting here for 30 days. It may take me a month to recuperate from being here. I'm sure my family will be thrilled!

Russ and I have also met some new friends while here--patients in a very similar situation. They arrived here at 23 weeks and 4 days with PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes) which was exactly where I was when I arrived. We've been able to meet and laugh, compare stories, share hospital secrets (how to sit comfortably in bed, where the good coffee is, compare nurse stories, and recommend rooms with a view and remote controls), and become allies. It's comforting to know we aren't the only ones. Pray for our new friends too, please.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Positive Side

Things I'm enjoying being on bedrest...

*I don't have to empty the dishwasher!
*I'm not frustrated getting dressed every morning, trying on a variety of maternity clothes that are too big or my "normal" clothes that are too small.
*I've had time to update my address book--it's been a loooooong time!
*Getting to know my OB/GYN better...and liking him more and more, thank goodness!
*Good ice in the hospital--the Sonic kind, folks!
*I've been able to put a dent in my stack of magazines--and catch up on the latest Hollywood gossip, skin care, fashion, and recipes--love it!
*PJ's all day, every day...

I'm focusing on the positive!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Unorganized Collection

No paragraphs today, just a collection of thoughts:

*Finished report cards yesterday, a weight off my shoulders. No deadline from work, just one I'd put on myself. I didn't want anyone waiting on me anymore than they had to. Done!

*27 weeks and 2 days today. What a celebration! Short term goal is daily, then weekly, then 28 weeks. On Sunday, my goal goes up to 30...I'll take it 2 weeks at a time. I've been here 26 days.

*I'm amazed at my husband through all of this. He's held up much better than I would if he was pregnant and on hospital bedrest!

*I can't believe I'm here, but so thankful that I am. One day at a time, just like AA. Prayers are being answered, thank you for praying for me and my family. Thank you God, for listening and taking care of us.

*Feeling baby move so much at this point. My blood pressure and temperature have been fantastic since I arrived. Baby's heartbeat has been great and several nurses have commented that it looks like the heartbeat of an older baby.

*I've had several comments on my growing belly this week. It's really growing..and for once, that is a good thing! Mom noticed it first and then one of the nurses commented the same day.

*I'm still so incredibly thankful for my friends and family. Their visits, emails, and calls mean so much right now. I know how busy life is...thank you.

*I'm slowly but surely making my way through all of the Reese's Peanut Butter cups my friends have brought me. Yikes...

*I ordered furniture for the baby's nursery today. Scary to do online without seeing it in person, but we didn't really have much of an option! I'm anxious to see it...well, I'm anxious for Russ to see it, so he can tell me if I like it!

*Another sonogram on Thursday evening. I can't wait!

*I'm excited for Saturday's game. Justin was given tickets and field passes to the game after meeing the Texas coaching staff at BAMC. He hit off with Major Applewhite and Major mentioned trying to get him tickets. It's the Veteran's Day game, so what an honor. He's asked Russ and Thomas if they wanted the other field passes. They're so excited--and so proud of Justin! Guess I'll sit here...

*I miss my puppy. I haven't seen him since 7:00 a.m. October 7th. I miss my house. My car. My kitchen. My cat. My neighbors in the driveway. I miss my first graders. I miss bedtime with Riley. I miss smelling him after his bath in his pajamas. I miss my routine. I went to work one morning and never came home...I haven't done/seen these things since the day I left.

*What is keeping me sane, you ask? God. A positive attitude. Prayers. This little baby I feel in my belly making himself (or herself) known with every nudge, heartbeat, or hiccup. I love you Nugget, you're doing so great. You're the reason I can sit here and follow the rules.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Your Turn, Doctor

There are so many things I've wanted to say to my OB/GYN, for example:

"No thanks, I'll sit in this rolling chair while you lay on THIS table, in THIS sorry excuse for a gown (while freezing, of course), on this paper that crackles when you breathe..."

This one takes the cake Dr....

He has assigned me to hospital bedrest (and today is Day 26 thankyouverymuch), and after lots of prayers and a mental adjustment, I've come to terms with this situtation. I have not come to terms with the fact that my fabulous doctor walked in Friday morning (scrubs on, Starbucks in hand..and none for me) and asked if I'd be weighed recently! Oh, the nerve!!!

I've decided to ask him to get on the scale with me next week--whatdaya think?