Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart.
Oh, give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars.

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares.

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless.
Please remember me

From the song Dante's Prayer by Loreena McKennitt

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A few thoughts on the normal part of pregnancy

My mom said God gives us the last month of pregnancy so we will do ANYTHING to get this baby out.

heh heh. yeah.
A couple of thoughts as I reach the 'home stretch.' 

~stretch.... as in marks. Um, gross. Who let the crazy clawing cat with the purple nail polish into my pajamas?

~well hello, toilet. We meet again. It's been what, six minutes? Bladders do make such fine pillows.

~leaky ladies. They are like that rain storm on Bambi. Starts out with a few drips, but one day I know, with a chorus and clash of thunder, all the happy little April showers will turn into a soak-fest.

~No. More. Room. As in... none. It's weird feeling my stomach growl in my chest instead of in, well, my stomach.

~Oh, there you are, toes! 

~After sleeping thirty minutes: okay, ow. Time to flip to the other side. 

~After flipping, but doing it wrong: okay, OW!!! That stretching ligament suddenly turned into acute appendicitis. since I no longer have an appendix, I can compare the two.

~I miss sleeping on my back. That was the most comfortable for me before baby became organ-crusher.

~I used to be a dancer. I used to look cool when I danced. Now if a very groovable song comes on the radio (like early Britney Spears or, I admit it, Poker Face by Lady Gaga) I just look like a wobbling watermelon.

~Stop it, uterus! Braxton Hicks contractions, so not cool.

~Worrying about Braxton Hicks contractions because what if it's the real thing? My hospital is thirty minutes away... what if we get there and they say with a smile "false alarm! you can go home now, sweetheart!" Ugh.

~bed rest. Nuff said.

~Course, my nail polish has never lasted this long before. Awesome.

~Ever notice how as we get uglier, husbands get handsomer? No fair.

~Anyone feel like going to redbox for me? I haven't seen Shrek Ever After, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Robin Hood, Charlie St. Cloud, Killers, or Inception yet. Some of these movies I only care to see out of curiosity, such as Robin Hood and Charlie St. Cloud.

I think I've gone on long enough. Plus, this chair is starting to get uncomfortable. It's my fabulous new glider, so it's supposed to be comfortable, but with all this extra poundage, I don't think comfortable is in my vocabulary anymore.

Thanks for all your love, prayers, and encouragement!!! Hopefully this post will leave you with a smile on your face. I thought it was time for something silly.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What's it like?

Sorry I've dropped off the face of the blogosphere for the last few days. I'm still pregnant, so it's not because of a new baby. I've just had a few of "those" days... and a few good ones too... but little motivation to blog.

Since my last post, I had two more doctor's appointments, another hospital visit (only a few hours this time, which brings my collection of high-fashion hospital bracelets up to 5, including the 3 from the first visit... oh, and I got poked again. Just once) and a consult with a cardiovascular surgeon.
The consult with the surgeon was the ray of sunshine my stormy, aching heart needed. After hearing a lot of grim news from the cardiologist, I had a hard time keeping my faith and optimism afloat.

But after meeting Dr. Nigro, I couldn't help thinking... "paging Dr. Awesome..."
Don't get me wrong, the other doctors are phenomenal. Top docs in the state, and probably among the top in the country. But hearing Dr. Nigro's reassurances and seeing his quiet confidence and unassuming professionalism, the hope I so desperately needed was given to me.

"Children with this kind of heart defect have a 97% chance of survival rate," he said.

Now that's a number I like to hear.

Still, in quiet, lonely moments when I see one of my pregnant friends gush about how in love they are with their perfect, healthy baby I can't help but wonder...
What's it like to have a healthy baby?

This is my first pregnancy ever. I don't know what it is be pregnant, go to normal OB visits, then go to the hospital, have a baby, and take her home. I don't know what it feels like to have a room to decorate (we still live at my aunt's house until they return from Wales next summer), to have that nesting instinct kick in, to have my only worries be about labor & delivery and learning to nurse.
Times like this make it really easy to feel sorry for myself.

But then I'm reminded of something. There are so many wonderful, worthy women out there who don't get to experience pregnancy at all. Or if they do, they are dealt the trial of miscarriages, complications, even the exquisite pain of losing their precious baby. Some women don't even get to experience marriage... and it's usually the ones who deserve it the most.

And I am humbled.

I don't know what's going to happen in the coming weeks. I'm hoping and praying for a miracle, bracing myself for hard times ahead, and looking ahead with teeth-clenching faith to a time when I can finally bring my baby home to stay.
Until then, I'll count my blessings. or try to. nobody's perfect, right?

And someday, I'll finally know what it's like.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So far, a week of ups and downs. Well, more like downs and ups. 

Monday I went to a new perinatalogist because these guys are the ones that deliver at the hospital I'm supposed to go to. The cardiologist wants me to go to Good Samaritan instead of Banner Desert. At first I was SO bummed because I had gotten to know some of the nurses at Banner, toured the NICU with the Man, gotten used to the specialist I was already seeing, and thought one of the partners from my original OB would deliver our baby. 

It'll be okay in the end. But it was still disappointing at first.

So... after a three hour doctor's appointment in which I had to fill out a mountain of paperwork AGAIN, explain to the ultrasound people that my baby has a heart defect that we are well aware of, and talk about all the medical crud that's been going on the last few weeks, I got strapped to a monitor for an NST (non-stress-test).

Ladybug wasn't very active, so the resident came in with this buzzer thingy to wake her up. My mom, who was with me, said it must have really freaked her (the baby) out because her heart rate dropped for a moment. Because of it, they sent me to the hospital for more monitoring.

Yes, you heard right. Hospital. Again. 

I was extremely upset at first. I had just gotten OUT of the hospital!! But this time, it was okay except they wouldn't let me eat in case I had to deliver. Talk about a quick way to make a pregnant woman reeeeeaaaally crabby. They only kept me for just over an hour and Ladybug's heart rate was fine. But I was contracting a lot too. At 35 weeks, that's not a good thing. But I was also a little dehydrated, which once I had that under control, the contractions eased. I was able to go home a LOT sooner than I thought!

So I left the house that morning with Mom at around 6:45 a.m. And got home around 1:30 pm. Long morning.

Still keeping the preeclampsia at bay. Wahoo!
Starting to dread Doctor's appointments even though they are not only necessary, they are vital.
Still sitting around on my bum. Which is what I need to be doing but all the same, it stinks.
My muscles have atrophied to the point that I can't even open a new bottle of apple juice. Where's the Man when you need him? Oh yeah... at school... preparing for our future so he can provide for his family.

Ow. Baby in the ribcage again.


Just a few more weeks. Then the hard part begins.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Finally! Pictures!

 Hang on. Can't... lean... forward. Baby foot in ribcage.

Okay, I'm good. Here's a slightly random photo montage of the last few weeks in chronological order:

12/1/10 Released from the hospital. Here are my lovely new bracelets, complements of Banner Desert Medical Center. The "allergy" tag was for... drumroll please... peanuts.
I got poked by needles 10 times. Did I mention that? I'm kind of a show off about it.

Here is the front of my shower invitation. Picture taken by Jen Roberts of Green Apple Images

12/4/10 And here's me... the lump. At the baby shower! We decided to go with a Christmasy theme since my mom's house was already deliciously decorated. Everything was beautiful from the food to the decor, put together by Mom, sisters, sisters-in-law, and Mother-in-law
I sat in this chair for the majority of the time. The only time I got up was once to use the potty... and to grab more food while I was already on my feet. I am the bottomless pit after all.

 And here's some of the adorable gifts I recieved! 
Here are three BEAUTIFUL quilts my mom made. Ah, can't stand the cuteness.

 A few little outfits (lots of ladybug stuff! Yay!) :)

 Dresses too stinkin cute for words. The one on the left is from my sister Jen, middle from my MIL, the right from my sister Jess.There were LOTS of other very, very cute things, but these were just a few that I pulled out for pictures. Ladybug will not be in short supply of cute jammies and comfy blankies!

12/10/10 And here I am at 34 weeks. 35 on Monday! This picture was taken the same day I came back from the doctor with a report that the preeclampsia symptoms are GONE!!!! I still need to stay on bedrest because that's probably why the symptoms have gone away. But it's truly amazing to have that little boost. Prayers are working! And they always will. :)

And last, but best of all: a new picture of Ladybug!! She's so cute and the picture is so clear! Technology is truly astounding.

I love you, my sweet girl! Keep being strong, keep kicking mommy, and let's astonish all these brilliant doctors by how well you do and how fast you heal!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Phoenix Children's Hospital

Yesterday I went for a tour of the hospital where Ladybug will be staying during her first few weeks of life and during recovery after surgeries. My mom went with me.
A very nice lady named Lynn was there to meet us. She's a fetal nursing coordinator for the pediatric cardiologist and has been a sort of liaison between me and all the doctors swirling around my schedule. She took us on the tour.
We met Dr. Martin, one of the neonatalagists, and toured the NICU and PICU areas of the hospital. 

And I have to say, I have never felt so welcomed and comforted by a hospital in my entire life. Dr. Martin explained everything that would happen on the day the baby is born; the likely scenarios, what I can expect, even how many people will be in the delivery room. (4, not including my own birthing team which will consist of my husband, my mom, and my older sister who is a labor delivery nurse and a professional photographer. The hospital staff will include a perinatalogist, a neonatalogist, a nurse, and a resident.)

When we went to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit), I finally lost it. Seeing these little babies in a hospital, hooked up to machines when they should be at home in the arms of their mommies and daddies, made my heart break. No one should have to feel the pain we've felt. No one should have to experience seeing their tiny, precious one suffer through such a trial. And I don't want it either.

Seeing my tears, one of the nurses came and put her arms around me. Lynn brought me a box of tissues. The rest of the staff spoke reassuring words while I (and my mom) collected our emotions. Then we were introduced to a sweet little family who had an adorable 4-month-old baby boy recovering from surgery.
She called him her "champ" and said he surprised the doctors with how quickly he's recovering. 

At the end of the tour, I was able to leave the hospital with a smile and a comfort. We were in the most capable hands, in the most state-of-the art facility, and in the most loving and supportive atmosphere available.

God bless that amazing family and all others with healing babies. God bless these wonderful people working in that place.

*next time I'll post baby shower pics.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shower post on hold

I want to wait until I have some pictures to post. I wasn't behind the camera during Ladybug's baby shower so I don't have a single one yet. But I'll get them! And when I do, I'll give you a belated post. 

But for today, just a few thoughts:

~My back hurts. Yuck.
~I got up way too many times last night because I had to pee. I guess that can be a good thing... stay hydrated!
~I'm getting my teeth cleaned today. I'm one of those psychos who looks forward to cleanings. For me, it's like going to get a massage. I can't wait!! Plus I get to see my old coworkers. I had to leave so unexpectedly, I didn't get a chance to hug them all goodbye. I'm glad I get to go back and see them. (Dr. T is not expected to be there. ahem.... I'm okay with that.)
~And I'm thinking of changing my blog background again just cuz I have some extra free time.

What do you think?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pretty nails and Christmas Presents

The perinatal specialist I go to is in Scottsdale and therefore has a spa right in her office. (for those of you unfamiliar with Arizona Anatomy, Scottsdale is sort-of like the Arizona version of Beverly Hills.)

So after the appointment yesterday {No significant changes, baby and I are still stable! YAHOO!!} I got to get my nails done. Ohhh it was nice. I got them painted a pretty, pearly color, perfect for the outfit I'm planning on wearing to my shower today. 

Even though the Man doesn't read this blog much, I still gotta give him a big, fat thank you. He paid for the manicure.

Dr. H also said that while we're going to do all we can to keep the baby inside me, we'll need to prepare ourselves over the next coming weeks to deliver. She doesn't think we'll make it to the January 17th due date. I'm okay with that, as long as Ladybug's nice and big. Last time she was measured, she looked to weigh about 5.5 lbs... I think that's awesome!! Let's give her two or three more weeks at least. Which means, she could be born very close to, or even ON Christmas Day.

There's a Christmas song out that I adore called "All I want for Christmas is You." Not the Mariah Carey one. This one is by Vince Vance and the Valiants.
While I was still working, when I had time to think and worry about my precious one, the words of the song would reverberate in my head:

Take back the holly and mistletoe
Silver bells on string
If I wrote a letter to Santa Claus
I would ask for just one thing
I don't need sleigh rides in the snow
Don't want a Christmas that's blue
Take back the tinsel, stockings, and bows
'Cuz all I want for Christmas is you
I don't need expensive things
They don't matter to me
All that I want, can't be found
Underneath the Christmas tree
You are the angel atop my tree
You are my dream come true
Santa can't bring me what I need 
'Cuz all I want for Christmas is you
Sometimes the words still get me choked up. The funny thing is, for a while I didn't want her to be born close to Christmas cuz it's hard having a birthday at such a busy time of year. Just ask my sister, who's birthday is January 2nd, or my Brother-in-Law, who's birthday is tomorrow. Happy B-day, Rob!
But now... I don't care. I just want her. As big, as strong, as healthy as she can be so the doctors can fix her heart. 

Maybe she will be my big Christmas present this year!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quick Side Note:

Just wanted to blog about The Beauty Mark. If you're into beauty tips, fashion tips, celebrity tips, or just plain fun girly stuff, this is the place for you!

Lots of cool ideas, lots of fun, and some FABULOUS giveaways (something I am a complete sucker for) from some very talented hair stylist/estheticians. You, can click on the link above or click on their cute little button under my favorites.

Check them out!

Bed Rest. Day 1

In which "bun in the oven" takes on a whole new meaning.

I am more than willing to do whatever it takes to help my baby grow and develop as much and as long as possible. This means I can't do anything but be an "oven for the bun."

My job is to grow a baby. For reals. It's in my profile. Nothing else. The only other things I can do are recline, lay down, watch TV, spend ludicrous amounts of time on Facebook, (and do lots of blog updates!), go to the doctor, use the loo, and sometimes, if needed, grab a snack from the kitchen or take a bath.

Every time I get up, which is as unoften as possible, I try to sort-of multitask: let's see, while I'm going to the bathroom this time, I can fill up my water, get another piece of chocolate (thanks again, Jess!), and get semi-dressed. Next time I have to get up to go to the bathroom, maybe I can put in a movie. Or not. 

On one hand, a girl could really get used to this. On the other... holy canoli is it going to be boring. Not to mention the fact that I hate when people have to wait on me like I'm some kind of diva. All this time I have and I can't do a scrap of "nesting."

The best thing I feel that I can do is to keep positive. I told the nurses when I left the hospital,
 "I can be positive or I can be miserable. I'd rather be positive." 

Because even though being happy is sometimes harder, it's so much more fun.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A lovely, unattached night

Before I get to the nice news, I'll update on a little bad news: I've been diagnosed with mild preeclampsia. For those of you who don't know, preeclampsia is pregnancy-induced high-blood pressure. And it can be very dangerous for mommy and baby. Luckily, the case IS mild and I've been doing well since the diagnosis. This just means I have to go on bedrest when I get home and probably get even better acquainted with the doctor's office.

I just hope I get to go to my baby shower. It's this Saturday. My amazing, beautiful, talented, loving, giving, selfless mom, sisters, and MIL have worked hard to put it together. And I bought an outfit specifically for the occasion (ADORABLE necklace and all!). So I hope I can go, even if I have to sit in a recliner the whole time.

Okay, now for the good news:

Got a good nap last night from about 6:30 to 8-8:30. Maybe that's why I didn't sleep great last night after 2 a.m. Or maybe cuz I didn't get some of those lovely ambien pills the hospital gives you.
Meh. Oh well. The really great part was I didn't have any monitors or IV's attached to me!!
Oh how nice it was. Mostly cuz I have to go visit the lady's room every five seconds. You start to take for granted doing such a simple thing; until you have to unplug the monitor, the IV (don't worry, that thing runs on batteries too), then wheel the IV thingy (what do they call them?) into the bathroom with you, all while your bladder is saying  *um, gotta go now*. Then you have to go plug yourself back in and make sure the baby's heart rate is being picked up. Wow. By the time you're done, you almost have to pee again.

So you can see how nice it was to not have anything to unplug or wheel or replug. I could have hugged the nurse that told me the doctor said I could go off the monitors tonight. Both the baby and I had been stable during the majority of yesterday.

I may even get to go home today!!

So you see? Prayer DOES work. Ah... prayer works.
I'm feeling pretty good right now, feeling pretty rested even though I probably ought to go back to bed. (It's 5:35 a.m. right now).
Just ready to go home. :)

I love you all. Thanks so much for all your support.