May 31, 2011

Welcome to the world!

Posted in Baby at 9:29 am by lifebytheday

So, Bailey definitely must have known something was going on.  We were induced on Friday after my morning OB appointment, and our little boy – Aidan – was born at 4:37 Saturday morning!! 

6 lbs 2 oz (I made my goal!) and 20 inches, completely healthy and perfect (besides his belly issue), with the cutest strawberry blond hair!  🙂 

 

 

He had surgery late Sunday afternoon and everything went great, just as they expected.  It took him a while to come around – he finally woke up last night around 8 – but he’s hanging tough and doing really well. 

Labor story to follow…I’m off to visit my boy! 😀

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May 26, 2011

My clingy puppy

Posted in Furbabies at 1:36 pm by lifebytheday

Bailey has been a bit overshadowed lately by all of the cat and baby drama, but a funny thing happened today that I just had to share.  I had an appointment to get my hair done this morning so I brought Bailey to hang out with S at his shop.  (For those of you who don’t know, S owns his own business, so when Bailey was a puppy and still not trained, she went to work with him full-time…and the hair salon I go to is right next door.)  I figured that she was probably sick of being stuck inside with me all of the time and could use a change of scenery.

So I’m sitting in the chair getting foils put in and all of a sudden Bailey is standing next to me!  It’s a beautiful day out here today so the doors to S’s shop and the salon were both open, and she just took it upon herself to walk next door!  I was mortified but all of the girls were like, “We don’t mind, Bailey likes visiting us!”  So I let her stay for the 15 minutes until S realized she wasn’t just asleep at his front door and came over to find her…and yes, I still think he’s going to be a great dad. 😉

So Bailey goes back with S and 10 minutes later (I’m now sitting under the heater in the back), in she walks again!  We walked her back over, but 5 minutes later she was back again!!  I finally gave up and just let her sleep at my feet for the rest of my appointment, but it was SO funny! 

Honestly, she has never been like that with me…since she got so used to being with S as a puppy, she’s always been more attached to him (unless she’s not feeling well or is in trouble and then she wants her mommy 😉 ).  I never took it personally, but Bailey is definitely S’s and Killian is mine.  But now that I think about it, the fact that she has to walk upstairs with me every time I go to the bathroom probably should have clued me in.  In fact, take a look at where she is right now…

My "working" station - complete with tray table, pillow, and heating pad. 😉

 

As close as she can get to me and still be on the floor!

So now I’m wondering if she has just gotten used to being with me now that I’m spending most of my time at home…or maybe she knows something I don’t know and we’ll be going into labor soon!  Either way, it was super cute…I just hope she doesn’t get upset when I’m gone at the NICU for two weeks!

May 25, 2011

Wait, we’re really having a baby next week?!?

Posted in Pregnancy tagged , , at 8:42 am by lifebytheday

I still feel like next Wednesday WILL. NEVER. COME. but my darling husband has just finally realized that we’re going to be having a baby next week, LOL!

Our “official” induction date won’t be set until our appointment on Friday, but right now, we’re 99% sure that we’re going to be induced next Tuesday night, the 31st, in order to have him on June 1st.  That way, his surgery will be on Thursday or Friday when there are more bodies and support available at the hospital. 

I was talking to S yesterday and he mentioned that he might take Monday off of work.  (Yes it’s a holiday, but that never means much to my husband.)  😉  So I said, that would be great, but you know you have to take next Wednesday and Thursday off as well, right?  And he was like, “why?”

At first I thought he was kidding, but he legitimately had not made the connection between what was going to happen and when!  We’ve been in this hurry up and wait mode for several weeks now, and it has felt like baby boy’s birth is so far away, but now it’s really right around the corner!

We’ve discussed that it really doesn’t make sense for S to take time off just to sit with me in the NICU, that I’d rather he take some time off when we bring the baby home…but he obviously needs to be with me when we’re actually in labor (LOL!) and when the baby’s having surgery.  The following days and weeks we’ll just have to play by ear.

So now I just have to find ways to keep myself busy for the next week – when I can’t actually DO anything without setting off a round of contractions!  So frustrating.  I guess I should probably work on my shower thank yous, huh? 😉

May 20, 2011

Baby shower!

Posted in Pregnancy tagged at 4:29 pm by lifebytheday

Now that the dust has settled a bit…or more accurately, like we’re just in the eye of the storm for a few days…I thought I’d finally share an update on my long awaited baby shower!

My mother worked so hard to make my day extra special, and it was everything I could have dreamed of.  Friends, family, good food, a delicious cake…and even some mimosas! 😉

Here are some photos of our big day:

Me, amidst all the loot 🙂

 

My mom and I, measuring for the "guess how big the belly is" game.

 

The person who came closest at every table won a gift card (and if there was an over/under tie, the person who guessed under won)! 😉

 

Me and my cousin (who was almost a week overdue and went into labor that night!)

 

Me and my grandfather, trying to hug with our bellies in the way 😉

 

Another shot with my Grampy

 

Some of my besties

 

The yummy cake - two layers, chocolate and vanilla - a preggo's dream!

 

 

Our guest book/frame - people signed in blue or pink to guess boy or girl!

 

Scary belly shot 😉

 

Me, my mom, and my aunts

 

With my brothers' girlfriends

 

All in all, it was more than I could have dreamed of…but also completely overwhelming and exhausting. 😉  But it is definitely a day I will never forget, and that I feel so grateful to have had the chance to experience.  I felt so loved and our little one is already a very lucky boy.  😀

May 19, 2011

37 week update

Posted in Pregnancy tagged at 12:00 pm by lifebytheday

After all of the drama of the past few weeks, I figured I owed you guys a plain old weekly update!

How am I feeling?  Physically, better after the amnio – I had been having a lot of back pain and stretching pain in my sides, and was starting to get really swollen ankles and calves, but all of that has been better over the past week or so.  (During my amnio, the doctor’s kept asking if I had been uncomfortable, and I was like “well yeah, but everyone says that you’re miserable at the end of your pregnancy…how was I supposed to know??”  And they told me that I had probably been as uncomfortable as someone 42-weeks pregnant or pregnant with twins.  Geesh!)  I’m starting to get some mild back pain again, so I know the fluid is starting to build up again, but hopefully we can get through two more weeks of relative comfort. 

Mentally?  Well, you know.  I’m feeling much better today, and am focusing on the few things that I learned yesterday to try and give myself a picture to hold onto for the next few weeks.

Physical changes (just want to put a stake in the ground as this will probably be one of my last official updates!):
– My stomach has definitely dropped over the past week or so.  I keep asking S if I’ve gotten smaller and he’s like “umm….NO”  lol…but between having the fluid removed and dropping, I feel much more “compact”
– I also officially have STRETCH MARKS (*gasp!*)…not on my stomach (oh no, I could always cover those with a one piece bathing suit), but on my hips and upper thighs!  Yucko!!  They’re not too bad yet (S tells me I’m beautiful and pretends he can’t even see them 😉 )…but I guess I’m officially a mother now, right?
– My boobs are starting to hurt again, so I hope that means they’re getting ready to do their job!

Weight gain?  +26 (although I had been up to +34 pre-amnio…lost 8 lbs in the 36 hours following the procedure and have held steady for the past week)

Other updates:
– I finally packed our hospital bag (!), and I also repacked baby boy’s bag.  The only things he’ll be allowed to wear in the NICU are hats and socks/booties, so the bag is now full of blankets, and every hat and sock we own…and yes, I bought a few more cute hats first thing this morning. 😉

Upcoming milestones – Induction (and meeting this baby!) on June 1st or 2nd!!

Photo(s) to come…promise!

May 18, 2011

Perspective

Posted in Pregnancy tagged , at 9:22 pm by lifebytheday

I was just about to write a post complaining about my doctor’s appointment (everything is fine, just frustrating), when I got some news that made me take stock of how lucky we really are.

One of the girls in my prenatal exercise class just lost her baby (no heartbeat) at almost seven months.

S and I feel absolutely sick, not only for what she must be going through, but because we know how differently our story could have ended.

Yes, our baby has a birth defect (which also makes me sick to my stomach), but he is going to be fixed as good as new and will get a chance to grow up healthy and strong.  There hasn’t been a minute of this pregnancy that we have taken for granted, but it has been eye opening to realize how far you can get in a pregnancy and still have things go wrong.  I am so grateful to God that he has kept our baby safe, even despite a little developmental “oopsie” (as our surgeon called it). 

So with all that said, I’ll just give you guys a quick update…

Baby boy is still growing with a nice, strong heartbeat, so the doctors are thinking that they’ll wait to induce me until 39 weeks.  Yes, that means TWO MORE WEEKS.  I honestly don’t mind dealing with contractions and being uncomfortable for another two weeks, especially if it means that he is bigger and better able to get through surgery, but I really don’t know if I’m going to be able to maintain my sanity for that long. 

I am so anxious to have his surgery behind us that it’s literally keeping me up at night.  We have no way of knowing how his recovery is going to go (eating, breastfeeding, how long he’ll be in the NICU, etc.) until he gets here and they do the formal diagnosis and his actual surgery.  And I don’t do well with not knowing.

We met with a lactation consultant and got a NICU tour this afternoon, and while both appointments went well, I was really looking for answers that they just couldn’t provide.  So even though we left with some good information – and proof that the NICU is not as scary as we were imagining – I just couldn’t shake my bad mood.  Until I got home and God gave me a good ‘ole dope slap. 

So with that said, I’m going to give S an extra hug and baby boy an extra rub and thank God for my family and our health.  I know you guys don’t know her, but would you keep M and her husband in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days?

May 16, 2011

More rollercoasters

Posted in Pregnancy at 7:25 am by lifebytheday

Sorry for the radio silence friends…last week was ROUGH, and it took us a while to recover.

Monday went from bad to worse when we were told at our appointment that not only did our baby definitely have some sort of obstruction in its intestines, but also that there was a 40% correlation between that condition and Downs’ Syndrome.

Talk about kicking two infertiles while they’re down.  I just couldn’t believe that we had to deal with this after everything that we had been through, and even started questioning whether we should have stopped trying so hard to have a child…that maybe this was our punishment. 

S and I spent Monday afternoon/evening alternating between holding each other and crying, and walking around the house trying to find something really satisfying to smash that wouldn’t cause too much damage.  Luckily we held it together, and made it through the night.

We were lucky enough to get follow up appointments scheduled for Tuesday morning, and we started bright and early (8 am) by meeting with one of the surgeons at Child.ren’s Hospital.  By the end of the hour, we felt 100x better, both by her calm demeanor and clear explanation of the baby’s surgery and recovery, and also by her downgrading of our risk of downs (due to the lack of other soft markers).

Then we moved over to the connecting hospital (where I will now be delivering) for a battery of tests and procedures.  It was recommended to us that we do an amnio – partly to screen for downs – but also to remove some of the excess amniotic fluid (what they call a “therapeutic amnio”).  Apparently I had so much extra fluid (4X what was needed) that I was at risk of my water breaking too soon due to the pressure on my uterus.  And the only risk of the procedure at this point in the pregnancy was my water breaking, which was likely to happen anyways! 

So we agreed that we should do it…but let me tell you friends, amnios are NOT FUN.  Even after all that I’ve been through, I’d rate that experience as one of the worst.  I’m so big and uncomfortable to begin with, and add in all of the contractions that I’ve been having…then picture a needle going through your skin, then through your muscle, and then your uterus and the doctor having a tug of war.  Yes, just as much fun as it sounds.  Oh, and then the baby managed to whack the tube at the same time I had a contraction which kinked and blocked the tube so badly that they had to remove it and insert it AGAIN from the other side.

I spent the whole procedure practicing my labor breathing and trying not to break S’s hand…while the doctors kept telling me that they could stop at any time, but that if I could do “5 more minutes” that I’d really feel much better afterwards.  I figured that since they were already in there and I was already in pain that I would just tough it out, but by the end of it (maybe a half an hour later), S put his foot down and told them I was done.  When they pulled everything out, I got a contraction that seriously lasted 10 minutes and they actually had to put me in a wheelchair just to go down the hall. 

Then we were hooked up to an NST monitor to watch the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions for an hour or so, at which point S went and got us lunch (the best chicken parm sandwich I’ve ever tasted, even though I’m sure it wasn’t really any good)!  The baby was moving around so much (thank God!) that after a half an hour of chasing its heartbeat around, they actually disconnected the heartbeat monitor and just watched my contractions. 

Then I had to go for a blood test and another Rhogam shot (in case any of the baby’s cells crossed with mine during the amnio) and schedule our appointments for next week.  We finally left the hospital 6+ hours later, completely exhausted, both mentally and physically.  Poor S had to go to work to put out fires for a few hours, and I went home and went to bed.  I literally was asleep the minute my head hit the pillow.

Luckily, we were told that they’d have the downs test results back by the end of day Wednesday, so we really only had to get through 24 more hours of waiting.  My parents came over Tuesday night for a quick visit and an update and then my mom came back Wednesday morning to help me do some laundry and cleaning.  And we all spent the day doing a lot of praying.

I got the phone call early in the afternoon and the great news that the preliminary test showed NO DOWNS – thank you Lord!  I honestly didn’t know how much more God thought S and I could handle…but we were definitely at our breaking point for a few days there.

So now we just have to get this baby through another week+ of growing and putting on weight and prepare for surgery and a NICU stay.  But honestly, and as crazy as it sounds, that all feels completely manageable now that we know we are only dealing with ONE problem, that is surgically correctable and without long-term complications.  We know that we’re in for a rough few weeks, but after the past few days, I’m pretty sure we can get through it!  I’m just anxious to have it all behind us.

Oh, and in other news?

We’re having a BOY!!!!!!!!

We decided to find out last Monday – after S and I both saw “it” on the ultrasound and really needed some positive news to hold on to.  It has definitely given us something to look forward to and plan for…and yes, we went blue clothes shopping over the weekend!  😉

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  If you could spare a few extras in the coming weeks, please pray that baby boy will continue to grow big and strong and will get through his surgery with flying colors (and that mommy and daddy will survive his stay in the NICU).  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for being there for us.

May 9, 2011

More drama

Posted in Pregnancy at 7:33 am by lifebytheday

Just when we thought we were out of the woods (Killian is doing much better by the way, thank you all for the prayers and kind words!)…the end of last week brought about some more scary stress, this time baby related.

Friday was our big 35-week ultrasound, which we were super excited about, mostly to see how big the baby was.  S couldn’t get away from work, so I brought my mom who has been hinting the whole time that she wanted to see an ultrasound.  We had the ultrasound first and then my mom waited in the waiting room while I had my follow up appointment.  It was also time for the Group B strep test (if you are reading this and don’t know what that is, I will spare you), so I spent the twenty minutes waiting for the doctor disrobed from the waist down.

The whole time, I was sitting there thinking that it was going to be a normal 5-minute appointment, until the doctor walked in and opened his mouth.  Long story short, the ultrasound showed too much amniotic fluid and a possible blockage in the baby’s intestines.  And I’m sitting there listening to the doctor by myself, half naked, trying not to freak out.  So after a quick discussion and a cervical check (not dilated, but already 75% effaced…and yes, they are as unpleasant as people say), my doctor sent me off to L&D for a non-stress test.  Non-stress…ha!  Luckily the baby looked great, and I was sent home with appointments for another NST on Sunday and a meeting with a perinatal specialist on Monday (today).

Yesterday’s NST was a bit more eventful.  Again, the baby looked great (thank God), but I officially have irritable uterus (= lots of contractions) from all of the extra fluid, and my blood pressure was acting up as well.  So I was sent home but “encouraged” to spend the rest of Mother’s Day laying down on my side.  S took his role as enforcer very seriously and the only time I was allowed to get off the couch was to go lay down on a bed of pillows in the baby’s room and supervise final preparations.

So later this morning we’ll have another level 2 ultrasound to see if they can figure out what’s going on in the baby’s intestines, and then a meeting to discuss options.  At this point, it is looking like we won’t be allowed to deliver in our local hospital (we’ll need to go to one of the more high-tech Boston hospitals) and like we’ll be meeting this baby much sooner than we had planned.  I have really been trying to stay zen until we know more…partly because there is no point worrying (and possibly causing early labor, without a plan in place) until we have more information, and partly because I strangely feel pretty confident that everything is going to work out.  I have had to accept the possibility that I probably won’t be able to have a non-interventionist birth and that we might end up with breastfeeding issues (if some sort of surgery/recovery is required), but I’m trusting that the doctors know what they are doing and will do all they can to keep me and the baby healthy. 

This weekend has been a little scary because we knew that the NSTs (and instructions to pay careful attention to fetal movement) were really just bandaids to get us through to today’s appointment.  And for the first time, I truly felt the pressure of having my body (and my brain) be completely responsible for keeping the baby safe.  Luckily, the weekend was also full of distractions. 

Friday, after my appointment, my coworkers threw me a baby shower lunch, which was exactly what the doctor ordered.  Saturday was actually my 29th birthday (!) and although we stayed pretty low key, it was such a nice day.  S did some work in the yard and then we went off to BRU to exchange some duplicates from our shower and get our last few necessities, and ended the day with dinner at one of the nicest steak restaurants in Boston.  And, although I had trouble fully relaxing yesterday (knowing how much was left to do around the house), it was still nice to spend my first Mother’s Day being lazy.  My parents and one of my brothers (our baby’s future godfather) came over for dinner and helped with laundry and set up of the last few pieces of gear. 

So this morning, I just have to pack our hospital bags (yikes!) and try to deal with the most urgent things at work in case I end up going on leave sooner than anticipated (double yikes!!). 

Will you all send us prayers and healthy baby vibes today?  I’ll be sure to post an update as soon as I have one.

May 3, 2011

Rollercoaster weekend

Posted in Furbabies, Life at 10:20 am by lifebytheday

Stop the ride, I want to get off!!

This weekend was my long-awaited baby shower (that will be getting its own post, don’t worry!) which was wonderful, but unfortunately got a bit overshadowed by some major drama.

On Friday night, I started having pain in my sides and lower back, that got intense enough that I actually called the doctor.  A doctor from another practice was covering that night, and after asking all sorts of questions and making me feel super stupid for calling, told me just to take some Tylenol and use a heating pad.  Gee, thanks. 

I woke up Saturday still really sore, and begged out of a work conference that would have been a four-hour round trip drive plus four hours on my feet in the middle…and instead just hung around the house alternating between doing little bits of housework and laying down with the heating pad.  I felt better by Sunday, but by the end of my shower was super sore again.

Then on Sunday afternoon…all hell broke loose.

My immediate family had come back to our house for a little get together with the men in the family, and we were all just hanging out, having a few drinks, etc.  My youngest brother came downstairs and told S and I that Killian (our cat) had gotten sick in the baby’s room.  I went up to check on him while S cleaned up a few spots along the way, and found him with vomit all over his mouth, heaving, shaking, his eyes completely unfocused.  That was officially the scariest moment of my life.

I screamed for S and went running to find his crate and a towel.  In the time it took us to get things together (with everybody trying to get me to relax and stop running around and tell them what I needed), Killian had thrown up four more times.  I literally yelled at S to just get in whatever car was last out and GO!  Luckily it was my Dad and the two of them went off to the emergency vet (15 minutes away).

It absolutely killed me not to be going with them, but at almost 8-months pregnant and with a house full of people, I knew it wasn’t a good idea.  Thank god it was all family and close family friends who had to witness my meltdown, and they actually remarked that I had held it together pretty well.  (Good thing they didn’t see me right after when I locked myself in my bedroom with Bailey and sat on the floor holding her, crying and shaking.) 😦

We still aren’t sure whether he ate something or was bitten, but when he arrived at the vet, his tongue and muzzle were swollen and he was having trouble breathing, so he got a steroid and antihistamine and was put in an oxygen cage.  And yes, that’s as expensive as it sounds.  They got him stabilized and did blood work to try and figure out what was going on, and sent S home to wait for the results.  When we called back that night to check on him we were told that he was exhibiting some head shaking which could indicate a potential neurological issue, but that it hadn’t really been long enough to know and we just had to wait and see.  Needless to say, there was not much sleeping to be had on Sunday night. 

I called them at quarter of 7 in the morning and all we were told was that he was using his litter box which was a good sign and that they wouldn’t know more until rounds later that morning.  I asked to come see him before rounds and they hemmed and hawed and then put me on hold.  S got on the phone and was like “my wife is pregnant and very upset and she’s coming to see her cat”…and they said NO.  Poor guy, stuck between a rock and a pregnant wife. 😉 

At this point, we were so worried and fed up with the lack of communication, that as soon as our vet opened, I called them and begged for some help and advice.  I literally have never loved someone more.  While waiting for the vet to be available, they requested the report from the emergency clinic, and called me to tell me that the vet would call as soon as they got the report.  She called and explained what was going on, but didn’t feel comfortable with the amount of information in the report, so actually hung up with me and got on the phone with the clinic to talk to them directly.  Then she called me back and helped me to understand what had happened, and what she would suggest for next steps.

Luckily, Killian was doing much better – at about 90% – but they said that he was acting really aggressive (which is the complete opposite of his personality).  So between that and the drastic difference in care and communication between the two vet offices, S and I made the decision to pull him out of the emergency clinic and bring him to our vet (even though we were told that he probably would be discharged later that afternoon anyways). 

We arrived at 11am to pick him up, and miraculously, the vet on the morning shift was actually very helpful and friendly, and explained to us what had been done, her best guess as to what had happened, and what needed to happen next.  (Killian’s blood work still wasn’t back to normal, so he needed to be rechecked before going home.)  After the second traumatizing moment in 24 hours – listening to Killian scream as they got him disconnected from the IV and discharged – we were on our way.

He looked much better to us, just exhausted (and unhappy with the IV still in his arm and a collar on his head), but after 5 minutes in the car he calmed down and just kept rubbing his face against the door to be petted.  Our vet didn’t think he needed any more fluids so she just kept an eye on him for the afternoon and then rechecked his blood work. 

We got a call at 4 o’clock that he was doing much better, that he had been a sweetheart to them all afternoon, and that we could go get him.  His blood work still wasn’t 100% normal, so I have to bring him back in today, but he was good enough to go home, and the scary neurological symptoms had disappeared.  We were as happy to have him home as he was to be home…even Bailey knew that something was going on and was super sweet and gentle with him all night.

As I write this post, both animals are curled up asleep nearby and all is right in the world.  But for a 24-hour time span, we got a taste of some majorly scary drama.  All I could picture was my little not even 2-year-old kitty with brain damage, and it was enough to send this hormonal woman over the edge.  S was wonderful, putting up with rude doctors and a hysterical wife…and once again, I’m reminded of what a great partnership we have. 

I was hesitant to pull Killian out of the emergency clinic, not wanting to disrupt his care, but S insisted and it was the best thing we could have done.  Whatever had been going on in the clinic overnight (dogs barking, cats hissing), Killian had gotten himself so worked up that he was actually falsely inflating some of the levels in his body.  But after just a few quiet hours with our vet, and probably a good nap, he was almost completely back to himself.  It was amazing to realize how much the environment had been affecting his recovery, and definitely something that we made a mental note of for the future (with both our furbabies and our human baby). 

Needless to say, it has been an emotionally exhausting few days, but we’re all on the road to a full recovery.  🙂