Friday, December 17, 2010

My Early Christmas Gift

As many of you already know, my little bundle of joy arrived before any of us anticipated.

No, I didn't go into spontaneous labor as I had hoped.

I had my routine appointment on November 30th, totally oblivious that I was going to get some BIG news.

My blood pressure was still high (150/90) and it had been increasing the longer I was pregnant. I started out lowish (110/70's) and progressively got higher and higher. Yes, I had to do the dreaded 24 hour urine collection twice to rule out pre-eclampsia. All my labs had come back normal, but my doctor was very concerned about my blood pressure at my appointment Tuesday.

"I want you to go in tonight at 10 and we'll get things started." said Dr. Egbert.

I stared at her and blinked fast.

"What do you mean "go in tonight at 10?" I stuttered.

"Now, don't freak out," she said calmly. "Relax, go home, take a nap and pack."

HA! Don't freak out! PSHAW! "Freak Out" is my middle name! I freak out over the slighest things like when I run out of liquid eyeliner, does this woman really think I'm going to be calm knowing I'm going in TONIGHT to have my baby?!

So, I did the necessary things like make phone calls, send out texts, pack and repack and hyperventilate.

Danny came home at noon to be the supportive husband that he is. We laid in bed and tried to nap, clutching on to one another for dear life knowing things were going to get a lot more interesting very soon.

While we were napping, he kept receiving text messages. If you know my husband at all, he barely talks on the phone let alone send or receive texts. I gave him the side eye and said "Who's texting you?"

His face got red and he stammered "No one."

I was really suspicious now.

"WHO was that??"

He lept out of bed, ran to the bathroom and said "Don't you DARE look at my phone!"

Oh, right. Like that's going to be possible.

It was then I discovered it was Julie who was texting Danny. Saying that she was here. As in AT MY HOUSE! I was overjoyed that my BFF had come to support me! She had somehow arranged to come spur of the moment and had wanted to surprise me. And she almost pulled it off! Too bad my darling husband can't lie to save his life. And I'm too nosy for my own good. Lethal combination when it comes to surprises.

Danny's mom had also come to help out, once again being a lifesaver. Between she and Julie, everything was taken care of.

It was really surreal eating dinner that night, hanging out and watching Glee. Like it was any other normal Tuesday evening. But it wasn't. I was going to be a mother soon.

Fast forward to the hospital. They didn't waste ANY time. As soon as I arrived, I was told to pee in cup and put on my gown. And it was a flurry of events from that moment on. I was hooked up to monitors, and started on an IV of Pitocin. My contractions started and they were very mild at first. The nurse had been in contact with my doctor and had been told to inform me that "if I wanted an epidural to get it before she came in at 8am to break my water."

No pressure or anything, sheesh.

I was terrrrrified of getting an epidural. I hadn't banned the idea completely, but I knew it scared the crap outta me. Needles in my spine just gives me slight worries. I had to get to the point where I knew the pain was going to be too much before I would succumb to an epidural.

Well, the second stage of contractions kicked in and I was starting to get uncomfortable. My nurse was fantastic and she talked me through everything. The pros, the cons...and let me make up my own mind. I decided at 5 AM (labor had been about 6 hours at this point) to get the epidural.

I have to say that the actual epidural did not hurt at all. I thought getting the IV was a lot more painful. But alas, I had the "weird" epidural...the half-sided epidural. It only took effect on the right side of my body. I was in major pain at this point. My doctor came in promply at 8AM to break my water, and it was very apparent to her that my epidural was NOT working as I was crying in discomfort. My nurse knew my epidural was obviously not working when I could feel my urinary catheter being inserted. So, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me a bolus of medication. This still didn't work. She finally "tweaked" the epidural catheter and finally, it helped. However, the medication still only took effect on half my body for an hour at a time and would fade.

So my labor was very unique. I got to experience true contractions AND what it felt like to have an epidural. And let me tell you---I prefer having the epidural fo sho.

After nearly 20 hours of labor, it was TIME. I told my nurse repeatedly that I was going to die and that I was too tired. I informed her that I was sorry, there was no way I was going to be able to push. But somehow, I did. I don't know how. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed. And pushed. I could hear the nurse talking about how I needed to get the baby to a certain point and that the doctor would be able to help with forceps, but I was nowhere near that point yet. I was so tired. I heard the dreaded words "C-Section" and there was NO WAY IN HELL that after nearly 20 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing was I going to have a C-section. So, I found that extra "oomph" and determination deep inside and just kept on keeping on. I wouldn't have been able to do it without Danny and Julie cheering me on.

Finally, after nearly 3 exhausting hours...Avery Paul was born at 8:09pm.

I will never forget what it felt like to hear his cry for the first time.

It was the most beautiful sound in the world. I could hear Avery crying to my right. And to my left, I heard the sounds of my emotional husband weeping in joy.

The first thing I uttered when they placed my son in my arms was "He has my nose!"

And he did. It's a little button nose that looks just like mine, just tiny. And he has his Daddy's chin and his blue eyes. Yes, his eyes may change to brown. But for now, they're blue. Which is unusual for an Asian baby.

They did have to keep him in the NICU for the night. He had a little respiratory distress, probably due to him being a little early. He was born at 37 weeks and 5 days gestation. He was a nice, healthy 7 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long. That's not too shabby for being born 16 days before his due date!

So, we've been home now for over two weeks and we are all adjusting well.

He's already well over 8 lbs, gaining over a pound in just 1 week.

In January we are meeting with the pediatric surgeon at Children's Cincy to see what the next steps are for his CPAM diagnosis. We are very optimistic. Maybe we won't have to have surgery at all...? We are hoping and praying!

To all you moms...I finally see what the fuss is all about. Being a mom is thrilling, rewarding, and a blessing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving, Housework, and Bedrest

Hello, All!

Well, the end is officially near.

At my appointment Tuesday I was dilated 3 cm and was told by the nurse practicioner that she was 80% sure I'd have the baby within the week. Well, here it is Saturday and uhhhh...Avery shows no signs of leaving his tight, cramped quarters. At least I am officially full term now, so if he DID decide to evict himself, all would be good. doctor is in Mexico, so I'd prefer if he waited till she lands safely on Dayton, Ohio soil.

Unfortunately, I had elevated blood pressure at my appointment and put on modified bed rest.
I know I would have HATED bedrest if it were any earlier in my pregnancy. But being uncomfortable and tired all the time, it's kind of nice being ordered to rest. Danny has been an angel. So far today he did 5 loads of laundry, all the sheets, ironed the guest sheets (even though he thinks I'm weird), got groceries, and worked on the basement. AND last week he helped me clean the whole house, EVEN toilets.

Danny's mom was amazing and came to spend Thanksgiving with us. She went all out, spoiled us rotten, let me lay around and did all the cooking. I was slightly bummed about not being in Fredericktown for Thanksgiving this year (and we won't be going for Christmas). It felt like a real holiday because she was here.

She went with us to my ultrasound Friday and got to see her first grandchild on the screen. She loved it, and I was excited to share that with her. Oh, and we got another weight. 7 pounds 10 ounces, still gaining weight happily in the 90th percentile.

So, here we are, only two weeks away from induction! I would honestly LOVE to go into natural labor without being induced. Who knows, maybe I'll get my wish?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Me on a Warpath...look out!

Man, I was in a crappy mood yesterday.

Everything annoyed me. Even my sweet pug, Lola was on my last nerve. She never annoys me. Danny, however, is another story. Anyway, Lola was constantly under my feet yesterday, following me everywhere...I was making dinner and she was at the stove, snorting, licking the floor, pudging around and I could NOT take it anymore. I yelled "get in your box!" and I slammed her crate's door shut. She looked up at me with huge, doey brown eyes and jumped back when I slammed the door shut. I've never seen such shock in her eyes before.

I did not care.

I just felt so irritated at everything. Irritated, annoyed, know, a real joy to be around.

Danny made it worse by laughing at me. I found this even more infurtiating.

He decided to take Lola for a run after dinner, and I decided I needed to unwind and take a bath. Taking a bath is very difficult when you have nearly 10 pounds strapped to your waist. I relaxed as much as I could and decided to reflect on my piss-poor mood and figure out what my problem was.

It wasn't really Lola's fault, it wasn't really Danny's fault. Well, it kinda is because he's the one who did this to me. But in reality, no, it's not really his fault.

It hit me that I have major cabin fever, but at the same time, don't feel well enough to go anywhere. So, my question is...if I don't feel like being home, but I don't feel good enough to go anywhere, what do I do? I only work 8 or so hours a week, so the rest of the time, I am stuck here.

I felt a little better after I figured out what was bothering me. Lola came back from her run with Danny much more calm, relaxed and less annoying. Things were OK again.

We went to church this morning, so I feel like I got out of the house, and that helped my mood, too.

I'm decorating for Christmas, so I feel generally more cheerful. I can't be surly when I'm putting up garland and stockings and the tree.

And...decorating for Christmas means my son will be here very soon. My sweet, baby...the little chunk I can feel moving in my belly will finally be in my arms by Christmas Day. He will be home...laying on this very couch, snuggling with my pug dog, next to the cozy fire. I can't wait to nuzzle his soft, chubby cheeks and smell his sweet baby smell.

Cabin fever or not, how can I be in a bad mood when I have that to look forward to?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Whether or not I believe it....babies DO eventually come out!

I've been walking around in a constant state of denial.

Did you know that when you are pregnant, the baby HAS to come out at some point? Well...newsflash, THEY DO.

I don't think it seemed so real until I was informed that my doctors would like me to be induced at 39 weeks, which would be December 10. I panicked. Oh, outwardly I maintained my composure, but inside I was FLIPPING OUT.

There was an attractive quality about "not knowing" when he'd be, it was almost not real. My original due date was December 17th, but everyone knows babies don't come on their due date! I KNOW when he's coming. And that's the LATEST he will be coming! I could go into spontaneous labor BEFORE December 10th!

And that a mere 6 weeks and 4 days...I will be a mom. Unless of course my son decides to grace us with his presence before then.

I guess part of the reason they want to induce is so all the specialists can be present. I don't know why....he's not having surgery until the Spring. But another reason they want to induce is because he's a lard ass. Danny likes to gleefully remind me: "Babe! I was a 10 pound baby!! That means Avery's going to be HUGE!" And he says this like it's a wonderful thing.

I like to glare and give him the evil eye.

Here's how I feel about giving birth.
1.) I don't want to do it.
2.) Being induced scares me.
3.) Spontaneous birth scares me.
4.) C-Sections scare me.
5.) Epidurals scare me.
6.) Labor in general scares me.

Besides that, I'm mentally prepared, so that's good.

Ready or he comes!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ahhh...sweet candy!

As I'm typing this, I'm stuffing my face with a chocolately Kit Kat bar. Until this morning, I was unsure that I'd even be able to eat them anymore. Gestational diabetes scared the crap out of me. What if I couldn't have refined carbs and sugar anymore?

I hate how the doctor's office said "we'll call you if you failed."

So I waited and waited. Until 9:40 AM I couldn't wait anymore.

I timidly said to the receptionist "uhhhh...I don't want to be annoying....butttt I HAVE to know if I passed my glucose test."

I hear her clicking away with her mouse....meanwhile, seconds feel like hours.....

"Yep, you did great!"

"What were my numbers?"

"You need less than a 140 and you got a 114."

I could have kissed her if it were possible through the phone.

I realize it's not the end of the world...but I really would hate being on such a restricted diet, doing finger sticks, etc....and also, with all the appointments I already have with Avery's diagnosis, I realllyyyy didn't want to add even more.

So, yay! Milestone today! Can stuff my fat, pregnant face with as much fatty sweetness as I want! (I am not doing TOO bad...I've gained 11 pounds in 25 was very pleased with those numbers).

Also, today is exactly 100 days until my due date!

On that note...time for another candy bar.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We Have Some Answers!

Avery's diagnosis:
CPAM (Congenital pulmonary adenamatoid malfornation) with bronchopulmonary sequestration...
We already knew about the lung tumor, but we just learned about the bronchopulmonary sequestration. What that means is that there is a blood supply from the thoracic aorta that is feeding the tumor in his lung. This blood supply is going through his stomach and diaphragm and attaches to the tumor. Therefore, that means that all of these organs are connected together (sequestration).

First, in the morning I had an MRI, (which I hear Avery was very uncooperative during, which in turn made me have to stay longer and get additional pictures...sigh) followed by a very in depth ultrasound. We had a lunch break, and then met with a social worker. Immediately following was an echocardiogram. (At 25 weeks he weighed in at 2 lbs 1 oz) Avery's heart is completely normal! That was the first good news of the day. Next, met with a genetic counselor that basically told us this is an isolated case and there was nothing we could do to prevent or contribute to his diagnosis.

It sounds scary, but we finally met with the pediatric surgeon at Cincinnati Children's Fetal Care Center. He said that Avery has an "excellent prognosis" so that immediately put us at ease.

So here's what is going to happen:
-I will have regular, routine OB care (WOOHOO) and won't have to go back to Children's while pregnant.
-I can have a normal labor and delivery.
-I can deliver at Kettering!
-At 45 weeks of age Avery will have a CT Scan to confirm that he still has the disorder.
-At 3 months of age he will have surgery (2-3 day hospital stay) to repair the sequestration and remove the tumor. And the most amazing part is that his lung will regenerate and in about 5 weeks it will be like there was never a tumor or a sequestration. He will have a 100% normal, functioning lung and it will be like none of this ever happened!

So, all around great news and my baby boy will be just fine! Thank you God for answering our prayers.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bladder=Soccer Ball

So, I think Avery will be a soccer player like his dad.
He has very strong legs and feet and loves to kick my bladder like a soccer ball. Hey, at least he's making me get my excercise.....I have to walk to the bathroom 545521212 times a day.
I love feeling him move, however, can't complain. I just love knowing Avery is growing. I can feel he's bigger. I started feeling him move at 18 weeks and Danny could never feel him. Now, at 24 weeks, Danny can see my belly moving and flopping around from across the room.

Being pregnant is such a surreal feeling. I still can't believe our son is inside of me, and I'm growing him. That is a miracle! How do people not believe in God when they are having a child? The entire process is absolutely impossible to fathom or understand. God thought everything out very well! Everything about the development of a baby makes sense and I just know He is real now, more than ever. For example: did you know the umbilical cord has no nerves so the baby feels no pain when it is cut? Well, duh! God knew what He was doing! Also, the baby's skin is covered in a protective coating so they don't shrivel up in amniotic fluid. AMAZING! The details were so carefully thought out by Him.

Danny's been working hard at re-painting the baby's crib. But JC Penney decided to torture me and has my bedding on back-order. His nursery will have a light blue and dark brown polka-dot theme. Danny says polka-dots aren't very manly.

So we have quite a long day scheduled this coming Friday at Children's of Cincinnati. A lot of you are praying, and I am so thankful for that. We are very, very optimistic. Avery's diagnosis is CCAM. Congenital cystic adematoid malformation. Say that three times fast! Here is a link to the Fetal Care Center that we will be working with:

The link also has a very informative section on CCAM. The doctors don't seem too worried, just taking a lot of precautions. They worry when the ratio size of the tumor is 1.6, and Avery's is only 0.36 and not getting any bigger. The only reason they're sending us to the specialists is due to the fact the tumor has slightly deviated his heart. However, the good news is that the deviation has not caused any stress on his heart at all.

So, we're staying positive. The most wonderful part of his diagnosis is that we have gotten to see our little boy every week since 20 weeks via ultrasound! Last week I could see his cheeks were chubbier and cuter than ever. I love getting to see him weekly. Which makes me more excited to see him every day soon...and to hold my precious boy in my arms.

Will write more later after our day at Children's. Thank you everybody for your support!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Maybe No Longer Baby No Name??

Last post left me overwhelmed, excited, nervous, and overwhelmed. Did I mention overwhelmed?

Well, I am happy to report that I am finally kind of adjusting to my new role as soon-to-be-mommy. First of all, my baby boy has a closet and dresser full of clothes. Lots of hand me downs from my sister in law, and about 60+ items plus a gorgeous JJ Cole car seat cover for $100 from a friend. I love looking in his closet and seeing those teeny clothes that hang down like three inches. It's pretty uber cute.

Also, Danny and I registered. I am proud of our registry. We worked and researched hard and long. Didn't register for anything we didn't think we needed. With an enginerd (Danny) alongside me, I couldn't go wrong. He figured out all the dorky mechanics of stuff. I like his mathematical brain.

On the unexpected front, at our 20 week ultrasound (where baby was lovingly playing with his junk) they did find a tumor on his lung. The good news was he was happy, and big. He was at last measurement in the 83rd percentile. The not-so- good news is that we are unsure what the lung tumor means. I've had to go for weekly ultrasounds, and the mass has not grown as he grows. If it continues to stay the same size as he gets bigger, prognosis is pretty good. Unfortunately, we have a zillion tests we have to get done. At 24 weeks, (I am currently 23 weeks and 1 day) we are heading to Cinicinnati Children's Hospital and meeting with 8 specialists. I know I have an MRI, a meeting with a cardiologist and genetisist. Beyond that, not sure what the other 5 appointments are. Apparently, the odds are 1 in 30,000 of this happening and beyond our control. We're just happy that he seems pretty happy and content and kicks me often to remind me how happy he is in his little home.

So, we are just praying and hoping. And hoping and praying.

So the big news is we *think* we came up with a name. Avery Paul. We both like Avery (shocker) and Paul was my grandpa's name that I loved very much. We'd like to incorporate William in there somewhere for Danny's grandpa, however Avery William doesn't roll. And I don't want him to have fourteen names like Avery Paul William that's why we're only 90% sure.

So...I think that's all for now about Avery, keep him in your prayers. If something bad is wrong, we will deal, so mostly I just pray for wisdom. Because even if he has a life-long illness, I just want to be wise and know how to be an advocate for my son. <3


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So Monday is a BIG day...we find out...(insert drumroll here, please) the SEX of the baby!
Some days I felt like I would internally combust having to wait so far as I'm concerned, waiting is cruel and unusual punishment! I mean, I guess if truth be told I could have found out sooner. I will be 20 weeks and 3 days when we go for the anatomical ultrasound, and I could have found out as early as 17 weeks.

So, part of me is singing with joy about finding out....
...and the other part of me is starting to panic.

When we find out boy or girl, it will make the whole "baby thing" more real. Like, it won't be just some alien swimming around in my uterus. It will be a PERSON. A person that has genitals and will come screaming into this world in just a few short months, needing fed and clothed. And here lies the problem....I'm CLUELESS.

I am not just clueless, I'm lost.

First of all, we can't agree on any names. It was always safe to say "Oh, we'll just wait till we find out what we're having!" Well guess what? That excuse won't last much longer. Sooner or later we will HAVE to agree on something. You know those baby books that have like 54684751521 names? Well, lo and behold we're the first couple in the universe that couldn't agree on a single name in that entire fat book. Actually, it was three fat books and still no names jumped out at us. The names that jumped out at Danny made my nose wrinkle in distaste. And the names that jumped out to me made him say "Are you freaking kidding me?"

Oh, but alas, those are the least of our problems.

So, my darling friends and mom want me to have a baby shower. Which means that we will have to register soon for items. People, I don't know the first thing about babies. I know, I know. Diapers...(but what kind? What if Jr. doesn't like Huggies and prefers Pampers?)....I wish there was only one option and I would happily register for that item. the real world there are a million choices and I feel overwhelmed.

Anyway, I digress.

I know we will find a name, and I know we will figure everything out. It's just a foreign feeling for me to not feel completely prepared for something. I'm Queen Anal of Retentiveness, so this general denial and helplessness I'm experiencing is a new feeling for me.

I always try to be positive.

Here are the positive things: I have had an easy pregnancy (except carpal tunnel and a cold sore the size of Mt. Everest), my baby is healthy thus far, my husband is completely supportive and reads all the baby books and happily babbles off useless information that I don't really need to know, we have a roof over our heads, great health insurance, plenty of love and support from those around us, a cute pug dog that will be an amazing older sister, and in my belly is the ONE person in my life that is a part of me.

Let me go off on a tangent for a moment about that last point.

As many of you know, I am adopted. I love my mom and dad. I wouldn't have any of these blessings without them. I never felt adopted. I always felt like a natural part of our family. I had a typical relationship with my brothers, whom I also adore. I always felt I belonged.

Inside of an adopted person however, is a void. It's not good, it's not bad. It's just an emptiness looking around and knowing no one is YOU. When my baby is born, I'll be holding the only person I know that is part of me. I honestly feel like my baby will fill that void I've never been able to fill. And that is very, very special.

So enough of the sappiness.

Until next revoir!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Will My Baby Turn into a Cheesesteak?

I ALWAYS tried to eat healthy before I got pregnant.

I gagged down so many tubs of spinach I think I solely kept the spinach company in business.

I ate whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean proteins...a pretty perfect diet, AND I tried to excercise at least 4 times a week.

I have heard pregnant women want the opposite of what they ate before they were pregnant.


It must be true. I ate a cheeseteak for lunch.

And a cheeseteak for dinner.

So, if my baby comes out with onions, provolone and mushrooms...don't be alarmed.

And excercise....what is THAT?! I haven't since I got knocked up.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I am an alien on a new planet

Entering into the world of pregnancy/children is a foreign land.

I've been not-pregnant for 28 years of my life, and married for 4 of those years. Our life happily consisted of hubby, me and our Pug, Lola. We knew we were "ready" and beginning to talk about "starting a family."

For the first 2 years I shuddered at the thought of having a child. I wasn't ready AT ALL and could not see giving up my life, money, time, sanity for a CHILD. Around 3 years of marriage the idea didn't turn me off completely. Then one day IT hit.

My clock was ticking. It was a bomb.

All of the sudden, a BABY was all I wanted. However, I was still practical (aka boring.)

We went into Baby mode. We discussed finances. We did a complete financial overhaul. I knew I wanted to be a SAHM working very few part time hours. I got healthy. I went off the pill. Finally, it was time to try. Or as baby websites all call it TTC (trying to conceive.)

TTC lasted approximately 10 minutes.

We didn't know it then, but we were one of the few lucky ones that got pregnant the first try. No, not the first month of trying. THE FIRST TRY. Danny has been coined "The One Hit Wonder."

So fast forward to today where I am 15 weeks and 3 days pregnant.

And still, pregancy and children are a foreign land.

One of my friends has a stack of parenting magazine five miles high said "read these if you get bored!" So , I did. The first article I come across is discussing strollers. Did you know there are approximately 87465132 different types of strollers?

And that's just a STROLLER!

But, I am taking it all in stride.

I may not know what the best stroller is. I may not know what I'm in for when I go into labor. I may not know if I'm having a boy or a girl. I may not know a thing about what it's like to get zero sleep or whether to breast feed or use formula.

But I do know I'm ready to be a mom. I am SO ready to meet my baby. Pregnancy has been a constant joy, a beautiful experience between my husband and me. And if I have enough love for my baby, who cares about a stroller?