Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009

I have to say, I have grown fond of the year 2009.

To be perfectly honest, 2008 was notably hard. In 2008, we said good-bye to two little babies that we never got to meet. In 2008, we faced sadness that we never expected to happen to us. Twice.

But 2009??



I am lucky enough to say that I have had almost a full year with my Baby Sam already! I'm the lucky one who carried him for 9 months...starting in January of 2009. And looking back on this past year, I know I am so blessed and so thankful.
He's growing so fast. He's already 3 months old. He's nearly doubled his birth weight! And I'm trying to savor every moment. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, he wakes up a lot at night..... but that's what I'm here for! Yes, I missed dinner tonight because baby boy was tired and hungry and needed to be cuddled and fed. But there's nothing more important that I could possibly do.
There were two weeks before he was born when I was afraid I might lose him. Or at the very least, I thought I was going to be by his side through open heart surgery. Heart surgery, y'all. Those are scary moments I don't often relive.
But in 2009? In 2009, I witnessed a miracle. The God above healed our baby boy. He made his heart perfect. Our little Baby Sam with at least one, maybe 3 heart defects was born as healthy as could be!
In 2009, we added a fourth stocking to our mantle. And I get to sort clean laundry into four stacks. And my cup runs over. So with great joy, I welcome 2010. And I wonder what the year will hold! Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

First Christmas!


Our Baby Sam is about to turn 3 months old!! He is getting so big (probably 18 pounds now!), smiles ALL the time and sometimes you can get a laugh out of him. :) We can't wait to celebrate his first Christmas with him!

My Grandma Herbie sent out her yearly Christmas letter and she always includes family updates. I loved her mention of Sam, so I thought I'd blog about it. She wrote, "Our newest greatgrand (#8) Samuel was born Sept. 29th to Erica and Travis. He is our miracle baby, having been diagnosed to surely need heart surgery at birth, emerged a bouncing happy 9 pound 12 ounce strapping healthy guy."

Sometimes I forget how close we really thought we were to heart surgery for our little guy. But then I hear a similar story or reread my blog posts from September and it all comes flooding back. And I am so thankful. Our Baby Sam sure is our miracle!!!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A message for Baby Sam?


Hey Bloggy World. :) Baby Sam is doing GREAT. I have a favor to ask! I found out that I can make my blog into a book, so that I can show Sam when he gets older. If you followed Baby Sam's story, read the blog, prayed for him, spread the word...can you please leave a comment for him? That way he'll know all of the wonderful people who were by his side when he was born. Thanks!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Great News

Well, to be honest, I felt a little silly today -- but I found a real rooftop and I shouted from it. Because we had Baby Sam's 2 week heart check today and there is nothing wrong with his heart!!!!! So, after having parked on the roof of the parking garage, I fulfilled my promise and I shouted thanks to God for healing my baby boy. Because Baby Sam is healthy!!!

The only thing they could find at all was a thing/valve/hole similar to the ductus (which closed while he was in the NICU) that usually closes within weeks, instead of days. Sam's is open still and perhaps a bit large. But this is not something that would cause him any trouble as a child, even if it stays open. If we had not already been looking for problems, this would not have been detectable just with regular baby checkups. IF it stays open, then perhaps in three or four years, we can get it fixed, nonsurgically. But nobody is worried.

So our boy got the all clear today! We go back in April just to triple check things, but that is so far away from right now that I can't even schedule the appointment yet!

Feeling so blessed by my family of four.....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Check-up

Tomorrow our sweet Baby Sam goes for a follow-up echo cardiogram at the children's hospital. Please say a prayer for our little baby's continued good health!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Heart

There was a moment in the hospital when Baby Sam was crying. It was only my second or third time to even see my sweet boy. As I held him in my arms, I talked to him. He stopped crying, opened his little eyes and looked at me. And I could see it in his eyes. He knew me. It was like he was saying, "Oh, there you are. I know you. I know that voice." He stared at me for a couple of minutes before drifting back off to sleep. Oh, the love.

Thank you for praying for Baby Sam.

I said before that I don't know if it has really "hit met" yet. That our baby is here. That our baby is healed. Yesterday, I needed to go back to Dr. Fancy for a checkup for myself. Before I got to the exam room I stopped off at the restroom. And it hit me. The last time I was in that restroom I was looking in the mirror at my swollen, teary-eyed, mascara-stained face, moments after being told that my baby's heart looked dilated and that there might be something wrong. But this time? This time as I looked in that mirror I realized. I realized that while Dr. Fancy was right and there was something wrong with my baby's heart, he has been healed. And he is here. And he is healthy. And as I made my way back to the exam room and sat waiting, I heard a baby's doppler heartbeat through the wall in the room next door. I am so glad that my baby is here.

Thank you for flooding the gates of Heaven with your prayers.

Today our sweet Sam is one week old. This is what I hoped and prayed for, but he wasn't "supposed" to be home with us yet. At least according to the doctors. He was "supposed" to be in the NICU waiting for heart surgery for an undecided number of defects. But he's home. I'm "supposed" to be pumping every three hours for our baby so he can be fed in the NICU. But I get to nurse him whenever he's hungry.

Thank you for spreading the word and getting people from all over to pray for him.

Yesterday, the NICU decided it would not allow children under 12 in to visit during flu season. And while this sounds like a very smart idea (!!) this would have been sad for Emma. But now she gets to hug and kiss him whenever she wants. Because he is home.

Thank you for your thoughts, your words, your comments, and your support.

Sometimes I can't believe that it's all real. That our Baby Sam is here. I always thought he was my miracle in the first place just because of my MTHFR, but I never imagined he'd be part of something so big! I am so amazed to be by his side as he is a miracle. God has big plan for our boy and this is just the beginning. I believe God promised me this child a long time ago, this very child, and I am in awe that he is here. To God be all the glory!!

From the very most bottom part of my heart, thank you all (yes, you in the bloggy world) for your love, support, and most importantly for your prayers. We are blessed beyond measure.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I'm writing this blog from my bedroom, sitting on a recliner, INCHES away from my brand new baby boy as he sleeps. We are HOME and Baby Sam got to come with us!!!!!

Our baby boy -- the baby with one, two or three possible heart defects -- is perfect! The doctors could not find anything wrong with him! He completed a 4 day stay in the NICU and they sent us on our merry way!

This is what I hoped, dreamed and prayed for. Healing! I'm not sure if it has totally hit me yet.....

Baby Sam had hundreds...and I'd even venture to say thousands by the time you add up all the church groups!...praying for him! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for spreading the word about our baby boy and for praying for him.

I 100% believe that God healed our baby boy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From the Rooftops












Happy Birthday, my sweet Baby Sam. What a day it has been!!! ....
We arrived at the hospital this morning around 5 am, got all prepped and by about 7:45 I was in the operating room awaiting my epidural and the doctor to begin! They brought Travis in and we waited behind the blue curtain on pins and needles. After several minutes, Dr. Fancy said, "Here comes Baby!" And at 8:10 am our baby boy was born CRYING. It was the most beautiful sound in the entire world, because it meant he could breathe!!! And let's just say, good thing for my waterproof mascara.

They took him instantly away. Travis had snapped a picture of his first second on the outside, but I didn't get to see him yet. Travis followed Baby Sam out with the NICU team to get all checked out and every once and a while, when the door opened, I could hear his precious cries. So I lay there, praying to the God above that Sam would be okay, and listening to Dr. Fancy direct another doctor on how to close me up.

Shortly after, they wheeled Baby Sam back into the OR, and for maybe 15 precious seconds I got to touch his head and talk to him before they took him to the NICU. And he was BEAUTIFUL! (Or am I supposed to say handsome?)

I got sent to recovery for 2 hours, while grandparents, my neighbor Sara and Travis all took turns gazing at our precious boy. It was hard to be patient. All I had to go on were his little footprints that had been handed to me by a nurse. Well, maybe not so little -- did I mention nine pounds 12 ounces?? 20.75 inches long!
When I got my real room, the first nurse told me I had to wait eight MORE hours to see my baby. But then my new nurse told me eight hours since surgery. Four o'clock couldn't come soon enough.

Sam and I were both surrounded by so much wonderful family today. Down to see Sam. Up to see me. Repeat. But, I think, Baby Sam has had someone with him this whole time!
Fast foward to the really good stuff. Sam had his echo cardiogram today. We waited HOURS for the results, but here goes:
The coarctation that the original cardiologist saw for sure? Can't be seen in Baby Sam's heart anymore.
The arch in his aorta that might have been too small, requiring open chest surgery? Is in the normal range for size.

The valve that might have been closing improperly? Is fine.


We aren't in the clear yet, but FIND ME A ROOFTOP, because I promised to shout from it! God answered our prayers. God answered YOUR prayers. The wonderful NICU nurse that was in charge of Sam all day said it is "likely" that he'll be able to go home with us and that he is treating him like a "normal" baby who is just hanging out in the NICU.

The things in question at this point, which will likely be answered by another echo on Thursday are that 1) his ductus (the valve that should close after birth) is a little large, but could quite possibly just be from being born, as it is a common sight in newborns. 2) The right side of his heart still looks a bit dilated, but nobody seems to concerned at this point.

So with this news, they took him off the warmer, wrapped him up, and started letting people hold him!!! I've been pumping and he's been drinking that from a bottle along with some formula until my supply is greater. The NICU nurse imagines that maybe I'll get to actually nurse him tomorrow. Wouldn't that be great!?

My mom is here on my hospital room couch and Trav is down with Baby Sam. And we are all about to go to sleep. It has been a wonderful and crazy day. I can't express enough my thanks to all of you for your prayers, to my family (and Sara) for their help today and to the God above who has answered our prayers. Thank you, God, for a healthy baby boy!!! May he continue in good health and join our little family at home soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sweet (almost) Birthday Boy

Well tomorrow is the long awaited BIG DAY. :) I think we are all packed and as prepared as can be! Check facebook or the twitter on the side of the blog for updates! We'll post pics when we can, but it might be a pretty busy day. :)

I don't really have the profound words to express myself tonight, so I'll direct you back to this. I still believe it!

I'm praying and boldly asking for the powerful hand of Jesus to heal our baby!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Belly Pic & Twitter

In case you ever wondered what a ten pound baby looks like when he's laying sideways across his mama, here you go! :)

It is getting soooo close to Sam's birthday!!

In an effort to keep y'all updated on Tuesday when he's born, I started a twitter account that I'll be able to update from my phone. You can read these little updates on the right side of my blog, just under the I Heart Baby Sam button.

It's hard to describe what's going on in my head right now. I am so very happy to meet our baby boy, but I have to admit I'm scared, too. Please keep praying for Baby Sam!!! We love our boy so much.

Psalm 139:13-18

"For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious are Your thoughts on me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand."

TWO DAYS!

Just in case you were wondering, we are still here and have TWO DAYS til Baby Sam. We have a big long list of things to get done before our sweet boy gets here, so I haven't gotten to blog much. BUT, I promise to get you one more belly picture before the big day. Cuz nobody is going to want a belly picture AFTER the big day, that's for sure! ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Target

Today the little lady and I decided to lay low and take it easy. I kept her home from school because everywhere I look, someone has the flu. If there's anything I can do to keep her healthy to meet her baby brother, I have to do it! Here's a little portion of our Target trip today.

Nice Lady: Whoa! You must be ready!

Me: Yup! Almost. 5 more days!

Nice Lady: Ohmygoodness. Are you having two?

Me: Nope. Just one big boy! Almost 10 pounds.

Checkout Girl: Is he heavy??

Me: I guess so.

Nice Lady: Has he dropped yet?

Me: Hmmm...I don't think so. He's laying sideways. (I point to his head and feet across my belly.)

Checkout Girl: Oh yeah. I can tell!

Nice Lady: Ten pounds?

Me: Yup! Oh, and I'm really only 38 weeks pregnant.

Nice Lady: GASP. Well, good luck!

When I get into a conversation like this, for some reason, part of me feels like I should explain Sam's story. That his birth on Tuesday probably won't be a run-of-the-mill baby birth. That we might not get to have him stay in our room. And I might not get to nurse him for weeks. But then the other part of me thinks, well, for one, strangers in Target don't need all that information, and it doesn't really matter anyway. Tuesday will still be Sam's BIRTHDAY! We will celebrate him no matter what. And we can't wait.

All I really know is that tomorrow when I wake up I can say, "Four days til Baby Sam!" And that will be music to my ears.

I am still praying to God to heal our baby boy. I would love to proclaim a miracle when Baby Sam is born healthy and strong and the doctor's can't explain it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Good Appointment

We had a Dr. Fancy appointment today. It went really well!

He was very encouraging about the diagnosis we received last week.

He liked the view he got of Sam's heart today. He could clearly see the dialated part of his heart but thought things didn't seem as worrisome as last week.

Baby Sam weighed in at 9 pounds 13 ounces! He gained almost a pound this past week, so he should be well into the TENS when he's born.

Speaking of which, there are now only SIX days til Baby Sam. Dr. Fancy moved up the date by 2 days (to THIS Tuesday the 29th).

Baby Sam scored an 8/8 on his biophysical profile!

We left the appointment feeling very encouraged. As things stand, everyone anticipates surgery for our sweet boy shortly after he's born, but his moment of birth is not being anticipated as scary or like he'll be in urgent danger of any kind.

We are so ready to meet our baby boy and find out what's really going on in his little body. We'll know so much more after an echo cardiogram once he's born.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beautiful Dream

I had the most beautiful dream last night. In my dream, Baby Sam had been born, but I hadn't seen him yet. When I went to see him, there were two babies laying side by side and I just knew which one was Baby Sam because he looked exactly like all of his ultrasound pictures. And he was mine. And he was healthy. I got to pick him up and hug and kiss him. God had healed my baby boy.

And I do believe that could happen in real life. He could be born perfectly healthy and strong. And I would shout it from the rooftops. I would.

But if he's born as expected, needing surgery, I am prepared to fight. I will use every last bit of myself getting my baby well. I will pray with every ounce of my strength and sit by his bedside so he's not alone.

We are more than incredibly blessed to have our family around. My mom is pretty much moving in on October 1st to take care of Emma. Every day she tells me that she has her suitcase and a cot in the car, just in case. (Mom, we aren't going to make you sleep on a cot for a month!) And I know my dad and Travis's parents will be with us every step of the way too. And my cousin has offered to mail us a house key to her near-the-hospital house so that we can stop by anytime for a nap or a shower or a night. And my neighbor across the street is getting me through each day with distractions and sometimes even dinner. And that's really just the beginning of all the support we've received. My head is spinning (in a good way) with all the love we've been shown.

Unless something changes tomorrow at Dr. Fancy's, we are NINE days til Baby Sam. I am overjoyed and terrified at the same exact time, trying to hold onto the faith that got me to Baby Sam in the first place.

Please keep praying for our little baby. Grab a Sam button. Spread the word. God is listening.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A little bit frustrating...

....but in hindsight, slightly funny.

Remember on Thursday when I desperately pleaded with Dr. Fancy's nurse to squeeze me in on Friday? And she said I had to be a real patient and that consult patients could not get squeezed in? And since then I've seen my OB and been trasferred as an official "real patient" to Dr. Fancy.....

Well, today, in a moment of I-can't-wait-til-Wednesday panic, I called her back, left a message and asked to be seen tomorrow. Six hours later she calls me back and says that Dr. Fancy is at his satellite office tomorrow and it is only for consult patients. Since I am a real patient now I can't see him.

Oh well. Wednesday it is!

PS. Baby Sam is FULL TERM today. Hallelujah!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Angel Nurse

So, rewind with me to Thursday. We had just been through our 4 hour cardiologist appointment and been sent home with some very scary news resonating in our heads. And we were in 2 cars. I was desperate to see my high risk doctor, to get someone else's take on the whole thing, to beg for an earlier c-section date. So I called and left a message with Dr. Fancy's nurse. She doesn't know me at all and it took her a while to call me back. When she did, she said she could not squeeze me in the next day because they were full and since I wasn't a real patient, I needed my OB's approval to get in. But I see Dr. Fancy every week. How am I not real patient??

Within seconds of hanging up with this nurse, my nurse from my OB office returned my similar plea-for-help call. And I believe, truly in my heart, that God put her on the other end of my cell phone that day at that moment when it felt like my world was crashing down around me.

Her name is Becky. And she's my Angel Nurse.

I told her what was going on, about the inconclusive ultrasound the day before, the 4 hour long cardiologist appointment, the diagnosis. And she was sad with me. And she let me sob. But then she helped me pull it together. She asked what the issues were. In my bleary-eyed-driving-on-the-freeway state, I couldn't look back at my notes and diagrams.

"Something like a cotraction of his ...oh, something, " I said.

"Oh, a coarctation of the aorta?" She asked.

"Oh. Yes. Yes, that's it. And something about a valve."

"Oh, the ductus, yes, yes."

And we went on and on. And my OB nurse, who is not trained in cardiology, knew exactly what was going on, exactly what Sam had been diagnosed with. She went on to tell me of 2 different babies that she knows personally who were born with very similar problems who are now thriving, chubby, happy babies.These were the first (of many) success stories I had heard. And about how the hospital we will be delivering at and having surgery at is the best place possible to be. And how we are so lucky to know now.

"So what's the plan?" She asked.

"I have to deliver with Dr. Fancy now."

"Well, that makes good sense." She agreed.

"But I just want to get him out!" I sobbed. "They tell me he's okay right now but how do they know he'll be okay in a few days? What if the problem gets worse? And I'm off the baby aspirin now." I was desperate.

Becky, the Angel Nurse, round 2. She went on and on, in the calmest voice, about how Baby Sam is in the best possible place right now. He is obviously getting everything he needs, he's 9 pounds after all, and he needs to be as big as possible and as strong as possible for his surgery. Inside of me, he is doing just fine, great really, it's only after he's born that he'll need help. She told me that God is on my side, watching me so closely.

Then she told me to go ahead and come on in the next morning just to talk to the doctor. And that day, when she saw me, she hugged me and reassured me all over again. She offered me contact information for the mamas of the babies who had similar problems. And she told me to call any time that I needed to talk.

I needed Becky that afternoon in the car. And she had all the right words to say to me. And I am so thankful.

2 Corinthains 1:3-4
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

Baby Sam Button

Some very sweet friends that my brother and I grew up with created this button for Baby Sam. It is a stained glass window in their church. And do you see those hands? They are holding a heart. Because God is holding Baby Sam and his heart in His hands.

I can't quite figure out how to give you the code so you could put the button on your blog, if you wanted to. I'll update when I figure it out! But you can find the code at http://www.flourblossoms.com/.


11 days til Baby Sam -- and I sure do heart him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Going Strong

Travis recorded the doppler today of Sam's heartbeat, going strong!

*See below for an update on today.

One Day at a Time

Well, we are taking it one day at a time and today was definitely better than yesterday. And we can get a good chuckle out of the part when Travis checked the mail and received a jury summons for October 7. Luckily he could reschedule...for January!

We met with my OB today, and he came prepared with a book about heart defects and had talked with my specialist a couple of times -- though he had yet to see the actual echo results. He was very encouraging. Basically, he said that this isn't what you would want, but we are in the best city possible to deliver Baby Sam, he (the doc) is "in" very well with the heads of the cardiology department and feels 100% confident in the doctors who will be caring for Baby Sam. The problem(s) is/are fixable and he should have no lasting effects from any of it.

He has officially transferred my care to "Dr. Fancy" (this is just what I call him), my high risk doctor. I won't see my OB again until after Sam is born for my own post-partum care.

Like I mentioned before, I really get nervous about Sam staying in me too long. Now that I'm off the baby aspirin, I just really want to have him within the next 10 days, which is when the anti-coagulating effects wear off. However, Dr. Fancy does not think we need to move the date any closer, since October first is only 13 days away.

My OB explained that when I have the ultrasounds with Dr. Fancy, he does a biophysical profile of Baby Sam and he's been scoring 8 out of 8, a perfect score! This tells the docs that Baby Sam should be fine for the coming week (or more). If he'd gotten a 6 out of 8, they'd see me back sooner, but with an 8/8 I get seen again in one week.

We left my OB appointment feeling reassured and like this was going to be manageable. But, I must say, in the waiting room before my appointment? If after 2 miscarriages I ever thought looking at newborn babies was hard, my oh my, was it hard today. It seemed like everyone in the waiting room was there for their post-partum checkup with their tiny babies. I was a weepy mess. I'm sure I'll be in that same waiting room 6 weeks after my c-section, maybe even holding Baby Sam, but it was still hard.

Aside from the obvious worry and uncertainty right now, it's proving hard for me to be Mommy to our daughter without zoning out and just wanting to be on the couch amidst my thoughts. I know this will get easier and I'm still processing all of this. I want so much to be here for her and to make the next weeks of her life as normal as possible. We watched Tinkerbell tonight -- that seemed to be a good compromise. I could zone out in my own thoughts while we snuggled together.

We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our friends, family, and strangers. If you've sent me a comment or a facebook message, or called my cell phone, I have read it (or heard it) and I am so grateful. Right now, I'm still spinning from yesterday and just can't respond to everything, but please know I'm reading your comments and we cherish your prayers.

Tomorrow, we will wake up and declare "12 days til Baby Sam!", take off the next link on our paper chain and celebrate him. The first few weeks of his life might not be what we planned and he'll have a fight on his hands, but we will be there fighting with him, every step of the way. We love you, Baby Sam!!!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Details

Yesterday, I had a "routine" ultrasound with my high risk doctor (who I see because of the MTHFR blood clotting issue). I was expecting a quick ultrasound, like usual, and hoping for him to declare that the baby was ready to be born! I mean, he's an ounce shy of nine pounds, after all.

But then he looked at my baby's heart for a really long time. And then he went back and looked at previous pictures of my baby's heart. And then he started to use really big words, but all I heard was dilated, fluid, problem, cardiologist. He hoped he was wrong and that Baby Sam was just lying in a funny position and we'd get a better look with an echo cardiogram.

We are so thankful that we got in today, the very next day, for the echo cardiogram that takes a week or more to schedule.

After an hour and a half of a cardiologist looking at every tiny part of Sam's heart, she left the room with her poker face intact, to run her calculations.

Surely this is a false alarm. Surely Dr. Fancy was wrong. Surely Baby Sam is the picture of health.

And then the cardiologist returned and said, "We are certain of our diagnosis. We got good pictures. Let's look at this diagram of a normal heart."

Room spinning. Walls caving in. Tears blurring my eyes. A normal heart? What does that mean Baby Sam has??

From our understanding, there are potentially three little problems. The first is a definite -- it's called Coarctation of the Aorta. What this means is that there is a little kink in Sam's aorta. This affects the blood flow out to his body after birth. Right now in utero, there is a little (normal) valve that God put there that is open that is helping to supply blood around the kink. After he's born, the valve normally closes, around a week after being born. The doctors will put him on prolactin when he's born to keep the valve open while he waits for surgery. If we didn't find out about this now, he'd be born and probably be fine for a few days, until the valve starts to close (like it should) but he'd be left with the kink in his aorta and not enough blood flow. This can be fixed with surgery.

The second problem, not totally confirmed until he's here and can have his own tests not through mama, is Aortic Arch Hypoplasia. This is a narrowing of the aorta, before the kink, that may have to be fixed with a more complicated surgery.

And the third problem is possible Aortic Valve Stenosis, again we aren't sure til he's here. This means that the main valve from his left ventricle out to his aorta is not closing 100%. This can be repaired using a catheter, through his femoral artery to fix this.

Because of these issues, he has visible symptoms in his heart due to extra "down stream" pressure, causing his right ventricle and atrium to be swollen. Which is what alerted us to these problem(s) in the first place. These symptoms should clear up once the issues are fixed.

As soon as Sam is born, they will do another echo cardiogram on him, which will be much better since he won't be in utero anymore. We'll know so much more then.

I can't even begin to describe the feelings of today. And yesterday. But to sit in a room with a cardiologist, who just spent HOURS pouring over every detail of my child and have her say things like -- NICU, intubated, surgery, and he "should" be okay. Oh my.

She said I need to stop taking my baby aspirin NOW (as compared to Sunday, which was the plan all along) because it can cause more constriction to his already limited aorta. She says this is not happening yet, but she wants to be safe. She says he is in no distress and is completely unaware that he has anything wrong in his little heart.

Right now, he's kicking just like normal. We love him so much. And it all feels like a bad dream. Like we'll wake up in the morning, shout "13 days til Baby Sam!" and go to Target for more baby PJs. I believe that God can heal our baby. I believe that he is in good hands. And I am so thankful to know now.

If we didn't find this out, not only would he find himself in distress once he stopped getting enough blood flow, but then they'd have to rush him to the children's hospital while I lay helplessly in my hospital bed, post c-section, miles away. But now, we can deliver and he can be wheeled to the attached children's hospital for his care, while I recover a few hallways away.

It doesn't even matter anymore. All I want is Sam. But I have bags packed. Cute onesies and embroidered hats. Soothing music and big sister presents. I had been dreaming of the moment when they'd hand him to me for the first time. And Emma would come in a kiss her baby brother. And we'd all just hang out all day long in our hospital room loving on each other. Now all I want is Sam.

I know God is in control. I've also learned by now that God's plans aren't always our plans. My desperate plea to my God in heaven is, "Please let him live." My biggest fear has always been something happening to a full-term baby -- when if the baby had just been born, he'd have been okay. And now my full-term (on Monday) baby has very real heart defect(s). And I'm so scared. Right now I am more scared about the next two weeks. I know he needs to be a strong as possible, but I just want him to be born so he can start getting the help he needs.

Please pray for our little family. Pass this blog link along to anyone and everyone. God hears our prayers. Pray that God will keep our baby Sam safe and that he'll be born healthy and strong so he can face the weeks that are ahead of him.

1 John 5:14-15
"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from him."

Update


Well.....we need your prayers. The good news it that we found out now and can be prepared and deliver at the best hospital. But Baby Sam has 1, possibly 3 heart defects. He'll need surgery after he's born and he'll spend a good deal of time in the NICU getting well. Our world is spinning, but we cherish your prayers. God is watching over our baby boy.


ps. Does anyone know how to make one of those 'pray for Baby Sam' buttons?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Please Pray


Please pray for our sweet baby boy. Check-up didn't go so well today and there might be something wrong with his heart. I don't really know much else, but we'll know more tomorrow after a fetal-echo-cardiogram. God is so much bigger than anything that could go wrong! Pray, pray, pray.....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And the answer is....

After getting "squeezed in" this morning at 10:15, by 12:30 I had my answer. :) The doc said maybe, maybe, I was 1 centimeter dialated. But boy, did they make me wait. I really think they were trying to discourage this pre-regular-appointment appointment. hahaaa. He said the same thing -- that now the contractions have to be bigger and stronger than this to need to get checked.

I did get a non-stress-test out of it, and Baby Sam was doing great! At one point, he fell asleep, and the nurse came in and declared that she needed to "wake him up". So she put this thing on my belly and it made a big buzzing sound right on top of him. Poor Sam! He woke up, that's for sure. I don't think either one of us liked it very much. But he's doing great! I really think we are in for the October 1st long haul. But that's only 16 days away!!! Going to see Dr. Fancy tomorrow -- should get some good info from him.

Oh, and everyone needs a neighbor like mine. :) She not only picked my daughter up from school today while I was held up at the doctor, but she is also bringing us homemade lasagna tonight!!! Thanks, Sara!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Guessing Game

Well, I never know what to do about these contractions! With Emma, we went to the hospital about 4 or 5 times wondering if it was "time". And it never was. Until I was induced.

And my contractions (that have been going on this WHOLE time, but for sure and documented since 26 weeks) haven't done anything to make the baby come early.

Last time I was at the hospital, the doc said more than 8 and hour it cause to get checked.

But at my last appointment, he just said more and stronger than what I've already been having.

That is hard to measure. :) And I know that if I go in, they probably won't give me medicine to stop the contractions, because I am THIRTY SIX weeks today. But he also said there are only so many times I can come in claiming labor before he can't send me back home without a baby -- or else he'll be totally in trouble if I have the baby on the couch. (I'm sure he said it in better words than that!) And I want his little lungs to be ready....so if I go in -- oh, I don't know!

All this to say, about every 5 minutes I have a contraction. I think I'll go to bed. Well, maybe I'll eat some ice cream first. And then go to bed. And call the nurse first thing in the morning and ask to get seen before my Thursday appointment. Because that would be soooo much better than a hospital stay.

Praying that baby Sam will be born healthy and strong and just the right time!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

35ish weeks


Our boy is doing great!!!! He weighs about 8 1/2 pounds! He got all checked-out at the fancy doctor today and everything looks just wonderful. 23 days to go! (Really 22, cuz it's practically tomorrow....)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busy Week

Well, this was a very busy week.

Overnight hospital stay? Check.

Visit with the high risk doctor? Check.

Visit with the OB? Check.

Phew. Today's OB visit was interesting. He said that with all of these contractions, if at any point I start to dialate, I'll have to go to the hospital. And if I am 36 weeks or more, we'll just have the baby. Because he can't send me home because I can't have the baby on accident -- I need a c-section.

So I'm thinking I REALLY need to be ready by the time my next OB appointment rolls around at 36 weeks. My mom is going to shop for my hospital bag essentials and we are going to finish getting Baby Sam's things this weekend. Hopefully, next time we visit the hospital, if even for a false alarm, I'll be way more prepared.

We'll be holding our sweet boy in 28 days or less! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A little adventure

So thankful to be home.

So thankful that Baby Sam is doing GREAT.

So thankful for a sweet husband who would sleep on my hospital room "couch" all night long.

So thankful for an ultrasound and a 7 pound 4 ounce baby boy.

So thankful for all of the people who made my overnight hospital stay (and Emma's first day of preschool) possible.

So thankful that October 1st is one month from TODAY.

So thankful that my contractions have slowed down.

So thankful to not be hooked up to anything anymore.

So thankful for sleep............................

Sunday, August 30, 2009

34 weeks (almost)

Tomorrow is 34 weeks!

Over the weekend, my sweet friend Emily (who was my maid of honor at my wedding) threw a little baby shower for me. It was so fun!!! Having all of my favorite girls in one room celebrating my sweet Baby Sam was so wonderful.
Baby Sam got lots of cute things. I absolutely can't wait (well, I will) for him to wear all his cute clothes and use his blankets and bibs and everything!!!
Tomorrow is also 31 days and counting.....
and just in case you remember this post, check out this almost empty bottle of pills!!!

This week I have a follow-up with Dr. Fancy to finalize the c-section date and aspirin plan. And I also have a check-up with my regular OB. And the Big Sister starts preschool two half days a week. I have a feeling the next month is going to fly!!!!

It's been a really long road to get from Emma to Sam and I find myself overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness. When I got married to my sweet husband I didn't cry. When I had Emma I didn't cry. Now I can't make it through an episode of A Baby Story without totally crying. On my list for baby & hospital essentials? Waterproof mascara. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

33 Weeks!


33 weeks!!!



5 1/2 weeks to go!!!



38 days!!!!

Wahoo!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

this good thing

Tomorrow, unless we find out differently from Dr. Fancy, we are only 6 weeks away from meeting our Baby Sam!!! Sometimes that feels so close -- but sometimes it feels forever away!!! And in waiting, sometimes I find the time to worry. But then I read something like this.

(This is in the Old Testament, David's prayer to God. Totally not a prayer about having a baby -- but I think it still relates!)

2 Samuel 7:28-29
"Now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to your servant. Now therefore, may it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing may the house of Your servant be blessed forever."

Monday, August 17, 2009

MY TURN, MY TURN!!!!

Today Baby Sam and I are 32 weeks along! :) :) That sounds like a lot all of a sudden! He should be about 5 1/2 pounds now and nearly 17 inches!!! Wow......

The last one of my friends who was pregnant ahead of me just had her baby a few days ago. Now it's my turn!!! :) :) I have a ton of friends who are due after me and it's fun to be the next one to have a baby! Trying to be patient.....

My mom got me a few things from Old Navy to hold me over for the next 6 weeks. I'm wearing a cute new shirt today and I love it! But when I look at the actual shirt, I think to myself, Wow, this shirt is really huge. Haha! Sam, you are totally worth it!!!

And since I'm here and blogging, I might as well give a shout out to my wonderful husband, who not only deep cleaned our bathroom yesterday but is once again at HEB getting our food!

This weekend I am going to (joyfully) waddle my way to my 10 year high school reunion! should be fun!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fancy-Schmancy Doctor (Alternatively Titled: Hooray for Sugar!)

Our Baby Sam -- 31 weeks!
(Can you tell that is his cute little face lookin' at ya?)

Today was my visit with the perinatologist that I was referred to by my OB. He was VERY nice and answered all my questions despite being in a big hurry to get from the satellite office to the hospital downtown for an emergency c-section!

The entire appointment, which began at 2 and we assumed with waiting would take hours, was over and we were in the car by 2:20! We had an ultrasound to fill those minutes, and it felt good to have a very specialized doctor looking over every inch of our baby boy.

Dr. Fancy said our boy is just over five pounds, so by the time we deliver at 38 weeks he'll be well into the nines. Sounds about right for a baby of ours! He said everything looks great. He even listened to the baby's heartbeat through the umbilical cord and said that it sounded clear -- and that there didn't appear to be any obstructions (blood clots) in there. He said he does not anticipate a problem with the placenta (MTHFR-wise) and that everything looks good!

At the end, he did say that the placenta was "a bit low" and actually called it "mild placenta previa". I don't really know what that means, other than that the placenta is near my cervix and could cause some bleeding if I went into labor, but he said it is so mild that other doctors might not even consider it worth calling "placenta previa" at all. And he was not worried one bit. But tomorrow I am planning on calling my nurse to get her take on it -- since googling it would be a big mistake. :)

Dr. Fancy also said I'd probably need to stop the baby aspirin at least 10 days before my c-section, and then start it up again for 4-6 weeks after, for my own benefit. He said our baby would NOT suffer any blood clotting consequences for being off the aspirin because "the aspirin lasts as long as the life of a platelet" or something like that. He also said it would be okay to double up on the Folgard (folic acid) -- that might have been my idea. :)

Long story short, our baby boy is looking GREAT, the new doctor was wonderful, I go back in 3 weeks to make a "final decision" about the aspirin, all the while continuing with my regular OB appointments. Oh, and the doc's parting words were, "Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?" I said, "Boy. Do you agree?" And he said, "Oh yes. It's a boy!"

Since our appointment was so short, my brilliant plan to have Travis go pick up Emma from his parents' house (where she had been napping and playing) turned into the "It's only 2:30 -- he has to go back to work" plan. So I went over to his parents' house where Emma was napping to get my own little nap. My mother-in-law had everything ready for me!!! A bed, a laptop, a TV, a FAN, and a very yummy snack!!! She is so sweet. Thank you, Sugar!!!!!!! :) :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And this is why....

....I get the following comments.


"Are you sure there aren't TWO in there?"
"WHEN are you due?"
"You must be miserable!!!"

That's one big belly!!!!! I'm 31 weeks along (tomorrow) and above is a current picture of me. :) And if you look closely, you can see my new best friend -- the box fan. We are inseparable!!!

And just to clear things up -- YES, there is only 1 in there. Yes, I'm not due til October, and NO I am not miserable. Big and swollen and hot? Perhaps. ;) But the thankfulness trumps all possible miserableness.

Oh! And tomorrow, as I hit 31 weeks I will ALSO be celebrating a 7 year wedding anniversary with one sweet hubby!!!! <3

Friday, August 7, 2009

LESS than 8 weeks to go!

I have to admit that 8 weeks sounds like a really long time to me, but when I think about what was going on 8 weeks ago, it feels like just yesterday. Needless to say, I can't wait!!!

I had a checkup yesterday and everything is going just great. :) I asked my doctor if I needed to stop the baby aspirin (which moderately thins my blood) before my c-section, you know, so I would be able to stop bleeding at some point. He gave me lots of possible answers but in the end has referred me to a maternal-fetal-medicine-specialist for a 2nd opinion about my delivery and post-partum care.

He said baby aspirin stays in your system for 4 weeks, so I'd have to stop 4 weeks before my c-section. At that point, some people go back on the Lovenox (which majorly thins blood) because that can get out of your system in one day -- so I could take it up until September 30th -- and then have the baby on October 1st. He says there are, of course, risks to being on Lovenox, like getting in a car accident and having too much bleeding because the blood is so thin.....but that's not really very likely.

So, now I'm waiting for an appointment with a new doctor -- but I'll stay with my regular doctor after that for the rest of my pregnancy. I wonder what I'll find out?

I can't wait to meet our little boy!!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jumping Beans

Did you ever have one of those tiny boxes of "jumping beans" when you were a kid? Here's a little video of my belly, Baby Sam, and a container of Chickfila Sauce. :) Much of the movement is my breathing, BUT you can see the little Chickfila container bouncing around if you watch closely!!


In other news, today is thirty weeks!!!!! Whoa! I have my first of the every-2-weeks OB appointments later this week. Yesterday, we took the big sister to the sibling class at the hospital. :) It was sooooo fun. When she saw the brand new (less than 2 hours old!) babies in the nursery she was thrilled and danced all the way down the hallway back to the elevator. :)

When the big day is here, we have 2 special presents for her. One is a boy baby doll (hard to find!). Clothes were even harder to find! I ordered a custom fit knit baby hat for the doll on Etsy and it cost about $2. haha. Now I'm going to get the lady to make a matching blanket. Also, she is going to get a beaded bracelet with her name on it and a charm that says "big sis". I sure hope she knows how special she is!

And here's the only belly shot I have right now! This is my belly barely fitting in a booth at Chuck E. Cheese's. hahaa!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Remind me?

Sometimes I need to be reminded. Reminded that God has it all under control. Because sometimes, I forget.

I've been grumpy lately. Like almost wanting to complain about how (really quite) big I am. And how hot it is. And how I feel 9 months pregnant. But after losing 2 babies before we ever met, I promised to never complain. And to cherish and enjoy every second of being pregnant.

And today my grumpiness turned into that tears-behind-my-eyes feeling. And I didn't know why. I figured I was just tired. Because, let's face it, no matter how much I promise to enjoy it, I am in my 3rd trimester and that can be a tiring time. :)

But when my hubby told me we were going to go out to eat with his parents -- an event that I love! -- but I couldn't choose a single place to eat that sounded good and all I wanted to do was cry -- I realized something was up. So I stayed home. And watched several episodes of Say Yes to the Dress. :) Good therapy.

And when he and Emma got home the tears that once resided behind my eyes let loose. And turned into the let-me-excuse-myself-before-I-scare-my-child kind of tears.

Where was this coming from? Just hormones, really??

No, I found the root of my problem, amidst my tears.

I'm scared.

Tomorrow I will be 7 months pregnant! Which means only 2 months until we'll meet our precious baby boy -- unless of course, he surprises us early!

And Monday will be the THIRTY WEEK mark. What amazing milestones. And I'm so thankful.

But, I'm also scared. I'm scared that something could go wrong between now and then. Because if he were born NOW, he'd be small and he'd have a fight on his hands, but he'd probably be okay. That's of course not what I want -- I want him to be born healthy, strong and full-term. But I can't help but have that feeling of, Oh if he were only born now, then I could see him. And he'd be here. Because, my body allegedly starved the two babies we lost. My body worked against me. And I can't wait til the moment when he is out.

But that's not how I want to be. Because I really do believe that God is forming this little baby inside of me. And He knows how many tiny little hairs Sam has on his head. And He knows what's going on inside of me and He can see baby Sam when I can't. And I still believe that God promised us a baby boy that we would name Sam.

But I'm only human and sometimes I forget. And I need to be reminded.

And tonight, as I put on a happy face just in time to read bedtime stories to Emma, I got my reminder. Because as we read her nightly Bible story, it was the story of Sarah and Abraham. And about how God promised her a baby, but she laughed because she thought she was too old. But the messenger of this news said, "Why is Sarah laughing? Anything is possible with God."

Why is Erica scared? Anything is possible with God.

Yes, I believe that. Anything is possible with God. I have living, breathing proof of that sleeping in the next room -- my healthy daughter, born without complication before we ever knew what MTHFR even was.

And as I sit here, 7 months pregnant with a healthy, growing, and kicking baby boy, I will rest in God's promises and go forward in my faith that He is taking care of this little boy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

29 weeks and a day!

Yesterday marked 29 weeks -- and Thursday will mark 9 weeks 'til Baby Sam!!!!! (Though his daddy says he's going to come earlier than that!)

He probably weighs about 3 1/2 pounds by now. Grow, Baby, Grow!

I continue to get stares of amazement when friends and strangers think I'm "due any day!" and "ready to pop!" or "ready any minute!" Sorry, everyone, but I'm going to get a lot bigger!!! ;) Especially since this is the part where Sam starts to pack on the pounds.

I'm not sure if I got a lot bigger overnight or if maybe our little baby has "dropped" (which is normal, but perhaps a bit early). I don't remember that happening with Emma, but all of a sudden my shirts do not cover the bottom of my belly. And when I sit down? I can't (comfortably) sit up straight because my belly rests on my thighs! hahaa. I have to recline. :) I'm sure it's just me getting bigger......

Speaking of which, I am waiting very anxiously for Motherhood Maternity to send my new, larger shorts my way! I ordered them online and I know they've shipped. Now I wait. But it's soooo hot outside and I need some shorts! And I very much so disagree with their website when it says you should "order your pre-pregnancy size" in maternity clothes. Ha! Yeah right. These new shorts? They are 2 sizes up from my pre-pregnancy size...and I really hope they fit!

On Sunday, we are taking Emma to a Sibling Class at the hospital. We will have a 30 minute class, complete with diapering baby dolls, and then a hospital tour. I think she'll leave with a big sister shirt. :) I'm excited!

I can't believe (well, really I can) that we are going to have a baby in 9 weeks!!!!! I love you, Baby Sam and I can't wait to meet you and see your cute face and your tiny toes!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Update

Look at this sweet boy!
I had a great appointment today! Baby Sam is weighing in at 3 pounds and 4 ounces. He's a big boy so far! The ultrasound tech took all his measurements and began to calculate his size. Then she said, "How big was your daughter?" Ummm...9 pounds, two weeks early?? And then she measured him all over again. haha. He's in the 76% percentile for size. Good job, Sam -- keep growing!!! He also has HAIR!!!!! And he's sitting in a breech position, which probably will change but doesn't much matter since I have to have a c-section anyway. :) I got to see and feel an elbow jab me!! So fun. And after a visit with the doctor afterward, we can still conclude that my contractions are NOT doing anything to make this baby arrive early, so that is very good news. And now I get to go every TWO weeks! ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Stresting"

Stresting.

Yup. That's my new term. What is stresting, you wonder? The feeling you get when you have the undeniable urge of nesting -- yet you can't really accomplish anything or else you get contractions! And you feel stressed. Ergo.....I am not nesting. I am stresting. :)

I mean, don't get me wrong, I am still 100% blissfully happy, thankful and excited. I am just finding it hard to want (need?) to clean and shop and prepare -- when I can't. But as my hubby reminds me, all we need is SAM -- all of the rest of the stuff (the clean kitchen, the perfect scrapbook, the baby wardrobe and even the stockpile of diapers) is just extra.

If I really take it easy all day, my contractions are so few and far between. But if I stay busy for even a few hours, they come pretty frequently. I'm glad I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow! Grow, Baby, Grow!!!

I absolutely cannot wait to see him on the ultrasound. I've asked him very nicely to make sure I can see his precious little face. :)

And I'd like to give some due credit to my sweet husband who is, as I type -- at 8:45 pm and after a day that started at the gym at 5:30 am -- getting our groceries at HEB. THANK YOU!!!

28 weeks!

Today I am 28 weeks pregnant!!! I'm officially in the 3rd trimester!

"Your baby weighs approximately 2.4 pounds and is a little under 15 inches from head to heel. He or she has been gaining weight steadily during the past 27 weeks as its stem cells develop into organs, blood and immune systems, and bones. However, from this point forward, your baby's weight gain will be due to increasing amounts of body fat."

Tomorrow we get another peek at Baby Sam!!!! Emma gets to come this time -- she's so excited to see her baby brother. I'll be sure to post some pix tomorrow.

I've been taking it really easy and my contractions have slowed down a ton! I can't get much done -- and my hubby has to do the dishes and grocery shopping -- but it's all worth it to keep this boy growing and strong!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over

11 weeks from tomorrow!!!!!
(Unless he surprises us......)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tidbits

Three ways to document just how pregnant I am. :)

1. Last time I went to the doctor, when I stepped on the scale, the nurse had to choose a new block of weight to measure me with. You know, like instead of starting with one big block and adding the little pounds, she used the next-step-up big block. :)

2. When I was pregnant with Emma, there was a point at which I weighed more than a friend of ours named Paul. And one day, in the car with lots of my girlfriends, I announced that I weighed more than Paul now. One friend said, "Oh, how much does Paul weigh?" and Paul's wife answered! ;) So then, everyone knew at least how much I weighed!!! Well, the time has come. And once again, I weigh more than Paul!

3. When I use a public restroom, if without Emma, I try and avoid the wheelchair accessible stalls, so someone who actually needs it can use it. (If I have Emma, we totally use it -- I mean we are two people after all!) Well, when I step into a smaller stall, I think to myself, oh there's plenty of room in here! But then when I turn to leave, it is almost impossible to get out and I have to squeeze my belly past the door. Well, I put a little thought into it and realized that when I enter the stall, I have all the room in the world because my belly is over the toilet seat. But when I turn around, my belly is smooshed into the door. :) Big stalls, here I come!

Slow down, Mama!

So, apparently, shopping at 8 pm after a busy day is not a good idea. I came home from a night out with my neighbor and started having contractions about every 5 minutes. Yikes! (This did happen with Emma. From 35-38 weeks I had very, very regular contractions, and we ended up in the labor and delivery triage about 4 times wondering if it was "time". However, those 3 weeks of contractions really didn't do anything except put me on maternity leave early.)

So I sat on the couch on Thursday night, waiting, feeling and writing down my contractions.

"Umm..Trav? I'm having another one. That's 5 in the last 25 minutes??"

By now it was about 10:30 pm. The doctor on-call told me I could either get some medicine called in to my pharmacy to stop the contractions, or come in to the hospital to get checked out. While my head was really telling me this happened before and he's not going to be born now, I still couldn't help but want to make sure he was staying put. And I really didn't want to take any more medicine unless I HAD to.

So I called my neighbor around 11 pm and she came over and stayed with sleeping Emma. Isn't she nice??? :)

On the way to the hospital -- I had like 1 contraction. So I felt silly, but we kept going. It took a while at the hospital, but eventually the contractions picked up again and were about every 7 minutes. However, there is a magical test called a fetal fibronectin test, that predicts whether or not you'll go into labor any time soon. And mine was negative! I did get to hear Sam's heartbeat for about 3 hours on the monitor! :) That part sure was fun!

Since the contractions weren't doing anything (to prepare me for labor), around 3 am, they discharged us, telling me to contact my doctor in the morning and see what he wants me to do. And to rest. And take it easy.

So MY nurse, when I spoke to her in the morning, told me to take it easy and if they pick up again to drink a bunch of water and rest on my left side. But I was a bit worried that this would be the beginning of "bed rest", like with Emma at 35 weeks. But this would be many, many weeks of bed rest! But, thankfully, not the case.

So my plan is to take it easy. And do ONE thing each day. So yesterday, I rested alllllll day (thanks to GranJan) and saved up all my energy for my hubby's 10 year reunion last night! Today the plan is to really do nothing. :) Maybe I'll straighten the house in little spurts.

So, the contractions are back to where they used to be -- about 1 an hour. And we hope and assume that Baby Sam is staying put. He needs to grow a bunch before he gets here. :) I vow not to go back to Kohl's until I can bring Sam with me in a stroller!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

26 weeks...and a day!

Yesterday was 26 weeks! Our little one should be about 14 inches long and nearly 2 pounds! My 6 month pregnant self has been well-documented and here are a few more pix!! Just over 12 weeks to go until we meet Baby Sam!!!





Sunday, July 5, 2009

Trav's Been Busy!

Baby Sam's room is coming along!!!
Here is my old nightstand that he painted dark brown..and changed the flowery drawer pulls!

Rocking chair --- and Etsy nursing cover! (You can kind of see the taupe-ish wall on the right and the blue wall on the left...)


The brown stripe above his bed AND his name on the wall!
He also has new brown curtains, but I don't have a picture of those. They are cute!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Year

One year ago today I walked into an operating room and said good-bye to this teeny-tiny baby.



What a celebration, today, one year later......

Psalms 27:14 "I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see... and trust in the Lord."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

All Checked Up

Today I went in for my check-up. It was complete with a glucose test -- it's not very nice to make a pregnant mama fast! But it's for a good cause... :)

I really, really love my doctor. I feel like he totally knows what he's doing and he has learned by now that I come with a list of questions and he answers every one.

My first question? Umm...so I think I'm having contractions? Not to worry. Totally normal. And I only have about one an hour. But thankfully, I had one right there in the office so he could feel it!

My second question? So....can we go ahead and schedule the c-section?? Mark your calendars!!!! Thursday, October 1, 2009!!!! I don't know what you are doing that day -- but I'm going to be having a baby!!! The doc said that with people with "thrombophilia issues" (aka MTHFR) he likes to deliver 1-2 weeks early, since theoretically, blood clots can affect the placenta. But I'm getting a few extra ultrasounds here and there to make sure Baby Sam continues to grow like he should and everything should be just fine.

Also, I recorded the heartbeat with my cell phone today!!! However, I cannot figure out how to get it on here. I'll keep working on it!

Stay tuned! Tomorrow we are taking our maternity/family pictures!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Whoa, Baby!

See this little bottle? This little bottle of mega folic acid pills? This little 3 month supply???? When this bottle runs out it's gonna be baby time!

Monday, June 29, 2009

25 weeks!!!!

We've rolled right on into the 25 week mark! That means, based on our plan with the doctor, 14 weeks to go! Then we'll be gazing into this little boy's sweet face!

He is "a pound and a half" now, according to the web, but apparently he was that much at my last ultrasound! And he is 13 1/2 inches long! Whoa! Emma has a baby doll that is 14 inches long and it's gigantic! haha.

My job for this week, along with finding his curtains (!) is making a "To-do/To-buy list", you know, so we don't forget anything important like a car seat. ha! And also, trying to decide if we are going to do one of those 3D-4D ultrasounds at an ultrasound place -- where you can bring your whole family, they put it up on a giant TV to watch and you take home a DVD full of memories. While I realize it is totally unnecessary because I HAVE 3D pix of the little guy, it sounds like such a special experience. Once I finally convinced Trav that it was worth the moola (haha), now I have to decide if I think it's safe enough. Yes, the doctor says it is safe, but the ultrasound is not with a doctor -- although it would be at a certified place with quality machines. Oh, I don't know! I just want to get a peek at him!!! :) Has anybody done this kind of ultrasound?

Oh, and since we started "counting" days of this pregnancy on January 1 (great way to start a brand new year, I'd say!) that means on Wednesday I'll be 6 months pregnant! All of a sudden that sound like a lot!

Well, no pictures for you today, but we do have our photo shoot with Erika on Friday. :) Wahoo!

Naptime.....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Work in Progress

We had quite the painting team here today! Travis and his parents worked ALL day long on Baby Sam's room and it's almost done!!!! Meanwhile, Emma and I did our best to avoid the paint fumes. :) He has 3 taupe walls and one blue wall --and a coming soon dark brown stripe around all four walls. They also painted his nightstand (that used to be mine -- and was hand crafted by my dad!) the dark brown color. Don't worry, I worked hard too. I went to Target and chose new drawer pulls. haha. It was a fun day! Thanks for your help, everyone!
Travis getting ready to paint the stripe.

Snickers with paint on her ear!

Me, caught eating a pickle! How cliche! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good News

So, good news times 2!


1. My pulled muscle is BETTER!!! I am soooooooooo thankful. And happy. And relieved. My dear hubby was afraid it wouldn't heal til the baby got here! Which, by the way, if you are counting is only 14 1/2 weeks away!


2. Baby Sam's pack-n-play has shipped!!! (Which also means all my craigslisting has paid off and we sold our old stuff!) I ordered it through Walmart dot com and got it shipped for free to our store, so it should arrive soon! I mean, how cute and cozy does it get! That little part on the top left is a "newborn napper", which I am very excited about. They didn't have that when Emma was a baby!

That was our item of the week! Next week...I'm thinking curtains! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

24 weeks!!!

I almost let 24 Weeks come and go without posting!!! :)

Our baby boy is doing great!! My cough is gone -- my pulled muscle is NOT -- but in the absence of coughing it doesn't really bother me. He's been kicking and hiccuping (I think) a ton and I love every second!

We are about to buy his item of the week -- a pack-n-play!!! We got Emma's out over the weekend and it was soooo gross. It looks very, very used well loved, has been chewed on by the dogs and has a big stain from who knows what. We decided that Baby Sam needs a new one. :) (Emma slept in hers in our room for about the first 6 months until she moved to her room. Then we took it everywhere we went on overnights and she loved it!)

My good fried is an amazing photographer and she is going to take maternity/family pix for us next week. I'm so excited!!! And I told you I love Etsy, right? I had a friend's sister, who has an Etsy shop, make a cute shirt for Emma to wear in the pix. It is a white tee with a baby blue heart on it! I can't wait to get it in the mail!

My next OB appointment is on July 2. I tried to make it for Friday, July 3 -- but they are out for the holidays. And then? And then I remembered what happened last July 3. What a long way we've come. Last July 3 I had a d&c at 10 weeks. Oh, how I'll never forget that tiny little baby. And how I spent 4 weeks wondering if the baby was okay in there. And how I was very much so already showing. It was a very weird place to be in. Looking pregnant. Feeling pregnant. Still pregnant? I have a bracelet on my wrist that I think I have only taken off twice in the last year that has two tiny charms on it - to help me remember the two tiny babies who I will meet one day in Heaven.

So this July 3, I will be even more thankful for this kicking, rolling, hiccuping, growing, healthy baby boy in my tummy. I love you, Baby Sam!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

:)

I have started to realize all the stuff I'm going to need!! It's been almost 3 1/2 years since we did this whole baby thing! hhaa. I am going to check one thing off my list each week, lest it appear like a giant shopping spree.

My item of the week? A nursing cover!!! I had no idea these existed with baby Emma and was always finagling a blanket and trying to cover myself. haha. And "real" brands cost $35 -- but on Esty.com (my favorite place!) I found a handmade one for $21! It is sooooo cute, if I do say so myself. Here's a picture of the fabric. Boy colors for Sam, but girly flowers for me!




Well, I am off for my nap!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ain't He a Cutie?




Well, as it turns out, three days with a stabbing pain in my tummy is about all I can take. :) Who knew?? I decided that I'm the only one who can really speak up for this baby boy -- and I needed to make sure everything is okay in there! (Which, long story short, IT IS!!!)
(By the way, I can't get blogger to put spaces between my paragraphs....)

Yesterday on the phone, I got the nurse to say they'd "squeeze me in" today for an appointment with the doctor. But not before she gave me a little pep talk about "enjoying my pregnancy" and "not worrying about everything". Which caused me to want to say, "I do enjoy my pregnancy, but it is hard to enjoy it without worrying after losing 2 babies!!!!" But....of course, I just listened to her and waited for her to tell me what time to come in. Because she does make a good point. And I very much need her on my side. :)
So I went it for my 10 am "appointment", waited for the doctor til about 11:15 (about which I would never complain, and am just grateful for being squeezed in), was scheduled for an ultrasound at 12:30 and told to go eat lunch while I waited. Which was about when I went to the cafeteria and cried on the phone to my mom. I'm not really sure why. But part of me felt bad about imposing on the doctor and embarrassed that I'd just been there (for my regular checkup) last Thursday. But a peanut butter and jelly (and a cookie), along with a nice chat with my mom (who was playing hookie and I suspect in the pool -- I heard some splashing!) and I was back on track. Oh, and there's a maternity boutique in the building too, so that helped. :)
My 12:30 ultrasound, I was told, could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours,
because they were, indeed, "squeezing me in". It did not take that long at all!! The tech confirmed that we are REALLY having a boy!!! :) She checked everything out, it was double checked by a radiologist, and then I was sent back to my doctor who told me that the baby looks "perfect"! Perfect fluid levels, perfect blood flow (wahoo! blood flow is kind of a buzz word for a girl with MTHFR), perfect size (he weighs a pound and a half!!!), etc.
Five hours later I was headed home! :) This is where I should thank SUGAR for helping out with Emma alllllllllllll day. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Emma is such a trooper for appointments, but five hours is a really long time!! She sure had a blast with her Sugar. :)
So, Baby Sam is GREAT. Nothing appears to be wrong. So we leave it at a pulled muscle. And ohmygoodness, I can't tell you how much it hurts. But at least now I know it isn't hurting the baby.
On the way home, I was listening to KSBJ and the DJ was talking about fear. And she was saying that God didn't make us to have a spirit of fear. And that we should go forth with bold confidence that God is taking care of us.
And that is where I am right now. I am trying to take things one day at a time and go forward with bold confidence that God is taking care of Baby Sam. Because I do believe He is!

Monday, June 15, 2009

23 Weeks!!

Our little one weighs about a pound now and is almost a foot long!!! Whoa!

It's been a bit dramatic around here. I seem to have coughed so much and so hard that I pulled a muscle in my tummy. OUCH. It hurts soooo much to cough, but sometimes I get that tickle and I just have to! Especially when I'm sleeping.

As any ache or pain would, this tummy pain has gotten me a bit worried, all wrapped up in "kick counts" and wishing I had a doppler. I talked to two different nurses yesterday and they are not concerned.

I do not want to rely on baby kicks, but rather rely on my hope and faith that God will keep this little boy safe. Would you say a prayer today for our Baby Sam that he would be unaware of my discomfort and growing strong? Thanks. :)

GranJan to the rescue! She's coming over to help us grocery shop...better get showered!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cutie Pie Blanket

Okay, so remember when I said I was not a "theme" girl? Well, it turns out maybe I am -- but I am just a really picky "theme" girl. Because, really.
Isn't this just the cutest?????

It matches one of the sheets we got for his room! The plan, of the moment, is to paint the wall behind his bed this shade of blue. THEN, with Sugar's help, outline in brown paint a bigger version of 3 of these little vehicles -- not sure which ones yet. So, for example, above his bed there'd be a car, a boat and a plane. Or something. To match this super-cutie-pie blanket.

Which would appear to be a theme. Gasp!

22 1/2 weeks!!!

Whoa. Whoa. An extra post. 22 and a half weeks!!! Good times.

Today I had a doctor's appointment. This appointment marked the first time I made it a whole 4 weeks between appointments. (I got spoiled with Dr. Wonderful, the specialist, who saw me every 2 weeks -- and then I had a little habit of going in in between appointments for a doppler or ultrasound. haha.) And guess what?? Now I get to go every 3 weeks! Hooray! :) I just love getting baby Sam all checked out and hearing his sweet heartbeat...and asking all my questions to my very patient doctor.

When he walked in the room today he saw my notepad of questions, picked it up, got comfy in the chair near me and said, "What do we have today?" And then he read through my notes, poking fun at me for drawing a smiley face next to "How many weeks?" as in, how many weeks before the scheduled c-section.

And then he sat with me forever (translation: Emma had enough time to finish the ridiculously large snack I packed for her, that she is allowed to start eating when the doctor walks in the room) and answered each question. Oh, and the answer to the c-section question is "at 39 weeks"!!!

While I pondered this appointment this morning, jotting down my questions and coming up with brand new questions just because I could ask them today, I realized it is easy to get all worked up and focused on what could go wrong. And forget about the part where God told us we were going to have this little one. The part where he promised me a baby boy named Sam.

I often need to clarity of a children's Bible to show me what I need to see. :) In Emma's Bible tonight, we were reading the story of Abraham and Sarah, and how they were really, very old but God promised them a child (well a huge family, really). This is what her Bible said, "Sarah didn't believe God could do what he promised. She had forgotten that when God says something, it's as good as done. (Of course, it was as easy for God to give her a baby son as it was for him to make all the stars in the sky.) Sure enough, nine months later, just as God has promised, Sarah gave birth to a baby boy.....Her dream had come true."

We love you, Baby Sam and we can't wait to meet you in 16 1/2 weeks!!! :)