Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Birth of Beau: Part One

September 22, 2011 our lives changed forever. We were blessed with the most precious, perfect little bundle we ever could have imagined. Chris and I felt complete awe as we stared into the face of the little baby we had prayer for and prayed over as he spent almost eight months growing inside of me.

The day started as my fourth day in the hospital as the doctors monitored my contractions and amniotic fluid. For the previous three days, I had laid in the hospital bed with Chris beside me, praying Beau would wait just a little while more to come out.

Our doctor came in early that morning around seven. I had previously had a night interrupted with nurses coming in and out and still had the effects of a sleeping pill in my system. But despite the drowsiness of the morning I remember telling the doc that nothing had really changed overnight, and I was holding steady. We discussed plans for if I made it through to the next week, and my doctor seemed fairly confidant that we could hold on a little longer.

Not more than an hour had passed that I noticed my amniotic fluid was leaking considerably more than normal…in fact it was a steady pour. I went back in forth to the bathroom trying to stay somewhat clean and finally begged the nurses for a shower, which they kindly indulged. All the while, I noticed that I seemed to have more pressure in my lower abdomen when I would have a contraction (my mom will laugh when she reads this because I have a problem of always describing my pain to a doctor or nurse as “pressure”. The whole time I was in the hospital she kept telling me I had to be more specific about what kind of pain I was having rather than use “pressure” all the time. I guess it is time to brush up on my vocabulary).

No sooner had I gotten out of the shower that I decided that yes indeed, I was having some pain associated with contractions. I called in my nurse and she strapped me up to measure contractions. I wish I could give a time frame, but from that moment on the contractions continued to get worse and I knew that this sweet baby was not going to wait.

Chris quickly called my mom, in San Antonio, and told her to get on the road immediately. She hopped in the car and sped over to Houston as fast as her little tires would take her. In the meantime, I was transferred to labor and delivery and prepared to meet our little one. To be continued...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A New Temporary Home

Well hello everyone! Just wanted to update everyone on our current status...we have a new home...at least for a little while! I have now been admitted to the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy, so we are getting used to a new normal. A little bit of the background...

Monday morning I woke up to a rush of liquid and thought...hmmm that doesn't feel normal. Sure enough after groggily getting up to go to the bathroom I realized I had quite a bit of blood and liquid that had just been released. After waking Chris up, we called the doctor and he said to go ahead and come in to be checked.

Honestly, I felt great, and Chris and I were completely calm as we got ready and headed up to Texas Women's. I truly thought the doctor would check it out and say I was good and to go back home or that we would have a baby that day. But that wasn't to be!

Once we got there all of my vitals were checked and it was discovered that I was having some small but steady contractions. So, I was pumped with all sorts of fun medicines which literally knocked me out. All day, I felt like all I could do was sleep and the hours sped by. Before I knew it, we were moved up from an observation room to a antepartum room which we will now call home.

The main reasons for me staying are leaking of amniotic fluid and mucous and the need to monitor all of that for infection. If I do get infected, they will induce labor, but we would really like Beau to hang out for another week! Still praying for no NICU :) Other than that I am having uterine irratability and plenty of Braxton Hick contractions but no labor contractions due to the medicine I am on.

Overall, Chris and I are doing good (he has been amazing) but I will say hospital stays are no fun...lol! But honestly, as long as Beau is good (and he is) I will lay here as long as it takes! The nurses have been awesome and that really helps. I will try to post update as I get them! And just for fun, and for memories sake here is a 35 week picture Chris took of me yesterday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Baby Gifts

We have hit the 35 week mark! I cannot begin to tell you how exciting it is to know we are soooo close to the end! My body is screaming for me to get off my back so I am looking forward to that! We have had a super fun week...Chris' Nina, Aunt Jenny, and sister Chelsea all pitched in to buy us our stroller and carrier. We are so thankful, especially considering we can't leave the hospital with Beau unless he has his carrier. Here is a picture of what we received; I think he will look just precious riding in them!

In addition to the fun of receiving the stroller and carrier, I ordered one of my favorite things I have bought for Beau so far! Chris and I want to make sure that from the beginning we begin installing values that we feel are important, so we purchased the highly recommended Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. It is a tremendous book which is not only well-written but also extremely theologically accurate. I can't wait to read to Beau from it beginning Day 1. I pray that some of his first memories are his Mom and Dad reading to him about God.

Since the book came in the mail, I have been enthralled with the beautiful pictures and expressive writing. So, I had to get a head start and have already been reading to him from it. He will definitely know his momma's voice when he is born! I would highly recommend this storybook Bible if you or someone you know is looking for a resource to instill a strong Biblical foundation for children!

And one last thing I cannot help but be excited about today is that we are 100 days away from Christmas- my absolute favorite holiday! My sweet Nannie, who is now in heaven, used to count down the months, starting in January. Her holiday spirit was infectious, and the traditions she instilled in her family are especially meaningful. I am excited to pass those generations down to the next generation and start some of our own! It is sure to be an exciting next few months!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

34 Week Doctor Appointment and Update

Today, we just got back from the doctor, and I am back on my couch! It was nice to be out and about for awhile! The appointment went about like I expected. I have been feeling some extra pressure the last couple days so I knew something was probably going on. Sure enough, I am a finger-tip dilated and his little head is about as far down as it could go.

So...we will see how long he decides to stay in there! The great news is that the cerclage is still holding and doing its job, and my doctor is overall satisfied with where we are despite the continuous changes. He was so kind and encouraging to me today, saying that most women can't or won't do what I have done. Honestly, it was nice to hear that he appreciates the work I have put in to keep this baby cooking and healthy! I really think that if I stay on my back I can make it two more weeks, which would almost eliminate the possibility of a NICU stay unless something random happened.

On a totally different note, doc said I needed to gain more weight...SERIOUSLY??? I don't know how that is possible...I am eating six times a day, including lots of nuts, peanut butter and almond butter. I don't really know of any way to get more "good for you" high-calorie food into my system, but I guess I will try :) I guess it is better than the alternative of him suggesting I lose weight...lol!

By far, the best news from today, is that if I can make it for two more weeks, I will have the stitch's removed and have my restrictions lifted! Fourteen more days is almost nothing compared to how far we have come, so I am thrilled. The end is sooo close! We are truly thanking God for bringing us this far...we consider this journey to be a miracle and can't wait to meet Beau! Y'all pray he holds still for two more weeks!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Beau's Beautiful Bed

Today was such an amazing day!!! When we found out we were pregnant, our dear friends Gary and Pat told us they were taking care of the bed! The most amazing part is that Gary does incredible wood work, and he just told us to send him a picture of what we would like and he would make it. So I poured over pictures online, and found one I thought would be perfect for our little Beau.

Well...Gary did not disappoint! In fact, the bed is beyond my expectations! Gary and Pat drove in today and brought us Outback...yum! And then the boys got to work while Pat and I caught up!

Gary starting to get all the pieces laid out and ready to put together!

And Chris pitched in to help, and also learn how to set it up!

And of course, it wouldn't be official without the "G-Daddy" Stamp! How cool is that!

And the finished product! I am so grateful for the beautiful gift and know that many hard hours were put into making it so special for us! So, thank you Gary and Pat...we love it and are truly grateful!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

The more I learn about having an incompetent cervix the more I realize how unique a situation it is depending on the person. For months, I have read up on information, participated in online forums, and questioned my doctor about what I can expect and how things will progress. While I have learned a ton, and feel more knowledgeable on the subject, I am quickly learning that I cannot predict what will happen with an incompetent cervix, I cannot compare it to a regular pregnancy and most importantly I have to rest knowing that the Lord has a perfect plan even though sometimes I have no clue what it is :)

All of that to say, after last week's encouraging appointment this week's was a little difficult for me to swallow. The best and most important news is that Beau is doing great! Obviously, as long as he is good, this mama will go through anything to get him here safely! The more disappointing news is that my cervix is continuing to thin pretty drastically. I don't have specific numbers this week, because my doctor didn't want to agitate it any further. As he put it, I could have this baby tomorrow or in six weeks. There truly is no way to tell with an incompetent cervix how things will change from day to day or how long it will hold out. That perhaps is one of the most difficult parts for me.

The other sad news is that my doctor told me I would need to postpone my shower this weekend until after the baby is born. In the grand scheme of things, I know it is not a big deal, but it was pretty emotional for my hormone crazy body. I guess it was the last bit of a "normal pregnancy experience" that I had so it was a little hard to let go of. After talking to Chris and praying about it, I feel much better about everything! Chris reminded me that I am weak and on my own this is really difficult, but through Christ I find my strength...that is where my focus must be!

The biggest praise is we have made it through the most critical period for Beau. He is growing and doing well, but we would like for him to stay in as long as possible so that his lungs will develop fully. I am praying for no NICU stay, and know that with the Lord we can get there. Each and every day is a step in the right direction. For now, I have now idea when my body will decide to fully progress into labor, but we will see each day as a blessing until then! Who knows, maybe the Lord will surprise us and take us to 40 weeks...wouldn't that be amazing! So, in the meantime, I will keep laying here and appreciate each day Beau is able to stay in!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Doctor's Appt: A Play-by-Play

Well, we are finished with another week and starting our 33rd week! Unbelievable how time flies!!! This week I have been blessed beyond measure, with sweet people visiting, bringing meals, and a great doctor's visit. My sister-in-law Becky has been a HUGE blessing. She has been coming over every.single.day to help out and hang out! Not only is this helping our house stay reasonably picked up, it is also helping me stay sane as we can sit and chat. My days are flying by because of this, and I am so grateful for the sacrifice she is making to make this easier for me! Love you Becky!!!

Tuesday, we celebrated Chris' birthday (which was actually on Wednesday) with family and a few friends. They all came here since I couldn't go anywhere and we had BBQ and ice cream cake. Here is a pic of us from that night! I told Chris I had to at least get dressed that night and stand up to take a picture, because we have literally no pics of the latter part of my pregnancy.

Sooo...I thought this week, since we had a great visit to the doctor, I would give you a little play by play of how our day went! So, buckle up...here we go:

6:00 AM- Alarm goes off, and I groggily look at my phone wondering why it is screaming at me this early. I promptly push snooze and realize that I probably haven't used an alarm in over a month...there is just no need to when you lay around all day :)

6:15- I finally crawl out of bed determining I had better get ready if we are ever going to get out the door. I take a quick shower with my handy dandy shower chair. Shower's are a luxury these days, so I enjoy every minute.

6:35- I get out of the shower and realize that my "quick" shower must not have been as quick as I thought it was...oh well. I half-sit, half-lay on the bed and attempt to get mousse in my hair and a few minutes of blow-dry time.

6:45- I quickly realize we need to leave in 15 minutes and I have got to pick up the pace. I throw some clothes on from my VERY limited wardrobe and decide my make-up will have to be done in the car!

7:04- We finally pull out of the driveway with hospital bags, pillow, and anything else we may need packed. I have decided to just leave the bags in the car so that whenever the time comes, we just have to hop in and go!

7:13- A quick run through Starbucks (mmm...my fave) and we are ready to go

8:00- At exactly 8 o'clock I walk through the doors to the ultrasound office after barely making it there on time. I hate it when we don't get there early, but Starbucks made it worth it. After signing in, I get comfy expecting a long wait. Usually, I sit in the waiting room for at least an hour, but this morning they are on top of things!

8:25- I am called back to change into the gloriously fashionable gowns and to sit in the second waiting room. I suspect that I may be in here for quite some time, based on past experiences, but fortunately about 10 minutes later they are ready for me. Ladies and Gentlemen...this is a world record time for these two waiting rooms combined! I could just feel the favor of God that morning!!!

8:30- I talk to the ultrasound tech reminding her of my cerclage and 80% effacement. She assures me she will be careful and proceeds with all of the measurements. Let me just tell you...I was NERVOUS! The last several appointments haven't been the most encouraging, so I was a little afraid we would get more bad news. But, the ultrasound went great. Our little Beau is not so little...4lbs. 14 ounces!!! Woohoo! We were thrilled to learn he is healthy and growing. I do feel a little bad for him, he has absolutely no room in my tummy. I am very short-waisted and the tech was amazed at how "tightly wedged" he was in there. Let's just say there is no room for me to grow but out!

9:15- Our ultrasound appointment wraps up and we head up to my doctor's office. After a little wait in the docs waiting room we get ready to go in for the rest of the results.

9:40- We get settled, check my weight and blood pressure and sit waiting for our turn to talk to our doctor.

10:05- Dr. Anding comes in and was sooo pleased with where we are at! This is a complete turn-around from my last appointment. My cervix is still 80% effaced but measuring 1.2 cm. For a normal pregnant gal, this wouldn't be good, but for me it is great! It means we are holding steady and haven't digressed further! Praise the Lord. We were told Dr. Anding is now going to keep my cerclage in place until 37 weeks (if I make it that far), so that Beau's lungs can develop a little longer. I believe that with gestational diabetes it takes a bit more time for lungs to develop and that is his reasoning for pushing it back a week. So overall, our visit with the doctor was very positive.

10:45- the last stop for the day was to take an NST test (which will now become a part of my weekly visits). I was strapped up with two straps, one to measure the baby's heart rate and the other to measure my contractions. My job was to lay there for 30 minutes and click a button every time Beau moved. I was just a little bit paranoid about doing my job wrong so I might have been a little button happy...clicking away at any little movement. Oh well, overall, it went good and the doctor let me go after he reviewed my results.

Sooo...we are thrilled with the visit Wednesday! We were expecting a looong day, but after a quick bite for lunch I went back to the bed/couch until next week. I have to say I was worn out! It is funny how just a little activity now will really drain me; we may be in for an interesting ride once Beau arrives!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Chris and I plan on relaxing and enjoying some time together!