Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In our arms

4 lbs and 6 ounces!!!  Born and crying at 1:40 PM!!!  Praise the LORD!

More details to come!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The changing of plans

Well, here goes.

I'm going into the hospital tonight for the beginning of my induction. Hannah Mae, Lord willing, will be crying and breathing and being on the outside this time tomorrow night.

Long story short, she's begun to show some signs that she's just not getting all she needs from the placenta and we all (the high risk OB, my OB and well, me) feel that she's better off out here.

She's a preemie (I'm 35 weeks 2 days today), she's going to be small... I think they estimated under 5 lbs... I'm in shock, I think. I must be, right?

Praise God, they are seeing what needs to be seen and doing what needs to be done in order to keep our little Hannah Mae safe.

This goes without saying because I know you already are and have been since September... please pray.

I will do my best to get the wonderful news of her birth to you as soon as I can.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How do you do it?

I've been to the doctor three times this week. Each visit, Hannah got a NST. She passed them all. On Wednesday, she had one drop in her heart rate that scared the crap out of me. She recovered quickly and did well afterwards. The NP said that sometimes they roll over on their cords or something and it is how they recover that matters the most. I'm trying hard to believe that.

She's already bigger than her brother was at 36 weeks and 'they' say that movements change (don't stop, but change) as babies get bigger because they run out of room. Is this true?
We're almost 35 weeks now and have two weeks to go. My doctor has decided that (unless the high risk OB has a conflict) we'll be doing an amnio on May 7. Two weeks...
two weeks feels like forever.

I am afraid just about every minute of the day. When I'm sleeping and wake up to roll over, I wait and wonder if she's okay. I wait for her to move. Sometimes I get something before I fall back asleep, and sometimes I don't. When I wake up in the morning, I think about the night before and whether or not I felt her move when I rolled over. I'm constantly wondering if her movements are normal or erratic or sluggish. I don't trust myself to know what is normal and what is something to be concerned about.

For the past week or so, I can't shake the feeling that something is wrong, but I don't know if it's the combination of fear and the reality of my past experience with Owen or if it's real and there is something wrong. What do I do with these thoughts and feelings?
And there's still two weeks left to go...

I've been told countless times that I can always go into the office every day and get a NST and on the weekends I can go to L&D. The problem with that is I can't live there. I can't stay hooked up to a monitor 24/7.

I have NO idea how to get through the next two weeks. I expected this to be hard, but I didn't expect it to be so terrifying. Nothing reassures me these days and there is hardly peace when I pray.
Choosing to trust the Lord has never been this difficult or this uncomfortable. I literally feel like I could jump out of my skin.
I am verging on desperate.

I am so thankful that I'm free to struggle with these things. Knowing that I don't have to put on a show and pretend that I'm not struggling is unbelievably comforting. Thank you for being a part of my safe place. And praise God, we are safe with him. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Glad Game

When I was little, one of my favorite movies was Pollyanna. Have you seen it? It always made me happy, and I always cried at the end. One of the things that makes Pollyanna so endearing is her attitude. She plays 'The Glad Game' in just about every situation, looking for the bright side of unhappy or hard things.  I am so not Pollyanna.
But this week I am trying to play 'The Glad Game' regardless.

Hannah Mae produced yet another wonderful strip today during her NST. She's a sweet little wiggly girl who always manages to move just far enough away from the monitor to annoy the nurse, who has to readjust it. I am measuring 33.5 weeks, which is not too bad (I'm 34 weeks 2 days based on my doctor's EDD). Last week I was measuring 29.5 weeks, so I guess Hannah Mae had turned sideways or was balled up last week when I got measured.

The date for our amnio keeps getting shifted around and after discussing it today, Dr. Wonderful said he's going to talk to my high risk OB about doing it at 36 weeks 5 days or 36 weeks 6 days. This puts the amnio on May 6 or 7.
Not the 4th.

Seriously, I know... what's the difference in two or three days? Well, from where I'm sitting it feels like forever. 

BUT I'm trying really hard to have some perspective and not completely freak out. If it's better for Hannah Mae, then I will gladly do it. I'm just struggling to believe that nothing will happen out of God's hands and just because we're waiting a few days doesn't mean that something will happen to her if we don't induce on Tuesday the 4th.

God is sovereign. 

I've been praying for my doctors since I first got pregnant- that they would have wisdom and discernment. I need to trust them. Based on past experiences, this is almost impossible to do. With God, it is doable.

Dr. Wonderful told me to behave myself this week and give my mind a rest. I laughed. hard.
The good thing about God is that I don't have to perform in order for him to be faithful to me. He is faithful because of his character, not because I deserve it.

But, it is good advice to try to give my mind a break. The stress and worry and anxiety and fear and craziness is exhausting and doesn't do a darn thing.

I finished Hannah's laundry tonight. Well, it's finished until her shower on the 1st. Everything is put away in her dresser and organized neatly. I love opening up the drawers and looking at them... all pink and precious. We put the pack n play in our room. It's the perfect size for our bedroom and has a convenient changing table on top. We decided to leave the crib disassembled until our move in August. Our tiny one bedroom apartment is already bursting at the seams.

I've made a good dent on my to-do list, but I keep adding to it so it seems to be never-ending. I haven't finished her quilt yet, but it is definitely on my list for tomorrow. I have been working on her scrapbook though. I also finished Owen's scrapbook last week. It's wonderful, if I do say so myself. I worked on it for probably 5 hours straight. It goes from March 2007 when we found out we were pregnant up until his 2nd birthday. Each year, I plan on adding pictures from what we did to celebrate his birthday and remember him that year.

Hannah Mae had her first shower over the weekend. Chris' family threw us a shower on Saturday. It was really fun and a sweet time. I was nervous going at first... showers just aren't the same anymore... but once I got there, I relaxed and had a good time.

This is one of my favorite pictures, taken a week ago.
I laughed so hard it hurt. And it felt good.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

had a bad day

Yup. A bad day. This past week I've been having pretty calm, peaceful days.... and I really wasn't expecting to be hit with such a bad day.

My doctor's appointment today was a follow-up ultrasound and a NST. Hannah has grown since my last ultrasound 2 weeks ago, but she's in a lower percentile than she was then. It makes me anxious. It makes me frustrated and angry. And lastly, it makes me crazy.

I cried and cried talking to the NP, who was only reassuring and not at all concerned by the ultrasound. She asked me what I was afraid of after the ultrasound. It was a pretty easy question to answer. I'm afraid that she's not getting adequate nutrition/blood flow through the cord. I'm afraid that if she's small then she's not healthy and that she's going to die.
Like Owen did.

I talked to Dr. Wonderful this evening, who after looking over my chart and the notes from the ultrasound, was equally unconcerned. She's small. And it doesn't mean that there is something wrong.
My brain hears this and wants to input the data and logically put the pieces together:
strong heartbeat, good blood flow through the cord, no elevated pressure in the cord, healthy placenta, wiggly little girl, 8/8 BPP, wonderful strips from the NST= healthy Hannah Mae

And then my heart, which longs to hope for Hannah to come home with us, remembers that Owen died. Owen was small and he wasn't getting what he needed. He died.

I want to separate my pregnancy with Owen from this one with Hannah Mae, but it's the only experience I have and I keep going back to it. Everything that could be different is different. I couldn't be getting any more monitoring than I'm getting. Everything is being done to ensure that she's healthy and happy in my womb.

I wish I had this experience with Owen. I wish I had the monitoring and vigilance to ensure that everything was being done for him. Unfortunately, I didn't. I can't change that.
And I can't dwell on the what ifs. What has happened has happened and I do believe that God is sovereign.

I have to choose to trust the Lord. What else is there for me? Where else can I go?

I sincerely appreciate your prayers and encouragement. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Please continue to pray for our hearts to be calm, that we would be comforted by the Holy Spirit and continue to be in the Word together.
Practically (is that the word I'm looking for?), could you please pray that Hannah Mae will continue to grow and be strong and healthy... that she would be born healthy and crying... that we would know the joys and struggles and the reality of raising this precious little girl here on Earth.

Praise God, He is faithful.

Monday, April 12, 2010

3 weeks 1 day

Is this what they call the home stretch? 

I've started my to-do list and actually have crossed off a few things. I started doing some work on my classes and getting a pediatrician for Hannah Mae two weeks ago... and I completely frustrated myself in the process. I waited too long to call my preferred pediatrician, the one we picked out for Owen. And I also waited too long to take some of the classes I wanted to take before Hannah's birth. I did get into the breastfeeding class, but I couldn't get an infant/child CPR class before her birth. The next one available is in the middle of May. I pray I'll be too busy to attend. Thanks to a friend (what a HUGE help she is), I did find a good pediatrician for Hannah. We are interviewing tomorrow morning. 
I hate this fear that sometimes paralyzes me into doing nothing. I hate that I let it distort my view of the present. It can take over everything. 

In the midst of the fear and anxiety, we have done some things in preparation of bringing her home. I managed a few loads of laundry with a lot of help from my mom, who did the majority of the work. It was very helpful having someone push me to start. We have brought her carseat and pack n play over from storage at my parent's house. They are both sitting in our living room... waiting. Everything that we will need in the beginning is here, waiting at our house. We don't have it all in place yet, but it's here nonetheless. The last time the bouncy chair made it's way from my parent's house to ours, Owen died the next day. It was impossible not to think of the last weekend we had with Owen while pulling out of their driveway yesterday. 
It's impossible not to think of the last few weeks we had with Owen during these last few weeks with Hannah Mae in my womb. All the preparing, the laundry, the cleaning, the assembling... all the heightened emotions of excitement and joy and nervous energy... all of it brings me back 2 and a half years ago. 
I've done all of this before. 

Throughout the ups and downs, God is so gracious to us- even with all the struggles and fear. I think of doing this without him and I can't imagine it...
I am so thankful for his presence, his Word and his love. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Updates; what a boring title

Monday I went in for a follow-up ultrasound at the peri's office (you know, Dr. PBM) to check Hannah Mae's growth since January. She is growing wonderfully (yay for the nox!). She's in the 33rd percentile and is weighing an estimated 3 lbs 7 oz. She's a big little girl.
It makes me sad when I think that she's almost as big as her brother was when he was born at 36 weeks. We had no idea that there were things our doctors weren't telling us and things they could have done but didn't. It hurts. a lot.

But God is sovereign.

We had our third NST on Tuesday. The NP and mid-wife (my doctor was not in the office) both said what a beautiful and healthy strip Hannah Mae produced. I am so thankful. The mid-wife made a comment about how happy Hannah is in my womb. I'm so happy to hear that, and at the same time, I'm so ready for her to be out and in my arms!

Proof that Hannah Mae is one fiesty little girl: she has been pushing and kicking the same two places the most of any spots on my belly and she's actually bruised me on the inside! I didn't know it was possible, but apparently it's not unheard of. It doesn't hurt so much when she kicks, but when she's been stretching and pushing (which has been going on a lot more these days) it hurts like a you-know-what. I guess she really likes these two spots and enjoys nuzzling them. Or (this is my favorite theory) she's trying to push her way out. I like to think she's just as ready as we are.

We are less than 5 weeks from our amnio! *big sigh*
Chris was telling me the other day that he's starting to feel a little stressed about all that we have to do before she's born. This actually has me excited because it means there's not much time left! Praise God, I actually made a list- here's my to-do list:

Please, please pray that Hannah Mae's lungs are fully developed and that she's ready to come out the first week of May. The back up plan that has been discussed is stressing me out. Even though the NP and mid-wife (I haven't talked any of this over with my dr. or the high risk dr.) assured me it was nothing to worry about now, I can't help but to think about it. I like having the day (May 4 or 5) in my head... the day I'm trying to make it to. The day we'll finally hold her in our arms and hear her beautiful cry.

This past Saturday I went to a baby shower; the first shower I've attended since the shower my friends from church threw for Owen. If you can believe it, I even helped plan it.
It was for my friend, S. who is having a boy after two little girls. She has four sweet babies in Heaven, they all went to be with Jesus during the first trimester.  She knows that this is not her first boy; she has at least one sweet little boy in Heaven. The little boy she carries now is someone whom she never thought she'd have here on Earth and we rejoice with her over him. I can't wait to hold him.

It wasn't the easiest thing for me to do, but it was so worth it. I'm so glad I was able to be there and celebrate her son. She got so many adorable things; it was wonderful to see her surrounded by all that blue!

Chris is interviewing for the BIG scholarship next week for seminary. I am a little nervous about it, but overall I'm feeling peaceful. Please remember Chris next Tuesday and Wednesday as he interviews and pray for God's comfort and peace, that Chris will remember who he is in Christ and not feel intimidated or nervous.

To end this rambling post, here's an almost 32 week Hannah Mae belly (as you can see my Hannah piles are growing!):

I hope everyone has a good weekend, enjoying the presence of God and remembering the person who gave everything so we could have a reconciled relationship with our Father in Heaven.