Monday, January 19, 2009

5 weeks

This picture is from his 1 month professional portraits. We used it as one of our birth announcement pictures.

I can't believe tonight is 5 weeks since I gave birth to my son. I feel like he has been here forever. I don't know how I lived my life without him.

He is doing great. At his 1 month check-up this morning, he is 9 lbs., 13 oz (that's up 2 pounds from his 2 week check-up) and 21 1/2 inches (that's up 1 inch from his 2 week check-up). he is starting to smile REAL smiles (not the gassy ones, even though they still melt my heart). And, he is just starting to coo. Also melts my heart. And, he knows my voice and Frank's voice. When he hears us he looks for us, especially when someone else is holding him. He is still gassy, so we are doing a test (as per the pediatrician's suggestion). We are going to give him formula for 24 hours and if he has no gas, then we know it is my breastmilk. If that's the case, then I will give him 1 or 2 bottles a day of breastmilk, and the rest of the day formula; and whatever breastmilk I pump will be frozen. I'm OK with this because I HATE seeing Steven be in pain because of gas.
All is all, Steven is a very good little boy and I hope his disposition doesn't change. Even when he's screaming crying I think he's adorable. But then again, I am his mother.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In Loving Memory

On Sunday, January 4, 2009 at about 10:58 p.m., my father passed away. On Friday, he took a turn for the worse. My mother, sister and myself were there with him when he took his last breath and his heart stopped beating. My father left this world in peace.

To say that I'm devatstated doesn't even begin to cover it. The following is a letter I wrote to him. I put a copy in the coffin with him and I also read it as my eulogy to him.

Dear Daddy:

There is so much I want to say, but don’t know where to start. You were the best father. You did so much for us and we have so many great memories of you. I only hope I can be half as good of a parent as you were.

You were always there for me in the middle of the night when I called out for you (for either a bad dream or an ache or pain). You were always there to help with homework. You always took us trick or treating. You helped us prepare our pom pom routine for Chicago. You even coached Pop Warner football when Allison and I started cheering. You taught me to drive – both hands on the wheel, you don’t need the radio, stop looking in the rear view mirror too much! You took us on so many vacations – family week really was a lot fun! These things don’t even skim the surface of all you have done.

Seeing the joy and excitement on your face at the Transplant Olympics makes the long drive out to Pittsburgh worth it.

You were my Hero Daddy. You struggled for so long and I never heard you complain. You just trudged through and continued to work through it. I am so sorry that your body couldn’t hold out. I know you are in a better place and will now be able to play golf every day and eat your frozen bread sandwiches whenever you want. I hope there is a purple chair for you to relax in at the end of your round of golf.

I am sad that Steven will never get to know you in-person, but we will make sure he knows all about you through our memories.

Thank you Daddy. Thank you for loving us the way you did.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My last week turned into my last day

Steven Bryce arrived on at 6:03 p.m. on Monday, December 15, 2008.

I had a doctor appointment that Monday morning - a non-stress test. When I got hooked up, the baby's heart rate was low, but it picked up and stayed up. When the doctor came in to check me, she didn't like the low rate and told me to go straight to the hospital. I was like, what, I'm having a baby today? she said yes. i asked if I could at least go home and get my bag (and the cord blood registry kit) and meet my husband there so we would only have 1 car at the hospital. No go. I was told to head to the hospital immediately. So, I called dispatch at Frank's job and was told that Frank was out on a call. I told to bring him back that it was time.

I was in complete shock and made a ton of calls on the way to the hospital. Frank meanwhile was able to run home, grab my bags and the cord blood registry kit. We were told it was going to be awhile since I ate breakfast and they didn't want to do the surgery until later in the day. When I got to the hospital, I got hooked up to the monitors. The baby's heart rate was fine, but an ultrasound showed a low amniotic fluid level. December 15 was most definitely the day. My mom and sister showed up around 2/3:00. It also turned out that the doctor that was supposed to do my c-section on Saturday was also there on Monday. Meant to be.

I got wheeled in around 5:30, given my spinal (not as bad as I thought) and at 6:03, Steven Bryce was brought into this world screaming with a full head of black hair, weighing 7 pounds and was 18.5 inches.

Recovery has been rough, but I am starting to feel like myself. Steven has been a joy and he is just beautiful. He scored a 9/9 on his Apgar and did well with his sugar levels (whew). I was able to kiss and touch him in the operating room, and finally got to hold him at about 5:00 in the morning on December 16. It has been hard to put him down since. He never took to breastfeeding, but I am pumping, so he is still getting the breastmilk.

I never knew a love like this existed. And then I met Steven.

We were discharged from the hospital on December 19. We brought Steven home in a snow/sleet storm. thankfully the roads weren't bad and we got home in one piece. I can't believe it was 1 week ago today that we came home.

Frank has been GREAT. I couldn't have survived without him. Frank does everything (and he's better at lots of things than I am).

But, with great joy, comes great sorrow. The day we came home from the hospital, my dad was put on a ventilator. I can't even begin to go into the emotions I'm feeling right now about this, b/c it just devastates me. Every day brings something new. today we were told that he is starting to make an improvment, although it is very slight. all I know is that I haven't seen him and am told that it is best that I don't see him right now.

I do have some peace knowing that he was told that he has a new grandson and he was able to see a couple of pictures of Steven.

For now I am trying to concentrate on getting myself better and raising my son.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Last Week

Well, we are down to my last week of pregnancy. In just 6 days I will be going in for a c-section (unless the Peanut has flipped, in which case, we will be induced).

I can't believe after everything we have been through, in less than one week, we are going to be known as Mommy and Daddy. It is truly overwhelming.

These past couple of weeks have been really hard. **WARNING - LOTS OF WHINING HERE*** I am so uncomfortable and swollen. My hands are killing me. I can't even make a fist. The only comfortable shoes on my feet are slippers and Uggs. My sugar levels have also been all over the place. The good news is that my insulin has been lessened. A good clue that maybe this is just gestational diabetes. I also have constant Braxton Hicks. They are too the point where I start timing them, only for them to taper off after a couple of hours. I get disappointed when that happens. As of last Monday, I was also closed and high up, which basically means, that I won't be going into Labor any earlier than next Saturday.

The other thing going on in my life is that my dad is back on the hospital. I am going to touch upon this briefly b/c I break down everytime I think about it. They don't know exactly what is wrong with him. It has been mentioned by a nurse and a resident that it is Interstitial Lung Disease, which when you look it up, means nothing good. Basically, there is no cure, and is progressive, but it is treatable. Of course, at this point, my dad isn't getting better. He also will not be at the hospital when I give birth, and we have no idea when he will meet his new grandson. To say that I am beside myself about this is an understatement. I have only been to the hospital once (my doctors told me to go more for peace of mind than anything else). I wore a surgical mask and didn't touch anything. I also purelled after touching the buttons for the elevator. I am not allowed back to the hospital b/c of all the diseases around there (my dad is in the Medical ICU ward). this is also hard. I also feel bad for my mom b/c she feels guilty when she isn't at the hospital, and she keeps promising me she will be there (and here) when the baby is born. Frank and I are still deciding if we should get a baby nurse to help us instead. but, we will wait to make that decision after we get home from the hospital (my mom will mostly help us out the 1st day or 2 and my sister will go to the hospital to see my dad).

I am also thinking back about everything we went through. I will NEVER forget the pain and heartache we went through. All the needles, appointments, ups and downs. With these memories also comes the realization that there are some girls in my support group who are still going through this. They are never far from my mind and I hope that they get their miracle one day soon.

Never in a million years did I ever think I would be able to get pregnant. I always hoped (which is why we went through infertility treatments), but to have it become a reality is something else. I feel so privileged that I was able to experience this miracle. The one thing I will miss the most is the feeling of my son growing inside of me. Even now, he is always moving. It is a bond that can never be replaced.

I don't know if I will post again before the baby arrives, so I want to thank everyone for going on my journey with me. I will post again after I get home, and will hopefully continue to post regarding my experiences as a mom.

Friday, December 5, 2008

last day of work

Well, here I am at 36 weeks, 4 days pregnant and today is my last day of work for maternity leave.

I can't believe I'm here. I can't believe I've made it this far. Everything thinks I'm going to be so bored at home. Ha! I've never known anything but work. The most I've taken off is a couple of days between jobs. Next week I have appointments up the wazoo - 3 dr. appointments, my mommy mani/pedi and my mommy hair appointment. I hope I make it through the week.

As of last week, Peanut was measuring at about 5 pounds, 8 oz. As of yesterday, he once again passed the biophysicial, had a strong heartbeat and is as cute as can be. I was also checked b/c I have been having lots of cramps, and I am closed and high up. Good news so I can get through the weekend - having my girls night Holiday Dinner and then Hanukkah with the family (since I will be in the hospital for Hanukkah this year).

Peanut is still breech (he wants to come out butt first), so our c-section is scheduled for Saturday December 20.

I can't believe in 2 weeks from tomorrow I will be known as Mommy. I have waited my entire life for that moment and I am going to cherish it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More to update

In non-pregnancy news: On Tuesday, November 11, my brother-in-law gave the most selfless gift - he donated a kidney to his father. As of today, my brother-in-law is supposed to come home. He is still in some pain, but doing well. His father is thriving. He was walking yesterday and the kidney is producing urine.

Lots of prayers for the "P" family that the kidney continues to thrive.

I'm a bad blogger

There has been much going on, and I haven't been updating.

I celebrated my 38th birthday on November 9. It's funny, but this felt so insignificant compared to the huge change that is going to happen in my life.

Peanut is doing well. As of today I am 33 weeks, 3 days. I have had 2 biophysical ultrasound and Peanut scored an 8 out of an 8 both times. Last week there was also a growth ultrasound and he measured at 4 lbs, 10 oz., which is perfect (according to the doctors). My amniotic fluid dropped a little bit, but they aren't overly concerned about it, but will keep an eye on it.

The nursery is coming together. The walls are painted, the shades are hung (so is the valance). The crib is put together, we have the bassinet, which we need to set up, and tons of baby stuff. All that is missing is the changing table and the glider. Once we get the changing table, and I go through everything and set up the nursery.

Due to the GD, I am going to have the baby at 39 weeks (unless he decides to make an earlier entrance). At the last 2 ultrasounds, Peanut was breech, which means, no early entrance. I know there is time for him to flip, but if he doesn't, then I'm OK with a c-section.

Frank and I have completed all of our classes: Lamaze/childbirth, baby care, breastfeeding and the maternity tour. We are now basically good to go.

As of now, I am planning on my last day of work to be December 5, which is 3 weeks from tomorrow. That is so weird. It is still so hard to believe that the time is almost here.

Someone posted on a message board that I frequest that as someone who went through infertility, we went through so much to get pregnant. Well, we accomplished that goal. For the next 9 months our identity changed into a pregnany lady and that's how I've lived my life. Now, in a couple of weeks, my identity will change again forever. In a couple of weeks, I will be known as Mommy. After everything I have been through, I am looking forward to becoming this new person, even though it is still hard to believe.