27 August 2008

A Real Update

The Good News: Dave is employed again! He started his new job this past Monday.

The Bad News: We still don't have any health insurance until close to the middle of September.

The Good News: We are trying to apply for government assistance for health coverage for the coming month.

The Bad News: Dave has four weeks of training that he needs to complete. During this time he MUST attend every single day or it may result in termination. The September training is already full, so that leaves October . . . Sylvia is due in October.

The Good News: Dave talked with a supervisor and it hopefully sounds like he can be present for the delivery no matter what. Worst case scenario is I will have to labor at the hospital with my mom and then will possibly need to be brought home with baby by Mom.

The Overall Good News: Dave simply LOVES his new job. He is already so pleased at how much better of a fit this particular job is for him than his previous one. This is a place that is concerned with function over form, allows him to have immediate contact with the public, provides him with a ton of responsiblity and is a job that he will be doing something to help people. He even received some pretty cool news today: He was told that he gave the most astounding interview and that is why they were so eager to hire him. That made him feel good. (And it makes me so proud!)

He even gets home by 5:20 each day! He works from 8:00-4:30, and takes only a half hour lunch. At first he thought he got to work from 7:30-4:00 but his supervisor read the available start times wrong. Still, it will be so nice to have my husband home shortly after 5:00!

So, other than the concerns mentioned above, we are very happy and can only assume and pray that the the "bad things" listed will resolve themselves. Here's to a great future working for the state!

24 August 2008

Passing Time

There has been little to "report" as of late. No new information on Sylvia, Dave begins his new job tomorrow, and I continue to be pregnant. I had my "family" baby shower yesterday and was spoiled rotten, and even received a phone call from Ria in the Netherlands!

Otherwise, that really is about it for our lives right now. We are just passing time until something more happens. We are REALLY hoping, though, that the upcoming "something more" will be very positive! We did, however, see this very cool walking stick insect on our kitchen window yesterday morning:

Aren't they super cool looking?!?! I have no idea what he was doing on our window, but it gave us something to look at while eating breakfast.

19 August 2008

My Super Power

Yes, I am a Super Hero. Kind of. At least, for the duration of my pregnancy. As many of you know a lot of weird things happen to a woman during pregnancy, and I mean, there is some REALLY weird stuff that goes on. But for now I will talk about only one: The Super Smeller. I can smell anything. According to a former co-worker of Dave's, a pregnant woman in her last trimester can smell 200x more than a non-pregnant female.

Saturday we were driving to Grand Rapids to meet my parents at the zoo. On the way down we got caught in traffic on I-131. In our one lane of slow moving traffic, the car in front of us housed a smoker. His windows were open only the "smoker's slit" and our windows were closed. And yet, the smoke from this car ahead of us was nauseating to me! I couldn't stand it, and I was getting so angry at all smokers. For those of you who know me, you know that smoking is something that I find to be absolutely disgusting (and for those friends of mine who are smokers, please keep in mind that I do love you dearly). I started ranting and raving at Dave about how disgusting this was and why did this rude man have to be smoking right in front of us . . .

Dave, bless his heart, simply nodded and agreed with me. It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that he revealed that he didn't smell a thing. Even after I mentioned the awful smoke aroma he said he still wasn't sure he even got the slightest whiff of it.

The Super Smeller at its finest!

17 August 2008

New Beginnings (again)

Dave has a new job! We are so very thankful for this as his most recent employment ended up being his most stressful and worst yet. But this is now past and beginning the 25th of August Dave will begin working for the Montcalm County Department of Human Services. He will be reviewing applications for various state assistance programs, and I am sure we will learn more once he begins. The job is ever-so-slightly closer to home and the pay is even better, and Dave seems pretty excited to be involved with the community again.

And so, to commemorate these new beginnings check out the picture of the fawns I took in our backyard the other morning:

12 August 2008

1.5 Weeks in Pictures

We have been VERY busy the last couple of weeks, so I thought it would be best to simply upload some pictures and give a line or two of detail:
This is Albus. Two weeks ago he showed up at our doorstep looking rather sad. Upon taking him to the vet we learned that at two years of age he weighed only 4.75 pounds. Since coming inside and experiencing some love (and food!) he weighed in at 6.2 pounds last Friday.
This is my cousin, Jonathan, and his wife, Heather. Jonathan is a Captain in the Army and just finished his second tour in Iraq. They stayed with us for a week and a half and left yesterday morning. We did all kinds of stuff together.
This is my baby shower from August 2. I look quite happy in this picture, which makes sense because it was a lovely afternoon. My friend, Keeley, throws the best parties ever!
This is the whole gang except Heather, who was taking the picture.
My mom being silly (she's the one who put the frog on my head). And, I am getting HUGE!
Family reunion, and yes, we are playing with My Little Ponies.
This is Autumn. She showed up last week, cute and affectionate as can be. Saturday night she suddenly became VERY sick and we thought for sure we were going to lose her over the weekend. We nursed her with antibiotics for her eyes and some oral, as well as hand feeding and today this is what she looked like. Eyes are much clearer, she is up and moving around, and is eating and drinking completely on her own.
The final night with Jonathan and Heather here. We had a lovely bonfire and roasted marshmallows and made smores. Great time!
The last week or so I also: Went to the Grand Rapids Public Museum and saw my first planetarium show, went to the John Ball Park Zoo, and did a few other activities with Jonathan and Heather. I also went to the Antique Roadshow this past Saturday with my friend, Stephanie. Pretty neat experience, but not one I would do again while over seven months pregnant. I spent far too much time on my feet!

07 August 2008

Pregnancy Milestones

Last night/early this morning I had my first "real" Braxton Hicks Contractions. Not terribly pleasant, also a little freaky, I am not looking forward to more of these! Still, I guess I don't have much say in the matter and in no time at all those preparatory contractions will lead to the REAL thing.

When I mentioned the contractions to Dave via email he wrote back and confessed that he is getting pretty excited about our daughter's upcoming birth. I am too. I still fret about the things we need to own yet, but I am sure that everything we need will somehow find its way into our household.

And I got the results back from my glucose screening this afternoon. I was quite borderline, but not bad enough to warrant any additional treatment. I was told to simply monitor myself and if I started having significant problems (like passing out) then I should call the doctor immediately and we will discuss my diet and possibly taking another screening test. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me! Chocolate here I come!

(Below: Profile Picture-- look for her nose!)

05 August 2008

Baby Names and Mommy Ailments

Not ailments, really, more like pregnancy nuisances. Yesterday I had my 28 week check-up. First, I drove all the way to Holland (a solid hour or more from our home). I arrived and checked in and was told that I needed to reschedule. My doctor got called in for an emergency C-section. Obviously, this if far more important than my visit, but it is frustrating nonetheless. It was also my glucose test yesterday-- where I had to drink a VERY sugary beverage and then receive a finger prick upon arriving at the doctor's office. This test looks at both iron and glucose levels. They were able to still prick my finger and then inform me that I failed both tests. My iron was much too low and my glucose was much too high. Tomorrow morning I have my glucose screening at the hospital. This is an over three hour test and it will determine just how badly my system is off and what kind of gestational diabetes I have. I also received a prescription for iron. (And, yes, I have been taking my prenatal vitamins. This kind of thing just happens to some pregnant women.)

The potential good news to all of this is that once my glucose and iron levels are under control hopefully I will be less exhausted and less confused. My confusion has been very bad lately. I can't get dates, times, directions, etc., right for the life of me! This is so unlike me and I know that pregnancy does result in losing one's mind, but this seemed rather extreme to me.

And, far more exciting news: Dave and I were originally going to wait until after our daughter was born to reveal her name, but with all the concerns we have had regarding her health and after receiving such a positive report last week we decided that we wanted everyone else to have the opportunity to get to know her a little better and be able to connect with her a little more. And so . . . Our daughter's name is Sylvia Christine Ertman Trowbridge.

Sylvia: A name I heard when I was very small (maybe four or five), and I have loved it ever since. Dave likes it too.

Christine: I was named after my Grandma Ertman. She always wanted a daughter and I was the first Ertman granddaughter she had, so I received her middle name, Christine. Our daughter is also a first Ertman granddaughter, so we thought it would be appropriate to continue the name.

Ertman: This is a second middle name. We wanted to include my last name, but did not want to hyphenate.

Trowbridge: Her daddy's last name, and our family name.

And so, there you have it!

01 August 2008

My 3D Baby

Yesterday was the echocardiogram and another growth and anatomy scan looking specifically at our daughter's heart. This was a good visit. In fact, it was a great visit! The echocardiogram went very well. The doctor saw nothing abnormal with her heart at all. Dave and I were expecting this as the other scans revealed nothing wrong with her heart, but it feels so good to know that right now her heart is in perfect fetal working order! The doctor did remind us that pulmonic stenosis (what we are looking for) can occur late in pregnancy and sometimes even right after birth. For this reason, he does want an echo done on her shortly after birth to make sure that everything still looks good. Fortunately, even if something did develop yet it would be a very small and fixable issue.

Her kidneys, while good news, are also still a little more of a concern. The scan showed that her kidneys are over the 9oth percentile in size, BUT they appear to be functioning just fine. This is great news! There is nothing else abnormal in appearance about them other than they are just so large. Due to their size they will continue to monitor me and baby for the duration of the pregnancy and we return in six weeks to check on them again and make sure that they are still functioning and look okay. And, again, she will have a scan done right after birth to recheck their function at that time as well. And for all we know, VHL patients may actually have larger kidneys while still in the womb but with relatively few numbers of VHL patients diagnosed before birth and the continued advances in fetal technology no one will know this for a while yet.

For all intensive purposes we have a happy, healthy baby girl right now. She is safe and secure inside her mommy and apart from some basic procedures immediately following birth we hope and truly believe that she will have a normal infancy.

I also got to experience a 3D ultrasound (or, I guess they call it 4D). This was such a neat experience! And it was kind of a relief to know that my baby isn't flat. She won't need to be inflated after birth! :-)

The picture, while blurry, is her face with her arm extending in front of it. And because several of you like those pregnancy shots here is another one of those as well!

Our beautiful baby girl looking "plump" and round!