24 January 2010

Sylvia's Big Weekend

Sylvia had an exciting weekend. On Friday morning her friend, Alexis, and Alexis' mom, Heather, came for a visit. The video is of the two of them playing together. They were so much fun to watch. Sylvia kept laughing and laughing and laughing. This was the first time the two of them really interacted with one another and it was so neat to see.
Then Daddy came back! Sylvia gets very excited when Dave reappears on the weekend. She gets so excited, in fact, that she gets all this excess energy and doesn't even know what to do with herself, so she kind of just runs around in circles and squeals. After Sylvia was in bed Dave and I went to visit with Stepher and Joe and let Uncle Dave meet his nephew, Dax.
I am very pleased to say that Dax is thus far proving to be a wonderful newborn! He sleeps well and eats well and really only fusses when hungry or messy. And Stepher and Joe are proving to be great parents. Plus, he's such a cutie!
Today Sylvia got to meet her cousin for the first time. It was so much fun to see her discover him. She saw Auntie Stephie holding him and walked over to her and kept pointing and smiling and asking, "What's that? What's that?" She was so giddy to see the little baby.
Sylvia has these slippers with a cow on them. My mom, Oma, started this thing where she will grab the toes of the slippers and say "Moo!" Sylvia has really taken to this and will squeeze the toes herself waiting for you to make the "moo" noise. Once or twice I have even heard her say "moo" herself. Well, when she was on the floor by Daxton she kept grabbing his toes, trying to make that "moo" noise. Dave started in and is wasn't long and Sylvia herself would grab Dax's toes and say, "Moo!" too.

We were very encouraged to see how good she was with Dax and hope that we will see a similar success when she meets her sister in a couple of weeks.

And this is saying goodbye to Daddy for the week. He gets her ready for bed and then spends a little time cuddling with her on the couch while they watch an animal video together. Then he brings her up to bed, sings her a song, and tells her he loves her and will miss her. And then . . . Well, then he puts her down and says goodbye to me and he is on his way.

The good news is that this will only last for two more weeks-- hopefully.

I was admitted to the hospital again on Friday. It was, fortunately, a very short visit. My blood pressure was much too high at the doctor's office and she could not let me go home. So, over to the hospital I went where they monitored my b.p. and took my blood. My b.p. went down enough and the blood work came back showing no evidence of preeclampsia yet. I was released.

The current plan that the doctor has implemented is I am scheduled for an amniocentesis on Wednesday, the 3rd of February to check if Lovebug's lung's are fully developed. If they are, then surgery will take place the day after or that Friday. (My original surery date was scheduled for the 18th of February.) Of course, if additional problems should arise or preeclampsia should reoccur then surgery will take place sooner. Additionally, there is a chance that I may go into labor spontaneously as at the appointment Friday I learned I had dilated even further.

Time will tell. In the meantime, I am doing what I can to stay in bright spirits and to try and stay as comfortable as possible. Although pain is a constant for me right now, I can at least keep it manageable-- sometimes.

And, again, thanks for the continued prayers, encouraging notes and emails and all the warm thoughts.

21 January 2010

Daxton David

This little man is my nephew: Daxton David, named after my father (David). He finally decided to enter the world yesterday morning at 10:10 a.m. He was a week "overdue," but I think he was worth the additional wait. He weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20" long. He is simply beautiful. He had kind of a tough time coming out so he is pretty black and blue, but it is amazing how quickly those little ones heal.
And this is the proud aunt with her new nephew and his little monkey that I, of course, knit him. I think he really likes his monkey. I can just tell.

And here are a couple of better monkey pictures.

and Joe are doing well. They are both very tired but also very, very happy. I cannot believe that my sister is a mom. It's not that I don't think she will be a great one, because she already is, but that my sister is old enough to be a mom. When did we all grow up? How does that happen? How can I be having my second child already?
Speaking of my children, Sylvia had her 15 month wellness check on Monday. She continues to look great. Her stats are 22 pounds (40th percentile) and height is very nearly 32" (still the 90th percentile). We recently removed dairy from her diet and this has made a considerable difference in her overall demeanor, ability to sleep at night and the redness on her cheeks has diminished. She was on soy formula as an infant but we tried introducing dairy at about twelve months. Sadly, it looks like she will be a soy girl, at least for a while longer.

And our other daughter is still unborn. At last week's ultrasound I got to see something we have never seen before: Her face! She finally showed off her cute, getting pudgy face. Maybe you can make it out in the photo, maybe not, but trust me-- she's there!

I had another ultrasound yesterday and things continue to look good. Amniotic fluid levels continued to climb, placenta looks healthy, umbilical cord looks good and Lovebug's heart rate continues to be strong and steady.

Unfortunately, Mom has had a very difficult week. I have had so many contractions this week, leaving me in pretty constant misery and unable to sleep. Between the contractions and then the sciatica and the bursitis I am wretchedly uncomfortable. I would like to tell you this is an exaggeration, but the truth is that it isn't. I am due to return home this weekend, and there is nothing I want more, but I am also terrified. Yesterday I had to manage more of my daughter's care (and not all of it) and by nightfall I was in tears from pain. There is no way I can physically attend to my daughter in my condition for up to four more weeks. There is just no way. I lift her and I thank God I have not dropped her yet. Often my hips are so bad that I can't even hold myself up and I feel my legs begin to shake and I drop onto the nearest surface before I hit the floor and cause further damage to myself and potentially Veda.

I am scared for the coming weeks. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

14 January 2010

Thursday: A Day of Surprises

Sylvia watched a new show today. I think she was especially impressed with the super short man's shorts and the body hair. Her other surprises today included a morning trip to visit Great Grandpa with Oma, going out for dinner, and getting mail! At the end is a short clip of her finding her mail that was sent to her by a couple of my friends. She LOVES cards and pictures and stuff. She carries them all over the house with her.

Tomorrow she has even more surprises in store. In the morning she is going to a play date with the kids of a friend of mine. AND Daddy comes back for a visit tomorrow! She will be so excited to see him in the evening. I can't wait to see her little face light up when he walks through the door. Too bad she'll have to say goodbye again a couple of days later, but we'll enjoy the time we have.
And here Oma and the Pumpkin are showing off their snazzy p.j.'s. It's just bundles of fun around here!

This is the short video of the Pumpkin discovering a couple of stickers I set out for her from a whole bag full of them and a cute card. She took off with them and it was quite a while before I even got to read what the card said to her. Later, Oma helped her attach the stickers to her card. That made her quite happy.

Mama Update: I saw the doctor again yesterday. It was not a bad visit, but it wasn't a great visit either. The ultrasound showed a very happy and healthy Lovebug, and for that we cannot be more thankful. Amniotic fluid levels were up, but at the absolute bottom of the normal range. This is a very good thing, but it still warrants follow up. My blood pressure was also quite high yesterday and continued to be so even after lying on my side for a non stress test. From now until delivery I have two non stress tests, one ultrasound and at least one doctor appointment a week. That is a lot of time to spend at the doctor's office, but at least it provides me with a couple of outings each week!

12 January 2010

Hi, Daddy!

Hi, Daddy! I miss you very much. Yesterday I heard the back door open and I came running and hollaring, "Da! Da!" But I was kind of sad to see that it was Oma and not you. So, today Mama took some pictures of me doing stuff to share with you. She even took a short video!

This first picture is when Auntie Stephie came over for a visit early this afternoon. She brought lunch for Mama and Oma but NOT FOR ME! She made up for it, though, by reading to me afterward. Her belly is as big as Mama's. She told me that she is going to have a son, and she even told me his name-- I'm the ONLY person who knows! Mama keeps asking me to tell her, but I won't say a word! I hope my cousin comes soon, Auntie says she is due tomorrow, whatever that means.

Oh, and then Oma and I had lots of fun. She was tickling me!

She tickled me so much that I lost a Moo Slipper. We had to figure out how to put it back on.

Here I was a little disappointed. I wanted to watch a Winnie the Pooh video but Mama said no. I am learning to really like videos and I have been watching quite a few of them ever since I got to Oma and Opa's house.

After Mama said no to the video I got my blocks. We played with my blocks for a long time. Mama has a video of us playing with them at the end of this post.

And Mama wanted you to know that she was very productive today. I have no idea what that means but she wanted to post this picture of her block creation. I was so impressed with it that I didn't even knock it down right away.
And for some reason I thought it would be fun to put all my piggy money in the bottom of Oma's stepstool and then sit in it. Auntie Rosco got such a kick out of it that she carried me around that house that way! I had a little trouble getting out, but I finally made it.
And this is the video that Mama took of me playing today. I hope you like it. I didn't wave or say hello or anything, but that is because I was too interested in my blocks.
I love you bunches, Daddy. I miss you. (And Mama does too.)

10 January 2010

Feeling Alone

Dave went back home today. That leaves Sylvia and me at my parent's house for the next couple of weeks, only seeing Dave on the weekends. This will be very, very hard for us. This is a time when I really need my husband with me and he can't be. It does not seem fair. I realize that things could always be worse, and in this case they could have been far worse, but I feel a little slighted by the universe. For whatever reason I do not bear children well. I have no idea why, and I certainly hope this has no bearing on my actual parenting. I am feeling very saddened by the entire situation.

I begged and pleaded with Dave to just take us home last night, but he told me what I already knew: That really is not an option. Sylvia and I both need constant care and I need to be close to the hospital in case an emergency should occur. I know this, but I don't want to acknowledge it. I keep thinking of ways that I could make it work at home. We could block off sections of the house. I could have food for Sylvia within easy reach and feed her while she sits on her table and I am on the couch. I could change her on the floor . . . But then I realize that these are not practical options. Someone still needs to get her in and out of her crib both first thing in the morning and at nap time. I cannot chase after her if she should get into trouble. And I know that I WILL do too much if I am at home with just the two of us. I know that I will try and clean up the messes and I know that I will end up lifting her and that I will end up preparing food and cleaning the counters and making the bed . . . I know all of this. And I know that I cannot do these things right now.

And that pains me.

I just feel so helpless. And like a bad Mama. And like a difficult wife. And like a challenging daughter.

One thing that does make me smile is the birthday gift I made my mom. I knit her a teddy bear. My mom loves bears and when she saw the one I made the Pumpkin for her birthday she informed me that she wanted one too. The one I made my mom is much larger and a far more complicated pattern. I am actually pretty proud of him, especially as the pattern was quite flawed and I had to make several corrections. I finished the night before I was admitted to the hospital and I took these pictures of him:

Isn't he cute? I especially love his rotund belly. It reminds me of Winnie the Pooh a little bit. I don't think this little guy has a name yet, but I hope my mom settles on a good one.

08 January 2010

Sibling Rivalry Begins Early

Most of you reading this will be aware of the events of this week but for those of you who aren't, let me relay some of the details.

On Tuesday morning I learned that sibling rivalry can begin very, very early. Apparently, Lovebug is feeling the need to usurp her sister's birth story:

I went into preterm labor on Tuesday morning. Dave flew home from work and we took the Pumpkin down to Holland Hospital with us where my mom met us and took the girl with her. At first, things sounded optimistic. I wasn't having contractions yet, the bleeding had pretty much subsided, and a quick look by the doctor made it look like I hadn't dilated too far. But there was still quite a bit of blood, so despite not liking to do cervical checks before 34 weeks, she thought she had better. I was dilated much, much too far for 33 weeks. And then the contractions began.

The doctor told me that they had to put me on magnesium sulfate, which is the same drug I was on while in labor with Sylvia last year. Last year it was to prevent seizures due to preeclampsia. This year it was to try and stop labor. I begged and pleaded with the doctor if there were some other way. She said that because I was dilated so far and in active labor they had to take the most aggressive route possible.

The mag eventually worked (after a dose increase Tuesday night). Wednesday night they weaned me off and all was well until about 3:00 a.m. when the contractions began again. They started a new drug, but the contractions continued, so they had to increase the dose and frequency. By Thursday morning I was on a white liquid only diet in case surgery were needed that afternoon. In the end, the new medication (taken orally), while not able to completely cease the contractions, has kept me from dilating further. I was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon and put on total bed rest. I was also told that I needed to reside near the hospital, so that has Sylvia and me staying with my parents. (We live over an hour away from the hospital, and if the weather were to turn bad it could be a very, very long trip.)

An ultrasound Wednesday morning showed that Lovebug is doing very, very well. She is plenty active, her weight is good and her heart rate is excellent. There is one concern: My amniotic fluid levels are a little low. This confused the doctor a little as I was being pumped with fluids through IV's, drinking plenty of fluids on my own, and was on bed rest-- all factors which should increase fluid levels. I was already scheduled for an ultrasound this coming Wednesday and fluid levels will be checked again.

In the meantime, I will be living at my parent's house until I reach 36 weeks. I take medication every four hours, which while MUCH better than the mag, does have some side effects. Dave will live at home, so he can still go to work, and stay with us on the weekends. Things are rough, but I feel very blessed to have such an amazing husband, family and friends.

02 January 2010

Sylvia's Photo Shoot(s)

Well, Sylvia is truly quite the ham in front of the camera. Twice in the past week or so she went and retrieved the camera herself and approached Dave or me to have us take her picture. The above two shots are from photo shoot no.1 done with Daddy. And, yes, the poor thing had her first cold sore right over Christmas. It is all healed now.

And these two pictures are from photo shoot no. 2 when she developed her own special "camera smile." The first shot she was moving back and forth, but her smile still came through. Ever since these pictures were taken she has continued with this posed expression:
That little chair was her Christmas gift from Santa Claus (Mom and Dad). She loves it as much as we were hoping she would. This particular morning she got up, walked out of her room with Hailey and promptly went to her chair to have a seat. She takes her books there, will eat her snack there (which she is not actually allowed to do, she is supposed to stay at her table) and will watch her occasional video there. It even comes with pockets on the sides for her books!

And she is walking all the time now! Today I don't think she started out crawling even once. Our days of crawling are quickly becoming a thing of the total past-- well, at least until Lovebug begins!

And Happy New Year to all!