Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today is the day!

Just a note.

We're getting ready. We leave in an hour for the hospital. In about four hours, will have a brand new baby...and life. Wow.

Here we go!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Week in Words

Baby Update:

Last Wednesday we went in for our second amniocentesis, to see if baby Maisie’s lungs were finally developed. The plan was to get the okay from Dr. Jazayeri, and head over to St. Vincent Hospital that same day. He predicted that she was between 9 and 9 ½ pounds. (He did say there was a margin of error. “You could have a 7 ½ pound baby…but then, you could also have an 11 ½ pound baby. She’s just getting big either way,” was how he put it) Again, the phone call we got was not what we had hoped for. This time, however, we were a little more grounded to begin with, not expecting much. The first amnio, the week prior, produced a number of 19, when we needed it to be 54. This time, she was at 26. This was obviously an improvement, but not near where we wanted her.

I have an appointment to check my “readiness stats” on Tuesday this coming week. Then, on Thursday the 21st, I am scheduled for a 9:30am C-Section. She’s getting so big, and with the medical issues on both her and my ends, it was recommended that a c-section be done. If she needs medical attention, we don’t have to wait hours and hours until I deliver her. She’ll be out in no time, and off to the NICU if needed. So there you have it, the light at the end of the tunnel. God willing, we will have a baby on the 21st, unless she decides to surprise us sooner. We are just praying that it is God’s will to deliver a healthy baby, with no complications.

Knowing now that I’ll have a long recovery time, Aristana and I have cooked, baked and frozen more food, to take some burden off of Mike. At least we have a few days to prepare for the big day.

Happy Birthday to Natalie!
A quick shout out to our niece/cousin Natalie Kiel on her 8th birthday, which was January 14th! Man, time flies! I see a lot of the same personality in Natalie and Aristana. Independent, and not afraid to take charge. We love you girl! We hope you had a great day!

Aristana’s First Star Struck Moment…
Okay, I’ll give a little background, although I’m not sure it will do justice to setting up the story. When Mike and I first started dating, we went to the Cup O’ Joy Christian Coffee House, to see a great singer/songwriter, Ronnie Freeman. I was struggling with my personal faith journey at the time, and his music practically grabbed me from my chair and spoke directly to my heart. Since then, I have been such a huge fan, using his lyrics as a guide for my faith.

Throughout the years, we have never missed one of his shows (he comes 1-2 time a year). His music has been a background through our relationship, and our marriage. When Aristana was born, Ronnie’s songs became her lullabies, as I rocked her to sleep each night. As she grew, she eventually started singing the words with me. Now, every night, we pray as a family, Aristana and I read a couple books, and close the night out with singing a couple Ronnie Freeman songs.

This year, Ronnie came back to the Cup O’ Joy on the 15th of January (last night). I was sure I would have to miss the concert, being that we were supposed to have a baby by now. I’m pretty sure God helped set this one up. We were able to go…and Aristana, for the first time. Unfortunately, Mike got a fire call about five minutes before we left for the venue, so Aristana and I had to go alone. Looking back at the evening, I feel God wanted it that way. One more night, just me and my little buddy…no baby, just us.

When we got to The Cup, Ronnie was busy signing his CDs from the previous show. We went up to him, and I introduced Aristana to him, letting him know what an impact he’s had on our lives, and Aristana’s life. I asked if he was going to sing “The Only Thing,” since that is her very favorite song. He said it wasn’t on the playlist, but he would see what he could do.

Aristana stared at him through the whole show, and was absolutely awesome. Near the end, he said, “Before I forget, I took a request. This is for my new little three year old friend.” (She was standing on my legs at this time, so she could see better) He looked over, and did a cute little wave, and she waved back, realizing that he was talking to her. All of a sudden she got so giddy and started the same giggle she had when she saw Santa this year. Everyone was laughing, and staring at her. She started to sing along with him, and did pretty well with the words. I cried like a baby…knowing how many times I looked to his lyrics for strength and faith…knowing how far I’d come, how blessed I am, and aware of the blessings yet to come. He was singing to my little girl. It was a phenomenal experience, and I am so thankful to him for doing that. He made that little three year old friend’s day. She hasn’t stopped telling everyone about it since. Not to mention, I think we’ve had to sing that song about 483 times in the last 24 hours. To hear the song, click here...hope that link works.

Sorry, that was a long one!

Hopefully I’ll be updating this from the hospital at the end of this coming week. Please keep us, especially baby Maisie, in your prayers!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

She's Not Fully Cooked Yet

Statistics as of January 6th, 2010

Gestational Age: 36 weeks & 6 days
Average weight of a baby this age: 6 pounds
Our Baby's Weight: 8 lbs, 8 ounces
Dilated: 0 centimeters
Effaced: 50%

Well, after all the excitement of the last blog entry, I have the game plan. Unfortunately, it's pretty much where we were prior to today. Baby's "number" for the amniocentesis needed to be 54, and she came back at 19. She's nowhere near ready to join us yet. Bummer. Her lungs are very much underdeveloped at this time. If she decided to come on her own, she could be in the NICU for awhile. We'll hope she too, agrees with the doctor, and hangs out in there for a little longer.

I will be heading back for another amnio next Wednesday morning, to see how she's progressing. Right now, she's measuring out at 8lbs, 8ounces, so Dr. Jazayeri says by the time she's ready, I'll most likely have to have a C section, due to her size. On the plus side, all of her non-stress tests over the last six weeks have been very positive, and she passes with flying colors each time. I guess, we just need to work on the lungs.

Everyone I spoke to said the amnio would be painless, being that I'm so far along. It would feel nothing more than the needle in your arm when getting a lab drawn. That was a bunch of bunk. It wasn't horrible, but definitely uncomfortable. After
I complained to my mom and Mike about the amnio, I headed to Bellin Hospital for my next iron infusion. Ironically, after complaining all day how the amnio was much worse than the "needle in the arm," the nurse missed my vein on her first try, and blew up my vein on the second try. The third try made it, only after moving the needle around in my arm a few times. Now I can say that the amnio was definitely better than the "needle in the arm" scenario. That was not cool. I'm here though. Still alive. Six days of no needles. I'm content. Thanks for listening to my rant.

When I got home from my first doctors appointment this morning, Aristana was excitedly waiting in the front window for me to come in. She was jumping up and down when I walked in, asking if we could get our baby today. She is so excited to be a big sister. I told her we would have to wait for them to call me, and tell me if she's ready to come out yet. I have to tell you, we were all bummed, but that little three year old was seriously sad. I told her baby wouldn't be coming out for a while, and her bottom lip immediately grew triple it's size, and she almost started to cry. All day, she and I just kept cuddling with each other. I explained to her what was happening. We both understood, but were both disappointed. It really brought us close together today.

So, that's the update. I'll be sure to keep the updates coming.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Is it really that time?

I’ve been blogging, Face-Booking, emailing, etc about the impending addition to our family…but maybe I didn’t realize that the day would actually arrive.

Tomorrow, we will know the game plan.

I have an amniocentesis scheduled for tomorrow morning, to make sure her lungs are fully developed. If she’s ready, they could induce tomorrow already. Either way, it’s almost here!

I know many of you have been asking why the amnio, why early induction, etc. Here’s the deal. I have been struggling with gaining weight the entire pregnancy. With that being said, I have again started down that path over the last few weeks. I was diagnosed anemic about two months ago, and despite meeting with a nutritionist, as well as my gastric bypass doctor, the nutrients, especially iron, are not absorbing into my system. My iron levels have continued to decline, although I am eating a ton of iron, supplementing with other nutrients, and doing everything my doctors have required of me. I'm now getting weekly IV iron infusions at the hospital, which go directly into my blood stream, instead of relying on my intestines. My weight continues to maintain or go down, even though I have been a bottomless pit over the last couple of months.

On the flip side, at 35 weeks, baby was already weighing in at 7lbs, 12 ounces. For those of you about to jump in, please know I am totally aware that you cannot bet on an ultrasound weight estimation. However, even if they were a pound off to the lower side, she would still be considered very large for her gestational age.

My doctor is concerned that even though babies take what they need nutritionally, that I may not be providing the nutrients she needs. It is best at this point to have her out of me (if her lungs are ready), getting fed the nutrients she needs from formula. So, that’s my story.

Aristana & the baby sister…

She is so ready for her little one to come along. I am positive there are two factors that really pushed her into the excitement factor of having a new family member. My Lia Sophia friend Wendy gave her a book at the baby shower, called “Sisters.” It’s a simple book that tells about how there are two sisters who were very different, and gives some examples. The second part talks about the things they enjoy doing together. At the end it shows the most important part is that they love each other very much, and has a picture of them hugging. She realizes that she’ll have someone to play with down the road. She has jumped into the big sister role, wanting to help in every way. Each night, she talks to my belly and tells her stories, and “silly stuff.”

She also got to spend some quality time getting to know her cousin Alexa over the holidays. Alexa is Mike’s sister’s 9 month old daughter. She took to her right away, and still talks about her every day. She absorbed everything she did and every noise she made when we were together. She shared her toys willingly, and really loved having her around. That really helped a lot too.

So, what I’m saying is that Aristana may actually be more emotionally prepared that Mike and I. I know things will be different once there is an actual baby here, but we’re on a good track with her.

I am so excited! Okay, and a little caught up in the anticipation of “What the heck did we get ourselves into?” I just know that I am so blessed by the gift of Aristana in our lives, and completely humbled that God sees us fit to raise another one of His beautiful children! Thank you Lord!

You may not hear from me again for awhile…we’ll see how chaotic life becomes.