Friday, December 30, 2011

31 Weeks!

We're making progress, 31 weeks today. Next week will be our 32 week mini goal, and then it's to 37 weeks and the arrival of our sweet little girl!

We received some pretty good news at our appointment on Wednesday. Her ventricles measured the same as last week which is three weeks in a row with no increase. Her head circumference also measured the same as last week. We're hoping to keep this stabilization for our remaining six weeks. Every week she has to pass her biophysical profile (movement tests) within 30 minutes. They watch each limb for movement, she has to practice breath for 30 seconds straight, and she has to make three large body movements. This week she decided she wasn't waking up or doing anything, no matter how much she was poked and prodded. She scrunched up one foot and then went back to sleep. So they used something called an acoustic stimulator. It's a tool that makes a buzzing noise and they put it next to her head. It startles the baby to get them to wake up. The poor thing woke up quickly after that! Her whole body jumped (hey, one large body movement lol). Then she got the hiccups and they didn't stop until we were finished! She did pass all her tests though, thank goodness!

We're so happy to be able to keep sharing these good little bits of news. It seemed for so long that nothing could go right for us so just having these few weeks has been a relief to my spirit. That and the Christmas celebrations. Having my family around really broke up the loneliness of being cooped up at home. I'm missing out on the whole nesting experience because I can't help paint the room, set up the furniture, I can't even wash the tiny little clothes.... So the fun and company was a breath of fresh air, even if it was exhausting :)

Keep those prayers coming that we can continue on this positive path of no increases! We love you all and are so thankful for your support. While our journey won't end with her birth, it certainly will take us on a new path with new struggles and surprises.

Friday, December 23, 2011

30 Weeks!

I can't tell if time is flying or crawling... When I'm sitting/laying here doing next to nothing, it feels like it's taking forever to get anywhere. When I get those head measurements every week, her birth can't come soon enough for me, I just want her out and to be okay. But then I look at the progress we've made with Callie, and it's flying by! I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since the surgery. And I can't believe it's only 7 more weeks until she arrives....

Our MFM appointment this week went well. The ultrasound tech still couldn't find the membrane in the ventricle that Dr. Fox used to measure from last week, so she measured from the same spot and came up with the same number as last week. Although I don't like her number, at least we know it didn't increase. My fluid is back to 10.5, so that made me happy. They did a growth measurement on her as well and wow! She is measuring at 32 weeks gestation (with the exception of her head), weighs 4 lbs 11oz give or take a pound, and has the chubbiest little cheeks you ever did see. I take comfort in these measurements because while they aren't entirely accurate, at least if she comes earlier than expected, she's ahead of schedule in some areas. She also has a lot of hair judging from her pictures, :). Will it be blonde or red???? I can't wait to find out!!!

I'm doing my best to behave myself at this busy time of year. I won't miss the hustle and bustle of going a million different places on Christmas Eve and Day, but I will be sad not seeing the family members I have to miss this year. It's just more important to us right now to keep this baby baking than it is to run to dinners and exchange gifts. So while I celebrate the holiday from my cozy corner of the couch, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a stress free couple of days (haha, right?).

Love you all, and thanks so much for your continued prayers, keep them coming!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

29 Weeks- Baby shower day!

29 weeks yesterday: 3 more to go for our goal of 32, only 8 more for our goal of 37! (eek, I'm having a baby in eight weeks?!)

Thursday was our weekly MFM appointment. Our baby girl showed off nicely for us. She completed her practice breathing, moved each limb, and even wiggled her toes on her right foot. Her heart is still perfect and her tummy and kidneys still have fluid. And then they tried to scare us to death..... They measured her ventricles and informed us they were now at 37 (bad, very bad) which meant she had gained 10 within a week. I cried my little heart out at this. And about a half hour later, the doctor comes in and takes a look, and informs us they are not in fact 37, that the membrane they needed to measure from was hard to see with her position and her ventricles are 22. Although we'd love to see these smaller, we'll take anything lower than 37!!!! So my hormonal self cried again out of sheer relief. My fluid was down to 8.5 but they assured me this was completely normal for 29 weeks and to just keep drinking water and resting. I swear I just need my own ultrasound machine! I'm so happy with the results so far (the REAL results, lol). I can't help but think if I hadn't done the surgery, she may not be moving like this, especially with her lesion being so high... I'm so glad we decided to go for it. It's been a long road, but it almost feels like we're coming to the end, or at least a new beginning.

Today I went out for the first time other than a doctor's appointment. It was SO nice to be around civilization that's NOT in a hospital. I must say, I've got some amazing relatives and friends. My baby shower was wonderful. Everyone had a lot of fun and a lot of excellent food as well. A special thanks to my girls who put the whole thing on: the cooking, the decorating, the making of the goodies, everything! It's awesome to know so many great people care about us and baby Callie. She's going to have lots of fans when she finally arrives. We got so much pink pink pink that our kitchen looks like the color pink exploded all over it :) Which of course is what every baby princess wants and needs! I loved each and every gift and I know Callista will as well (especially her very own pink claw footed bathtub hehe). The homemade gifts were amazing as well, I had no idea all my friends and family were SERIOUSLY talented! I feel like an underachiever after the blankets, tutus, bows, and quilts! All of the gifts and well wishes were appreciated so much more than I could ever write on a thank you card, but those will have to do.

One gift touched me so deeply though, because of the meaning behind it.... It was a quilt with butterflies and a gorgeous butterfly framed picture. It's not the gift so much as the meaning of the gift that made me cry... Because if you've been following along for our entire journey, you know that Callista is my butterfly and the butterfly story is one that has truly changed my life. If you never got the chance to read it, I hope you'll take the time to back track and read it, because it's true not only for my family, but for anyone who's going through a struggle. So thank you so much for this gift of the butterfly, who is so much like my daughter.

After the longest day I've had in a very long while, I'm home and resting with my current baby girl (yes, my dog lol). Trying to avoid eating all the leftover cake right this instant... I didn't have gestational diabetes but I think if I eat all the cake, I might ;) As usual.... we love each and every one of you who support us through this and we appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers as we make this last leg of the journey... And OMG, did I mention we're having a baby in only eight weeks?! Ahhhhhhhh!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

28 weeks, 3 days

We made it to our first goal of 28 weeks. Cheer us on to 32 weeks now!

I had a rather rough past couple of weeks....

Our MFM appointment didn't go as well as we hoped. We were inspired by our last ventricle measurements, but this past week, her ventricles increased again to more than they've ever measured. I cannot remember both measurments, but they were in the high 20's.... It was very disappointing news to hear. Although we're still happy with the fact that her little hands and feet (and legs, and elbows, and anything else she can poke me with) move like crazy. We're hoping the damage done wasn't far enough along to prevent her from ever walking. Of course, we've got a long way to go before we'll know...

I'm doing my best to behave myself and follow the rules of bed rest, but apparently my regular OB can disregard this as though it's no big deal. My first hurdle was the fact that they refused to do my one hour glucose test along with my regular four week appointment, which meant I had to make another trip out the next week, just to have that done. Then on Friday, they called me to let me know my glucose was 139 and their cut off is 135. So now I had to go in AGAIN for the third time in three weeks (all the while still making my trips to Riverside every week, which take about 5-6 hours total by the time they're complete.) As I researched, I found that most doctor's offices have a cut off of 140 and that's the general guideline, but instead I have to go take the three hour glucose test.

Yesterday, my mom took me bright and early to the lab and we were there from 7:30am to almost 12pm. Getting stuck four times and drinking the nasty sugar drink wasn't even the worst of it. It was FREEZING in the lobby where they expected me to sit for the entire four hours (again, can we say "BED REST"?). I actually had to ask for a blanket because I was shivering. Add in the nausea from drinking the yucky thing, the headache from not eating, and the back and hip ache from being on bed rest for 5 weeks now, I was not a happy camper. I was even more agitated when the woman doing my tests basically questioned as to why I was even doing it since the cut off they have is 140. GRRRR. As of now I'm still awaiting the results. Luckily, a friend of my mom's works there and came out to see us, and ended up getting us an exam room to wait in so I could lay down. It was seriously a mess....

I guess what's frustrating the most out of this is wondering what the heck could possibly go right in this pregnancy, because so far my enjoyable moments are outweighed by all of the crap we've had to go through. I try not to let it get to me, but at what point is enough considered enough? Of course, this leads me to my next dilemma...

My husband and I had the serious discussion awhile back that we will not be having any more biological children. It's been too hard of a journey and the numbers are just not in our favor. As much as I'd love to have a normal pregnancy to know what it's like, it's not a chance I'm willing to take. If I wasn't so good at statistics, we might think differently, but I can run the numbers:
  • 1 in 1500 babies have spina bifida (.06%)
  • My bloodwork showed a 1 in 465 chance of spina bifida (.21%)
  • The chances of having another child with spina bifida.... 4%
If I'm in those percentages that aren't even whole numbers, 4% seems huge to me.  Not a risk worth taking, especially with my possible complications as well due to the surgery. So we want to adopt. I know Callie isn't even here yet, and it seems silly to be thinking about, but I want her to have a sister to grow up with.... And adoptions can take a long time. I just don't want Callie to be too old to appreciate a little sister. It's the question of when do we get started on the adoption process, because one website even says it can take up to six years to complete an adoption... But our luck, we would apply and ours would happen so quick that we wouldn't be ready.  Ugh, nothing can be simple, can it?

    Sorry for the randomness of this post, too many things to think about when you've got all this time on your hands. Above is her profile and a 3D pic of her face, well, what she'll let us see.... And yeah, that's her hand AND her foot by her head lol.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    27 weeks (tomorrow anyway!)

    I had my weekly appointment at Riverside yesterday. I was lucky enough for an old high school friend to volunteer to take me. It was great reconnecting with her over the long trip, and her daughter is so cute and probably the most well behaved 2 1/2 year old I've ever met (although my friend assured me that wasn't normal, lol).

    The appointment ran late, as usual, but luckily we still missed the rush hour traffic coming back from Columbus.. I received nothing but good news yesterday, and today my heart and body just feel lighter if you can understand what I mean... She wiggled away in there for most of the ultrasound and was actually kind enough to hold still so Mary, our ultrasound tech could measure her ventricles. The reach of prayer is far and amazing... Last week she measured 21 (L) and 20 (R) and this week...... 20 (L) and 18 (R)!!!! For those of you unfamiliar with this, her spinal fluid was building up in her head because it had no where else to go thanks to the opening on her back. This decrease is giving us great hope that since the closure, her "plumbing" is now rerouting itself and moving that fluid to the places it belongs! We knew this could happen but were extremely hesitant to get our hopes up, just in case we were one of the ones who showed no changes. Granted, we still have a long way to go (normal ventricles can be up to 10-12mm) I was ecstatic with these results.

    Another little bit of good news.... My fluid looks amazing as well. Over two weeks, I've increased from 10 to 13 (yay!). This means a lot of things: a) I can FINALLY have a note from my doctor to work from home. We had a bit of a miscommunication last week between hospitals and they never sent the correct number so I couldn't get permission to work from home. b) The increase shows my incision on the back of my uterus is not leaking so far. c) This part is kind of gross, but it's how babies are made I suppose.... The increase shows that obviously Callie is producing and expelling urine. Yuck, but yay? LOL.

    And we only have to make it one more week to hit our first goal. It's pretty exciting to reach this first milestone for recovery. We still want her to stay in there till 37 weeks, but at least we're making some progress. After next week, we bump up our goal to 34 weeks. Today I get to quiz my regular OB about what she knows about my surgery and what her plan is. And I hope I'm gaining weight, because I continually get in trouble for that, even though I eat like crazy, and I'm certainly not doing anything to burn calories at this point!

    As always, thanks to everyone for the thoughts and prayers. It's quite obvious they are working wonders and we're so grateful for the support and love everyone has shown. <3