Sunday, January 22, 2012

We plan, God laughs.

The title of this entry says it all... Nothing has gone as planned, and I'm sure there is a reason for it. I'm hoping after all is said and done, my faith is restored and I can more clearly understand the reasons behind why our plans have turned into something so much more.

We are 34 weeks and 2 days now. We hoped and prayed to make it this far, and here we stand. After what seemed to be a good appointment last week at the MFM, I received a call from Vanderbilt and the neurosurgeon there (the same one who did the surgery) thinks her ventricles are too enlarged now and recommended delivery after 34 weeks. This came as quite a shock to me considering whenever I voiced my concern about the hydrocephalus everyone told me not to worry; babies' skulls are flexible, the brain won't be damaged, etc etc. So now why all the sudden are we considering premature delivery? The news really shook my confidence in the whole situation that I was just starting to build up. I knew her head was getting big and I haven't experienced many other mothers who had babies with ventricles of this size. But why, after weeks of hovering around 40mm do we now decide it's better to deliver? No one seems to be able to answer my questions. We were already resigned to the fact that she would need a shunt, so that's not necessarily the issue.

Back to that planning part... We planned a normal pregnancy, and we see where that got us. We planned on 40 weeks to get ready, then lost three weeks due to having surgery and delivery requirements at 37 weeks. And then we just lost three more weeks due to this. I want my baby here, but darn it, this is just getting ridiculous... I am a planner. I plan everything! I plan what I'm going to do for the day, what I'll have for lunch, what outfit I will wear the next day, what time I will leave the house, and so on. My brain is a planning kind of brain. So when everything is unknown and everything is unplanned, my brain is not happy. And all this just leads to more unknowns: How long will we be in the hospital, what will Callie need, how will the tests turn out, will my family me able to meet her before they take her to the other hospital, will there be complications due to the earlier delivery date? I can go on and on because my brain cannot stop attempting to plan. I even dream about it! So Lord, laugh away and change my plans as you must, but just know, I'm not finding the humor in it anymore... Give me time.

As of now, we still don't have a set delivery date but we're pretty sure it'll be next week. The doctor at Riverside spent all day Friday waiting on a call from Vanderbilt. Now he is waiting to speak to the neuro team at Children's. In the last email I got, he thinks it will be Tuesday or Wednesday. Although I'm still worried, I'm ready to have her out. I'm ready to have some of these unknowns turn into some actual facts. And I just want to see her face. And hair... that for some reason seems really important to me.

Throughout this entire process, I've been told a million times how strong I am. I'd like to think I've been as strong as everyone thought I was. As much as I've shared the details of our situation, I'd like think I did not complain about what happened, only question it. It's not to say there hasn't been many sleepless nights and second thoughts, but in reality, I think maybe I did live up to the standards.

And, since this may be the last week I can blame anything on my pregnancy hormones... I hope the girl who left a not so nice message on my facebook wall in November about my "complaining about my situation" is nosy enough to still follow this blog. For you, I'm not mad, I don't hate you, I just feel sorry for you. I feel sorry that you felt the need to bring someone down to make yourself feel better. I feel sorry that you couldn't appreciate the things going right in your life. I feel sorry that you had to say the things you did when I had done my best to be a strong and confident mommy in the situation I was given. But what I don't feel sorry for is what I said back to you, and I probably never will. I don't feel sorry for deleting you, I don't feel sorry for cutting you out of my life. And most of all, I'm so thankful that I've got the support of everyone that I do, so their words of encouragement and prayers could see me past everything that has happened. I wish you well.

I may do a quick update when we find out any specific details about delivery. But if not, the next time I update will be with pictures of a beautiful, healthy, red-headed (ok, we don't know this yet, but still!) baby girl. We love you all and the efforts of your prayers has shown us endless results! <3

Friday, January 13, 2012

33 Weeks!

Woo hoo!! We've made it 33 weeks, only 1 more to go to our next mini goal of 34 weeks, and we finally have an actual c-section date of February 8th. Only 26 days left (yes we're counting in days now!!)

I had to see the OB clinic at Riverside for a consult in order to get my c-section there, and THAT was an experience.... The place had some characters in there :S. The whole thing was a big fat waste of money. For starters, they had no idea why I was there and assumed I hadn't received prenatal care anywhere else. Then they were going to redo my tests that my regular OB had already done (uh, no!). Of course, they were also insistent that I had to transfer to the high risk OB upstairs in order to get my c-section (again, no!). Overall, they made me get naked and into an icky gown only to realize I didn't need an exam...which I told them BEFORE all this. Grr. Luckily, my ultrasound tech takes good care of me and she let them know who was boss and what was going on. 

Our weekly appointment was excellent this week... No changes in her ventricles and all her movement and breathing tests were passed with perfect scores. She has an obsession with her feet already, she grabs them during our ultrasounds all the time, and wiggles her toes in front of her face.This time, she had her big toe actually pressed against her forehead.

We also found out that she's got lots of hair, you could see it flowing in the amniotic fluid. At least this horrendous heartburn I've been having will lead to something anyway! I can't wait to see what color it is! They also estimated her weight to be at 7lbs 3oz (!!!!). It may be estimating slightly larger due to the size of her head, but at any rate, her entire body is still measuring 2 weeks ahead like we have been since about 20 weeks. I cannot believe she's so big! It's a good thing though, I'd rather have a sturdy baby than have one I feel like I'm going to break.

We're pretty prepared for a shunt when she arrives... It seems inevitable at this point. But the whole idea of having the surgery was to preserve nerves, not necessarily cure the hydrocephalus. And at the rate she's rocking and rolling, we've got such great hope that our sweet baby will be a mover and a shaker. She's certainly capable of moving my entire stomach at this point. But of course, don't try to feel her move, because she stops every time. She's got something against the men in my family. My mother and future sister-in-law have both felt her, but every time my dad, brother, or husband tries to feel her, she quits moving. Casey has got to feel her some because we trick her and leave his hand there. I think she forgets about it ;). So I guess the point of this is, if the shunt is the worst thing that happens, then I guess that's not so bad after all if we get all those other awesome benefits of the surgery.

I'll end with one more picture of Callista. You can see her hand by her face pretty well in this one, and of course there's a foot up there! Thanks everyone for your love, support, and prayers. We're getting so close and you've all been so incredibly wonderful to us. We wouldn't be in this place without you!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

32 weeks

We made it to 32 weeks. The chances of survival without severe prematurity side effects is increased now. Her lungs are developed enough to breath, sometimes without assistance even.

It's just crazy to believe we've come this far. Our next goal is 34 weeks, a much shorter goal than we're used to. Then we're on to our 37 week mark!! I'm hoping at our next appointment we'll get the actual c-section date so I can finally know when my baby girl should arrive.

The news was neither good nor bad from this week's appointment. She passed her biophysical profile again with a perfect score (as usual!). She's getting pretty cramped in there so her movements aren't as "swimmy" as they were before, it's weird to me to always see her in the same position, wiggling her pieces as well as she can. Instead of feeling little kicks I feel a lot of body parts just rubbing my insides. And I'm pretty sure she's squishing some of my vital organs... Her ventricles hadn't increased for three weeks but we weren't as lucky this time. They increased from 37 to 40 this week. I've been reassured by more than one lovely medical person and a lot of other SB mommies to not worry about this. The doctor said it could just be her position since she's head down, wayyyyyyy down, and it's hard to get a good picture. And per our routine, she covered her face with her hands and/or feet the whole time so we couldn't get a new picture.

I did get permission to "be more active" from Vanderbilt this week, meaning.... I can leave the house for a minute, fix my own lunch/dinner (oops, been doing that anyway, out of necessity), walk very small distances, etc. Nothing crazy, but it still feels good to have a little more freedom. Definitely not overdoing it though because we've made it this far and we ARE making it to 37 weeks, I insist!

Of course, with the new year, my insurance co-pay has been reset back to $2500, and I'm still paying on the $2500 from last year... The finance thing is really getting to me mentally. It seems like every time I turn around they want another doctor visit, another test, more more more. And the baby needs things (good Lord, spent $130 on breast feeding supplies today, yikes!). I'm calling the insurance company Monday to see if I have any coverage for travel expense, etc. since we made the expensive trip to Nashville and then have to drive to Riverside every week. I got one of my student loans lowered and then come to find out I have another one, so now I ended up owing more than I did before I got it lowered... Of course, I'm used to having two incomes myself from my regular job and my lia sophia business, so it hurts double for me to look at my account. Kinda seems like we're back to that place where everything is against us. We knew and agreed to the surgery knowing it would cause some finance issues and we're dealing and surviving but it's hard. I haven't purchased anything for myself except for a scentsy warmer and some maternity clothes, and I don't drive anywhere or eat out for lunches anymore so we're saving a lot there. Just stress on top of stress and I do apologize for the rant. I am thankful for what we have and are able to keep, I know there are those in worse shape and my heart goes out to them. <3

To end on a positive note, I had a nice outing with my mom today. Still in the wheelchair of course, but we took a trip to lunch, to the mall, and to the magical world of Walmart... It was refreshing. Sorry if you're a dude and reading this, but I also enjoyed buying a new bra with NO padding for my awesome pregnancy boobs. Callie may be stretching my belly, hurting my back, and giving me heart burn from hell, but darn my boobs and hair are fantastic ;) Probably TMI, but hey, I have to find something to be satisfied with LOL. Since I can't go to the salon right now, I did my own hair as well this week which I'm happy to say turned out extremely well (whew!). I guess it was just a week for me to start "feeling pretty" again. Hopefully we're doing maternity pictures next week!!

As always, we appreciate your continuing support and prayers you send our way. Who knows where we'd be without all of you wonderful people who've been there for us <3 We love you so much!!! Keep it up for the next 5 weeks!!