Friday, May 27, 2011

Our lil' man

I got to spend some alone time with Jake today and we snuggled for one hour. He used to have a 30 minute time limit when it came to holding him where he would be requiring extra oxygen. His doctor said that she thinks he "turned a corner" yesterday. His breathing is more relaxed and he is not breathing as fast as he was. He is still on a nasal cannula and is requiring about 30% regularly...sometimes more, sometimes less.

He is getting 28 ml (almost 1 ounce) of breastmilk or formula every 3 hours. It still goes through the tube in his mouth. They said tomorrow we might try non-nutritive sucking - this means we will attempt breastfeeding but it will basically just be to test what he does. He is tolerating his feedings well and having lots of wet and dirty diapers.

He has a new sense of calmness to him. He did seem restless often and would cry frequently. Now he has awake and alert times when he is quietly looking around.

I will update with pictures soon.

Being home is wonderful but been very emotional without him home. There is also a new reminder of my dad's passing. When I was in the hospital, it was easy to shift my focus on Jake and myself. Now, every trip to the hospital we pass by the cemetery and the funeral home and it is hard to not wish he could have been here to meet Jake. I know he is looking down on us and I just have to find peace in that.

Thanks for all of the love and support everyone has given us.

Jake's Godparents (Matt and Erin) are coming this weekend as well as Pete's brother, Tim and his girlfriend, Brit. It should be a nice distraction from Jake's absence and it will also be nice to take them to see him. Matt and Erin are bringing not only their wonderful selves but food for the weekend - what a generous idea! We are so thankful and can't wait to introduce them to their Godson!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Update on our little man...

I know it has been a little while since we updated so here is the latest with Jake. They took him off CPAP yesterday around 1:30 pm and put him on a nasal cannula (which is what is in his nose). It is providing a smaller flow of air and still giving him the supplemental oxygen he needs. Yesterday when he first was put on the nasal cannula he was requiring almost 50% oxygen. They were one step away from putting the CPAP back on but our little man fought. Now he is still on the nasal cannula and only requiring 30% oxygen. We are proud of him! He is getting feedings through the tube in his mouth every 3 hours. He is tolerating those well. He is a little bit of a fuss bucket but I am sure all the beeping, wires, and touching are scary for a newborn. Here are some pictures...






I am having some mixed emotions about going home. I am very, very excited to be back in our home with our little girls...it has been a little over 4 weeks since I have been there! Of course there is a great amount of sadness to leave Jake here. I know he is in good hands though. This has been a very emotional journey and I have to remember to focus on the positive. Feeling very blessed and thankful to have my wonderful husband, adorable little girls and our fighting little boy!




Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jake update

Jake started the day on 6 cm of CPAP requiring about 39% oxygen. Currently, he has decreased down to 5 cm of CPAP and is on 27% oxygen. In other words, he has improved throughout the day! They started feeding him today through a tube that goes into his mouth and down to his stomach. Other nutrition is going through the IV that is in his left arm. They told us today that his chest xray showed pneumonia, so he is definately here until Sunday. We are thinking/hoping that he will only be here for 1-2 weeks.


Last night, Jake's nurse Emily put a Purdue blanket on his bed!

Claire blows Jake a kiss


video


Here is a video of Claire saying bye to "Baby Jacob" and blowing him a kiss :)

Claire meets Jake

We took Claire in to see Jake today. She was excited to see "Baby Jacob" and had some confusion when I told her that he wasn't in my tummy anymore. She didn't touch or get too close (which we expected) but she kept saying "What's that?" to all of the pumps and equipment around him. All in all it went well and was really fun to watch.

Jake's Visitors

Jake has had visits from lots of family and friends and unfortunately we have not gotten pictures of everyone with him but here are some pictures that we did remember to take!

So far, both grandmas and parents have gotten to hold him :)












Monday, May 23, 2011

Jake Update

Last night, after a short stint in the special care nursery, Jake had increased respiratory efforts and was transferred to the NICU. He is currently on CPAP, which provides continual pressure to help force air into his lungs and reminds him to breathe. He is also requiring a little additional oxygen and breathing quickly. He also started antibiotics in case they determine he has pneumonia. He seems to be doing all right and we hope we have already seen the worst and he continues to improve. Prayers and support are still greatly appreciated. Below are a few pictures from this evening when we were able to see him without the CPAP and he even opened his eyes to check everything out.





















Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jacob Robert

JACOB ROBERT VANDERVAART
























Today around 2PM Laura started contracting and after a few hours the doctor decided to go ahead and deliver Jake. He came out screaming at 6:41 weighing 6 lbs 5 oz and measuring 19 3/4". He had to go to a special care nursery because he was 35 weeks and having a little trouble breathing. The doctors think he will be there for a few days. Mom and baby are doing well.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Numbers...

I have had a wonderful Saturday... First, Karen (Pete's mom) brought Grace out for a visit. Then, my brother Keith came and hung out for a while. After a nice nap, Brooke from NICU came over and took me downstairs so I could get some soup and a fountain Diet Pepsi. Again, a great day...so why am I feeling down? I can break it down in numbers...

17 ~ number of days I have been in the hospital
8 ~ number of times that I have been out of this hospital room
12 ~ approximate number of hours I have spent with my girls in the last 17 days
13 ~ approximate number of cloudy days since I have been here
3 ~ number of shots given in my hip
7 ~ number of times I have been stuck with a needle
30 ~ daily number of pills I am taking
2 ~ number of months since my dad passed away

I think the last one is the one that set the mood for the day. I have been so distracted thinking about Jake and I's health that I think it just hit me harder today. I miss him so much and really wish he could meet Jacob. But alas, I know he is looking down on us.

All in all, good day and hope everyone is having a good weekend :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday, Day #16

Its amazing how it still feels exciting when Friday rolls around even if you are stuck in a hospital room! I just love Fridays regardless of the circumstances!

I had lunch today with Keith and my mom today and it was nice to sit around and chat with them.

Pete, his mom, and the girls are coming later for a visit and I can't wait to see them! I am really, really missing them today and can't wait to give them hugs and kisses!

As far as Jake goes, things have been pretty steady. I had a few more consistent contractions which just kept me on the monitor for a little bit longer but they slowed down. On top of everything, they have diagnosed me with a UTI - no big deal just another pill that I have to take 4 times a day.

When I have nothing but time to think, my mind starts to race. I start to wonder if lower back pain has something to do with the kidneys which is now being displayed in a UTI... again, I know its probably crazy and I really don't know much about adult medicine. I went over this crazy theory/curiousity with my nurse and she made me feel better. I love my nurse!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Only 1-2 more weeks to go!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day #15

After being here for 15 days, there are just some things that you have to laugh at.

For instance, is asking me a question as you put the thermometer in my mouth really the best timing??

Or, if I tell you I am excited that a season finale is on and am watching it (clearly no DVR or ability to pause)... it may not be the best time to have a gab fest!

My room is right by the director's office and the door has a tendency to slam whenever she goes in and out. When they come around and ask me if there is anything that can be done to improve the care, can I really ANONYMOUSLY explain that the director's door slams shut? No, because I am the only room next to her! :)

Who am I kidding though? These nurses are great, some of these things you just have to have some humor about.

My back is still the only problem right now and I think it is just this little one getting bigger and putting more and more pressure on my right back/hip. Drugs, stretches, ice and heat seems to solve the problem. Praying that in 9-16 days when this little one is born that the pain goes away.

Speaking of 9-16 days from now... I cannot wait! I am so excited to meet this little one. Of course I was ecstatic when Claire and Grace were born but I think there will be a different feeling when Jake is born. Particularly because I will have had 4 weeks to sit and think about that moment. I will be overwhelmed when I hear little Jake cry and they tell me there were no complications with surgery. I can't imagine that feeling but I can't wait for it!

Today I got a visit from an old friend, Beth. It was so great to see her and she always brings a smile to my face! Mike also brought me a diet pepsi and mozarella sticks - yummy!! My friend, Sarah came and brought me dinner and we went outside and chatted for my 45 minute wheelchair ride. It has been a great day!

Pete's mom just got in tonight and what a relief! All of our family and friends have been amazing, but there is something extra comforting about knowing my girls will be at our home with the same caregiver for the next week! Again, my family and friends have been wonderful and I am just so glad our girls are getting taken care of so well. So blessed...

Weeks: 35+5
Goal: 8-15 more days

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Operation "Back Pain"

I have no idea what is going on but I have never been in so much pain in my life. My lower back is killing me and it was the worst last night. I had to cut my visit short with Pete and the girls, which made me very mad at myself but I was not being very good company. There were sharp pains with every breath. I tried exercises, heat, ice, stretches, etc. Two Vicodin barely touched it. Finally after about 1 1/2 hours, they called the doctor and he ordered a shot of Nubane. Helped a little but it wasn't until 12:30 am when they gave me 2 more Vicodin (pain med), Ambien (sleeping pill), Flexerol (muscle relaxant), and it was 1 hour after the Nubane that I finally felt some relief and slept. My doctor told me to just keep up with the Vicodin and not wait until I am in pain. Problem being, Vicodin makes me VERY sleepy so I have been loopy/passed out for almost 3 days. Oh well, just keeping my eye on the prize! :)

On a lighter note, we had an ultrasound today and our growing boy that measured 4 lbs 10 oz just 2 short weeks ago, is now up to 6 lbs 3 oz. Guess that's what happens when all you do is sit around and eat!

My doctor came in this morning and it sounds like he is still debating between 36 and 37 weeks. So I have decided, as hard as it is for my OCD/Type A personality to just roll with it. I have a feeling if the back pain persists, it would be darn-near torturous for him to have me go to 37 weeks but I digress...

All in all, not too bored thanks to One Tree Hill :) Onto season #5 and enjoying the crazy high school drama television. It briefly makes me forget where I am and what's going on.

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Halfway There...or so I thought...

Just gonna go ahead and warn everyone this blog entry is not going to be the positive, upbeat entry/mindset that I have been trying so hard to keep up...

I was planning on blogging last night about how I was halfway done but my body had other plans. I have been having lower back pain. Most likely from the way Jake is sitting - he is completely curled up on my right side which means my right half of my lower back is killing me. Throw in a hospital bed and having to be in it most of the time and I am just asking for it to get worse. They came and did an extra massage yesterday where I felt some brief relief. It is such a constant dull pain that it was hurting when I would try and take a deep breath and it was throbbing just sitting there. Pete tried to make it better. I tried stretches. I tried heat and then ice. Finally, they gave me some Flexerol (muscle relaxant) and I went on my wheelchair ride. After about 15 minutes into it, I told Pete that I needed to come back upstairs because of the pain. They brought in a birthing ball (big plastic ball you sit on) and there was some relief but then I stood up and I felt like my right leg had completely disconnected. I got into bed and the nurse brought me two vicodin. Ahh, relief. Amazing! They said I could have it every 4 hours but it completely knocks me out and makes me loopy! BUT no pain and total relaxation - don't mind if I do!

Also last night, one of the NICU doctors, Dr. Pyle came over for a visit. I was asking him about his opinion on a 36 weeker vs a 37 weeker. I was trying to be prepared for my doctor so that if he decided to push me to 37 weeks I could have some more knowledge on the subject. Before Dr. Pyle left, he said that he could talk to my doctor for me if I wanted. I don't want to rock the boat. I trust my doctor, but he can get pretty set in his ways which then brings out my stubborn side. Anyways, Dr. Pyle stayed for a little while to visit with my husband and I and it was so nice of him to come over and give us that extra attention when I know how swamped the NICU is.

Slept soundly last night thanks to my new Vicodin pals. This morning my doctor came in and told me that he had spoken to these other doctors (Maternal Fetal Medicine) and they all recommended to push to 37 weeks. WHAT?! I felt defeated. At 36 weeks (in my opinion) the biggest concern is the baby...well, at least the reason you would delay would be for the benefit of the baby because IF you delay you are increasing my risks. Basically, IF the concern is the baby at 36 weeks, shouldn't you be talking to NICU/baby doctors?? I hap-hazardly said "So, all of the time I have spent here deciding logically that 36 weeks sounds good to me doesn't really matter at this point?" Again, I didn't say it in a mean way, just asking... He jokingly said "Yeah, we don't give a rat's behind what you think". I love my doctor but I was not in the mood...

So he leaves and I cried. I cried a lot. For good reason? Probably not. The thought of having to change my tally count on my dry erase board from 11 more days to 18 more days just made me feel so sad. In the grand scheme of life, 7 days is nothing. But tell that to my husband who is running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Tell that to all the many many friends and family that have had to help with babysitting. Tell that to my girls that don't have their mommy around. Explain how 7 days is no big deal to me when my girls are changing right before my very eyes. 7 more days of me not tucking them into bed or giving them a bath or snuggling on our couch with them. Today, 7 more days feels like a long time...

Trust me, once my negativity over this passes (which it will soon), it will not be a big deal.

34 total days in the hospital
13 days down...18 days until Jacob Robert...21 more days until I get to be home...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Funday - Day #11

Well, I have one heck of a sore throat, runny nose, and cough. I keep getting nervous that if I cough too much - I might bleed, my water might break, or I might go into labor. I know, its silly! My other complaint is my lower back is killing me! I am sure the bed doesn't help but I just wish this cough/cold went away and my back was feeling better. BUT in the grand scheme of things... I am still pregnant and not having complications so the rest doesn't matter!




My doctor came in and ordered an ultrasound for Wednesday. Its really just more for something for me to look forward to, but she was nice to enough to order it to "Assess for fetal growth". Otherwise, I am hoping to take a wheelchair ride later today.




The day started out with breakfast and a diet pepsi (AMAZING). Even more enjoyable was a girl talk date with Mallory. I haven't had one with her for a while and it was a wonderful 3 hours of catching up and gabbing. Love you, girl! Then, Brooke came and brought me Panda Express and it was yummy! She stayed and chatted for a little bit and it is always so fun to see her.


Now I am about to be put on the monitor and hopefully take a little nap before Pete and my girls get here! I can't wait to see them!


Here are some pictures from the past 11 days...


















Did I mention Pete always brings them in dresses just to make me smile? Love that man :)


Hope everyone is having a good day!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

2 more weeks!!

I am officially 34 weeks pregnant today and I am feeling pretty good about that. As a NICU nurse, 34 weeks are typically pretty "boring" so I am hoping after another 2 weeks, Jake will be just like every other newborn - just smaller than my normal offspring :)

I have had a pretty good past couple of days. NICU nurse visits, husband visits, friends visits, One Tree Hill marathon, etc. I am embarrassed to admit that I actually had a dream last night about One Tree Hill....

Anyways, Jackie from NICU came over for a quick visit this morning. My husband brought the girls in shortly thereafter. He is so cute - he puts them in dresses so they "dress up" to come see me. They look absolutely adorable and he had Grace in pigtails! Hilarious! My friend, Kit, from college drove down from Lafayette and brought some lunch. She also took me outside and we talked in the wonderful fresh air. It was so great to see her!

As far as baby update goes, things are status quo. Still getting monitored 3 times a day and given meds to stop contractions 4 times a day. Contractions are occasional and pretty painless so I am hoping it stays that way! The goal is to be 36 weeks so May 28th is the day (Most likely, the doctors MAY opt to go for one more week but we will see)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bitter, Party of 1

I must admit, today has been my most bitter day. I woke up multiple times last night due to the fact that my throat felt like it was bleeding. The hospital is so dry and a sore throat on top of it does not help. I woke up with sinus pressure, stuffy nose, and watery eyes. Needless to say, I woke up in a crabby mood. Hospitals equal a lot of interrupted sleep. That also makes for an unhappy Laura.

THEN, my sister brought Grace by... mood increase...
THEN, my brother came for lunch and brought Good Mood Food (Arbys)... mood increase
THEN, I took a shower and some of the sinus pressure was released...mood increase
THEN, my mom came to visit...mood increase
THEN, the sweetest doctor in the world came through and wrote for wheelchair rides PRN (as needed) as long as no complications...mood increase!

So now here I am feeling better, ready to face these next 15 days. You want to rain the next 6 days, bring it... Sure, it stinks that once granted a wheelchair ride the weather stinks but I love the sound of the rain and I am just happy to get some fresh air!

9 1/2 days down, 15 1/2 days to go! Sunday afternoon I might rock out to some Bon Jovi - "Wow, we're halfway there...."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

One week down!

One week down and I have 2.5 weeks to go!

Unfortunately, I woke up with a sore throat, stuffy nose, head cold. Pete will be here shortly with some medicine and I think I will be relaxing most of the day. My doctor said "Well, we can't deliver when you are sick so that means the baby is staying in!" Right you are, Dr. Myers :)

Yesterday was a great day. My friend Emily visited in the morning for a couple of hours and we had a great time talking and laughing. My brother came for lunch and we had a good time as always. Brooke, Erica, and Jamie came for their lunch break and that was entertaining as always! Then, Christina came and brought her little girl, Bailey and she let me hold her - she is beautiful! My mom, aunt, and cousin brought the girls and it was so great to see them! We read books and played a lot of hide and seek. My friend, Sarah brought me Panera and we ate dinner together and caught up. Pete was here after that and I was so glad that he made it home safely.

I have been having a lot of discomfort in my lower back and Pete was nice enough to rub my back last night. My sister in law, Debbie called to explain some exercises to us that might help alleviate some of the pain. I went to bed with a much relieved back.

Poor Pete...sits in meetings all day, then travels for hours and then comes here and rubs my back and feet. Then he heads home, packs up the girls for school today, finishes laundry, etc. Have I mentioned how much I love him?

While Pete was here, Laci and Ashley from work stopped by for a visit. I just adore them - they are so upbeat and entertaining.

Thanks for all of the visits, love and support!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prayer

In a situation like this, I should be praying. In every day life, I should be praying. Why does that not come to mind more often? It should be human instinct (in my opinion) to pray daily. Here is my prayer for today...

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you. Thank you for introducing me to the love of my life at age 18. Thank you for the qualities, morals and values that his parents instilled in him and my parents in me so that our marriage can work so beautifully. Thank you for blessing us with our wonderful and energetic, Claire. Thank you for blessing us with our laid-back, adorable Grace. And thank you for blessing us with our first son, Jacob Robert. Thank you for our health, jobs, housing, food, the list could go on and on.

Thank you for our family and friends. We are surrounded by Your love and we embrace it.

Thank you for blessing me with the most amazing dad for 28 years. I pray that he is at peace and enjoying his time with you. I have no doubt that he has brought so much light to heaven.

Please keep an eye on this beautiful boy and myself. We trust in You and this journey that we are on. Please give me strength to keep this boy healthy for 17 more days.

In Your Name We Pray, Amen.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday, Day #6

Well, Pete came by this morning for a quick "good morning" before leaving to head to Washington DC. He was extremely nervous about leaving but I told him that we would behave and that he should go. He gets back tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, a combination of my mom, aunt, uncle, and cousin are watching the girls while he is gone. I haven't seen them since Sunday and won't see them until tomorrow. Really missing them, but gotta focus on Jake. I keep thinking if (God-forbid) Claire or Grace had some disease that required they be in the hospital for 3 weeks, then the other two siblings would just have to deal and I would need to focus on that one. So here I am, Jake needs me to be in the hospital for three weeks and the other two (for lack of better words) are just going to have to deal. I can't wait to be their full-time mommy again, though :)

When you are in a situation like this, some people really surprise you. Others, unfortunately, can disapoint you but given my determination to stay positive...lets focus on those that have surprised me. And let me be clear, its not that they have surprised me because they are typically mean people that have turned nice. It is simply a surprise of how much these already wonderful people have stepped up and amazed me as individuals even more than they previously did :)

First off, day shift NICU nurses... Seeing as we don't work the same shift, it is no suprise that there has not been a lot of activity outside of work (unfortunately). But today, I found myself surrounded by three very wonderful, supportive, and not to mention hilarious nurses who decided to eat their lunch in my room. Thank you so much to Brooke, Alex, and Becca for coming!!

Secondly, night shift NICU nurses... I love who I work with, plain and simple. This experience has shown me how blessed I am to be surrounded by these people. There is no doubt that starting at a new place is a rough transition for me. I tend to revert back to my high school days and turn into this needy, have to be included, socially awkward goober. Mixed with this is the need to know people like me and almost measuring my happiness based on being liked. (Crazy therapy session moment, apparently) It took about 1 1/2 years in our NICU for me to finally just let that go and be myself. Crazy enough, people liked me just being myself and not trying to hard a lot more! I am ecstatic to work with these women and even more so that I typically have a visitor in my room every night. It is such a good feeling and has really helped me through this past week. Thanks to Emily, Sarah, Ashley K., Erica, Courtney, Ashley L., Courtney, Jackie, Cindy, Deb, Nancy, and anyone else I have missed! I REALLY appreciate seeing your smiling faces :)

Next on the list, friends or friends of friends from high school. Today I was overwhelmed with good ole' BCHS and it felt great. First, Mike came and took me on a wheelchair ride (YEAY) to get a fountain Diet Pepsi and we sat outside in the sunshine and talked...it was awesome! Then, an old friend, Liz that I haven't talked to in months stopped by and we talked and caught up for an hour or so. My good friend Scott has a fabulous wife, Rachel. They brought their adorable son, John David and some delicious Don Pablos! She also brought me some celebrity magazines... we chatted and laughed and it was simply a wonderful distraction from being stuck in here!

Family has been no surprise but I still feel unbelievably blessed. My brother has come every day for lunch in spite of having a newborn, recently taking time of work for that, and it being the end of month crunch time. My sister calls at least twice a day to talk to me and take my mind of things and to just check in. My mom... can't say enough. She has watched the girls pretty much every day. She has cleaned my house, done laundry, bathed the girls, and been a solid rock for Pete and I to lean on. Aside from immediate family, aunts and uncles and cousins have also helped or are on the schedule to help and we could not appreciate it more.

Ohio family and friends...from phone calls to emails to care packages - who could ask for anything more? Pete's family is wanting constant updates and have prayer groups offering up prayers for Jake and I. My friend Anne has called at least 3 times since I have been in here. Jake's godmother, Erin is calling and prays for us every day. Trina emails me and checks on me frequently and always makes me laugh. Erin, a girl I used to work with in the NICU, sent a wonderful care package. SO many others have shown such wonderful support and I could not be more grateful!!

I guess my point is THANK YOU for all of the love and support. It means more than you know and I will continue to embrace every ounce of it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day #5

Today has really been a great day. Last night finished up with some ice cream from Claire and Grace around 7:30 pm. It was so great to see them! Unfortunately, Pete called me shortly after they left and said that Claire had puked everywhere and had a temperature. Just what that poor guy needs, more on his plate. Of course, he took it like a champ! She had a pretty slow moving day today but she seems to be feeling better now.

I slept pretty well last night but I have given up on the idea of some solid hours of sleep at night. I plan on getting a couple hours here and a couple of hours there for the rest of my stay but that is not a big deal because I can just take naps during the day.

My day started out meeting my really nice nurse. We chatted for a little bit. Then my doctor came in and (AGAIN) declined a wheelchair ride but he told me to keep asking. He did write for daily massages which sounds awesome! Apparently there is a massage therapist that rounds daily so that will quickly become a highlight to my day!

My friend from work, Jackie, came over to visit and we chatted for about 30 minutes which was really nice. A great friend from Ohio then called on the phone so I talked to her for about 45 minutes. Within 5 minutes of hanging up with her, my aunt and uncle showed up! Then, my friend Brooke from NICU came over and took her lunch break here. After Brooke came my brother, Keith for his lunch break. My other friend, Alex, from work came over and said hi for a few minutes. My afternoon consisted of a shower, some routine monitoring, and a little nap. Then I was greeted with delicious Fazoli's from Pete. He was able to stay for a few hours (thanks to my mom) and during his visit, my friend Jackie came for a bit. The evening ended with a visit from my friend, Emily from NICU and my friend Kari who is a nurse on high-risk.

Needless to say, this has been a very wonderful day! It is easy to keep a positive attitude with all of this wonderful support and visitors!

Currently 33 + 3 weeks pregnant with 18 days to go!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Every dog has its day...

We had a very enjoyable night light night playing cards with Cindy, Mike, and Pete. I was starting to feel a little funny as they left and realized that I just needed to get into bed.

They hooked me up to the monitor and after an hour the nurse came back in to ask how I was feeling. I told her that I could feel some contractions and she told me that I had been contracting every 4 minutes consecutively. They kept me on the monitor and gave me a medicine to stop the contractions. After about 1/2 hour they were better. It is still possible that they will have to put me on something stronger to ease all contractions which would require an IV and the drug tends to make people feel very crappy but it is all worth it for little Jake!

They had to draw some blood to make sure they had my blood type up to date in case of an emergent situation. Did I mention I hate needles?

SO, after realizing that the last time that I was contracting before I fell asleep I woke up in a very scary situation, I was unable to sleep a wink last night. I tossed and turned until about 3 am and then the anxiety got the best of me. I called my nurse in and had just hit my breaking point. I was a wreck. I was embarrassed and slightly hysterical.

The positive side is that I have friends working right down the hall that are up all night long. So, I made a phone call and within moments I had two very wonderful and supportive friends on either side of my bed. I cried and told them everything racing through my head. They listened and calmed me down and I am so grateful to Courtney and Ashley for coming over and being so fabulous!

Point of this entry... every dog has its day and I had a little bit of a negative breakdown early this morning. I am feeling much better and have had a good day so far. I have gotten to see my mom, Pete, and my girls - what more could I ask for? My nurse today is amazing and the nurses are ordering take out for lunch from Outback...something pretty typical for nurses. My nurse was so sweet to ask me if I wanted anything from their takeout order...its just the little things but it was so nice!

Hope everyone is having a great mother's day!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day #4

I am proud to announce that I am 33 weeks today! As silly as it sounds, I like the ring of 33 weeks much more than 32 weeks!

My day has been very slow, but pleasant. I wasn't sure if Saturday would bring more activity, visitors, phone calls or what to expect. Pete came for about an hour and otherwise it has been me flying solo. I have gotten hooked on the TV show "One Tree Hill". Certainly not a super, high-quality show but definately does the trick of entertaining me.

I was able to get a good 6-7 hours of sleep last night and have even taken 2 naps today so I am feeling rejuvinated! The doctor came in this morning and said that he MIGHT let me out on a wheelchair ride tomorrow! I am so excited! Haven't left this room in 4 days so this is great news!

Needless to say, today has been a very relaxing day. I was able to talk on the phone with my sister and my good friend from Chicago for a bit.

My brother says my family is like the Colts right now - keep getting injured but just keep truckin' along. I like this expression...not only because I love the Colts, but because it shows my family's strength. Obviously losing my dad was the most difficult "injury" but we are pulling through together. The happiest "injury" is the birth of a beautiful baby girl, Allison. All of these other little "injuries" are just testaments to what our family is capable of I suppose.

My mom put her house on the market on Monday. I have had mixed emotions about this. Primarily, very happy for her and supportive of whatever she wants/needs to do to help grieve and move on as much as she can. Selfishly though, this is a very sad thing to me. Its the only house I've ever lived in as a child...from birth until marriage, Rowin Road was my home. It has so many memories in it. My mom has already received two offers on the house. In other words, its sold! She has found a perfect place to move to as well. Things could not have gone better! The pity party for myself is that if it closes quickly, will I ever step foot in that house again? Or was the last time I was over there, just casually passing through, the last time I will be there? I didn't even get to have a moment to take it all in. Whatever happens, I will always have the memories and am very happy for this new step in my mom (and my family's) life.

I have big plans for tonight :) Mike and Cindy are coming and we are going to play some cards! Pete is picking up some takeout and it is going to be a hospitalized double date! Ha! Plus, a couple of friends from work are going to swing over...it is going to be a party in this room!

Thanks to everyone for all of the love and support! It means more than you know!

Feeling blessed for another successful, pregnant day! :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day #3

Well, here I am at the end of my third day and I am feeling pretty crummy right now. Pretty much just exhausted which seems crazy considering I have done nothing for 3 straight days. Problem being, I have also not slept much... a total of about 9 hours my entire stay so far. The nurse decided to call the doctor for a sleeping cocktail so I think they are going to knock me out tonight :)

Good news was last night they decided to leave my IV out. I fully understand that I will have to have access when I start to act up more but for now they feel safe giving me a break without an IV. They have talked about just putting a PICC line in because I am such a tough IV stick and the last one only lasted 18 hours. I've seen it done tons of times on babies, but for some reason I am still nervous for whenever they might be doing it to me. I suppose that is normal though...

Today started off with breakfast with my hubby which was awesome and a visit from the doctor. He spoke with us about the fact that when Jacob is delivered, there is a definite chance that it will be an emergent situation. He wanted to prep us for the fact that they may have to do a hysterectomy during the c-section if the bleeding is not able to be controlled. The idea of a hysterectomy at 28 years old is very scary/sad. BUT, we will (God willing) have three healthy children so we need to focus on that, have faith, and count our blessings...so that is what we are going to do!

Afterwards I took a shower and watched "Grown Ups". The movie was pretty funny and helped pass 1-2 hours. My brother came and joined me for lunch and then a friend from work brought a bunch of TV seasons for me to watch for entertainment. The afternoon was pretty lonely but I tried to stay busy with "to do" lists and solitaire.

My mom, Claire, Grace, and Pete were here for dinner which was nice. I am sad at the mom that I am to the girls right now. I know that I can't help it, but I get so excited for them to come visit and then when they are here, I realize that all of their climbing, wanting to be held, and pulling on me is really a hazard/risk so then I try and balance it out. It would be awesome if they came and just sat quietly on my lap....ha! Yea right!! I love watching them run around and play in my room but I have to explain to Claire why I can't come with her and it breaks my heart to see her bottom lip pout out and to hear her say "But why mommy?" I just have to keep telling myself that she won't remember this and that in a 3 year-0lds mind, these weeks will be remembered like days to her.

So, goal for tonight is to get some sleep! Hoping to wake up tomorrow and be revived, refreshed and 33 weeks pregnant!!

Thanking God for another passing day with a healthy baby boy and family :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day #2

Well, folks...get used to some updating because that is about all I have to do! From a blog that used to update once a month - this might become a daily thing :)

Today started off with another small bleeding episode but luckily it stopped. Just to be negative for a second- I have to have IV access at all times "just in case" and my IV went bad. The thought of having to get a new IV every 18 hours (since that is how long this one lasted) is certainly not a fun idea! I have also been blessed with awful veins!

To continue the negativity for a second, I get meds at 0600, 0900, 1200, 1800, 2100 and midnight. The baby's heart rate and my contractions have to be monitored for one hour, three times a day at 10 pm, 6 am, and 2 pm. This means my hours to sleep at night are midnight (after my med) until 6 am. During that time I have to wear these cuffs on my legs to help with circulation that continuously inflate and deflate.

Final negative thoughts - I will miss a church service in honor of my dad, my cousin's graduation, a family party on mother's day, my girl's last day of school, my girl's night time routine every night, my cousin's open house, a massage that I had scheduled, a weekend of visitors from Ohio, pillow talk with my hubby, etc.

Wah, Wah, Wah.... I work in the NICU - things could be worse. I have two/three healthy children - things could be worse. I have a wonderful, loving, supportive husband - things could be worse. I am "stuck" in a place where I have lots of wonderful people working right down the hall (and upstairs) - things could be worse. I have excellent, stress-free childcare for my girls (thanks to amazing family and friends) - things could be worse. I get made-to-order meals delivered to me every meal AND I don't have to do the dishes - things could be worse!

Point being that I am not going to look at this in a pitty party sort of way... at least not today. Disclaimer is thrown out there if they put me on Magnesium (and I lose my mind a bit) or I have a down day every now and then. Hopefully I will look back on this blog entry and realize that this is a time to enjoy every kick, every heartbeat I hear on the monitor, everything!

Feeling blessed and thankful each passing day...
Weeks: 32 weeks + 5 days
Goal: 23 more days to go!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Baby Jacob Update

I have a typical structure when it comes to posting updates on our blog. This one is going to be a little different.... a little more candid, straight-from-the-heart blog entry.

I am 32 weeks and 4 days pregnant. To a NICU nurse, that is great. To a mom, that is still a very scary gestational age.

As some of you may know, I was diagnosed at 18 weeks with a complete previa. This means my placenta is covering my cervix which is problematic if I contract/labor because that means the placenta would come out before baby and pose a huge risk to baby and myself. We rechecked the placenta at 28 weeks and it had improved but still slightly problematic. The symptom they told me to watch for was any spotting or bleeding.

I woke up at 4:05 am this morning and without going into too much detail, easily noticed the one symptom I was advised to watch for. I don't know that I have ever been more scared in a pregnancy than I was this morning. Pete was calm, cool, and collected - he was amazing!

We came into the hospital and had some tests done including an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that the placenta was back to being a complete previa (i.e. the placenta was completely covering my cervix) and was most likely the cause of my pregnancy scare. The bleeding has stopped and now I am just sitting here in a hospital bed listening to that beautiful baby's heart beat. On the ultrasound, Jake measured 4 lbs 10 oz and was doing "practice breathing" which they assured me was a great sign.

The doctor has informed me that I am hospital bound for the remainder of the pregnancy. I am really hoping to make it to 35 weeks but would be ecstatic for anything after that. I have decided that each passing day is another day that he has grown and remained healthy in utero. I am trying to be as positive as possible because the LAST thing I need to do is stress about all of this. "Try and relax" is what they keep telling me....what a joke! But I will try...

I miss Claire and Grace already. They are so much fun to watch and I just feel bad for what the next weeks will bring. Don't get me wrong...we have excellent family and friends and there are so many people that have stepped up and are willing to help. We are SO grateful for that. Selfishly though, I am still sad its not me. I know right now I just need to focus on Jake - he is the child that needs me the most right now.

I will continue to keep you updated - I have nothing but time on my hands :)

I think I will be bored the next few weeks so phone calls are welcome/appreciated
(317-415-7512).
Any visitors are also welcome...

Prayers are greatly appreciated!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

April 2011

April was a very busy month. For the first weekend, we went to Ohio and celebrated Claire's brithday with our Ohio family and friends. It was a great day and Claire had a blast. Then, we celebrated my dad's birthday by doing a balloon release at his gravesite and then having a nice family dinner back at our apartment. It was a nice celebration but still a very difficult day for everyone. The girls continue to go to school every Monday and Thursday and really enjoy it. We went to church on Easter and then had breakfast with my family. Then, we went to dinner and had an Easter egg hunt and Frank and Jan's house. It was a great day! We ended our month the best way possible...we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family! Keith and Debbie welcomed little Allison Catherine into the world on April 27th. She weighed 6lbs 12oz and is 21 inches long. Claire and Grace have met her once and did a good job only touching her feet - they were in awe and did a lot of staring.


Claire update: Continues to be a busy bee but has become a wonderful communicator. She is so polite and says "please, thank you, no thank you, bless you," etc. She loves to show Grace how things work and what noises animals make. We are still working on potty training. We expected her to regress with my dad's passing and expect some trouble when Jake is born but we are hoping she will continue to potty fine - she just doesn't like to go #2 on the potty!


Grace update: Continues to be a mellow kiddo. Her latest thing is whenever you upset her (i.e. tell her no or discipline in any way) she runs away crying and then drops to her knees and buries her head into the floor. At home, I ignore it, but in public it is a real treat to deal with! :) She is communicating better - she understands so much but still doesn't verbalize too much. I am sure it is hard to get a word in with big sis around!


Jacob Update: On April 6th, we had an ultrasound to see if my placenta was in a better place and it was OK but still problematic. I will have another ultrasound in May. Our little man was measuring 3lbs 3 oz. On April 23rd I went into some sort of labor and had contractions every 3 minutes. Luckily I was at work so I just walked over to triage. It took them about 6 hours to slow my contractions down and get my blood pressure regulated but I am now off work for the rest of the pregnancy and supposed to "take it easy." (How do you do that with two toddlers? Ha!)


The following are pictures from Easter...


















Jacob continues to grow




Daddy and his girls


Claire and Grace coloring a picture for their new cousin Allison


Claire and Grace like to play in Claire's room and we often find them reading with chairs pulled up onto the bed.




Grace has started to say "cheese" whenever I get the camera out


Aunt Beth reading to Claire and Grace


Claire relaxing in mom and dad's bed


I took the girls out for ice cream for a little "Girl's Night Out"



Our little engiNERD :)




With potty training, we often have to pull over in the middle of errands for her to jump out of her seat and go in the potty chair we have in the car...classy! :)


Mmmmmm....doritos! Wholesome dinner?




Claire LOVES going to the grocery store




This is how we march out of school every Monday and Thursday - Grace has to have the lunch box and Claire has to have the backpack.


See? Grace DOES whine!





Ready for school!










Grace pushing Claire in a shopping cart..who knows??




Allison Catherine and her proud parents


Balloon release on April 5th for my Daddy-O


As Claire let go of hers she yelled out "Here ya go, Grandpa!"


The following are pictures from Claire's birthday party in Ohio














Claire and Grace holding hands