Posts Tagged ‘Baby’

Resident Baby

As much as she resembles her big brother, little Maisie definitely has her own preferences and personality.

During the last month, we have adjusted to a new normal. We have watched this new person “wake up” from her days-long newborn slumber and start to recognize voices, focus on objects and faces and give us a handful of teaser smiles. (We can’t wait for the real reactionary ones!)

  

Maisie has met and spent time with a lot of people in the last 5 weeks. She appears to enjoy hearing chatter and conversation and has demonstrated her own version of FOMO – she won’t sleep if she hears fun dialogue around her! Once she IS asleep, however, she is extremely difficult to wake.

I can’t successfully wake her to eat every 3 hours, and at first we were a little concerned about her weight. We went to the pediatrician three times before she started to gain a few ounces, and now she’s up a pound from her birth weight. But she doesn’t have nearly the appetite Wesley did. I felt like he nursed every 45 minutes for the first 3 months, and that’s probably not an exaggeration by much.

It’s been fun to reminisce and compare notes to our previous experience.

Wes Maisie
Birth Stats: 8 lbs; 21″ 8 lbs, 1 oz, ; 21″
One Month Stats: 11 lbs; 22.5″ (75th percentile) 9 lbs, 2 oz, ; 21.5″ (38th percentile)
Swaddling: Mandatory Indifferent
Pacifier: Indifferent Indifferent
Feeding: ~1 hour; cluster feeds ~3 hours; cluster feeds at night
Sleeping: Sleeps most of the day & 4-5 hours at night Difficult to fall asleep but sleeps for 4 consecutive hours
Tummy Time: Screams bloody murder Tolerates
Baths: Dislikes Dislikes
GI: Limited gas and spit up Poops so much; lots of burps

Wesley has discovered a few things about his sister, too.

“She likes when I talk to her.”

“You say you’re feeding her, but it’s really drinking milk.”

He thinks he taught her some of her baby reflexes, and it’s too cute to correct him. “Mama! Look! I taught my baby sister how to grab my finger!”

Our family walks are even better now with a little one in tow, and she stops fussing when we’re on the move – either on foot or in the car. Except for a very long 45-minute walk around downtown Chicago last weekend during her prime cluster feed time. Whew, that was rough.

Also rough? Her inability to stay asleep until just about midnight. She cluster feeds from 7-10, usually dosing off several times. But once I lay her on her back, she promptly wakes up and fusses to nurse until she falls asleep again. The cycle continues for several hours, and I’ve caught up on my reading. Thankfully once asleep, she and I get a good 5 hours in before she wakes to eat again.

She tried a bottle for the first time last week. It took a few minutes to get the hang of it, haha.

All that food comes out en force, and she stained so many onesies before I realized it was time to move up a diaper size. She’s still wearing newborn onesies, though sleepers and some outfits are becoming snug. I sorted through the 0-3 month clothes this week and pulled out a few new items to add to the rotation. And based on a friend’s suggestion, I put the extra newborn size diapers and the outgrown sleepers aside for doll clothes. Brilliant.

I took a few photos when she turned one month old. Admittedly I haven’t taken nearly as many as I did of Wesley. Poor second child (or “second born” as Wes likes to say).

We love our little pimple-faced, skin-peelly Nugget, Stink Pot, Fuss Bucket, Little Miss, Maisie Girl.

Posted: September 20th, 2018
Categories: Leah
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One Week Old

We’ve achieved a handful of small accomplishments this week, but mostly we’ve just loved on little Maisie.

(Isn’t this mermaid tail, made by my dear friend Jordan, the sweetest?! She has been gifted additional tails to grow into as well – perfect for our monthly photos!)

HIGHLIGHTS / EVENTFUL THINGS OF THE WEEK:

  • We had our first family outings: pediatrician appointment, Saturday farmers market, church and a Target run today, and a family walk with the dogs (although I think I overexerted myself and am now couch-bound for the immediate future).
  • We have been showered with gifts, meals, cards and messages from colleagues, family members, neighbors, church families and countless friends. We feel the love, folks! Thank you.

MAISIE’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Won the hearts of her family members.
  • Slept – she sleeps SO MUCH with the exception between 9 p.m-1 a.m. when she’s alert and wants to cluster feed.
  • Met her quota of feedings and diaper changes according to hospital recommendations.

Jake has to be close at all times.

WESLEY’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Received an A+ rating from Steven on his eager and helpful performance as a big brother.
  • Jumped into and swam in the deep end of the pool.
  • Made several notable wise decisions and is adjusting to a baby sibling better than expected.

STEVEN’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Waited on me 24/7, but didn’t make me feel like an invalid.
  • Surprised me with our wedding cake for our 11th anniversary.
  • Successfully made Maisie sleep or poop while holding her, every time.

LEAH’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Dropped 15 of the 30 lbs gained!
  • Identified two of Maisie’s cries based on the Dunstan Baby Language (“neh” = hunger; “eh” = gassy).
  • Survived the beginning pains of breastfeeding – though she and I still have a lot to accomplish before it’s second nature and doesn’t hurt like whoa.

The morning after the first night at home: still alive!

Wesley is still on Cloud 9 about his new sister. He has enjoyed having visitors come to see Maisie because he gets to show her off and then play with friends. The last couple days have been more difficult for him as he realizes that we can’t give him all of our attention anymore. He’s not jealous, but he’s having trouble being independent and finding his own fun without getting himself into trouble.

However, he loves to snuggle in close when I’m nursing, and he talks about his future with Maisie. He is incredibly tender toward her, and he is empathetic about my body’s healing – offering to reach something and asking how I’m feeling.

Wes: Maisie! Maisie! Oh, look, I made her smile!
Me: She is looking for you; she knows your voice.
Wes: Do you think she likes me more than you?
Me: I think she likes us both.
Wes: Yeah, you’re the one feeding her. I just can’t believe she’s actually here!
Me: Me neither, Buddy. She’s pretty great, isn’t she?
Wes: I just love her so much that I could cry!
Me: Oh, me, too, Bud.
Wes: Look, we’re both crying now!

We are so thankful for this little surprise person. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17

Posted: August 19th, 2018
Categories: Leah
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Getting to Know You

She’s been a surprise all along, and she continues to astonish us. Maisie Gale was born four days early on August 12, 2018. She weighs 8 lbs, 1.3 oz and is 21″ long. She just barely beat her brother’s stats – by an ounce and an inch.

I woke from a dream at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, feeling a trickle fall down my legs. I knew it wasn’t an accident, but I went to the bathroom anyway, and lost more fluid on the bathroom floor. Honestly I was slightly annoyed because I had planned to work in the office most of this week, but I was equally amused that it actually happened like all the text books say. (My water didn’t break with the first pregnancy.) I woke Steven up and told him I would finish packing and call the hospital.

As I went downstairs to call my parents, I noticed that our dog Jake had an accident in the family room. I grabbed some tissue to clean it up, squatted to do so, and the flood gates opened. I nearly clogged the half bath after flushing down so much toilet paper from both accidents. And then I went back upstairs to change clothes for the third time.

Mom and Dad hurried over to house/Wes-sit for the early morning hours while we went to the hospital, registered and checked into triage. Within an hour, we were in our room, where we waited for my contractions to gain in intensity. I was about 4cm dilated when we arrived, and hardly felt the every-2-minute contractions. No one tells you that the amniotic fluid keeps escaping after your water breaks. It was quite annoying and uncomfortable to sit in a constant puddle, but there you have it.

Because of the fast progression of Wesley’s birth, the nurses encouraged me to go ahead and get an epidural after we had waited a few hours. I wasn’t in much pain to begin with, and the anesthesiologist complimented me after receiving it: “In 20 years of doing this, I’ve never had a patient ask me questions while getting their epidural. You just made my morning!” When I’m nervous or anxious, I tend to be chatty, so it was the only thing I could do to take my mind away from the stick and pressure of the needle. Steven beamed with pride (and then teased me later).

We got a little rest before my parents and Wes came over to hang out. Wesley’s expression when he entered our hospital room was priceless. He ran up to the side of my bed and put both of his hands over his wide smile: “Mama, I’m SO EXCITED!” The room was perfect and spacious for them to join us. About every 2 hours I had gained another centimeter, so we played the waiting game. It was nice to have company to distract me from the obvious.

To pass the time, Steven made updates to the white board in the room, which has also entertained the nurses on rotation. The board originally said “Have a baby!” under Today’s Plan, and it has periodically changed to “Had a baby!” and “Keep a baby!” Today it said, “Take a baby!” in anticipation of our discharge for home. He later added under Questions for Care Team: “Why is baby?” / “What is baby?” which prompted nervous giggles from staffers.

Around 11:15 I had called the nurse about increased pressure and fluid. She at first didn’t believe me – “maybe in about 50 minutes we’ll be ready to have this baby!” – but after a quick check she changed her mind. She alerted the OB on call (we heard her run down the hallway), Mom and Wes were whisked out the room (Dad went to church earlier that morning while they stayed with us), and all the troops and supplies were wheeled in. By the time they had everything ready, Dad had returned, so he and Mom traded places watching Wes. Mom came in the room just in time to witness the birth.

There’s debate about how many pushes (10?) over how much time in total (20 minutes?), but I was told by a nurse that it was a “perfect birth.” Maisie Gale was born at 11:52 a.m. on a beautiful, sunny day. Steven and I spent the next hour alone with Maisie – our daughter who cried minimally and was extremely alert during those precious first moments.

The extended Shattucks and my sister came that afternoon, and a couple close friends visited yesterday. Everyone agrees: she’s fantastic. We have spent the last couple days getting introduced to each other. A song from the musical King and I has been floating around in my head:

Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you
Getting to like you 
Getting to hope you like me

And she certainly is well-liked! Wesley, who she resembles (it’s unreal by how much!), is becoming a pro at holding her, “teaches” others how to keep her warm and safe, and has told everyone who will listen about his new baby sister.

It’s sweet to see Steven with his little girl. He snuggles her close and teases her in his endearing way. Our quiet evenings are my favorite time to watch them.

We’re smitten. It’s so nice to finally meet you, Ms. Maisie. Welcome to the family.

Haven’t you noticed
Suddenly we’re bright and breezy? 
Because of all the beautiful and new 
Things we’re learning about you 
Day by day

More photos of Maisie’s first days!

Posted: August 14th, 2018
Categories: Leah
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Baby Name Reveal 2

So here we are. Since announcing our news, I’ve felt like it’s become more real. I’m just barely considered “advanced maternal age” for this pregnancy, but also given family conditions, I was asked to consider genetic screening. At 11ish weeks, I had a chromosomal blood test which came back low-risk. They were also able to tell us the gender of this baby: GIRL!

I’m to follow up semi-regularly at the high-risk OB so they can keep close tabs on little girl in this so-called geriatric body. I’ve already had two ultrasounds, and we have our upcoming 20-week ultrasound later this month – which will take approximately one hour. At that appointment, they’ll check each organ to make sure everything looks ship-shape. It’s comical to me to be considered old high-risk when my doctor isn’t even slightly concerned about our health (post test results). I don’t mind the extra attention, however, and it’s fun to see the baby more often.

13 weeks 4 days

Steven and I went to a childbirth refresher class a few weeks ago. It was designed for people like us who need some reminders because it’s been several years since the last go-around. I was surprised at how much has changed in hospital procedure and found the class really helpful. Steven was such a tease the entire evening and made me chuckle with nervous laughter. He is so good at calming my ridiculous fears and making me smile.

Testing out the peanut ball in childbirth class!

The majority of the time, we’re excited and anticipating the sweetness of the change. The boys especially. Other times, panic sets in and I start to doubt myself: can I do this? How could I possibly love this child as much as I love my first? How does this affect my professional life? Can I get back into shape after she’s born?

I’ve been so much more tired than I remember with Wesley, and baby brain has already set in. I’ve made so many ridiculous decisions that are now embarrassing to admit. I am sappy and cry easily, and the boys hide their giggles while trying to console me. “The baby is making you cry again, huh, Mama?”

Thankfully I am surrounded by people, including Steven and Wes, who are thrilled and encouraging. My favorite reactions have been from our immediate family: shock followed by total delight. All three of our nieces are excited to have another girl around.

Besides fatigue and hormone-craziness, I feel great. I’m kicking rear-end in my fitness classes and still achieving personal records. I hope to maintain this stamina as long as I can – my goal is up through 36 weeks. So far, things have been easy for us. And one of the easiest things was selecting baby girl’s name.

We had a running list of girl names when planning one for Wesley, so we went back to the start. Steven actually picked the names this time; he knew as soon as we confirmed my pregnancy. To go along with the nautical-themed nursery, this child needed a similar themed name.

Maisie Gale.

Maisie was a top favorite of mine if Wesley was a girl, and Steven gravitated to it. I love its cuteness that can grow into maturity. It means “pearl.” I particularly like Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series – the main character is generous, humble and persistent. I started reading this series while on our honeymoon and have followed Maisie throughout her journey from poverty to WW1 to self-employment. Our Maisie is our pearl in which we hope will become a loving member of her future community.

Gale is the spelling we chose to reflect ocean winds, hence the nautical theme. It means “joy of the father” and “pleasant, merry.” A gale is a forceful wind, too, so a little bit of independence in her personality may be expected.

Steven’s initial reaction when I showed him a positive pregnancy test was a large, goofy smile. When we learned the gender, he chanted “Maisie Gale” around the house and made us all laugh. This baby is dearly loved and known by her father.

Though we didn’t expect her arrival, she is most welcome and anticipated. You’re loved, Maisie Gale!

Our niece, Elli, created this painting after hearing her gender and name

 

Posted: March 4th, 2018
Categories: Leah
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Favorite Things

I like raindrops & roses, but I hate it when “Favorite Things” plays during Christmastime. Brown paper packages tied up with string does NOT constitute a Christmas song. Whatev. In honor of the first month with a baby, I thought I’d critique a just a few of the massive number of baby items we’ve achieved for The Kid.

BOPPY PILLOW

I know everyone registers for one of these anyway, but seriously, this thing is awesome. I can easily feed Wes while I’m typing away on this blog post. I can set him down next to me on the couch if he just needs a little “him” time. I can take adorable photos of him. And I know it will be useful when he starts to really use his neck muscles.

BOUNCER CHAIR

Doesn’t matter what brand or design you use. I love having one because I can tote him around the house if I’m going to be in any certain room for any length of time (example: taking a shower). We don’t always snap the toy bar in place, but I will say that it’s a great dog-detterant.

OOP-C! BURP RAG/BIB

It’s kind of an extravagant purchase, but thanks to my cousins, I own this cute burp rag that can also serve as a bib when Wes is a little bigger. I guess I like it mostly because of its size and terrycloth texture. I find myself running to get this item more than any old receiving blanket or other spit-up cleaner-upper.

SOOTHIE PACIFIER

Yep, the glorious one given to us in the hospital is still his favorite! We’ve tried a few other brands, but he seems to like this one best – and he can keep it in his mouth for the longest period of time. The only downside is that this model isn’t compatible with the paci holder clip things, but we manage anyway.

HUGGIES LITTLE SNUGGLERS DIAPERS

Until he regulates his diaper changing schedule, we’re using up the many disposable diapers we received. From there, we’ll start introducing cloth diapers into the mix. Compared to Pampers, Luvs and even other types of Huggies diapers, we like the Little Snugglers version best. He’s a massive eater, which means it all comes out in one swoop – these seem to cause the least amount of clothes changes and use of wipes.

MEDELA LANOLIN

Lansinoh has a version of their own lanolin, but I like the Medela brand’s lanolin much better. The consistency is much easier to handle and apply when you’re sore. Enough of that.

TUMMY TUB

Another extravagant purchase (thankfully, a Twitter friend is letting me borrow hers!), this infant-to-toddler bath is unique in that the baby sits in a bucket-like tub resembling utero. I think I’ll like this even more when Wes can hold up his head on his own.

THE WONDER WEEKS – Van de Rijt, Plooij

I know there’s a million books out there about how to raise a kid, but this book has been helpful in looking ahead at when I should be prepared for certain fussy periods. I haven’t yet read BabyWise or Happiest Baby on the Block, so I can’t comment on how it compares.

MILK-SAVER

Fantastic way to save additional milk as you’re nursing on one side.

ANGELCARE MONITOR

Saves us the trouble of knowing that yes, indeed, he’s breathing while he’s sleeping. I’m sure I sleep better at night knowing this!

OTHER THINGS:

  • Kindle – easier to read one-handed while multitasking.
  • Amazon Prime – stuff comes within 2 days, but we’ve received most orders the next day. Awesome!
  • Netflix – you gotta get it if you don’t have it yet. Forget about the soaring prices. All you need is the streaming version, anyway.
  • Ninja – good for making smoothies now (nursing health) and great for making baby food later.
  • Baby Bunny Book Bag – Marion County Library’s grab bag of books for infants 0-24 months. No due date, no fees, bag of age-appropriate books with a surprise factor!
  • GreenBEAN Delivery – Saves me a trip to the store.
  • Newdaynewdeals.com – Updated daily; gives coupon codes and highlights of all the daily deal sites geared for families.
  • Babydealsdujour.com – Similar to above.

NOT SO CRAZY ABOUT:

  • The First Years Breastflow Bottles – good concept (tries to mimic nursing for less confusion), but you can tell how annoyed Wes gets when using them. I finally just took out the inner nipple, which defeats the purpose.
  • Baby Trend car seat – I love the lightness of the seat, the design and the compactness, but the straps are ridiculously hard to adjust. When you have a growing baby that needs adjusting EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU PUT HIM IN THE SEAT, you get mad at said car seat.
  • Swaddling blankets & sleepers – I think it’s just too hot for our warmblooded baby. He sweats right through them.
  • Infantino Easy Rider baby carrier – Bought at a yard sale, and it’s an old design. Can’t figure out how to adjust it, and I’m terrified I’ll drop the baby.
  • Sleepers with snaps – No comment needed.

I’m sure I’ll be trying more things as he gets older and his development allows us to use more toys and gadgets. If you have any must try items for recommendation, I’d love to hear them!

Posted: August 16th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Welcome home, GrumpFace!

Beware, this is likely to be a rather winded post. End disclaimer.

Wesley Matthew

THE STORY

Waiting for Wesley to arrive was a little difficult, only because I was so far progressed. If you read past posts, you knew that I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced at my 40-week appointment. Doc was convinced I was delivering over the weekend, but we scheduled an induction for Monday morning if that didn’t happen. To pass the time, we went to see Harry Potter 7.2 the day after D Day (thank you, Wes! That shows your love for me.) and walked around the mall and downtown to encourage his arrival.

That evening, I started having mild but regular contractions that lasted all night long, preventing me from sleeping much at all. Waking up on Saturday morning, they had completely stopped. Not fair. Disappointed and hot, we just stayed in on Saturday, thinking that labor was imminent. I had a similar night with regular contractions to keep me up, only to have them stop Sunday morning. I was so tired and bummed that we just skipped church and watched bad TV all day. After dinner and ice cream with my parents, I was anticipating another evening like the last two, but the contractions only got stronger and longer. We were already scheduled for an induction at 6 a.m., so we headed to the hospital, taking bets on how far dilated I had become.

After checking in and signing paperwork in between contractions, the nurse announced with disbelief that I was a whopping 6 cm and completely effaced. She said, “I guess we won’t be needing Pitocin for you!” She brought in my doc, who was pleased that I had waited until he was available to deliver this baby. Doc said I would have a baby in my arms by 11 a.m., and my response was, “Awesome! I can eat lunch!”

I got an epidural about an hour after arriving at the hospital, and within another hour and a half, I was already pushing. I was super blessed to only have to do 40 minutes of actual pushing – feeling very little pain or pressure. In fact, once Doc came in to deliver Wes, I only had 2 major pushes. He decided to arrive with a bang, and I remember seeing an entire body escape at what seemed like 20 mph – leaving all the nurses dumbfounded at how fast he came into this world.

Wesley Matthew was born at 10:39 a.m. on July 18, 2011. He weighed 8 lbs, 0.4 oz and was 20″. He looks a little like me, but is a healthy mixture of both of our mothers’ sides of their families. He’s got a cute little old man scowl, which I’ve affectionately nicknamed GrumpFace.

Lucy greets Wes for the first time

THE DOGS

Jake and Lucy have been rock star dog-sibilings! I was overly anxious about how they would react to him, but as Steven usually says, I was being unreasonable. They were anticipating something great was about to happen, and their welcoming licks and kisses just about made my heart melt.

Wesley is part of the pack. Jake has already claimed his legs & feet for lounging upon, and he repeatedly shares my lap with Wes as he’s feeding. Lucy lays down next to him during tummy time. She loves to watch him through the rungs of the bassinet while he’s sleeping. And there is no lack of doggie kisses! They both give his feet some lovin’ whenever they get a chance.

The next step is attempting a walk with the entire family. This has yet to be accomplished since it’s been so freakishly hot and humid. Once it gets below 95 degrees, perhaps we’ll be able to make use of our awesome jogging stroller!

My little rhino

FIVE DAYS LATER

I gave birth to a champ. He’s super strong, a great eater and has allowed us to sleep 4-5 consecutive hours for 3 nights in a row. (Fingers crossed it stays this way!) I’m increasingly amazed at how natural it is to care for a little human. I may not be doing everything I should be doing, but he doesn’t know any better and probably doesn’t even care. Obviously he’s content – proven by the fact that he has a slight smirk on his sleeping face at the moment.

The visits with friends and family have been great. Everyone loves this little guy! We have some wonderful people in our lives. I’ve definitely felt the affects of all the prayers given to us. Our week has been nothing but fun and special. We are blessed!

If you’d like to see more photos of Wes, his big first day and beyond, visit Steven’s flickr. I’m sure we’ll be updating it frequently as he grows and changes. We have a son!

 

Posted: July 22nd, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Dear Wesley (a pep talk)

Jake & Lucy waiting patiently

Dear Wesley,

I know you’re officially only 2 days “late,” and it must be nice and warm, comfortable and entertaining with all the gurgles and whooshing sounds surrounding you. I promise, however, it’s very nice out here in the world, and your father and I are so looking forward to introducing you all kinds of new discoveries out here.

Admittedly, I’m a little cranky this morning because I didn’t sleep well. It’s not your fault, I know, but mild, intermittent contractions for 12 hours last night got me excited that you were on your way. When they stopped suddenly this morning, I was disappointed that I would have to wait longer to see you and hold your tiny little hands.

We may have to wait until Monday to look upon your face, but I thought I’d give you once last little nudge to see if today or Sunday might be a possibility. Think about it, but don’t force yourself into something that will harm you.

You are loved tremendously already; I can only imagine how that love will grow when we finally have the chance to snuggle, laugh and grow with you!

Love, Mom

Posted: July 16th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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D Day

I woke up this morning thinking my water had broken overnight. You know, this is the first time I’ve ever been pregnant, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Since today is the official due date, I had an appointment scheduled in the late afternoon anyway, but my doc wanted to see me earlier to check out if the sac had indeed broken. FALSE ALARM. Who knows what it was – perhaps Wes’ head is just sitting on my bladder too well, or maybe I was really hot? Gross. Either way, no baby on D Day.

However, the good news is that I’m now 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Wes has dropped considerably lower at -1, so all that galloping around the house yesterday must have done its work! Doc says I should deliver this baby at any time! Wahoo! He said he’d be surprised if I was still pregnant come Monday.

After all my hesitations about preterm, convenient “elective” inductions, I don’t feel so badly about having an induction scheduled for Monday morning if Wesley doesn’t arrive before then. It eases my mind that Doc feels confident I’ll labor fairly soon, and since I’ll be postterm on Monday, an induction doesn’t scare me as much. If Monday rolls around and I’m still pregnant, at least I tried to deliver on my own. I’m not giving up hope just yet.

When my mom was pregnant with my older sister, her water broke just after sharing a dozen donuts and a pot of coffee with my dad. We stopped at Hart Bakery on the way home from my appointment, and I’m now enjoying my 3rd donut and second cup of coffee of the day. No shame.

  • Heartbeat, Measurements, Blood Pressure: Mine was up to the 140s today because of sheer nervousness!
  • Weight Gain: Lost a pound!
  • Movement: Still going strong. I had a stress test completed today, and Wes’ movements looked great. In fact, Doc says, “this is a beautiful baby.”
  • Dilation: 4 cm, 80% effaced, -1
  • Cravings: Fruit smoothies. We’ve been making quite a few with our new Ninja food processor.
  • Moods: Yesterday I was totally bummed there wasn’t a baby in my arms. Today I’m excited that there might be a baby in my arms within a few days.
  • Biggest Gripe: Water didn’t break. I have to admit I just probably had, well, an accident.
  • Biggest Like: Excitement is growing around us. Everyone is thrilled to meet Wesley!
Posted: July 14th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Complicated Morning, Complicated Migraine

On Thursday morning, I lost my peripheral vision in my right eye as I was typing a document. I thought I had just stood up and sat down too fast or something along those lines, so I got up and walked around the office to shake it off. It felt as if I had just walked inside after a bright, sunny day, and my eyes were unable to focus, even though they were not dilated. I called my eye doctor to see if they could check out my eyes that morning, but they were unable to see me until after 5pm that day. After 10 minutes of no recovery, I told one of my coworkers what was happening. By this point, my right eye’s vision was more like specks and floaties – similar to what you see before fainting. I had tried minutes before to tell Steven what was happening via Gchat, and I found that I was typing completely wrong words – not just typos.

My coworkers (bless them), convinced me to call my OB and tell them what was happening. At 34 weeks pregnant, you can’t be too careful. They asked me to get to the office as quickly as possible and to have a coworker drive me there. Laura and I got in the car, and on the way over, I tried to give her directions to the hospital. My nouns were gone. I felt like a person with a dementia diagnosis. I could explain to an extent, but I just couldn’t come up with the correct words to describe. It was scary, frustrating and completely frightening. We knew something was majorly wrong.

By the time we got to the Women’s Center at Community East, my vision had returned, and my speech was improving. They took my blood pressure, which was extremely high, and based on my other strange events, wheeled me to Labor & Delivery to check out my labs and continue monitoring my blood pressure. They were highly concerned it was the onset of preeclampsia.

Thankfully my labs came back normal, and my blood pressure was dropping, but I was contracting every 2 minutes (didn’t feel it at all!), and they decided to keep me for 24 hours just to make sure it wasn’t anything more serious.

The nursing staff was amazing and checked on me periodically to make sure I was comfortable and feeling well. I had a slight headache all day, but I was seeing and speaking fine after the initial episode, which lasted about an hour or so that morning.

My OB came in that evening to debrief his findings. At that point, he wasn’t convinced it was preeclampsia, but he wanted me to stay and talk to a neurologist because though my symptoms didn’t look like an obstetrics issue, pregnant women are more likely to have blood clots, headaches and migraines that can affect many areas in the brain. He ordered an MRI, which turned back normal.

I spent the night and was consistently monitored to watch Wesley’s heartbeat and movements. I’m pleased to say that he’s in wonderful health, and this had no affect on him whatsoever. I enjoyed hearing his little heartbeat, occasional hiccups and watching his heart rate increase as he shifted positions. This monitor definitely opened my eyes to be more aware of My Little Person. He provided much comfort and security during a scary, uncertain few hours.

After a night in a hospital bed, my nurse practitioner came in to tell me that they had talked to the neurologist, and she was going to see me at some point that day to go over her findings and prognosis. If the neurologist was fine with my discharge, then I would be cleared to leave.

Thankfully, the nurses, my OB and NP were growing less worried that it was a pregnancy issue, which helped calm my nervous considerably, and I felt in good health all day. Mom and I enjoyed watching bad shows on TLC all day until the neurologist came.

She had great things to say: if you have had even one migraine in the past (which, I had several in middle and high school years), you are more likely to develop a “complicated migraine,” which can affect cognitive, speech, vision and temporary paralysis. She said that some patients look as if they have had a stroke, when it has, in fact, been a complicated migraine. In addition, pregnancy can make its occurrence even more likely because of increased blood flow, chance of clots, etc.

Even more interesting: Mom had a strange series of events in January that caused areas of her face and arms to go numb for several minutes at a time. She was hospitalized for 3 days to conduct a series of tests to rule out stroke, clots and other more serious issues. Once we brought this to the attention of the neurologist, she said, “That was most likely a complicated migraine as well. In fact, once you start quizzing patients with this particular migraine, you can always find a relative in the family who has had a similar occurrence.”

This was the weirdest, scariest and most frightening situation I have experienced. I now know firsthand what it must be like to live with a dementia diagnosis. My encounters certainly placed me closer to understanding our Guests at Joy’s House. If you haven’t yet seen this youtube clip of a similar situation that happened to a news reporter on air, relive what I experienced briefly on Thursday morning:

I am happy to report that I was discharged around 5pm on Friday, and I do not have preeclampsia. I do have a scheduled EEG next week to double check there isn’t any risk for seizure, but the neurologist is pretty confident of the complicated migraine diagnosis. Most likely, I will not receive another one, but there is a chance, and I have been asked to limit the amount of stress in my life until the baby is born. This doesn’t mean that I can’t resume normal activity, but I have to keep a better eye on my sleep patterns, what I’m consuming and how much I’m doing.

I can’t say enough great words about Community East. They have treated me with the upmost care and respect, and I have great reports on my the nurses in Maternity Services, the MRI techs, the transfer techs, even the room service staff! Some of the nurses pulled me aside when I was discharged, saying that they loved having me on their floor, and they can’t wait to meet little Wesley in 6 weeks!

Thanks to my loving husband, my awesome coworkers (especially Laura, for driving me to the hospital and staying while they figured out where I was headed), my dedicated parents and all the uplifting prayers and support from friends and relatives during my scary few hours in the hospital!

Posted: June 4th, 2011
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , ,
Comments: 4 Comments.

Birth-Mother’s Day

Usually I hate this time of year. While I’m sure my mother was ecstatic to birth me within 3 days of Mother’s Day, I’ve always been slightly more irritable right around my birthday because I knew that one day I would lose a holiday. Today is Mother’s Day, and I’ve been surprised at how many people have wished me a Happy One myself. And you know what? It’s been a wonderful day.

Waffle lunch with Mom & Dad led into a very productive day of yard work and house cleaning. While I was nesting, I felt the baby move and switch positions countless times. I wish I could accurately describe what he feels like to Steven. There’s just no words to describe the movements and flutterings that happen within me.

I think I’m finally getting over those irritations. Yes, I’m sure I will have a morphed celebratory birthday/Mother’s Day once Wes and (hopefully other) kids are older, but I’m getting over it. Tomorrow I’m extending Mother’s Day with my sister, mom, niece and nephew as we travel to visit my grandparents on my day off work. Following tomorrow is my actual birthday. Reflecting back, I love the fact that I can easily spend time with my relatives and family. There are many who are unable to get together as often as we do – or that don’t want to get together – and these back-to-back celebrations are ones that I cherish.

Next year will be quite different. I’m enjoying my last holidays without a baby on my hip, but I know I won’t trade it for the world once Wesley is in our lives. Only 10 weeks remain.

Posted: May 8th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.


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