August 2013

August 2013
Photo by KME Photography

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The craziness continues...

In the last 6 weeks both boys have had strep throat AND an ear infection each, Brecken had a trip to urgent care to find out he had bronchitis, this Monday I was at Children's ER to learn that Griffin is "formula intolerant" AND Brecken went back to the dr yesterday for the recheck of bronchitis and now he has to see an ENT specialist for his chronic nasal congestion - she thinks it's his adenoids causing trouble - UFF DA!!!

So needless to say, those other blog posts I wanted to do just aren't going to happen ;)

Thankfully Griffin's fussiness has been WAY better so I've been getting a little more sleep now (with the exception of the past 3 nights.)

The highlight of the last 6 weeks was definitely Griffin's Baptism on 11-11. I'd love to post pictures but I'd rather snuggle my baby right now :) There are a couple pics on my Facebook page though.

I was originally scheduled to return to work this week, but thankfully we recently rethought that idea and extended my leave by 3 more weeks - I'll now return the week before Christmas. Oh yeah, and DJ started a new job this week! He now works from home, which is a HUGE bonus!

I'm trying to keep this post short, but you're probably wondering what "formula intolerant" means...well Sunday evening Griffin had basically his first formula ever and then had MASSIVE vomiting at every feeding for the next 10 hours even though I had switched back to nursing. I called Children's Hospital in the wee hours Monday morning, and they were worried about him being dehydrated since his diaper had stayed dry for the last 8 hours, so they said I should bring him there to the ER right away. Thankfully he wasn't dehydrated. We were there for several hours as they wanted to see him eat again. When he finally felt like eating again, he of course did just fine there. The doctor said it probably just took that long to get out of his system. He told me not to use that formula again (obviously!) and said if we do formula again, we'd have to go to Nutramigen or Alimentum which are both very expensive! I said, what about soy based formula? He said that with that bad of a reaction, you'll most likely have the same result if he has soy because the proteins are very similar. Apparently, Griffin just can't digest any of the traditional formulas, so we have to get the hypo-allergenic stuff that is broken way down. I talked briefly with our pediatrician yesterday, and she agreed that the same thing would happen with soy because his reaction was so severe. Looks like I'll be continuing to nurse and pump as much as possible...not sure how that will go when I return to teaching! (I had initially planned on cutting back some with nursing/pumping when I return to work to do a combination of breastmilk/formula.)

I overheard a mom at the doctor's office yesterday talking about her severely disabled child, and I think that was God's way of whispering to me....relax, just be thankful for all you have! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finally a new post!

We joyfully introduce...
GRIFFIN ALLEN HOELSCHER
8/23/2012 @ 9:50a.m.
7 pounds, 7 ounces; 21.5 inches
 
Griffin arrived via the scheduled c-section. Sorry for the extremely delayed post for those of you who don't have any other connection with us - we've been a little busy lately ;) I started this post several weeks ago and just never got around to actually finishing it.
 
You can check out a 1 minute slide show of Griffin's "virtual baby announcement" at http://video214.com/play/sN1hSXBPWZ3xJU7CAxSQ0w/s/dark Special thanks to First Day Photo and Abbott Northwestern Hospital for the free photo session and virtual announcement.
 
Here are some additional photos:

Soooooo wonderful to be able to hold a healthy baby right away :)



Brecken enthusiastically said, "He has ears!" :)



Waiting to go home


Getting ready to leave - both boys weighed exactly 7 pounds at discharge
 (Brecken was just 2 1/2 months old at his discharge ;)



We stopped to pick-up big brother and are ready to head HOME as a family of 4 :)
(Brecken was very excited about helping to carry Griffiin)

Now for the details...
Many of you probably can skip reading the details of Griffin's arrival and our adjustment to life with 2 kids... Sometimes I write things on  the blog realizing full-well that many people probably don't really need all of these details; however, I record all of these memories for us to look back on and remember.
 
The first part of the c-section went very well. The surgery was scheduled for 9:30, and I was in the Operating Room a few minutes early. Griffin arrived at 9:50, and I was able to see him up close before he and Daddy went to the nursery. Shortly after they left, I suddenly started feeling quite nauseous. I reported that to the nurse anesthetist, and from there I continued to get worse and eventually started vomiting on the operating table in the middle of abdominal surgery! Apparently the anesthesiologist doctor had left the OR, and they had to track him down so that I could get some meds to help the nausea...but meanwhile I continued to vomit and vomited through much of the rest of the surgery (again all while lying flat on my back in the middle of abdominal surgery!) How they were still able to  perform the surgery, I'm not quite sure! I finally got some meds and was just starting to finally not feel so nauseous when they had finished the c-section and STAPLED my incision shut. I guess some doctors prefer stitches, while others prefer staples. The sound of the stapler (it sounded like a big old construction stapler!) made me nauseous again and I was so ready to be done! However, at that point they still had to remove my cerclage (stitch). With this additional component, the surgery took longer than a usual c-section so I was starting to feel fairly significant pain around my incision while they did the cerclage removal because the spinal block was beginning to wear off some. Ok, I think that's enough surgery details ;) It's amazing how none of this seems to matter once you hold that precious baby in your arms :) I should also say that even though I was disappointed to have to need a c-section, I was very thankful that I didn't have to go through hours of labor and then end up having a c-section!

The first few days of recovery were pretty rough...On day 3, I finally took everyone's advice and started taking 1/2 doses of the "real" pain meds. Up until that point I had only been taking Tylenol/Motrin. It was getting to be such a chore to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, that I decided I better take something stronger. The nurses kept telling me that it is better to take some pain meds and move around than to skip pain meds and just sit in bed all the time. (Many people I know that have gone through c-sections had also told me that walking around helps you heal a lot faster.)

Once I got home, the recovery was still quite rough for a few days. I quickly realized on night one that getting in and out of bed multiple times a night for feedings was just NOT going to happen because it hurt WAY too much, so I ended up sleeping in that lovely recliner that I spent so much quality time with during my 2 months of bedrest. I could get in and out of the recliner easier and with less pain than I could the bed. The worst part about having a c-section was that I really couldn't play with Brecken much for the first week or so afterwards. I obviously couldn't get down on the floor with him or make it down the stairs to play in his toy room. This was really hard because I had been out of commission so long with bedrest, then I was back for a few weeks, and then out of commission once again after the c-section. I felt so bad for Brecken. I was busy taking care of Griffin much of the time anyway, but it would've been nice to do something special with Brecken whenever I did have the chance. After the first week or two though, I quickly made huge improvements and didn't really have any pain at all.

Here are a few quotes from Brecken during the first week Griffin was home:
Griffin was in his baby swing the first evening we were home, and Brecken asked, "Can I give him an underdog?" Thankfully he ASKED first!!!

Brecken has been going to daycare part-time to hold his spot, and when he got home one of the first days, he asked, "How come he's still here?" I'm not sure if he thought Griffin wasn't with us for good, or if he was just wondering why Griffin didn't go to daycare with him.

One day Brecken woke up from his nap, sat up in bed and asked, "Is baby brother bigger now?" Yup Brecken, while you were napping, Griffin turned into a 2-year-old ;)


The first 3 weeks or so after Griffin's arrival, we were on cloud nine as we were just so thrilled to all be at home together instead of having a baby in the NICU! Everything really seemed sooooo much easier than it was when Brecken came home from the hospital, as we didn't have a heart monitor, didn't have to mix all of the milk with fortifier, and we didn't have endless dr appointments to go to.  But then....Griffin's acid reflux started :( We've had a few rough weeks with the reflux because he spits up all the time and starts fussing (and often screaming!) mid-way through most feedings. The reflux also causes him to make all of these loud throat noises that keep me awake even when it's not feeding time. We've moved him to his own room across the hall and don't use the baby monitor, but we still hear him loud and clear. I think for over 2 weeks straight I didn't sleep at all from about 2a.m.-6a.m.! Then I would sometimes catch an hour or two of sleep before DJ had to leave for work.

After we had the reflux almost under control, Brecken came down with a cold which we later found out was strep throat (even though he once again didn't have a fever.)  The only reason I even took him to the dr that Monday was because he eventually said that his throat hurt. Throughout that week Griffin seemed rather uncomfortable because he was really squirmy and had even more loud grunts despite the fact that he was asleep. However, this wasn't really anything new at all, so I just figured it was his acid reflux acting up...BUT I took him into the doctor that Friday to find out that he also had strep throat AND an ear infection at just 8-weeks old! The dr had told me Monday when I was there with Brecken that for Griffin I should watch for a fever or not eating in case he would catch the strep throat. Well he didn't have either one of those symptoms...apparently I have very asymptomatic children! This is very nice in some ways, but it's also very frustrating because I never know when they're really sick. The following Tuesday though is when Griffin suddenly started almost refusing to eat. I wasn't sure if the antibiotics weren't working for him, or if something else was wrong. I took him to the doctor again, and she thinks he was just overdue for a dose increase for his acid reflux med since he has grown so much since we started it. Today he seems to be eating pretty good, but there is a whole lot of screaming with each feeding :( She said it could take a few days for the increase to fully take affect, so hopefully he rounds the corner soon.

Ok, enough rambling, despite the fact that the last month has been pretty hectic, I feel truly blessed to have these two incredible boys and a husband that helps out a lot! It is so much fun watching Brecken interact with his brother. You can tell that Brecken truly adores him and can't wait for him to get bigger so they can play together (and only has a few moments of jealousy...usually during feeding times.) Griffin has also just recently started to coo and smile which is lots of fun, too!

I still hope to post soon about Brecken's 3rd birthday and his excellent check-up at Children's, as well as post Griffin's 1-month stats and some more pictures. Hopefully it won't be over 2 months before the next post again! 


Friday, August 17, 2012

Loving my freedom!

I have been off of bedrest for almost 3 weeks now, and I've been taking full advantage of it! Brecken and I have enjoyed LOTS of fun time together. We've gone to the park, played outside, and have had quite a few play dates too. Last weekend we went to a Hoelscher family gathering and then headed down to the Twins game for perhaps our final big outing as a family of 3 (kind of bittersweet.) Today Brecken and I went to an indoor park that is in the same building as DJ's work, and then we had lunch with Daddy :) I've also been a cleaning machine - I've vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the fridge, scrubbed floors, done laundry, dusted our blinds, etc. (Hmmm...nesting maybe?) I've also made several meals to put in the freezer so that we have one less thing to worry about in those first days after baby is born. Somewhere in there I also have been to school a few times to set up my classroom because I don't feel it's fair to leave that a complete disaster for my sub. As you can see, I have definitely NOT been taking it easy since my bedrest ended and still no baby. Hmmmmm....were those 2 months of bedrest REALLY necessary?! Sometimes that thought crosses my mind, but at the same time I'm glad the doctors took full precautions because it really wasn't worth risking the situation. Since Brecken was born 3-months early, I know just how awful that long road is and I KNOW that it isn't worth the risk of going through a similar experience with baby #2. Also, I still have the cerclage (stitch) in place which I think is making a BIG difference right now...if they would've taken that out at 36 weeks as planned, I highly doubt that I would still be sitting here pregnant 3 weeks later. Some people have asked me if I'm ready to be done with being pregnant....the truth is that I really don't feel that way at all. Yes, at almost 39 weeks, I'm starting to get quite XL and a bit uncomfortable, but I am just SO happy that baby didn't come right after my bedrest was done because now I've actually been able to enjoy a few weeks of my summer by spending some much needed quality time with Brecken. I know that my life is about to change drastically, and I'm just so thankful that I've had a short period of normalcy before the new addition to our family arrives.

Some final updates...I had another check-up this week and baby was still breech. I have one final appointment this Tuesday, and then Thursday is the BIG day (my scheduled c-section)! We're VERY excited to meet this baby, and I am sooooo thrilled that I'll be able to hold this baby in my arms very soon after his birth, AND we'll get to take him HOME with us! :) Praise God!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quotes from Brecken

Brecken continues to make us laugh each and every day! This weekend I came downstairs to find DJ and Brecken playing ping pong on the floor. Brecken looked up at me and said, "You can't play Mommy. It's just the guys!" DJ said, "Why can't Mommy play?" Then Brecken responded, "I just teasing you Mommy. You can play with us. Here is a ping pong paddle for you."

Later in the day, I was playing with Brecken in the toy room. He asked me to sit on his giant stuffed horse with him. I sat down and he said, "No Mommy, you're going to squish him!" About 10 minutes later, I was sitting on the little chair in his toy room and he said, "Mommy, you can't sit there. You're going to break it." I think Brecken is lucky he's so darn cute otherwise he might be in trouble! Maybe we should work on politeness with him a little ;)

Then tonight at the dinner table, this was a conversation between DJ and Brecken:
Brecken: Why is that fly keep landing on me?
DJ: I don't know; you must be sweet.
Brecken: No, I not sweet. I cute!

Gotta love all the cute things that kids say!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

C-section is scheduled

I had my doctor appointment this morning, and baby is still breech. The C-section has now been scheduled for Thursday, August 23rd (4 days before my due date). Again,  if I go into labor before then, they'd have to do the C-section at that time if he's still breech. Or...if he turns between now and Aug. 23 (keep praying :), then we'd cancel the C-section and he'd just be born whenever he's ready. We shall wait and see...

If he comes earlier than the 23rd, DJ or I (probably DJ ;) will post a brief note to let everyone know. So if you don't hear anything, you can assume he hasn't arrived yet. (We're just as surprised as everyone else that after two months of bedrest, here we are a week later and no sign of baby yet.) By the way, yesterday marked 37 weeks so I am officially full term now - yipppppeeeee!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Decision Time

Well we opted not to do the version/turning procedure that would try to move baby head down sooooo unless baby turns on his own, I'll be having a scheduled C-section. Obviously if I go into labor before then, they'll have to do the C-section at that point (assuming baby is still breech) instead of waiting until the scheduled date. I still have the stitch in place (and will have it until the C-section) so if I start going into labor, I will need to head to the hospital immediately. They do NOT want you to labor on that stitch, so I'd have to head to the hospital a lot sooner than I would in a normal situation. At my next appointment on Tuesday they will likely schedule the C-section day, unless of course baby turns on his own between now and then. We'll keep praying baby just turns on his own yet - Come on "baby brother"... try out some of these Olympic gymnastic (or diving) moves ;)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Change in Plans

Well I had my appointment this morning, and I still have my cerclage/stitch. The doctor decided not to take it out because baby is still breech. It's pretty unlikely at this point that baby would turn on his own because babies typically find their permanent spot around 32-34 weeks. If they know they're going to do a c-section, they just wait and take the stitch out at the same time as the c-section. However, we're now in a major predicament...the doctor said that they can try and and physically turn the baby by manipulating him from the outside (a procedure called external version), or we can just plan a c-section (unless baby would still miraculously turn). The doctor (same doctor that admitted me to the hospital in my first pregnancy AND delivered Brecken) didn't have a strong opinion one way or the other. Part of me is like, why not at least TRY turning him to have a chance at avoiding a c-section and longer recovery? The worst thing that could really happen is that they'd have to deliver the baby right away IF baby showed signs of distress from the procedure. Well we already know that baby could come at any point as it is, so that doesn't really phase us. However, the other part of me is like...just let whatever happens, happen. If baby miraculously turns on his own, GREAT, if not, then I have a c-section and so be it. It would certainly be easier to NOT have a c-section, but I'm just so thrilled to basically be full-term that I don't care that much how baby comes. The down side of a c-section is obviously the recovery...I don't really know what that would be like, but they say it's like your body just went through major surgery (which would of course be nice to avoid if possible). Ugh...decisions, decisions! We'll keep thinking it over and praying, and I need to call the clinic back later this week to let them know the final decision. IF we try to do the version/turning, they do that around 37 weeks, so that would likely be done down at Abbott next week sometime. I'll keep you posted...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

35 Week Update & Thank you!

First off, here are the pictures I promised of the baby's room including the stripes that DJ did so graciously:

The name will be added on the wall later ;)

Sooooo happy to be at 35 weeks!
It's been a while since I've posted a pregnancy update, but thankfully there really hasn't been much to report. I'm now 35 1/2 weeks pregnant, and after 2 FULL MONTHS of bedrest I am soooo close to finally being done! Sunday will be my official last day of bedrest and then Monday I will be FREEEEEE...I can't wait to spend quality time with Brecken! At that point I'll be 36 weeks and although full-term doesn't technically start until 37 weeks (and my due date isn't until Aug. 27th), they don't do anything to prevent labor once you hit 36 weeks. In fact, at my 34 week appointment, the nurse told us that they don't do anything different when delivering a 36 week baby than they do for a 40 week baby - the NICU team doesn't even come over for the delivery :) The baby would probably still have to go to the "Special Care Nursery" to be monitored for a short time, but hopefully that would be it. I can't even begin to explain how happy that makes me feel after all of this. It has been my goal...well "goal" might not be the right word...it's been my DREAM to be able to hold this baby in my arms when he's born and take him home with us when I'm discharged. However, with the complications I had that started at 27 weeks, my doubt got the best of me and I really wasn't so sure that either of these things would happen. With each week that passed though, I was just so thankful that I was farther along than I was with my first pregnancy and that this baby wouldn't require nearly as long of a hospital stay as Brecken did.

This coming Tuesday, July 31, is a BIG day for us, as that is my next doctor appointment and at that time they will remove the cerclage (stitch) that they placed at the end of my first trimester. After the removal, labor can begin within hours....or it can still be a few weeks! The home nurse that was here earlier this week recommended that I bring my bags along "just in case." I'm really comfortable with either scenario...if baby comes right away, I'm confident that he'll still be healthy (PRAISE THE LORD!) and that is all I really care about at this point. However, if baby holds off for a couple weeks, that is completely fine too because I'm really looking forward to having some quality time with Brecken before baby arrives, and it would also benefit me to have some time off of bedrest to start regaining some of my strength before I have a newborn to take care of! Baby is still in a transversal/ breech position as of Tuesday this week, so hopefully he turns before delivery. Brecken turned just a couple of days before he was born, so I'm hoping this baby will also turn to the correct position. I would rather not have to recover from a C-section on top of recovering from 2 months of bedrest. However, I will be completely thrilled if, like I said before, I can hold my baby after birth and take him home with me. If those two things happen, it would DEFINITELY make every minute of these 9 weeks of bedrest worth it!

We are so relieved to be soooo close to 36 weeks, and we praise God for another miracle! We know that it is only because of Him that I have made it this far after my cervix started thinning and funneling at 27 weeks, and I had that trip to the hospital during week 27 that required me to get a shot to prevent the beginning stages of labor.

Finally, I want to take a minute to say "thank you" to everyone who has helped us out during this difficult time. "Thank you" just isn't enough to express the gratitude that we have for all of the support we've received over these past couple of months. To everyone who has prepared a meal, dropped by for a visit, helped with housework, helped care for Brecken, written an encouraging note, or prayed for our family, we say, "thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!" We couldn't have made it without all of your love and support! I have had many difficult moments emotionally during this lengthy bedrest, and I can't tell you how many times I have felt someone's prayer, or received an encouraging word, or a phone call or visit from a friend at just the right time! We thank God for the many wonderful family and friends He has blessed us with! You have blessed our lives, and we will do our best to pass it on and help out others in a time of need!

God bless you all!
Laura, DJ, Brecken, and "baby brother"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Amazing Husband

I just have to give my husband some credit for the many wonderful things he has been doing over this past month-and-a-half!  He has had a TON on his plate with having to do everything by himself: caring for Brecken (and me too!), doing laundry, grocery shopping, running to dr. appointments, etc, etc, etc! There are a lot of guys out there who probably wouldn't even have a clue how to run a household by themselves, but thankfully D.J. knows how to do laundry, cook, and do the grocery shopping. He has been doing a wonderful job at keeping up with everything and really doesn't complain a bit. I am truly blessed to have him as my husband, and I wouldn't want anyone else by my side during this journey! This weekend though, D.J. was even more fabulous than usual...not only did he do all of the laundry, take care of Brecken, and prepare the meals, but he finished painting the baby's room by adding the stripes that I was really wanting :) The room was painted baby blue when DJ's parents were here a couple weeks ago, and I had honestly become perfectly content with the fact that the room would probably just stay that way because life was just too hectic right now to add anything extra that wasn't necessary. However, D.J. and Brecken went and bought the paint Saturday morning, and then during Brecken's nap time Saturday and Sunday, D.J. taped off the walls and painted the stripes! It looks awesome (I'll post final pictures soon), and it's so nice to have a little more pizazz to the room than just the classic baby blue! Then after he finished painting today, he made a delicious dinner of BBQ ribs and potatoes on the grill, and NOW he is out at Target with Brecken picking up groceries and a whole bunch of other stuff on the mile long list.

We are also incredibly thankful for all of the help we've received from family and friends! Our moms have been taking turns caring for Brecken, and while they're here they have been helping out with lots of laundry, cleaning, etc. Plus, for about 3 weeks we had meals provided for us from friends which helped out a ton! That way D.J. didn't have to worry about dinner when he got home from work, and our moms could just focus on caring for Brecken and helping out with housework.
Even with all of the help from others, D.J. has still had many, MANY, things to do, and through all of the stress he continues to be an amazing father and husband! He still manages to find quality time with Brecken, and he has been very patient with me and my endless requests (and I know I haven't been the most pleasant person to be around after being stuck in a bed/recliner for almost 7 weeks!)
The summer after our very long and difficult journey with Brecken, the song "God Gave me You" by Dave Barnes came out and it has been "our song" ever since. Since then, a country version has also come out, but I still like the original version best :) It is truly fitting and I just love that it talks about the "ups and downs" because that is really what love and marriage is all about - sticking through the many ups and downs of life. Here is a link to the music video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hQK6GIrpYU

DJ, I am truly blessed that "God Gave Me You!"

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Big Boy Bed!

This week Brecken moved into his big boy bed so that we could change the toddler bed back into the crib for baby brother. I don't think Brecken could be any more excited! He has seriously been asking for months when he will get his big bed. He had a hard time falling asleep that first night, but I think it was honestly just because he was SO excited! Other than that, he has done really well with the transition. He woke up that next morning and slid off the end of his bed onto the stool (just as DJ instructed him the night before.) All of a sudden he came walking in our room and said, "I slid down my big bed onto my stool!" Then he quickly added, "That was FUN sleeping in my big bed!" :)

We were thankful that my parents delivered the furniture and helped get it set-up! I don't know what we'd do without all of the help from our families over the past month-and-a-half. Here are some pictures from the big event:
Helping Bucka (Grandpa) Dave

Taking apart the toddler bed

Me supervising from my resting position ;)

Bob the Builder?


Monday, July 9, 2012

A Wonderful Weekend

We enjoyed a really nice weekend...On Saturday morning I drove to the park to meet DJ and Brecken. I can't really do much at the park except sit at the picnic table, but it is still soooo nice to be out and about and at least be around DJ and Brecken because sitting outside at the park sure beats sitting in the recliner staring at the computer screen or TV! Saturday afternoon, DJ and Uncle David took Brecken golfing for his very first round of 9-holes, and they all had a blast.


Sunday was our 6-year anniversary, and I escaped the house for TWO brief outings :) We went to church in the morning, which was an outdoor service, and then in the evening DJ and I went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary.

So far I've done really well being up and around a little bit more - pregnancy wise I thankfully haven't really felt any changes with contractions or anything. However, I am starting to notice how weak I've gotten from these SIX weeks of total bedrest. By the time I'm done taking my shower and brushing my teeth, my leg muscles are already shaking! I'm 33 weeks now, so I have 3 weeks left of this bedrest. It honestly seems like it wasn't that long ago that it was just the opposite and I had completed just 3 weeks of bedrest and had six more weeks to go! With only 3 weeks left, I'm definitely starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel :) Plus now I'm much more confident that I'll have a healthy baby :) My weekly pregnancy update e-mail from Baby Center says that now at 33-weeks baby should be over 4 pounds - yay!
And finally I'll end with a funny (well sort of funny ;) Brecken story:
Apparently Brecken is 2 going on 12! We were all sitting in the living room just before Brecken's bedtime, and I told Brecken he needed to pick up the pillows (that he had used for a fort) and put them back on the couch. Well he didn't do it, and a couple minutes later it was REALLY time for him to get to bed and he wasn't going, so DJ told him that he had 2 options...he could go and get a book for Mommy to read, or he could just go straight to bed. Brecken said that he wanted a book. He got off the couch to go get a book, but just before he left, he turned back around, looked at the pillows, and then he said to DJ, "Picking up the pillows wasn't a choice. Now YOU have to do it Daddy!" And then he went down the hall to get his book from his room. I think he might be too smart for his own good! We did get a good laugh out of it though after he was out of sight :) Brecken rarely shows his attitude considering he's a two-year-old, so we were completely shocked by his comment (and that's why it was funny even to us!) However, if this is a sign of what's to come, then we're definitely in T-ROUBLE!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

32 weeks and more great news!

Yesterday at my check-up, the doctor approved for me to up 2-4 hours a day! YAY - I am thrilled! The doctor said that since I'm at 32 weeks now, I had that negative fetal fibronectin test last week, and I have two precautionary measures in place as well (cerclage and weekly progesterone injections), it's certainly reasonable for me to be up and about some. He made it sound as if he assumed that I had been doing that much already because he said that most people they put on bedrest don't actually follow all of the restrictions. He said if I start having more contractions, then obviously I need to cut back again, but otherwise it's just fine for me to modify my bedrest and be up 2-4 hours a day. I can now go out to eat on occasion (Yay! I can escape my house for something other than a doctor appointment :) He also said we could drive to the park as a family and I can sit down there to watch Brecken play. I will still be spending the majority of my day in bed or in my recliner, but I am SO happy to have a few more privileges...like being able to tuck Brecken in at night :)

I think God must have known that I needed a little boost because this exciting news came at just the right time! After a complete month of bedrest, I have been wondering how I was ever going to survive another whole month of sitting around doing nothing. (I really should have jumped up and given the doctor a big bear hug when he gave me the news :) This weekend was especially challenging from an emotional standpoint - this weekend my dad's entire side of the family (including my out-of-state relatives) were all up at my parents' cabin for the annual Meyer family weekend at the lake, and we obviously couldn't go this year. DJ's parents were down at our house this weekend for a family wedding, and while they were here, they helped paint the baby's room. I am VERY thankful for all of their help and it feels great to finally have that done; however, it broke my heart knowing that I was missing the big family weekend at the lake AND I wasn't able to help paint my own baby's room!

Here are some pictures of the painting that I missed out on :(    



Brecken had to paint a little too


"Bucka" Al helped entertain Brecken after taping the room, and he mowed our lawn too!


Grandma Linda hard at work
DJ

All done! I guess we could've just color-matched Brecken's shirt - he blends right in!

So far I haven't really taken advantage of my new privileges...yesterday I spent the entire morning at the Abbott Northwestern Perinatal Clinic and then also had to run to the local clinic in the afternoon for my weekly injection, so I figured that all of those appointments pretty much took care of my 2-4 hours. Today I didn't do much either, but I am going to sit at the kitchen table here shortly to make a dessert for our 4th of July celebration tomorrow. I am happy that I'm able to contribute something for our little party so DJ has one less thing to worry about (and the other family is bringing food as well). We are very excited that we have another family coming over tomorrow afternoon to celebrate with us, and I am ecstatic that I will actually be able to sit up in a normal chair for part of the time to visit and hang out with them :)
Thank you once again for your prayers and support. We are very happy and thankful to be sitting at 32 weeks, but we're hopeful to make it at least another 4 weeks.

Happy 4th of July! Stay cool!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

WAHOOOOOOO!

The nurse called with my fetal fibronectin test results, and it was negative. YAY - Now it's quite probable that I'll make it at least 2 more weeks, which will put me close to 34 weeks!

Hopefully this great news will save me a few gray hairs now :)

Is my hair gray yet? ;)

I'm pretty sure this baby is giving me gray hair, and he's not even born yet! ;) Yes, I had yet another frantic trip to the clinic yesterday, but thankfully everything was fine. At lunch time I called the Perinatal (High-Risk) nurse line about a concern I had, but the nurses were at lunch. The receptionist said they would be back at 12:30, and I left a message on the nurse line. Well at 12:45 I hadn't heard back yet, so we (my mom and I) decided to just put Brecken down for his nap because he was starting to fall apart at this point. We had hoped to keep him awake in case I needed to go in because then we could possibly take him to our daycare lady, and he could nap there. I'm not really supposed to drive myself to the clinic in Maple Grove, so I needed my mom to drive me there. (DJ was still in TEXAS!) Shortly after 1:00, I still hadn't heard back, so I called the nurse line again. I connected with my nurse at that point, and she ran my concern past the doctor. The doctor said I should come in for an ultrasound to check my cervix, and that they needed me to be there at 2:00 because the only open time they had was 2-2:30. At this point it was now 1:15, Brecken was sound asleep, and it's a 30 minute drive to the clinic! I quickly called my neighbor who works from home, and she was able to come over to be here for Brecken for a bit until my dad could get here from his work in Coon Rapids. After that big rush to get there by 2:00, I learned when I got there that something had come up between the time they talked to me and the time I got there, and I was now going to have to wait awhile. I finally got in around 2:40, but the ultrasound room that I needed was still busy. They did some other tests and the contraction monitors while we waited for the room to open up. Everything looked fine, and I eventually got into the ultrasound room around 3:30. The ultrasound looked great - no change in my cervix and the stitch is still definitely doing it's job, so they sent me home. One of the tests they did was the fetal fibronectin again to check the likelihood of delivery within the next 2 weeks. I will have those results later today. Same story as the first time I had this test ...if it's negative, WONDERFUL because that means there is over a 90% chance that I won't deliver within the next 2 weeks; however, if it's positive, it's not a very accurate predictor. A positive result just means you have a 50/50 chance of delivering in the next couple weeks. The doctor said she could flip a coin and predict just as accurately. I'll give another short update once I hear the results. DJ came home on his scheduled flight last night - yay! That's a big relief to have him back in town again! I was so thankful that nothing came up any earlier while he was gone. My biggest fear was a scare happening while he was gone and that we'd have to decide if he needed to get an emergency flight back or not. Thankfully by the time this issue came up, it was already within hours of his scheduled return flight, so he really couldn't have gotten home any faster anyway.

Whew! I'm relieved that all of this was nothing serious, but I'm getting pretty tired of these frantic trips to the clinic/hospital. (I think this was trip #5 for an unscheduled visit.)

I'm now going to leave my recliner for a few minutes to shower - my big event of the day - haha! Have a great day, and stay cool! They tell me it's VERY hot and humid out there, so thank God for air conditioning or I would be one REALLY miserable, pregnant lady on bedrest!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Friday - A little encouragement

I came across this video of "In Christ Alone" today on Proverbs 31 Ministries. It was quite encouraging to me as I sit here and think about the fact the fact that I've completed 3.5 weeks of bedrest and still have about SIX more weeks to go (they'll let me off of bedrest at 36 weeks). I know, I know, one day at a time, right? Hopefully you can find this song/video equally as encouraging with whatever challenge(s) you might be facing right now. I especially like the first verse:
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease...
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Here is a link to the video:
http://youtu.be/bvnpcKUrCo4

Like I said, I found this on Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can "like" them on Facebook to see their posts in your news feed, and you can also sign up to receive their daily devotionals via e-mail on their website: http://www.proverbs31.org/
This ministry is particularly geared towards women, but much of their content is applicable to men as well.

Have a nice weekend and God bless.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

30 weeks!

I'm now 30 weeks pregnant (it feels great to be in the 30's!), and I've completed 3 full weeks of this lovely bedrest. Today was my big doctor appointment, and we spent almost 2.5 hours at the clinic. The first portion of the appointment was a Level II ultrasound, where they again checked my cervix and looked closely at baby's organs, bones, blood flow, etc. AWESOME NEWS - my cervix length measured almost exactly the same as it was 3 weeks ago when they put me on bedrest! Praise God! I was quite surprised to hear this after all of those contractions that I've had over these 3 weeks. Everything with baby looked really good too. In fact, he actually measured about 1 week ahead of my dates, and they estimate he weighs 3 pounds, 6 ounces (but that's give or take 8 ounces). We had to laugh when they showed us the breakdown for all of baby's measurements - his femur/leg bones actually measure about 1-2 weeks BEHIND my dates, so I guess both of our boys will have the short legs and long torso that I inherited from my dad's side of the family. Then the poor baby's head measured 2 weeks AHEAD of my dates (we're blaming the large head on Grandpa Al :) On average though, baby's size measured 6 days ahead of my due date, which is wonderful.

From here they will continue to see me every 2 weeks in the clinic, but they're also adding in OB home-care nurse visits so they can monitor my contractions and baby's heart rate weekly without me having to be up and about going to the clinic so often.

This coming Sunday morning, DJ leaves for San Antonio, TX for a work trip and will be gone for 4 days! (They booked his flight just days before I was put on bedrest!) Thankfully my mom is coming to stay with me while he is gone, just in case I need to make another trip to the hospital. Today DJ specifically asked the doctor if he should even be going and what were the chances that he'd be needing to catch an emergency flight home. She said, "You should be just fine. She is stable, and I would expect her to make it to 36 weeks. At that point, we'll take the cerclage out and go from there." So we again got another affirmation that they're still very optimistic about me making it close to term. However, we're of course still very nervous that DJ is going to be that far away given my situation.

Please pray that everything continues to stay nice and calm while DJ is gone (and also praise God for all of the great news we heard at the doctor today)!

Friday, June 15, 2012

An Uneventful Week :-)

It's thankfully been an uneventful week around here. My contractions have been few and far between, which is awesome! I've also finally been sleeping better which definitely improves my emotional state ;) I think now that school is finally all done, I'm able to sleep better. I pretty much missed the last 2 weeks of school since our kids went through Friday, June 8. (Thankfully I had JUST enough sick leave to cover all 9 of my days.) Since it was so last minute that I found out I needed to be on bedrest, it was difficult to arrange for a sub at the very end of the year like that. I ended up having 3 different subs and wrote 8 days worth of sub plans! Plus I had to do my report cards...I will say that all of this work gave me something to do for a while. However, I did find myself waking up in the middle of the night saying to myself, "Oh no! I forgot to tell my sub..." (this and that). This year I probably had the best class I've ever had so far, so I was honestly quite sad that I never really got to say good-bye to them (and since they go to middle school next year, I won't see most of them ever again :( However, I wasn't sad at all to be missing out on those "wonderful" behaviors that 5th graders tend to display at the end of the school year. I did hear that while I was gone, a couple of my students started a rumor that one of my girls was pregnant, and another day when they were playing outside, 2 boys got in an all out physical fight! My poor subs! Maybe laying on the couch wasn't so bad - haha.

I'm obviously not allowed to care for Brecken while on bedrest, so he spent those first 2 weeks at daycare. Once school was out, we were done with daycare so now the grandmas are tag-teaming his care. He spent the beginning of this week up in Browerville with DJ's parents (and didn't have ANY fun at all - haha! ;) Then yesterday and today, my mom was here to take care of Brecken. We are SO grateful that our moms are able to help out with caring for him!

While Brecken was up at Grandma & "Bucka's" house, DJ got a well-deserved break from essentially being a single dad. It's hard for me to watch him trying to juggle everything on his own, as this situation is definitely very challenging for him as well! Thankfully our families have been GREAT about helping out with stuff around the house, and we've had lots of friends provide meals for us. All of this makes a HUGE difference. We are truly blessed!

Finally, I'll end with a picture of some Mommy and Brecken snuggle time (It of course never lasts very long, but I do enjoy every second I get!)


I have another big check-up on Tuesday, so I'll update again after that. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Another Dr. Update

Well after I just HAPPENED to see on MyChart that they had actually scheduled my high-risk appointment/transfer of care meeting for Tuesday, JUNE 19TH, and not for this coming Tuesday, I called back to the scheduling department assuming there was a mistake. The gal still insisted that my file just said 1-2 weeks and therefore June 19th was fine...so then my nasty (protective mama) side came out! I guess it worked because I eventually got an appointment for this Friday (6/8) instead :)

Basically we didn't get much new information at the appointment, and we were pretty much told to just keep doing what I'm doing. Overall though, I did feel a lot more confident about making it close to term when I left there, which was really nice. After having to get the shot last weekend to stop the beginning stages of labor and chatting with my regular OB on Monday morning, I was feeling quite nervous. I think my regular OB was a lot more nervous about my recent changes/issues because she doesn't see it everyday, whereas the high-risk doctors deal with this type of stuff all the time. The gal we met with at this appointment essentially has the same story as me (and she made it to 37 weeks with #2), so it was very encouraging to hear that as well! Her and I decided that there should be a way to do a cervix transplant - haha. She also wasn't too concerned with the fact that I've still been having contractions about once every 1-2 hours quite regularly. They don't like to medicate to stop contractions/labor unless it's regular (4+ per hour) and it's really necessary. They also don't plan to give me the steroid shots for baby's lungs unless delivery looks imminent...again they like to avoid the meds whenever possible.

Don't get me wrong, I was absolutely thrilled to hear that there is still hope for me to make it very close to term; however, reality also hit about being on bedrest until 36 weeks (7.5 more weeks!) Last night, DJ and Brecken were playing in the front yard in Brecken's new pool. I could hear Brecken laughing and giggling away, and I almost had another complete breakdown as I sat inside in my recliner missing out on all of that great play time and memories. I feel like I'm completely missing out on what could be up to 3 months of Brecken's life! BUT, I just have to keep reminding myself that all of this bedrest sure beats the alternatives...being in the hospital on bedrest again or having a tiny baby in the NICU for weeks!

We greatly appreciate your continued prayers and support for our family during this difficult time! We definitely know that no matter what the doctors say about predictions or odds, God is in control of the situation and with Him all things are possible!

"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37 NIV

God bless and stay cool this weekend!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Once again no news is good news...

Things have continued to stay pretty stable since my hospital visit on Saturday. Late this afternoon I was finally approved to get my care transferred to the perinatal doctors, and my appointment is next Tuesday (the first available appointment). I pushed to get an earlier appointment and even offered to go down to the clinic at Abbott instead of Maple Grove, but that was still the first appointment available and the doctor had put in the notes that I just needed to be seen in 1-2 weeks. I said to the gal, "Well I guess I'll just make another trip to the hospital if things progress before then." That is really all the updates I have. Sorry I didn't report sooner...I'll admit I was an emotional mess yesterday (mainly because of lack of sleep). Instead of giving you my sob story though, I'll keep it light and share some of Brecken's recent funny quotes for something more positive and enjoyable to read :)

When giving him a bath one night (pre bedrest), he was playing with some toys and said to me, "I want some letters, please." I dumped a bunch of his foam letters in the tub, and he started moving them around and said, "Ummmmm...I'm looking for a certain one." I have no idea where he got the word "certain" from let alone how he knew how to use the word correctly in a sentence!

Last week one day I asked him if he was a good boy at daycare. His response was, "Yeah...tomorrow I be naughty." I just about burst out laughing, but instead I kept it together and talked about why that maybe wasn't such a good idea ;)

Also last week DJ had Brecken give me a hug and kiss before they left for daycare. Brecken did just that and as soon as we was done, he said "Daddy give Mommy a kiss!" DJ then came and gave me a kiss good-bye and turned away. Brecken looked at him and said, "And a hug too!" So DJ had to turn around and give me a hug too. :)

Brecken can always brighten my day with the funny things he says and his extremely caring, loving personality!

Oh, and if you're wondering about how my dad is doing, he was released from the hospital late on Friday and was cleared to fly home on Saturday. He is now giving himself injections twice a day and has to get his blood checked daily until his levels improve. Once his levels improve, he'll be switched over to a blood thinner pill for 3-6 months.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support! We are so blessed with wonderful family and friends!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday night at the hospital!

We took a trip down to the hospital (Abbott Northwestern) last night. I was feeling constant cramps plus my abdomen was tightening up like a fist on and off...when the tightening started to happen more regularly, I decided it was time to call the doctor. The doctor said I better come in to put the monitors on. WELL...the monitors showed "irritability of my uterus" about every 6 minutes! They said it wasn't true contractions because contractions have to last at least 40 seconds each, and each one of my episodes was only about 30 seconds. However, since there was such a regularity to these occurrences, the doctor said to start an IV of fluid and give me a shot of terbutaline (Brethine). It's basically a drug used to stop preterm labor. When the nurse told me that's what they were going to do, I went ohhhhh boy here we go again. Those meds make you feel terrible! When I first went in the hospital in Brecken's pregnancy, I had two of these shots plus I was on a high loading dose of magnesium/"Mag" and I felt absolutely miserable! Thankfully with just the one shot this time, I just felt super jittery and it wasn't that bad.

My care is now going to be transferred completely over to the perinatal (high-risk OB) doctors mainly to avoid confusion because my regular OB is in a completely different hospital group than the perinatals. I am supposed to set up an appointment with them this week (they have a clinic in Maple Grove) and they will get my care officially transferred. My OB is fantastic, but I am kind of glad that I'll now be solely in the hands of the preterm experts.

I'm now WIDE awake after only about 3 hours of sleep because I don't do anything but lay around all day! I am again feeling an occasional tightening this morning, so PLEASE PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that it goes away on it's own and doesn't become anything regular.
By the way, this eventful day all happened at 27 weeks, 5 days - the exact time that Brecken was born!

Thank you for your prayers. We know how powerful they are, and miracles do happen!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dr. Update

DJ and I went and met with my OB doc this afternoon and heard relatively encouraging news. She said she's still fairly optimistic about me making it close to term because the cerclage is still intact, and I had a negative test result for the fetal fibronectin test they did last week. I am on fairly strict bedrest (only allowed to be up for showers and quick meals) for at least the next month. If at 31 weeks things haven't gotten worse, I can probably start increasing my activity some. If I make it to 36 weeks, they'll let me do anything I want. She said it's pretty difficult to give specific odds, but basically my chances of making it to term are quite slim but she is optimistic that I can make it at least close to term. Keep the prayers going - we know they work!

Also, my parents left early Wednesday morning for Florida for my cousin's graduation. My mom called today and informed me that they were at the hospital! My dad's arm was quite swollen and after a trip to the clinic, they were redirected to the ER. It turns out he has a blood clot from donating blood earlier this week. They are admitting him overnight to make sure the blood thinners start taking effect. He should be released tomorrow, but it is questionable whether or not he'll be cleared to fly home on Saturday. Too much excitement this week!

And...BEDREST!

It's official...I'm now on bedrest at 27 weeks (Brecken was born at 27 weeks, 5 days.) I went in Tuesday for my biweekly ultrasound to check my cervix, and I now have new funneling and have shortened from 3.9 to just 2.1cm (in 2 weeks)! :( Grrrrrrr.... The cerclage is still in place, which is a good thing. That probably prevented this from happening any sooner and kept it from shortening any more. At the ultrasound imaging center, they called the oncall doctor who informed me that I needed to be done working and be at home on bedrest, and that I should go see my doctor this week at her next clinic day. I'm meeting with my regular OB this afternoon, so I'll post again later with further details. Right now, I've just been told that I need to be in bed at all times except for showers, meals, and brief occurrences. PLEASE PRAY FOR BABY TO STAY IN FOR A LONNNNNNNNNNNNG TIME (like 10 more weeks!) More details to come after my appointment...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

The "excitement" continues... I'm sort of embarrassed to admit (even though I know I probably shouldn't be) that DJ and I went down to the hospital a week ago Saturday (5/12) for me to get checked out. I was feeling an occasional tightening in my abdomen and was worried that it could possibly be mild contractions starting, plus (what pushed me over the edge to go in) was the fact that I had fairly intense vaginal pain every time I stood up on my feet. Once again, thankfully everything was fine! I also had my usual ultrasound check that next Monday evening, and that showed that my cervical length was still in stable condition and everything looked great...such a big relief (for a few days anyway ;) I'm starting to realize it's going to be a lonnnngggg few months with me agonizing over every little pain/change I feel! With Brecken's pregnancy, I literally didn't feel a thing and was then rushed to the hospital when they discovered that in 2 short weeks my cervix had almost completely vanished. Therefore, every time I DO actually feel pain, I start to think that more must be happening than last time because last time I felt perfectly fine and look at what had all been happening! Even though I don't like going in just to hear that everything is totally fine (and that I'm pretty much paranoid), I know that I would forever feel guilty if I didn't get things checked out and later found out that things had started to progress in the wrong direction.

Today I had my usual clinic check-up and everything looked great again. Because of my history, the Dr. did do a fetal fibronectin test to determine my likelihood of a preterm delivery in the near future. The results are already in, and it was thankfully negative which is GREAT because that means I have a 90% chance that I won't deliver within the next couple of weeks (I said to myself this test BETTER have a negative result!) If it would have come back positive, that result would not have been as definitive - a positive result is only about 50% accurate. If it was positive, they would likely have restricted my activity and possibly given me steroid shots for baby's lungs just to be on the safe side. I'm sure they'll run the test again in a few weeks.

Brecken has also been adding "excitement" to our household over the past couple of weeks. About 2 weeks ago, he had an ear infection in both ears, and the right one was so bad the doctor said he had blisters on his ear drum and it was about to rupture. Thankfully, we got the medicine in just in time and we never saw any fluid drain that would indicate a ruptured ear drum! However, he was quite crabby to say the least - I don't think we've ever seen him act as sick as he did with this particular ear infection! Then last week he developed a terrible rash, which has cleared up in some spots but has spread to new areas. We initially thought it could possibly be related to the antibiotic, but he had this same exact rash almost one year ago to the date and he wasn't on any meds at that time. Plus, he's been on this same antibiotic a couple other times w/o any issues at all. DJ is taking him back to the doctor tomorrow morning to hopefully find a solution since none of the ointments we've tried seem to help, and the antibiotic was done on Friday. Thankfully DJ's work schedule is more flexible so he can take Brecken to the doctor (even though it kills me as a mom to not be there!). I guess I also have enough of my own doctor appointments to deal with right now. In fact, I now call Mondays, "Medical Mondays," because every single Monday I have two appointments - an injection plus either an ultrasound or a clinic check-up.

We were very busy this past weekend with a trip to the Como Zoo on Saturday morning and then a wedding. Sunday was church and trying to catch-up on house stuff (as well as a much needed nap ;) For Memorial Weekend, we'll be staying home this year because I am not allowed to leave the Twin Cities area ALL SUMMER :( With my history, they don't want me to be too far away from Abbott Northwestern & Children's in case I would deliver early again. Out-state hospitals just don't have the capabilities of caring for tiny preemies. Hopefully, it's just an extra precaution and we won't be dealing with the NICU this time around! (even though the Children's NICU is fabulous)

Well enough rambling...enjoy this beautiful spring weather!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Another Eventful Friday...

Fridays seem to be eventful for this pregnancy (you may remember that I had to be tested for a kidney/bladder infection a couple days after my cerclage procedure, and the following Friday I had to run to the clinic be tested for Fifths Disease.) Well this past Friday was another eventful one (but everything ended up to be fine :)...
This week I had been feeling some small amounts of vaginal fluid/discharge (sorry for the personal details!) and Friday morning it seemed to be more frequent. So....later that morning during my prep time I googled "preterm labor signs" and this is what I found on Web MD:

What Are the Signs of Premature Labor?

It is important for you to learn the signs of premature labor so that you can recognize them and get help to stop it and prevent your baby from being born too early. Premature labor is usually not painful, but there are several warning signs...

What Should I Do If I Have Signs of Premature Labor?

Call your health care provider right away if you have:
  • Leaking of fluid from the vagina
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Sudden increase of vaginal discharge

I read this and honestly could feel my heart start to race. I ran over to my good friend's classroom and said ok, I know I'm paranoid with this pregnancy but I'm freaking out. She didn't even let me finish my sentence and said GO TO THE DOCTOR NOW - YOU NEED TO BE SEEN! I then called the clinic and of course was on hold for the OB nurse line for like 10 minutes (probably not that long, but it felt like forever!) She said that they definitely wanted me to be seen to make sure I wasn't leaking any amniotic fluid. She got in me at Elk River at 11:45 (and this was shortly before 11!) My teacher friend next door quickly helped me contact the secretary about getting a sub, helped me get my sub plans ready, AND went and picked up my kids from art and juggled her own class plus mine! Teaching is NOT a job with flexibility - that is for sure! Anyway, I ran to the clinic and everything was thankfully fine (cervix was still closed, the discharge was not amniotic fluid, and I did not have an infection.) Then I quick grabbed some lunch and went back to work for the remainder of the day because the sub plans I left were quite vague, and I don't have a whole lot of sick time available. So much for feeling more confident with this pregnancy...it is going to be VERY hard not to be a nervous wreck during this time period since it's the same time that everything went downhill with my pregnancy with Brecken. However, I know I can't stress myself out about every little detail either because high levels of stress also aren't good. This Monday I have another progesterone shot after work and then an ultrasound that evening, so everything will be checked out thoroughly again then :) After each ultrasound, I'm usually quite calm for a good 4-6 days ;) and then I wait another week for the next check. Anyway, I'm just VERY thankful that everything was fine.
One more random thought - it was also a Friday that I was admitted to the hospital during my first pregnancy. I think I'll live in a box on Fridays from now on ;) Haha!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

No news is good news :)

This week's ultrasound again had good news. My cervical length was 3.6cm - same as last time, so it's stable. This week, in addition to the usual cervix check, we also had the typical 20-week screening where they take a close look at all of baby's organs, bones, spine, etc. and everything with baby boy looked great too! Yay! This coming Monday will mark 22 weeks, and 23 weeks is when I entered my hospital bedrest with Brecken. I'm feeling more and more confident as time goes on that things are going to go much better this time because of all the precautions they're taking with me. Thank you for all of the prayers again - I definitely feel a calming peace from God. From here on out, I'll probably just post pregnancy/ultrasound updates if there is some sort of big news; that way I can try and post a little more about what else is happening in the Hoelscher family :)

This weekend we are headed up to Fargo for one of my college friends' wedding. We are heading up there later today and will stay in a hotel in Fargo tonight. Brecken is very excited that he gets to come along (ever since our Mommy & Daddy trip to Florida, he always asks "and Brecken come tooooo?") He can't wait to go swimming in the pool! It should be a fun time as I'll get to see a couple other college friends too (including my old roomie and her family - she has a boy and a girl so Brecken will actually get to see another boy :) Brecken is also excited to wear his Easter outfit - yesterday he saw his dress hat laid out and he wanted to wear it to daycare soooo bad, but I successfully convinced him that his Twins hat might be a better option ;)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dr. Update

I had my check-up on Monday, and she's really not worried yet that my cervix length was shorter. I asked if that was normal at all, and she said that that often happens even with people without my history. That made me feel much better :) My last measurement was 3.6cm, and she said high 3's is very typical. The only part that still leaves me a little hesitant is that she said 2.5-3.5cm is the gray area. If I go less than 3.5cm, she said we'd probably have to discuss reducing my activity even though they don't get really concerned unless it's less than 2.5cm (No wonder they freaked last time with Brecken when I measured less than 0.5cm at 3 MILLImeters!) Research has shown that anything less than 2.5 puts you at a much higher risk for preterm delivery. For now, I'll just focus on the fact that I'm still in the normal range and pray that the cerclage does the trick and keeps me from thinning any farther. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers! This coming Monday is my next ultrasound.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Things are going well...

It's been awhile since I've done an update, but everything with my pregnancy is still going well! I have been very busy with LOTS of doctor appointments, but so far everything looks pretty darn good. I recently started receiving my progesterone therapy (weekly injections to prevent preterm labor), so for the past few weeks and from here on out, I'll have at least one appointment every week with THREE appointments every other week (routine check, ultrasound, and progesterone injection.) And I'm supposed to be relaxing???? Hmmmmmm. It's comforting to know that they're watching everything so closely, but it's just kind of hectic trying to fit in all of these appointments around my work schedule!

DJ and I were fortunate to sneak in a relaxing vacation in Florida before baby #2 comes (BIG thanks to the Grandmas for tag-teaming Brecken's care while we were gone!) The week before we left was incredibly chaotic because I of course had to get in my 3 doctor appointments before we left to get cleared for the trip. Plus, I needed to do report cards, write sub plans, and pack before we left. However, once we got there it was VERY relaxing and I definitely made up for the craziness beforehand. This is where we spent the majority of the vacation:
We also took a sunset cruise one evening that included a few sightings of dolphins.


You can check out more vacation pictures on my Facebook page.


After the vacation, I had about 4 days back at work, and now I'm on spring break. I haven't seen Brecken all that much over the last couple of weeks because of preparing for the trip, the vacation, and then parent-teacher conferences, so it's been WONDERFUL to have this extra time with him! However, I'm realizing I'm going to have quite a challenge this summer to keep him entertained without ever lifting him. We went to the park one day, but I can't lift him up to the swings :( At least he's fairly independent and can climb up to the slides on his own. We went to Target to get groceries, and I had to lift him in and out of the shopping cart...what else was I going to do? Then we took a trip to Como Zoo, but this Mommy couldn't hold her kid up to look at the animals :( On a more positive note, when we were at the lions I said, "Look Brecken, there's the Daddy lion and the Mommy lion." Brecken then asked, "Where's the Brecken?" Oh, he can always make me smile :) Then today when I went to the bathroom, he enthusiastically said "Good job going potty, Mommy!" Overall, it really hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be to not lift Brecken, and I am just soooo thankful that I'm not on bedrest because at least now I can go places and interact with him :)

I've had two appointments while on break, and I'll have one more on Monday. I got the official ultrasound (cervix check) results from my doctor yesterday which said, "Cervical length is less than last visit but still normal." I get my results online, so that is really all I know at this point. Well, I did look at the medical jargon below my doctor's notes and determined that the length was 1.2cm less than it was just 2 weeks ago! This makes me a little nervous, but at least it's still in the normal range. I also figure that there has to be a standard measure of error in there too, especially since it was a different person doing the ultrasound this time. Hopefully at the next check, it will be a bit longer (it can't actually get longer, but I'm hoping the measurements were a tad off.)  I have a feeling that at a minimum, they will now want me to have weekly ultrasounds instead of just every other week, which will put me at 2 points every week, with 3 appointments every other week! Maybe I should invite my doctor over for dinner or something? I see her way more often than I see most of my family members ;)

Oh, I should also tell you that we're having a....

BOY! They were pretty hesitant when they told us at just 14.5 weeks that it was a boy, but since then, they've confirmed a few more times that it's indeed a boy! Brecken will LOVE having a brother because almost everywhere we go, it's girls, girls, girls! (Remember my blog post about all of his girlfriends?) Well now Brecken will have another boy around! :)

Ok, I think that's all of the updates for now.

Happy Easter! Here is a wonderful song to remind us all of the true meaning of Easter:
http://thenewsfor.us/?mkt=ktis

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NO Fifths Disease :)

I finally connected with the doctor today, and I do NOT have Fifths Disease! Praise God! I really wasn't showing many symptoms, but they recommend that all pregnant people with known exposure get tested. Since my strep test on Friday was negative, and I still haven't been feeling 100%, I was getting anxious to hear the results. Thankfully though, I tested negative on my current reading. However, they could tell that I've had the Parvovirus (Fifths Disease) at some point in my past, which is actually GREAT news because it means I should most likely have immunity. This is awesome because the disease is still spreading around our school, and now I don't have to worry about catching it later on in my pregnancy :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

What a day!

Today was quite the day! Brecken (who has been healthy since Halloween) recently started running a temp and last night it went up to 101.4. DJ took him to the doctor today since he also didn't seem to have any appetite, and Mr. Brecken has an ear infection in each ear PLUS strep throat! I woke up at 3:45 this morning with a terrible sore throat, so after hearing about Brecken, I thought I better get checked too so I planned to go the minute clinic right after work. However, around lunch time today, I got an e-mail from our school health-clerk stating that multiple cases of Fifths Disease have been reported at our school and that anyone who is pregnant should contact their medical provider. So then I sent a message to my doctor and they said I should come in for a blood draw to be tested TODAY. So after school, I flew over to the doctor for the blood draw, but unfortunately I probably will have to wait until next week for the results :( My throat and headache continued to get worse, so I went to the Target Clinic this evening for a throat culture, but it was negative which is good but I REALLY hope and pray it's not Fifths Disease (since sore throat and headache are symptoms of that too)! DJ is gone on a men's retreat with church, so we have sickie 1 and sickie 2 here. Luckily my mom was already planning to hang out for the weekend since the other guys are hunting, so I'm very thankful she is here to help! Hopefully a good night's sleep will bring some good healing for both Brecken and I :)

Side note: This was actually the 2nd Friday in a row that I've had to have a blood draw. Last Friday after my cerclage, I called the doctor because my lower back was aching/hurting a little. She wanted to be sure that I didn't have an infection from the procedure, so she ordered up a blood draw, urine sample, and an ultrasound of my kidneys! All was fine though :)

We also bought a "new" (new to us) car this week. DJ accepted a job offer on Monday and put in his 2-week notice, so he will lose his company car at the end of next week. It's no wonder these last couple of weeks have felt absolutely insane!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

1 week post-op. appt.

Well everything looked pretty good at my check-up Tuesday morning :) The doctor's last words were, "everything looks good, and we'll see you again in 2 weeks." I keep focusing on those words because on the day of the surgery they had told me that they'd have to see me every 1-2 weeks depending on how things looked, so the fact he doesn't want to see me for 2 weeks must mean that there is nothing too concerning. However, he did say a couple of other things during the appointment that worried me a bit...he said that it was definitely a good thing that we decided to do the cerclage because he could tell that the cervix was still trying to open despite the stitch. They said I'm actually dilated about 5-6 millimeters. I realize that 5-6 MILLImeters is like nothing, but still, after having my cervix stitched, how in the world is it dilating at 15 weeks? Also, because of this fact, he asked what I do for work...I informed him that I'm a teacher and am on my feet all day. His response was, "Well, take it easy and put your feet up as much as possible on the evenings/weekends." Wow, that is going to be quite a challenge with a 2.5 year old running around! I guess there will be no cleaning for me...I better get comfortable with the fact that my house is going to be a disaster for a very long time! Oh, and I also recently learned that I can no longer lift anything (including Brecken!) which is real interesting when it comes to trying to get him in his car seat to go to daycare in the morning so we just ordered a fold-up step stool. Last night I gave Brecken a bath, and then usually after his baths I swaddle him up in his towel and carry him like a baby to his room to get his PJ's. Well last night, I pulled him out of the tub, wrapped him in his towel, and right away he looked at me and asked, "Mommy carry me in my towel?" Ughhhh....it broke my heart! I'm trying really hard to just be thankful that I'm not on bedrest and that this will all be worth it in the end, but it's still really hard especially knowing that it will be this way for the next 5+ months! The important thing is though that everything looked good and I don't need to be seen for 2 weeks :) And this doctor was one of the high-risk OB docs that we saw a few times during my long stay at Abbott with my first pregnancy, so we definitely trust him!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Everything went well :)

The surgery went well on Wednesday (worst part I think was the almost 2 hour drive we had to get down to Minneapolis after the big snow storm!) I rested at home for a couple of days, and I head back to work tomorrow. I was going to write more details, but I never got around to it so I thought I'd get the most important message out there... The doctor said the surgery went well, and I have the big check-up Tuesday morning. I'll try to update again after that.
Thanks for all of the prayers! I am feeling better emotionally too :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Feeling Anxious!

This Wednesday is a big day for our family, as that is when I will have a surgical procedure done to stitch my cervix (more on that later.) I'm not feeling so anxious about the particular procedure as I am just about my pregnancy in general. I've come to the sad realization that I will never have a "normal" pregnancy. This weekend, my thoughts have been completely consumed (day and night!) by thinking about my "high-risk" pregnancy. You see, after my experience with Brecken, I assumed that in a future pregnancy it would be a "normal pregnancy" as long as I made it to full-term and had a healthy baby that didn't need to be hospitalized long term. I am now realizing that whether I make it full-term or not, my pregnancy will not be "normal." For one, I am having surgery on Wednesday and having surgery (although it's a low-risk procedure) is NOT normal during pregnancy. Two, I am labeled "high-risk" on every medical form out there, which is again not normal. Three, with my first pregnancy my cervix completely vanished without me having any idea. Therefore, this time around now that I just ended the first trimester, I will now be extremely nervous about every tiny little pain or new feeling. With every little pain or change, I will wonder...is that signs of pre-term labor, should I call my doctor, or are these just typical pregnancy aches and pains? Also, what if I end up on bedrest again? This time around I have another child to worry about and I won't be able to even lift him if I end up on bedrest. For these reasons, my pregnancy will not be "normal" no matter what the final outcome and for some reason that is making me extremely emotional. This weekend I have broke down in tears multiple times for no apparent reason (which I know is common in pregnancy but it's definitely exaggerated by all of these crazy thoughts and emotions regarding my high-risk pregnancy.)

Now back to my surgical procedure...this coming Wednesday, February 29, D.J. and I will head down to Abbott-Northwestern hospital in Minneapolis (same place I stayed for my 5 weeks of bedrest with Brecken), where a perinatologist (high-risk OB Dr) will stitch my cervix through a surgical procedure called cerclage. It's a same day procedure, so I should be home by the evening hours. I'll spare you any more medical details...if you really want to know more, just google "cerclage." I was initially thinking that I would be put under for this procedure, but I'm starting to think that I just misinterpreted the doctor. In one of my sleepless nights, I researched more on the Internet about the procedure, and I'm pretty sure that I will receive a spinal anesthetic but that I will still be awake, which would make me feel a lot better. People were getting freaked out when I told them that I'd be put under (which in turn made me quite nervous!) I have a final ultrasound/check tomorrow morning with the doctor that will be doing the surgery, so I'll get clarification then. Any way, back to the procedure. Again, I'm really not that nervous about the procedure. When they perform the surgery at this gestational stage, it is pretty low-risk. They of course had to warn us of the risks (they can cause an infection in the uterus or rupture my bag of water), but the chances of these things happening are very minimal, and I'm really not worried. Every doctor I've talked to has agreed that in my case the benefits FAR outweigh any risks, and I trust these doctors 110% . After all, this group of doctors is the one that made my contractions stop and kept me pregnant with Brecken for another 4.5 weeks after my hospital admittance. The only other sort of "risk" in the procedure it's possible that they may not get the stitch placed correctly, which means it wouldn't be effective at holding my "incompetent cervix" together to help me get closer to full-term. I will have a check-up one week after the procedure to make sure that the stitch is right where it is supposed to be, and I will be monitored very closely for the next several weeks as well.

Even though I have been extremely anxious about my pregnancy lately, I still do believe with all of my heart that God is in control which definitely brings me peace (it's just that sometimes my emotions get the best of me ;) We sang this song for closing at church today, and it was a great reminder that I need to quit worrying so much and just trust Him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_KPBrTerDM

Oh Lord my God in You I put my trust
Oh Lord my God in You I put my hope
Oh Lord my God in You I put my trust
Oh Lord my God in You I put my hope


CHORUS:
In You In You I find my peace
In You In You I find my strength
In You I live and move and breathe
Let everything I say and do
Be founded by my faith in You
I lift up holy hands and sing
Let the praises ring!


Well enough venting (I do feel better just expressing all of my emotions :) I better get to work. I have TONS of work to do for school...catch up on grading and finish writing 3.5 days worth of detailed sub plans for this week (I have to stay home with my feet up for a couple days following the procedure.)