Friday, October 26, 2012

One day at a time

The dreaded day has come and gone, and here we are, still going. Finding the right words and doing the right things in those final moments wasn't possible, and with some good advice from a friend, we decided to set our expectations low.

Our last day together was rough--Adelyn seemed to know something was coming, and was being extremely clingy and fussy and throwing tantrums. I was physically feeling pretty icky with pregnancy aches and pains, contractions, and my gall bladder being mean to me. We spent the day together doing little things--early voting, cleaning, packing the last few things Nathan would take in his bag--but nothing big and spectacular. By bedtime, I knew I was going to burst from the stress and emotion of it all, so I let it all pour out on my sweet, strong husband who held me and comforted me and laughed at me when I had cried myself into a sniffly/snorty mess. We finally let the day end and gave in to sleep...for a little while.

Morning came too soon, and we both were awake and restless long before we needed to be out of bed. We  got some good time just snuggling and sharing the weight of the moment together without words, and finally got up when we couldn't stay any longer. Adelyn was surprised and amused to be gotten out of bed at a silly hour and wrapped in a blanket in her pjs for a car ride. I drove slower than the speed limit (to Nathan's dismay) all the way to the armory, dreading having to stop the car. Once I did, we all got out for a brief goodbye together, and then Nathan put Adelyn back in her seat and came back for one last hug and kiss and encouragement for me. He headed inside and Adelyn and I began our drive home, crying together the whole way back.

She and I ate breakfast and snuggled and prayed for Daddy's safe trip together, and then took a very much needed long nap. The rest of the day was filled with encouraging phone calls, facebook messages, cookies on my doorstep and brought over by sweet friends...etc. Everyone made it impossible to feel like I was beginning this road alone, and I felt a definite peace and comfort in spite of the sadness.

Yesterday was a rough day of life with a of those days when you count down the hours and minutes until Daddy comes home from work and you can pour it all out on him and let him be a second pair of hands. Knowing that wasn't coming at the end of the day made it a little harder to get through the last few hours before Adelyn's bedtime, but once she was asleep and the house was cleaned up and I could finally sit, laughing about it was all I could do. When your day contains vomit in the crib and poop in the tub and everything in between, you just have to throw up your hands and pray for the grace to start again tomorrow. Which is where we are today. 

Nathan was able to call me last night and let me know that he had arrived safely and is already getting thrown head first into busy, long days of work. It feels a little odd to talk and feel the distance and the time ahead of us, but already I just want to talk to him for hours and tell him everything. 

Overall, we are doing well. We are staying busy, feeling encouraged by many, and are carrying on with life one day at a time. Today is a big day--I am 34 weeks pregnant! That's a big milestone where most babies born have little to no trouble with breathing, are able to tolerate feedings by mouth, and can regulate their body temperature--meaning little to no NICU time. It also means if my water broke today, I would deliver--no bedrest and waiting. I definitely feel like we have reached the home stretch and very soon we will be meeting this little girl.

She is still breech, and it's at the point where she still could turn at any point on her own, but it is getting less and less likely. I am spending much of my time in ridiculous positions and crawling around on hands and knees and putting ice packs on the part of my belly where her head is...all in hopes that she'll flip. If she doesn't by two weeks from now, my doctors will give me the option of having a procedure to manually turn her from outside of my belly. Ouch.

Next week, they will also be checking my platelet level again to see if it has gone up or down. If it is lower than before, I may start a round of steroids to try to boost it. If it has gone up, probably I will be fine to have an epidural or spinal block if pray for a good increase!

While I wait for new baby girl, this big girl beside me is begging to be potty-trained lately and I am thinking it may be a now or never (not really never, but not for a while) kind of we might just be going out to find her some big girl underwear and some rewards so that we can get started soon. Yikes. Pray for that one too :)

Here are the belly shots for this week:
Still lopsided!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ready or not...

How far along?  32 weeks, 6 days--the most pregnant I've ever been!
Total weight gain: 23lbs...not bad
Maternity clothes? Sweatpants are my friend right now.
Stretch marks? still no...knock on wood
Sleep:  has become a struggle...but I cherish it when it is there.
Best moment this week: making it to this milestone of 32 weeks and 1 day, when I had Adelyn, and still going!

Miss Anything? rolling over in bed, bending over to pick up things, putting pants on...all without making a big effort and getting out of breath. At least it entertains Nathan.
Movement: sometimes I think this girl is trying to stand up inside of looks and feels so crazy, but I love to just watch my belly wiggle and feel her little body parts being busy in there.
Food cravings: Chocolate Frostys are officially my new love language!
Anything making you queasy or sick: just running out of space for my food to digest, so if I eat too much too quickly, it gets a little uncomfortable.
Gender: no new information there.

Labor Signs: contractions are still getting stronger and more frequent and my cervix is thinning, but still closed...hopefully stays that way a few more weeks.
Symptoms: My pelvis feels like it's coming apart, but other than that cold symptoms are taking center stage over the pregnancy symptoms
Belly Button in or out? out. Officially, undeniably, out. You can see it through my shirt, and it's so weird!
Wedding rings on or off? They're starting to get hard to get on and off, and my infinity ring that I wear on my right hand won't go on, so I'm thinking I may need to leave them all off soon. I don't feel swollen though, so it's strange.

Happy or Moody most of the time: I'm a mess!
Looking forward to:  The next big milestone is 34 weeks--after that if I were to go into labor or my water break, they would just let her come on out because she'd be safer out than in. We're almost to that point!

This week, we are facing a lot of big things heading our way. We are just days away from Nathan leaving for his first deployment--something that has been a long time coming but suddenly is looming large. We have been working on lists of projects and fun things to get to before he leaves, but as time runs out, there just isn't time to do it all, and we are coming to terms with that. We're both being pretty tough about the whole thing right now, but there have been a few moments when nobody's watching that I've let it spill out a little, and I think there will be many more of those to come. 

One of the hardest things that is getting to me lately is every morning when Adelyn gets up and looks for Nathan, and asks me "Dada?" with her little hands out in her question pose. Telling her he is at work each day just reminds me that I have to come up with an answer for next week, when he isn't really just at work, and he's not coming home soon, and there really aren't words that fit in the mind of a toddler to explain why not. She'll be missing his boots to clomp around in and his hat to wear around the house. He'll be missing her funny faces and surprising acts of affection, and the excitement of seeing her learn new tricks.

We won't know exactly how often and how easily we'll get to communicate. We plan on using FaceTime and e-mail and any other means of staying in touch, and hopefully it will be something we can all look forward to and really be encouraged by even though it's not quite the same as snuggling up on the couch together at night to read Adelyn's bedtime stories, or eating Moe's, or stealing each other's pillows in bed...

We've both committed to letting this be a time that our marriage grows and thrives, in spite of the circumstances making it a little trickier to do that. We are going to be working hard to encourage and love and serve each other by whatever ways we can, and plan all of the fun things we want to do as a family next fall. A family of four, that is!

We know that it will be hard, but we also know God is good and faithful to provide us with all that we need to endure. We know that we are surrounded by family and friends and a church who are more than ready to love and serve us through this next year, and we know that it will be a blessing to see that happen. I have plenty of military wives in my life who have done this more times than I can fathom, and have survived it with grace and strength that I have admired through the years. Knowing that I'm not the first, last, or only woman to walk this road makes it a little easier to tell myself to stop feeling so pitiful.

I'm still getting my heart and mind prepared for the impending birth of baby sweet T, most likely without Nathan at my side. All the planning in the world can't take away the unknowns of how it will all happen, and the inevitability of pain. I am excited to meet her, to get to know her, to see Adelyn figure out what all this talk about babies has been about, and to not be pregnant! I think it is going to be quite an adventure for our whole family that will undoubtedly be full of struggles and also joy, and we're about as ready as we're going to get...yikes!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


How far along?  31 weeks, 1 day
Total weight gain: 21lbs
Maternity clothes? outgrowing those too!
Stretch marks? nope, but this is the time when they could start showing up, so I'm still not counting out the idea.
Sleep:  It's getting hard...between big baby movements, shortness of breath when lying flat, and various aches and pains, I find myself tired from tossing and turning all night.
Best moment this week: Ultrasound last week and seeing our sweet girl looking big and healthy!

Miss Anything? Skinny jeans. Now that it's fall, I really want skinny jeans.
Movement: It hurts now!
Food cravings: Things that don't cause heartburn please.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Mostly I just need to eat smaller amounts at a time--my stomach empties more slowly, so after a big meal I feel miserably full for a long time.
Gender: Another ultrasound showed girl, so I'm feeling confident there can't be a mistake.

Labor Signs: Same stuff--contractions are getting more painful, but still not progressing, so I'm chugging along!
Symptoms: the heartburn and indigestion are the worst of it right now
Belly Button in or out? It's kind of out, but not completely...I still say in the middle
Wedding rings on or off? on, but last night for the first time they were really hard to take off! I guess the swelling has set hopefully the rings continue to come off when needed.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Definitely more emotional...easily irritated and prone to tears over little things. We'll blame the hormones, but ultimately I'm just stressed lately and trying not to be.
Looking forward to:  Not having to get anymore shots--I'm almost done!

So, I've been waiting until I got to the right point to take the same picture in the same outfit and compare the belly from Adelyn to now, and I finally got there. I think I am much more round this time, which is probably because of all the fluid cushioning around the baby, whereas Adelyn made my bump more firm. Now just to see how much bigger it can get by making it farther than I did before--only one more week until I pass that milestone!

Other updates: growth ultrasound showed that baby girl is growing right on track and isn't even a little bit small for her gestation--she's almost as big as Adelyn was at birth now! My fluid level was also totally normal, so why my belly is measuring small, we'll never know. I really think it looks pretty big now, so knowing there's a big baby in there makes me feel justified in feeling huge!

I passed my gestational diabetes test and blood work all came back great, except for my platelet count. For now, it is low enough to be a problem but not to require treatment, which is kind of frustrating. I am hoping for an unmedicated vaginal birth, but right now even if I wanted an epidural I am not a candidate, and even more upsetting is that if I have to have another c-section instead, I might have to be put under general anesthesia--meaning once again I won't get to meet my baby right away. I HATE the thought of that, but I know that ultimately it's all out of my control and I need to make peace with the  thought that anything could happen, so while I hope my platelet count will be much better when we recheck in a few weeks, if it isn't I will just have to trust that God has a plan for this baby girl's entrance into the world, and it will be a beautiful thing no matter how it happens.