Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good News All Around

And now for another baby update...

I feel like I've been in a boxing match for the past week: James & me VS whatever my body decides to throw at us. I've spent a LOT of time at the doctor's office/my specialist's office/the hospital over the last week. It seemed like the odds were against me, but here's how things turned out...

Round 1: Failed 1-hour glucose test (screening for pregnancy-related diabetes). Had to spend 4 hours at the hospital getting re-tested last Friday. Called and bugged and pestered my doctor's office for results all week. Finally got the call today--I PASSED! Whew.

Round 2: My blood pressure had gone up over 20 points since last week and my urine sample showed that I was spilling protein, which are two key signs of pre-eclampsia. I had this with Maddie, but not until 38 weeks. It can progress very quickly and can be dangerous for the mother--liver damage, kidney damage, seizures, stroke. Not something you fool around with. There is no treatment or cure except to deliver the baby...a dangerous solution, since I'm only 28 weeks. So I did a 24-hour urine test and gave blood (which usually is no sweat, but this time they had 3 veins in my arms and hand collapse/fail before they finally got it right the 4th try--all the while, Maddie is watching me and saying, "It doesn't hurt when they poke you, right Mommy?" Um, sure honey! Wince through clenched teeth.) Got my results yesterday--I PASSED, but I'm still at high-risk, so they're watching me closely.

Round 3: Last week my perinatologist said there was a new development on James' ultrasound--low blood flow to the cerebral artery in his brain. Oh geez. Another problem developing! She said she wasn't sure what to make of it, since there weren't any other symptoms to go along with it. I had a new ultrasound today to check it again--NO PROBLEMS!! Everything looked normal, hallelujah! The farther I get in this pregnancy, the more optimistic I get and the more hopeful I am that there's nothing wrong with James & that Keith and I just make small babies. :-)

Round 4: As if I hadn't given away enough of my bodily fluids this week, today my dr. said she wanted to test for one more thing: blood disorders. A blood disorder could help explain all the miscarriages we've had and the growth problems for both Nicholas and James. So I once again became a Human Pincushion as they took blood--TWELVE VIALS of it! Holy cow, I felt like I had nothing left! While all of these procedures are relatively painless and fall more on the side of annoying and inconvenient, I have a renewed respect for anyone who is truly ill and has to go through countless medical procedures on a regular basis. I don't know how they do it!

Most of all, I'm thrilled that I'm healthy enough to leave for vacation this weekend. We'll be driving to Flathead Lake in Montana, where my grandparents have had a lake house since forever. We'll be meeting up with my parents, my sister & brother-in-law who are flying in from London, and my aunt/uncle/cousins from New Mexico...I'm soooo excited to see everybody! My grandparents are putting the house on the market soon, so this may be our last year to make memories there (I can't imagine not having this yearly tradition to pass on to my kids! Maybe we'll have to get our own lake house someday!!).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beat the Heat

Let's just get this first fact out of the way...I HATE THE HEAT!!! I'm a girl who loves things in moderation, especially when it comes to weather. No extremes for me. Give me 70-75 degrees with a slight breeze and I'm a happy girl. 90+ degrees with a LOW in the 70's=MAKE IT STOP, ALREADY! (Alli & Katy, I guess all this heat is for you!) :-)

Last summer my creative & handy husband made a homemade "sprinkler tunnel" for Maddie. For some reason, she's not a fan of full-on sprinklers but she does love water, so Keith came up with these pipes that spray mist...right up her alley! So now this is a new favorite activity to beat the heat around our house.

Monday, July 13, 2009

27 weeks

Tomorrow will mark my 27 week milestone (woo-hoo!) and I'll have my next ultrasound check-up with the perinatologist on Wednesday afternoon. For some reason, it seems like every time I step foot in that building I end up spending 3 hours there, just for a simple ultrasound. (Keith is going to watch Maddie at home and he said, "So, we should expect you back at like 10pm?") Really, people...CHOP CHOP! Let's move things along, please! Last time, as I was waiting forever in a freezing-cold room, the nurse came in to reassure me that I hadn't been forgotten and that "the doctor has patients in 4 rooms right now, so it will just be a little while."'s a new idea--how about not quadruple booking the poor doctor!! Okay, that's my little soapbox. :-)

In bummer news, I failed the 1-hour glucose tolerance test at my doctor appt. this week (screening for gestational diabetes, which just develops during pregnancy) so now I have to spend half the day Friday at the hospital taking the super-long glucose test. Here's the fun of it: special diet for 3 days beforehand, fast the night before, check-in at 7:30am (hello! I'm supposed to be sleeping!), drink some lovely orange pure-sugar-syrup and then give a urine sample and have my blood drawn every hour for 4 hours. Would anyone like to join me?! I went through this same process when I was pregnant with Maddie, so let's hope I pass the long test this time around as well!

Baby James continues to be a super-active little man, for which I'm very grateful. Both Keith and Maddie have been able to feel him a couple times (although usually he likes to sneak away and be quiet right when I put their hands on my stomach) and Maddie absolutely loves James already. She loves to sing "Jesus Loves Me" to him in the car, to feel him kick her hands and to pull up my shirt and give him kisses or talk to him (via my belly button "microphone"). Let's hope she's this excited about him when he's actually here in real life! :-)

"I love you, baby James!" --Big Sister Maddie

(I hope James is growing bigger inside because the outside of my belly sure is! HA!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


For all of you Prayer Warriors out there who've been interceding on Baby James' behalf, GOD WAS LISTENING! I just got a call from our genetic counselor with my amniocentesis results and...

Praise be to God, the Miracle Worker!

Amazingly, all the tests showed up clean. NO chromosomal abnormalities. NO infections.

Of course, it's still a puzzle as to why James' growth is so behind, but we're staying optimistic and assuming that he'll just be a healthy little guy. Thank you all so much for your support and prayers--it's clearly working and we're so happy about that! :-)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Smalltown 4th of July

4th of July is filled with tradition. The dinky town of Corbett, OR has a down-home parade every year that starts right in front of my parents' driveway. Friends and neighbors come from all around and we stake our claim to a big area of roadside, set up our big umbrellas and camping chairs and then watch the festivities go by. It's the quintessential Smalltown USA experience...little kids on decorated bikes, riders on horseback, tons of old fancy cars, homemade signs and floats, tractors and 4-wheelers and TONS of candy being thrown to the spectators. No kidding, the kids bring their bags and collect more candy than on Halloween!

This fixed-up VW Van & the mini replica were so cool!

Evelyn & Naomi, my best friend Alli's nieces

Their sister Miriam, who's about Maddie's age...poor girl!!

Here's something you just don't see every day...jumping rope WHILE bouncing on a pogo stick!

Our friend Cheryl & her daughter Lucy

My best friend Alli's daughter, Ava...and her lovely new obsession! :-)

This year was special because Maddie and Papa were in the parade, riding the tractor. It was stinkin' hot outside, the parade seemed forever-long this year and they were at the very end of it! They had planned to just go about 1/2 a mile and then turn around, but apparently Maddie was really into it and they did the whole parade route...from 10am until 1:30pm!! We were all getting worried about how long they'd been gone, but Maddie held up like a trooper.

We invited about 25 people up to my parents' house for a BBQ afterwards while the kids played on the swing and in the wading pool. In spite of the heat (which I *hate*), it was a wonderful day. Then Nana & Papa (who'd just gotten home from a vacation in Utah the night before) offered to take Maddie up to the Knopf's pool and then keep her overnight...our ears immediately perked up at that! You don't have to tell us twice! :-)

(Should we feel guilty at how nice it was last night/this morning to have such a calm and peaceful house all to ourselves?? I told Keith, "Oh, now I remember what it was like before we had kids!")

P.S.--For the BBQ, I made Barefoot Contessa's coconut cupcakes and they are to die for!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

25 weeks

Baby James and I have made it through another week! Whew! I know most pregnant ladies count the weeks that go by, but in light of the health scares James has given us, I've *really* been counting down the weeks--each and every one is a big milestone! We've made it to 25 weeks now. I know there's a very real possibility that James may need to be born prematurely (depending on how complicated things get, some doctors deliver growth-restricted babies early because they often have a better chance of getting the nutrition and support they need outside of the womb), but of course I'm hopeful that he'll stay in there as long as possible.

At this stage of pregnancy, I often find myself thinking of my parents and how terrified they must have been when my mom went into labor with me at 26 weeks! Especially back in 1975, it was very rare for a baby that age & size (I was only 1 pound 14 ounces) to survive at all, let alone survive without any major medical complications or long-term deficits. I was born up at OHSU/Doernbecher Hospital (where Maddie will have her kidney surgery) and was in the NICU for over 2 an incubator, hooked up to a respirator (thus my quiet voice--scar tissue on my vocal cords from putting breathing tubes down my little throat), with tubes all over and an IV inserted in my head for feedings (all my veins were microscopic). I think of baby James and just how horrible it would be to have to see him like that for such a long period of time, touch-and-go on a daily basis. Talk about stress! My parents were very courageous to go through that and I know there were tons of people praying for me and for them. I'm praying that history does not repeat itself this time around!

One more tid bit of good news came today. When they did my amniocentisis, they also drew blood to test for possible infections (since the earlier bowel problem with James could have stemmed from an infection in me) and everything came back negative. NO infections!! Yay! One more week to wait for the genetic/chromosome tests on James...ugh.