Monday, April 29, 2013

38 weeks pregnant, and in true Laura fashion, I have managed to gain approximately 50 pounds this pregnancy! 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

"So when Evan comes, he's probably going to get all the attention." -Ethan

Oh, my heart.

I love my children more than anything in the world.  They are my everything.  But the things I wish I could get my firstborn to understand are as follows:
Ethan, YOU are the little being that gave me the title I wanted my entire life:  mom.  If there is one thing I knew, even as a little girl, it was that I wanted to be a mother.  Soon after daddy and I got married, we knew we were ready.  You were SO wanted, long before you were even conceived.

You entered the world in true Ethan fashion.  On your own time, at your own pace.  The feelings I remember most when bringing you home was how big of a job I had now.  You were so tiny, less than 6 pounds, but all of your needs relied on me.  Being fed, changed, held, loved, you could do none of it yourself.  It was such a HUGE responsibility!  I remember realizing that my role in this life became so much more significant.  I had to do everything in my power to make sure you never went without.  It is exactly why when you were 6 months old, I went back to school to be a nurse. 

You and I were buddies.  I took you everywhere.  People would comment on how I had you out in public so soon, but wherever I went, I wanted you with me.  We were one.

I remember the struggles of being in nursing school.  The stress and tears that were shed weekly.  I remember your sweet face, giving me that nudge to keep pushing forward.

I remember the day my nursing school friends and I all graduated and we met for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings.  I brought you with me, because you were the biggest reason I finished. 

I remember finding out I was pregnant with your sister.  We tried to conceive her for over a year, so finding out I was pregnant was such joy and happiness, but I had this tiny speck of worry in my heart:  I didn't want to lose you as my only.  I never wanted you to feel left out or less important.  You were such a good sport, though.  You were only 5 when she was born and I clearly remember when you came in to the delivery room to meet her, carrying a single rose with a card you wrote all by yourself:  "Love, Ethan", written in a way any 5 year old would.  I cried, because I was just so happy to see you.

You've had your struggles and we've had some challenges, but I never want you to forget:  you are amazing.  I adore you and your quirky ways.  You are the smartest little boy I know, and I can see you going so far in whatever you choose to do.  Soon you will be the big brother to two little siblings, but you will forever hold such a special place in my heart. 

I pray you never, ever forget that. 

I love you, sweet boy.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

37 week this week and still hanging in there!  Ever since my non-stress test last week, I have been contracting every 5-10 minutes.  They are never regular, and they aren't getting stronger, so it's just a nice little reminder of what is to come. 

I saw the cardiologist yesterday.  Because my heart is holding steady right now, no further interventions are needed before I deliver.  They will see me when I am in the hospital after delivery, and then I see them about 2 weeks after delivery for a referral to an electrophysiologist.  Apparently what they want to do is purposely put my heart into an arrhythmia.  Depending on how hard or how easy it is to create will determine what type of treatment I will need.  If I can go into an arrhythmia easily, I will likely need to be on a medication.  If it's difficult, it will likely mean that I can just follow up with 2-D echo's every so often to check how my heart is.

Baby K is still showing signs of an arrhythmia as well.  His heart beats normal, then starts beating irregular.  I have no idea what the plan of care will be after his birth, but I am hoping it is something that corrects itself quickly.

My last ultrasound a week ago showed he was 5 pounds, 6 ounces.  On the smaller side, but consistent with how his growth has been all along.

Otherwise, things are moving along!  I am excited for his arrival but at the same time, I am enjoying the last few weeks of being a momma to 2.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Baby K update!

I am now 35 weeks.  I am doing non-stress tests twice a week and starting now, seeing a doctor weekly (before it was every other week).

My stress tests haven't been entirely reassuring.  The risk to the baby with my heart issue is that not enough oxygen will be supplied to him.  So far, he has grown beautifully, but as he gets bigger and I get bigger, the demand on the heart also get bigger.  During the non-stress tests, they want to see his heart rate increase with movement, then return to baseline.  His baseline is always a beautiful 135-140, but he rarely shows increased heart rate with movement (and he moves...a lot!).  He will occasionally, but not consistently.  What should only take about 20 minutes to see what is considered a reactive (good) test takes him about an hour.

Today he did really well on the stress test, and while the OB was pleased with how things are going so far, he made sure I understood that I am not out of the woods.  I still have to see the cardiologist before delivery and have a growth ultrasound next Tuesday to make sure he is doing okay.  They will measure him and assess his movement and breathing to make sure he is not in distress.  If, at any point, they detect distress, he will be induced, as the risk of being born early will outweigh the risk of staying inside me and lacking oxygen.  Fortunately, I trust these doctors entirely, and I am so confident that everything will be okay.  I won't lie, though... when this baby is safely in my arms, the weight of the world will be taken off my shoulders.  I am anxious to know that he will be 100% okay.

Today my co-workers put on a baby shower for me and another co-worker who is due a week before me.  It was wonderful!  Amazing food, adorable and clever presents, and just a really, really nice time.  It has been such a whirlwind of a year:  getting pregnant and miscarrying, leaving a job after only 8 months, starting a new job, getting pregnant again.... it's been a roller coaster of emotions, and I think I can finally safely say that I feel so much peace and contentment with everything.  I can finally look back on the past year and see how all of it fits together.  I miss the clinic job I had and I think about it on a daily basis.  There were so many wonderful things about that job, I have zero regrets about exploring that area of work.  A lot of laughs and a lot of new experiences which I will forever be thankful for, but it also taught me so much about myself.  Leaving an entire health care system that I never saw myself leaving was HARD.  I felt a sense of homesickness on a daily basis for months after I left.  The open arms and new friendships that have developed over the past many months, though, has shown me that sometimes things must fall apart so better things can fall together.

And things are definitely, DEFINITELY falling together.