Sunday, June 13, 2010

Update June 7 to June 13

Monday June 7, 2010: I got my incision looked at and sure enough it is not healing correctly. Go figure. The doctor put some stuff on it that was supposed to burn but didn't really and prescribed antibiotics. He said it's infected and that I am doing wayyyyyy tooooo much. He basically want's me doing nothing. He said that for 6 weeks post c-section I am supposed to be waited on hand and foot. Seriously?

Another great thing... Squish actually breastfed today. She complained at first not liking to have to work for her food, but she did it! I have to say it was a proud moment for me. She is up to 4lbs 15oz so finally over her birth weight!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010: Morphine is back down to every 6 hours. Kelley was exhausted and didn't get to visit her today, and missed her like crazy. Grandma got to spend a little bit of time with her and hold her again.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010: Kaitlyn's morphine was lowered by 10% so it is now 0.09 per kilo. The doctors are saying that this is the quickest they have ever weened a baby.

I'm staying at Jason and Alex's again tonight to spend more time with Squish without the drive. I am so thankful that they are letting me do this and not too upset that I'm crashing at their place.

Thursday, June 10, 2010: Kaitlyn is up to 5lbs 4oz! She did have a rough day, but her nurse thinks it's due to the fact that she chugged down 80ml of food and ate herself to a tummy ache. She was really hard to keep calm and such. Dr. Z is guessing less than 2 weeks until she gets to come home!

Friday, June 11, 2010: 5lbs 5oz and lowered her morphine again to 0.08 per kilo.

Saturday, June 12, 2010: Squish is up to 5lbs 7oz and got to breastfeed again. Based on my pumping we are guessing she got 30ml all by herself. Later during the day she projectile vomited all over the floor, missing daddy by inches. I have to say Kelley took it like a champ and didn't throw up or anything himself. Doctors are talking about lowering her morphine to 0.07 per kilo tomorrow, amazed she is taking it so well.

Stayed at Jason and Alex's again... they are amazing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010: 5lbs 9oz. Breastfed again, it took a bit, but Kaitlyn nursed for her whole 30 minutes and did not want to come off. They lowered her morphine and she is doing well.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Updates June 4, 2010 to June 6, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010: The oxygen is out! She's doing great. She's also doing so well that they are weeing her faster than they have any other baby, the morphine is down to every 6 hours. We are staying at Jason and Alex's for the weekend so we can spend more time with the baby without the long drive. My c-section isn't seeming "right"
(yes that is a whole entire Squishes, except that one arm you can't see, okay, maybe not an entire Squish, but close.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010: Squish had a bad night so they moved the morphine back to every 4 hours. Jason and Alex got to hold her today. She is eating so well that they are letting Kaitlyn eat all that she want's too up to 2oz (60ml).

Sunday, June 6, 2010: Kaitlyn is still eating like a champ, eating all 60ml that they will allow her, holding it down, and wanting more. Matt and Annette got to see her and hold her today.

I think I'm going to get my c-section checked out. It's draining and doesn't feel closed right. Figure I will call in the AM and get it looked at. They had better not plan on taking too long or keeping me from Kaitlyn.

Thank you Jason and Alex for letting us stay with you!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quick Update... May 31 to June 3

I have been keeping a sort of pregnancy diary, and now a baby diary. Here are what I wrote in it:

Monday, May 31, 2010: Kaitlyn got her first feeding today. A whole whopping 10ml, and loved it. I was actually able to hold her today for the first time in what they call Kangaroo Care. Basically I open my shirt and hold her against me, skin on skin. It was great to see all her vital signs lower closer to normal just with that contact. Kelley got to hold her too, and she did even better with him, she's a daddy's girl already.

(If this photo doesn't show you how tiny she is, nothing will.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010: Squish is up to 15ml of food. Grandma Cathy got to hold her today also and noticed that she has a few of my features. She has my "pointer toe", where her second toe is actually longer than her big toe. Squish is having very high scores on the withdrawal board - and they are considering giving her morphine. Her food it also to be upped 5ml each feed since she is eating so well, until she hits 35ml.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010: Kaitlyn is a different baby today. They gave her the morphine dose and will every 3 hours when they feed her. Her whole body is more relaxed. She is eating so well the IV is turned off, but left in "just in case" so they do not have to stick her again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010: Kaitlyn has been downgraded. The IV is out. I got a great surprise walking around the corner and seeing her in a different bed, with clothes on and a bow in her hair. All she has now are the air and the monitors! (YES! She has clothes on! God Bless the night nurse who gave her a bath and decided to surprise us with a dressed up Squishes!)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From 6/2/2010 - Squishes "condition"

I know a lot of you have been following this, and wanting more info. Here is an email I sent out:

Things are exhausting, but everyone is doing good.

I'm not sure what you know, but Kaitlyn ended up being life flighted to Phoenix when we had her on Friday night. She was grunting instead of breathing and crying, and showing other signs of respiratory distress, so to be on the safe side they had her sent to the hospital in Phoenix. I'll get the name of the hospital when we are up there later... I just know how to get there.

Saturday her breathing issues got worse - which is what Dr. Z (the neonatologist taking care of her) said would happen. Her breaths per minute was all the way up to 125-135 per minute which was very bad, and dangerous. The put some stuff called surfactant in her lungs, and put her on a CPAP machine to force air in. It did wonders and within an hour her rate was down in the 50's. (20-60 is a good rate for newborns) We had been warned that the CPAP could damage her lung, and it did. She developed a small tear from it that caused her left lung to collapse part way. They took her off the CPAP and put her on just a tube in her nose for the air. The CPAP had done it's job and gotten her airways working by then, and the tube relaxed her lungs enough that they could re-inflate and the tear has been healing, they think it's probably all the way, or close to all the way healed now. (They don't want to do xrays all the time on a baby so small). She still has some issues with her lungs, but she's getting better. One of the things is that when she eats they think the pressure of the food filling her tummy presses on her left lung and she has to work harder to breathe, so the % of oxygen in her blood drops - but that is getting better daily. They planned 2-4 more weeks of time in the NICU for those problems.

Kaitlyn also started having problems Tuesday that got really bad on Wednesday with coming off of my pain medications. They ended up having to start giving her a tiny dose of morphine, rather than have her suffering. They are having to ween her off the morphine slowly, and we've been giving a 2-3-4 week guess on that process as well, but have been told that some babies take as long as 2-3 months, or longer, depending on how much and what the mom was taking. So far they have weened her more quickly than they have any other baby. Dr. Z said that I did a great job weening off the medication, and that she probably would have been fine if she had stayed put till her due date. I feel really bad knowing that it's my back problems, and my pain medication that had her suffering, but the doctors and nurses have all told me that with my pain and problems I probably would have miscarried her, or she would have been born weeks earlier without it. The pain can cause you to miscarry in the first and second trimester, your body saying you have too much wrong to bring another life into the world and take care of it - so if I hadn't taken it then we could have lost her then. If I had stopped taking it sooner, or weened to quickly the pain would have caused me to go into labor and she would have been born earlier, as it is they think my back pain is what caused me to start having contractions all the time after I hit 30 weeks. Dr Z said I did what I had to do to keep her in me, and safe and healthy in there - his job is to get her well enough to come home.

I'm doing well - I'm exhausted, but it's so worth it. I'm pumping breast milk every 2 hours most of the time for Squish to drink, as it turns out she is quite the little piggy when it comes to feeding. I get a 4 hour stretch of sleep at night and that's it - after that every 2 hours I pump for 15-30 minutes so it's a little bit tiring. At the same time  I know how good it is for her, and seeing her guzzle it down feels good.

Monday, May 31, 2010

From 5/31/2010 - We got to hold her!

I called the NICU this morning to ask how Squish is doing, and was told okay. They said that she ate okay, and asked if I would want to feed her. DUH! I told her that we had been told not to expect this for a little bit, so she went and double checked and said that we would be allowed to feed her and hold when we showed up at her feeding time if her condition remained the same.

I told Kelley, and lets just say we were out of the house faster than lightning!

You know you look at your baby and she looks so tiny, and then you feel her in your arms and you realize she IS tiny. The whole whopping 4lbs 14oz of her.

I will say that Kelley was amazing.  He had been at the hospital much more than me, and all he had been allowed to do so far was sit and stare.  I offered to let him hold her first, and he let me. 

I'm not trying to take away that first moment all mom's go through that moment they finally have their baby in their arms, and can see a face.  It's an amazing moment when you get to see the reality of that child that has been beating you up from the inside, and hold them in your arms.  At the same time, my daughter had been in the world for 3 days already, and she had never been in my arms.  I'd gotten to touch her a few times, that was it.  Kelley had spent hours by her side, and not hold her.  That moment you wait for your whole pregnancy, the moment when the baby comes wailing into the world, announcing their arrival, and the doctor places that beautiful life into your arms, we didn't get that.  We got a grunting baby and watching her be whisked away.  For us, THIS was THAT moment you wait for.  

The NICU also does something you may have heard of "kangaroo care" basically having you hold your baby against your skin, it's amazing the healing properties skin on skin has for both adults and children.

Kaitlyn with a toy that Tina Hawkins gave her.  The green pacifier is the same one you see in the stores, and those are the standard air tubes and such on her, that I think gives a good idea of how tiny she is.

Squishes with her Daddy in Kangaroo care.  (She loved being in her Daddy's arms by the way.  All of her stats shot up great while she was in his arms.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

From 5/30/2010 - Meeting her!

The drive to hospital in Phoenix wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Here she is:

When we walk into the hospital, Kelley has to show me the way. I must say that I am impressed with all the security measures they have taken to ensure the safety of the babies. I start getting nervous the closer we get, what if I don't recognize her? What if I don't feel a connection with her?

The first thing they ask you to do when you arrive is wash your hands, and they checked Kelley for a wristband they had given him, and compared it to the one on Squish to make sure that he is allowed to see her. They then check me and give me a band of my own. A neo-natologist comes over to talk to me to double check the info they have on me and all the stuff during pregnancy to make sure they are doing what is best for Kaitlyn.

One of the nurses asked if I wanted to hold Kaitlyn.  DUH.  At the same time, they hadn't yet allowed Kelley to hold her for a reason.  I told her I wasn't sure we were allowed to yet, so she went and checked, and nope, no holding her.  At the same time there was my child.  She was there, and real, and beautiful, and mine.  

From 5/30/2010 Woo hoo! Freedom!

I must say that no one looks forward to being separated from their newborn child. Some people have problems being apart from their 20 year olds, so I think, enough said. For me, the hardest thing in the world was getting a brief glimpse of my child in the operating room, having her whisked away to the nursery due to breathing, then finally feeling I'm going to get to see her and being told she's being taken to another city and I cannot leave for 72 hours.

Sitting in the hospital was more than frustrating. I wanted to see my daughter, I wanted to hold her, I wanted to smell her, and touch her, and she was 60 miles away.

In the middle of the night after surgery a lady comes in while my mom is sleeping next to the bed and tells me it's time for me to try sitting up, or I can wait till morning. I told her I wanted up NOW. So, I sat up, and then ask her if I can walk. She told me that I didn't have to, it was going to be hard and wasn't required yet. I know how these things work by now, you have to do x, y, and z in order to get out of the hospital and I planned on doing those as soon as I could. I didn't make it very far, but I did walk.

I can say that a C-section hurts, it doesn't help that the nurses feel the need to come in and push on your uterus and make it hurt worse all the time.

At this point I am bound and determined to get out of the hospital as soon a possible, so I'm walking as much as I can, I'm doing everything I can think of to get out of their. The only thing holding me back from seeing my baby is the hospital.

I guess hospital rules state that after a c-section you are supposed to remain for 72 hours. It got to the point where I told the nurses I wanted out, and I had met all of their criteria except for the number of hours in the hospital. The nurses told me Sunday morning that they were going to recommend to allow me to leave early so long as I took it easy. They did, and finally the doctor came in to talk to me. She let me know that technically she should hold me longer post-op, but that she felt and agreed with the nurses that keeping Kaitlyn and I apart was bad for both of us, and would put that as part of the reason allowing me to leave early.

I called Kelley and my mom, and we made plans to leave from the hospital to head to see Squish. The emotions running through me are unexplainable. I can't wait.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Squish is here!

Okay - I know this is a little bit late for most of you, but it's been a busy week!

A lot of you knew that I kept thinking May 28th was going to be the day. Kelley put it best when he was telling someone "Tammy got one of her feelings, and when she gets one of her feelings you listen to her" - or something like that.

I went in for my NST on Friday morning. Things were looking okay, other than Kaitlyn being a tad bit lazy. We were having some trouble getting her to wiggle - but it was nap time after all, I mean what did we expect? The nurse in charge of the NST and I were talking and I told her that I had a feeling Kaitlyn was coming out today. After the NST went a bit she came in and told me not to drink any more she didn't trust my daughter, but trusted my intuition. Then Dr. Terai came in and let me know she was a little bit concerned, there were a few heart decelerations that had her worried. They weren't scary or anything, just something that had never happened on a NST with Kaitlyn before.

Dr. Terai called Dr. Dixon's office, wanting to see if he would come evaluate me at the hospital (I was there for the NST). My appointment was scheduled for 1pm with him that afternoon for the growth scan. She was hoping since I was on his schedule any way he would run over when he was done with patients and check me there. Dr. Terai wasn't 100% comfortable with me getting off of the monitoring or being discharged from the hospital. Funny thing is - this was about the time I started feeling the contractions that had been showing up like clockwork every 10 minutes. Dr. Dixon explained he did not have time to run over, had my NST faxed over for him to look at. The NST was stable then - and had been for an hour, so he said to discharge me in time for me to make it to my appointment with him, and he'd evaluate me there.

I got to my appointment with Dr. Dixon right at 1pm. They started the growth scan and Squish wasn't much bigger, and as I thought was still in breech position. Dr. Dixon came in to take a look and they also checked my amniotic fluid - they score amniotic fluid levels in the uterus on a scale of 5 to 18 (I think) or maybe 1-20 but 5 is the lowest they consider safe for a baby. My amniotic fluid was at 6. Dr. Dixon said he wanted to make a few phone calls, to sit tight and he'd be back. He came back in the office and said it looked like today was the day. I was to leave there and head to the hospital for a c-section that evening.

I left the appointment and called Kelley, asked him if he minded leaving work a little bit early... so he headed up to the hospital. I will admit that as we arrived in the hospital parking lot it hit me - I'm having a baby. I mean really, was I READY to have a baby? Uhm... NO. The house wasn't clean, the nursery wasn't done, I was just sort of guessing I might know how to breast feed, my birthing classes were supposed to start on June 5th! I was NOT ready to have a baby! Kelley said I should have thought about that, say, 9 or 10 months before that?

I get to the hospital, Mom is out in the waiting room with Gino waiting for a friend to come pick him up and watch him. (THANK YOU JEN!) Kelley got to the hospital, and came back to hang out with me. My c-section had been scheduled at the end of the day, there were 2 surgeries ahead of me. They wanted to make sure given the NST and such that they had nothing else going on around my c-section in case it ended up being eventful. (Is my life ever not?) Mom came back after Jen (THANK YOU AGAIN!) picked up Gino - and we just sort of hung out. A few of the nurses new me and came to say hi and say congrats on getting there...

The C-section and rest story will come tomorrow! (It's time to pump and then hit the hay!)

From 5/28/2010 - Flayed like a fish

Well, when it finally came down to "hey you are getting c-sectioned" the one thing that came to mind was being filleted like a fish. I still kind of wonder if that's what it was like.

For the c-section they got me all hooked up to the machines... got Squish hooked up to the baby monitors and all of that jazz.

They wheel me into the procedure room... now really, can they make these rooms any more intimidating? It is sort of like what you picture, and hear about, from alien abductions. You feel like a specimen under a microscope. All these lights pointed at you, in a room full of scary machines.

The anesthesiologist comes in and starts talking to me. Getting prepped to do the epidural. I was told that it was going to be "hit or miss" and it was. They had me sit on the table, and you bend over a bit, sort of doing the hunch back thing. They get out the epidural kit - put a paper over my back with a square in the middle. Then they go and clean and prep the epidural area with whatever that red/orange stuff is. All I can tell you was that it was cold. Then they numb my back with some stuff, and the chick starts pushing here and there asking if I can feel it. They get me all lined up, hunched over with a nurse standing next to me.

They have me put my chin to my chest and hunch as much as I can. I can't feel the needle go in, but I could feel when it go around my spine. Then they were asking me to say what it felt like, to me it felt to the right, and I told them. They had missed. It sort of reminds me of the feeling of popping your knuckles or something, what I imagine cartilage on cartilage feels like. Also, sort of like a bubble pushing where it shouldn't be. Anyways, rinse this process and repeat 4 more times. Then the lady asks for back up. They were going to try one more time for the epi, and if that didn't go then they would put me under general and knock me out. They bring in the other guy, and finally nail the epidural.

I start going numb - yay! They let Kelley in the room (finally). Now, you hear about doctors leaving stuff in patients all the time, what's hilarious is knowing how serious they are about NOT leaving things in patients. There is a list on the wall and the nurses are counting out how many of each item they have, checking this and that. Making sure that every piece of equipment is counted for...

Dr. Edwards comes in with Dr. Terai and asks if I'm ready. Kelley is standing up by my head with me and they get going. It was a lot less scary at that point than I thought it would be. I couldn't feel anything. All I could think was that I was about to meet my baby. We were finally going to get to meet her.

All I remember is that when they said she was out the nurses made a few comments about how Squish was going to like wearing necklaces when she got older. I didn't get it at all. I also remember being afraid because she wasn't crying loud like you hear about in movies and what not. I heard a weak cry.

A nurse brings Kaitlyn over and there she was. The most beautiful baby I had ever seen. The nurse also let me know that there wasn't anything to be worried about but that she wasn't crying really well, more grunting so they were going to take her to the nursery to check on her. She had Kelley go with her.

Dr. Edwards worked on cleaning me up, and closing me up. Again, I didn't feel anything. I got wheeled down to recovery where they were very friendly. One thing that was weird was I guess they press and massage your uterus to get it to shrink back down... the nurse down there was putting her entire body weight down behind pushing on my uterus and I couldn't feel a thing. She was standing on a stool pushing and manipulating my uterus so much it was moving the whole bed I was in and I couldn't feel it. I kept asking about Kaitlyn, but they couldn't tell me anything, they didn't know anything.

Anyways, I get wheeled up to the room, and Kelley and my mom walk in. The look on their faces told me something was wrong. I asked what it was and they said that Squish was going to be fine, but as a precaution they were moving her to Phoenix. "Just in case." I couldn't see her because of the c-section, and because of the breathing issues they couldn't bring her to me. The nurse told me that the flight crew would bring her in really quick before they left with her.

Now, scary is seeing your little tiny newborn baby in an incubation thingy, on a gurny, surrounded by medical stuff. I can't quite say seeing her... all I could see was a little arm wrapped in gauze where they put her IV in. Then they wheeled her out. All I could think was the worst. I kept thinking about Christopher and how I may never see her alive again, and I had only seen her for maybe a minute total. I wasn't even sure if it came down to it I could pick her out of other babies. Scary. A nightmare, the worse things you can think of were coming to my mind all I wanted was my daughter, with me.

Kelley got in the car and drove to Phoenix to get there to be with her as soon as he could.

When Kaitlyn arrived in Phoenix the doctor there, Dr. Z called me. He let me know that Squish was going to be okay. He also told me that she was going to get worse before she got better. Her breathing had gotten worse, and they thought it was going to get even worse. At the time they couldn't justify putting surfactant in her lungs, but that she was going to need it. They would also put put her on a CPAP machine when they did it. Dr. Z also told me that he had patients that were much worse, and not to worry she was in good hands.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Never a dull moment...

Well my testing is scheduled for tomorrow. I have a NST at 9am, and then Kaitlyn's follow up growth ultrasound set for 1PM. I kept figuring things would happen tomorrow.

I've been having contractions for almost two weeks now. I've never felt any of them really, I mean now and then I'd have a decent one, but none of them bothered me.

During one of my million trips to the bathroom last night I had a contraction I felt, and it was like "huh, I think I've felt one each time I've been up, cool." That was it. About 3am I got up and had two while I was awake, no biggie. I woke up at 4am and had one that hurt clear through to my back (back labor contractions are soooo fun). Not much later I had another one. A light bulb goes off - maybe I should be keeping track of these things. So I watch the clock. Come to find out I'm having decent contractions every 6-8 minutes.

In my mind I'm going - these don't hurt that much, I could just wait till they hurt. I don't want to wake Kelley and waste his time for nothing. Then another thing occurs to me - my doctor said I was close and things could happen any day now. He also said if I started having regular contractions not to mess around because the cerclage could rip my cervix apart.

I finally decide to wake Kelley up. I tap him on the shoulder and ask him when he gets up for work. He tells me 5:15am - I asked him how set he was on going in to work this morning. He was still 90% asleep and asked why. I told him I was having contractions every 6-8 minutes. He sort of grunted and rolled over a bit to go back to sleep. I think it occurred to him a few seconds later when her turned and asked me what that meant. Was sort of cute. I let him know I could get mom to drive me, but I'd prefer him.

So we get to the hospital, I get hooked up and the nurse tells me I'm not having any contractions. I was a little bit peeved. I was out of bed at 5am, woke Kelley up early, and he's missing work and I'm not having contractions? I simply couldn't believe it. Then I had a really good contractions that I KNEW was a contraction. It didn't show up on her monitor. At the same time Kaitlyn's heart rate dropped during the contraction as well. So the nurse came back and I told her that with Christopher it didn't pick the contractions up because they are 95% in my back - or at least thats what I guess. I described the contractions to her and asked her to move the monitor... she did.

I've also been leaking some fluid, she checked me internally to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid, and then went to talk to the doctor on call. She came back a little bit later and apologized, said I WAS having contractions every 6-8 minutes that were lasting 30 seconds to a minute. (I said so). They decided to give me a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions, which worked. The contractions stopped and I was let go home.

Good news is Kaitlyn was super active, wiggling away in there, and her heart rate looked great. The nurse was even impressed at her activity level.

I've had a few contractions today, but nothing major. Kelley didn't have to take the whole day off - and Squish is still squished in my tummy. I don't think she's happy about it. She's been nice and feisty all day. Lets just say that when she is in the mood her little feet can hit some places that hurt pretty darn good.

As I said tomorrow is the day for the testing. I'm hoping she's grown a bit - even a little bit. Just enough to count and measure it. Enough for them to let her decide when it's time for her to be born. At the same time if she's not doing well then I hope they decide to take her out and let her do better on the outside. We will see. I think it's also going to be interesting finding out if she's still breech or not. I think she is, but I also know she's been moving a lot and I can't quite feel how she is sitting in there. If she hasn't turned, chances are that she's not going to.

I'm also hoping to find out what's going on with my cerclage. I'm dilated a bit even with it in, so not sure what will happen when it's clipped. I guess I just can't have a regular boring pregnancy?

It's all in God's hands though. He could pack 2 pounds on her tonight if He wants to, turn her on a dime, or send me into labor tonight.

In other news it's a year now since my hospitalization and emergency surgery. When they redid my internal bowel hernia and moved my insides all about. Sort of bittersweet to know that they went through so much to keep Christopher safe and we lost him anyways, and here I am waiting to go any labor any day with Kaitlyn.

I'll update when I can, as soon as I can. Might be getting baby pictures tomorrow night, or a hey they are letting me stay pregnant! We shall see. Just can't be bored with Squishes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

5/25/10 - Update "Any day now"

Squish passed her NST. I will say these tests are anything but boring with her. The tests are supposed to take about 20-30 minutes and normally take about an hour with my little girl. It takes forever just to get her hooked up, with her kicking and punching away from the heart monitor. Today was even more fun - their machine wasn't picking up her heart rate all the time even though we could hear it perfectly. THEN there were times it decided it wanted mine instead and would put that up there. When the fetal heart rate is about 130-160 and mine in the 60 I think it sort of messes up the test.

We also found out that I'm having quite a few contractions. None of them seem like much to me, but they are showing up good on their contraction monitor. The fun part of this that when you are having certain contractions your stomach hardens, which makes it really hard to get the heart rate of the baby... so it was messing it up more. Then after a particularly nasty contraction (that really hurt my back) they had to find her all over again.

Another thing was that today they did the "group b strep test" it's a test for (duh) group b strep. If I'm a carrier it will just mean that they give me antibiotics during delivery to keep Squishes from getting it. While he was doing that since I've been having contractions and cramping and some other things he felt my cervix. I was told that I'm dilated through the cerclage - meaning that even with the cerclage in place my cervix is open a bit. Kaitlyn is also really really low and dropped down. Dr. Edwards said that I could go into labor at any moment... and not to mess around when I do.

If I go into labor before the cerclage comes out I have to get in and get it cut ASAP to keep it from ripping my cervix. Dr. Edwards also said that it didn't feel like a head down by my cervix - which means our rotten little princess is probably still breech (which they don't expect to change) - and means I'll be c-sectioned.

My next appointments are on Friday - which is when I figure things are going to happen. I have a NST in the morning and then a growth check on Kaitlyn's size that afternoon. I'm still expecting them to decide it's time for her to come out then. If not I was told to demand a cerclage removal date - and that it's in my notes it needs to come out. I was also told to expect labor to start when the cerclage is taken out...

Labor and delivery is whenever Kaitlyn decides. It could be tonight, Friday, or two weeks. I know he said "any day now" but I know of women who have been dilated and dropped and ended up induced weeks later. We will see!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Friday sure was interesting! (May 21, 2010)

Well, as the title says, Friday was an interesting day.

Kaitlyn decided she was going to be difficult, and difficult she was. The day started off just fine, Kaitlyn being herself, sticking to her normal schedule of awake and asleep time.

Mom decided to take me to my NST that was scheduled for that afternoon. We decided to eat out while we were out, then hit Walmart for a few things. Which we did. We ate about 11:30am, my NST was scheduled at 1:15pm.

We get to the NST and Squish decided it was nap time, she slept through the whole thing. Well, it's hard to pass a test when you sleep through it. So the doctor ordered a bio-physical profile - which Kaitlyn also decided she was sleeping through. We tried waking her up and she was having none of it.

The doctor told me to go get something with sugar, caffeine, and that was cold - then head to the hospital for another NST and bio-physical profile. I downed 1/2 a can of coke and headed over. Squish was wide awake for the NST - she passed with flying colors. The coke had her wide awake (it was about 4pm at this time). The sonographer gets up to labor and delivery to do the bio-physical profile and Kaitlyn falls right back to sleep.

The poor guy was there for 45 minutes trying to get her to move. Without her waking up and moving she would fail the profile, and if she failed the profile she was getting pulled out. Also, with her failing the profile it would mean an automatic c-section because they couldn't be sure she would survive a vaginal delivery.

I'm starting to get worried. If you've read this thing at all you know Kaitlyn is not the lazy baby we all would love to have. She's an over-actor and loves to punch and bounce and kick and beat me up. She loves to wiggle her way through everything and make getting things done as difficult as possible. I was starting to freak out a bit, okay, not a bit. At the same time, we've made it to 35 weeks - I'm 36 weeks now, I told her she was grounded until 35 weeks, so if it came down to them pulling her out, I was okay with that.

Good news is that, finally, at the end of the bio- 40 minutes after it started (the most they let it last is 45) Squish did a little bit of wiggling and was given a 8/8 on her bio. ROTTEN ROTTEN little girl!

After talking to the nurses, by now it was 5:30pm - they told me to eat and get some sugar in me and if she didn't wake up then to come back in. The assumption was that it had been 5 hours since I'd eaten, my blood sugar was probably low. They figured that the coke gave her a sugar spike and then it plummeted back down, which was why I was exhausted and she was sleeping.

We ate, and then she perked right up and so did I. So once again, we scraped by our tests, and we got to keep her in just a tad bit longer.

We have another NST scheduled for Tuesday. Then a growth scan scheduled Friday morning, and a NST for Friday afternoon. I have a feeling that Squish is probably going to be coming soon - I don't think she'll have grown that much as of Friday and they will be deciding to pull her out. I'm hoping I'm wrong because it means she's not thriving, but we will see.

In news about me:
-I'm here. :)
-I feel like a beached whale 95% of the time, and the other 5% of the time I feel like a really fat beached whale.
-For those guys who think that pregnant women have it easy - try strapping a beach ball to your belly that weighs 30 pounds and doing all your regular activities with it there. Just getting out of bed in the middle of the night is a feat sometimes. I have to move my legs then try to move my beach ball to the edge of the bed, THEN try heft me AND the 30 pound beach ball out of bed.
-I'm planning on having mom take some maternity pictures of me tomorrow to have them. Now that's a plan, not a sure thing.
-My back is killing me - I'll be honest with that. Squish has learned how to move just right and put pressure in all the "right" spots with my back. She squirms just right and it feels like she's trying to kill me sometimes. She also has this neat trick learned where she can hiccup and hit both of my sciatic nerves at the same time. LOADS of fun. The thing is - if it means having this little girl safely and happily in our lives, it's all worth it.
-I'm starving all the time again, but Squish is getting more and more finicky over what she'll let me eat. If she gives me a craving then it's either eat that, or eat nothing. It's a good thing she has yet to give me something I couldn't get to for a craving.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Snickers are not night time food...

I found out last night that no matter how badly you want a snickers bar if you want any sleep (and are pregnant) do not eat it just prior to (trying to) go to sleep.

It never occurred to me how the sugar would hit Squish. It's probably the most sugar I've had in one sitting in two years - I thought it might upset my stomach, but never thought about Squishes. Turns out that a Snickers bar turns my daughter into a jumping bean. A jumping bean with really good arms and legs and feet that like to kick. I *tried* to go to sleep around 9:30pm - about 20 minutes after the Snickers... it was "wow she's moving a lot for this late at night". She just kept jumping and jiggling.

It wasn't until about 10:30pm that I started wondering where she got all this energy from. At about 11pm, my poor uterus getting super sore from the battering ram that was beating it to smithereens I starting wondering what my daughter was on that had her so frisky. At about midnight it dawned on me - DUH! snickers bar + baby = super hyper baby and no sleep.

She finally calmed down around 1am. So, I can say I have learned my lesson - no candy bars just before bedtime, no matter how good they sound. At the same time, I should bring a candy bar with me to her NST's and other tests in case she's thinking of sleeping through them. That or I decide to make the sonographer's work really hard and want to watch them struggle with my little super bouncy ball.

5/14 Could be 6 weeks, could be 2 days...

As of right now things with Squish are up in the air.

I posted two weeks ago about our last cervical length check, and the growth scan done on April 30th. A quick concise is that Squish was measuring smaller than they'd like, and not having shown any growth over a two week period. They also scheduled twice weekly NST's - and I posted about that as well.

Today was our follow up growth scan. I can tell you that I was nervous. I've had a feeling over the past few days that Squish is going to be on her way in the next two weeks. I even have my hospital bag mostly packed and ready to go - just in case.

Things today were not any better. Squish hasn't shown any real growth still. She is now measuring at only the 8th percentile. They gave me an estimate of about 4 pounds 8 ounces. There are a few things that are sort of in our favor. One is that the due date they perinatologist is using is 9 days earlier than the one that my regular OB is using. (I ovulated 9 days later than normal women do, the peri was using the day of my last period to base my due date on.) The other is that Squish is still in the breech position - the peri today explained to me that the averages they are using are based on babies measurements head down. When babies are breech their head measurements tend to run slightly smaller due to the angle of the ultrasound machine. The peri did also say that her stomach and femur measurements were small as well, but the head measurement would give us a little bit more weight. Both of those could be to our favor making her small, but not as small as she appears. It doesn't mean she's in good shape, just not necessarily as bad as it appears. (We'll take every little bit we can get, right?)

The good news is that Squish passed her bio-physical profile done during the ultrasound with flying colors. I think the ultrasound tech would have preferred her to not pass so well. Squish was wiggling and shaking up a storm during the sonogram - so (as usual) the measurements were taking longer than they should have. At one point it was chase that femur bone (thigh) bone as she kicked and wiggled. The bio-physical profile measures her heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and amniotic fluid - it's used to evaluate the overall health of the baby in the womb. We scored and 8 out of 8. That is great news. They also watch to check on Squish while she is in there and she was taking tons of practice breaths, which is great news! Just shows that all her hiccups are from her breathing and breathing over and over in there!

So what else did they say? Squishes is small. They are keeping a very close eye on her now. If Squish hadn't passed her bio with flying colors, she would have been pulled out. If at any point she does poorly on her NST she's getting pulled out of there. If she slows her movement down, she's getting pulled out. Right now it's all up to Squish, and how well she does. Their main concern is to make sure that she is in the best place for growth and maturing. If Kaitlyn doesn't improve her growth between now and the next growth scan - they will be taking her out. Some babies do better outside of the womb for whatever reason than they do inside.

Do they know why she's not growing? No. It could be a million things. They said awhile ago that it could be something to do with my gastric bypass surgery. It could be something with her umbilical cord - as far as they could see it's moving nutrients fine, but they can't tell everything. It could be a placenta problem... or any number of things. They don't know what it is. I was told to up my water in take, to eat as much as I can, and get in as many calories as possible, I've been making sure to sleep on my side (it helps blood and nutrient flow to the baby). There isn't much else we can do.

So - the next thing - I had a NST scheduled today also. Squish did NOT pass this NST with flying colors... she got a "so-so" score. I can honestly say that I don't think this one was as accurate as it could have been. Kaitlyn was wiggling and shaking the entire time, never really calming down for even a little bit. The test works by getting a baseline heart rate, and then when she moves, monitoring her rate increase against that. They like to see it increase 10-15 or more when she moves and wiggles. With her heart rate being up already, getting it up 15 more wasn't quite happening. She could get it up 10, but wasn't keeping it up 15 for very long. She didn't fail the test, or do too poorly, and she was moving a ton (a great sign) so he said we are just going to watch her.

So, it all comes down to whether or not we can get Squish to behave, and grow. I'd love for her to grow some more, and to bake a little bit longer, at the same time if this is God saying "it's time for her to enter the world" so be it. I trust that God will and has given the doctors the tools and the knowledge to make the best choices they can for her. It all comes down to God and Kaitlyn. I'm keeping a good "feel" for her movement, but she makes it pretty obvious she's wiggling and grooving in there. We are doing what we can for her, and getting as prepared as we can.

I know so many of you already are, but please, continue to keep us in your prayers. I'd really like to keep her baking longer, just because her brain isn't fully developed yet, right now it's only about 70% formed compared to what it would be at 37-40 weeks. She's also less than 5 pounds, and they don't normally allow babies under 5lbs 8oz to go home. I'd rather her not spend a lot of time in the NICU.

Thank you to everyone, for your thoughts, prayers, good wishes, and the things we've gotten for Squish.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

NST - Non-Stress Test

So today Kaitlyn and I had our first "NST" it's a "Non-Stress Test". Today was the first of twice-weekly NST's that we will be having until Squish is born. The primary reason NST's are done is to make sure that your baby's heart rate is reacting properly to their movement and stimulus. Basically it takes adequate oxygen for the baby to move properly, and for the heart to react properly to the babies movement. A bad NST could be a sign of problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. The NST's will also help us make sure that Squish is fine, even if she is small. It's sort of like reassurance that even if she isn't growing much, she is doing okay in me.

I was a little nervous, not sure exactly what would be happening during the test, and how. We found out today.

Basically I got taken over to a little cubical type thing at Sun Life (my regular OB office). They sat me in this nice recliner and hooked me up to two different machines. One of the machines was for monitoring, and seeing if I was having contractions. The other was a machine that monitored Squishes heart rate and printed it out on paper. They also gave me a cord hooked up to the heart rate monitor, it had a button and each time I felt Squishes move I had to press the button.

It took the nurse a little bit to get the heart monitor in the spot where it picked up Kaitlyn's heart rate consistently. I still ended up having to hold the monitor in place and angle it to keep track of it.

I can honestly say it was great getting to sit there for 1/2 hour, just listening to Squishes little heart beat. It's a sound that meant so much up until the end with Christopher, and hearing it so strong and constant is incredible. The other awesome thing was listening to how her heart rate changed as she got to wiggling. Her resting heart rate was 135-140 (or so says the machine) - when she got to really wiggling it got all the way up in the 170's. I can't say how neat it was to not just feel, but hear the movement in her heart beat.

I'm thinking next time I'm in there I'll try to see if I can get my cell phone to take a video of it - that way I can share the sound of her heart beat with everyone.

We passed the test with flying colors. So Squish is already an honor student.

We have another NST on Friday, and one each Tuesday and Friday from now on.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

33 weeks! We're measuring a little tiny...

April 30, 2010

Well, I had yet another cervical length check today. (I know I have been really bad about posting here for a long time... I blame it on Squishes - turns out if I listen to people she's an excuse for EVERYTHING.)

Anyways - yes, another appointment to get my cervical length checked, and to check on Kaitlyn's growth. The good news is that my cervix grew - yes - GREW. I went from 12mm two weeks ago on the 16th (very very bad, almost hospitalization bad) to 20mm today. 20mm isn't good - they like numbers of 30mm-40mm. 25mm is considered the danger zone. BUT my cervix grew. I really have to thank my mom for that. She's been such a huge blessing here, constantly reminding me to stop doing this or that, and doing lots of things I've been doing that I shouldn't have been.

Turns out, I couldn't just get good news. Nope. Squish likes her attention - so she's got to be a little drama queen. I got worrisome news. I didn't get what her weight/measurements were, but Kaitlyn is only measuring at the 14th percentile. Which means that 86% of babies at 33 weeks are bigger than she is - she's measuring tiny. She has barely grown any at all since the 16th. There are a few different things that can mess with her growth. One is that my body simply isn't processing things correctly, so I am working my best at eating more, and more often. (You can ask, I'm already gnawing at the walls and such, I'm eating!) Another is that the placenta isn't doing something right, then is the chance that the umbilical cord isn't transferring nutrients to her correctly (could be pinched, or pressed, or just slow), it could be somehow blood simply isn't getting to her the way it should, or he mentioned (I have never heard of this) that there is a possibility that the cerclage is restricting bloodflow to her somehow. I got back in two weeks for another growth scan - and if things still aren't looking good they will order further testing, and there is talk of the cerclage coming out, or if they decide Squish will do better outside of me they will pull her out.

On top of this worrying news - this would be the one time in Kaitlyn's existence she decided to be lazy. Go figure. They were worried over her lack of growth so they wanted to check her movement and make sure she was practicing breathing and such. KELLEY's rotten little girl refused to budge. We tried everything, my belly looked like a bowl of jello in the middle of a level 9 earth quake with all the wiggling, bouncing we were doing and she just kept on sleeping. We got her to stretch a few times, sort of like she said that's irritating, I'm going back to bed. We tried really cold water (that normally gets her up turning my bladder to a pulp) - nothing. The sonographer was watching for signs that she was practicing breathing - in 30 minutes we only got 4-5 breathes, not good. At least we got that, but it wasn't good. She said that based on the fact I had a bad night, Squish might just be tired and comfy. Since she was moving, her heart looked good, and they did get some breathing they told me to give it a couple hours.

If in 2 hours she hadn't woken up and started moving her normal amount I was to head into labor and delivery to possibly be admitted, at the least get hooked up and have her checked out. I asked if I needed to be worried - they said that IF she didn't start moving like normal soon, then just to go get her checked out. IF they were worried, I would already be on the way to the hospital - but she could she just be in a lazy mood. I told the sonographer about how often she gets the hiccups - I'd read they only get the hiccups from practicing breathing - she confirmed it and said that if she gets the hiccups we are golden. I won't lie - I was freaking out. I was doing my best to not freak out, and it wasn't working. I mean my little brat who always moves and wiggles wasn't wiggling.

So... we decided maybe she needs some sugar, caffeine, and food - we head to Taco Bell (yum - taco bell.....) I eat, and about 10 minutes later the little bratty whirlwind is turning my insides to mush with all her moving. Go figure. 45 minutes at the doctors office and nothing - we beg, we plead, princess sleeps. I have to go pee - so she starts kicking ... Still no hiccups - so I'm going - so she's moving but she's not practice breathing - if they have to pull her she NEEDS to be breathing. Then she gets the hiccups. I must have ended up with the stupidest, biggest grin in the world on my face right then.

Now I'm actually keeping a hiccup log, and a movement count log. They told me awhile ago to set aside an hour period a few times ago and to count 10 movements in an hour, if I don't get them drink something cold and sugary and start over. Well with Squishes, I get 10 kicks in a minute, so it was easy. Now I'm being paranoid - so I'm setting aside 10 minute sessions here and there and counting her karate chops - forget waiting the whole hour. I was up to 45 some-odd beatings to random organs in 10 minutes last night.... I'm also writing down each time I feel her get the hiccups, and how long it lasts. I can tell you that she does NOT like the hiccups - every 3rd or 4th one she does a little freak-out dance like she's trying to fight them away. I can't say that I blame her - I'm not to big on them either.

So, things are better, and worrier. My cervix is longer (yay!) but she's measuring small. I suppose we shall see in two weeks how we are doing. I have heard that fetal measurements can be off pretty often, so I could go in two weeks and be told I have a massive baby girl! She's measured smallish the entire pregnancy, so her being a bit smaller isn't a big deal, I just want to make sure she's growing like she should be. So keep her in your prayers! GROW SQUISH GROW! Good news is - she might be small but she sure is feisty!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shower, Registry, Squish and me too!

Kelley and I have been getting quite a few questions about all things Squish lately. I figured that this would be the best way to get them answered all at once.

Kaitlyn's Baby Shower Info:
Date: May 1st, 2010 (Saturday)
Time: 2:00PM - 6:00PM
Where: Countryside Community Club
9151 N Bald Eagle
Tucson, Arizona 85742

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE RSVP as soon as possible! You can RSVP by emailing or sending me a message via facebook. From what I'm hearing most people have gotten their invites over the past week or so. You can also call Candace (the amazing woman throwing us the shower) at 520-471-8531 to RSVP. The shower is coed, and if you have kids they are welcome, we just really need to know how many to expect so we can plan food and such.

Are we registered anywhere?

Yes. Kelley and I have registered.
We are registered at Wal-Mart, Target, and You can view and select items for all three via the internet, you can also shop in store at Wal-Mart and Target. The information for all three is pretty easy to find our registry. Use Tammy Doern or Kelley Doern as the registrant name. State, of course, is Arizona. If you need to know Kaitlyn's due date is June 19th, 2010.

Does the nursery have a theme? Do you have likes or dislikes?

After looking around for awhile Kelley and I decided to have a jungle themed nursery. We fell in love with the Fisher-Price "Rain Forest" collection, and it's partner the "Precious Planet" collection (also by Fisher-Price). It has the bright, bold colors we were looking for, it has gotten great safety reviews, and awesome reviews from parents. We've registered for a lot of those items.

We have also registered for the Dr. Brown's line of bottle products - reflux and GERD runs in my family and those are the bottles that helped both of my nephews out.

Sensitive skin runs in the family also, and mom says that Pampers were the only diapers that didn't make us break out, so we also registered for the Pampers "Swaddlers" diapers. (The dry-max diapers are thinner and more earth friendly for those interested.)

I have yet to register for many clothes, and will be adding some. At the same time I figured if people saw something they liked they didn't need me to tell them it was cute. Just please keep in mind that babies grow up in size very quickly - there are so many hours in a day to have her newborn clothes.

How is Squish doing?

Squish is a firecracker. She is definitely keeping me on my toes. I never knew that babies would have personalities before they were born, but Kaitlyn definitely does. She is a very finicky baby.

The funny thing is that her nickname is "Squish" and it is one thing she absolutely hates - she cannot stand being 'squished' in any form. If my pant waist is pushing in on her she freaks out, if my seat belt gets tight she fights it. Just my leaning up against the counters to clean the back, and that bit of counter pushing on her gets her throwing punches. We have a fetal heart monitor (to listen to her heartbeat) and you tighten it up against your belly, that was the first time I SAW her kicks outside, she was beating that thing to pieces from the inside.

How is mommy doing?

I'm doing good so far. I've considered myself really lucky in the cervix department until here lately. I managed, despite the incompetent cervix, to get so far without being on strict bed rest the whole time. I've gotten by, until this point, by just taking it as easy as I can manage.

My last cervical length sucked, it's down to 1.6cm - not good. I was told in the beginning that 2.5cm was a "dangerous" cervical length... so I'm a little bit lower than dangerous. I was hoping I had heard them wrong, but after my doctor appointment today it was confirmed, my cervical length sucks. The good news is that there is no funneling, and the cerclage is still holding strong, doing it's job. The bad news is that I'm now allowed no more than an hour a day on my feet, and I was told in no more than 15 minute sections - and to try to avoid the on my feet time as much as possible. So, the couch, bed and my rear who were on friendly terms before, are going to be getting even better acquainted. (yay!?)

I am 30 weeks now - 2 weeks beyond "gravy" but not close to the safe zone. If Kaitlyn insisted on coming into the world now she would have a very good chance of making it - she would also end up with minimal disabilities. At the same time I plan on keeping her baking until 35 weeks, even if that means duct taping my cervix closed. (I really do think it's something they should consider, duct tape fixes everything right?) If I can hold her captive until 35 weeks they will allow her to be delivered here in Casa Grande, if she comes before then she will have to spend a lot of time at Tucson Medical Center in the NICU, and I would rather her not have to spend her first while hooked up to machines.

Thank you everyone, for your continued thoughts and prayers. I also ask that you please keep us in them. Every day that she stays put is another blessing, it means she gets to grow a little more, we get to pretend that we are making progress in the baby gear department and getting the nursery set up, and she gets to develop more. Also, keep Kelley and his sanity in your thoughts - poor guy has to put up with me, pregnant, hormonal, and now on most strict bed rest.

If you know anyone who would want to know this information, feel free to pass this on!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kisses, love and fate.

The first thing I want to say is that yes, I have been slacking in the blogging department. I'm fully well aware of that fact. Truth be told I have a few 1/4 done blogs - and then I got distracted with something (pretty easy to do) and stopped. I WILL be finishing those soon, I think.

The reason I'm writing today is that this is a special day for me. Today is April 9th, 2010. I thought the important day was yesterday, but after looking through some old emails/writing I realized today was the day.

10 years ago today was the day my life changed forever.

I had been injured at work, and couldn't use my right arm. I was doing the whole photographer thing then, and I'm right handed so I wasn't worth a whole lot. The doctor I saw put me on the bench for two weeks, longer if my arm didn't get better quickly enough.

I had some free time. At this time Kelley and I were still just friends. We spoke occasionally on the phone, and did a lot of emailing and IMing. (Instant Messaging)

Right after I'd hurt my arm I got a call from Kelley. We were chatting like we normally did, nothing unusual. I mentioned my arm and how I was out of work for a little while.

Kelley was still in the Army at this time, and they had been preparing to head to a training school for a month long. Word came down the chain of command that for whatever reason the birds (helicopters) with his unit were grounded (couldn't fly). His entire unit was told that since they had planned the schooling, and schooling got canceled their calendar was empty for the next month. If they wanted to take leave, now would be the time to do it.

A long standing joke between Kelley and I was that every phone call I would ask him when he was coming to see me. I never actually expected him to come and visit. Kelley put in for his leave. The one condition was that if got his way out here, I had to get him home.

It amazes me even more now, considering we were just good friends at the time, that Kelley rode on a greyhound bus 24 hours for this visit. He sat, on his bum, for 24 hours for me. To spend time with a friend.

Kelley arrived near midnight on April 6th, which is my birthday. It was a great present. I remember him joking at one point about how I "never expected to get a Kelley for my birthday".

So what is so important about April 10th?

Kelley and I were hanging out upstairs in my room. I'd taken some medication for my arm that knocked me out pretty darn good. Kelley was sitting on the bed, I was laying down, and we were watching a lightning storm out the windows. I had drifted off to sleep.

I thought it was a dream, and felt something on my lips. Then in a soft voice I heard, "well it worked for Prince Charming." I opened my eyes groggily and a few seconds later Kelley kissed me again.

It was that moment that I *knew* without a shadow of a doubt that I was in love. I knew that Kelley was the one. My entire life WAS that kiss. Kelley was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with, there was no other option.

Here we are, 10 years to the day later - and he is still the love of my life. People say the newness, the passion, the power, that flood of emotions you get in the beginning of a relationship wears off. Not for me. I still get butterflies when Kelley kisses me. All that power is still there, but on top of it all is the warmth of being best friends. I still get all the rushing emotions, the want and power of passion; but I also get the tenderness of affection, love, and trust.

It's been 10 years, and so many ask "what would you do differently?" I can't say that I would. I can honestly say that I wouldn't change a thing. Changing so much as one breeze could change it all, and I'm amazed and feel blessed every single morning to be with him.

There are people out there who question things - they simply say "coincidence". Let those who choose to believe that way do so. I know that it was God's very hand that brought us together. Circumstances don't just turn out that way.

Any other time in our lives would not have been "right". I know had he visited earlier I wouldn't have been ready, or mature enough, to follow my heart that way. Any later and who's to say he would have kissed me at all? If his birds hadn't been downed, my arm not injured? God fated us to be together, and together we are.

It amazes me each day to know I can kiss him just because. I'm blessed every single time I can reach out and hold his hand, and I still feel that tingle.

There are people out there who spend their entire life searching for exactly what we have.

There's a song called "Living in a Moment" - a line from that song is:

"When they carve my stone all they need write on it,
is once lived a man who got all he ever wanted.
Tell me something, who could ask for more
Than to be living in a moment you would die for?"

How many people would die for the type I love we have. How many people would give their all to feel, just once, what I feel each time I think of Kelley?

I could live forever on the emotions and power I felt in that first kiss. God has blessed, me more than there are words to say, in that I don't have to.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sorry it's been so long...

Found this message from awhile ago that I guess I saved, not published:

I know it's been a very long time since I've posted an update. Things are still going great. I'm amazed each and every day. I thank God every morning that He is keeping Squish safe and sound. I thank God for being pregnant yet another day, I thank Him for allowing Squish to bake and grow just a little bit more.

Kaitlyn is kicking/punching/twisting up a storm in here. I sort of feel like a washing machine - you know, when you over load it and it sort of kicks and does the whole off balance thing? There are times she gets to going in there and I wonder if she's going to be beating up the doctors when she comes into the world. I wish that Kelley could feel her more, but I'm feeling her plenty. Kelley also doesn't have the patience to just sit there and wait for her to get aggressive.

There are a couple times of day that are special for me. The first starts between eight and ten am... it's sort of Squish's wake-up time. She'll start moving slowly, I'll grab my meds, something to drink and eat, and head back to bed. I'll lay and read a book or pray, thanking God for this little miracle, while I'm eating my breakfast. Squish just does her little tumbling act and I lay there like an idiot with an ear to ear grin in pure amazement. We do this again around three or four in the afternoon... it's just an incredible feeling.

My cervix isn't great, but it's better than the peri expected at this point. My last measurement was 3.1cm - they prefer it at 4 or higher, but I started off short, so he is happy with this measurement. Anything above 2.5 is "okay" - so lets hope it stays this way. I'm also doing a lot more than I was, but so far the cervix and cerclage are holding out with it.

I'm doing pretty good. Exhausted - no one warns you people making is tiring stuffs.

As far as craving go - they are kicking it. Food aversions also. I think there are a lot more aversions than cravings. It's more like things that have always tasted good, no longer do. Or I just can't make myself eat it, no matter how good it is, I know that one more bite and I'll be sick all over.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Squish's First Embarrassing Photo, Name, and more

Girly parts shot!

I figured since we weren't technically the ones that took the photo, Squish can't hate us for taking it right? Squish is officially a girl - and here is the photo to prove it.

Upper body shot!

Looking at the photo, her bottom is towards the bottom right. Her legs come up to form a "V" towards the upper left... in the middle, the three lines, sort of like a cheeseburger in black and white are her "goods". Think she'll hate us for showing this off already?

Kelley and I have decided on a name. I really wasn't sure how long it was going to take us, I figured we'd still be fighting over a name when Squish was born. So...

(Insert drum roll here....)

The name is . . .

(Insert next drum roll . . .)

Kaitlyn Elizabeth Doern

It's a GIRL!

Kelley and I had been sending names back and forth and neither of us liked the names the other was coming up with. He sent me "Ruth", I mentioned "Lorelei", which was sent back "Elizabeth", and so on. He likes the more old fashioned names - I like the more romantic names. I guess he was typing in "KD Recipes" and loved the way "KD" sounded - so that turned into "Katie". (This is what I remember from him telling me.) He then put in "Elizabeth" - and called me asking what I thought of "Katie Elizabeth". "Kaitlyn" happened to be one of the names I had on my list - so I asked about "Kaitlyn Elizabeth" - and Squish has a real name! Pretty sure "Squish" is going to stick forever, as I'm still calling her that, but for all formality, on on paper, she'll be "Kaitlyn Elizabeth Doern". I'm very surprised the naming didn't come to blows at some point (me wailing on Kelley) - I think I might have enjoyed beating him, he deserves it now and then.

In other news - Kaitlyn has decided that I am her punching bag. I don't think it would be so bad if it actually felt like I was being bopped from inside, or something like that. For me Squish wiggling feels like hunger pains, and sometimes makes me feel nauseous. I've found that Kaitlyn really has objections to cold liquids, or anything cold hitting her. It gets her to squirming around in there. Well last night she was in a very rowdy mood and was making me feel miserable. I spent awhile rubbing my tummy, sometimes calms her down. I even walked a little bit (yes I know bad Tammy, but I cut my shower short for it) - hoping the movement would calm her and get her to relax - that didn't work. Finally I sat in my recliner rocking for awhile, and either she was so exhausted from beating me up or it worked, and she slowly stopped beating me up and relaxed.

Next thing I know I guess Kelley decided he wanted to feel Kaitlyn kick, so Kelley decided to wake her up. Kelley proceeded to poke and prod my tummy for a little while - which got her wiggling again! I had just calmed her down. I guess Kaitlyn was in a mood because she spent a little while beating me up again. Not nearly as long as she was up earlier, thank goodness. At the same time she woke up about an hour after we tried to head to bed, and started beating on me again. As sick to my stomach as it makes me feel, as nauseous as it makes me, it's very reassuring and great to feel her moving and shaking in there. My one big rule right now is no kicking my cervix, it has enough issues.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Not so great news about my cervix...

Good news is that Squish is definitely a girl. The ultrasound tech took a confirming look for me today. We have her first embarrassing picture now. The good "between the legs" shot that is now in our file showing we are having a little girl. She was also measuring about 10ounces, maybe a little bit more, and wiggling up a storm in there. The ultrasound tech told me I would have my hands full when she was born as much as she moves around and wiggles during her picture taking. I guess Squish was cooperating at first and then got fussy with the poking from the ultrasound machine, so it took a little longer.

In other news I am on complete bed rest right now. No more getting up and down frequently, and since showers are my "splurge" I'm allowed 20 minutes to shower. This is the bad news. My cervix wasn't great when they put the cerclage in, which is why I was put on moderate bed rest - it had gone all the way up to 3.8 as of two weeks ago. I was told by my perinatologist (high risk OB) that I could do more, and do light bed rest. Then we had the fun with preterm labor, and I was put back on moderate bed rest. The good news at the time was that my cervix was holding steady at 3.8.

Today my cervix decided to go crazy. They say that a cervix can change drastically and quickly, for no apparent reason. Well, today instead of doing just 3 cervical length measurements, which they normally do (and take the average) - I ended up with closer to 8. The first measurement, and longest was 3.2cm - down from the 3.8cm. It then went to 3.1cm, and then proceeded to drastically shorten, and quickly. The other numbers they mentioned were 2.8cm, and 2.6cm, and then 2.6cm with funneling. (Funneling is BAD). The good news is that the cerclage is in there, and holding strong. Other good news is that I am not shortened, or funneling, down to the cerclage stitch.

As I mentioned, I am now on complete bed rest - so my walking privileges have been revoked. They also don't count sitting up as bed rest anymore, so I have to be laying down in one form or another so that the weight of Squish is off of my pelvic area. I was told complete bed rest until, at the least, Monday, and to avoid doing a whole lot, for probably the next month or two - we want Squish to stay put as long as we can keep her in there.

Please keep us in your prayers, we are one week away from the time in the pregnancy when we lost our Christopher, which makes these changes even more scary. For Squish to be considered "viable" - meaning able to be saved, and that they will attempt to save her, she has to stay put until 24 weeks, but her chance of survival isn't great then. At 28 weeks she'll be fully developed, just gaining weight, so we'd like her to stay baking in here until then, I'd love her to make it to 35 or even full term. I'm turning 21 weeks tomorrow, so we still have quite a ways to go, hopefully.

As I mentioned, keep us in your prayers. It's all in God's hands, I know that, and I know He has a reason for all things. I just pray that His plan in all this is for us to bring home a beautiful, healthy, happy baby girl.

I do have a pair of pictures, I have to scan them in and will probably have Kelley do that as it requires standing and I'm not supposed to be doing that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

20 weeks, starvation, and contractions, oh my!

20 Weeks, Starvation, and Contractions oh my!

Yay! We have reached the halfway point! That is great news!
Lets see, how are things going?

Cervix check - I wasn't scheduled for another cervical length check until this Friday, but Squish had other plans. I guess when you have a cerclage in, and go into preterm labor they automatically check your cervical length (CL). My cervix, even after the preterm labor, contractions, and stuff, was holding steady at 3.87cm on Thursday. I have another CL check scheduled for Friday.

Baby News - Squish is doing great! As I mentioned in my last post, we found out that our little Squish is a GIRL! We found this out thanks to our little girl throwing a temper tantrum on Thursday, apparently she's big on attention, and I wasn't giving her enough. Guess we have a Diva already. I saw the three lines, indicating a girl, while they were measuring her thighbone. Asked the tech, who was surprised we didn't know what we were having yet, and went back and confirmed the three lines and girl. She did say that she was only wrong once, and she picked it up at the next ultrasound. If Squish is a boy, he was hiding his good really well. I figure I'll ask for confirmation on Friday.

Squish is looking good as well. She was wiggling, squirming, and bouncing all over the place at the ultrasound. The ultrasound tech from Thursday totally understood the difficulty with figuring out what we are having after her trying to check on Squish. We had all sorts of movement, and it was a tad bit frustrating for the tech. We FINALLY got a good shot of the heart, all four chambers, only took her 10 minutes to get it. She worked for that one after hearing they hadn't gotten that shot yet for the anatomy scan. She quickly looked over everything else, but said she was giving up on most of the shots due to our extremely active little girl. Guess I won't be needing to work on losing weight after she's born, I'll have my hands full. Due to the situation they don't offer pictures of the ultrasounds, so I don't have any to offer, but will get more this Friday!

Name News: Kelley and I think we've come up with a name. Still thinking on it, and letting it settle to make sure. I really figured it would take a lot longer than it has, so we shall see if it sticks.

Tammy News - I'm exhausted. You would think as much time as I spend laying on the couch, or in bed, I would have an over-abundance of energy. I'm actually thinking that the bed rest is what's sucking the energy out of me.

I'm also starving 99% of the time, and can't find a single thing to eat. My main wants right now are Arby's, fresh strawberries (good ones not the all half white ones), pineapple, and good fried rice. No, as of yet, not all together. I have had a "pregnant food moment" that Kelley was both disgusted and amused by. I had finally gotten some strawberries (ooohhh and they were good) and had reheated some velveta cheesy mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes didn't taste that great reheated - then I got this great idea, and ohh it was delicious at the time, cheesy potato covered strawberries. Looking back, it sounds nasty, but I assure you it was wonderful at the time.

I had another round of contractions this morning, not nearly as bad as Thursday. I did everything I normally do on Sunday, with no extra's and apparently little girl thought it was too much. The contractions started about 2-3am, but did not end up being more than 2-3 and hour so I was under the 4 and hour rule. Mostly they were every 30-45 minutes. They stopped around 7am. No pressure or anything else, which is good. I am taking it easy, as per my OB's orders. He said to do even less, at least until my appointment with the high risk OB on Friday. Mainly he wants me taking it very easy, mostly bed rest and about 1/2 hour total on my feet per day. I figure I'll do whatever it takes to avoid being put on complete bedrest, or hospitalized bed rest.

Baby Gaga Report:
Fetal development in pregnancy week 20:This week you're carrying about 10.5 inches and 10.5 ounces of solid baby-miracle-goodness! Their little delicates bones continue to ossify and toughen while their itsy bitsy finger and toe pads are finishing up. Your little monkey now has teeth buds, although they’re hidden beneath the gum line. And finally! Their limbs have reached their relative proportions—no more alien baby! Their cute pink lips are more defined, and might be helping out in a bit of prenatal thumb-sucking. If you have a little boy, then their tiny testes are descending, though they have not yet passed the abdominal wall. What’s more, eyelashes and eyebrows are also visible. At this point, your little one really looks like a miniature baby—and we do mean miniature as your little swimmer currently weighs a mere eighth of their final birth weight. With half the pregnancy behind you, the most significant gains are yet to come!

And how's mom doing? Not that we need to tell you, but your baby may sometimes seem like a kick-boxer in training with no appreciation for your exhausted-pregnant-momma sleep needs. Still, before you start yelling at them to calm it down in there, remind yourself that your busy baby really have no idea if you’re rolling If you have already enrolled in a Lamaze course, consider coupling it with either a swimming or yoga course (or both!) out of bed or cozying up to your partner for a good nights rest. Unfortunately for your sleep schedule, your little independent thinker will continue to operate on their own time table throughout the rest of the pregnancy. And you thought rebellious behavior only started around puberty!

Have you enrolled in a Lamaze course yet? The now-renowned courses teach various alternative birthing and breathing techniques, not to mention the oh-so-valuable lessons involved with natural pain management. (Visit for more information.) If you have already enrolled in a Lamaze course, consider coupling it with either a swimming or yoga course (or both!). Both forms of exercise focus on controlling your breathing (a large part of the Lamaze philosophy), while at the same time increasing blood flow, strength and flexibility. What’s more, many yoga studios and swimming pools cater to pregnant women (and couples) offering low impact sessions perfect for you and your partner.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pre-Term Labor - Rough Day - Good NEWS!

Yesterday was a rough and nerve wracking day for me.

Apparently Squish decided they wanted a little bit of attention. I had some cramping and tightening in the pelvic area that freaked me out a bit. I debated quite a bit on calling, and whether or not it was worth bothering the doctors over. I'm really glad that I did.

Turns out I was in "pre-term labor" - having contractions about every 15 minutes. Surprisingly their machine was able to pick the contractions up, but it did. After about two hours of monitoring and the contractions going from about every half hour to every 10-15 minutes they gave me a shot of I think toradol to stop them. They warned me that it would make my heart race, which it really didn't - I just got the shakes pretty bad from it. After an hour with that the contractions were only about one every 45 minutes, but they gave me another shot and they stopped completely.

Since the main fear is contractions shortening my cervix, or even ripping my cerclage out (BAD) - they ordered an ultrasound of my cervix and to check on Squish. The woman who came up was really nice, and the first they did was check on Squish's heart, and such, make sure there was enough liquid in the amniotic sac for baby. The next thing was check to make sure baby is growing appropriately - they do this by measuring the baby's head, tummy, and thigh bone.

While they were measuring the thigh bone I caught a glimpse of three lines. I immediately asked the ultrasound tech if we that meant she was a girl. Of course Squish had moved by this point. The tech was really surprised we didn't know what we were having by this point - having so many ultrasounds... then I explained that baby is very uncooperative. This was something the lady doing the ultrasound agreed with since Squish was moving, bouncing, and dancing all over the womb. She did say that she would look to see if she could determine the gender for us though. Well - she looked and I knew right away - for boys you see just a little ball, and maybe something poking a tad. With girls you see -thats right, three lines.


We don't have any names picked out yet. Kelley and I really haven't thought about names so far, or at least we haven't talked about them. We'll have to see.

Having a girl is awesome, and never wracking. I *KNOW* boys, I took care of my brothers growing up, my best friends were guys, I was a tomboy, I've never been "girly". On top of that I ~DESPISE~ the color pink. Hate it. Sad to say. Also, and here is the part that freaks me out - the PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) that made my life hard for quite awhile and made it so hard to get pregnant is hereditary, so is the incompetent cervix that we lost Christopher too. I'm thrilled to know what we are having, and so long as this baby ends up happy and as healthy as possible, and stays in mommy long enough I could care less about the gender. At the same time, I'm nervous to be a momma to a girl. We will see.

So - for those who would like to know, since we've been asked. We ARE registering, I've sort of started, and will post where when we have it down. Kelley and I agreed a long time ago to a jungle themed nursery. We LOVE the Fisher-Price Rainforest stuff that is out there - and that's a lot of what we plan on getting. If at all possible, I would like to avoid the bombardment of pink, I know ITS A GIRL, but really, there are things out there for girls that aren't pink. Are we having a baby shower? I couldn't tell you. I wouldn't mind one, but know nothing about them, and it's a tad hard when you are on couch/bed lockdown.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Squish - week 19

Yup, we are there. I'm 19 weeks pregnant.
Almost 1/2 way there. (Pregnancy is supposed to last 40 weeks).

Cervix Check - Yay! Good news - the bed rest is helping. They had been concerned about the length of my cervix I guess they look for numbers over 4.0cm as cervical length prior to 24-28 weeks. At my first cervical length check I was at 3.4, the second I had shortened further to only 3.3 - this is when I was told to really take it easy. They don't get freaked out, and I won't be put on severe bed rest, or hospitalized bed rest, until my cervical length measures 2.5 or less so I have wiggle room. This week I was measuring 3.6 - 3.8 not a huge difference, but the number went up, which proves that the bed rest torture is working. The closer we get to 22 weeks (it was the day I hit 22 weeks at 12:51am that we lost our Christopher) - the more scared I'm getting. I can't tell you what a relief hearing that my cervix had lengthened was. Dr. Dixon, my perinatologist (high risk obstetrician), did tell me that we can relax a little on the bed rest, yet another positive this week.

(For those who don't know the cervix is the tube/tunnel between the womb and the vagina. (Yeah I know everyone wants to hear this.) When you hear them saying "she's at a 3" or "she's dilated to 8" they are talking about how many cm the radius the womans cervix has opened to. The further along the labor process you are the wider the cervix is opened, they normally allow women to start pushing once she hit's a dilation of 10. The closer you get to delivery with your pregnancy your cervix starts to shorten, and starts to funnel. The top of it (closest to the baby) will start opening, getting wider, and the length of it shortens, exactly like a funnel. With incompetent cervix, the person's cervix is not strong enough or structurally capable of holding itself closed when the weight of a baby is applied.)

Baby News - Not a whole lot new going on in Squish's world as far as I can tell. I was hoping to feel a lot more movement, but so far it's about the same. I can't wait until I start feeling things that are definitely kicks and punches. Squish still doesn't like cold drinks, or being poked. I'm thinking maybe I should try bribing baby, I won't wake Squish up by poking intentionally if they let us know whether they are a boy or girl. Is it to early to start bribing your kid? How about threats? Is threatening to drink a lot more cold liquids if they don't cooperate for ultrasounds wrong?

Gender check - Squish is still being uncooperative with ultra-sounds. I had a cervical check and anatomy ultra-sound on Friday, Kelley even took the day off for it to be there. Squish was their normal misbehaving baby self. The ultra-sound tech looked and couldn't get a peek between the legs - so we still don't know whether we have a boy Squish or a girl Squish. This is the second week they've worked on that anatomy scan - checking all the parts of the baby for defects and such - and once again they couldn't get all they needed to because of wiggling Squish. I guess this week our baby's spine was in the way of everything, good news is Squish has a spine.

Tammy update - I'm exhausted. At the same time talking to other women about as far along as I am they are exhausted too. Something about the fact that the baby is growing by leaps and bounds right now, putting on tons of weight. Squish weighed about 5.5 ounces on the 8th - by the fifth of February baby should be weighing about a pound. I guess what they say is true, baby building is serious business.

My back is not liking being pregnant, but at least it's pain for a good cause. My legs/feet are having more issues with numbness the farther along I get, but my pain doctor told me to expect that. Sometimes I look down and think I'm all tummy - because that's all I see. My toes have disappeared. From what they say it's me being all tummy now that is making this pregnancy harder - the weight from the tummy is pulling my spine forward - which is messing with the already messed up mess back there. The weight makes the spine pinch more here, put more pressure there, stuff like that. The good news with this is that it's not permanent, and once baby is born and the weight is distributed the way it should be again, I should go back to just my normal pain.

I'm still craving strawberries - but at least they are coming into season here. Arby's too, and I've never been an eat at Arby's a lot person. Not as bad yet as Taco Bell was last pregnancy, but I can do without dreaming of roast beef sandwiches. There is something else I've been craving but I have yet to figure it out.

Poor Kelley is still putting up with me. I think I've been a little bit better on the weepyness, but it's definitely irritating. Doesn't help when I bawl over things like not being able to make the bed, or the fact that we have a fridge full of food and nothing looks good. You would think with me being the primary person deciding on what we eat that there would be something that looked good in our pantry and fridge. I cried the other day when I was brushing our dog because some of the fur on the back of her legs had matted a little bit - all I could think was that I couldn't even keep my dog brushed well, how was I going to take care of a baby? Don't forget to check in next week for what's making Tammy cry next.

Baby Gaga Update:

Fetal Development in Pregnancy Week 19: our amazing little baby is now around 10 inches in length! If this seems a bit shocking, you’ll be relieved to know they’ve not actually grown over 3 inches, but that their little legs are now straight enough to be measured. This is when doctors begin measuring fetal growth from head to toe, (no longer “crown to rump” or CR). Lanugo (little hairs) covers their whole body now, trapping that charming cheese-like vernix caseosa (see week 18) to the surface to the skin. This week your lil’ fetus will start on an appetizing diet of amniotic fluid which they are now capable of swallowing, digesting, and passing the fluid as far as their tiny “large” intestines. Fortunately for you, this nice little lump of baby-poop won’t be coming out while they’re still in your womb. Some time shortly after they’re born, this fun lump will become the first in a long line of baby poops. (What finally comes out— commonly known as “meconium” to the science world, will be black and sticky, and you’ll be very glad it happens only once!)

And Hows Mom Doing?: nlike generations of women before you who were taught pregnancy was practically an ailment (10% of women DID die in childbirth back then), we now have scientific evidence that exercise is a good thing when you’re pregnant. In fact, most physicians recommend continuing or starting a pregnancy-friendly exercise routine.

Walking, running, swimming, weight training and yoga (see week 20) are all good for your heart and overall physical stamina during this physically challenging time. Not to mention proper exercise can do a lot towards increasing your overall flexibility (at a time where your body wants to stiffen up) thereby somewhat reducing the pain and tension during labor. Last but not least, exercise can keep you from gaining unnecessary amounts of weight (which you’ll have to fight off later after birth if you don’t do it now). Obviously, you’re going to want to avoid sports where you are at risk of falling or being hit in the stomach. Basically, stay away from sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer, and skiing. Instead, opt for the pool, weight room, and/or yoga class. We’re not saying you should stress yourself out trying to be a world-class athlete, but if you’re eating right and getting enough sleep, exercise during this health-critical phase of your life, will keep your collective energy levels higher and increase your feeling of well-being, as well as ensuring that you and your baby are in top physical and mental condition.