Thursday, January 28, 2010

First Outing!

Abel Kenneth is here!

The past two weeks feel like such a time warp to me. This time two weeks ago, I thought I had the stomach flu. Two days later I had an emergency c-section, and at 10:28 PM on January 16th: a little boy! Of course I will go back and share his birth story and my recovery, but I don't want to miss out on other things I want to post until then-- I have a feeling it will take a little while to type up all that has happened.

And all that really matters now is that both Abel and I are home safe and sound. God is so good to us! It is amazing to me that when life seems so out of control and worst-case scenarios pile up, God is not surprised. In fact, He was the one that planned it that way!

After nearly 2 weeks of only being at either the doctor's, the hospital, or home, by Tuesday the 26th I really wanted to go out into the 'real world.' I had been in so much pain- and throwing up- since coming home from the hospital, that going out wasn't an option before that. I wasn't even sitting up for long periods of time for a week after Abel was born! But the first day I felt like I had any strength at all, I wanted to go somewhere!

That morning, Abel and I both had doctor's appointments, back to back. I had been hoping to go to Wal-Mart after those appointments, but I was in tears from exhaustion after just going to the doc's. So, Reed vetoed my plans :) But after having a pretty good day, we (okay, Reed) decided I could try again that night. Reed wrapped me up in my Moby Wrap (a baby sling/carrier) at home, because he wanted me to make sure before we left the house that I could carry Abel without hurting my incision.

We went to Wal-Mart first. This consisted of me sitting on various benches throughout the store, while Reed ran around to fill the basket. This was great because I was able to tell him where everything was, and I was able to go out, but I didn't have to walk around too much :) A few different people stopped me to ask about the baby, and I was thankful that no one tried to touch him (he was only 10 days old!). Reed picked me up at the door, and then I decided I could handle Starbucks! I figured sitting and having coffee does not involve walking around, and we could leave as soon as I wanted.

When we walked in, I almost cried! It smelled so good and felt so cozy! I am in Starbucks (where Reed works) almost every day; sometimes I just bring a book and sit for hours while he is working. I know this sounds weird, but it was honestly so awesome to be there after having been away for so long. And, we were able (pun not intended) to show off Abel to some of Reed's co-workers.

When I watched baby Michael, I would bring him in a sling to Starbucks when he was tiny. I loved having his sleeping baby company while I read and soaked up Reed's company from afar. I am so excited that now I can bring my baby with me. I have wanted that for so long!

This trip though, was more of a date with Reed :) Abel slept while Reed and I enjoyed hot drinks and each other's company. We sat and talked for a long time- I so throughly enjoy my hubby's companionship. It was such a blessing to sit in a quiet place, with yummy drinks, and focus on my husband. Reed even showed off the baby to a couple 'regulars,' which I know was fun for him.

I wonder where we'll go next? I think I could handle another little outing :) But, they are calling for snow this weekend so we'll probably just stay at home. Reed is even off of work this weekend!

I just love spending time with my boys!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

35 Weeks

As of today, I am 35 weeks and 1 day pregnant! So many people have told me that their pregnancies have dragged on forever, particularly at the end-- but this has flown by! We're so thankful to have a healthy baby, and a healthy mama, that our focus is more one of thankfulness than impatience. Not to say I'm not ready to meet him, because I surely am! I cannot wait to hold my little Abel, but would keep him in as long as necessary if he needed it to be born healthy.

Right now, I am focused on enjoying these last few baby-less weeks with Reed. We began dating over 7 years ago, and we've so deeply enjoyed one on one companionship throughout our 4 + years of dating and 3 years (next week!) of marriage. I don't know how to put into words the love and admiration I have for Reed, which I know will only increase when I watch him with our baby. But until then, I am trying to be aware of every precious alone moment we share.

While we still are waiting on Abel's birth date, my OB has told me that he'll induce in my 39th week. We originally thought he would go earlier than that, but without an amniocentesis to confirm lung maturity he will only do 39 weeks. And, he won't do an amnio because it is a risky procedure when you're on blood thinners, like I am. We're praying I don't deliver early on my own.

I have been going to the OB 2x a week for non-stress tests, which look for signs of distress in the baby. The tests roughly predict Abel's chances of survival for the next 4 days. While laying on an exam table, the nurse straps 2 monitors to my belly-- one to measure Abel's heartbeat, another to measure uterine activity. Then, I am given a little button to push every time I feel him move. The hope is that in 20 minutes, he will have 2 periods of activity in which his heart rate accelerates, then goes back down. Because of the uterine activity monitor, we can also see how his heart rate changes if I have a contraction. Sometimes, they also do an ultrasound afterwards to do another test called a bio-physical profile (BPP). In this test, they check his diaphragm activity, the flow of blood in the umbilical cord, his heart rate, the amount of amniotic fluid, and various parts of his body to make sure he is growing. After the BPP, Abel is given a score out of 8, similar to the Apgar scores they give babies after birth. He has always received 8/8 :)

Reed and I are still traveling to Roanoke (every 2 weeks now) to see my high risk specialist, because of Abel's kidney. Now that he is bigger, the doctor can tell from the sonogram that he has a multicystic kidney, with one large cyst and several smaller ones in his right kidney. (Thankfully, his other kidney is perfect. One affected kidney should be monitered and might need surgery, but is not too big of an issue. Two affected kidneys is fatal.) We (the doctor included) still do not know what will need to be done after he is born regarding treatment for his kidney. Abel may need surgery, he may need nothing. The first step is for him to have an ultrasound of the kidney soon after he is born.

I am also continuing to see my hematologist every few weeks to keep an eye on my blood. I am eager to talk to him again, to find out when I should stop my Lovenox (blood thinner) and asprin before the induction, when he wants me to start on them again after birth, and how long he wants me on them. I really love how proactive he has been with my medication, bumping me up to a much higher dosage of medication after my miscarriage in March. However, most of his patients are elderly, with cancer, and I don't think he really knows what to do with me. While I am thankful I have his input, I am even more thankful to have such a wonderful OB and high risk doctor on my case.

Well, I am off to go make a space in our bedroom for the crib-- which just arrived today! I hope Reed doesn't have any other plans for when he gets home from work because he's forbidden me to move furniture (unlike most women, I do not want to go into labor early!)

I'll leave you with my most recent picture, taken at 34 weeks 3 days-- I think I'm bigger now, and it's only been 5 days!