Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Eventful past week...

Things around here have been pretty busy lately - - a lot of different things going on! We had our first birthing class last week. We were supposed to have two classes, but the weather kept her from making it here the first night. It was a very positive experience. We were both pretty nervous going into it, but she put us at ease. The instructor actually came to our house for the class. We had been in contact with her to sign up for the class that she does through Choices West, but she offered to do a class for us here for no additional charge. I think she knew that we would have different issues and questions as we prepare for a birthing experience that is sure to be different from the norm. She made us feel confident though that we are in the best hands possible for care and that we will hopefully still have some level of control over the situation in terms of what we want and do not want during the birth. She encouraged us to create a birth plan and talk with Dr. Neulander about what in reality is possible. That way we know what to expect and everyone is on the same page. We have one more class with her next week that we are looking forward to.

We also met with the pediatrician's office on Thursday afternoon. It is the office that has been recommended to us by numerous people on a personal and professional level. It is where our nephew, Emanuel, goes and was highly recommended by Choices West and a NICU nurse Vince met at physical therapy. We met mainly with the nurse practitioner and only briefly with the actual pediatrician when he came in to introduce himself and reinforce the fact that we are in good care. The NP runs the office for the most part and will most likely be who we will mainly deal with, but it was disappointing to not get to sit down with the doctor for any great lengths. The NP does personally know Dr. Ratner (the surgeon) which is a good connection to make though! Despite our (really just mom's!) disappointment, we are satisfied that we are making the right choice with this office.

And, we have a nursery! It is practically complete. The major painting is done and looks great. Mom is going to stamp some stars on the walls and then the painting will be done. We bought the crib set last week, but were only able to get the crib, not the dressers. We were told the dressers would not be in for 8-12 weeks, unfortunately. So, we put the crib together last Saturday and went out and bought a mattress so that we could get the full effect - sheets, bumper, mobile - and we were satisfied that we had done as much as we could. Then, yesterday we got a message that our dressers were available already!! So exciting! We went and got them last night and had Patty's brothers came over to help move them in. It looks great! Absolutely perfect! And with the shower this weekend, it makes us feel good to know that we have space to put everything away now. Only problem we are having is that Chester (our cat) thinks that the crib is his personal comfy bed. It is probably a good thing that we have a couple months at least to break him of this habit!

So, with Thanksgiving tomorrow and the shower on Saturday, it is going to be more busyness around here. We hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your time with your families. We are very thankful this year for you and all your support these past few months. Next year we will have even more to be thankful for by this time!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Latest Choices West Appointment

We just came from our latest appointment at Choices West and it was a great experience. Mom's weight is still in check, blood sugar levels are controlled and good, heartbeat was good and strong, and Gumdrop's head is down where it is supposed to be. All good news!

We also got to meet with Dr. Neulander today. Choices West is his practice, but we have never met with him. He is the first medical person who has handled our situation as a human being, not just a doctor. He put many of our concerns to rest. We should definitely be able to have one of the mid-wives deliver the baby and we should be able to have a natural birth. This is all pending no other complications of course, but the chances are the same as any other normal pregnancy. Dr. Neulander also assured us that we can name our choice for which mid-wife to deliver the baby and that he would make a point of being there as well. So, that is a very comforting thought. While we know that this situation was beyond everyone's control, he was apologetic about what we have to deal with. His sympathy was comforting and we feel completely at ease with being under the care of his office.

In other baby news... we purchased a crib and matching dressers yesterday. Dad is picking up the crib tonight and we have to wait for the dressers to be delivered in a few weeks. Dad worked on the nursery all day Saturday and made some good progress. Bridget came over and was a huge help too. It should be done in the next few days hopefully!

We also went yesterday and had maternity photos taken. We already looked at the proofs last night and are very pleased with how they looked. There are definitely a few that we are going to look to buy prints of. The photographer that we went to has a studio right in the basement of his house. He was really nice and his assistant was wonderful. It was really a great experience!

So, we are getting along well! It is a busy week coming up with birthing classes, meeting with the pediatrician, and a million other things! Busy, but productive! We will keep you posted! Stay warm!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No change is good change...

We spent our morning at the Perinatal Center this morning and had another ultrasound and meeting with Dr. Spadola.  While we were again frustrated at the efficiency this office is run with, we were pleased with the eventual outcome.  The ultrasound technician was very nice and offered to do some 3-D images so that she could get some "more practice" with them.   Of course neither of us mentioned that we had already talked someone else into doing some for us last time!  They did not come out as clearly as the others, but it was still pretty cool.  And during the ultrasound, she was also able to point out that the baby was sucking its thumb!  We could definitely see the little mouth moving.  It was so cute!  We could also see the baby taking "practice breathes" which is more a sign of developmental progression more than an actual indication of lung function, but it was still good to see.

At the end of the sonogram with the technician, while mom was using the bathroom for the fifth time that morning, Dr. Spadola came in so she could take a look at the baby as well.  She always likes to look for herself on top of all the images the technician saves for her.  This time she had two students with her, who seemed in awe of our situation.  We did not mind having them there, but watching them as Dr. Spadola explained our case was  almost funny.  Unfortunately, after our brief encounter with Dr. Spadola in the ultrasound room, we were sent back to the waiting room to wait for our "official" appointment with her.

We were finally called back in for our update and it was all good though!  The baby's overall growth is still right on track in the 56th percentile.  The lung-to-head ratio that tells us how well the right lung is developing is still good too!  We know that number can fluctuate and were prepared for bad news, since it has been good all long, but Gumdrop's fighting the odds!  

She was a little concerned because the baby's stomach looked big which could indicate a blockage somewhere in the baby's system; but mom's fluid levels are on the low end of normal, so she does not seem to think that there are any problems lurking.  And there was some question about where the gall bladder was (the technician had a hard time finding it), but she did not seem overly concerned and assumes that it has shifted away from its typical location as most of the other organs have moved around as well.   But good news all around from Dr. Spadola today!

In other, general news, mom seems to be feeling much better now that she has reached the third trimester.  She has only thrown up once in the past couple weeks and her energy seems a little higher for the time being.  She has been regularly checking her blood sugar levels and things have been looking good.  Hopefully we will avoid any more complications from that problem! Dad has been hard at work turning a catch all, ugly room into a dream nursery.  All the tedious prep work is done, and next step is paint on the walls, so hopefully it will be done soon!  We do have some pictures of the process, but we will put them up when we have some kind of end product to show off!  

Next appointment is Monday with Dr. Neulander at Choices West on Monday and we are meeting with our potential pediatrician next Thursday.  We will let you know how things go!  

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Here are a few pictures of us at the crew's annual Halloween party. Patty won the most creative costume award. One of the only times that she could pull that off :-)

Mom is doing well. Getting sick less and less...hopefully the third trimester is the less nauseous trimester! We're trying to pay close mind to diet after meeting with the nutritionist to discuss how to eat with diabetes. We had some insurance trouble getting a meter, but hope to get that squared away this week. We have some good literature on meal suggestions so we are going off of that for now.

We started the nursery this weekend! We cleared the bedroom right next to ours that has been a catch all since we moved in. Clearing it involved moving our two cat's stuff to the basement. We put a little cat door on the basement door. They surprisingly love the basement. Next up is some electrical work and patching the walls. We'll try and take some before and after pictures.

All in all, things are going great. We have our highs and lows, but we are positive people and this has done nothing but bring the two of us together. Words can not describe how special it is to know that through your love another life can be formed that is truly and extension of your love for each other.....Mushy I know, but true. It is amazing how children can unite families, couples, and even perfect strangers....even before it is born. Thanks again for all the support and prayers.