Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nursery Pictures

I was looking for something to do to keep myself busy for a little while, so I thought I would post the nursery pictures that I promised months ago!

Here is the room before we got started. You can see the table cloth that doubled as curtains for awhile. And it looks like the room is in the middle of being done because that is how the previous owners left it.

Here is the fabulous faux finished/textured wall that the previous owners also left us with. It was not really the whole wall, just a big chunk of it. It had plaster rolled out with what we think was a roller wrapped in paper towels. It was quite the mess to try to fix, as you can see from the picture of Vince after sanding it down. Luckily he listened to me when I told him he should wear a mask while working!

Vince put in a new overhead light. There was no overhead lighting before, but he used the wall outlet to put one in and attach it to the light switch by the door.

I made the painting process more complicated by asking for multiple colors. Vince took a lot of time and energy trying to get the lines perfectly straight and our friend Bridget came over to help him with the painting itself.

When the painting was done we tackled putting the crib together.

Within 5 minutes of getting the crib complete with bedding so that we could see the final product, we returned to the nursery to find...

We are still working on breaking Chester of this bad habit.

Here is the final product once everything was put in. We are really happy with how it came out. Vince did a great job! (All is did was stamp stars on the white stripe - I cannot take much credit other than that!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the countdown continues...

I went to the doctor's this morning and everything looks good. Gumdrop was a little sleepy and did not move around as much as the nurse would have liked while we were hooked up to the monitor, but the PA was okay with the readings she saw. The amniotic fluid levels were right in the normal range. (They were a little high last week - which could be attributed to the diabetes or the CDH.) Heart rate was good. Blood pressure has been great - a huge relief every time they take it since I have had problems with my BP before and have been fearing more complications with it since we got pregnant. So we are just going to sit back, relax, and wait for next week's appointment.

My maternity leave officially began Friday afternoon. It was a little bittersweet knowing that I would not be back, but a huge relief as well. It has been exhausting keeping up with middle school kids all day. I was not able to meet with my sub before going out, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is all working out okay for him! I have not heard any horror stories yet.

Vince has been sick with a pretty nasty cold the past few days. So, I have been pumping myself up with vitamin C and praying that he gets over it before we go into labor. There are no obvious signs that labor is on the way, so hopefully it will stay that way for a little while longer. The monitor did pick up from random contractions today at my appointment, but nothing that I could feel.

So, the theme is that we are just waiting - and I am okay with waiting for now. I really am not horribly uncomfortable, so I don't mind incubating this baby for a while longer. More time = more lung development! We will keep you updated if there are any changes along the way!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keepin' the faith

We are feeling pretty good! We can feel all the prayers and positive vibes. Our Choices West appointment went well today. Good sonogram results, although we were told that Gumdrop's head is larger than normal! Still within a good range though. Estimated weight is over 7 lbs now, but mom has lost another three pounds. We were able to do our first non-stress test. That was actually pretty fun, getting Gumdrop all riled up just to monitor the heart rate to ensure that he/she is strong enough for the labor journey. Other than that just the basics on getting ready for whenever Gumdrop decides that it time to meet us face to face. We can't wait.

Other news includes a study that we taking part in. We have decided to take part in a Harvard University / Boston Children's Hospital research program on CDH babies. We stumbled upon it though another CDH blog and after looking into it, we agreed that we wanted to help. The research is looking into genetic markers that might help identify CDH. The way we understand, is that if they can determine what genes hold the instructions for forming the diaphragm and better lung development, they may be able to develop drugs or treatments to fill in the missing instructions in CDH babies. Although the results will not be ready before February 4th, maybe future parents will be saved some stress if a treatment is developed.

That's about it for now. We are taking the next couple of weeks pretty slow. Just taking in the last of our peaceful time and trying to prepare mentally as much as possible. Thank you all for your supportive comments, prayers, and just for thinking of us. You had much to do we are sure, but you decided to read this blog and we appreciate your support.

Monday, January 19, 2009

the belly

I wanted to send out a picture of the belly to all who have not seen it in awhile. It seems to keep getting bigger! We are getting close now though. Friday is my last day of work and our due date is just over two weeks away! I would not describe my feelings as excited quite yet... hopefully that feeling will come! Overall, I am feeling pretty well. I get tired easily, but I am not overly uncomfortable. I guess I am lucky when it comes to that! We will keep you updated as things come along!

Friday, January 16, 2009

false alarm!

I wanted to take a minute to share a funny story. Wednesday night SU played Georgetown. This was a "big game" and Vince was hyped up for it. When game time arrived at 7:30 Vince sent out a text to a few people stating "Here we go!" He immediately received a response from Jon asking if he was referring to SU or labor. Vince laughed it off and clarified the message for Jon and went on with listening to SU lose miserably.

At about 10pm our cell phones both rang simultaneously. Our friend Monica was calling my phone demanding to know what was going on and if I was okay. Bridget was calling Vince's phone because Monica had already made multiple calls to other people trying to decipher the text message she received. Vince had assumed Monica would have been home watching the game with her husband, but this was obviously not the case and the message sent her into a tailspin. After calming everyone's nerves and promising that the actual announcement of labor starting would be much clearer, I had a good laugh over it!

It is good to know that our friends are ready to spring into action when the time comes! We are holding out for at least a couple more weeks though! :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Big Day of Doctor Visits

So Wednesday we a full day spent downtown visiting various doctors and getting a tour of the NICU. First we met with one of the best pediatric surgeons in the area. He was very informative and gave us great confidence that Gumdrop is in good hands. It appeared that he thought that he had the easy job. He made it sound like the surgery itself was very straightforward. That it was the NICU that has the hard job.

So that was our second stop after a quick walk around the hospital to get our bearings and a bite to eat at the cafeteria. This was by far the toughest part of our day. We have been waiting a long time to meet with a neonatologist and she was able to answer many of the questions that we have had, even if they were not the answers that we wanted to hear. She explained all the different treatments they have available and all the possible scenarios for CDH babies. Some scenarios are worse than others as you can imagine. But the hardest news was that we are most likely not going to be able to have a moment to hold our child after birth. She wants to immediately take the baby, put it on a ventilator, and move the baby to the NICU which is on a different floor from the birthing floor. We had convinced ourselves that this was going to be possible. Who know, each baby is different and Gumdrop is a fighter…well at least a kicker!

The tour of the NICU made everything real. It is an amazing place, but one that I hope no one has to visit. They are amazing people and take the sickest and smallest babies and get them through their earliest days. I am sure we will have our tough days and our good days. Regardless we will just take one day at a time.

Our final visit was to the area Perinatal Center. This was our last visit there! And the sonogram looked great. Growth was right on target, with an estimated weight of 5 lbs 12 oz. According to one of the books we have the baby should grow about a half pound each week from here on out. The lung to head ratio was the highest that it as been at 2.99. This all points to, in there words “a more favorable outcome.” They also said that the closer we can make it to our due date of February 4th the better our chances for a positive outcome.

We ended yesterday feeling tired, scared, and more anxious. We were looking forward to a healing mass tonight at our church, but because of the weather it was cancelled, although we didn’t know that until we drove there only to find the church locked :-(

So our bags are packed, we have a bunch of snacks to bring and we are getting things ready for others to take care of our dog and two cats for a few days. Mom is feeling well...but in a word…big. It is hard to get up after sitting on the couch or in bed, but it is great to feel Gumdrop playing inside :-)

We can’t thank you all enough for your prayers and continued support that just keeps finding us everyday.