Twas the night before his birthday……

I can’t believe that it has been a year.  A year since I have experienced the scariest times in my life.  A year since my love and happiness has grown so much that my heart overflows.  I have been trying to keep myself busy all day to drown out the sadness that fills my heart.  I know this sounds silly, but I have been completely taken over by sadness at the fact that my baby becomes a toddler tomorrow.  I know that people tell you that you better enjoy every minute because it goes by so fast.  Here’s the thing, I have embraced and relished in every minute and I am still sad.  This is my baby.  This is the boy who reminded me how much faith I have.  He showed me how strong I could really be.

This year has taught me so much about myself.  I have learned how peaceful it is to look around and see toys on the floor, bubble guppies playing in the background, and a baby tugging on my leg.  I appreciate sleep, but I would much rather not miss a second with that rambunctious boy.  Everywhere I go, he goes with me.  Riding in the car and pushing him around in a cart, makes the shopping experience  so much better.  I am totally addicted to toys.  My playroom is overflowing with my addiction. I love so much deeper.  My love for my students, family, and my appreciation for them have changed.  My close friends aren’t just friends, they are my family.  I have never been happier waking up to a bouncing, dancing baby, and coming home to that same baby,  To see him crawl to me and say “mama” melts  my heart EVERY single time.  To say that I love my life is an understatement.

I sat here tonight reminiscing about this last year and looking forward about what’s to come.  I am sad that this part of his life is over.  He is the sweetest, friendliest, happiest baby you could ever meet.  I am overcome with the emotions I have on being his mom and trying to get the time to slow down just a little!

Thank you for all your prayers and love for my sweet Baby G.

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Changes

Having a newborn changes everything.  It changes how you look at yourself.  Instead of seeing myself as a 30 year old who loves to read and spend time with my friends, I see myself as a mother who loves to hold her baby every second he will let me.  I feel like I can’t get enough of him.  The fact that I can soothe him and make him feel better makes me feel like a rock star!  Sometimes I even clap for myself in my head.

A newborn also changes your priorities.  Taking a shower and putting on makeup is very low on the priority list.  Most of the time I have maybe 30 minutes to myself and I choose to sleep!  I rarely look in the mirror at myself. I just walk by it very quickly!  The things that used to seem important don’t really matter anymore.  By the way, I do take showers! They are just very quick ones. Being clean is so overrated when you are a new mom.

A newborn changes your marriage.  I don’t mean this in a bad way.  I look at my husband with a love that I never felt for him before.  When I see him asleep holding the baby in his arms, my heart feels like it is going to explode.  We are both so tired all the time that we rarely get to spend any time together.  We used to go on a date every Friday night.  Now our dates consist of a movie at home and dinner all together at the table.  To me that is perfect.

A newborn changes your sleep. (Obviously).  My body is accustomed to waking up every 3 hours.  Even if Walt has the baby and is letting me sleep, I still wake up every 3 hours.  I am so exhausted most of the time but somehow I get through everyday.  Getting 4-5 hours of sleep is normal now.  Sometimes I don’t think I will be able to get up when my alarm goes off, but I always do.  Coffee is my new best friend!!

A newborn changes your friendships.  Instead of talking to your friends about shoes and good deals, we talk about formula and which diapers are the best.  I have found some friends that I don’t talk to anymore and others that I talk to more.  You form a support group for yourself of mothers who are going through this change with you or who have been there before.  These women have been my best allies.

There have been really tough days. But there have been really great days too.  After going through a rough patch at first, I am finally feeling like myself again.  I have found that my love for teaching is back and it feels great. I get so excited to come home everyday and see that sweet smile. I look forward to the weekends, not because I get to sleep in, but because I get to have uninterrupted time with that sweet boy. We have come a long way together and our journey is only beginning.

Empty

Empty. That is about the only word that sums up how I have been feeling the last couple of days.  I went from being able to protect him as much as I could and having him with me all the time, to giving up that control and leaving him.  I know he is where he is supposed to be.  I know they are taking good care of him.  That doesn’t make me feel any less empty.  I cry every time I walk in the NICU and see him alone in his bed.  I cry every time I have to leave him alone in his bed.  Everyone has been telling me to get rest while I can, but how can you rest when your heart is empty?

He is on IV fluids right now to stabilize his blood sugar.  In order for him to come out of the NICU he has to be able to get off the fluids and stay off of them for 24 hours.  Every 3 hours before a nurse feeds him she checks his sugar.  If it is above a 60 his fluid level comes down by 1.  His fluid level started at a 7 on Sunday.  It is at a 4 right now and has been for the past 2 days.  He is not doing bad but it is taking him a while to get over this hump.  He has to eat enough food to be able to keep his sugars up so they are able to turn down the fluids.  The problem is that he is not that hungry because he is getting fluids constantly and that is keeping him full.  I know that this won’t last forever, but right now it feels like forever.

I am trying my hardest to keep my faith and my strength up.  I feel as though this is the hardest part that I have had to go through since this pregnancy started.  I’m still fighting for my baby G, only he has to do most of the fighting now on his own.  This is one more hurdle that we are having to get through together.  We can make it.  Fight my sweet boy.

God keeps his promises

So here we are. 3 weeks left. We made it past 28 weeks, which they told me not to get my hopes up to make it to.  We made it past 34 weeks.  On Wednesday, I am considered full term.  Wow, who’d have thought.  One thing I can honestly say that I have done this whole time is believe.  I have believed that this baby would make it.  I haven’t always believed in myself, but when you are put in a situation like this, you don’t have a choice but to believe in yourself.  You have to do it.  Not for you.  For your baby.  Your baby needs you to fight for him.  I have so many women that I have come into contact with the past few months that are dealing with infertility and that complete sadness that comes along with it.  I was there once.  I didn’t think I would be able to have a baby.  I had a sadness that I carried around with me that I couldn’t shake.  I felt sorry for myself and wondered why I was being chosen to not be a mother.  Then I found a little piece of hope.  I clung to it.  It has been a very long hard road.  Just when I think things are going to be “normal”, it’s not.  But who really defines normal?  I know that if I hadn’t been on this journey, I wouldn’t have found my faith again.  I 100% believe in miracles.  I 100% believe in prayer.  I 100% believe that God keeps his promises.  Please don’t give up.  God has a master plan and things will work out according to His plan.  I have been surrounded by support, love, and encouragement throughout all of this and I know that my sweet Silas can feel all the love.  I hope I can give back a little bit of the encouragement and love that I have been shown.

8 months

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I haven’t really been able to find the words that I feel.  After staying another week in the hospital, I feel as though I’m afraid to say anything.  I’m afraid to say that I feel fine.  I’m afraid to say that my fluid levels are still normal and they only went to a 10. I’m afraid to say that I’m not leaking anymore fluid.  The truth is though, these things are all true.  I feel so nervous that at any minute I’m going to have to go back into the hospital.  Even though it would only be for 2 weeks, that is 2 weeks that I could be at work with my students, at home with my family, and getting ready for the arrival of this stubborn little boy.  I feel so selfish in feeling so ready to be done being pregnant.  I want Silas to stay in for at least 3 more weeks and then maybe I will not feel as nervous.  I want him to be able to go home with me from the hospital.  We have been through it all these past couple of months and I don’t want to have to be apart from him.  I’ve tried to start doing things that need to be done and not putting them off.  I don’t know what is going to happen day to day and I want to feel ready.  I was able to have an amazing shower and the baby’s room is really starting to come together.

So this is when I start saying to myself, you have come this far and you can make it the rest of the way.  Keep your faith up and keep believing in your baby.  My water broke months ago.  That is so hard for me to believe.  We have been trucking along for four months after we weren’t given much hope.  It’s hard to think that I am 8 months now.   I know that the drs don’t know what to tell me and I don’t really have anything to go off of.  I have the unknown and the fear of uncertainty.  I am trying so hard to lean and trust God now more than ever.  He is the only one that can really help me get through this.  I only have 56 more days until my due date.  I want to make it 13 more days first.  Make it to the 34 week mark.  We can do this.

13 days

Same song, different dance

So here I am.  Checked in and sitting in the Duke hospital bed.  I started leaking fluid Thursday.  I knew that’s what it was, but when I came to the hospital to get checked all my tests came back negative.  So they sent me home.  I started leaking again Friday evening and this time it was pretty consistent.  They sent me home with ph strips to check the fluid myself when I left Thursday.  If the strip turned blue then it was positive for amniotic fluid.  I checked my fluid 4 times Friday and it was negative every time.  Early Saturday morning I felt leaking again and when I checked it, my strip turned blue.  I called the hospital that morning and they wanted me to come back in.  The thing is, my shower was Saturday and I didn’t want to miss it.  So I went to the shower and then came straight back to the hospital.  They did the same 3 tests they did Thursday and all of those tests were negative again.  All I wanted to do was to be able to stay here and at least get observed.  They decided to do one final test.  It was the same test they did the last time I was in the hospital and it is about 99% accurate.  That test came back positive.

Then comes the IV. The steroid shots. The IV antibiotics. The emotions and the tears.  They told me when I first got here that they would keep me until I’m 34 weeks and then they would induce me.  That’s only 3 weeks away.  That is a much better prognosis than staying in here for 3 months! All I could think about the first night is that I just want this to all be over.  I’m tired of worrying about what is going to happen and I’m just ready to hold him and bring him home.

Today my other favorite doctor came in. I haven’t seen him since my water first broke at 16 weeks.  He’s the one who told me that things didn’t look as bad as everyone had told me.  It was so good to see him. He hugged me and told me how great it was that I had made it this far.  He said that any woman that breaks her water and makes it to 28 weeks has made it to a huge milestone.  So the fact that I’m still going is great.  He said I’m an anomaly.  He asked me if I was still leaking and of course I’m not anymore.  I asked him if I should just stay here for the 3 weeks, be induced, and let that be it.  He said that if I’m not leaking it’s better for me to go home and have a baby at 38 weeks than at 34.  So if I still haven’t leaked any fluid, Friday they are going to do all 4 tests again and if they come back negative I will go home.  I realized as much as I want this to be over, I want to be able to take my baby home with me when I leave here more.

I do have to say how thankful I am for Gina.  She hasn’t left my side since Saturday. What 12 year old wants to spend part of their break in a hospital room? She has kept me company and has made the time go by much quicker.  I love her so much and am so proud of the woman she is becoming. So caring and thoughtful.  I know Silas will learn so much from her.  I am also thankful for all the friendships I’ve made in here.  I’ve had so many visitors from the staff to get an update and see how we are doing. They are also helping me keep my sanity.

I know that God has a plan for us.  Whatever happens is what is supposed to happen and I’m ok with that.  I have made it so far and I’m almost at the end.  Silas continues to amaze all the doctors and nurses and I can’t help but feel so thankful for that.  He is fighting and showing his stubborn personality already.  This has been a long journey and I feel pretty drained emotionally and physically.  I can’t wait until this is all a memory behind me as we open up Christmas presents this year and I’m holding my baby.

Keeping my faith.

Who needs sugar anyway?

If you have never had the 3 hour glucose test, you are lucky!  Wednesday I had this test.  I had to fast after midnight Tuesday and wasn’t able to eat OR drink anything until 12 Wednesday.  So 4 hours and 4 different blood draws later, I was finally done.  I ate something when I got home and then crashed.  I slept for almost 2 hours!  I hadn’t heard anything from my doctor this morning so I decided to call them.  I talked to a nurse who told me that 2 out of the 3 blood draws were 10 over.  This gives me the diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

The way I look at it is that this is just another hurdle I have to jump over.  I have to watch my diet and prick my finger 4 times a day.  I would do this any day, especially if it meant not being in the hospital.  I am sad though because I feel like I have finally gotten to the point where I can eat and actually enjoy food again! For the first months of my pregnancy I didn’t have an appetite.  Now that I can finally eat, I have to be very careful and watch what I eat.

I know that I can do this. I only have 10.5 weeks left!  I still feel him move and kick around all day.  He is a very active little boy!  I hope to find some new recipes to make that I can continue to make after the baby is here.  I checked out some good magazines at the library with recipes in them.  I’ll start there!  Baby G is going to be ok. He’s going to make it.  That’s what matters most.

Due Date- Dec 3

Thankful

Today I had my glucose test and an ultrasound to check the babies growth.  The glucose test wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I chose the orange flavor and it actually tasted a lot like Sunkist.  I should have my results back from that tomorrow.  The ultrasound went great today.  The baby now weighs 2.5 pounds and is in the 28%.  Everything that was measured came back normal and healthy.  His head is down now, but the rest of him is lying sideways across my stomach.  I was able to see a doctor that I saw at the beginning, when I still had visits at ARMC.  She was the doctor who gave my hope back to me.  She came into see me after my ultrasound and to discuss the results.  She told me everything looked great and normal.  Then she got teary eyed and started crying.  She said that she was so proud of me and so happy for how this has turned out.  She said that she was very pessimistic when she saw me at ARMC and she is so glad that I have continued to prove her wrong.  It was a very emotional experience for me.  After she left I took at look at the results that she handed me.  Beside everything that was measured was a number, and then the word NORMAL.  That’s when I was taken over by gratefulness and started getting emotional myself.  I am still in so much shock that this is actually happening.  I am having this sweet baby.  I told the doctor, “He’s going to be ok.”  She said, “You are going to be taking a baby home with you.”  She also told me to enjoy the last stretch of my pregnancy.  I have enjoyed the kicks and the belly that sticks out of my clothes.  I have enjoyed the smiles I get in the stores and the women who tell me they are pregnant too and ask how far along I am.  God has watched over us for 7 months and continues to take care of us.  I can’t be thankful enough.  Never underestimate the power of prayer. 

 

Getting on with life

Life’s pace has started to pick back up again. Appointments, laundry, work, cleaning. It’s nice because it keeps my mind off of things.  I still have so much anxiety about what the future holds until December.  I just don’t want to end up in the hospital or on bedrest again.  I had an appointment today at Duke but it was with a doctor I had never seen before.  She didn’t really know what to tell me.  She said I was one of the lucky ones but there is a chance it could all change.  That just puts my anxiety up even more.  I’m really trying to let go and let God take care of this.  He’s taken care of everything so far and I know he will see this through.  Now that I’ve been able to get my life back to normal and remember what it is like, I don’t want it to be over! 

I go back to the dr in 2 weeks for another ultrasound.  They are going to do a growth check and see how well the baby is growing.  I also have to do my glucose test that day.  In 2 weeks I will be 28 weeks.  I will be in my 3rd trimester.  I am just so excited that Baby G has held on.  I know that the doctors don’t really know what to say because they very rarely deal with anyone whose membrane heals back.  My baby has beat so many odds already and I know that he can continue to do so. 

We are going to start getting the baby’s room ready this weekend.  I am so excited that I get to be apart of that.  I’m also excited about having a long weekend with Walt.  I felt so grateful when I was able to look in my students eyes yesterday and see their excitement because their teacher was back.  Even though I was only on bedrest for 9 weeks, I feel like I missed out on so much.  When I was in the hospital, I was just happy that the baby was ok.  Now that I’m out and I get to enjoy life again AND feel the baby kick and move around, seems like this is too good to be true.  It’s like I have it all.  It’s awesome.

I need to make it 3 more months. 12 weeks.  We can do this.

1%

This is the first time that I have been able to sit still since Wednesday evening! I wanted to talk about how Wednesday actually went.

The doctors had told me not to get my hopes up because for me to still be leaking fluid would be a more than 50% chance.  So I was still preparing to stay in the hospital until October.  They came in at 6:30am and did the test.  They told me that they wouldn’t know anything until after 1.  I couldn’t go back to sleep after that.  So I prayed and prayed and decided that either way I would be ok.  I was also scheduled to have an ultrasound done that day to check my fluid levels.  Around 12 one of my nurses took me to Chick Fil A.  As soon as we left, they came to do the ultrasound!! Around 3 or so the doctor came in and asked me if I was ready to go home! He said that my test came back negative and with the way my numbers have been going up each week, all the other doctors that met they day agreed that my membrane had sealed back over.  This happens in 1% of women who deal with this condition.  One of my doctors told me that he has seen it happen to about 3 women the whole time he has been a doctor and he can still remember their names.  They decided to not even do another ultrasound because they didn’t need.  They had enough evidence proving I had sealed back.  We talked about me starting back to work.  I will start back on Monday and work for 3 days for 2 weeks.  Then for 4 days for 2 weeks.  Then I will go back to normal.  They told me I could resume my life as normal.  I could go out to eat, go to the store, clean, whatever I wanted to do.  I still cannot lift things and I get winded very easy.  I just have to really listen to my body.  They also told me that I was a higher risk for my membrane to rupture again.  So knowing this, I can’t help but be so nervous.  I go back to the doctors at Duke next week and then after that I will go normally like any pregnant woman would. I am taking it easy, but not as much as I was. I was on bed rest for 9 weeks so getting up and moving around has felt wonderful!

I was given a 2nd chance.  I’m going to be able to have the baby shower that I wanted and help decorate the baby’s room.  I am able to wear cute maternity clothes and show off my belly.  I didn’t realize how big my belly had gotten until I came home and nothing fit! I was given a chance that I thought had gone and past.  All of your prayers worked.  God healed me.  He has his hands wrapped around sweet Baby G hopefully to never let go!  If you do not believe in prayer, I think now is your time to reconsider.  It works.  God wants you to come to him. He yearns for it.  I am going to continue to blog and keep you with me on this journey.  I can’t think you enough for all the encouragement and prayers that you have given me so far. 

Making it to Dec 2!