Friday, May 18, 2012

My oh My Noah's Almost Here!

Well, hello there... I really had intended on posting an update several weeks ago but I have found that with most of my loved ones on facebook that this can be sort of redundant. I am not keeping this blog to "entertain" an audience like so many advertising bloggers out there ... just to keep loved ones posted on what's happening in our world lately... and facebook status updates seem to do the trick quickly and easily. And it's less of a commitment than updating a blog. I'll keep trucking with this thing though because it's nice to be able to look back and see what all has happened. :)
As you may know, I was hospitalized after a May 3rd field trip to Cypress Gardens. I walked a couple miles that day and ended up with blood pressure through the roof and scared some docs / nurses. They released me two days later after they ruled out pre-eclampsia. But this ended up landing me on maternity leave one week early ... which has been a HUGE nightmare. It's very difficult to be a teacher and tie up the end of year strings from home. :( Remind me not to have any more babies at the end of May again. Or August. That is going to be another nightmare if I am still on leave (which I hope to be)! Brian was wonderful while I was in the hospital and has continued to be since I've been home. I am so blessed to be married to someone that loves me so much and will do anything to make this more bearable!! 

 I am now 38 weeks and Noah is scheduled to be delivered next Friday. One week from now he will be here! I can't believe it ... and can't begin to describe the nervousness and anxiety that keeps creeping over me and Brian. I have been experiencing contractions and am 50% effaced ... it really could be anytime now. I really would love for him to come before next Friday because the nights are becoming less and less sleepless and more and more filled with worry. His omphalocele doubled in size to 7cm at his last ultrasound ... which scared me because this increased his chances of needing multiple surgeries. But I've researched and asked around some more and it is still very likely that this can be taken care of all at one time and he can be home with us in less than two weeks. 

Bryce has been home all week with what has probably been the flu. He hasn't had a fever for this many days probably ever. He really hasn't felt that bad ... very mild symptoms which is good! He wants to play with the neighbors and with Andrew but I have made him stay inside most of the week. I've kept in touch with our family doc / my good friend Jen and she said I've been doing the right thing... so that's good! And he's had 6 kids out in his class this week - so something is definitely going around! YUCK!

But with Bryce being sick I have gotten my own little case of cabin fever! Resting is good now but I have always been the kind of person that can't stay in one place for too long. When I just can't sit still any longer I've been working on Noah's nursery. I can't wait to get him here and actually use these sweet things we've been collecting for the past several months. With all the adorable outfits we've received, he'll definitely be the best dressed baby boy in Charleston. 

The big boys are very excited for summer to get here! Andrew has two more weeks of school but the BIG countdown for him is to Noah. He painted a precious tile for him yesterday so he has a contribution to the nursery. Andrew is going to be an amazing big brother. I announced last night that Noah will graduate from high school in 2030 and Andrew was SHOCKED that he'll be 30 when that happens! He could be married with a kid or two by then. It really started to sink in that they will be 12 years apart! I think it's going to be a really special relationship. 

I will wrap this up with a couple pictures from a shark study we took Bryce to last weekend at the park by our house. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March Update 2!

So, we've had a very busy month!!
Bryce turned 8 on March 21st ... we celebrated his birthday on St Patty's Day at our roller skating rink. We had a few good friends come and Bryce had a great time. 
We also granted his birthday wish of a hamster. Holy Hamster Poop - I hate rodents! But we are training Bryce to clean the cage and to take care of "Fuzzy" ... a big lesson in responsibility for him. :) On Bryce's actual birthday we went out for Mexican. If you know anything about my little boy - you know he is a MEX-A-HOLIC. Loves Tacos. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up he says its a toss up between a scientist or a cook at La Carreta. So it is an understatement to say he was thrilled when they put a sombrero on him and sang Happy Birthday to him (en Espanol!)

We celebrated our first anniversary this week as well ... it was perfect!

Brian sent me beautiful flowers, took me to a fancy dinner at FISH, and dessert at Kaminskys. My mom came over to watch Bryce we were able to go with no worries and it was a wonderful evening. 

I went the traditional route and got him a "paper" gift ... a book about couples that make it 50 years :)... AND a Clemson Tervis Tumbler for him to bring to work. There's nothing like your very own tumbler that no one will touch (well not me or Bryce anyway)!!

Our anniversary was Tuesday and then Wednesday we had a consult appointment with our pediatric surgeon. We liked him a lot. He explained how the first few days would go if things go well at delivery. He was able to tell us that the omphalocele is on the medium side being at 4cm ... which we have been calling it small and thinking it was "best case" ... but he recently repaired a 2cm which had the baby home in 10 days.... he said this may be too big to repair in one surgery ... but I still feel optimistic and am anxious to see it at our ultrasound next week. 
We did hammer down a date for Noah's arrival - the C Section should be May 25th. Yay! We get to mark the calendar and begin the countdown. 
In other news ... I am looking forward to my baby shower this Sunday. We have the bones of our nursery but I'm hoping to stock up on our essential baby stuff and hoping for my bedding. We shall see!! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Our family went for a tour of the NICU last night. I was VERY nervous ... more than I thought!! The boys were asked to wait in the waiting room - but will both be able to come in when their brother is there. We were asked to scrub in for 2 minutes up to our elbows and were shown around. The SECOND I saw the first baby ... all my nervousness disappeared. I realized that it won't be long before we have one of those precious babies to call our own. The visit was still overwhelming with all the machines and business of such a crowded unit of sick babies ... but I actually feel excited now that it's over. We had an informal sit down with the NNPs that were on duty and they said it doesn't sound unreasonable to expect Noah to be in and out in 10 days!!! We spent about an hour there and then picked up our very patient boys from the waiting room (it was 10:30 pm at this point!).
Brian then took us down to the cafeteria for a quick snack and we all came home and went right to bed. 
For good reason - we were exhausted!! We painted the nursery yesterday!! Well -  Brian and his mom did most of the painting while I taped the trim and helped get the stripes taped. Can't wait to clean up and update the blog with pics this afternoon! :) 
Have a great Sunday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Update

Hello all!!!
Well - it's been quite a while since I blogged about our happenings and it's time for an update. :) 
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!
Things have been going good for us. 

We had an awesome 40th birthday party for Brian a couple weeks ago. It was great to see all his friends and family come over and celebrate with him by eating oysters and joining our "80's" theme we picked out. 

Look at those cheeks filling out - so cute!!
Today we had an appointment with Prenatal Wellness. Right away they gave us me the juice stuff for my glucose screening. Then we had an ultrasound  - Bryce was with us and loved seeing his little brother on the monitor! I am 28 weeks yesterday ... Noah is weighing in at about 2 1/2 pounds and is in the 49th percentile for growth. Pretty good! Brian asked them to measure his O and it is about 4 cm with just bowel inside the sac. After the ultrasound, I had my blood drawn and then met with a high risk OB at Prenatal Wellness. She talked to us about delivery and told us that within the next month they will hammer down a C Section date and went ahead and referred us to the pediatric surgeon for a consult (we go March 28th). They gave me my 2nd Rhogam shot and scheduled me to come back in 2 weeks to visit my regular OB. 2 weeks after that I will have another ultrasound and begin weekly fetal monitoring. Looks like I will be even more of a regular around there from this point on!

We are going to visit the NICU this weekend for a tour. I am anxious about this because I know seeing the sick babies will make me nervous... but also am glad to have an idea of what to expect. The head nurse practitioner at the NICU has been letting me email her questions about what to expect. She sent me a good message about what to expect at delivery I thought I would share with you all...
So let's talk about the delivery. You will be at MUSC for the delivery and the health care team from the NICU will be in the delivery with you. Our priority will be your little boy. Making sure there are no bigger issues than the oomphalocele. We will cover the defect with a wrap to keep the warmth in. Most of the time there is an intact sac around it and if it is small most of the organs stay inside the body. Sometimes they are very small. We will put and IV in for fluids and nutrition and we will put a tube down to the tummy to keep air from filling up the bowel and making the defect worse. We will look for any other issues. We will bring him to see the two of you and them take him to Nicu. Visitation is open to you with no restrictions. We also allow families to round with us everyday when we discuss your baby.  If your baby is doing well and has a good weight the surgeons will usually do surgery. Small defects can sometimes be fixed completely.  If it is very large it is sometimes done in stages. I hope this helps you understand how this will happen. You will be part of our team and we will get through this together. I hope you plan tp provide breast milk. This will be vital for your son. We can get support for you and will need you pumping within six hours of delivery but it makes a huge difference for the baby. 

So there you have it. You're all updated on all things baby!!

In other news ... Andrew's baseball has started up and has been keeping Andrew and Brian both busy this week!! Brian also got a dirt bike for the boys this week. He spent all of his birthday and fun money on it and they are very very very excited! Me - not quite so much. haha :) ... I worry about broken bones and concussions. 
We found out that Bryce will be in our school's gifted and talented class next year. He has excelled beyond belief since I moved him back to KES with me. He is much happier and thriving. When he found out about "GATE", he told me that he will work hard to stay in the program "forever" and feels special to be part of it. 

Have a GREAT weekend!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Update on the family...

I started this blog as a way to update everyone on the baby...but now I see a wonderful opportunity to give updates on all of us!

Some of you may know that Brian and I just got back from a trip to San Diego for a Healthcare Simulation conference. The weather in San Diego is to die for. It was gorgeous every minute. We even got to lay by the pool. It was awesome! 
Brian enjoyed this year's conference and even saw a model of an omphalocele. 
We were able to do some sight seeing and tried all kinds of San Diego food. We made 4 observations of the city:
1. It is very active - lots of runners everywhere you look!
2. Dog friendly - everybody had a dog. 
3. They don't have anything on food compared to Charleston - but had such great eating atmospheres (sidewalk cafes and rooftop bars!)
4. Sadly, the homeless population was out of control. They were everywhere. 
Here's some pics from the trip...

So now that we're home and gearing up for February and the months to come we are getting excited about Noah!! We have started to pick out furniture and I've been surfing craigslist for deals that are too good to pass up. I have found a couple but have been too late in pursuing them! Boo :(. We have an ultrasound next Wednesday to check on Noah's heart development and I'm so excited to get a peek at him. My belly gets bigger everyday and he is kicking so much and so forcefully that I can see my belly move! Bummer that he's still unpredictable though and none of the guys have been able to feel him yet. 

Andrew is gearing up for baseball season! He and Brian have been outside playing catch the last few days and he's excited to try out for pitcher this season. He's pretty pumped!

A few weeks ago I moved Bryce back to Knightsville Elementary where I teach. His teacher at his school on James Island  was not treating him fairly and had broken all kinds of FERPA laws. He is now in a dear friend's class ... who is also KES teacher of the year ... you wouldn't BELIEVE the turn around a couple weeks in the new school / class has made in his behavior and confidence. It was a difficult decision - but I now know I have made the right one. He is also already being pulled with a "high fliers" group now and completing a research project to keep him challenged. He's a bright kid. Apparently being bored can be confused with ADD/ADHD! 

I have ZERO January pictures of the boys. Well I have one but I refuse to post it. We got them t-shirts and candy in San Diego. We couldn't resist buying them scorpion suckers and funny t-shirts ... but then me and Brian found candy cigarettes that was quite reminiscent for us (both non real cigarette smokers) - we bought some for the kids and took a picture of them with their loot. But in hindsight I am going to throw  those things away because candy or not - no kid should pretend to smoke anything. How we ever came out okay is beyond me.  :) I did - at least - use the candy as a segue to talk about how to never smoke a real cigarette and candy is as close as they'll ever get. Good grief. I feel guilt over candy! 

Anyway - I'll update again on Wednesday or Thursday after our next doc appointment. I am off to enjoy this beautiful Saturday. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More good news...

Well, it's easy to stay optimistic when good news keeps coming our way!! The genetic counselor called last night to let us know that all chromosomes were negative for abnormalities and the open spine test came back normal too. I can not begin to express how grateful I am for the thoughts and prayers that have been sent this way in the last couple of months. They have lifted us up and helped beat the odds of the omphalocele being accompanied by some other defect. The counselor said that after our next ultrasound on Feb. 8th - that they can begin treating this as an isolated omphalocele. I am no longer google-ing omphalocele on a daily basis and reading scary accounts of other babies - I am feeling like "we got this" now ... and best of all I am feeling a lot of HOPE!!
However, it didn't help to have our insurance call me and tell me about this "great, free service" known as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep ... it's volunteer photographers that photograph terminally ill babies and babies that have already passed away - I politely told the lady that the service seems wonderful to those in need, but things look good and thank you but I don't think we'll be needing this. ugh - It was definitely a day of roller coaster emotions yesterday!
Thanks again and again for all the thoughts, comments, and prayers. xoxo

Friday, January 6, 2012


We received preliminary results back from our amniocentesis and it is looking GOOD! This tested for Trisomy 13, 18, & 21 (Downs) ... Yay! What a HUGE weight lifted off our shoulders! Now we have 12 days until we hear back on the other 43 chromosomes... but I feel SO good knowing the major anomalies are 99% ruled out. Thank you for the prayers - He hears them :).