Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dear Logan....

To make things a little different, I'm going to start writing blog posts in the form of letters to my little guy :).  I'm hoping that someday I can print these off and put them in his baby book :).

Dear Logan,

You'll be 6 months old this Saturday and I can't believe it!  On one hand, it doesn't seem like that much time has passed, but on the other hand, so much has happened in such a short amount of time!  You had your first heart surgery at 2.5 months and you're becoming such a big boy!  You're SO close to saying your first word and you're just as close to figuring out how to crawl.  You push yourself up on your hands and knees and kinda weeble-wobble around.  Soon we'll be putting plugs in all the outlets and putting gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.  You have figured out how to roll around and do an army-esque shimmy crawl on the hardwoods.  I just need to put a dusting cloth underneath you so that the floors will get cleaned up while you're moving around ;).  Your first two teeth poked through on the bottom last weekend and the top ones are close to coming in as well.  You're still trying to figure out what they are and why they're there.  You love your exersaucer and you've learned that the buttons make noises when you push them.  You have loved to stand up since before your surgery and your legs are so strong!  I took the sling out of your bathtub about a week ago and you love to sit up like a big boy while taking your bath.  You've also figured out how to splash and hit the bubbles.  You like it when I sing to you... your favorite songs are "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "I like to eat eat eat eeples and baneenees", and "Jesus Loves Me".  Sometimes you make noises like you're singing along :).  You have the most precious and contagious smile.  I keep a picture of you on my computer at work and everyone loves looking at it.  You love "nanners" and oatmeal and you're starting to like other foods too.  In fact, you just gave me an oatmeal "kissy" and got it all over my cheek :).  You're pretty much sleeping through the night (thank you Daylight Savings Time), but you like getting up at about 5 or 5:30 to eat.  Gandalf still doesn't know what to think about you, but you want to be best buddies.  I'm sure you will be someday :).  You are so precious and the apple of my eye and I love you more than I could ever say!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

(Almost) 5 Month Update

I can't believe it's been almost 3 months since my last post.  So much has happened since then and Logan seems to change everyday.  His first surgery was on July 22nd and was very successful.  He's had a couple of follow-up appointments since then and they were both very positive.  He continues to gain weight and has met all of the developmental milestones.  In fact, he's actually ahead of the game with most of them :).  The cardiologist said he's very advanced and even though I'm his mother, I tend to agree ;).

Life as a working mom is pretty crazy.  I still want to stay home with Logan, but until his next surgery is complete, I'm going to continue working so that he'll have two medical insurances.  I just hope that after his surgery we'll be able to find a way for me to stay at home.  It's so hard for me to leave Logan every day so that I can go to work.  I took half of a sick day last week to stay home with him and I absolutely loved it :).  This little guy is my world :).  He has me wrapped around his little fingers.

He rolled over for the first time last week (from his back to his tummy).  He's also starting to push himself up.  I expect him to start crawling in the next couple of months.  He's a strong little guy and loves to stand up (supported, of course).  I bought him an exersaucer (at a consignment shop, yay) and he loves it.  The seat spins all the way around so he's constantly excited about the toys he finds when he moves.  He laughs and smiles a lot... he's generally a pretty happy baby.  He likes taking baths and he has started jabbering a lot more.  When he talks, his sounds are much more word-like.  It really sounds like he's speaking his own language sometimes :).  I'm trying to teach him "mama", but who knows what his first word will be :).

I'm still breastfeeding him and hope to do it as long as possible, which could be challenging.  I pump at work twice a day and go visit him at the babysitter's house on my lunch break to feed him.  He isn't a big fan of drinking from a bottle, but he has gotten better about it.  He doesn't have much of a choice while I'm at work :P.  He has started biting because he's teething and he's learning the word "no".  I'm hoping he'll figure it out before his teeth come in because that really won't be pleasant.  We've been dealing with thrush for the past month or longer.  I didn't realize that's what it was because I just assumed the white inside of his cheeks was milk residue.  Instead, it's a nasty yeast infection that he has passed on to me.  We're using both natural remedies and traditional medicine to try to clear it up.  Yeast is not fun.

I have a few post topics in my head and I'm hoping to actually write about them soon.  Here are a few of my ideas:
New mom essentials
Breastfeeding adventures
Dealing with surgery

I started a post about surgery just a couple days after we came home from the hospital but I didn't get very far.  It's really hard to put those emotions into words, but if you are interested in reading about it, I'll try to remember the details enough to write an entire post about it.  If you have any other requests or questions or anything, let me know and I'll try to address it/them in a future post.  In the meantime, have a good one and I'll try to write again soon :).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

9 Week Update

Sorry it has been such a long time since my last update.  Logan is asleep in his bouncer right now and I'm waiting for the Papa John's delivery guy to arrive with dinner, so I figured this would be a good time to post an update :).

Things have been going pretty well lately.  I got cleared by my doctor at my 6-week checkup, so I can now start exercising slowly.  I'm actually looking forward to exercising a little bit... while I was very comfortable with my body during the pregnancy, I'm not so enthusiastic anymore.  I know it takes a while for everything to go back into place and whatnot, but I'm not used to having so much loose skin and I'd rather avoid having to answer the "how far along are you?" question.  Even though it's only been 9 weeks since I had a baby, I know that people are still critical of women's bodies afterward and I really just want to feel good about myself.

On that note, I tried on my pre-pregnancy jeans and they all fit in the legs and butt, but were a little tight in the waist.  I was still pretty psyched about them fitting, though :).  I was pretty terrified to try them on in the first place.

I started working again full-time on Thursday last week and it was a very emotional day.  Jason's sister is watching Logan until she goes off to college, which is great because I'm comfortable with her and I like the idea of Logan being at home instead of in a daycare.  Even though it was her watching him, though, that didn't keep me from breaking down when I passed him along to her so that I could leave in the morning.  Once I left, I was fine until I came home for lunch.  I had eaten and was about to leave again when I got a phonecall from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to schedule his first surgery.  She told me it was scheduled for this Friday, July 15th and proceeded to give me instructions for Thursday when all of his pre-op will be taken care of.  I was ok when I got off the phone but as soon as I got in my car and started to call Jason, I lost it.  We've had a lot of time to prepare for the idea of surgery, but now that it's a reality, it's a whole new ballgame.  Logan is real now, not just something bumping around in my belly and I would do anything to take care of and protect him.  I just wish there was something I could do so that he wouldn't have to go through surgery :(.  The thought of it just breaks my heart.  *sigh*  Anyway, I should be ok until we get to the hospital, but I can almost guarantee I will fall apart when we have to take him in to his surgery.  God will be hearing a lot from me on Friday :).

Oh, I guess I should probably say what the surgery is for.  They're going to put a band on his pulmonary artery to restrict the bloodflow to the side of his heart that's pumping to his lungs.  Since his heart is basically backwards, the side of the heart that should be pumping to his body is pumping to his lungs and vice versa.  This means his lungs are getting too much blood.  Also, his heart is having to work harder to pump and his lungs are building up some fluid which is making him work harder to breathe.  He was put on a medication called Lasix a few weeks ago to take some of the fluid out of his lungs... I'm hoping that this surgery will make it so that he won't have to take it anymore but we'll see.  I'm not sure how long the surgery itself will take but he will be in the hospital for about a week following.  We'll be staying with him so visitors (and food) are welcome :).

Logan is doing really well right now, though.  He continues to put on weight like a champ and he is probably about 5lbs heavier than he was when he was born and about 4" longer.  He's growing like crazy!  He's already wearing his 3 month clothes and he even fit into a 6 month onesie this week.  His hair is growing in on the top of his head a little bit (peach fuzz) so he doesn't look so much like a little old man :).  His eyes are lightening to a pretty blue color and he has started to make lots of cute baby sounds.  He likes to stand when we hold him up and he's got some strong little legs!  He's finally starting to do more than just eat, sleep, poop, and cry :).  I love this little guy so much!

I'm still breastfeeding and it has its ups and downs.  I love that he's getting the nutrition he needs along with all the extras breastmilk add:  vitamins, immunity, etc.  On top of that, it's free and it keeps producing :).  Pumping at work has been difficult, mainly because I keep forgetting, but I don't think my supply has been affected by the couple of times I forgot to pump.

Well, this has been sitting here a couple of days unpublished, so I'm just going to go ahead and post it and hope I didn't leave anything out.  Logan's pre-op is tomorrow so we would appreciate more prayers.  I'll try to post another update soon :).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

1 Month Update

I apologize for not keeping up with my blog lately.  Life with a newborn has been much more hectic than I ever imagined.  Since I don't have time to do weekly updates, I'm just going to post when I have time and am in a bloggy mood :). 

A lot has happened in the last few weeks.  Logan is now a month old, yay!  He's growing so stinkin' fast and time is flying by.  We went to the doctor when he was 3 weeks old and he weighed 8lbs 7oz and was 21" long, which means he had gained 2lbs 3oz and he was 1.5" longer than at birth.  We go back to the cardiologist tomorrow and I'm excited to see how much bigger he is.  I think he's definitely over 9lbs now :).  I can't help but be proud of myself for helping him get to this point.  I knew I would feel great about breastfeeding, but I had no idea until I saw his weight.  Add the little chubby cheeks and baby fat rolls he's getting and we've got a healthy little boy on our hands :).  He still eats like a champ, but I've had to learn a few things along the way. 

It's amazing the things you learn when becoming a mom.  For example, you keep track of your baby's wet and dirty diapers.  You also monitor the color of their poo and if it changes even slightly, you jump onto google and search "newborn green poop normal?", ha :).  This happened last week and I freaked out a little bit.  After researching a bit, I learned that I have an oversupply of milk and that Logan wasn't getting enough of the hind milk (the more fatty/rich milk) because he was getting too much fore-milk (more lean/watery).  I've been trying to keep better track of this and I make sure he drains one side before offering the other.  This seems to be helping, not only with his poop but it also seems to keep his tummy from getting upset.  Once again, I chuckle whenever I find myself talking about baby poop or other bodily functions... I guess you'll only really understand if you're a mom ;).

Logan's heart is still doing pretty well.  At the last appointment the doctor said the hole is still there and it's still pumping blood from one side to the other, which isn't a good thing.  If it doesn't close on its own (we're still praying that it will) we will have to make a decision about surgery.  There are a few options to choose from but the main ones are to just fix the hole (VSD) or to fix everything (VSD & L-TGA).  Please continue to pray for his healing and also pray for us to make the best decisions we can.  We go back for another ultrasound tomorrow and I'm hoping that everything will continue to look great.

Logan still hasn't learned that bedtime means "go to sleep before midnight".  Most nights he wakes up around 9:00 and then is wide awake until 12:30 or 1am.  Once he's asleep he's good for about 3 hours before needing to eat again... and since I'm carrying his food, I get to be the one to get up and feed him.  I have to go back to work in a couple of weeks so I'm hoping bedtime will get a little easier by then.  He sleeps for about 3 hours at a time during the day.  Most of the time he'll sleep in the Pack 'N Play, but he also loves to curl up on my chest and sleep too :).  He's so snuggly that it's hard to put him down :).

His skin has been peeling for the past week, which is apparently a normal thing for newborns.  He also has a little bit of baby acne, which is also normal.  He gets a bath 2-3 times each week now.  He isn't very excited about it, but he doesn't fuss unless he's getting cold.  I can't wait until he takes fun baths, splashing around and making a mess for his mom to clean up ;).

We've taken him out in public a handful of times now and he's usually pretty good about it.  We had an interesting experience in Target, though.  I was looking at baby toys and Jason took Logan to the front of the store (in his stroller) to get a soda and Logan woke up and started screaming.  I heard him from the other end of the store and thought "huh, a baby's crying.... oh, that's Logan's cry!" and had to go help calm him down.  It's funny how you can recognize your baby's cry and differentiate it from other baby's cries.  I felt kinda like supermom after that, even though I didn't really do anything special ;).

I guess that's about all I can think of for Logan.  I'm still healing up, but my incision looks great and it doesn't really hurt unless I poke it.  My bleeding has pretty much stopped (yay!) and my belly isn't looking 6 months pregnant anymore :P.  My organs are still going back into place, but I feel much better about the idea of wearing non-maternity clothes.  I'm still wearing my maternity jeans because the panel helps to control the last bit of my belly that's poking out, but I'm going to be buying a belly band soon so that I can start wearing normal jeans again.  Of course, that means my old jeans have to fit and I have yet to try them on... I'm kind-of avoiding that, but I'm hoping at least some of my old jeans will fit soon.  We shall see :).

I'm still working on finding a good balance with everything at home.  Logan is my priority, but I've started finding time to take a shower daily, put my makeup on (yes, it's necessary), and eat 3 meals each day.  I've also started to cook dinner a few nights each week and I'm working on cleaning things around the house when I can.  I'm not stressing out about making sure the dishes are all clean or the laundry being all folded (trust me) but I try to sweep when I can or straighten things up to make the house look a little less disaster zone-ish.  Hopefully by the time I go back to work, I'll have things even more under control but I'm not going to beat myself up if I'm not June Cleaver :).

As you've probably noticed, I posted a sneak peek of our birth announcements at the top of the blog.  I ordered them a couple nights ago and I'm super excited to get them!  Hopefully they'll get here soon so I can start sending/handing them out.  I hope they look as great in person as they do online :).

I guess that's about it for now.  Logan's asleep so I'm going to try to sneak a shower in.  Until next time...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Postpartum Weeks 1 & 2

Whew, I'm just now getting used to my new schedule as a mom.  I thought the transition would be much easier, but I was wrong.  The past 2 weeks have flown by.  I can't believe Logan is already 2 weeks old!!!  There are a lot of things I want to write about, so hopefully I can remember all of them while being concise at the same time :P.

The word for the past couple of weeks is Hormones.  While I was pregnant, I was pretty much normal the entire time.  I got tired and nauseous and whatnot, but Jason had it easy.  I was rarely moody and I felt like myself the whole 9 months.  That changed drastically after Logan was born.  It first hit me the night we came home from the hospital when breastfeeding wasn't working very well.  I broke down and had a good cry because I was so frustrated.  I was ok after that until Wednesday when my parents went home.  We got up early to drive them to the airport, but we didn't leave as early as I had hoped we would.  I was stressed out the whole drive to the airport because I was worried they wouldn't get there on time.  We only got stuck in traffic once and the rest of the trip was "smooth sailing".  I walked them into the airport and had to say goodbye and that was SO difficult.  They had been so helpful during their stay and besides that, I really enjoyed their company and loved having them around.  It was just hard to see them go.  Once we left the airport, I got a text from my mom saying something was wrong with their plane.  It took 2 hours for it to be fixed and their layover in Salt Lake City was only an hour, which meant they would miss their connecting flight.  Once in SLC, they had to wait about 9 hours before they were able to get on another flight to Boise... and from there, they had a 3 hour trip home.  I felt really bad for them and was stressed about it all day.

On top of my parents leaving, Jason decided to go in to work for half of Wednesday, so it was my first time being home alone with Logan.  Everything combined with my hormones made me feel like I had multiple personalities.  I cried about EVERYTHING.  I've never cried so much in my life.  It was pretty horrible.  Since then, I've felt normal but I'm sure I'm not completely out of the woods yet :).

Adjusting to having a baby in the house has been a lot different than I expected.  He sleeps pretty good, but only for about 3 hours at a time.  He's been going to sleep around 1am and then gets up every few hours for feedings.  Last night he went to bed at 11 and I was shocked.  I wasn't tired yet, though, so I couldn't get to sleep, gah.  It's amazing how quickly your world gets flipped and you're following someone else's schedule.  Logan and I are both making adjustments so I'm hoping by the time I go back to work at 6 weeks, we'll both have things figured out... at least a little more than we do right now :).

If you read my Post Delivery entry, you'll know we had a rough start to breastfeeding.  He now latches on and eats like a champ :).  We did buy some ready-to-eat formula bottles just in case, but he's breastfeeding 90% of the time.  My milk took about 4 days to come in and when it did... holy milk, Batman!  Jason has made jokes about my new "enhancements" and I feel like they're a bit out of control :).  I'll have to be extra conscious about what I wear when I go back to church and work, ha :).

My body is slowly morphing back to "normal".  It's strange not having a huge belly anymore, but what's left is excess skin and water retention.  My uterus is going back to its normal size and I still get contractions almost every time I breastfeed.  My incision is healing nicely and it's much easier to get up and around now.  I can walk without cringing in pain.  I ran out of painkillers about 4 days ago and it was rough for the first day or two off of them, but now I'm doing alright.  I still can't sit straight up (from lying down) in bed yet, but my abs are getting stronger so I just have to be patient :).  Here's a pic of me at 2 weeks postpartum... I'm posting it against my better judgment so please be kind ;).

Even though my hormones have been a little wild and I've been pretty stressed out lately, I'm trying to celebrate the small victories.  Here are some of the things that fall into that category:
  • I'm able to take a shower nearly every day... it's on Logan's nap schedule, but I usually have at least 30 minutes :)
  • Most of the swelling in my body is gone - I can now see my ankles and feet and my calves also have some shape to them.  I haven't seen these things in months!
  • I can wear my wedding band again :)
  • I'm eating 3 meals a day and hopefully I won't start forgetting again
Logan is doing really well.  We had his first doctor appointment last week and he had already gained 5oz.  He loves to eat! ;)  The doctor said that she never would've known he has a heart defect if it wasn't in his records.  His heartbeat was good and everything else looked normal.  We have to go back next week and I'm excited to see how much weight he has put on.  He's still a tiny little guy.

We took him to the cardiologist last week as well and he had to get another ultrasound.  The hole in his heart is still there, but it's smaller and we're praying that it will close on its own.  We have to go back for another ultrasound next week and we're praying that there will be a difference.  They are keeping a close watch on his heart, which gives me a little peace of mind, but I still check him multiple times when he's sleeping to make sure he's breathing alright.  I guess the worrying comes with the territory of being a mom :).

Logan seems to be getting more alert each day.  His eyesight seems to be improving too.  Sometimes when he's lying in his Pack 'n Play, he will just stare at the stuffed elephant.  He'll also stare blankly at nothing, but that's beside the point ;).  Since he was born, he has tried to get his thumb in his mouth and it's a challenge for him.  He usually ends up with knuckles or his arm in his mouth because the thumb always gets away.  We try to help him sometimes but He doesn't quite understand what we're doing so he gets upset :).  It's still cute to watch him, though.

Anyway, I think that's about all I have for now.  Here are the development details from my email newsletters :).

**A whole week has passed, but doesn't it seem more like a lifetime? As you're adjusting to feedings and getting by on less sleep, your baby is also adjusting to his new world. He sleeps in short naps, wakes to feed, and spends some time quietly alert before drifting off to sleep again. Babies' eyes focus best on objects between 8 and 15 inches away – not coincidentally, the distance to your face when held in your arms. 

Your womb was a warm and cozy environment, and it takes time for your baby to adjust to the various sights, sounds, and sensations of life outside your body. You may not be able to detect much of a personality just yet as your baby spends his time moving in and out of several different states of sleepiness, quiet alertness, and active alertness.

The only way your baby knows to communicate is by crying, but you can communicate with him through your voice and your touch. (He can now recognize your voice and pick it out among others.)

Your baby probably loves to be held, caressed, kissed, stroked, massaged, and carried. He may even make an "ah" sound when he hears your voice or sees your face, and he'll be eager to find you in a crowd. **

Sorry this is so long, but I'm trying to catch up.  I'll try to get back to posting weekly, but I can't make any promises :)... my schedule is kind-of determined by Logan right now ;).  Here's the little bug sleeping... *melt* :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Post Delivery

Note:  This post is mainly for my benefit, so that I can remember what happened in the hospital.  Feel free to read if you'd like, but it may be a little boring and long :).

As soon as a regular room opened up they moved me and I was much more comfortable.  I was hooked up to a pump with a "walking epidural" for the pain, but it honestly didn't do much at all.  I was still hurting a lot.  They said I had to stay in bed for 12 hours and then they would get me up so that I could move around a little.  This meant that I couldn't see Logan for 12 hours, which made me pretty upset :(.  Also, the doctor in the NICU wanted to keep Logan there for 24 hours for observation, so he couldn't come to me.  I wanted to try breastfeeding him within the first hour of his birth, but that obviously wasn't going to happen.  Jason kept going down to NICU and taking videos and pictures of Logan for me.  He made sure I knew exactly what was going on the entire time.  One of the nurses brought a breast pump to my room so that I could start saving up milk for Logan.  The first few times I pumped, I got pretty much nothing out besides a couple drops of colostrum which was very discouraging.  Then I heard that Logan was being fed formula in NICU and that made me even more upset.  We didn't plan on buying/feeding formula, so I was really worried that breastfeeding wouldn't work after he got used to formula.

While Logan was in the NICU, they performed many tests on him including a few echo ultrasounds on his heart.  All of the reports that Jason brought back to me were positive, which really helped me to feel better.  All of the doctors had great things to say about how he was doing.  At first they couldn't even find the hole (VSD) in his heart, so we were hoping that it was closed, but they later found it.  Right now that is one of our main prayers, that it will close on its own.

I was finally allowed to get out of bed at 1am on Friday morning.  The nurse came to my room and helped me get from my bed into a wheelchair and Jason brought me down to the NICU to see Logan.  He was asleep the whole time I held him, but it was so amazing to have him in my arms.  I finally felt like a real mom :).  I don't know how long we stayed there because I was so caught up in looking at my son... his little button nose, his fingers, etc.  He was perfect :).  We finally put him back to bed and went upstairs with plans to come back and feed him in the morning.  When we came back to see him, we both held him for a while and Jason asked the nurse if I could try breastfeeding.  She said she had to check his records and see if I was approved to breastfeed... [insert long very annoyed pause].  I was pretty angry at how they treated his feedings.  Of course I'm glad he was fed, but I was upset that I had to get permission to breastfeed my own baby.

Once we got back to my room, I asked to be weaned off of the epidural pump.  They removed the pump as well as the catheter, so I was only still attached to the IV.  They started giving me Percocet for the pain and it was amazing... much better than the walking epidural.  I was able to take a shower, which helped me to feel a little better and soon we got word from the NICU that as long as the cardiologist felt Logan was doing well enough, he would be released and could stay with us in our room that afternoon.  I was overjoyed at this news.  It took a few hours, because once he was released from the NICU he had to be checked out by the nurses in the regular nursery, but he was finally brought to our room, which made me so happy. 

I tried breastfeeding Logan but it didn't work very well at all.  Logan was confused and he got frustrated very easily.  Then I got frustrated and ended up giving him a bottle of formula.  The nurses kept encouraging me to try nursing him first each time he was hungry and then give him a bottle if it didn't work.  I also had a lactation consultant come to our room a couple of times to help.  I was determined to make breastfeeding work so I was hoping it would just take time and practice for both of us.

That night (Friday) Logan stayed in our room.  He only woke up twice (every 3 hours) which was fine because the nurse was in and out of the room all night so I didn't get much sleep anyway.  Sometime during the night, the IV in my hand came out of the vein so that the IV solution was dripping into my hand.  I woke up and my hand was huge... like if you blow up a latex glove, that's how big my hand was.  The swelling had also gone into my arm.  I told one nurse and she just told me to elevate it and she put a towel underneath my hand (I don't know what she was thinking).  I showed the next nurse that came in and she immediately took the IV out and called for a guy to come and re-insert it into my other hand.  My right hand took forever to drain... I think about 3 days or more of nearly constant leaking. 

On Saturday morning, a few more cardiologists came to check on Logan.  They did another ultrasound and once again came back with a good report.  They told us that Logan was free to leave the hospital.  I thought it was such a blessing that he was free to go and that they were just waiting on me (instead of the other way around).  I was eager to leave, so we made plans to leave the hospital that afternoon.  We just had to wait for Logan to get circumcised and another lactation consultant wanted to work with us one more time.  His circumcision was finished around lunchtime so the LC came by our room at about 2:15.  She was very helpful and was able to get him to latch on perfectly.  I was so grateful for her help because I was on the verge of tears during most of my previous feeding attempts.  Her help gave me a lot of confidence.

As soon as Logan was finished eating, we packed everything up and Jason got the nurse so that we could be discharged.  She came in and made sure we took everything out of the room, including diapers, formula, Medela pump accessories, blankets, socks, etc.  They loaded us up :).  At about 3:00, we were ready to go.  The nurse took me outside in a wheelchair and Jason followed with a cart full of all our stuff.  Logan fell asleep in his car seat and it was a pretty good trip home :).

That night, I had my first hormonal moment.  Logan was hungry and so I tried feeding him, but he got super frustrated and started screaming.  I got frustrated and started crying.  I think I was a little sleep deprived but I still felt a bit like a failure.  Thankfully, when he woke up in the middle of the night that night, he latched on immediately and nursed perfectly :).  I think that was the turning point in breastfeeding and he hasn't had any problems with it since!

When we were sent home, I was told to rest for 2 weeks.  No driving, no walking up and down the stairs, no baths, and no picking up anything bigger than Logan (6.5lbs).  A nurse from Kaiser came to our house on Sunday to remove my staples.  We didn't expect her to come so early on Sunday so we were a bit shocked, especially because we had planned on doing Logan's dedication at church that morning around 11:20.  She got to the house at 10, inspected my incision, took the staples out, and then checked Logan.  She said that we were both doing great except that Logan was a bit jaundiced.  He had a bilirubin level of 6.1 when we left the hospital and she measured him at 10.7.  She told us to put him in indirect sunlight and to feed him more than we already were because the more he pooped and peed, the faster it would get out of his system.

The nurse finished at 11 and we made a mad dash to church.  We showed up just as praise & worship was ending and were immediately called up to the stage.  Baby Logan was dedicated to the Lord and then we came home because I was exhausted (only 3 days after my c-section!) and we didn't want Logan to get mobbed by a bunch of people.  I'm so glad that my parents were able to be there because it made the dedication even more special.  A large part of Jason's family was also there, so we had a nice little crowd :).  I was super emotional during the dedication and was about to cry the entire time, so I'm glad that the only question Pastor Tim asked me was the time of birth, ha :).

That pretty much wraps up the days immediately following Logan's birth.  Not everything went as planned but Logan is safe and healthy and we're both doing well :).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Labor & Delivery

Here it is... the long awaited story of my labor and Logan's delivery :).  It was quite eventful and definitely didn't go as I had planned, but he arrived safe and healthy, which is what matters more than anything else.

It all started when I went to my scheduled doctor appointment on Wednesday, May 11th at 11:30am.  They took my vital signs and I had to leave a urine sample, as usual.  Then, since I was past my due date, they said I had to be hooked up to their monitors so they could watch my contractions and Logan's heartbeat.  They said I would be monitored for 20 minutes and then the doctor would examine me and then I would be done.  They hooked me up and I sat calmly listening to Logan's heartbeat.  A nurse came in and told me to lie on my side and that's when things changed.  Logan's heartbeat dropped from the 130's down into the 70's and 80's.  The nurse ran back into the room and had me turn from side to side to get it to go back up.  It happened again, so she pulled the cord for the doctor to come in while inserting an IV into my hand and putting an oxygen mask on me.  The doctors ran in and asked "what's your husband's phone number?  You're going to the hospital NOW".  They called Jason and told him to meet me there, but didn't really tell him what was going on.  I told him to call his mom and have her pick up my parents.

They loaded me into an ambulance (craziness) and we headed down to Northside Hospital in Atlanta.  On the way, I called Jason and my parents to offer a small explanation of what was going on.  Apparently the umbilical cord was wrapped around Logan somewhere and was getting pinched when I moved into certain positions.  It also got pinched during some contractions.  The doctor said that once I got to the hospital, they would monitor me again and if Logan's heart was ok they would plan on an induction Thursday morning.  If not, I would have an immediate C-Section.  I joked with the EMT that I had been concerned about getting stuck in traffic when I went into labor, but now I didn't have to worry about that at all :).  We arrived at the hospital and after monitoring Logan for about an hour, they decided he sounded great and that they would go forward with the induction the next morning.

The doctor examined my cervix and said that it was soft, but closed.  Apparently I was no longer 1cm dilated like they had told me a couple weeks before.  They decided to insert something called Cervadil that evening, which would help to soften my cervix and would also help with my contractions.  At this point, I was having contractions every 5-6 minutes, but they weren't too painful yet.  They soon started to get more intense, though, and closer together.  By about midnight, my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and hurt like h-e-double hockeysticks.  The nurses were great about following my birth plan and did everything they could to accommodate me.  However, during contractions, Logan's cord kept getting pinched and the staff became very concerned about his heart.  They decided to remove the Cervadil and give me some muscle relaxers to slow down the contractions, relax my uterus, and "relieve some of the pain" (HA!).  It worked to space them out a tiny bit, but did nothing for the pain.  It just made me groggy so that when I was about to fall asleep, I would have another contraction and would wake up in pain.  This went on throughout the night so I barely got any sleep.

Thursday morning, my doctor came in and said he had reviewed Logan's heart readings from the last 12+ hours and he was very concerned.  His heart rate continued to drop during contractions, so he didn't think Logan would do well with a vaginal delivery.  He said that depending on where the cord was pinched, when he came through the birth canal, it could be extremely dangerous because his heart rate would drop dramatically and the oxygen would also be cut off, which would most likely result in an emergency c-section and they would only have about 10 minutes to get Logan out safely.  He said that they could proceed with induction but he really felt that a c-section would be the safest route for his delivery.  Jason and I agreed and were told that they would start with my epidural within a couple of hours.

I took a shower and we contacted our families so that they would be there.  Around 12:00 the anesthesia team came to my room and gave me the epidural... which, for the record, I am NOT a fan of.  The shot they put into my spine hurt like crazy and they inserted it during a contraction, which didn't help.  Once they got the epidural in, my body started shaking uncontrollably and I immediately felt nauseous.  I hadn't eaten anything since midnight and stopped drinking anything around 10am, but my stomach was churning.  Also, they inserted the catheter before I was completely numb and that was quite painful :P.  Once I was completely numb from the ribs down (they kept poking me to make sure), they wheeled me into the OR.  I kept telling a nurse that I was nauseous and they had to give me a couple doses of something to help.  I think I was pretty nervous, which added to the nausea.

Jason came into the OR and they started surgery right away.  I think they began around 12:40 and it went really fast.  The whole time, I was praying that Logan would be healthy and that his heart would be strong.  I also prayed that he would breathe well.  My thoughts were a constant stream of prayer.  I didn't care what was happening to me, as long as Logan was fine.  I felt a lot of pressure and pushing and as soon as they started to take Logan out, they told Jason and he stood up and looked over the sheet (?!?!?!?!) which shocked me :).  He even took pictures!  Once they had his head out, the doctor made them stop and said "the umbilical is around his neck..... twice!" as he unwound it... then he pulled him out more and the umbilical cord was also wrapped around his shoulders.  The doctor said it looked like he had spun himself around in my womb.  As soon as Logan was out, the doctor shouted "12:49!" and then I heard the most beautiful sound I can remember hearing in my whole life... Logan's crying :).  As soon as I heard his cry, I started bawling my eyes out and all I could think or say was "thank you, Lord!" 

They immediately took him to a station where they took his vital signs and cleaned him up.  They said his APGAR scores were great (I didn't get the specific numbers).  Then they swaddled him and put him on my chest (see my Logan's First Pictures album on facebook) so that I could see him.  Finally seeing him was surreal... my heart was overflowing with love :).  After about only a minute or two, they took him up to the NICU to be checked and Jason went with him.  The doctors started to sew me up and I asked if they could get rid of my stretch marks while they were at it... they laughed and said "if we knew how to do that, we'd be rich!"  The doctor said he gave me a nice "bikini" incision to which I replied "it's been a looooong time since I last wore a bikini, but thanks" :).

The entire surgery took maybe 30 minutes from start to finish and I was wheeled into Recovery.  They had me wiggle my toes and lift my knees a few times to prove that the epidural was wearing off.  A nurse came in and said "don't move too much... the placenta is in between your feet", ha!  It was in a tub but I still thought it was odd/funny.  After maybe 15 minutes or so, Jason came in with some pictures and videos of Logan.  I am so thankful to have such an awesome husband.  He was going back and forth to check on me and Logan the entire time and he made sure I saw plenty of Logan and knew exactly what was going on while I was unable to see him.

Continued soon in my "Post Delivery" post... :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

40 Weeks

My belly button has been signaling that Logan is "done" for over a month now, but now the timer is finally showing the same thing.  I've reached 40 weeks and am ready to have this baby :).  I think something psychological  clicked on Friday (my due date) and I immediately became very emotional and frustrated.  I want him to be here sooooo much.  I'm so excited to meet him and be his mommy :).  I know the due date isn't an exact science, but I was really hoping he would be here by now.  It doesn't help that I'm still working full-time and I really want to stop working for a while and be with my baby.  I think all things combined are making me grumpy :).

Anyway, this week was pretty good.  I had my final ultrasound on Tuesday and everything looked the same.  His "breathing" is still good and he's still healthy.  His estimated weight is 6lbs 11oz (plus or minus a pound) and the only thing of note that the doctor said is that his belly is a little small.  He said it isn't anything to be concerned about... he'll probably just be long and skinny when he's born.  Definitely the opposite of Jason's 10lbs 12oz! :)  I had a regular checkup the same day of my ultrasound and the doctor said I haven't progressed any further.  He said that that's common, though, and most of the time women don't progress until they're in active labor.  He did say that my cervix is nice and soft, though... yay... and you're welcome ;).  I know you wanted to hear that :).

My parents flew in from Oregon on Thursday and have been helping clean the house and get things ready for Logan's arrival.  Everything is pretty much done, so we're just playing the waiting game.  We walked around quite a bit yesterday and I got a few pains.  We're going to leave in a few minutes to do some more walking, so hopefully that'll do the trick :).

That's about it for now.  I'm praying that labor will start today so that I don't have to go to work tomorrow.  I'm tired of people popping into my office asking, "still pregnant?" :P  Anyway, here is the last (hopefully) pregnancy update:
  • It's hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. 
  • His skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to overlap a bit if it's a snug fit through the birth canal during labor. This so-called "molding" is the reason your baby's noggin may look a little conehead-ish after birth. Rest assured — it's normal and temporary.
I guess that doesn't say much, but that'll work for now :).  Please be praying that Logan makes his exit soon... we're ready and waiting for him! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Nursery Photos

The nursery is done!  Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure :).

39 Weeks

Less than a week to go until my due date :).  Everyone seems to be really excited and we are too!  The car seat is in my car, the nursery is done, the bags are packed and we're just waiting for Logan to give us the "go ahead" :).

I had a checkup on Tuesday and it went pretty well.  My blood pressure was a bit high again so the doctor told me to take it easy and keep an eye on it.  I've been trying to rest and put my feet up when I can, especially since my feet and ankles have been really swollen.  Also, my right index finger swells up a little bit every once in a while so I'm hoping that's not anything to be concerned about.  I'll ask the doctor when I go back in on Wednesday.  Anyway, she checked my cervix and said I'm 1cm dilated and 50% effaced.  She said that Logan is at -2 station, which means he was still a little high in my pelvis.  It feels like he has dropped a little bit each day, though, so I'm hoping I'll have a different number this week (if I haven't already gone into labor beforehand).  I'm just excited that there has been some progress.  I definitely feel more pressure in my pelvis, so I know something's going on in there :).

Also this week, I lost my mucus plug (eew), but that's not something I wanted to publicly announce on facebook.  Even though it's a normal part of pregnancy, it's not something that you hear about until you're pregnant.  I guess it's just another one of those pleasant things that pregnant women don't talk about... just like the gas, bloating, round ligament pain, all-day sickness, headaches, dry sinuses, changed eyesight, forgetfulness, bloody show, etc.  Sounds fun, right? ;)  It's funny how guys react to different pregnancy-related things.  As soon as a woman becomes pregnant, she starts reading about everything that will happen to her body and the baby as it grows so that she has a pretty good understanding of things including the mucus plug.  However, men pretty much stay oblivious to these things and might pay attention maybe 30% of the time that we complain.  I think it helps that we have menstrual cycles every month of our life starting somewhere in our teens, so we're used to "gross" things happening with our body.  Anyway, I yelled downstairs to tell Jason about the plug on Wednesday morning.  I said "something gross happened" and he said "I don't want to know" and I said "I lost something" and he said "that's gross but good for you", ha.  And that was that.

Anyway, on to less awkward topics.  Some of my new coworkers threw a surprise baby shower for me on Thursday.  It was definitely a surprise!  I had no idea what was going on so when they all yelled "surprise" I felt pretty stupid, ha :).  It was so thoughtful of them.  They ordered food from Chili's along with a Publix cake and ice cream.  They also all chipped in and bought about $200 worth of presents from our registry.  I was very grateful and touched that they did all that after knowing me for just a mere 4 weeks :).

I've been getting small contractions, but they're very irregular and not very intense.  My parents think Logan's going to be a Mother's Day baby, so I guess we'll see :).

I think that's all I have for this week, so here are details from a different weekly newsletter (planningfamily has had the same info for the past couple weeks):
  • Your baby's waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it's likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.
  • Are you counting down the days? Ready or not, at 39 weeks pregnant, there's a baby coming to a birth canal near you.  And these last few days (or last couple of weeks, if your baby's tardy) may speed by or drag out.  You're probably feeling increasingly uncomfortable by now, as you drag around your ever-heavier uterus and its contents, achier and achier in the pelvis as your baby bears down.  Braxton Hicks contractions are likely increasing in strength and frequency, and that's a good thing, since it means your body's gearing up for the big event.  
Sounds fun, huh? :)  My next appointment is on Wednesday and I also have an ultrasound immediately following.  My parents fly in on Thursday and my official due date is Friday :).  It's going to be a pretty eventful week... and hopefully Logan will come soon after my parents get here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Birth Plan

Ok, so I've finally decided to post my birth plan.  I don't want to start any debates and I know that a few of these items are controversial (everyone has an opinion!), so if you disagree with anything I have decided on, please be respectful of my wishes.  I have done quite a bit of research in order to come to the conclusions that I have.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment but please remember to be respectful :).  Also, I know that not everything in labor & delivery goes as planned, so some of these things may need to be reevaluated, but until something happens, this is my plan.  I have added a few additional comments for this entry in blue.

The people present for the birth will be Alexis’s husband, Jason Snooks, and possibly her mom, Linda Kowing.  (I might even be ok with my dad being in the room... still thinking about that one)

  • Please do not offer pain medication – I plan on using alternative pain relief options.  I will ask for pain medication if I need it.
  • I would like to be out of bed as much as possible during labor (walking, etc.).
  • I would prefer that the amniotic membrane (bag of waters) rupture naturally.
  • I prefer to use natural methods to start labor (instead of induction).

  • I would like the option to be in a position other than lying on my back when I give birth (squatting, lying on my side, etc.).
  • I prefer to tear (or use perineal massage, etc.) rather than having an episiotomy.
  • As long as the baby and I are healthy, I prefer to push instinctively and to have no time limits on pushing.

After Delivery
  • I would like my baby placed immediately skin-to-skin after delivery.
  • The umbilical cord shall not be clamped or cut until the baby is breathing and pink, and until all pulsation in the cord has ceased.
  • If the baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, I would like Jason to accompany the baby.
  • I would like to breastfeed as soon as possible (within the first hour)
  • I would like to meet with a Lactation Consultant as soon as possible after delivery.
  • I want all procedures that are done and all medications that are given to my baby explained to me before they are carried out by the medical staff.  If I disagree with the administration of an immunization or medication, I am willing to sign a formal waiver.
  • I would like to have the baby evaluated and bathed in my presence.
  • We do plan on having our baby circumcised at Kaiser Permanente/Northside Hospital.
That's it!  I'm not going to go into details on vaccines because that will open up a whole other can of worms that I don't want to deal with.  Advice and suggestions are welcome as long as they are given with love ;).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

38 Weeks

I can't believe another week has flown by.  It seems to be going faster and faster :).  This week has been a very busy one.  I had my 37 week checkup on Tuesday as well as another ultrasound.  My checkup went well and it was the first time the doctor actually examined me to see if my cervix has dilated or effaced at all.  He began by saying "let's see if we can touch your tonsils", lol.  It was a bit awkward, but I figure that for him it's business as usual.  Anyway, I'm not dilated or effaced at all.  He told me "first time babies don't just fall out" so it sounds like Logan still has some baking time left :).  He made sure to tell me when to call Kaiser (if my water breaks, if contractions are 5-7 minutes apart for at least an hour, etc.) and when to avoid calling.  I'm feeling pretty prepared right now, but that may change when labor actually begins :).

My ultrasound was immediately after the checkup and it went really well.  Logan was in a perfect position for the doctor so he was able to get some great views of his heart.  Everything is the same, but Logan still has a strong heartbeat and he's still very healthy.  He moves around a lot and is a pretty strong little guy!  His estimated weight right now is 6lbs 8oz, but there's a variance of 15oz, so he could be about a pound more or less.  Either way, he should be less than 8lbs when he's born, which I think I can handle :).  They gave me some pictures, but since he's so squished in there, you can't really see much.  They did get a pretty good one of his foot, though, which is kinda hard to miss ;).  The nurse didn't take a picture of his hair, but she showed me where he has a little bit on his head, which is exciting :).  I thought this would be my last ultrasound but they told me to come back in 2 weeks if I'm still pregnant.  Ugh.  I was hoping to be done with them.  While I do love to see Logan, I'm ready to see him *for real* instead of just on a screen.

Jason and I worked hard on the nursery this week and it's almost completely finished, yay!  The crib is ready, the nightstand and dresser are built (thanks to my awesome husband), the changing pad is attached to the dresser, the slipcover is on the recliner, the clothes are washed and put away, the wall decor is up, and everything else is in place except for the curtains.  I'm returning the ones we bought earlier and getting a different set that isn't so cheap :P.  The only thing left is to remove all of the boxes and packaging material from a corner of the room, but that's it :).  It's ready for a baby!!!  Once everything is in place (this weekend), I'll try to post a "nursery tour" video :).

Logan continues to drop in my pelvis and is sitting on some nerves.  My entire pelvis area as well as my left leg (all the way down to my foot) have been really achey the past few days because of this.  Everything I've read says it's normal, so I guess it's just one more thing you don't hear about until you're pregnant ;).  I should make a list of these things so that other girls can be forewarned :).

My parents fly in from Oregon in 2 weeks and I'm really excited to see them!  I know they're excited to meet another grandson, so I hope he cooperates and comes on time so that they'll have plenty of time to spend with him :).  I've started to prepare for their stay by making and freezing meals.  I've only made 1 so far, but I have about 3 more meals (casseroles, etc.) to make and freeze in the next week or so.  I'm trying to get as much done as I can now because Logan could be here anytime!  I'm also trying not to get burnt out, though, so it's a very delicate balance.

Well, I think that's about it for now, so here are the details for this week:
  • Congratulations! You've reached the final weeks in your pregnancy (if you haven't delivered already!) Your baby has probably reached his birth weight now. Most babies weigh somewhere between 6-8 pounds when they are born. Boys are usually longer and heavier than girls.
  • All his internal organs are ready to support him in the outside world. He has also developed healthy amounts of baby fat over the past week and his immune system is developing and will continue to develop after he is born. His fingernails and toenails have reached the end of his fingers and toes and might even need a trim after he is born!
  • Mom, how are you feeling? Have you noticed any electrical tingles in your legs and inside of your pelvis? Yes! These tingles are caused by your baby hitting nerves as he settles down into your pelvic area. Have you noticed any sharp, shooting pains? Yes yes! The baby is probably resting on your sciatic nerve. The best thing to do is try to get some rest and put your feet up!
I don't know if I can give you anymore help with guessing Logan's weight, so make sure you enter as many guesses as you want in our baby pool ASAP!!!  Time is running out :).  No, there isn't a huge prize other than beating everyone else who enters a guess... but sometimes that's better than a prize ;).  I'll post the winner as soon as I'm able to after he's born :).  Keep entering guesses! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

37 Weeks - Full Term!

I feel like I have so much to share this week.  I finally reached 37 weeks, which is considered full term.  Basically, if Logan were born now, he wouldn't be considered premature.  This means lots of great things that basically boil down to him being able to function on his own without much or any medical intervention.  His lungs should be strong enough to work on their own and he would be good and strong.  However, each day that he stays in the womb means better lungs and overall health, so I'm ok with him staying for a few more weeks :).

He's been very active lately and I have to physically adjust my position when he tries to roll around, because he's getting so big!  He's been dropping more and more and a few times I've even been able to feel his head in my lower abdomen... craziness :).  I'm getting so excited to meet my little watermelon... only 18 days until my due date!!!

We've made a lot of progress this week with the nursery and other things.  I bought more food to make & freeze meals with... I just have to actually make and freeze them now ;).  Jason and I bought a car seat, stroller base, and other registry items we still needed.  We also went to Ikea and bought a nightstand and dresser for the nursery.  I ordered a slipcover for the recliner and I'm going to return the curtains I bought and buy a different set (they were pretty cheap).  Jason's going to put the dresser together tonight and then I'll start loading it up with clothes and can start arranging everything in the room :).

I had my 36 week checkup this week and got tested for Group B Strep, which is negative, yay :).  That just means I won't have to be hooked up to an IV with antibiotics while I'm in labor.  My next appointment is tomorrow and I think they start checking to see if I'm dilated at all (yay :P) and I also have an ultrasound immediately following, which should be my last :).

I've been swelling up quite a bit the past week, but it's mostly in my feet.  After walking around Ikea for about an hour, I noticed my hands were really swollen, though.  I think I pushed myself a bit too hard yesterday, so I'm going to be extra careful about that for the next few weeks.  My boss has actually started asking if my feet are swollen a couple times a day and she's cool with me going and putting my feet up at my desk. 

I got my new health insurance card today, so thank God for that!  I'm officially double-covered for when I go into labor and Logan will be double-covered for anything he might need :). 

Anyway, Jason needs the computer, so I better wrap this up, but things are moving along and I'm very very very very very excited!!!!

Here are the development details for this week:
  • Congratulations! Your baby is now considered full term. Most babies weigh 7 pounds by week 37 and measure around 20 inches. Remember, by this point in a pregnancy there tends to be variability between babies, some weighing more than others. Boys, for example, are typically heavier and longer than girls.
  • If your baby were to be born this week, all of his internal organs would be developed enough to function outside of your body. Also, from week 37 on, your baby will only be adding a few ounces of fat to his frame each week.
Don't forget to enter your guesses into our baby pool!!!  You're running out of time :).  And remember, you can enter multiple guesses...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

36 Weeks

Only 4 weeks or 27 days to go!  This week flew by so I can only imagine that the next few will be the same.  I started my new job on Monday and actually made it through the week without falling apart.  So far I enjoy my new job.  I'm learning a LOT, but I spent most of the week watching my boss close the monthly financials in SAP.  Whenever she thought of an errand that needed to be taken care of, she would send me as her runner, which meant lots of going up and down flights of stairs.  My legs were actually sore from all the stairs!  I guess it's a good thing, though, because I need to stay active for when I go into labor.  I was doing pretty good when I got home on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday through Friday nights I would nearly pass out as soon as I got home.  Working full time is definitely wearing me out, but it will make the time pass quickly until my due date :).

My lower back has been hurting pretty bad when I get into bed at night, but Jason has been great at giving me a quick massage so that I can fall asleep.  Since work is wearing me out, I'm actually sleeping really well with the exception of a few bathroom breaks each night.  The newest issue I'm dealing with is swelling.  My poor feet and ankles have been super puffy.  I can't really do anything about it while I'm at work, but as soon as I get home, I plop on the couch and put my feet up.  Oh, another not-so-great thing is that my face has been breaking out, gah.  Oh, the joys of hormones! :)

We haven't really done much more with the nursery since my last post.  Jason carried the Lazy Boy up, but we still need to get a dresser and nightstand so that we can put all of Logan's clothes away.  I did make his crib with our new bedding set from our friend Ginger, though.  It looks great! :)  Once we have everything set up, I'll post pictures.

We had our Childbirth class today down in Atlanta from 9-5:30.  It was VERY informative.  The instructor talked about everything... and I mean *everything*... and she showed a couple of movies.  I told Jason that he could close his eyes if he didn't want to see what was going on, but he said it was like a train wreck and he couldn't look away, haha.  I've seen lots of videos of childbirth and I've even seen it live and in person, but I think it was a new experience for Jason.  Poor guy :).  I think he learned a lot, though, which is good, and all of the husbands were instructed to give us nightly massages, woot!  We're supposed to go back tomorrow afternoon for a "newborn care" class, but I think we're going to skip it. 

Well, I think that's all for now.  Here are this week's development details:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you, measuring over 19 inches long, and weighing about 6 ½ lbs! During week 36, your baby's most important job is to keep putting on weight. Actually, that's his primary job from now until delivery.
  • You probably have another 4 weeks to go until delivery, especially if this is your first pregnancy, but "Full Term" refers to the period between 37-41 weeks, so your baby could be coming any time now! Your due date is probably a good guideline to determine when your little one is coming. Even though few women deliver on their actual due date, many women deliver in the days just before or after.
I guess that doesn't say a whole lot about the baby, but oh well :).  I'm almost there! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

35 Weeks

35 days to go until my due date!... er... now it's only 32 because I'm posting late again.  Oops :).

This week has been pretty good.  Since I posted my last entry late, I'll start where I left off.  I had an ultrasound on Thursday morning and it went pretty well.  Logan was active, as usual, but the doctors were able to get a pretty good look at everything they needed.  They printed another batch of pictures for us and the nurse got a decent picture of his face.  He's looking more and more like Jason!  He still has the heart defect, but the doctor said that other than that, he's healthy, strong, and active, which are all great signs.  From the measurements they took, they said he's approximately 5lbs, so he should be an average sized baby when he's born :).  The doctor said he will probably be somewhere between 7-8lbs, so if you guessed over 9lbs in our baby pool, you might want to enter a new guess ;).

Oh, and my blood pressure was perfect at the ultrasound... 121/83, yay :).  I'm still trying to be careful and pay attention to it, though, because I don't want it to become a problem in the next few weeks.  If you could continue to pray for that, I would really appreciate it :).

The last day of my part time job in Atlanta was also Thursday.  I'm going to miss working there, because I really enjoyed it, but it will be soooo nice to be working close to home.  And I'll feel much safer now that I don't have to drive on 2 major highways in traffic.

My last baby shower was on Saturday with church women and local family.  It was a lot of fun.  My friend, Christina planned it and she included so many little details to make it super special.  I really enjoyed it and got a lot of great presents :).  Jason put the crib together on Saturday morning, so when I got home I emptied all of the gift bags and started organizing everything... I'm super eager to finish the nursery decorating now!  The baby shower might've sparked the nesting instinct in me :).  I bought some navy blue curtains and found a dresser online from Ikea.  I think instead of buying a glider/rocker, we're going to buy a cover for our pink Lazy Boy recliner and use that.  Right now, we just have to go buy the dresser & a nightstand, move the recliner upstairs, and put decals and his name letters on the walls and we should be done :).  We still need to buy a few larger items from our registry (most importantly a carseat), but we got a few checks and gift cards that will help a lot.

I did a little project today with his name letters.  I'm super excited about them!  Instead of painting them, I decided to use scrapbook paper and Mod Podge (a craft glue product) so that they will have cool designs :).  Here's a quick picture I just took... you might need to click on it to view the full size so that you can see all of the details.  The theme is "transportation", so I found a book of scrapbook paper with a bunch of different car/truck/plane/rocket/train graphics :).

I love how it turned out and can't wait to put them on the wall :).

I have to get to bed, so I'm going to wrap this up with the growth and development details this week:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you, now measuring about 18 inches long, and weighing about 6lbs!
  • If you have been noticing that you need more bathroom breaks than usual, it may be due to the fact that your baby has "dropped". As your due date grows near, your little one will settle deeper in your pelvis. This reduces pressure on your rib cage, allowing you more room to expand your diaphragm, but now there may be more pressure on your bladder.
  • By week 35, your baby's kidneys are completely developed. His liver is also beginning to produce waste. In fact, a majority of his growth is already done. However, you should expect him to put on some more weight over the next few weeks. As space is at a premium, you may not feel as much tossing and turning inside of you, but you will definitely feel some healthy punches and kicks.
Thanks for reading and for all of your prayers!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

34 Weeks

Once again, I'm posting late, so I apologize but a lot has happened in the past week!  First of all, I got a job offer!  Jason and I were both pretty surprised that they called me.  I had an interview with this company a couple of weeks ago and I never expected to hear back from them just from the fact that I'm 8.5 months pregnant :P.  The HR manager called me on Tuesday morning with a verbal offer and I accepted :).  I went in on Friday morning to fill out some employment paperwork and assuming everything goes through ok, I should be starting either this Friday or next Monday.  I had to take a drug test and physical this Tuesday and those were the last steps of my pre-employment screening.  I'm hoping I will get the "ok" from the company soon so that I can formally announce the company and position :).

Jason and I went on a little "babymoon" trip to Savannah over the weekend.  We left around lunchtime on Friday and got there just in time for dinner.  We didn't have any set plans for the weekend, which was nice :).  We basically did whatever we wanted to.  This mostly involved walking within about a half mile radius of our hotel, visiting a lot of little shops, and eating a lot of good food :).  I got tired pretty fast most of the time, but Jason was great about walking suuuper slooooow for me.  I think we both had a really good time.  My favorite part was just spending time with Jason, since when we're at home we're usually busy with work or doing stuff around the house and rarely just sit down together.  We drove back on Sunday afternoon and have been playing catch-up ever since.

Our main priority is getting the nursery set up right now.  I ordered some replacement parts for our crib and they should be here in a day or two.  Once we get those, we (ha... I say "we", but I know it will be Jason) will put it together.  I bought a crib mattress on Monday, so now Logan will have a place to sleep, yay!  We just need a dresser and glider/rocker and the nursery should be set :).

I packed Logan's hospital bag last week for our trip, so if you'd like I can do a post on the items that are in it.  I might switch a few things out after my baby shower this weekend, but everything should be pretty much the same.

I got my teeth cleaned on Monday morning and the hygenist said that I have a mild case of "pregnant gingivitis", which is pretty common at this stage in pregnancy.  My gums have been bleeding a little and are more sensitive than usual, but she said it should go away soon after Logan is born.  I had my 34 week prenatal checkup on Monday afternoon with a midwife that I hadn't met yet and it went pretty well.  She tried listening to Logan's heartbeat, but as usual, he was difficult and was moving around the whole time.  He even kicked the doppler, which she laughed about.  She said it's a great thing that he's so active.  The only not-so-good thing about that appointment is that my blood pressure was a little high.  I don't think it's necessarily preeclampsia, because there are a few symptoms that I don't have, but she was a little concerned.  I have an ultrasound tomorrow (Thursday) and she said if my blood pressure is still elevated then I need to come back and see her again next week.  I'm praying that it will go back to normal, because I don't want any complications!  I definitely don't want something to happen that will require a c-section.

I keep telling people that Logan has been all knees and elbows lately.  He's definitely getting bigger and it feels like there's a big baby inside of me, imagine that :).  Whenever he moves, I have a pretty good idea of which body part I'm feeling... usually it's a foot, knee, or his butt, but every once in a while I'll feel his hands and elbows.  I think I felt his head last night too.  I think he might be starting to "drop" a little bit, which I'm looking forward to.  I assume that's why my pelvis has been hurting more lately.  I do seem to have a tiny bit more breathing room, though, which is nice.

I've been getting a lot of looks from strangers lately.  Yesterday, a woman at the post office saw my belly and said "ooh, you're almost there!"  I smiled and said, "yeah, only 5 weeks left".  She asked if I've had any problems and I said no and then she said "well you're glowing!"  Ha... it was interesting, but she was sweet :).  At least she didn't come up and start grabbing at my belly.  That would've been a bit too much :).
Anyway, here are the development details for this week:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. Measuring about 17.5 inches long, he now weighs over 5lbs! And from this week, until 2 weeks before birth, he will continue to gain about a half pound of weight every week. Unlike the first trimester, the weight between all babies in the third trimester is much more variable. Some babies weigh more and are taller; some babies weigh less and are shorter.
  • Also unlike the first trimester, by week 34 not much is changing. Your baby continues gaining weight through the development of subcutaneous fat and with that weight, is probably gaining strength in his movements. You may even be startled by a sudden jab to the ribs or be able to see a punch to your belly from the outside!

I will post a combined update for my ultrasound and 35 weeks this weekend.  I'll let you know how big my little snugglebug is... I'm so excited to see him again! :)  Thank you for your continued prayers.  If you could, please put in an extra request for my blood pressure.  I want labor and delivery to go as smooth as possible and I also don't want to be put on bedrest, especially after just accepting a job offer.  Also, keep posting your guesses in our baby pool... just click on the banner in the upper right part of the blog and it will take you there :).  Hurry, because he could be here anytime!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

33 Weeks & Ultrasound Update

Today I am 33 weeks and 2 days along, which means less than 7 weeks to go until my due date :).  I've been feeling pretty good for the most part and I'm still fairly mobile.  I have trouble getting up from the couch and out of Jason's car, but am ok otherwise.  I only have a couple of complaints this week, which I think flow over from the past few weeks... The first one is pelvis/lower abdomen pain.  Every time I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night or stand up from sitting for an extended period of time, I have to stand up very slowly because of the pain.  I assume it's normal for this stage of pregnancy, but I'm going to ask the midwife about it when I go in for my 34 week checkup next week.  The second complaint is sleep deprivation, which has been a problem for a couple of months now.  I know it's normal, but I really wish I could stock up on sleep now so that I'll be well rested when Logan arrives :).  I keep having to turn over because my back, hips, and legs hurt... and last night I had to get up to go to the bathroom 6 times!!!!  My doctor told me to limit my water drinking after 6pm, but I feel bad and get really thirsty if I don't drink much.

I had my 32 week appointment on Tuesday and it went well.  Since there are so many doctors and midwives at Kaiser Permanente, I've seen just about all of them at least once.  The doctor I saw this week I had only seen one other time and it was a few months ago.  As soon as he walked in, he said "we're all thinking of you and your baby", which kind-of surprised me.  He made it sound like everyone knows us and is familiar with our situation, which was nice.  He then said, "but thank God that we live in a day and time where heart problems can be caught early and taken care of".  He was very reassuring and made me feel very cared for :).  He asked about my ultrasound this week, which was Wednesday, and he said "oh good... we'll just check the oil and tire pressure today and Dr. Hamner will check the timing tomorrow".  Leave it to a man to relate pregnancy to car maintenance ;).

My ultrasound was on Wednesday with Dr. Hamner and it went pretty well.  His nurse, Sharon started the ultrasound by taking Logan's measurements and other general information.  She gave us a few pictures (which I haven't had time to scan, sorry!) and tried to get a good picture of him in 3D again, but he wouldn't cooperate.  The umbilical cord was floating in front of his mouth and he kept his hand in front of his face.  She printed a picture anyway, but about all you can see is the top part of his face.  He was asleep for her part, but as soon as Dr. Hamner came in to look at his heart, he woke up and flipped over, which made it so that he couldn't get a good view of anything.  He tried looking for about 40 minutes and was getting pretty frustrated, but I think he was finally able to see the things he needed to.  At the end, they told me that Logan is 4lbs 4oz and is still doing really well.  He still has the heart defect, but he's growing, strong, and active :).  So for all of you who guessed 9.5lbs or higher in our baby pool, you might want to enter a different guess ;).

On Friday, I went with my friend Christina to get a massage.  She got a regular one, but I obviously had to get a maternity massage.  I was hoping they would have a table with a hole for my belly, but they didn't ;).  Instead, the masseuse had combined 2 pillows to create a body pillow so that I could be comfortable and she would still have access to my back.  It was really nice... I requested that she use tangerine aromatherapy, so that's what the massage oil was scented.  She said that the right side of my back was really tense and she worked on that side for a while, but I probably should've said something to her when it started hurting (she was digging in a lot with her thumbs).  Today (2 days later) my back feels a bit bruised.  Even so, I still really enjoyed the massage and it was nice to be pampered for an hour :).

Finally, yesterday Jason and I got maternity pictures taken by a friend from church.  I think she took close to 400 (or more), so I'm hoping there will be some good ones to choose from :).  I told her that even though I'm pregnant, I don't want to look fat.  I know that's a difficult request, but I have faith in her ;).  If anything, I can just keep the belly pictures that don't include my face, ha.  I'll try to post some here and on facebook when they're ready :).

Okie dokie, here are the development updates for this week:

  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. Measuring about 17 inches long, he weighs around 5lbs. And from this week, until 2 weeks before birth, he will gain about a half pound of weight every week.
  • The bones in his skull are formed, but aren't fused. They actually don't fuse entirely until early adulthood, allowing room for his brain to grow through childhood. Because they aren't fused, the bones in his skull will be able to overlap, helping him to fit through the birth canal during delivery.
I forgot to mention that I've been buying little things for the nursery lately :).  I got a lamp, night light, a name sign for his door, and a couple of other random things.  Our goal for the next few weeks is to find a dresser, glider, and possibly a nightstand.  Please leave a comment if you know of any good (and affordable) furniture places.  

Don't forget to enter your guess in our baby pool via the banner on the right side of the page.  You can guess multiple times and you don't have to register for an account ;).  

Monday, March 14, 2011

32 Weeks

Wow, I just looked at the baby growth (fruit) banner at the top of the blog and it says 53 days to go!  Once again, I'm posting this entry a little late, so in only 4 days I'll only have 7 weeks left.  Hold on just one second so I can regain my composure :).  Whew!

I'm so excited that we get to meet Logan soon, but thinking about his arrival is bringing up some concerns, such as where he will sleep.  We need to put his crib together and we also need to buy a dresser and glider/rocker for the nursery.  And don't even get me started on our bags for the hospital!  I do have my cosmetics and toiletries bag packed (if you know me well, this shouldn't surprise you ;)), but I need to pack the other important stuff too.  I'm a 'list' person, so I'm sure I'll be creating multiple excel spreadsheets very soon: one for Logan's bag, one for my bag, one for things we need to do in the nursery, one for groceries to buy for when my parents are visiting, one with nesting to-do's, etc.  If you can recommend any items that we should take to the hospital or leave at home, please let me know in a comment.  Everyone seems to have different preferences, but it's still nice to know what people used and didn't use.

I've been feeling pretty good for the most part.  My lungs are definitely squished, though, which is making breathing a lot more difficult.  Just sitting here, I feel like I can't catch my breath.  This means that Logan is growing, though, so I'm ok with it :).  He's been really active again this week and I'm having fun feeling him.  Sometimes he'll be throwing his elbows around and punching at my bladder while kicking at my ribs.  I think Jason's getting tired of hearing me exclaim "whoa!"  I can't help it, though.  No matter how many times I feel Logan kick, he still surprises me :).  He's a strong little boy!  And now that I know he's head-down, I can't help but smile and pat his bottom when he sticks it out the side of my belly :).

A couple of things haven't been so pleasant lately, though.  One is my pelvis expanding.  I've been getting some random pains and every once in a while, it feels like Logan is pushing outward on it.  The other thing is that I've been getting really tired.  I think it's due to multiple factors, mainly a growing baby in utero, sleepless nights, and general exhaustion.  I try to do what I can, but I end up taking a lot of breaks so that I can rest.  I'm sure it probably won't get any better as I get closer to my due date, but I'm praying that I'll get caught up on some sleep before Logan gets here because I definitely won't catch up once he's here!

I booked the flights for my parents to visit in May.  They'll be here from May 5 (day before my due date) through the 19th.  I'm glad that they are able to stay with us and I'm also grateful for their help :).  I'm just hoping that Logan cooperates and comes either before or during their stay.  I can't imagine him being later than the 18th, though :P.

Oh, Jason and I also booked a hotel in Savannah, GA for a 'babymoon' at the end of the month :).  We're going to take a quick trip and spend some time together before Logan gets here.  We don't get away very often (and usually not by ourselves), so it should be really nice :).

I had my second baby shower this past Saturday and it was a lot of fun :).  I got to see some of my best friends from college and we spent a lot of time laughing and talking about the good ol' days.  We (Logan, Jason, & I) were blessed with a lot of great gifts, including a Graco Pack 'n Play, a high chair, diapers, a crocheted blanket, and lots of other items that will be put to good use!  I already put the Pack 'n Play together and now I can't wait to see Logan in it :D.  I have one more baby shower for family & church members and I'm really excited about it :).

Ok, this is getting pretty long, so I'll start to wrap it up.  Here are the development details for this week:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. Measuring roughly 16.5 inches long, he now weighs about 4 1/2 pounds! And from this week, until 2 weeks before birth, he will gain about a half pound every week.
  • He is sleeping approximately 90 to 95 percent of the day (HA!  I don't believe this). Most of his wrinkles are disappearing, especially on his face, as more fat is deposited under his skin. His hair is becoming thicker with each passing week and you may even be able to see it on an ultrasound! He will also begin to settle in the head-down position, as his birth is fast approaching.
I have my 32 week checkup tomorrow morning and we go in for another ultrasound on Wednesday to check his growth.  I'll try to post an update with any news we get following the ultrasound.  Thank you again for all of your prayers!  We are grateful for each and every one of them :).  Also, thank you for entering guesses in our baby pool... although I don't appreciate some of the 10+ pound weight guesses ;).  Make sure you keep entering, though!  I can't wait to see who is closest :).  Have a blessed week and I'll be back to post again soon :).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ultrasound #5 & Consultation

Jason and I went downtown today to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for another echo ultrasound and a consultation with a surgeon.  The ultrasound was pretty quick and straightforward.  The technician told me that Logan is head-down (yay!) and that the bulge I've been feeling on the right side of my stomach is his behind.  She then spent the rest of the time taking pictures of his heart.  Logan was pretty active the whole time.  He had the hiccups when she started and he spent the rest of the appointment kicking and turning :).  The technician was still able to get all the pictures she needed, though, and when she was done we met with Dr. Mahle.  He said that the results were consistent with what the cardiologist found at our last ultrasound.  Logan still has L Transposition and VSD (the hole in his heart).  He didn't really give us any other information, though.

After the ultrasound, a woman took us on a tour of the cardiology wing - the ICU and Step-Down area, which is where we'll be staying when Logan has his surgery.  We'll have a room with a tv, vcr (yay!), dvd player (whoa technology!), fold-out bed, and shower.  Honestly, I'm just glad that they offer an area for us to stay so that we can be right there with Logan while he's recovering... even if we won't have much to do :).  While we toured the ICU, we got to see a baby that had surgery this morning.  She was still under anesthesia, but we got to see all the tubes and wires that Logan will be hooked up to.  It was sad to see, but I'm sure it'll be much harder when it's my own baby :(. 

After the tour, we met with Dr. Kirshbom, who is the Assistant Chief of the cardiology department.  He just talked with us about Logan's heart and the different options we'll have.  Unless God performs a miracle, Logan will have to have surgery.  It could be as simple as fixing the hole in his heart, which is a pretty common defect and procedure.  However, in Logan's case, it could be much more serious of an operation.  The doctor said that they may need to do a "double switch" procedure, which would basically put the ventricles of his heart back to where they are supposed to be and also realign the major arteries so that everything works properly.  There are risks with both surgeries, but there are also benefits to both of them.  It sounds like if we don't have the "double switch" surgery, Logan will probably have more heart problems when he reaches his 20's and 30's.

While we were talking to Dr. Kirshbom, he told us that Logan's heart condition is pretty rare.  He said that CHOA only does the "double switch" operation about 3-4 times each year.  It sounds like they do it more than any other hospital in the country, though, which is slightly reassuring.  He also said that the children who have had the operation seem to be doing very well, although they have only been doing it in Atlanta for the past 10-12 years, so it's still fairly early gauge the results.

Anyway, he gave us a lot of good information and answered a lot of our questions, but basically told us that we won't know which direction to go in until Logan is born.  Once he's here, they will do an echo on his heart, which will make things easier to see than when he's in the womb.  He said that I shouldn't have any problems with going full-term and delivering vaginally, which is what I want.  He also said that Logan should be able to wait a few months (or more) before requiring surgery.  It will most likely need to be done sometime between 5-18 months, though.

So basically, everything is up in the air right now.  We'll probably need to go back in another month to check his heart again, but we won't know much until after he's born.  I guess right now we need to pray that things will be clear so that we can make the right decision.  We would appreciate your continued prayers for his heart, health, and guidance for us.  Thanks for reading and I'll try to keep everyone updated :).