Friday, July 29, 2005

Update on Rachel

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It means so much to me I can't even express.

Just home enough to sleep a little and wash clothes. Rachel was put into the intensive care Neonatal ICU because of her breathing. It turns out to be undeveloped lungs...her surfactants are not developed enough to keep her lungs open. They had to increase her oxygen to 80% at one point but she is back down to 50% now. They had to intebate and sedate her because her little body was so tired from working so hard to breathe.

We are holding up. It was so hard to leave the hospital today without her. I need sleep badly though, so we came home for a little bit. They will probably have her until at least early to mid next week, we are hoping only until then. They said the next 48 hours are the most critical time, and that usually they turn around after 72 hours.

She is in the BEST of care. We are blessed with these doctors (she has a team of three neonatal doctors). They are constantly assuring us that she'll make it OK and are great about asking how we are doing/handling it.

When she is home in my arms I'll tell all about the birth!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Prayers please

I was just told I'm going to be undergoing an emergency induction, which may turn out to be a c-section, tomorrow. The amniotic fluid was at 6.5, which doesn't tell me much except that it is too low, but numbers might tell one or two of you something.

Anyway, I'm getting admitted to the hospital tonight. They need to soften my cervix because I haven't even started dialating yet.

Nor have I packed bags, or gotten the car seat, or washed her clothes. Thank God my mother-in-law and mother will be here. Although they don't like eachother, but I'll let them duke it out over who gets to do what. Hopefully they'll play nice this once.

Anyway, I'm a little worried about the baby. She is FINE as of now, but I've been told it's touch and go until they get her out of me, and the mere act of inducing when she's not ready could cause complications. The doc said be prepared just in case a c-secion is necessary.

So, pray for Rachel if you do that sort of thing. Or think good thoughts or send good energy. I'll take it all.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Ultrasound Take Two

We went for our doctor's appointment and ultrasound yesterday. The doctor wanted to make sure the gestational diabetes that I have isn't interfering with the size of the baby. Apparently, if you have gestational diabetes then the baby has a high risk of getting a larger chest and waist. This causes dystocia where the baby gets stuck in the birth canal and can cause nerve damage as well as some other ugly things.

The good news is her chest and waist were fine. And also great news they said her organs appeared healthy! However she was rather large at this point...6 lbs. 12 oz. and in the 88th percentile (although the ultrasound can be as much as 10% off). This doesn't surprise me considering her mom is 5'11" and her dad is 6'6". She doesn't stand a chance at having any sort of normal size. Poor kid. She's going to hate us when she turns about 12 for sure.

It's amazing to see the ultrasound and peek at her. I could see her suckling with her lips, her eyes open and close, her little fingers (all five were there on the hand I could see!), and she already has HAIR! It wasn't as clear as the 20 week ultrasound. Mostly because she is so big now that you can only see a fraction of her at once instead of an entire profile.

The bad news is my amniotic fluid was borderline low. Which means the doctor wants me to rest more. She said cut out any unnecessary activities. Crap. It just kills me to sit around. I am rather type-A and want everything perfect around the house before the baby comes. I should have taken the advice from Cesca and Amiz a month ago and made the frozen meals ahead then. Well, I can look on the bright side...more time for visiting blogs!

On a sadder note...go visit Elle's blog and say a prayer for them. Her son, Jay, is very sick and needs good thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


My husband, as I've mentioned before, is a minister. He deals with a lot and generally I don't hear about most of it. Sometimes he'll talk about things, but generally it's part of his day. As you can suspect, he goes to hosptials and visits home-bound persons quite often. He'll tell me he is going to the hospital or "visiting" and I'll just say "OK". I don't go with him on these visits, generally. I mean, the last thing I would want if I was in the hospital is a bunch of people I don't know visiting. It's one thing for the minister to visit. It is quite another for his wife to tag along.

Sometimes, however, if someone is home-bound for a long time and Bryan visits them frequently they'll ask to meet me. After all, he talks about me and they ask about me when he's there.

One such time was just before we left the tiny East Texas town we moved from in May/June. He had been visiting an elderly woman named Helen for two years and she requested he bring me along on his last visit before we moved. So, I went.

We got to the house and her husband walked out with a smile on his face. He greeted us, shooed the dog away, and invited us in. We walked into their modest yet comfortable home nestled in the woods next to a beautiful pond. The living area had large picture windows that permitted you to enjoy the outdoors while in the comfort of the A/C. Across from the living room was a large bedroom with a long hallway to the bathroom. On the other side was the modest kitchen and a small bedroom they used for an office. You could tell they were proud of the modest yet comfortable home they had built together.

We came in and Helen was sitting in her chair. Helen had been battling cancer for 6 years. Yes, six years. She had undergone every cancer treatment, conventional and unconventional, and was still hanging in there, although very frail and weak. She was in pain much of the six years she was battling this thing.

We chatted about the weather, about their children and grandchildren, about our coming arrival, about the church. Then Helen's husband suggested she take me into the bedroom to show me the pictures of her children and grandchildren of which she was so proud.

Helen got into her wheelchair with the help of her husband and I wheeled her in there. She had such pride, but also such sadness as she showed me each picture and gave me the life story of each of them.

When we got up to leave Helen couldn't control herself any longer. She started to cry. She knew that Bryan was moving and that she would never see him again. That the end is near for her. Although her husband is staying strong and has not told her the latest doctors report, that there's nothing left, conventional or unconventional, to do for her cancer, she knew. She couldn't help but know.

When we left Bryan told me the reason her husband suggested I take her to see the pictures in the other room was so he could discuss funeral arrangements without her hearing, and the possibility of Bryan coming back to do the funeral.

On the drive home I couldn't help but think about the stories they told, the life they built together, the warmth they had for others, the children and grandchildren they were proud of, the 52nd anniversary they just celebrated, the love he so strongly still had for his wife after all of these years. And, how they were about to lose eachother. I choked back the tears. I said to Bryan "How do you deal with things like this day after day?" He simply said "I've been doing it a long time". (He was in the mental health/mental retardation field before becoming a minister, which had it's own unique sadnesses).

I will never take for granted the phrase "I'm going visiting" again.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Uh, oh.

My parents entrusted me with the second of the safety deposit box keys that they had. Apparently the bank said it is best for them to keep one and to give the other to a trusted relative.

They seem to think I'm a "trusted relative". I'm not sure why. About 7 years ago they lived in West Virginia and opened a safety deposit box there. Not that they have a lot worth putting in a safety deposit box. I don't think they're too worried about me getting anxious for my inheritance and killing them off or anything. I think mostly their wills and a few other things are in there. Hmm, come to think of it...maybe I should visit the safety deposit box just to be sure! (kidding!)

Anyway, since I'm supposed to be the "responsible" daughter (side note...not that my sister is "irrisponsible", but I've been more stable than her until now as far as my personal life. You know, married 12 years and that sort of stability. When they made out their wills even though she is the older one, they named me executor because she wanted no part of it.) they thought I would be the most logical "trusted relative". So, they gave me the key back when they lived in West Virginia, too. And I put it in my file cabinet. What other logical place would it go? Even though it was small, I thought it would be safe in the "Legal documents, marriage certificates, etc." hanging file.

Except I wasn't smart enough to realize that hanging files have slits in the side.

When they moved from West Virginia and closed the safety deposit box they needed the key back. No Problem! I went to the file cabinet and opened it to the "legal documents" file right where I left it. But it wasn't there. So, I spent 2 hours ripping every file apart and turning the file cabinet upside down. I never found it.

Then I was left with the task of telling my parents I couldn't find it. I offered to pay the $50 replacement fee, but they refused. They said it was anyone's mistake and not to worry about it. I even gave them the pouty lip and puppy dog eyes so they would let me pay and clear my conscience. I guess they wanted me to take it to my grave because they still refused and paid it themselves.

So, they are now full-time RVers. They changed to a bank that had branches all over the US. Much against their better judgement they gave me the key for their new box. We all had a nice laugh when they handed it to me. My dad gave me a stern "don't lose it this time" and laughed. I said "OH, I won't. Believe me". I taped it to the side of the desk. I figured the desk wasn't going anywhere, there's no way I could lose it. Right?

So, fast forward a year to last May. We moved. Remember the desk? We decided it was too bad of shape to make the move so we put it in the burn pile. Did I even THINK about the key? Noooooooooooo!

But WAIT! There's More!

After we loaded all of our stuff and were headed down to Houston for the last time, Bryan pulls out a key from his pocket. He says "Do you know what this is? It was just laying on the floor in the spare bedroom we used for an office". Lo, and was a SAFETY DEPOSIT KEY!

I breathed a sigh of relief! What a close call! RIGHT?

But WAIT! There's More!

I was up at the wee hours this morning because of a case of insomnia. The key was sitting TAPED to the file cabinet. And something possessed me to look at it. And I realized it said "Blah blah Bank, WEST VIRGINIA"


So, now I get to go sheepishly back to the folks like I did as a teeneager telling them I did something wrong. I have to tell them I lost the key. Again. Maybe I should say "But the good news is I found the other one I lost!" Yea, that will go over well, now that they spent the $50. About as well as saying "But the good news is I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico!"

I'm pretty sure I'll lose the "trusted relative" status after this one. I might even be grounded.

35 days left. 35 days?

At 4 AM my dog decided she needed to go outside, and my body decided once it was up it wasn't going back to sleep. So, I laid there in bed, trying not to be too restless to wake hubby. Then I started thinking about pretty much everything under the sun. Why is it that your mind races more at the wee hours of the morning instead of 2 in the afternoon? Then I got really hungry, so I got up and had a snack and here I am.

Holy crap. I just looked at my baby calculator and it says I have 35 days left. Which really means I probably have more like 28 days left, because the doctor has already said due to the gestational diabetes she wasn't comfortable letting me go further than 39 weeks. So, I'm most likely going to be induced if she doesn't decide to come before then.

HOLY CRAP! It just sunk in. I better get busy. We don't even have the stuff we need yet. I think I better get a few diapers on hand. That might be a teency weency bit necessary when we get home from the hospital. Oh, and probably a list of a billion other things, starting with a CAR SEAT. Yes, they won't let me take her home without that.

HOLY CRAP! In less than a month I'm going to be a MOMMY. Lord, help us all.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Over Analysis

Do you ever look at a word and realize how weird it looks? A word you use every day that just comes out funny, or looks weird on paper?

The other day I was in the shower and looked at the shampoo bottle. The word is made up of "Sham" and "poo". Neither words are good and neither of them would I like touching my hair. It's a "Sham" meaning it's fake. AND it's "poo". Who wants poo on their hair? How did that become the word for the stuff you clean your hair with?

Then I was watching TV and a carpet commercial came on. CAR PET. It has nothing to do with a car OR a pet. Except if your pet messes on your carpet enough he may end up in the car going someplace far, far away.

Can you think of any others?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How the world suddenly revolves around you.

I feel so self absorbed now that I'm pregnant. Hey, it's not my fault. It just seems like whenever I go anywhere the subject suddenly turns to my large tummy. Even if I walk into a conversation and it is something that sounds interesting, they automatically change it to my stomach and the soon-to-come festivities when I come in.

Then it starts going to your head. You know, that the world DOES revolve around you. I have mentioned before that I'm having a horrible time with feet swelling. To the point that none of my shoes fit. And, unfortunately, this 5'11" frame wears a size 11 shoe. So, it isn't exactly EASY to just go out and get a size 12.

The other day I couldn't fit into my shoes anymore, so Hubby and I went to the shoe store, with my unbuckled sandals, hoping to find some new ones. As I walk into the store three customers and a clerk practically in unison say "OH, look at her poor swollen feet!" "OK," I think, "They are really in tune with feet here, being it's a SHOE store. I'm not THAT freaky". I say something lame like "Yea" and go off to find the shoes. They don't carry 12's. They barely carry 11's.

So, off to another store..same thing. And another, same thing.

So, I'm feeling large, and the shoe stores are rubbing it in that I AM large. I studdenly started BAWLING (In the car, not in the store, thank God). Which is completely unlike me.

Hubby at first said "What's wrong?". OK, how do you explain that you are bawling because you can't wear shoes and you feel HUGE and like a freak? Especially when the reasons are for such precious ones like you have a BABY COOKING in there? What a stupid reason to cry. But, being the world revolves around ME now, it seemed logical at the time.

I just shook my head. Bryan was smart enough to let it go and leave me alone until I gathered my exposure. And then we moved on like nothing happened.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Breastfeeding Class

I signed up for a breastfeeding class. I am pretty determined to breastfeed after everything I've read, but I've also been warned it can be a frustrating thing at first. So, even though millions of women since the beginning of time have breastfed, I felt as though I, Carol, should take a class.

And, much to my husbands dismay, I also felt like he should go with me.

So, last week we were off to class. I think 5 times on the way down there I heard "I hope other men are there". Walking into the building he said "If there aren't any other men in there I'm leaving". And, of course, we walk in about 15 minutes early and the only people that are there are two women. My hubby sat down but started biting his nails nervously. Finally, other men started coming in and I could see the relief on his face. As the first one came in I thought he was going to jump up and hug him. He's such a trooper.

Anyway, the class was quite good. I learned a lot. I think it will help tremendously. I started pondering the whole breastfeeding thing after the class. I mean, it's amazing how God put us all together.

It's actually amazing that anyone ever is born. Think about it. First the sperm has to swim, and the egg has to get released, find it's way down the tube, the sperm and the egg have to find eachother, connect, then the sperm has to put a "no vacancy" sign out on the egg so no other sperm think they have a shot. Then the cells have to divide. And one cell says "Hey! I'll be an eyeball!" and another cell says "OK, I'll be the blood vessels", etc. etc. The woman's body does its hormone thing which triggers all these other responses, and the placenta is formed, etc. etc. And this all JUST HAPPENS.

Then, once the baby is out the woman's body JUST KNOWS to start producing milk. Or colostrum at first, which is what the baby needs the first few days then around day 4 it produces milk. And if you don't breastfeed? It just stops producing it. Amazing.

Not that you needed this babymaking lesson, but have you ever really thought about it?? How God just has made nature do it's thing? I mean, how this works is much more amazing than how a car or a TV or a computer or any man made thing works. This has been working for thousands of years with nothing to plug in. Well, except for the occassional piece of pizza.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

To all those in the UK

Allow me to express my sympathy and disgust at the terror attacks this morning. As I turned the news on this morning my stomach literally got ill as I watched what happened. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Getting older

I realized at about 1 a.m. last night that I'm old. Yes, I have reached that milestone that I so longingly wanted to reach when I was about 5, insisted I had reached when I was about 16, and wanted to stop when I was about 29. I'm there at 32. I'm old.

What, might you ask, sparked such a philosophical thought at 1 a.m.? My new neighbors, who I call "the kids next door" had a party. These "kids" as I call them look like they are 15. She decided to wash her car in a thong bikini the other day, and her body didn't look much older than 15, either. But they can't be because they are #1 married and #2 homeowners. I am guessing they can't be more than 22, though. If they are then life has been really good to them.

So, back to last night. As they were setting off 4th of July fireworks (which is actually illegal this year here because of the severe drought) and drinking, smoking, and talking loudly, I found myself not longing to be invited like I once would have been, but instead irritated that they wouldn't be quiet so I could get some sleep. And after all, my husband had to work the next day.

Then it hit me. I'm old. How did that happen, anyway?

What age (if you are there yet!) did you realize you've gotten "old"?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I've become a hermit.

I don't leave the house anymore. Too hot. The mercury has officially hit 100 degrees Farenheit. That would be 37.8 degrees celcius for those who follow that scale. I never would have guessed what heat does to a pregnant body. Last night at 9pm I thought I would perhaps walk the dog. She loves it, and if I chose the treadmill over her she gives me dirty looks. And puts her little paw on her hip and taps her foot. Who wants to deal with a dog with an attitude? But, I checked and at 9 pm it was still 93 degrees. So, I opted for air conditioning and a dog with an attitude.

I need ribbon for the baby's room. I need to go to Home Depot. I'll wait until Monday when they are open past dark.

The point I am making here is, I've learned that if you do not leave the house you tend to not have a lot to blog about. In fact, you don't have much to think about, either. Just four months ago I had a career and was busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. Now, I sit. And put my feet up. And blog. And make dinner. And cook, and clean. I feel my mind slowly, slowly turning to mush. I used to close half a million dollar deals, now I get upset when I can't find the pickles in the grocery store. I used to have lunch with VIP's, now I sit like a puppy by the window waiting for my husband to come home for lunch. I used to advise people on important research, now I consult Helouise for advice.

I'm not saying SAHM's don't think. Well, and the fact of the matter is I don't have the "M" part yet, I'm just a SAH nothing until the baby comes. I'm sure once she's here I'll be as busy as heck. What I am saying is if I don't get some stimulation soon then my brain is going to turn to mush and I'm going to have to keep the drool rags around for me and not the baby.

Anybody know any good books?

Friday, July 01, 2005

I'm already making deals

I've been having little talks with Rachel. You see, I'm at 33 weeks as of Monday. 7 weeks before the due date. Things are getting quite miserable.

The first trimester things were new. I was nauseous, but I was so in awe that I was having a baby I didn't care. And the more nauseous I felt the more I knew things were going OK. So, that wasn't bad.

Then the second trimester. The second trimester I felt fine. No more nausea, the baby wasn't too big yet so I could move around fine, the maternity clothes were new and fun to wear still, people started asking "when are you due" which was neat, and best of all I could start to feel the baby move and marvel in the wonder of that. I would sit for an hour just feeling her move and smiling.

Then came the third trimester. Ah, yes, the third trimester. When people asked when I was due during the first and second trimesters and I would say "August 22nd", they would often give me a look and pat me like I was someone who just announced I lost my pet. One old lady even said "Oh, honey, you just wait. Pregnant in August in Texas" and she shook her head. I thought "OH, these silly people. It's not going to be that bad".

Well, I was wrong. The heat is miserable. I went to the store the other day and had to park halfway down the parking lot. By the time I got into the store sweat poured from my brow, my armpits, my back, and other places you would probably not care for me to mention.

Then my feet started to swell. When I say my feet are swelling, I mean they are HUGE. I look like I have a flesh-colored cast on my foot. The swelling is so bad that I can't wiggle my toes, and I have to wear my husband's shoes. I put my feet up whenever I can, I walk to increase circulation, drink plenty of water, read all the books and did what they said, but alas, nothing has helped.

Then came the tiredness. The excessive tiredness. Many people said it's a part of it. I got my blood panel done at the doctors though, and I had low iron and gestational diabetes. Low iron, no problem. Just take iron supplements. The gestational diabetes, however, is another story. I took the class from the dietician and was told exactly what and when to eat. I have to eat every 2 to 3 hours, and have a strict list of how many starches, protein, veggies, fat, milk and fruit and when I can eat them. I have been eating EXACTLY what I'm supposed to. I mean, not a crumb more, and have been exercising daily. My levels (especially my fasting levels which there's NOTHING I can do about) are still high. So, I get to go on insulin.

And have I mentioned the achy back and the restless nights?

So, back to my talk with Rachel. I told her that if she came just two weeks early (no earlier than that because then I'd be sick with worry that she was TOO early) then I would buy her a car. Someday. Shhh, don't tell her dad.