Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Prematurity Awareness

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and today in particular is World Prematurity Day.  (Have you seen any pictures of buildings lit up purple today?  That is why.)  Although we are pretty aware of prematurity every day over here, it is especially meaningful to make Noah pose for pictures like this today. :)

Can you believe he will be 6 in just a month?!  In some ways the NICU seems worlds away, and in some ways I can still picture every detail. 
I must admit I'm not entirely clear on the goals of the whole "awareness day" thing. . .  The numbers being shared today are that 1 in 10 babies are born too soon, and that complications related to preterm birth are the largest cause of infant mortality worldwide.  So there is that.

But here are some much more personal things when I think "awareness" and prematurity.  Some I am very glad for, and some not so much.
I am aware of:
-What things like surfactant and TPN and EPO and PICC lines and so on are and what they actually do.
-What it is like to hear your phone ring and it be instantly connected to wondering if your baby is okay.
-The horrible feeling of not being able to hold or care for your own baby.
-The awesome awesomeness of NICU doctors and nurses.
-What it is like to thank someone for saving your child's life.
-What it is like to receive gift after gift and be able to do nothing except say thank you.
-What it is like to be part of a special little community that you can only be a part of by going through the same thing as the others in it.
-What it is like to be able to say "I understand" in a very difficult circumstance and actually mean it.
-What it means to be "emotionally exhausted".
-That the phrase "the power of a mother's touch" is more than just a cliche.
-What it is like to literally just sit and listen to your child breath and be thankful for each and every one he takes.
-A new level to what it means to be part of the body of Christ and to be "lifted up in prayer".
-That you can be really, really excited about words like "normal" and "ordinary".
-That the combination of snuggling, breast milk, and countless prayers can have a result that looks like this:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Third trimester, baby!

 28 weeks!!!  Third trimester!!!  We officially made it!
Based on my appetite and bump and Baby Sidekick's internal organ kicking skills, he has been doing some good growing!  An ultrasound today confirmed that he is around 2 1/2 pounds, right where he should be, and still very healthy and very active.  My doctor said they put in the numbers and if he continues to growing at the rate he has been, he will be right around 7 pounds at delivery (Lydia was 6 lb 15 oz).  We'll take it. :)
My blood pressure continues to look good and overall I have been feeling pretty good.  I also did the nice sugary beverage glucose test today and passed that fine, so that is another little piece of good news.  Also, shout out to my OB nurse who did immunizations today.  (Last time I got the flu shot it was not so good and I could barely move my arm for a few days...)  I am very thankful for my skilled doctor and nurses!  Oh, and I don't have to have another ultrasound and such for another month, just like a "normal" pregnancy.  I believe that word was even used today!

Well, I am off to celebrate by looking at baby things online and buying the crib set I have been looking at for months.
Also, I came home from my long appointment today to this:
Life is good.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Baby Sidekick

Well, I figure there's no better reason to bring back the ol' blog than for more baby updates!  Hooray for Baby #3!  The first name Noah suggested for the baby was "Sidekick" because of course, this baby will get to be his sidekick, so that is the fun nickname so far. :)

I am 25 weeks now and feeling great!  And already feeling big.  It is crazy to think that this baby is already right around the size Noah was when he was born.  We have had one ultrasound already where the description "very healthy and very active" was used.  We will still be closely watched come the 28 week mark, but the chances of something happening again are extremely low since Lydia's pregnancy was fine.  If everything continues to go well, Baby Sidekick will make his arrival on January 27.

I am so happy to get to experience pregnancy again.  (Um, I don't know if I would have said that during the first trimester, but that is all behind us now...)  The first pregnancy was what is was; the next time I was comparing every little detail to that first time around; this time I almost feel like a "normal" pregnant lady. :)  I feel like I know my body and what to expect so much better and am not stressing and over-analyzing each little thing.
We also found out from that first ultrasound that it's a BOY!  Noah says he knew all along that it was a boy, just how he knew Lydia was a girl.  Or maybe the fact that he reaaaally wants a brother has something to do with it. :)  He is such a sensitive and loving kid; yes, he wants a boy to play with and like the same things as him, but he did phrase it one time that "if the baby is a girl then Lydia will like her more and no one will like to play with me."  I am excited to see him get to have a brother. :)

If her feelings right now stick, Lydia is going to be the best big sister ever.  She asks at least once a day if our baby is here yet.  Usually at some point during the day she will say, "I am excited!" and when you ask why she will say "for the baby!"  And one of her favorite things to do is list all the ways she is going to help with the baby when he is here.  My mom said I did that same thing before my brother was born. :)

Once in a while Noah will say things about how I won't have as much time to play with him if I am taking care of the baby, but overall they are both genuinely excited and happy that we are going to have another person in our family.  They love telling other people that we are going to have a new baby.  It just warms my heart, and reminds me what the reaction to a new life should be.
I won't go into a giant rabbit trail about the sad, sad state of how our society views children, but passing from that magic "1 girl and 1 boy American dream" territory makes me even more aware of it.  We have gotten a few comments that imply along those lines of "why would you have another one if you already have a boy AND a girl."  Oh, the silliness.  Look to the reaction of the 3 and 5 year olds here; a new baby is something to be happy about.  Don't get me wrong, there is certainly part of me that is terrified of being outnumbered. :)  And I don't think there is anything wrong with stopping at 1 or 2 and we would have been perfectly happy with 2.  And thinking of the diapers and sleepless nights isn't something that I am bubbling with excitement about.  But I am VERY excited to welcome Baby Sidekick to our family and for all the adventures we will have together.