Friday, March 30, 2007

DAY 59: Home Sweet Home

I'm not sure why I was so scared to come home. I think it was a combination of getting out of my routine that I had set up, being in the midst of clutter an chaos that I couldn't do anything about, and just wanting to dink around with little projects that were hanging over my head. I thought I would be tempted to get up and wash the dishes in the sink, cook a simple meal, throw a load of clothes in the wash, give Holland a bath, etc. etc. However, I am relieved to say that my temptations have been minimal and not nearly as stressful as I had anticipated.

Overall, I have come to the conclusion that the comforts of my own home far outweigh all of my "control/ocd" issues ! There really is "no place like home". I've discovered that there was so much that I was missing at the hospital, but wasn't even aware of it. I guess "out of sight, out of mind" can be applied here.

Here are some of the pleasures that I have grown to appreciate and be more aware of:

my soft and cuddly body pillow
sleeping in the same bed as my husband
home cooked meals
the mailman that delivers mail on our front porch
holland playing outside in her playhouse
our neighborly chats in the driveway or sidewalk
(i've been watching them from the couch)
jonathan's stress load significantly decreasing
our big picture windows that fill our living room with the warmth of the sun
42" plasma TV and family movie night
jonathan picking up his guitar and strumming a song through out the day
holland's weekly play dates
the sound of the coffee grinder
jonathan's banana pancakes
soft toilet paper
DVR (digital video recorder)
my family photo collage hanging in the dining room
holland's early morning pitter-patter up the stairs as she comes to crawl in bed with us for morning cuddles
fresh ground pepper
the sound of the kids at recess at our neighborhood school
our lilac bushes that have fresh buds
sips of red wine
sitting in the nursery, anticipating bringing home our sweet baby girl
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
holland's bedtime routine back into place
etc.
etc.
etc.
So, what are you missing out on that is right in front of you?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Accessorize


Holland helping Grandma & Grandpa "accessorize"!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Question for Daddy

This morning as Holland was giving hugs and kisses goodbye before she left for school, she blurted out to Jonathan,

"Daddy, can you handle three girls?"

What do you think - Can Jonathan handle three of us?
Cast your vote in the comment section!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

DAY 56: 28 Weeks

When I started out on bedrest, 8 weeks ago, this date seemed like it was an eternity away. I remember lying in the hospital bed that first night and being freaked out by Dr.Sunshine. He had painted such a bleak and dreary picture of my situation that I lost perspective. I temporarily lost hope - not a fun place to be.

As I look back, I know now that he was a resident in training and was just trying to present the facts. I'm sure docs in training are taught all about not creating a sense of "false hope" in their patients; but if you are presenting the facts, you can't just leave out the positive. You need to present both sides (for instance: there are thousands of women who go on bedrest early in their pregnancy and deliver full-term, healthy babies, or the cervix can in fact stay shortened, dialated, or effaced for weeks and months without sending a woman into active labor, etc).

So, I have officially made it to my second goal, however, I would like to emphasize the fact that I am not stopping here - I am in pursuit of my third and fourth goals (32 and 36 weeks). Now that I have made it this far, it is just another day that I am crossing off the calendar. It doesn't seem nearly as significant as I thought it would. The significance I have discovered has been in the perspective I have gained. This perspective includes hope, love, peace, faith, and gratitude. These are the (positive) things that have gotten me this far and will enable me to make it further. I pray that I will continue to maintain this perspective far beyond my delivery day. I want to live life each day full of hope, love, peace, faith, and gratitude.

28-Week-Old Baby "Hershey"

This is where baby is developmentally this week:

*Baby's length is approximately 15 inches
*Baby weighs about 2 lbs. - 2 lbs. 11 oz. (Baby Hershey weighed 1 lb.15oz. last week)
*Contniued rapid brain development
*The nervous system has developed enough to control some body functions
*The eyelids open and close
*Their pupils even grow larger or smaller in response to brightness
*Eyelashes and hair on the head is growing
*Baby's skin is getting smoother and pinker
*The respiratory system, while immature, has developed to the point where gas exchange is possible

Monday, March 26, 2007

My Daughter Tricked Me

Holland needed to go to the bathroom but she wanted the light to be turned on.

"Mommy, I need Daddy to come up here and turn the light on for me."

He was downstairs working on dinner so I said, "Oh, I can get that for you". So I walked over to the bathroom, turned the light on for her, and promptly crawled back in the bed.

Then she got a sly, little smirk on her face and started to walk down the stairs.

I said, "Where are you going? I thought you needed to go potty".

She responded, "Well, I need to go tell Daddy that you aren't in bed".

"What?"

"I just need to go tell Daddy something".

So when she needed more help from Daddy to wipe her poopy bottom, guess who stayed in bed!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

DAY 54: A Peak Inside Baby's Room






These are the first "sneak peak" pictures of baby Hershey's room. It is still in it's beginning stages - just the basics. The next phase will be all of the details: the wall decor, the rug, the throw pillows, the accessories, etc, but for now it is a great start!

This is the same bedding that I used with Holland. I absolutely adore this bedding. There's no theme, no characters, no loud, over-stimulating, busy patterns - just plain, sweet, classy, and simple.

I had the bedding custom made by my wonderful sister-n-law after days and days of shopping for the perfect fabric with my mom and sister. I actually made the crib sheets and a little pillow to go with it! Those are the only things I have sewn in my whole life. My sister-n-law made the bumper pad, dust ruffle, and a little cubby thing to match. It turned out amazing! I love family traditions and the passing down of precious items so I didn't even think twice about re-using it.

There are so many wonderful, precious memories attached to it, how could I just keep it all boxed up? As I was unfolding it to get it ready to set back up, I was flooded with a surge of emotions. I love the way it looks, the way it smells, and the way it feels. I am absolutely delighted to use it again for our new, sweet, baby girl and I long for the host of memories that will accompany the usage.

The rocking chair is also a very special "labor of love" made for Holland before she was born by her Grandpa Potter. I have such sweet memories of rocking, feeding, comforting, cuddling, and doting over her in this chair. I remember spending countless hours with my sweet baby girl; she was all bundled up in my arms in her cozy blankets while I just sat and stared at her. I was so overwhelmed with the way in which this new found motherly love overtook me. I was often left speechless. Teary-eyed and speechless.

I would call Jonathan into the room and ask him, "Do you believe she is ALL ours? Do you believe we get to keep her?" What a mind boggling experience this parenting thing is. It is so hard to put into words the transformation that takes place and those of you who are parents can relate to what I am saying. As we are approaching the time in which we are to become parents for the second time, I feel like I need to brace myself. I need to find a way to be grounded as I know whole-heartily, I will once again be swept off my feet.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Daddy's Little Helper




I am so excited! The baby room is coming along. Here is Holland and Jonathan putting together the crib. Holland has been so eager to help set it up and she did a great job. I will post nursery pictures once it is all ready.

It is so hard to believe that the next phase in our life is going to include a baby! This pregnancy has been so abnormal! I did have bedrest with Holland too, but it wasn't until the last 5-6 weeks. I absolutely loved being pregnant with her. I loved the maternity clothes, the shopping sprees, the nesting bug, the decorating, the organizing and re-organizing, the showing off of my belly, the energy surge, the setting up of the room, the cravings, and even the emotional roller coaster! I loved it ALL! I am so grateful that I was able to experience all of that once in my life!

Now, I just lie in bed and reflect and remember what an amazing time that was. And I secretly hope that I will make it to 36-37 weeks and have my bedrest sentence suspended. At that time, I hope Jonathan is on standby with a getaway car to take me on a wild and whacky shopping spree so I can come home and put my nesting, organizing, decorating, energy depleted self to work! (er- I mean bed!)

DAY 52: Thanks, Mom!

My mom has been here all week working so hard to help me get some projects done. She has washed, sorted, folded, organized, purged, and labeled all of Holland's old baby clothes. She has helped me get bins cleaned out and re-organized. She has run countless errands. She has cooked us dinner and cleaned up after us. She has washed and folded our clothes as well as our sheets and towels. She helped me organize Holland's clothes and rotate new clothes in for the new season. Today, we went through Holland's puzzles, books, princess attire, sparkly jewerly,and all of her other odds and ends and secretly purged some of them and organized the rest.

I know I am leaving out a lot of other stuff that she has done, but I think you get the idea. She hasn't hardly sat down since she's been here, and in the midst of all of this she took a little trip to the emergency room to resolve some of her own health issues. She called from the ER to make sure I was doing okay. Isn't that just like a mom?! So, I am writing this post more for her than anyone else. I just want to take a minute and thank her for ALL that she has done. THANK YOU, MOM! I would have gone crazy had this stuff not gotten done. YOU'VE BEEN GREAT!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

No More Pictures!






These are the latest ultrasound pictures taken earlier this week. I can't believe that she is covering her face with both hands. I realize that she has been a very photographed little peanut while in utero, but this is not even the beginning of what lies ahead!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

DAY 50: Recent Hollandisms

"Mommy, do you think our baby is going to say 'goo-goo, gah-gah'?"


M:"Holland, are you going to share your old baby crib with Baby Hershey?"
H: "Sure!"
M: "Did know that we are going to put the crib in the computer room? Baby Hershey is going to have her own room to sleep in."
H: "Well, I think she can sleep in the basement!"


Jonathan was playing around in my wheelchair in my hospital room. He was attempting to pop wheelies in typical goofy Jonathan fashion.
M: "Holland, what in the world is your daddy doing in that wheelchair?"
H: "He's being pregnant!"


"Mommy, lets name her 'Kicky' instead of 'Hershey'."


The nurse was trying to get the baby's heartbeat the other day with a doppler monitor. When you put the monitor on you can hear all of the kicks and jabs and judo moves. It can be very loud and very staticky. I asked Holland,
"Do you know what all that noise is, Holland?"
H:"No, what is it?"
M: "It's baby Hershey. She is moving all around and kicking my belly"
H: "Well, she needs to be quiet!"


This one is a little mortifying....
As one of my nurses was leaving the room the other day, Holland blurted out,
"Mommy, I think she has a baby in her belly, too." (Guess what? not pregnant!)


Holland was taking baths at the hospital every couple of nights, and it was always an ordeal. The tub was a little slippery and this would freak her out. She would scream and cry, "I don't want to take a bath, it's too slippery. Hold onto me, Daddy." This would turn into a minor battle, but it was worse than it normally would be because we were at the hospital with other patients and families around. Inevitably, I would get stressed that she was too loud and Jonathan would get stressed because I was stressed and his frustration level would escalate as Holland wouldn't cooperate. So, needless to say, bath time at the hospital wasn't fun.

Well, yesterday, Holland randomly said, "I want to go back to the hospital, Mommy."
M:"You do? Why do you want to go back?"
H:"I want to go back because I like the hospital."
M:" Oh! Well, what did you like about the hospital?"
H:" I liked when it was bath time and the tub was slippery."

I had no response to that.....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

DAY 49: Complete and Utter Chaos



This is my first day home from the hospital,and I am surrounded by complete and utter chaos. My mom is here this week helping me organize and purge ALL of Holland's old baby clothes, toys, and equipment. I am very excited about the end results, but the whole process is pretty painful. One of the problems is that even when I have a huge project like this one I maintain cleanliness and a sense of organization through out the whole deal. Well, as you can see there isn't anything clean or organized about what's going on in my living room. The irony of it all is that I had someone come in and professionally clean our house yesterday (a welcome home present to myself)! I also had my hubby go through and "de-clutter" all that he and Holland had cluttered over the last 7 weeks.

I'm not real sure why I am even posting about this. I was feeling so "out of control" ealier so much that I even asked to be taken back to the hospital! A few hours have since passed and I am feeling much better now. I am actually feeling quite grateful.

Grateful to be home. Grateful for my mom. Grateful for all of her hard work. Grateful for my husband who is starting to clean out the soon-to-be-baby room. Grateful for my daughter who eagerly explores all of her old baby stuff and is so enthusiastic about sharing it with her baby sister. Grateful for a home cooked meal. Grateful for the sunshine beaming through my big picture window. Grateful for matching bins. Grateful for what's now a clean floor.

So incredibly grateful!

Parole Granted

Home again, Home again
Minus the Jiggety Jig!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

DAY 46: Anti-Gravity Therapy




I decided I would spend part of my day engaging myself in "anti-gravity therapy". I have no idea if it works or not, but thought I would take every possible measure to relieve any pressure on my cervix!

Wish me luck! Tomorrow is the BIG day....

Saturday, March 17, 2007

DAY 45: "Three More Night-Nights"

Once again a "parole request" is on the table. The day of truth will be Monday the 19th. If everything looks the same on my weekly ultrasound then orders will be placed for discharge on Tuesday.

That is just "three more night-nights" away.

I am super excited about the possibility of going home. I am trying not to get my hopes up too much, but I'm afraid I've already gone home mentally. I lie in bed every day and ponder all that needs to be done, and get excited about all that I plan to get done with the help of my mom and sister. They are both coming to stay next week so it will be a perfect transition back into my house and a nice segue into preparation for baby. I plan on lying on the couch or on the extra bed in the baby's room and practicing my delegation skills.

Here's the catch: My cervix hasn't changed enough in the last 6 1/2 weeks to call it "change". I have been fluctuating from 6 mm to 11 mm to 9 mm and back to 6.6 mm - this is all considered to be about the same since we are measuring in millimeters. However, if I so much as go 1 millimeter in the other direction (5 mm or less) then I don't get to leave.

Once again, the task is to not obsess on the "what if" of staying or leaving but to just take it one day at a time, trusting that "all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well"* -- and enjoy the view from my window.

* Quoting St. Julian of Norwich, by way of my quote-spouting husband, who ghost-wrote this last paragraph for me, as well as this footnote, whilst sampling his secret stash of Jameson's Irish Whiskey.

My Sweet Ballerina



Every Saturday morning, Holland goes to ballet class. I am totally missing the opportunity to take her each week, but at least I get dress rehearsals and sneak previews before she leaves!

Friday, March 16, 2007

DAY 44: Facts for Friday

1. Bedrest isn't ALL bad.

2. Living in a hospital makes you appreciate things like fresh air, a good night's sleep, and cuddling with your husband and daughter.

3. "Old school nurses" don't budge. They stick to the rules.

4. There is nothing like 5:00 am morning cuddles with your daughter, even if it is crowded and uncomfortable.

5. My husband is one of the most patient, mellow, easy going fellas alive. (with and without the secret stash!)

6. No person should ever have to tolerate hospital food for more than a week.

7. Hospital sheets don't fit hospital beds - they pop off at least 20x a day.

8. Bedrest forces you to learn what "down time" is.

9. Words of encouragement and unsolicited prayers are crucial for survival.

10. Cyberspace is a place like no other.

11. Ellen Degeneres is a great way to start your day.

12. Every day counts. (literaly)

13. Three-year-olds are very resilient.

14. In order to truly celebrate life's simplicities, you really must slow down.

15. Motherhood really is all about sacrifice.

My Own Personal Joy Ride





I asked my nurse this morning if she would mind wheeling me to the pop machine so I could get something to drink. I figured it would serve as my "outing" for the day. She didn't hesitate at all to agree to take me.

She left to get the wheelchair and when she returned, she said, "I found a fun surprise for you!"

And a fun surprise it was! Yippee! My own private joy ride. Where should I go? Cafeteria? Gift Shop? Vending Machines? Veranda? Coffee Shop? Public Bathroom?

So many choices.

I opted for the baby boutique gift shop downstairs. I knew they had cold drinks in a cooler, and I could also look more closely at some things I've had my eye on.

Well, $65 later. I had not one but two refreshing beverages, a sweet baby outfit, a matching hat, a pair of discontinued Robeez, and a couple of other odds and ends.


A joy ride, indeed!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

DAY 43: OCD?

I have known for some time that I may have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) tendencies, but it seems like it is really coming to a head while here in the hospital. I'm not sure if it is actually OCD though. Some might say, I am just "particular", some might say, "I am anal", and then some might whole heartedly agree that it is in fact "OCD".

I am very in tune to my immediate surroundings and the environment in general. I am the girl that will walk into a room and immediately notice a picture that is askew. I am the girl who will notice if a pile of mail has been shifted from one end of the table to the other, and I am the girl who drives down the road and notices an new bill board before we are even upon it. I love to organize. My CDs, DVDs, and spices are alphabetized. I have all the extraneous contents of my hall closet and bedroom closet on shelves in matching baskets. I love drawer dividers. My towels are all folded and faced the same way. The books on my shelf have to be lined up according to their height. My clothes hang in my closet by color and we have all wooden hangers.

It's all about symmetry. Visual aesthetics. Straight lines. Balance. Systems.

You get the idea. As I look around my hospital room each day, I cringe. It is impossible to uphold my standards in this environment. I think it is probably good for me to have no choice but to relinquish these control issues or whatever kind of issues they are, but I must admit it is painful. And I haven't gone without trying. I have asked Jonathan to do some pretty wacky things all in an attempt to gain some of the symmetry, visual aesthetics, and balance that I long for.

I thought you might get a kick out of some of the things I have requested of him, and of course, he hasn't ever questioned any of them! He just goes along with it. I wonder if he has known all along I am a freak or if he is discovering just how much of a freak I am! Well, nonetheless I'm gonna take this blog post one step further and put myself even further out there than I already have! Here goes:

1. There was an orange sitting on the counter with a little dark scratch mark on it, and I asked him to turn it around so I wouldn't have to look at the dark mark.
2. The phone book was up on a high shelf and it was turned towards me with all of the pages ruffling up so I asked him to turn it around so I could see the binding instead.
3. I have cards hanging on the wall and there were a few that were asymmetrical so I asked him to straighten them up so that they would be more visually appealing.
4. The books were on the shelf in a disarray so I needed him to organize them and straighten them by their height and then categorize by children's or adult's books.
5. The pop tart box wasn't closed and I couldn't stand looking at the messy tabs sticking out of the top of the box. I wanted it closed nice and neatly!
6. I had him help me categorize my drawers. One drawer for personal grooming items, one drawer for electronic gadgets, one drawer for magazines/catalogs, and one drawer for scrapbooking paper. And then there's the whole scrapbooking rolling cart with five of it's own drawers!

Well, I think I'm gonna stop with those. Enough revealed!

So what is your assessment? Am I particular? Do I have OCD? Is it a bad case of Anal Retentiveness? Or am I just a girl who has been uprooted from her cozy home and trying to make sense of her new surroundings putting her systems into play?

A little balance, a little symmetry, a little visual continuity.

Those aren't all bad are they?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

DAY 42: The Secret Stash




Look what I found in our hospital room this morning! Jonathan has a secret stash! No wonder he has been so patient and mellow through out this whole ordeal! Good thinking, Babe.

I wish I had a stash!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ultrasound Update



Here is the latest ultrasound picture. Each picture is getting clearer and clearer, and as I get further along, I will be able to see more and more what she looks like. I have mixed feelings about this. I have already taken a huge element of surprise out of the childbirth equation by finding out the gender, and now if I actually see what she will look like then there isn't much room for surprise. However, I might be too far into the process to stop the 3 & 4D pictures from coming! I'll have to think some more on that one!


My weekly ultrasound yesterday didn't reveal much change (which is good). My cervix is back to 6.6 mm or .6 cm. I have been fluctuating within a few millimeters but I always seem to come back to the 6 mark. For those of you who don't know, a normal cervix is about 4 cm, and a woman in my stage of pregnancy should still be between 3-4 cm. Typically, a woman with my size cervix is experiencing pre-term labor and will soon start to dialate and efface meaning she could start active labor at anytime. Thankfully, I have a cerclage. A cerclage is a set of stitches that are sewn around the cervix and closed like a purse string. This keeps the cervix from opening prematurely (dialating). So if it weren't for the cerclage, I would be in a world of trouble.

So, I will keep doing what I'm doing and hope that I can bide some more time.

DAY 41: 26 Weeks

I am 26 weeks today and here is what is happening developmentally:

Baby weight almost 2 pounds (“Hershey weighs approx. 1 lb. 11 oz)
Measures around 14 inches long
Can hear noises; hearing is fully developed
Responds to light
More aware of its surroundings
As baby reacts to sounds, its pulse increases
Baby can move in rhythm to music
Wrinkled skin is starting to smooth out as baby puts on baby fat
Baby can inhale, exhale, and even cry
The tongue has developed taste buds
The eyes have completely developed

Can you believe that I have been here for 6 weeks already??

Monday, March 12, 2007

DAY 40: Fresh Air, Fresh Start




I got some fresh air today and it feels as if I got a fresh start as well. I have not seen the outside world in any way, shape, or form in 40 days, but today I got the real thing. I asked if I could have a wheelchair pass to go outside and my request was granted. Not only was it granted for today but for everyday in the future. I can have 30 minutes each day to breath in the air, soak in the rays, and delight in my daughter's infectous giggle as she runs, jumps, and "flippy-do-rays" all over the place.

Jonathan and Holland got to wheel me down to a little garden that is on the hospital grounds. There was a beautiful waterfall cascading over a huge basalt boulder, a babbling stream rippling under a small, pedestrian bridge, big white fluffy clouds in the sky, and fresh,clean,crisp air all around. It was an amazing day here in Spokane.

I was tickled to be outside and I enjoyed every second of it, but more than the sun, and the sky, and the clouds, and the fresh air, I enjoyed my family. Being outside with them on a beautiful spring day brought me such great pleasure. That alone was "fresh air". That alone gave promise to a "fresh start".

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Join the "Big Dance" at Bedrest Boutique

Join us for some fun with the "Big Dance" (not to be confused with Dr. Sunshine's dance!) I started my own march madness bracket group, and you are invited to join the group and post your predictions! To accept this invitation and join the group, click the link below (or cut and paste the link into your browser's address bar). Brackets must be completed no later than noon on March 15th. You'll be asked to enter the group's password before you can join. The group password is: waiting
Good luck & Have fun!

http://danceatbb.mayhem.sportsline.com/e

DAY 39: Choosing a Baby Name is Like Choosing a Wine

Jonathan and I were throwing around baby names last night. Actually, I was throwing around baby names last night, and Jonathan was protesting baby names last night (almost every one that I suggested). However, we did come to an agreement on a few names, but we aren't ready to disclose that information.

Holland had a few suggestions of her own: "How 'bout Ariel, Mommy? Or how 'bout Belle? OR (long pause) how 'bout Sleeping Beauty? (she said enthusiastically followed by a couple of giggles) No, that's silly. How 'bout Jasmine or Pocahontas?"

Seriously though, names are so important and so personal. I find that it is so stressful to choose a name for your child, but I have to remind myself that one thing I have learned is that kids "grow" into their names, and then you can't ever imagine them being named anything else.

The process of choosing a name for your child is similar to the process of choosing a fine wine. First, you swirl it around in your mouth and let it glide over your tongue. You determine if it has good “mouth feel”. As you continue the process you ask yourself questions that help you come to a conclusion. Is it versatile? Is it well suited for both formal and informal occasions? Is it smooth? Delicate? Complex? Does it have a long finish? Would you like to share it with your family and friends? What flavors do you detect? Is it well balanced? Will it age well? Is it something to savor?

Can you see the similarities? I sure can. However, as I am lying in bed I don’t always think in metaphors and the real process of choosing a name is a bit more fraught with existential trauma than is choosing a wine*. There are other things to consider. For instance:

How does it sound when I am talking baby talk? "Hi sweet baby, my little ______. Come here, let mommy give ________ kisses!"

Does it roll off my tongue the right way? Is there appropriate cadence? Rhythm? Is it prone to vulgar rhymes or other distortions? Does it ring true?

Is there someone we want to honor? Is there a special family name to carry on? Can her teachers and friends pronounce it? Is it spelled in a way that is recognizable and can be transcribed phonetically?

How does it look and sound on a birth announcement? An invitation to a birthday party? A wedding napkin?

Do the initials stand for something else in our overly-acronymed society? (e.g., RIP, SUV, BYOB)

Do you have any close friends or family members that have called “first dibs” on names you are considering?

How will it sound when the master of ceremonies calls out her name for them to receive their diploma?

Is the name rich in literary, biblical, mythological, or historical reverberations?

Is it unique without being too odd?

Does it clear a space for Being, as Heidegger said a name should?

So, there you have it. These are some of the things I ponder as I lie in bed. Choosing a name. Choosing a wine.

*Note: Some of the above comments/questions were provided by Jonathan. You can guess which ones.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

DAY 38: Another Father/Daughter Ensemble

I probably don't even need to comment on this one as you can see the issue at hand (at least I hope you can see it - flowered pajama pants, argyle socks, and shoes covered with hearts!)

Jonathan informed me that it was just a "daughter ensemble", but I hold him totally responsible for not issuing a veto! They did walk downstairs to the coffee shop like that, but thank goodness Holland had to get dressed for ballet when they returned! I am concerned about what ensembles make it out the door when they are left to their own devices! Aye! Carrumba!

I forgot to remind myself that this is part of my "Letting Go Therapy"........

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Friend In Need

I have met a new friend in this wonderful, wacky world of cyberspace. We met on a website for women on bedrest and with high risk pregnancies. Since then she has been following my blog and we have been emailing daily. She has been a huge source of support and encouragement ever since we started our online communication, and now I would like to return the favor.

Her name is Amy. She is about 26 or 26 1/2 weeks pregnant and, like me, is on strict bedrest in a hospital; however she is experiencing quite a few more serious complications. At 21 weeks she found out that she had complete placenta previa and placenta accreta. One of the risks is that the placenta can grow into a percreta which means the placenta can grow through the uterine wall and attach to her organs such as her bladder or her kidney. She was just diagnosed with this a few days ago. She is being closely monitored as it can progress pretty rapidly. This is pretty rare, occurring 1 in 70,000 cases. As you can imagine this is a very scary and stressful time for her and her family.

I am writing all of this because she and her family are in need of our prayers. If all goes well she will go into a scheduled c-section surgery on April 30th once her baby has reached 34 weeks. After the baby is delivered she herself will undergo a more extensive surgery. Let's pray that she and the doctors can go ahead with the scheduled delivery without any further emergencies.

As she is a regular visitor on my blog, I thought we could use this site as a source of encouragement and support for her. Please go to the comment section and post a comment to let her know you will keep her and her family in your prayers.

Thank you, friends! Love to you all!

DAY 36: Stupid Things Health Care Providers Say

I am constantly amazed at some of the stuff that has come out of the mouths of my doctors and nurses. Some of the things are just completely stupid. Some of the the things are appalling. Some of the things are offensive. And most all of them lack any sort of respect or compassion, and much less any consideration for the fears, anxieties, and struggles that a mom on bedrest is going through. Here are some examples of things I have actually heard; you can decide which category they fit into!

"Well, I hear movement so there must still be a baby in there" (said while the nurse was monitoring me and searching for baby's heartbeat).

"You are in a really bad situation. You have a raw deal. I'm so sorry." (my first night in the hospital).

"Your're cervix is staying about the same. That's good. It's definitely better than the alternative".

"Well, you have an ultrasound on Monday. We are really hoping you stay pregnant".

"Have you felt any gush of fluid like your water broke?" (almost daily I here this - don't you think I would push my little nurse button if this happened?)

"Have another boring day! We like boring around here. Boring is good" (this is the default salutation - I have heard it or some variation of it from at least 4 or 5 different doctors).

"Yes, going home would a sacrifice, but having a baby in NICU is a sacrifice you need to consider also." (this was in the context of me talking about it being harder for me to be at home but I would sacrifice that because it would be easier for my husband and daughter).

"Do you know what it means to be on bedrest?" (a nurse said this to me one day when I was sitting up. I'd been here three weeks at this point and damn well aware of what bedrest is! I was barely even sitting up). And then she continued on but got much worse....

"Well, I really hate to see a baby go to NICU if they don't have to" (OMG! As if...... Needless to say after this comment I had some choice words for her and thank God she hasn't been my nurse since).

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Day 35: A Peak Inside My Room

Have I mentioned that we have all moved into my hospital room? If not, then here is a little proof. When I do get discharged, it will take a u-haul to move us out. The pictures above show my scrapbooking drawers, my computer printer, a huge selection of movies, books, and miscellaneous activities, Holland's bath toys and shampoo, towels from home, framed pictures from home, a beautiful orchid, and a fridge full of food!. And this is only a portion of what is here. I have my computer, a stash of clothes, an assortment of books and magazines, trivial pursuit, chutes and ladders, a ton of Holland's toys, extra clothes for Jonathan and Holland, and who knows what else! They told me to make myself comfortable! So I did.

Ferry Day

Nine years ago today, Jonathan and I had our first date on a ferry boat in Seattle. Happy "dating" anniversary, Babe! It's been the best nine years of my life! Here's to many, many more! And here's a little limerick to commemorate that day!

There once was a poet named Potter
Who took his gal, Ash, upon water;
Their hearts did collide
On that ferry boat ride,
And now they're expecting a daughter!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

DAY 34; Week 25!



Here are our latest ultrasound pictures that I promised. Aren't they amazing? She looks a little skeletal, but I think she probably is a little skeletal at this time! She is thriving though and continuing to develop each and every day. We have made it to week 25, and there is actually talk of "home probation" in a couple of weeks. If I continue to stay this stable then my warden will grant me my probation/parole request! I must continue my good behavior. I must, I must, I must!

Monday, March 5, 2007

DAY 33

All in all, today was another "not so bad" of a day! It was actually a pretty good day. I started out the day with morning cuddles from Holland. She has been climbing into my hospital bed at about 5:00am each morning and cuddling up with me as she falls back to sleep for a couple of hours. Even though it isn't that comfortable, it is a great way to start my day! After we woke up, Jonathan brought us treats from the downstairs coffee shop (banana bread and chai tea).

I had and ultrasound again today and the results looked about the same. I have acutally lengthened a tiny bit again which is ridicuously exciting! I went from .66 cm to .94 cm! This is still less than one whole centimeter, but I'm just thankful that I am holding my own and it's not going in the other direction!

After the ultrasound, I came back to my room and caught up on some emails. I have met a few women through cyberspace who are going through very similiar situations. It has been so fun to start an email relationship with them and share stories, concerns, fears, goals, etc. I even met a "due date buddy" - how cool is that?

The day just seemed to go by fast today which always surprises me. At about 5:oo, I got a call from some dear friends who wanted to bring us dinner and watch the Gonzaga WCC championship game! It was a wonderful treat. Thanks Scott & Jami! : )

Holland brought me some more art work for my wall, and let her stuffed Koala bear and her elephant spend the night "to keep me company" as she left to go hang out with grandma and grandpa.

Now I am settling in for the night and about to sign off. More to come tomorrow - stay tuned for Hershey's latest ultrasound pictures!

Lots of love to you all!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

DAY 32: "It's Gonna be Fancy, Mommy"

This is a spirometer that I am suppose to use every day to help my lungs stay functioning at their capacity. Holland was very concerned that it needed to be decorated. So she whipped up this pipe cleaner accessory. As she was creating it she said, "It's gonna be fancy, Mommy." When she was all finished, she promptly attached it and exclaimed,

"Look Mommy, now you have a beautiful one!"

How could I ever be in poor spirits when I am getting this kind of treatment? Do you know of anyone else with a decorated spirometer? I didn't think so!

DAYS 30 & 31: Random Thoughts at Bedtime

Holland and Jonathan have been sleeping here at the hospital almost every night. On most nights you can tell that her mind is just racing and she is having trouble settling down. On other nights, we think she is settling down and about to go to sleep, but then she will pop her little head up and share her random thoughts. Then she will get all nestled back into her "soft and cuddly blankie" and pop her little head back up about 5 minutes later and share some more! Here are a few of the things we heard the last couple of nights:

"Mommy, I need a princess hat. I only have two Christmas hats." "Really?" I say. "I thought you had lots of princess hats in your dress-up box." "No, I don't. We need to get a little princess hat for little sister and a big princess hat for me. I want a yellowish-green one for me and a turquoise one for little sister."

"Mommy, I want Lindsey (one of her best friends) to go on an airplane with you and me and daddy and grandma and grandpa. Do you think she will fit?"

"Mommy, I forgot to tell you something. Will you put my Christmas tree back in my room?"

"Let's sing, mommy. When baby cries because she wants a toy or something, I will sing Rockabye Baby for her."

"Mommy, is baby sister kicking?"
"No, not right now."
"Oh! She must be asleep or something."

Friday, March 2, 2007

DAY 29: Feeling Blessed

I am feeling extremely blessed this morning.

I have been watching more TV lately than I usually do, and it seems like there has been a common thread on many of the shows I have tuned into. The thread is that of people - real, everyday people - who have been struck by every manner of tragedy. I sit in awe when I hear their stories, their trials, their tribulations, and what seems to me to be their dire circumstances and hopeless situations. And you know what shakes me the most? It's their faith and love that seem to always prevail. No matter what. It may take some time for the recovery process, but they all have managed to survive and become what they consider to be "a stronger, better, more spiritual" people.

I truly fear these kinds of tragedies in my life. I fear that I would slump down into a deep depression with no hope of rising again. I fear that I would not want life to go on. I fear that I would not like the person I might become. I fear that my faith would be shattered and my love would be shaken. I fear I would fear to love again. I pray today that I not be faced with these fears, and if I am that my faith and love will prevail. I thank God for all of the blessings that I have in my life.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband who has not once complained about our situation and all of his added responsibilities.

I am so blessed to have a precious daughter who continues to find joy and delight in her play area that has been transported to my hospital room.

I am so blessed to have a caring, supportive mom and an amazing set of in-laws who would be here at a drop of a hat to relieve the strain and stress of our situation.

I am so blessed to have the support and friendship of my sister, sister-n-law, and their incredible families.

I am so blessed to be carrying a healthy baby girl who continues to thrive with each passing day.

I am so blessed with the gift of limitless time - the one thing we all wish we had more of.

I am so blessed to be in a comfortable hospital room with a conservative, competent doctor who will do everything in his power for us to have a healthy baby girl.

I am so blessed to have a fun nursing staff who continue to encourage me on a daily basis.

I am so blessed to have a support system that through cyberspace has now expanded across the United States.

I am so blessed to have found peace with my situation and know that I can rest and be comforted.

I am just so incredibly blessed.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

One Month Down

2 1/2 - 3 to go!

I can't believe that I have already "served" a month of my sentence. Thank you to everyone who has made this doable. I have been surviving on your prayers and encouragement (and the computer!). I appreciate all of you for being so supportive. Thank-you, thank -you, thank-you!