Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I will tell you what the neurologist told us.

The PVL is independent of William's IVH (brain bleed). It is also not a result of his prematurity and that the injury occured sometime in utero around 26 weeks. It is terrible to know that he may have been better off if he had been more premature.

His PVL is not a mild case and he most likely will have cerbral palsy... 95% likely. She noted that a motor reflex of his (sorry, can't remember which one) is already abnormal and indicates that there is motor involvement with his brain injury. She said we need to hope that there is no cogintive involvement.

So that's it, in a nutshell.

Friday, December 22, 2006

It didn't go away

I was hoping that somehow when I went to bed all the bad would go away- that I would have been dreaming this whole time rather than it being my new reality.

Yesterday we got some very, very bad news about William. In the lottery of things that Preemies are at risk for, this is among the top of the list of things I never wanted to hear in the same sentence as his name.

William has periventricular leucomalacia, or PVL. It is a rare brain injury that usually leads to cerebral palsy. I can't believe I had to write that. I am so absolutely terrified for my boy, for my family.

We have yet to speak to a specialist about this and hope that what William has is the milder form of damage. But I am frightened by the way the neonatologist spoke about it yesterday... that it is the most devastating type.

Please pray for my son. Please pray for my family.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

William is back on CPAP.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


This morning we took our sweet baby girl to the mall for a picture with Santa. That's right. Germ phobic Mama takes still recovering preemie to the mall to be handled by someone who has handled other germ-bags all day long! My need to have a picture of my dressed up daughter screaming in the hands of a bearded stranger won over the paranoia.

We were almost successful getting the classic screaming baby photo. But Margaret only screamed for about 30 seconds and they didn't take the picture fast enough. (I guess most parents want their kids to smile?) So the resulting picture is of Margaret as stiff as a board looking slightly uncomfortable and a little blotchy. Santa, on the other hand, looks completely evil. I couldn't have hoped for a better picture.

(will post pic as soon as I can get dh to scan it... how did I go from being able to program in C++ to not being able to operate our scanner????)

A rough patch

Mr. William is through his "honeymoon" period at the NICU and has started working through some typical preemie issues and giving his Mommy a hundred heart attacks.

William had to be put back on a high flow cannula after his room air trial. He started to have lots of apnea/bradycardia episodes and is continuing to have many of them a day. I'm hoping this is all short lived and we can get on with the business of feeding and growing.

His weight is up to 3 pounds and 11 ounces so he is still gaining well. He has also stopped having any problems with the HMF, thank goodness. I really didn't want to have to battle about that. I am very lucky that our hospital does not release babies on fortified bm... so he will be weaned to non-fortified milk before discharge.

I'm watching the timing of his a/bs carefully to see if there is any connection between them and his feeding... just in case he is refluxing.

One more week until his next cranial ultrasound. He should also begin attempting to nipple (bottle feed or breast feed) next week. I'm hoping these things go well.

Margaret, David, and I have all been sick. I am starting to feel better now but Margaret's lungs still sound pretty bad. David has started his third round of antibiotics today.... I'm hoping that he starts to feel better soon.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Monkey Update

Our little one continues to do very well. He is having his first room air trial today and like all his others, I am hoping for the best but will not be shocked if he has to go back to his low flow cannula.

The fact that he is even on a low flow cannula at this point is shocking to me. He was only 8 days old when he made the switch. Margaret took 9 weeks before she could go to the cannula!!

I'm also impressed that little boy has had no a/bs to speak of. The nurse last night said that he hasn't really hit that point in his stay, yet... that William is still thriving off maternal blood. The truth is, I don't really remember before Margaret's apnea period. I just remember her having 20+ a shift and it really scared me. I suppose I should go look up when she starting all her a/bs. But I am really hoping that baby boy (and Mommy) gets to avoid most of that.

Will has also started to gain weight consistently. He was born at 3 pounds, 7.7 ounces but lost down to 3 pounds. He is now up to 3 pounds 4 ounces. Only a few more days until he'll be back at his birth weight if he continues to gain like he is.

We got the results of his cranial ultrasound yesterday and found out he has a grade 1 bilateral IVH. Although this is not bad news, I was certainly dissappointed. I was praying for the "normal" result.

The only thing that has be slightly concerned lately is William's reaction to the human milk fortifier the docs are adding to the breastmilk to up the calories. They tried to take him to 24 calories but he ended up with bad residuals so they backed him down to 22. He is still having some residual but it is within their limits. The reason I'm concerned at all is that M was so sensitive to cow's milk proteins. I am worried that W is also sensitive. I went ahead and cut out dairy when he was born but now he is getting it in the HMF. If he continues to have residuals on the HMF (he had none ever with straight bm), I am thinking of asking to the docs to either not fortify or to use something else. I know we want him to fatten up but I am worried about his digestive health and his comfort. Any advice from other preemie Moms out there?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


In the midst of all the craziness we have managed to put up the beginnings of our Christmas Tree. So far all we have on it are the lights. But no matter, Margaret thinks it is the best thing on the planet right now. And when I picked her up from daycare today, she was plain chatty and pointing to the Christmas trees they had set up.

Another big hit in our household lately is a fire in the fireplace. Lots of squealing, pointing, and "talking". Yes, we are always close to make sure that she doesn't actually launch herself into the fire... which she seems determined to do!

Her biggest most impressive "trick" lately is her ability to pick letters out on random things like on a Gatorade bottle. And she can do some letters both capital and lower case- particularly "A". Her best letters are A, M, O, and sometimes B. Margaret blows my socks off every day.

More pictures....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Newest Monkey

Pictures of the New Monkey!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happy Birthday, William Hughes!

Hi everybody! (this is copy and pasted all over the internet!)

My sweet boy, William Hughes was born this afternoon at 1:36pm. He was 28w5d gestation. I was able to have him vaginally (thank goodness!) and I did finally relent to the epidural.

William is a very large baby at 3 pounds 7 ounces and 17.25 inches. Yes, you read that right- 17.25 inches. I seriously doubted the measurement but it is right. Tall like his Daddy. His apgars were 7 and 9.

When he was born, William screamed his little head off. By that I mean he screamed in the delivery room. And then he screamed so loudly in the resuscitation room (he didn't require resus), that I could hear him through the closed door! The nurses all said that they had a hard time giving him surfactant because he was fighting so hard. Very fiesty. I love that.

They did have to intubate him but the neo commented that she doesn't expect him to need it long. For a while they didn't think he would need it at all. His vent settings are currently 25% O2 but I can't remember the rate. They don't expect for him to need his belly lines for very long either.... and then I can hold him!!!

I am doing fine since I could deliver vaginally and did not have an episiotomy (just a very small tear). I am just tired and wish I could get into the isolette with baby Willam for a nice cuddle nap.

I will get pics up as soon as possible.

Thank you all for your support and prayers.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hard Days

Oh, I miss my baby girl and my husband so much.

Add to that a very pessimistic Perinatologist and you have a sad Mommy. I'm just trying to plug through these long days and keep my eyes on the prize. But it is hard. Very hard.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Life is Crazy.... crazy

Today my nurse came in to talk to me about a patient in a room next to me who came into the hosptial funneled to her stitch. This patient was here for a little while before she ruptured. The nurse said she is very nervous and wanted to know if I would speak with her and tell her my own experience... about my wonderful outcome. (Of course)

When I visited an Incompetent Cervix Support board I go to, I said a few sentences about the patient in a post I wrote- asking for prayers for her. The next time I visited the board there was a thread addressed to me. In it the poster asked if my nurses name is Chantelle... which it is.

The person who is in the room next to me is someone I've been talking to on this message board. How crazy is that???? I've even tried to encourage her with my story online.

It is such a small world!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Magic Motrin

I get my last dose of Motrin (for stopping contractions) at 5 tomorrow morning.... I'm terrified that they are going to come back and I won't know it! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Original Miracle Baby

Happy Birthday to my "baby" brother, born at 32 weeks 24 years ago! I always loved taking your milk to the hospital before school... because I got to see you, too!

Wish I could see you to give you a big hug!

Whose Cervix is THAT???

Today has been a busy day for me.

Started my second 3 hour GTT at 6:30am.... much better test when the staff comes to you and you can just continue whatever you were doing.

Perinatologist rounds.

OB rounds.

IV infiltrated. I kept telling the nurses that it wasn't going to last much longer but I think they thought I am just a big whiner. Sure enough.... pop... and then my arm started swelling up. So the OB just said to take it out! Yay! Now I'm on all oral meds. Still two antibiotics and Motrin.

Then I went for an unexpected TVU/S. I get them every Wednesday in the hospital, I am told.

Anyway..... drumroll, please.....
My cervical length has doubled since Monday!!!!

So it went from 0.6-0.8cm Monday to 1.7cm today! I was crying like, well, a little baby. Scared the nurses when I got back. Scared my MIL who was waiting in my room when I returned from the u/s. How amazing is that? The MFM guy said that apparently I am/was having lots of contractions and that is what has been shortening my cervix. I apparently only feel a few of them. I'm anxious to hear what my regular MFM guy has to say about it.

Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts and fingers crossed! You have helped more than you know!!! OMG, I'm so happy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Hospital Again

Well, I'm back in the hospital. This time for the duration, I think.

I got the fast track here when I had a contraction in the middle of my tvus. The contraction completely thinned my cervix. So, before contraction I was down to 0.6cm and during I was 0.0cm. I was immediately taken to L&D where I am now.... waiting.

Right now I'm getting IV fluids, antibiotics, and something to stop the contractions. I was having them 4-5 minutes apart when they first started the monitoring... but I couldn't feel them. I think they have slowed down now but can't be sure. I've also started another 4 day round of Motrin.

The nurses are all zipping around me like I'm going to have this baby any minute. Making me nervous... AND, they have me on the clear liquid diet. Yum. I'm hungry. Somehow chicken broth just doesn't hit the spot.

I'll update again later when things are a little more settled.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Living with Blackbeard

Margaret's "language" has taken on a new tone lately. It went from a sing-song romantic language to some strange German dialect and this week she has thrown in some pirate noises... her favorite being the classic "Aarrrrggg!" It is so funny to hear her doing this over and over while "reading" a book... where do they get these things???

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Iffy Test Result

I went to the OB today and had another fetal fibronectin test performed. This time it was positive. Although I understand that a negative result is much more reliable as a way to rule out preterm labor, I am really nervous about my result. The doc said with my risk factors, history, and the fact that I am symptomatic the positive result is a bit more valuable for its predictive value. So, delivery within 14 days? I pray not.

I think part of the reason I'm so nervous is that I could tell that the doctor was very concerned.... the same doctor that never has been worried about anything. He told me to go lay down and stressed that I should call him if anything at all comes up.

My next MFM appointment is next Monday so I'll know how my cervix is looking then. The OB said I am a fingertip dilated now... I'll update when I get my new measurements. I'm actually wondering if I will be admitted again... I hope not. I've already cooked Thanksgiving dinner. (read: called in an order)

Monday, November 13, 2006

No Change

Good news! My cervix has not changed for the worse since last week. I am still measuring 1.3cm without fundal pressure but 1.2cm with... up from 0.8cm last week. They are certainly going to release me today and I'm just waiting to see my doc before I know what is going on.

I will get another fFN this week even if I don't get it today- since Friday it will have been two weeks since my last one. And I'm hoping that the MFM doc I saw yesterday wrote in my orders yesterday that I could get Procardia upon discharge in case I start contracting more. We will see. I have noticed with as many doctors as I have, sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. Good thing that doc has a phone and I have a lot of time on my hands to pester a doctor.

I'll update later after things are all settled.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Menopause

Steroid shot + Progesterone shot = hot sweaty grossness.

I have never been so hot in my life. And sweaty. I don't even want to sleep in the same bed as me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Celestone Sweats

Well, I made it into the hospital. For now it is just for the Celestone (steroid) shots to mature the baby's lungs and to monitor me for contractions.

So far as a result of my shots, I am sweating like I'm going through menopause. Even my thighs are sweating. And I feel like getting up and doing some exercise. Other than that, I'm good. It is only been five hours or so and my usually very painful wrist is feeling quite normal. I was hoping that the dosage would be such that it would relieve some of my tendonitis pain.

Dinner was okay. I can't get what I've been craving until tomorrow for lunch. So sad that I have been craving certain dishes from the cafeteria here for a while. Trying to watch the carbs and sugar, though, since Celestone can really mess up my blood sugar and this boy is big already.

Speaking of... baby looked good. He is still measuring two weeks ahead in all areas except for his femur (thigh bone) which is measuring more than three weeks ahead. The tech asked if my husband is tall... well, yeah. And then she told me that he is really long and because of that his estimated weight is 2 pounds and 10 ounces... that is HUGE for 26 weeks.

My cervix had shortened some but am unsure of the actual measurement. I think 0.8 cm but I will ask the doc when I see him in the morning.

So sweating and hot and missing my baby terribly... that's me!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Daycare Day Two

At least she wasn't snuffing today when she was picked up. And she wasn't totally wracked out by the time she got home so I was able to give her the bottle that the daycare could not get her to take. This will bode better for today and tonight. Last night was rough.

Still, she wouldn't eat any food or drink anything. I'm hoping that as she starts to trust them more, she will be able to eat or take a bottle. We are really going to have to step up the sippy cup usage. I've been pretty lax about it.

I can tell that she cried a bit today but she really did seem okay when she got home... still feeling guilty. On an average day at home, she doesn't cry at all.

As a whole, better than yesterday. Let's hope that tomorrow is better, still.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Well that went abysmally.

When her Grandparents picked Margaret up, she was crying... she refused to eat any food and she refused to drink her bottle.

On the way home she fell asleep in the car so I didn't get to comfort her any before her nap. And she snuffed (you know after they cry too hard- that involuntary inhale) for an hour and a half while she slept. She wasn't even that upset after the ER IVs.

Ugh. I hate this. I feel so guilty. And we have big problems if she won't take her bottle from the daycare workers....

A New Adventure

My Sweetie is at daycare for the first time right now... I'm so nervous that she is okay. She is being picked up at noon and I'm praying that everything will be okay!

David said that when he left, she didn't even notice. She was having a good time being carried around by one of the employees and getting her to name all the things in the room.

Margaret has learned the power of pointing. She has been doing it for a while but has only recently realized that it can be used to ask for things or to get us to tell her what something is. Lately as her Daddy carries her around, Margaret will hold her hand in the pointing position... just in case.

I'll update with how daycare went a little later.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A special day

Today is the first anniversary of the happiest day of my life... the day Margaret came home from the NICU. Upon release she was 41/4 weeks gestation and weighed a whopping 8 pounds and 15 ounces... looking back at her pictures, she looked down right chubby!!! As soon as we got her to the house, she and her Daddy took a nap while I stared at them both nervously. I couldn't believe that we were home.

Here is the email I sent to our family and friends that day:

Today has been a Big Day for us... full of firsts and lasts for our sweet Margaret.

-it was the last time Margaret would wake up in the hospital

-it was the last time Margaret was weighed on the hospital scale
-it was the last time to hear her monitor alarms

-it was the first time I have seen Margaret with no wires, no tubes
-it was the first time that Margaret has been outside
-it was Margaret's first car ride
-it was Margaret's first nap at home

It has been a wonderful, busy, very tiring day. It is so good to have her home. There are no words to describe.

Tomorrow is a big first for me, too. It will be the first day in 131 days that I won't be at the hospital.

Thank you all for your love and continuous support. I can't believe this day has finally come!


There are still no words to describe that feeling. Of being a family at home... finally.

Friday, November 03, 2006

fFN testing..... NEGATIVE!!! Hopefully that means two more weeks of baby baking!!

Update on Hospital Stay

So I didn't get admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and I'm still not sure why since the same doc had given me the option a week before. My cervix has shortened even more and is now measuring 1.3cm. I saw one of the tech's other measurements as 0.7 but they didn't choose to use that one for some reason (I thought they were always supposed to use the shortest measurement... ?)

I've been trying to take it extra easy since then but it has been really hard with Margaret.

I have an OB appointment this morning at 10:25am and he is going to do fetal fibronectin testing on me.

Hoping for that negative test result!!! If it is positive, I'm pretty sure I will get admitted today for the steroid shots. But now I'm not so sure. The doctor might change his mind again... grr.

On a cute note, Margaret was watching Sesame Street Wednesday morning and when The Count came on, she started squealing and laughing. She then scooted over to her bat costume and brought me the bat hat to put on her. I could die from the cute.

Well, I'm off. Wish me luck!!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trick or Treat?

Last night David took Margaret to a few houses in our neighborhood for trick or treat. She LOVED it and when he brought her home and took off her costume, she kept scooting to the door to go again. She is an incredibly social little thing... add that to loving to go outside and you have a baby who loves to trick or treat.

She thought carving the pumpkin was just fascinating too! As David was carving, Margaret sat mystified. Then she helped him "clean" off the jack-o-lantern lid. I can't believe she even touched it.

So some pictures (click on for a bigger view):

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hospital time?

Tomorrow is my next Peri appointment and I'm taking all of my hospital stuff with me. I was hoping to put off my admission into the hospital until Friday so that I could help David with Margaret's 15 month appointment on Thursday. But as it is now, I'm not getting as much down time during the day as I feel I need. I can tell because I get crampy at the end of the day. I've also been having a lot more contractions.

So, depending on my measurement I may go ahead and check into the hospital tomorrow afternoon. I'm expecting that I will be right around 1.0cm. Ugh. Only a little over 3 weeks until I reach the magic 28. Seems so far away.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Viability and other News!

Today I am officially 24 weeks pregnant and the baby is now considered viable... or able to live outside the womb. Though, if he were born now, his chances still aren't great and the risk of long-term problems is very high. Our next big milestone is 28 weeks when the survival statistics are much better and long-term problems are less likely. I am counting every day as a milestone, though, because at this stage of pregnancy, every day the baby is inside increases his survival odds by 3%. This is a crucial time.

That being said, I had another appointment with my perinatologist yesterday. My cervix continues to shorten and funnel more despite my strict bedrest at home. The length of my cervix is now 1.6-1.7 cm down from 2.6 two weeks ago. The doc gave me the option of going into the hospital yesterday but I declined after listening to his reasoning for waiting. I plan to go in next week if I am offered that option again... and I will be.

I did not receive my steroid shots this week because the doctor does not feel as though delivery is immanent. And he says the longer you wait to get the shots, they better they tend to work. So we will see how things look next week and make a decision from there. Based on the change seen in my cervix since my last appointment, the doctor says he estimates my delivery to be around 28 weeks. Not terrible but certainly not what I had hoped for. I'm still praying for 32.

So that's my news and I will now resume doing a whole lot of nothing....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Today I want to be happy

So the bad news will wait until tomorrow.

Today is my baby girl's first due date birthday!! She officially one year adjusted age and her Mama's pride and joy.

I can't believe how fast time has passed and how big she has gotten.

Here is a year ago:
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And now:
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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Arrangements that I Hate

Yesterday and today I have been making arrangements to have all the things I normally do be done by someone else.

We found a daycare for Margaret. I hate that I can't go visit. I may anyway. It was recommended by one of Margaret's therapist and I really liked the director when I spoke with her on the phone. Apparently, they take a lot of former preemies and are well versed with PT, OT, feeding problems etc. I really like that.

Next is to find someone to come in a do a little cleaning each week. We don't need much. Just a load or two of laundry, vacuuming, mopping, bathrooms, dusting every so often. I am blessed with a husband who likes to vacuum, cook, and do laundry. It will certainly be nice when I can do these things again, though.

I really miss cooking. I want my Thai coconut chicken so badly but no one makes it like me except one little hole in the wall place in San Luis Obispo, Cali. And I think takeout from there would be outside of our budget. I might try take out from our local place just to tide me over.

David brought home a pumpkin from the grocery store the other night and as soon as he showed it to Margaret, she squealed with absolute delight.

Of course, she first had to test it with her feet (example of hypersensitivity of her hands):
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And then she could play with her hands!
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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Story of a Sick Monkey

As many of you already know, our Margaret had to be taken to the Emergency Room on Friday night because she was throwing up too much. It started pretty normally... she "spit up" her bottle each time during the day but then about 6 pm (just in time for Daddy to get home from work), she started increasing the frequency of her vomiting. By 8 pm she was throwing up every 10-15 minutes... we started to see bile. When I tried to give her water, she drank her two ounces eagerly. And then she threw it up. That was when I decided to take her to the ER. I was pretty sure she was not yet dehydrated but I didn't want to wait until she was... hoping to avoid having her admitted overnight.

By the time we got to the hospital, she was throwing up every five minutes and it was bright green. Poor baby was flirting with the nurses and doctors in her precious moments between vomiting. I could tell she felt awful.

She started getting IV fluids and Zofran at about 10:45pm and we were released at 1am when all her bloodwork came back that she was not dehydrated. It was scary and heart wrenching.

The next day she got a fever and the diarrhea began. Poor baby still isn't herself. Her eating has suffered greatly and she has lost TWO POUNDS. This really worries me because a) she didn't have much to spare and b) she has her 15 month pediatrician appointment soon. I'm afraid of her "falling off her curve" because of this episode.

Yeah, and forward facing? No time soon!

Here are some pics from Margaret's first ER trip. (silly Mommy)

Sick Baby
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So Sleepy
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Mommy forgot to bring my blankie... but found an ER one!
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Baby IVs are no fun.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Milestone of Sorts

Well, I made it. 22w6d. Officially the longest I've been pregnant with my amniotic sac still intact. Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life. But I made it. Now, I can focus on 24w- viability. Eight more long days.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Good News

I passed my 3 hour glucose tolerance test. I can't believe it. I have never passed it pregnant or not until now.

When the nurse told me, you could have knocked me over with a feather!

So now, baby is measuring so big because he is just that... a big boy! (est. 1 pound 6 ounces at 21w6d)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Video testing

Let's see if this works...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Little Girl, Growing Up

Last night when David was getting Margaret ready for bed, I came in for just a second to comb her hair a little. After a few strokes, she grabbed the comb from me and attempted to comb her own hair. I nearly fell over it was so cute.

We have also started a little pediasure in her bottle for extra calories. Even when I add just an ounce to her 8 ounce bottle, it still makes it so sweet and vanilla-y. The first time I put some in Margaret's bottle, she started drinking it and promptly rolled her eyes into the back of her head while keeping them half open. She drank her entire bottle this way... looked like she was in pure ecstasy. I haven't seen that expression since her last bottle of breastmilk.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Not Good

My peri appointment was rather disappointing and scary. He called my cervix shortened and recommended bedrest. My length now is 2.6 and my funneling has increased. He said at 24 weeks they will likely send me to the hospital for Celestone injections but will not put me on hospital bedrest until I get to 1.0.

He said his goal for this baby is 30 weeks. I'm so sad. I never wanted to see the inside of that NICU again.

My next appointment is in two weeks. This is going to be a long two weeks.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Eight days

I need a distraction. Things are pretty rough with me right now. I am 21w4d pregnant today and in eight long days, I will reach 22w5d. The point at which my water broke when I was pregnant with Margaret. I can't seem to get it all out of my head. Every day is taking forever because I keep going over what happened last time and worrying about the next couple of weeks.

I want to take it easy but that just makes it worse. I'm the type of person who likes to do things with my nervous energy. Just sitting around is making the days last too long.

And playing with Margaret (even though it is my favorite thing to do) is just a constant reminder of how my body failed her and may fail this baby too.

In trying to get some encouragement from my peri, I asked him when pPROM generally re-occur with subsequent pregnancies. I was hoping he would say, "usually earlier" so that I could at least feel some comfort in the upcoming weeks. But he said that usually they happen around the same time. No help there. Then he laughed and said he couldn't tell me that I was safe yet.

My next cervix check is on Wednesday afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I wish I could just wake up tomorrow and be 24 weeks. But we all know that won't happen. So instead, I'll just sit here and wish my days away.

Friday, October 06, 2006

How being a cheater hurts...

I have a terrible case of tendonitis in both thumbs. Not to mention the raging carpal tunnel I've had for years... But right now the right thumb is making it so hard to function. I have to grit my teeth when I pick up Margaret. I wear wrist braces at night and have to wrap my thumb so that it is also immobile. Still, I wake up frequently at night with dead hands and searing pain in my wrist. This is only supposed to get worse with pregnancy.

What can I take? Nothing, really. I take Tylenol but it does nothing at all. I can't take any anti-inflammatory meds during pregnancy. I wear my braces as much as I can.

What I can do: I can go to my orthopedist and get steroid injections in my wrists and thumbs. Why don't I, you ask? The reason is this: the drug they use for the injections is Celestone- the same drug they injected me with to mature Margaret's lungs when we were in the hospital. So, I'm trying to wait until I reach 24 weeks and the injections that I receive may serve a double duty. Maybe. If there is even the slightest chance it can help this new baby, then I'm going to wait it out. Only two weeks and six days.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Real Food

Finally, I am craving real food, not junk. Lately all I can think about is salad or meat or fruit. Feels so good to eat well again. I'm still eating some starches because they are easy but what I really want is yummy fresh veggies and fruit. Perfect timing, too, as I am getting my first glucose tolerance test on Friday. I'm sure I'll fail it. I don't think I have ever passed- pregnant or not. They are going to try an oral medication (different that the one I was on before) and see if that helps me before going to insulin. I'd really like to have as few needles in my life as possible.

Speaking of! Tomorrow is my second P17 shot. David will be giving me this one... I'll let you know how it goes. I'm sure we will do fine.

Margaret's other eye tooth STILL hasn't broken through. This time she isn't taking it too well. She will not eat (bottle) unless she is pumped with Tylenol or Motrin first. And solids? Forget it! She hasn't been this fussy since her UTI. This morning three solid hours of crying with tears. I felt so helpless. Since her nap she has been better and I'm hoping this tooth cuts through soon!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

20 weeks

Twenty weeks today. Usually the halfway mark, I pray that I am no more than 66% done with my pregnancy.

At my Peri appt on Tuesday, Dr. Jakel gave me a prescription for a drug called P17 or hydroxyprogesterone. I will receive it by injection once a week... and I had my first injection this morning. Yow. My hip still hurts. The fun part is that David is going to have to give them to me. I was thinking that I could do it myself but the needle is just too long to do in my thigh. We will manage.

Margaret is doing something lately that I just have to mention. She is absolutely and completely obsessed with clocks- to the point that she can't eat if there is a clock in the room. She squeals with delight and grabs at my shirt while trying to launch herself out of my arms when she sees one. Her eyes get as round as saucers. I have no idea where this came from. It is the cutest!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mixed Bag... Hmmm...

Perinatologist appt today was okay, I guess. A little scary, to be totally honest. Although my cervical length was still a good 3.4 cm, it was a funnelled internally. So I'm a little nervous. The doc said that since my length was still so long he wasn't too worried about it. Still.... I worry.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Make it five... almost six

Yep! One of Margaret's eye teeth popped through today and it is looking like the other will come through tomorrow. She has been a good baby other than the sleeplessness. Thank goodness. Mommy is tired.

I bought the new baby its first outfit this past weekend. It was not a preemie size or even a newborn size. I chose the 0-3.... living in everlasting optimism. I think all will be fine!

Monday, September 18, 2006


My Mom left this morning after a much too short visit... they are always too short. I am comforted to know that when (if) we move, I will be able to see her much more often.

Unfortunately, Margaret had a couple of bad (sleepless, crying) nights while Mom was here. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what was going on with her until her second diaper change this morning. When I was eating her belly, I looked into her mouth and can see that her canine teeth (both of them) are trying to move in. Poor baby! Tonight I will give her some Motrin and I hope that will help her sleep some. (I am secretly happy that she seems to be getting both at the same time rather than individually...)

She may be getting bottom teeth, too. It is so hard to get a good look with a baby that is tactile defensive about her mouth.

Baby in utero has been kicking up a storm. I'm not sure if he is more active than Margaret or if I just know what to "feel" for. I'll be closing in on 20 weeks soon. I can't believe it is going so fast.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Laughed at by a stranger

Cashier at Target: (pointing to Margaret) Is that your baby?
Me: Yes.
Cashier: (glancing at David, Margaret, and then my belly) And you are pregnant again?
Me: Yes.
Cashier: (laughing with raised eyebrows) Congratulations!
Me: Thank you!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Do you want to know?

It's a
work for it

Monday, September 11, 2006


It is looking more and more likely that our family will be moving soon. David has been interviewing with several companies and has gotten two very, very good offers that would involve moving. These also involve a career change that would have him spending 2-4 nights away from us every week. And although it would be nice to move away from here and closer to our families, I have some pretty big concerns.

#1 Margaret (of course)
Right now we have an understanding pediatrician. She has never made any comments about Margaret's weight even though she is less than 3% weight to height and technically "Failure to Thrive". I don't agree with the FTT diagnosis for most babies, especially preemies. And I'm afraid that it will be hard to find a pediatrician that feels the same way. I really worry about getting into a situation that a doctor makes me feel like I have to force feed Margaret again because she is thin for her height according to the ridiculous American growth charts. I guess if worse comes to worse, we will just have to visit lots of pediatricians to find one who has the same philosophies as I do about Margaret's weight.

#2 This New Monkey
I really worry about changing Perinatologist care in the middle of my pregnancy. The (much bigger) city we will be moving to will have plenty of top notch medical care for myself and any potential preemie... I guess I just get stuck in my ways. Luckily, my current Peri did his residency at a medical university in the new city and I'm sure will have plenty of references for me if we move. I really hate to leave his care, though. You all know how much I like him.

#3 Stress on my Husband and Marriage
I know that David will miss Margaret accutely when he has to spend time away from home. I hope it isn't too much for him. And although he is the best husband I could have ever dreamed of, I worry about the strain on our marriage because of spending so much time away from me. I love my family so much... there is nothing worth risking that.

#4 Stress of Moving on Me
I won't go into details... just the normal worries for someone who is pregnant for the first time after having a preemie.

I just hope that everything turns out fine...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Knock, Knock, Knock

So far this pregnancy, other than the morning sickness, the baby has not let itself be known at all. If I wasn't getting decidedly rounder and clumsier, there would be not much to hint that I am pregnant.

Until last night. After Margaret had gone to bed, David and I were sitting on the sofa when our new little one decided to give me a tiny kick. Just one- a tap hello, really. But it made me smile and made this pregnancy much more "real".

So, "hello" everyone! From our new little Monkey.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Paranoia Justified

Well, Margaret has her first cold. I'm convinced she got it at the doctor's office... more specifically, from the hand-in-mouth incident.

Nothing to worry about with the cold thus far. She has a runny nose (clear), low-grade fever, head congestion, and extreme fussiness. Right now I'm just trying to keep her comfortable and hydrated.

Hopefully, my baby will feel better soon. (and will sleep!!)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Communicating with Whales

Margaret has discovered her loud highest pitch possible screech. She likes to scoot into the hall where she gets a good echo to practice. I swear my ears are going to fall off. Hopefully this new found "talent" is short lived.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Yesterday, Margaret had an unscheduled trip to the pediatrician. She had a pussy (is that right?!?!? LOL) inflamed area on her left heel that I wanted the doc to check out. The doctor lanced it and is going to do cultures. In the meantime, it is being treated as a staph infection. Yuck.

And unfortunately, the antibiotic that Margaret has been given is a sulfa. We have been avoiding those since her Daddy is allergic to them and that allergy is known to be inherited. I just gave her a dose and I am watching her like a hawk! I even got dressed and completely ready to leave the house before I gave it to her... just in case. I'm a bundle of nerves.

Also while at the Pediatrician's office yesterday, I asked about RSV season. Yes, it has already started here. So I got the ball rolling to attempt to get Margaret approved for another year of Synagis shots. I'm not sure we will qualify since she has been so healthy but I have to try.

Then when we were leaving the office, a small child ran up to us, grabbed Margaret's hand and put it in her (the child's) mouth. I just stood there in shock. Now I'm super paranoid. This was easily more traumatic than all the holding down and lancing that went on in the doctor's office. That's a preemie Mom reaction for you.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is it possible to eat too many pickles? I'm up to 1/2 jar a day. I feel like such a cliche!

Another Appointment

Third Peri appointment this morning. I saw Dr. Steadman again and I think they are trying to keep me with him for the duration. Which is fine with me, you know he is my favorite.

First, I am gaining well! Yay! BUT my blood pressure was rather high for me... 129/95 yikes! I'm hoping it is just that I was so nervous about my appointment. They didn't seem worried about it since I haven't had any headaches, swelling, blurred vision, etc. I have a blood pressure cuff here so I can check if I start to get nervous.

My cervix is still closed and long- a little longer than last time at 3.8 cm. Dr. S said that the pressure I felt last weeek was probably normal and not to worry about it.

The baby is measuring about a week ahead which is more in line with my thoughts about when my due date should be. All anatomy looked good.

Gender... well, the baby was being shy. The doc couldn't see anything. The u/s tech said she thought she could tell but the umbilical cord was getting in the way. So she was 60% sure... only 10% more than the normal 50/50. Not such good odds. So, I don't know if I should write here what she thinks she saw or not. So I guess I won't. Dr. S said at my next appointment he will be able to tell with certainty. I'm still not going to be painting anything pink or blue!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Four teeth, finally!

Looks like we are on the monthly plan for teeth. Margaret popped her fourth tooth today- the top left center one. She has been grumpy and drooly and sleepless for the past three weeks... about as long as she has had the hard white bump on her gum. At this rate, we have 16 more hard months ahead. Maybe she'll start getting them in pairs at some point!

I'm interested to see how her look will change with these top teeth.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Baby Radar and Finding Food

Margaret has developed some sort of baby radar which directs her to the most dangerous item in the room. I have to remain ever vigilant or I find her playing with (eating) electrical plugs, small plastic items, dead bugs. And I think I have gotten rid of everything dangerous! Somehow she can find things invisible to me. Today she is intent on pulling down the mini-blinds and curtains in the living room/play room. They need to come down in preparation for painting the room anyway. So I'm appreciating the help.

Also, a couple of days ago I caught Margaret on the floor chewing on the remains of a plum I had put on the coffee table wrapped in a napkin until my next trip to the kitchen. She was covered with drool and complained bitterly when I took it from her. This got me thinking. She always eats whatever she finds on the floor... tiny parts of leaves, tiny pieces of paper, etc. My baby who CRIES when she sees a spoon coming toward her will gladly eat anything she finds on the floor.

So I set up a "trap". I placed a plum that I had partially skinned on the floor where I knew she would find it. And find it, she did. Upon finding her treasure, she began gnawing it and carried it around with her for half an hour- eating it off and on. Am I going have to feed this baby by letting her find all her food? I hope not.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

A very sad day

This morning an online friend's baby, Collene, passed away. She had been in the hospital since her premature birth in December. I'm absolutely crushed by the news. It is so unfair that she had to leave her Mommy after fighting so hard.

You will be missed, sweet Collene.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Second Peri Appt

Monday I had my second Peri appointment. As you can probably guess, it was uneventful (else I would have already updated).

This time I got to see Dr. Steadman. In Margaret's birthday story, he is the one who told me that I had carried a baby with no chance of survival through the worst odds to a point that she had a pretty good chance... made me cry those happy tears. I really, really like him. And not just because of that incident. He was also the doctor who gave me my first u/s after my rupture. And unlike the OB who admitted me, he was far less pessimistic about the potential outcome of my pregnancy. At the time, his words were like a life-preserver.

I had a very lengthy u/s- both transvaginal and abdominal. Baby looks good: strong heartbeat, saw arms and legs, kicking and doing flips. During the u/s the tech and doc both mentioned that I have an abnormally shaped uterus. Dr. Steadman said it isn't so abnormal as to cause problems and "we" aren't going to worry about it.

My cervix looks good. Measured 3.6 cm and is closed. Totally normal.

During our chat while he did the u/s he said that my course of treatment was based on the assumption that I am going to rupture again this time. They are going to watch me very closely and he said I can start to exhale at about 28 weeks. Then he went on to say that he thinks I ruptured last time as a result of my amnio. I can't tell you what a huge relief it was to hear that. I have been waiting so long to hear that something, anything was the cause of my rupture. I can't describe the weight lifted from my shoulders. (even though I'm not sure I'm convinced)

Friday, August 11, 2006

As soon as I posted yesterday, Margaret started clapping for the first time. She loves her new skill and will clap while grinning at me.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Skills explosion

Margaret still remains delayed in her gross motor skill and speech but we have had a period of advancement the past week or so.

Gross motor wise, she is still doing the same things... butt scooting, not much rolling, can't get from laying on the floor to sitting. She is certainly getting faster with the scooting. I asked her PT if she would crawl and she said it is unlikely now that she has learned to get around on her bottom. She has also tried to pull up a couple of times on her learning table but she is so tall that she couldn't get the right leverage. I need to find something higher for her.

Margaret has discovered that she can go to places she has never played before. Her favorite is the door leading from the den to the carport. She loves the glass storm door and the door stop. At first she loved the dead beetles but I made sure to pick them up when I saw one in her now perfect pincher grasp. The previous owners had also installed a chain lock to the door but it is down on the floor. Margaret can't get enough of that chain! I think we are going to take it off soon.

We installed a gate between the den and the hall but are using toys and other items to block the wide doorway between the den and the kitchen. We have a huge gate for that doorway, too, but since we will be painting the den soon, we are not going to install it quite yet.

Margaret's fine motor skills and social skills are the ones that have really shown big leaps in the past week. She now will hand you something! I think it is the cutest thing ever when she is playing with a toy and decides to hand it to me. She has also taken to trying to share her favorite things with me. Frequently as she is sucking on her blankie (it gets totally wet and yucky), she will try to put the corner she has been working on in my mouth. It is so sweet yet so gross. And she likes to grab her bottle and try to feed me with it. She looks so proud of herself when she is doing that. It just melts my heart.

Eating. This is still an extreme struggle. The last time we saw her ST, she told me that at this point it doesn't matter what she eats, she just needs to do it. So we have been giving Margaret things I would have never even considered before all these problems... The "I'll never" foods. So far, she will take a couple of bites off of a french fry. She will try to get Spaghetti-Os in her mouth but hasn't quite figured out how to handle them. She ate three peas (which I was so happy about). She put a small sliver of turkey deli meat in her mouth. So these are improvements but we are still struggling. I just keep hoping that she has some sort of breakthrough. Formula is getting very, very expensive at her rate of consumption.

And we think (maybe) she said her first word (besides Mama and Dada, of course)... maybe. I'm not convinced and will need more evidence. We have a print of a black cat on our den wall. Saturday I was holding Margaret on my lap and she was whispering things, which she does when she practices new sounds. Then I heard it- a whisper. Cat. I looked down at her and she was looking up at the print. I said, "cat." She started grinning and repeated it, again a whisper, "cat". I said it again and she was so delighted! That same night, she had a very hard time sleeping (teething). One particular time, she was fussing so I picked her up for some cuddling. When I put her in the cradle hold, she looked up at me smiled her biggest grin and whispered "cat". The continued on to say OOOooooooo. So I'm waiting for her to actually say cat about our real cat. Then I'll know it is real.

We are finally getting to remodeling this house! For those that don't know, we closed on our house three days before Margaret was born. So between spending so much time at the NICU and having a new baby at home, we haven't been able to get around to any of the plans we made when we first made the offer on the house (the weekend before I went into the hospital). No more living with panelling, terrible wallpaper, outdated paint! I have big plans but will be happy just to get rid of the 1970's panelling and kitchen wallpaper. And, no, I'm not going to overdo it! ;)

I'm feeling better lately! Hooray! Next Monday is my second peri appointment. They are going to measure my cervix. A new thing for me. I'll let you all know how it goes. They may even be able to take a stab at the baby's gender. We'll see.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Catching up!

This morning we took Margaret for her 1 year well baby checkup. And, my, she has grown! It is incredible how much change there has been in the past 3 months! The first thing the doctor said when she walked into the room was "we've gotten tall and skinny! All baby fat is gone!" (as if there really ever was any) But I agree Margaret looks like a little kid now, not a baby.

Her nude weight was 18 pounds 10 ounces (!!!). I nearly fell over. She has been stuck at 16.5 - 17 pounds for so long, I thought for sure she was a max of 17.5! As a matter of fact, the last time we took her to the doc, about a month ago, she was 17 pounds 4 ounces fully dressed. She is now on her actual age chart at about 18%!

Her head seems to have caught up and is remaining at about 50% for her actual age.

But her height is now an amazing 75% for her actual age. She was just shy of 30"! So now it is official, she is very tall! I went to check her according to her adjusted age chart, she is well above 95%. My tall baby. I guess she takes after her Mommy.

My Mom told me that at one year, I was 33 inches! When I charted that on the growth chart, no kidding, it is half an inch above the 95% line. So, I guess Margaret is like me in some ways!

Margaret did have to get a couple of shots at the doctor but I was smart enough to bring her blankie this time. She was much easier to console after she was given the blankie. Poor thing, I thought she was going to go to sleep cuddling it on my shoulder... She took a short nap when we got home then drank a bottle. Now she is sitting next to me on the sofa and seems to be just fine.

A big day. And we are looking forward to a visit from Grandie and Granddaddy this weekend. (Maybe I can get a nap- HA!)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

One year ago today...

A year ago today my day had started just like the 34 days before it. 6:30am blood pressure check and temp check. Everything was fine so I dozed a bit until breakfast and rounds.

Maternal Fetal Medicine was first. Dr. Jakel, the doctor who performed my amnio came by while David was in the bathroom getting ready for work. How am I doing? Fine. Still leaking clear fluid? Yes. Crampy? No. ... pressing on my uterus... Does this hurt? No. Okay! Well, see you tomorrow!

7:30 Breakfast. The same thing as every morning. Two eggs, scrambled. Yogurt, this morning strawberry. Grits with butter. One piece of bacon. Decaf coffee. Orange juice.

My OB came by as I was eating. How am I feeling? Fine. Still leaking clear fluid? Yes. Any soreness? No. ...pressing on my uterus... Any tenderness? No. Any questions? Yes. (and I asked a bunch of questions about labor and delivery that I don't remember too clearly)

I finished my breakfast, kissed my husband goodbye, and settled in for another day of trying to pass time with TV, internet, crosswords, magazines, eating the pounds of food they brought me. I had just started to let myself breath again. I was so close to 28 weeks that I started to feel more comfortable thinking about my baby's chances at survival and life outside of the antepartum unit.

Just the day before, one of the perinatologists had commented that I had lasted so long without any amniotic fluid was nothing short of a miracle... that I had carried a baby with no chance of survival through the worst odds to a point that she had a pretty good chance. When he left my room, I cried happy, happy tears.

So I had started to feel that I could have visitors without melting into a emotional mess. That Monday my friend Andrea visited for the first time. She came after lunch, around 1 pm and stayed a couple of hours. During the middle of her visit, I started to feel very tired and agitated. I found myself wishing she would leave- totally unlike me! I usually love the gossip and drama she provides me but that day, I just wanted to rest.

Finally, when she had gone, I was feeling a little crampy but nothing too unusual- like stretching aches low on my abdomen. So I tried to take a nap on my left side but the cramps stayed. When I woke up, I tried to catch up on my water intake since I had fallen behind during my visit.

At around 6pm, my dinner was delivered. It was turkey sausages, lima beans, rice. I opened the container and felt like I was going to hurl. Strange.

Then I got up to use the bathroom. When I wiped, I thought I saw something... I wiped again and there it was, the smallest speck of discoloration. I started shaking. I made it back to my bed and called the nurse (my favorite one was working that day). When my nurse, Tina, came to my room, I told her about what I had seen in the bathroom. She asked if I had saved it for her but of course I hadn't. Tina took my temperature. Slightly elevated at 99.0. Next time, she said, save it.

About fifteen minutes later, I leaked some fluid and got up to check my bed pad. It was no longer clear fluid. I went to the bathroom again. When I wiped again, there was a larger amount of the stuff I had seen before. I saved it and called Tina. It was now shift change. Tina came to my room and I showed her what was on my bed pad and what I had from the bathroom. She took my temp again. It was 100.4. I asked her if I was infected, she replied that it was time for me to have a baby and that she was sending me to labor and delivery.

I asked if we could wait til my husband got there first. Tina asked how long it would take. Then I made the call I had been dreading. It wasn't the call that you see in the movies of the pregnant woman excitedly calling her husband to tell him "It's time!" I was crying in fear. I told David that he needed to come to the hospital, I was infected and they were taking me to L&D.

This is where things start to get a little fuzzy. I have no idea how long it took David to get to the hospital. Probably ten minutes but it felt like forever. I remember him walking into the room and I could see the look of terror in his eyes. Because I had not allowed anyone to tell me statistics or much information about infection or PROM, I had no idea how dangerous this was not only for the baby, but also for me. David knew. And when I saw his face, I knew too.

Tina brought the wheelchair and they took me to a room in L&D. By this time I was having contractions... they were about 3-4 minutes apart. The nurse checked me when I arrived and said I was 100% effaced and a fingertip dilated. (and I had only felt mild contractions for about an hour) I was given an IV and a liter of fluids followed by two antibiotics. My temp had reached 101.

8:00 pm An internal exam revealed I dilated to 4 cm. I had not been in much pain at all.

8:30 pm Epidural time. I was not in much pain but opted for the epidural because I didn't know what to expect. I was then hooked up to the pitocin and they tried to speed me up. I started to have more frequent contractions and it seemed as if the epidural was not working. I could still feel everything that I could feel before. I tried to time the contractions but I am apparently really bad at that because I could never follow through. Best I could estimate was about 1 minute apart.

Margaret's heart rate kept decelerating on the monitor and it really freaked both David and me out. At one point, he went to go get a nurse and she told him that she was monitoring from the nurses station and that everything was okay. They had called the anesthesiologist to up my epidural medication, though, because I was maxed out and still able to move my legs.

At around 9:45 pm, I started feeling like I needed to push. So I called the nurse. She told me NOT to push because they had to move me to a surgery L&D room since Margaret was going to need special care. It took them FOREVER to get that room ready... well it seemed like it anyway.

Finally they moved me to the new room and I immediately asked if I could push.... no, not yet! Not pushing is torture. Buddy, my new anesthesiologist, asked if I was still hurting and I told him I was. He asked me if I wanted something in my IV for the pain. I did and I finally started to feel less pain. My fever was approaching 103.

At 10:15, it was time to push. I pushed the first time and the nurse said I was doing it wrong, that I need to hold my breath. (never got to take those birthing classes) Second push, I held my breath and urinated on the doctor. Haha. Third push, Margaret was coming out. They let her head come out and then told me not to push anymore. It was very important to clear her airways of possible infection from my uterus before she took her first breath. Finally, I was told to push again and Margaret was born. It was 10:38 pm.

She cried the tiniest cry I had ever heard. The next thing I heard was that she was two pounds and fifteen ounces. Very big for her gestational age. My exact reply was, "Rock on!" My excuse is that Buddy had given me some other medicine when the doc started peeling my placenta from my uterus and I was really out of it.

I asked if I could see Margaret and they told me that I had to wait. David, though, had gone back to see her. Finally, the neonatologist said I could be brought to the back and they took me around to see her. Her head was the smallest I had ever seen and she had a mop of dark wavy hair. Someone asked if I wanted to touch her and I asked "Can I?" I felt almost like an intruder in the room with the doctors and nurses and her being bagged. But I touched the hair on her head and told her hello. I felt totally lost.

I had no idea what the future would hold. Did I give my sweet baby my infection? Would she be okay? Would she be OKAY?!

Fast forward one very hard year later. She is beautiful and smart and the love of my life. She is better than okay.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Mobile Baby

We have a mobile baby!

Margaret started scooting this past weekend. She has been spinning in circles for a little while and moving forward an inch at a time by doing that. But now she can move forward without going in circles and, more importantly, she KNOWS that she is moving. And she does it with purpose to get things that she shouldn't play with. (keep in mind this is all done on her bottom...)

Cords. She loves cords. She loves getting our CD books (the big black ones) and pulling out the CDs to chew on (Daddy had a fit). She loves handles on our drawers and cabinets. It is only a matter of time before she figures out how to open them. We need to baby proof.

I can't believe she is going to be one tomorrow. She is such a big girl now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Weight issues (mine)

One thing that happened during my last pregnancy is that I gained very little weight during the first trimester and then for a month after that, I gained in a normal or little higher than normal way. Then around 17-18 weeks, I started to lose weight. I wasn’t very concerned about it because, frankly, I had an extra 10 or so I carried around with me.

Much to my surprise, when my water broke at 22 weeks and I was admitted into the hospital, I was back to my weight at my first ob appointment when I was only 6 weeks along. Over the next week in the hospital, I was given a standard calorie diet based on my weight and the amount I should have been gaining. It was 2000 calories, I think. When I complained to my ob after a week, that I was still hungry with that amount of food, they weighed me. I had lost four pounds in that week. So they kept upping my calories and weighing me.

Finally, I started slowly gaining on 2800 calories a day on complete bedrest. And since I was on a diabetic diet (even though I was NOT diabetic and could get no one to listen to me even though my sugars were ALWAYS normal), these calories had to be from foods that were low fat, low sugar. Imagine it. 2800 calories of baked chicken or fish, salad with fat free dressing, green beans, fruit, etc- nothing calorie dense at all. It was an enormous amount of food. I stuffed myself and was in pain most of the time because I was so concerned about my baby gaining well.

And she did. Margaret was hefty for her gestational age. A big 2 pounds and 15 ounces at 27w6d. The doctors told me that sometimes babies start to develop more rapidly when under extreme stress such as no amniotic fluid. This seemed to be the case with Margaret. I assumed this was the cause for my extreme caloric needs in the hospital.

So since then, I haven’t thought much about my weight issues while pregnant. Until this morning at the OB. At my weigh in, I had lost 2 pounds since my last appointment four weeks ago. The baby is measuring three days ahead of their last estimate, so I know the new monkey is doing fine. Two pounds isn’t much but I can’t help but worry. Why am I losing weight again? I’m eating more than I usually do… a lot more. Do I have some kind of crazy pregnancy metabolism? Did the amount of calories I needed during my last pregnancy really have to do with Margaret’s accelerated development? Or do I need to have my Endo do a workup on me? Luckily I don’t have to wait very long for my next appointment. If I continue to lose weight then, I’ll grill my doctors. Time for more cheese, I guess…

And then there were three

Margaret finally popped that third tooth. It is her top right tooth and I can barely see a corner of it when she looks at the ceiling (still doesn't allow fingers in there). I knew it was there because she is into grinding the little corner against her bottom teeth. Shiver...

She teethes so sloooowly. Her bottom two teeth popped through about two months ago and they are still not quite half way up. We are just now starting to be able to see them when she smiles at us.

Second OB appt this morning was uneventful. He asked how the Peri appt went and I told him about their treatment plan. He didn't seem offended at all. Also, I'm going to see their pg couselor... seems as though I am a *little* anxious about this pregnancy. Or maybe I'm just nuts. Heehee!

Monday, July 24, 2006

First Peri Appt

So, I am so glad that I didn't listen to my apparently stupid OB and pushed to see the Perinatologist. This morning I went to my first appointment and saw Dr. Newman. He remembered me from my hospital bedrest and took the time to ask a million questions about my history and about what happened last summer with my pregnancy.

He wants to see me every other week starting in three weeks. I will receive a transvaginal ultrasound to evaluate my cervical condition. He mentioned having a cerclage but he says that if preterm labor (contractions) caused my water to break last time, a cerclage can do more harm than good. It is only an option they do for incompetent cervix. We still have some time to consider it since I am only 11w along and they place them closer to 15-16 weeks.

I am on prophylactic antibiotics for the duration of my pregnancy just in case an infection was what caused the rupture.

And lastly, the reason I'm showing so much so soon is that I have a fibroid the size of a grapefruit on my uterus. He says that it should cause no problems with the pregnancy but they will keep an eye on it.

I am very happy with the visit. And I'm relieved that someone in the medical field thinks we shouldn't just "wait and see". I want to dump my ob but won't, I guess, now that I am happy with my care somewhere else. I feel sorry for the women who don't know any better and trust his advice about pregnancy after PPROM. "The cervix and breaking of water are two unrelated things." Ugh.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Not Much New

Still plugging away here. Still feeling sick. I have a tummy- earlier than last time!

My first appt with the Perinatologist is on Monday. I'm kind of nervous. Not sure why. I have my second appt with my OB on Tuesday which is just the "give us some money" appt.

Margaret is cutting her first top tooth. She's not being too bad, just reduced appetite and problems sleeping. Otherwise, she is in a pretty good mood and is cute as ever.

She has also started shouting lately. She sits on the floor, flaps her arms up and down, and yells "BA! BA! BA!" It is so very cute.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What is wrong with me?

Out of all the healthy food we have in this house after our trip to the store on Sunday, all I want is Taco Bell nachos with guac. TACO BELL! I was so sick last night and all I wanted to eat was nachos. David was sweet to go get them for me. When I was done, I felt so much better. I don't think I have the heart to tell him that all I can think of again today is Taco Bell nachos. He has some sort of fancy pork chop dish planned for tonight.

nachos. yum.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A big week

Sorry it has been so long since my last update but I have had a very eventful, stressful, fun, and busy week.

First, my Mom has been visiting for the week to help out. It was wonderful having her here! We live WAY too far apart. Being a Mommy makes you really need your own Mommy, doesn't it? I cried this morning when I woke up and she wasn't here. And poor Margaret cried because I was crying.

Second, my birthday was on Tuesday and I enjoyed being with Mom during the day and getting to go eat with David that night. We had sushi and it was so yummy! Of course, I'm steering clear of the raw stuff but it was still so good.

Also, I really started to show early this week. So I had to tell my major professor. And she canned me. It was a tough pill to swallow but I am feeling better now. Even though my now ex-boss thinks I am going to withdraw from school, this isn't really the plan. My husband let me know that there are a couple of other professors who are interested in having me in their labs. One in particular who had this exact same thing happen to her when she was in grad school. I plan to talk to her when she gets back from her vacation. ... I'll let you know...

Also, since my firing, David has been looking into new jobs. We went out to eat with a group who has been courting him for a while. They seem nice. In many ways I like them better than most of his current academia co-workers. The drawback is that David will have to travel with the job. I'm not so sure how much he will like being away from his baby. (Although, I guess we will be able to go with him some if we want to.) There is another job that requires no travel but we don't know if it is a pay raise worth leaving his current job for. We will know on Monday, I think.

Margaret is doing well and loves, loves, loves Grandma. I can tell she is missing her today. Isn't everybody?

Friday, July 07, 2006

So sick and Margaret update

Ugh. I remember being sick with Margaret but not like this. Maybe it is because I am so tired from taking care of her all day and trying to work at night and early morning? I hope it goes away soon. I was sick into my fourth month with Margaret but maybe since I feel worse, it will be of shorter duration. Here's to hoping!

Today I got an email from an internet friend, Mom of Margaret's "boyfriend". She told me that she thinks I'm going to go far in this pregnancy- a hunch she has. Let's hope she is right. It felt so good to hear that kind of reassurance from someone! I know I'm going to do everything I can to get as far as possible.

Margaret is doing so well with her eating lately! She now will eat half a cup of oatmeal and cereal for breakfast, a whole stage 1 jar for lunch, and a little finger foods for dinner in addition to her formula. She is really starting to lengthen and slim as babies do when they grow into toddlers. I look at her old pictures and think that she looked downright chubby back then (even though she really wasn't). Now her cheeks are starting to decrease in size and any hint of chub is gone.

She has also started to scoot on her bottom. All along her PT has said she thought Margaret would be a scooter rather than a crawler because of her low tone in her arms. It seems that this has started to happen. Now she likes to rotate around on her bottom and has started to try to scoot forward. It is very cute but I still wish she would crawl. Now during "tummy time" she just lays there and takes a rest. Sometimes she will push up on her arms but mostly she will either roll over or just have some quiet time. At times I thought she was just going to fall asleep.

The baby calls!

Monday, July 03, 2006


David did a trial run of a recipe he is going to cook... a panko crusted fried goat cheese over spinach and tomatoes. Now I can't stop thinking about the cheese. Yummy, yummy fried goat cheese. My first real craving.

Maternal Fetal Medicine

Yay! I got an appt with Maternal Fetal Medicine. Not exactly the Dr. I wanted but now that I've got the initial appt, it should be no problem to change to the doctor I want to see.

What a weight off my shoulders!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I went to my ultrasound on Friday and found out that according to their measurements, I am 7w1d along. This puts my due date on Feb 15, 2007. BUT I have good reason to believe that this date is off by a week, so I am considering my due date Feb 8 until I have another ultrasound where they do more measurements (the tech only did one).

My cervix was long and closed and the baby's heartrate was 169! High, just like a the wives tales say a girl's is supposed to be.

Tomorrow I start making the big push to see a perinatologist. If my OB does not cooperate, I will find a new OB. A person I met online who has a similar history to mine is already on modified bedrest until they can place her cerclage. This is all through her OB. I don't think I need to go to that extreme yet, but I do feel like this pregnancy should be treated as high risk. Not just "wait and see" as my OB put it.

Morning (all day) sickness is kicking me. It is so much harder with a little one to take care of. I can't just go writhe in bed like I want to. Thank goodness I have such a wonderful husband who has been cooking and taking Margaret when I need him to... I don't know what I'd do without him.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mixed Day

Today has been a strange one.

First let me say "Happy Birthday" to my Mother, Grandma. She has been such a wonderful shoulder to lean on this past incredibly hard year. Thank you, Mama.

So one year ago today my water broke when I was 22w6d pregnant with Margaret. It was the worst day in my entire life, without a doubt. When I was admitted into the hospital, the doctor told me that my pregnancy was "non-viable", a word I wish I never knew. He continued on to say that I would lose the baby probably within the next 24 hours or certainly within the next week. Luckily that did not happen. The last time I saw that doctor, Dr. Andrews, he was making rounds on me in the hospital almost five weeks later. He came into my room, sat down on my little sofa, and told me that what I had done was nothing short of a miracle... I had carried a baby who basically had no chance of survival through the worst odds into a situation where her chances were pretty good. Shortly after that visit, I delivered Margaret.

I think about that night my water broke everyday. I can't believe how unlucky we were and then, on the flip side, how lucky I was to not deliver that first week.

As a reward for such a terrible experience, I am now the Mommy to the most wonderful little girl in the world, Margaret. She was named after my Mommy, the most wonderful Mommy in the world.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Nothing New

The doctor's appointment was pretty uneventful. I go back on Friday for an ultrasound to get an approximate due date. The doctor agrees that I am probably around 8-10 weeks along. So I will know more then.

I was kind of annoyed with how nonchalant he was with the fact that I am pregnant again.... He acted like there is nothing they can to do to prevent my water breaking early again if that is what is going to happen. I happen to disagree. Strongly disagree. At least he is going to send me to Maternal Fetal Medicine. I am going to talk with the doctors there to get a better understanding of what can be done. They are, after all, the ones that told me that my water breaking was probably due to a cervical problem.

Again, I will update as I get more info on Friday.

On a different note, Ms. Margaret is being a little angel. Poor thing has had some constipation issues but still continues to be such a happy little baby. I told her that she is going to be a big sister. She didn't seem to have any feelings about it one way or the other.

I may have to change her diaper brand because the Pampers are scented. Scents not so good right now.

Monday, June 26, 2006

First Appointment

We have our first OB appointment tomorrow morning at 8 am. I am hoping that they will date the pregnancy so that I will know an approximate due date. David pointed out to me this morning that I am showing. I just thought that was left-over baby weight... he says not.

I'm feeling a little better today (knock on wood) so I'm hoping that the combination of medicine and peanut butter sandwiches (normally I HATE) will allow me to function normally.

Margaret has been trying to eat my face today. Teething? Isn't she always! ;)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Two Lines

I can hardly believe it. Took the test on a lark and there they were, two lines. No taking the stick to look at under multiple light sources or demanding of David, "Do you see two lines?!" No doubt about it. Two lines.

Now I have to get to the doc as soon as possible. I have no idea, really, of how far along I am. I am guessing around 10 weeks based on symptoms.

Speaking of symptoms, I'm feeling awful. I don't remember feeling so bad with Margaret. I actually have thrown up today. I'm worried about this because I have to present a paper at lab meeting on Wednesday morning. It won't go over well if I have to leave or, even worse, throw up in the actual meeting. I'm hoping the doc can phone me in a script even if he can't see me until after Wednesday.

I'll update when I get appointments.