Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye my angel....

John Matthew,

There are no words to tell you how much I love you and how much my heart aches to hold you right now. I have loved the thought of you for years and in the last months, the intimacy you and I have shared is now priceless to me.

Honestly, I do not know how I even have the strength to be writing heart is broken and your daddy and I are just empty and aching. On one hand, I don't ever want to see this blog again--to be reminded of all the hope and promise we had in you.

On the other, the blessing you have been in our lives is worthy of so much more. It is because you lived, and we loved, that I write this final letter in your book.

You were a beautiful little boy. You had a head full of dark hair, your mommy's chin and your daddy's little lip and nose. Your skin was unbelievably soft and clear, and though I know every one says this about their baby, you truly were beautiful.

You were happy and healthy right up to the very second the doctor realized that there may have been a placental abruption...and whisked us to surgery. Doctor Shonekan was the fastest, most focused, compassionate and dedicated person I've ever seen...she had you out in 6 minutes. The miracle of all the extra staff being there and the care we received truly was indicative of God watching over us.

Your daddy was with you most every second he could be, and he held you as you took your last breaths and went on to Heaven. At first, we thought there may have been a chance you'd be fine, but resuscitating you over 5 times was simply too much for your little body. Daddy had to drive to Georgetown while you were medevaced, but hopefully you felt the literally hundreds and hundreds of people praying for you to be ok and not suffer. I felt them.

When Grandma and our dear friend Connie came back to my hospital, I knew that something had changed and it wasn't good. Daddy called and told us you were leaving us, and Bert prayed with us--over the phone to us in our room and to daddy and you as he held you in Georgetown. You were sent off to Heaven with daddy holding you, hearing the words of God and being very loved by the numerous people in my room crying for you.

And now, we are still in shock. Though you were only on this earth with us for about 8 hours, you have been in our hearts for years and will remain so. You, our beautiful first-born may never read these words I've been writing for you, but still I hope you know how much you have been loved and how many people have been touched by the miracle of you.

I don't know what the future holds...for this blog, for our plans, for anything. I do know that your daddy and I are forever changed and cannot imagine any privilege better than being your parents. I remember very vividly promising you to God....thanking Him for the miracle of you and promising that you were His and I'd do all I could to commit you to Him. I never dreamed that would mean giving you back to Him just a few short hours after your birth. Even still, you will always remain our beautiful baby boy; our first-born son and dream-come-true. And we will always remain your loving mommy and daddy.

Goodbye, my sweet little boy. Words cannot describe how much your daddy and I love you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Guess What? They want you to come out!!!

Well, I just got a phone call from the hospital. They want to know if I was interested in coming in 48 hours early to start the induction. Really???? Apparently the next few days are going to be busy, and while they would be glad to have me still come in on Monday, Dr. Shonekan was looking at folders and pulled a few she thought might be interested in coming in, while I of course am shaking a little bit from the reality and anxiety of it all, John is all, "Let's do it!"

So, do it I guess we will. We go in tonight at 7 pm. They'll do the cervidil treatment, let me 'sleep' through the night (ha ha, I've heard the cramping doesn't lend itself to that much, but nice thoughts....) and start the Pitocin tomorrow. With any luck then, he'll be born November 28th or 29th.

Well, Matthew....guess we'll be meeting you soon! Can't wait!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

How very, very disappointed in myself I am. I just tried to look back at this time last year so I could compare Thanksgiving Days and I didn't blog!!!! I was visiting with my sister, so I may not have had as easy access to the computer, but still.....the posts the day(s) before focused on the Pie Challenge for Kyrgyzstan (which can still be donated to and I am only $195 away....go here!) and how I was just *so* not feeling an adoption from Kyrgyzstan was going to happen and I was just so....sad. Sad children suffered and I couldn't do anything more. Sad that I *STILL* didn't have a little one to celebrate the holidays with. Sad that I was just trying to find something to not be sad about....Maybe I was just thinking I didn't have that much to be thankful for, and didn't feel like posting. This is where my disappointment is because even then, I was so blessed beyond belief and I'm angry I didn't recognize it more.

Though this is obviously an appropriate post because it is Thanksgiving Day, it is a post I could make every single day....and full of things I will try to remember more on a daily basis.
Dear Lord, I am most thankful for:
  • Your grace, mercy, faithfulness and salvation
  • My husband--he's brilliant, hard-working, an incredible father and provider
  • My precious, miraculous and stubborn little boy....I cannot wait to meet you
  • My family--regardless of current relationship status, I know I am loved
  • My friends--I am overwhelmed with people who care for me, worry about me and shower me with their attention and well-wishes
  • My sweet Dixie Belle--though she is a PISTOL, she is a pistol full of snuggles and devotion
  • My country--how I was blessed to be born here, I'll never know, but am eternally grateful for the blessing of America and her freedoms
  • My "children"--every little boy and girl for whom I have had the privilege of being a part of his or her life has touched mine so deeply...
  • People who are willing to sacrifice--whether it is for their faith, their convictions or their fellow human...realizing there is something more is so admirable
  • Loved ones that I have lost...though I miss them terribly, I'm thankful for their part in my life

There are so many things I have to be thankful for this year...even as I sit waiting for Matthew to make his debut, and am admittedly a little nervous about what labor is going be like, I am thankful that I have had the blessing of pregnancy--something I basically thought was never going to happen. Mom and I were talking last night about how different this time of year is than we thought it would be. We never in our wildest dreams imagined that we wouldn't have a little baby girl eating her first Thanksgiving dinner with us and we certainly didn't imagine that we would be waiting for a chubby-cheeked little baby boy to decide he was going to come out after all.

Again, Lord, thank you for your many, many blessings.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hotel Mommy....

Good thing I give a fabulous family discount, because apparently, Matthew thinks Hotel Mommy is a great place to be. Much like his dad, he obviously enjoys a nice hotel and doesn't really like the thought of leaving if no need exists.

My Bishop Score was barely a 2. And Dr. Shonekan was probably being nice. I am still only 1 cm., but softer, and she said that was good because it wasn't like I was "Fort Knox" and she feels the cervidil will be successful. She then went on to say, though, that Matthew was "calling my bluff" and saying, "come get me!" and she did not think this baby was coming "without any external help."

Fabulous. I *finally* get to the point where I'd prefer to just go through the agony of a regular delivery so I don't have to have surgery to recover from and wait to hold the baby while they sew me up and I very likely may end up having to have a c-section anyway because the odds of a delivery ending up in a cesarean when inducing occurred with a low Bishop Score are WAY higher...and I can't see anything changing at this point. He was nowhere NEAR engaged--why should he be? It's way more fun to swim and do all his exercises up in my ribs! The L & D nurse was right--Dr. Shonekan is more gentle in the exam, but it still HURTS LIKE HECK. And for naught....she said that if I didn't want to have a check next Monday before they start the cervidil, that was reasonable...but John thinks it might not be a bad idea just to have a baseline for progress. I agree, but MAN....dread the thought.

So, it seems that Matthew's First Thanksgiving outfit will have to be traded in from a newborn size to a 9-12 month size for NEXT year. Little Turkey...already acting stubborn and establishing his position in the family. I hope he's living it up, though, because they're taking him at the beginning of next week, whether he wants to leave or not!

In the meantime, I received this poem today (thanks, Barb!!) and love it....

God made the world out of His dreams
Of magic mountains, oceans and streams,
Prairies and plains and wooded land,
Then paused and thought "I need someone to stand
On top of mountains, to conquer the seas,
Explore the plains and climb the trees.
Someone to start out small and to grow,
Sturdy, strong as a tree…" And so,
He created boys, full of spirit and fun,
To explore and conquer, to romp and run.
With dirty faces and banged up chins,
With courageous hearts and boyish grins.
When He had completed the task He'd begun
He surely said "A job well done."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hey there, 7-pounder!

We had what I *hope* will be our last appointment with Dr. Sweeney just a while ago. He shook our hands and told us he enjoyed taking care of us these last months (baked goods for doctors go a long way, trust me!) as if he wouldn't be seeing us at our next scheduled appointment--next Monday, the 30th, and the day we go to the hospital to be induced if Matthew hasn't come. I hope he's right.

The sono tech was really having a great time with us and Matthew was very entertaining. He kept moving, was breathing up a storm and kicking my organs (my poor gall bladder is just being used for his own personal kicking bag) like crazy...and she felt really sorry for me! She's the one who likes to do the growth assessment as well, so we learned that Matthew was 7 lbs., 3 oz! This is a TREMENDOUS gain from last week, over a pound! Which leads me to believe (and hope, a little) that there is a little bit more of a discrepancy in measurements because of two different techs taking them. In any event, I'm pretty confident he's at least 6 pounds FOR SURE and probably a bit more based on how much more powerful the kicks and movements have been in the last week.

Tomorrow we'll get a Bishop Score from Dr. Shonekan and we'll see how close he is to coming on his own or how successful the induction may be. John thinks, "That little turkey will come on Thanksgiving Day," and that would be fine with me because then he would at least get to wear his First Thanksgiving outfit.

I'm not placing any bets on it though....he looked like he was having an AWFULLY good time in there!!

Oh, and Dr. Sweeney said he *is* betting...betting that he's found the second kidney. I bet he's even looked just like a little kidney bean!! So, Uni-kidney may just turn into Pelvi-kidney!

The clock that mocks me....

When we first learned we were pregnant, John programmed a countdown clock to our due date. This countdown clock was originally Grandma's, and was used for her retirement countdown. We've been watching this countdown clock for the last 260ish days...and as I look at it right now, it says I have 13 hours. THIRTEEN HOURS. My dreams last night consisted of me saying to that clock, over and over, "You mock me, clock. You mock me." (I know, weird dream, but true)

Saturday night, I thought we might be in business as I was pretty much cramping/having contractions all night...but nothing regular enough or painful enough to wake John up and head to the hospital.

Needless to say, when we got up for church yesterday, I was EXHAUSTED. John must have been too, because he was CRANKY! Note all the caps in that word. Let me restate: CRANKY.

To wrap a very long (all day) story up: He was CRANKY, which aggravated me seeing as I figured if either of us got to claim rights on cranky yesterday, it should be the one who was NOT sleeping soundly the whole night before, but hey...that's just me. His cranky never let up, got worse, aggravated me even more, and I took it all out on the garden. I've been needing to pull the summer stuff out and rake and put the pansies and bulbs in for a while. I realize this is probably not a huge priority for most women a day and a half away from their due date, but it is to me as I love my garden and envision it as a cute little backdrop for pictures of Matthew in a few months.

John is king of hidden agenda. Apparently my plans interfered with his agenda (who knew?) and frankly, cranky AND a hidden agenda just were not what I wanted to deal with yesterday so I told him I'd handle it all on my own.

Which I did, mind you.

And paid for (heck, am still paying for) in spades. My muscles would be miserable today if I *wasn't* pregnant, but throw my aching, pregnant back and humongous pregnant belly in and I think miserable times 100 still doesn't cover it.

But hey, only 13 hours left, right? Once it's rundown, I'm resetting it for next week--Monday at 7 pm, to be precise. Anything that happens before that is gravy. Preferably on a turkey. That I am at home enjoying with mom, John's cousin and Matthew. On Thanksgiving Day.

Game on, clock.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Officially, the days are numbered!

Well, yesterday's visit to the OB was quite the informative and confirming one! As I have been bringing baked goodies to all my doctors, Dr. Shonekan asked me, "Where do you find the time?" I asked her if she was kidding--time seems to be all I have!!!! For the record, yesterday's were chocolate chip cookies from a package, so really, not much in the consumption of time arena.

Anyway, I relayed my plan to her and she was quite proud of me. Essentially, my due date is Tuesday. That's 40 weeks. I told her that I was ok with going to 41, but no later than that because that whole 40-42 week gestational period is "the norm" for most naturally conceived pregnancies where the time of conception is closely guessed at but not 100% known. I know the day and time Matthew was conceived and really don't want him to go over 41 weeks. She agreed. So, if Matthew doesn't decide to debut on his own, we'll go into the hospital on November 30 (I'll be 40 weeks and 6 days) at 7 pm and do the Cervidil treatment. Hopefully it will work and the next day will either be labor on my own or Pitocin to get it going....and Dr. Shonekan said that if we went according to that plan, he'd probably be born December 2. Sounds good to me. She was very happy with the fact that I'd rather have the baby naturally than a c-section. Yes, I know, I know....but here's my thought. Yes, I'd rather have the cesarean; HOWEVER, more than that, I'd rather have my baby on my chest to stay when he's born than have to have him in the warmer waiting while they put my innards back and sew me up. That's what it has all boiled down to, and Dr. Shonekan booked it all then and there.

I have an appointment with the specialist on Monday (who will look for the elusive pelvic kidney and make a new recommendation for the renal ultrasound) and my last appointment with Dr. Shonekan again Tuesday (where she'll do a check and get a Bishop score), which is his due date. Dr. Shonekan said she saw what Dr. Sweeney reported on and mentioned a pediatric nephrologist, so I'll have to ask him about that--she thought it was pretty funny that Matthew went from having something that 1 in 500 have to possibly having something that 1 in 3000 have, but also said that he "was totally" my son!!

The blood pressure was another issue. It has been fine (I assume) since the hospital! I had only taken it once, maybe Tuesday, since the hospital and it was good--I don't even remember what but in the 120s /70-80s....just fine. So, when they took my blood pressure yesterday, I wasn't one bit worried. Well, the left arm was 147/92 and the right arm was 161/97!!! What the heck? I was pretty much on the sofa all day yesterday and the swelling was actually not too bad and my blood pressure was that high? Ugh. They had me lay on my left side, again, and came back to check about 20 minutes later manually--it was 156/94!! I was so aggravated--John said I was worried because I get Chatty Cathy when I am nervous, but I really wasn't nervous, I was HUNGRY! I thought that they were going to send me to the hospital, *again*, and do all that testing, *again*, and nothing would come of it and I'd be STARVING still. I honestly and truly did not know what the blood pressure thing was, but I thought it was a fluke, and thankfully, so did Dr. Shonekan. She told me to just keep tabs on it, relax, and let her know if I have any other symptoms like blurred vision, headaches or shortness of breath (even more than I already have!)....last night when we got home it was about 128/70something and I just took it a few minutes ago and it was 117/78. So, again, I'm not worried.

I woke up at 3:58 this am with what I thought was a contraction. It may have been, for all I know. It was painful, woke me up and lasted a bit. But then Matthew moved (which is unusual for him in the middle of the night) and I was wide awake for the next hour and nothing else happened. My back and hips are really amping up again, so maybe I'm in that couple of days before period where things are starting to's hoping. Like I said, now that we have a plan, watch that little turkey decide to foil it all and come next week over the Thanksgiving holiday!

And I'd be very thankful for that....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just a little bit more....

Yesterday, I bought Matthew a little Christmas gift. We realize that at this point, he'll be maybe 3-4 weeks old at Christmas and will not have a aside from the sweet little train stocking (with Matthew's name, of course) we picked, finishing up things on the registry we still may need and the recordable Night Before Christmas book I got for him yesterday, there is no more shopping for him necessary.

I cannot express how much joy I have had in shopping for Matthew. Every little outfit, every little toy....I just imagine a sweet little boy giggling and gurgling and without a care in the world...and I realize how very blessed we are.

Then I look at John's site and tear up thinking of all those little ones. Little ones for whom $5 means the world. Little ones whose lives are so hard and so desperate that living in the dump is not only an option but a very distinct reality.

I am truly amazed that $300 has already been donated to have a pie thrown at me. I asked John if he was secretly donating!!! Those 60 little sweethearts who will get a taste of what Christmas is like humble me....especially since a measly $5 is such a MONUMENTAL amount of money for them.

I know there are lots of people doing this challenge, and honestly, the money ALL goes to the right place, so pie or not, it's the donations that count. But if you haven't donated, and can, even just $5, I'd be so happy. More than that, another little boy or girl will be given a taste of hope...and know that there *are* those that care.

To read about how it was last year, go here:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Funny daddy....

That daddy is hilarious. Some of the things we laugh at (together, really...I find it just as funny as he does) with this pregnancy are my humongous feet ("sausage toes") and legs (trunks, he calls them "stumpy trunks"), the food that inevitably gets all over my shirt somehow ("You've got quite a shelf there; good thing too since you get stuff all over it.") and the maternity underwear that could be used as substitute flags for the capitol should we ever need some extra material (though I told him we could laugh at how HUGE it was while I was pregnant, but when I am no longer pregnant, we do NOT laugh at the size of ANY clothing, specifically underwear!!!).

Actually, we laugh at a lot because it is all pretty here's the latest I thought was hilarious. Last night in bed I told john that I really wish that new knot in my foot would stop hurting because I actually had a lot of energy and things I wanted to do but limping around certainly put a crimp in those plans. I said, "Maybe I'll bake some Christmas cookies and freeze them." He said, very seriously, "How about you just focus on doing stuff to get him out of there?"

Oh, okay....why haven't I thought of that? Let me just pull out all my secrets that up to this point I have failed to exercise and talk Matthew out of there.

So, do you hear that Matthew? Daddy thinks I have some control over getting you to come out. I will say that the pregnancy ticker at the top of this page isn't working for some reason--can't download the picture--so maybe that's a good sign that I'm at the end? We can just tell daddy we worked on you coming out together!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

39 Weeks...and thankful!

In hindsight, I wish that I had made a little post each week as to what was going on throughout the pregnancy. I think between this blog and my pregnancy journal I've done a decent job of chronicling, but a consistent, weekly update is probably what I'll go for (at minimum) for when Matthew is born. In any event, today is 39 weeks and still no sign of my little guy deciding he wants to meet us. Some things going on:
  • He's still moving like crazy and I am thankful for that. It's probably the most reassuring thing I've ever felt and I know I will miss it (maybe not the karate chops to the kidney or gall bladder) when he's born.
  • Sleeping is the most foreign concept in the world to me. (PLEASE do not send me a cute comment that says something like, " don't even KNOW what not sleeping is like...just wait until that baby is born." If I hear that one more time, I swear, I'll explode. I get it, babies wake up A LOT. I won't get much sleep once he's born either. Check.)
  • When I *do* fall asleep, I end up snoring. I've NEVER snored in my life. And it's not's this weird, throaty thing that makes me feel like someone scraped my throat with a razor blade when I wake up in the morning. John says it's because I'm on my back, so we'll see if that's the case when Matthew is born.
  • I can sort of keep the swelling under control by just being off my feet but now I have some knotty thing in my right ankle (much like the thing they thought was a clot in my left ankle) that REALLY hurts and pretty much makes me limp if I put any pressure on it. It's very varicose-veiny looking and so again, I'm pretty sure it's just some veins or something being cut-off. I actually have some energy, and would like to do some things, but putting any pressure on it really is not comfortable.
  • I'm tired of looking at birth announcements, personalized stockings, bubble outfits and Christmas shopping online. I have an announcement style we really like, but it is on card stock and not glossy paper, which I'd like. There are just TOO many stocking styles out there and to pick one for a little boy for life is just overwhelming. It's probably going to something with a train for his grand-dad and that will be that. There are so many cute little bubble outfits and smocked things for boys (I know where ever John is right now, a chill ran up and down his spine!) but I just don't know what size he'll be so it's just overwhelming to look. And Christmas shopping? Too much online to look at. I just need John to say: "Buy this for____; buy this for ______; buy this for ____." My brain is mush these days.
  • Another *perk* of being laid-up day in and day out is having lots of time to blog-hop. I posted the other day about how thankful I was that this whole process has been relatively non-eventful and I still feel that way. There are so many blogs out there about trials of infertility and I just am so thankful that when we did decide to go IVF, it was as successful as it has been. Granted, it took 10 years of heartache to get there, but for success with our first official cycle, I am eternally grateful to God.
  • We have our next OB appointment on Thursday. At this appointment, I imagine we'll decide that if he's not born by December 1 (the day I am 41 weeks), we'll induce. Next Monday is the next specialist appointment and we'll look for that kidney again, and then Tuesday (my due date) will be the last OB appointment before will be a pretty dry doctor time from Tuesday the 24th to Tuesday the 30th, so my hope is that the little stinker will think that's a FINE time to come! In the meantime, we wait.

And wait. And wait some more.....but heck, after this long--what's a few days more?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Uni-kidney no more??

Well, after our exciting day yesterday (ha ha) we were up SUPER bright and early this morning so we could get to Dr. Sweeney's by 8:00.

(I don't miss getting up at 5 AM...and we got up this early on Saturday too so we could get to the car place. Of's not like I was really sleeping anyway, but still.....)

We had a sono tech I've never had before, and she was very intent on what she was looking at on the screen. I could tell she didn't really want to do a growth assessment because the last one was only 2 weeks ago and she was worried he'd be smaller and I'd freak out. (Did she hear about me crying on the table two weeks ago?) At this point, I'm pretty confident he's at least 5 pounds, so no more freaking out....just hoping to GET HIM OUT! In any event, two Mondays ago he was 5 lbs., 9 oz. and this morning he was 6 lbs., 1 oz. Not quite as much growth as I expected (13th percentile for growth), but at this point, plenty big enough for me. Speaking of big...or little, hopefully....John said he paid attention to the head circumference and it measured 8.9 cm. I've always said I hoped he took after his daddy and had a little head...I don't know how much bigger his head will get in the next two weeks (John says not much) and maybe I am naive, but in my mind, if I dilate to 10 cm., and his head stays that size, I'm liking those stats!

When Dr. Sweeney came in, I told him Drs. Polko and Shonekan were more content to let Matthew get to 41 weeks than to make a plan for 39. He said, "Well, okay then." I told him I was fine with that too...although if he thought he needed to come out earlier, by all means tell us! He was pretty interested in what he was seeing on the screen and then told us that he may be imagining things, but he thought he saw some kidney tissue! The sono tech had seen it first and told him...and he was actually pretty surprised since we had been looking pretty closely for another one this whole pregnancy. He's interested to see what it looks like next week (though here's hoping there is NO next week appointment!) and may amend his recommendations for the renal ultrasound when Matthew is born. As of now, he is ok with the ultrasound being done on an outpatient basis after he's born. If this is a pelvic kidney, as he now suspects it may be, he will request a renal ultrasound the day Matthew is born for nephrology consult. True to his lineage....Matthew's odds of having one normal kidney and one pelvic kidney are 1:3000!!!! It's funny because there is actually less possibility of complication for Matthew if he only had one kidney vice him having one normal kidney and one pelvic kidney. Even still, because his one normal one has been fabulous, and a pelvic kidney may function fine (many pelvic kidneys function normally, but in some people, it can be small or have abnormality in the drainage system) , we'll just be on the lookout for a few different things than we would with only one. We may not have to worry as much about contact sports (though I am JUST fine with him not playing football!) and such, but may have more UTI and recurrent infections. In any event, until he has his very own ultrasound and we see that there is another kidney and how functional it is, we are just surmising. Worst case scenario, from what I've been researching, would be that it isn't functional, and could be problematic or it could be functional but he could have hydronephrosis and they may need to be surgically remove it. Honestly, I don't think that's the I am not even close to worrying about it.

I must admit, we were pretty surprised though! This little guy never ceases to amaze me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Occupancy Still Requested....

What a beautiful day! We FINALLY had some sun, it was nearly 70 degrees (for the middle of November!!!!) and all was well.

Except the swelling was UNUSUALLY horrid and my blood pressure was sky high. Normally it is pretty low--in fact, some doctor in my history once told me that my blood pressure being low like it is could increase my risk for strokes. (Hey, thanks for giving me something ELSE to worry about!) Anyway, 146/94 is high for *anyone* and certainly for a pregnant woman who has some heavy duty swelling so I called my OB. Dr. Polko was on-call and I was sure she'd just say take it easy and see me on Thursday. Nope. She said go to Labor and Delivery and we'd check it out.

After I cried a bit (the reality was a little scary) and then took a shower, did my hair and put on make-up (she didn't say go IMMEDIATELY) we headed over. I really and truly did not think anything would come of it, but bless John's heart, he was pretty excited in hopes that all was ok, but that we'd have to get Matthew out. My bp at the hospital was 142/89 and they had me turn on my left side and recheck. After about 20 minutes on my left side, it was 110/80. 15 minutes later and still on my left side, it was 104/68--which is typically what it usually runs. That pattern continued and that's good news. Essentially Matthew, as he gets bigger, takes up more and more space in me. Duh. Yeah, well in doing so, in addition to going to town on my organs, he also cuts off all sorts of veins and arteries and so forth. Or something like that. In any event, the bottom line is that the swelling and blood pressure are here to stay as long as he's in there. And, as the nurse said, "He's very happy and having a good time in there. You are miserable, but occupancy is still requested by him."

So...much like his daddy partying it up in college, Matthew has decided he likes it where he is, is having a good time and the swelling and blood pressure are incidentals...much like the lack of breathing, lack of sleep, back aches and internal organ bullying that I've been having.

That's fine by me. His days are numbered! The labor and delivery nurse was really great and gave me more helpful information than I have gotten from all four of my highly paid doctors! She really made me feel a bit better about him going to 41 weeks, being induced and how the whole process will work. She also was very encouraging and told me that she was really impressed with all the education John and I have and all we have gone through to get to this point but that for now, she'd just take it easy, read some books and wait for Matthew. I've done everything well and he's obviously proof of it, so I don't need to borrow worry. Sounds good to me. She also told me that Dr. Polko tends to be one of the more, um, agressive checkers of my practice, ("She likes to get way up in there and really shake things around!") and let me know that Dr. Shonekan, who will check me again at 40 weeks if I haven't already delivered, is much more gentle. Whew.

And though Dr. Sweeney says, "Real estate is getting awfully expensive in there," Matthew is still "requesting occupancy." Guess I won't rule December out after all....

Saturday, November 14, 2009



I just want to tell you that I never, ever, ever forget what a miracle you are. As I blog-hop here and there and see so many women JUST LIKE ME who want nothing more than to be a mom....and I watch their trials through infertility (and so relate with 10 years of heartache)...I just still can't believe the miracle of you coming to us now--as our 'peers' have kids in high school, with fewer eggs retrieved and even fewer fertilized and even *fewer* that made it to even being able to transfer. I am thankful beyond belief that we were so blessed to be successful with our IVF cycle on our first attempt. I am grateful for your health and your constant activity in mommy's tummy. I am still in awe of the fact that in just a few days (I HOPE) I will be the mommy of a wiggly baby boy, and daddy and I cannot wait to meet you.

Know that I will always be grateful to God for the miracle of you, and that though the road here hasn't been easy, feeling you move inside me and sitting in your chair in your room is truly worth all the disappointment and heartbreak. I know I've questioned God so many times...and I now know you are His answer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don't rule out December...again.

Well, we saw Dr. Polko today and she also basically said, "Don't rule out December." I may have mentioned that my OB's office is pretty laid back, as in they basically listen to the heartbeat, put a measuring tape on my stomach and say, "Yep, you're good," each exam. I've been chalking that mostly up to the fact that I see Dr. Sweeney so regularly and as Dr. Davis said two weeks ago, what he does is quite a bit more advanced so what they do at my regular OB appointment is sort of redundant at best.

Well, Dr. Sweeney is all about Matthew, so today I had Dr. Polko do the internal exam so we could see if he was even thinking about making his appearances...and found out why they are so 'laid back,' about exams and stuff--they H * U * R * T!!!!!!!!!! A lot. I did not think it was possible for her arm to be any further...well, anyway, it HURT. She then told me that's why she usually doesn't do those exams until 40 weeks--she KNOWS they hurt and she doesn't really see any point to doing them until 40 weeks or more anyway. I am in total agreement with her at this point, and can say I will *NOT* be voluntarily requesting to be checked.

As for the results of the check....nada. In fact, it's never a good sign when your OB says, "D*mn, woman, you're tight." She then told me I was dilated a centimeter, maybe...and maybe 30% effaced. We then discussed making plans and she essentially told me that I needed to try and sucker the other two doctors because she's seen too many bad situations come when we tried to bring babies out before they were ready. As for Dr. Sweeney's recommendation of making a plan for 39 weeks? "Yeah, well, he gets to look at them in there. (pointing to belly) *I'm* the one that delivers them and I know what I've seen." And again, she has a point. She said she figured that Dr. Shonekan would be ok with scheduling an induction on the 23rd, but that still wasn't the best case scenario because I could be stuck in labor for 3 days and then have to do a C-section anyway. NO WAY! I'd rather just schedule a C-section. To which she said, " don't really want to do that--at least not at week 40. Maybe 41."

She was not plussed by the fact that I am swollen up like Jimmy Dean sausage links, nor that I am not sleeping at all, nor that I am not able to breathe. "You're breathing. You'd be dead if you weren't." You'd think that I'd be aggravated by her attitude about it all, but I'm not. Because all that aside, as I was sitting there crying, she got up and hugged me and said, "I know. It hurts. It'll be ok." So, while I am miserable, it won't be that much longer and I can make it.

She's right. I can. So Matthew, come whenever you want. I'm not making any plans for you coming. I know they'll want probably want to induce at 41 weeks, and at that point, I may make a decision about inducing or scheduling a c-section, but other than that...if you want to be born in December, fine, be born in December.

Just remember that the closer your birthday is to Christmas, the more bleak your present situation looks. I know lots of people who HATED having their birthdays so close to Christmas because they felt shorted on the presents. I'm just saying....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

38 is here!

Week 38-- 14 days and counting! Trust me, SOOOO counting!

Our appointment yesterday went wonderfully. Again he scored an 8/8 on the biophysical profile--there was no point in the Non-stress test because we scored so well on the breathing, muscle tone, and ESPECIALLY movement!!! I've been saying it all along...that boy is a mover! He was not being very cooperative about showing much or staying still for the sono-tech but she was able to show me a little more the hair (I *sorta* saw what she was talking about) and she gave me some insight into why right under my right rib cage and the right side of my back hurt so much--apparently Matthew is "wreaking havoc" (her words, not mine, but I'll agree!) on my gall bladder (which has been shoved up practically under my rib cage) and my right kidney (hence the horrible, never-goes-away pain on the right side of my back) and she could see it all. Not only are my organs just all jammed where ever they can find room but she kept pointing out how he was kicking, kicking and kicking them all!! It *does* hurt and has for awhile, but I have to admit, I find it really kind of funny. Obviously he has no clue of what he's doing, but he sure is going to town in doing it!

They were also very surprised that my OB isn't talking about a plan to induce and somewhat surprised that he hasn't popped out already because he's plum out of room. I know, I know...the body is amazing, can do amazing things, yada yada...I've heard it all, thanks. My body already has done AMAZING things and now is just not getting any bigger but Matthew is. I'm very glad for him getting bigger, but the lack of room for him can't be comfortable for him because it sure as heck isn't for me. Dr. Sweeney (GOD LOVE THAT MAN) said, "Well, your OB can't do anything before 39 weeks unless I find something wrong and that's just not the case, can certainly make a plan for week 39." I brought them turtle brownie torte and asked what I needed to bring next week for him to write "Get that baby out!" and he said it should be pretty obvious to the OB. Next Monday we'll do another growth assessment and I expect he'll be at least 6 lbs. and some change, and I'll be 39 weeks that Tuesday. Matthew's due date is one week from that, but in talking with John (and now having Dr. Sweeney's opinion weighing in) I'm going to look at trying to get something started on the 23rd ( the Monday before Thanksgiving and I'll be 39 weeks and 6 days) so that he can be here before Thanksgiving.

Frankly, I think a Thanksgiving baby would ROCK but I don't want to take any chances with staff being skeletal because of the holiday. The sono tech agreed. So, we'll see....

In any event, I will have an exam on Thursday to see how things are going down there and we may be able to tell some more from that about whether or not we even need to worry about any of this. In the meantime, Matthew is doing fabulously and seems to be very happy and content. That's worth my lack of sleep, inability to breathe and internal organs being used as kickbags.

Here's hoping it's not too much longer of that, though, and he gets to be happy and content on the outside!!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Christmas Challenge....

Here's the chance my husband has been waiting for....

John Wright is once again issuing his Christmas challenge to give children of Kyrgyzstan a happy Christmas memory this year. I told him I'd do my best to raise the $500 my husband will need to put a pie in my face and I will, but I'm going to request Boston Creme! Pictures will of course be provided.

Seriously--the challenge is for as many people as possible to raise as much money as possible ($500 being the pie marker) so that so many deserving children can simply be given a wonderful Christmas this year. Here's what I think is SO sad...$5 makes a difference for a child. FIVE DOLLARS. I spend $5 at the gas station on a pack of gum and a soda. I spend MORE than that at Taco Bell, for Pete's sake....$5 is all it takes to make a child's Christmas this year. So...if you can, whether I get a pie in the face or not, please think about forgoing the trip to Dunkin Donuts tomorrow morning and donate to these children. I can promise you, that money will NOT go to waste and you'll be part of something that a child across the world will remember forever.

SO worth it, right?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Take a guess!!

Well, due to the overwhelming interest in guessing when Matthew will make his grand entrance to the world, I figured I'd at least make it a little interesting. I started a guessing game on ExpectNet and anyone can play. The interesting part is that whoever guesses closest will get a $25 donation made in their honor to the charity of their choice. I realize that won't fund major operations, but it can buy a couple of mattresses for someone in Kyrgyzstan or go toward researching the cure for Cancer, Lupus, Heart Disease, etc., or help make someone's Christmas a little warmer or well-fed--you get the picture. At the very least it is fun to guess and winning helps someone less fortunate.

So...go here, or click on the button on the side (I think) and take a guess!

As for Mala's inquiry on how Matthew's arrival will be announced, I can say that Facebook will be updated by John and he also has a distribution list put together on his Blackberry that I *think* he can use to email if anyone wants to send their email address. I'm sure I'll blog...just not sure when!

The countdown clock said 20 days last night. Unbelievable. Any day now!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Full-Term! We made it!

Hooray!! It's November, Matthew's birthday month. Good thing he's a boy because his birthstone is Citrine, not a favorite of mine, and he won't be disappointed that he doesn't get pretty birthstone jewelry. I know, I know...the logic I come up with sometimes. In any event, as much as I like Opal, I'm SOO glad he made it to 37 weeks and is doing fine!

Our appointment yesterday was great. Of course I freaked a bit when we first went in because the sono tech was just going to check to see if he's breathing and moving, but not his growth. I was under the distinct impression we were there for the sole purpose of checking his weight and growth. Her concern was that the measurements aren't exact and that he could very easily have gone backward in growth just by standard measure of error and I'd be tormented. Yeah, she was probably right, but I still wanted his growth assessed. She then tried to tell me it was like brownies--if you keep checking every 5 minutes (or week), not much change is noticed. Give it 45 minutes (or a few weeks in between) and voila--awesome. I got that analogy, but still said, "Assess!" I'm glad I did...he was 4 lbs., 13 oz. last week and yesterday he was 5 lbs., 9 oz!!!! He was in the 21%tile for growth, and was measuring where a 34-35 gestational age baby would be, even though he's 37 weeks. That's ok, though, the measurements *aren't* exact and even if they were, that's not *too* far off the reservation. Next week, when we go back, they will just check to make sure he's breathing and moving and won't assess growth. I'll be ok with that. I guess.

When we got home, John pulled out his super-duper growth curve chart that includes something polynomial or something like that (that brain of his...I'm still always impressed by his amazing brain) and charted Matthew's weight and it was right where it should have been and maybe a bit above. Long story short, at this point, he is not IUGR, certainly won't be a very low birth weight baby and probably not even a low birth weight baby. He may be SGA, but that's not a big deal at all.

Matthew's line is the one that breaks off on the top. I tried for an hour to use Photoshop to put an arrow in and finally gave up because every time I put an arrow in, the whole picture would turn to a grey and white checked box and I just don't have the patience to figure that out. I know, I know...I have Photoshop for Dummies upstairs but frankly, I'm too aggravated. I don't understand most of this, but the part I like the best is that for him to not be Low Birth Weight, he'd have to be at that little blue triangle at 40 weeks. He's there now, at 37. I of course wouldn't question John's math, but the doctor's numbers yesterday said he was measuring about 35 weeks. SGA must be some specific differences.

He's breathing up a storm! I admit--for all the reading, reading, reading and more reading I've been doing for the last, oh 10+ years, when the tech said, "He sure is happy and moving around and doing a great job of breathing!" I thought, "Well, duh. Of course he's breathing. He'd be dead if he wasn't."'s just practicing. He's getting all his oxygen through me still and the cord was very blood enriched and nowhere near his neck. We were talking about him breathing in the car and John told me that his breathing was just practice and his oxygen came from me still. Again, that John...full of very useful info. I've been getting every week-to-week baby update known to man, and I guess I've glossed over the whole 'practice' breathing thing. His breathing is great, though, and his lungs are obviously doing a great job! He scored a 8/8 on the biophysical profile, so all was well there.

He also has HAIR! I have no idea how they can tell that stuff, but she was looking at his head and said, "Oh, he has some hair!" She showed us something on the screen and for the life of me, I couldn't see it, but then she said, "Oh...look...there's some fringe hair right at the bottom, right over his neck." So, Matthew may be born with a little old man-head, or a mullet. Grandma said that is definitely an Ennis hairstyle, and his daddy had that hair-do for a while too. I was born with a ton of hair, but then lost it rather quickly and didn't get any back for about 2 years. I can't wait to see it and even more, can't wait to see if it's curly!!!! However his hair is, it will be perfect, but I'd love some little curls!

As we walked out of the doctor's office, I felt bad that I had been a little frantic about him measuring small and the insistence that we check his growth. I told Dr. Sweeney I'd bring baked goods next week. Let me tell you, that Dr. Sweeney is great. He said, "Lori, let me tell you about a group of people I know pretty well. I like to call them 3rd Trimester, 1st-time moms whose babies have something a little less than perfect, like only one kidney. They're nervous and anxious and you are in good company. You're not bothering anyone!" Gotta love that man. John just laughed and laughed.

I still gave them the preference for chocolate chip or blueberry muffins...and may throw a little fudge in there for extra thanks.

After the appointment, we stopped at the mall to look for a camera bag and now that it's November (though I saw the first Christmas commercial on October 26), all the holiday stuff is out. We got the cutest little ornament and I can't wait to put it on the tree!

John woke up this morning and said, "Matthew, are you ready to come out now?"

I took the liberty of answering for him: "No, not today."

I don't feel so bad saying "I can't wait" though, because if he *is* born today, he'll be just fine!