Sunday, August 30

Two down, one to go

My third trimester is here, and I can't believe it. When I sit and think about the time, it seems to go so slow. But when I look back over the months that have passed since we first heard about baby Miles, the time has really gone by. I couldn't have imagined myself at this point had I tried; nearly seven months pregnant with a son, a loving, patient, brilliant man who calls me his, and a family whose love I will always cherish. This part of my life is so very sweet, and it almost makes me sad to think of it passing.
But then I think about that sweet baby, about the responsibility we have to "train him up in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6) and about him growing up, I really look forward to it. No doubt having my sister's family to watch take off has greatly affected this newfound affection for the future.
Victor just got home today from filming a conference in Vegas. It was only a four day trip, but I was miserably homesick while he was gone. I've always been prone to homesickness, but now that we have so many things changing in our lives, and at an alarmingly fast pace, his absence makes those empty, sinking feelings so much stronger. Everything else can fall around me, but having him to snuggle up to at night is my constant. I almost worry about relying on that constant too much, for fear that that something might happen to him one day - where, then, would I be? What would I do? But it was no fool who said, "Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." So I let myself fall asleep at night when he's away with the promise of him coming home and keeping me safe. Now he's back, already asleep in bed, and though the house is a wreck, my hand is bruised from another trip to the ER (this time without him), and I'm still missing our little foster puppy, all is well because he is home. Being married - being loved, needed, loving and needing - has got to be, above all else, the grandest thing we can experience this side of heaven. And in just a few months, we will welcome our son into the world, whose birth and life is the direct result of our marriage. Life is good. God is good.
Concerning that hand of mine that I mentioned... wait. I haven't even blogged about ANY of these ER visits, have I? Well, well. Time really DOES move fast! At 25 weeks, I started having painless but frequent contractions. We're talking 20 or more an hour, lasting about 30 seconds each. Considering all my books and websites tell me to call the doctor if you have more than FOUR an hour, 20 should set the stage for an eventful evening. :) So we called the doctor, went in not knowing at all what was going on - was I in labor? Would we have this baby at just 25 weeks? I never got too worried somehow though. I just felt a peace about it. Turns out I have what they like to call an "irritable uterus". Ha! Tell me what pregnant woman - what woman at all for that matter - DOESN'T! The term was just hilarious to me. Really what it boils down to it this - they don't know what causes it, why some have it, but for some women, their uterus is just sensitive and contracts easily, with or without reason. Looks like mine has no reason. I'm hydrated and infection free, which are about the only two things they know to check for.
The good news about all of this is that I haven't dilated at all, so aside from the contractions, this pregnancy is still 100% normal. But SINCE I'm having them, they have to stop. So the hospital administers a drug via injection called Terbutaline - a tiny little shot with the bite of an angry pitbull. :) It also makes your heart race. So you're lying in bed, wrapped in a pitiful piece of fabric they call a "gown", cold because I guess that's how hospitals jive, trying to rest when, "Uh..." "I....*pant pant*..." "...*pant*..." "MAN! I feel awful!" - you're hit with what I can only describe as a drug-induced panic attack. You feel, rather you ARE, short of breath, lightheaded, shaky and flushed in the face. It's not fun, to put it mildly. But that part only lasts a minute or two before you settle back down to a "resting" pulse of around 110-120. That part lasts half an hour, at which time, if the contractions haven't stopped, they give you another one. Oh, goody. :)
Anyway, the first time we were there I needed three terb. shots before I was able to go home. Two days later we were back, same song second verse, but I only needed two. And again last night, after almost two weeks of normal braxton hicks contractions, they picked up again and I had to go back. The doctor on call wanted to try fluids first, just to make sure I wasn't kidding myself about being hydrated, and to save me from needing those shots. Unfortunately the fluids did little more than fill my bladder and leave me with a sore hand from my first IV. :) As I'm typing all of this, I'm smiling just recalling it all. The nurses have all been GREAT and I'm looking forward to delivering there.
Also this past week Victor and I became place-holder mommy and daddy to a little puppy. Our niece, Taylor, has asked for a puppy for her 16th birthday and was (rightly) told no. Their family is what I would call a "no pet" family. None of the kids are willing to take the responsibility of caring for any pet - believe me, they've had what seems to be dozens of opportunities to prove themselves. From ducks to dogs, gerbils to kittens, they've had 'em. And killed them or lost them or SOMETHING. It's a disappointing situation all around, really. It ruffles my feathers that the kids don't take better care of their things, let alone a LIVING thing, but alas, that is a story for another day. Suffice to say Taylor's mom was none too thrilled when Taylor "finds" a puppy and brings it home, just two weeks after being told no. She was so unhappy, in fact, that Taylor was told the dog wasn't staying there. At all. And the younger two sisters were toting him around in a bag - ugh... when the news got around to me I was worried. Then I find the dog... "Where did he come from?" "I dunno." "When was the last time he ate?" "I dunno." "Has he been to the vet yet?" "I dunno." Oh man, my blood was boiling at this point. The poor little guy was lethargic, had a bloated tummy and just looked pitiful all around. I love dogs. And I love babies. Naturally, my affinity for puppies s is almost beyond words. So we took the dog, told Taylor's mom to tell the kids he was ours until we could find him a home, and got to work on getting him on a fast track to feeling better. I took him to WalMart and set him up with the best IAMS puppy food I could find, some toys, puppy shampoo, a leash and a few training pads for him to pee on if he had to go in the house. Two days later we took him to the vet and found out to our relief that he was a very healthy little guy, but whose tummy was pumped FULL of roundworms. We got him his first round of puppy vaccines, had him dewormed, and 75 dollars later were headed home. It was a crazy few days. But in that time, Victor and I fell in love with "Charlie Puppy". He was an amazing little guy - sweet, snuggly, soft and oh-so kissable, with the even-kill demeanor that every would-be dog owner dreams of finding in a dog. He was a 5 star puppy. :) But we knew we couldn't keep him. It was torture on me, really. Here I am pregnant, smack-dab in the middle of nesting, readying myself for what is sure to be mine and Victor's greatest love, imagining what he will be like and LONGING to hold him and this puppy drops into our lives. I think all of my unclaimed love was thrust upon that sweet little guy, because I loved him SO much. And at the same time I knew he wasn't going to stay. It was awful. My appreciation for foster parents and the hearts of gold they must have grew exponentially while Charlie Puppy was here.
Just before Victor left for Vegas this past Wednesday, we started looking for a home for Charlie. By Friday we'd found him one. Well, to be honest, God dropped a family in our laps. We didn't do too much, but someone saw his pictures on Facebook, contacted a friend, and long story short, Charlie is home. And these people - I couldn't ask for a better family. They are going to be GREAT. So yesterday I took him to Nashville and said my goodbyes. I still miss him, but I'm also relieved to have resumed our "regularly scheduled programming". :) I have several pictures to remember him by, and I'm looking forward to sharing them with Miles when he's a little older, and telling him about the little puppy who lit up our lives.
This has been a long post, huh! Some days I just feel verbose. And others I feel like getting a lot off my mind. And others, still, I have both. Today is one of those "both" days. :)
Baby Miles, mommy and daddy love you.

Saturday, August 8

24 weeks

1st picture: Miles' profile
2nd picture: He's in the middle of a yawn! It's very cool on the video.

We have made it to the sixth month. It's a very fun place to be. I am quite obviously pregnant, and I'm enjoying having people ask when I'm due. Miles has been a very busy boy these past few weeks, with more and more movement each day. What I thought were kicks are actually punches! So his little arms are now as strong as his legs were a few weeks ago. And his legs? Those are sitting somewhere pretty close to my bladder. I know because every once in awhile I'll feel a kick and simultaneously a panicky feeling of, "Oh no. I'm so about to pee all over myself." Granted, I don't because I don't actually have to, but it sure fools me for a second! :) His little body has finally turned, and his head is up. That made for a very happy ultrasound tech yesterday. Everything went so well, in fact, that I wasn't scheduled for another one. :( I've really enjoyed having them every few weeks! She said he's measuring in the 50th percentile, putting him right at average for his weight. Unfortunately, his momma isn't in the same boat. Since my last visit just four weeks ago, I have managed to pack on TWELVE POUNDS! How the @!%# did that happen?? :) Okay, I suppose to be fair I have to consider a few of these points: one - I work from home. Meaning, I'm home all day. I can eat whenever, and I do. Two - pizza rolls are NOT a pregnant ladie's BFF, no matter what they say when you pull them out of the oven, sizzling. And three - walking up a flight of stairs to go clean up Miles' new room does not count as exercise. Sigh... I was doing SO good, too. Only nine pounds put on in the first half of pregnancy. Then 12 in a matter of four weeks. Guess who came home whining the rest of the day? ME! So here I am now, watching my calorie intake like a mad woman. Did you know that ranch has over 100 calories in just TWO tablespoons? I eat ranch for BREAKFAST for crying out loud! I put it on everything! Bye bye, ranch. And fast food? Holy cow. It's horrendous. Thankfully, however, veggies are a safe ZERO. Nadda. And I love me some veggies. :) So today for lunch, we were on the road and I got a 6" turkey sub on wheat, no cheese, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, lettuce and red wine vinaigrette. It was tasty. But already my mind is fighting me - I feel hungry again just three hours later. I need pizza! Chips! Soda! Burgers loaded with cheese! AGH!!!!
I think these next few weeks are going to be tough. But it is well worth it for me to eat better - for stupidly obvious reasons - and for Miles. I'm no health nazi, though. I still plan on making room for fun every now and then. Well anyway, that's that. I can't show up at the doctor's next month weighing another ten pounds. I will be in serious trouble. :)
Back to Miles. He's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him near a pound and a half. Since he's almost a foot long, he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon. If he were to be born this week, his chance of survival would be in the neighborhood of 60%, with a 75% chance of having serious medical complications. While not great stats, it's reassuring that he would most likely make it. I keep on having this nagging feeling that he's going to be an early baby. I don't mean seriously early, just early. I dream about it. I guess it's just my subconscious screaming, "I can't wait to meet you, baby!!"