Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January 28, 2009 - 28 WEEKS!!!

Well I have to admit, I honestly didn't think that I would still be pregnant at 28 weeks, but I am so happy that I am! Cookie continues to prove everyone wrong - and we love it! Each day he stays put does wonders for his lungs, brain, GI system, heart etc. The doctors are very happy that we've made it this far! This morning his fluid was the lowest it has been at 3.2 centimeters, but he's had a pretty uneventful day - so that is good!

We got some unexpected visitors (and I didn't get a picture?!?!) Uncle Gene and cousins Shane and Chris were on their way back from a trade show in Chicago and stopped in to say hi! It was a total shock and brightened my day - so thanks guys! Hope you made it home safe!!
My friend Jac made me a whole slew of these weekly links - each day represents one more day that I've stayed pregnant, with the date and some words of encouragement...we've been able to pull off more than we thought! This is this weeks chain...

...and this is the one I got to pull off today! 28 weeks on the 28th Yeah!

January 26, 2009 - 27 weeks 5 days

Sorry for the lack of picture yesterday again - really, it's hard to take a new picture every day up here, I hope you forgive me! Today I've been here officially just over 3 weeks - that is hard to believe! But I am not complaining! Each day I am up here hopefully is one less day Cookie has to stay in the NICU - so I am fine staying where I am!
Tonight they let me go on a 30 minute wheelchair ride - so Chris pushed me around the hospital while we talked. It was good to get out of the room for even a short amount of time!!

January 24, 2009 - 27 weeks 3 days

Hopefully you can see Cookie's face in this picture. Some have had trouble - but I cropped it so it is just his little face - eye, nose and smiling mouth (turned to the side)! Trust me he's cute ;)

January 23, 2009 - 27 Weeks 2 days

Today I got some very cute visitors!! The McTriplets drove all the way from Kansas City just to visit me and Cookie today! Their mommy Kara is a great friend of mine and I can't believe she drove 7 hours round trip just to come hang out for 2 hours! (with three 4 year old boys!!) The boys have been praying for Cookie every night and were very excited to come *see* him! It just so happened that Braden and Meena K were visiting at the same time - so we had four 4 year olds in my room - but they were amazing and played together for 2 hours with hardly a problem! Thank you Kara for making my day - Love ya (and the boys!!) Eek - I couldn't open this is photoshop for some reason to edit it - so ignore the bags under my eyes!!

Five boys and Me!
(L-R) Sullivan, Cookie, Issac, Lorne and Braden

We also wanted to wish Meena C a very
Happy Birthday!!!
(yes Dad is only 4 days older than she is!)
Hope you had a great day! We'll see you next week!
Love you!
This was the first time mom got to hold her first grandchild - he was just shy of a month old!

January 22, 2009 - 27 Weeks 1 day

Braden loves taking pictures with the camera while he's up in my room - but he's been away from mommy a little too long b/c he's getting camera shy! I turned the camera on him and he thought it was hilarious and tried to get away!

January 21, 2009 - 27 WEEKS!!!

Hot Wheels and GraveDigger made it to my room today! Braden and Meena K found them in the garage where they were still muddy from the last time Braden drove them all through the mud! But Meena cleaned them all up for him and he had to bring them to show me! This is just one of MANY pictures he took of them today - it was a Monster truck photo shoot!!

Another milestone - 27 weeks! We are thrilled! This morning he had some low fluid 3.9cm and didn't do his breathing during his test - so we had to do a repeat ultrasound this afternoon -and he did much better - he does not like Wednesdays - he always acts up!!

January 20, 2009 - 26 weeks 6 days

No picture today. Sorry - but we're holding steady!

January 19, 2009 - 26 weeks 5 days

Happy Birthday Dad!

Wish we could be there to celebrate! Hope you have a great day!
This was the first time PopPop Joe got to hold Braden - he was 7 weeks old!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 18, 2009 - 26 weeks 4 days

Mom and Dad brought Braden back today - he had a great time with the family!! He spent some time here with Chris and I tonight and it was nice being a little family. They took my IV out today and said I could go on a 30 minute wheelchair ride - so we went up to the NICU waiting room where this bus is - Braden loves it!
Daddy got to ride in it too! He even told me that on his bus they had room for wheelchairs - but I just couldn't fit back there - what a sweet boy!

January 17, 2009 - 26 weeks 3 days

Meena C took Braden to Nebraska for a little change of scenery this weekend! It gave Chris a chance to not feel pulled between home and here - and we had a nice weekend hanging out together! We broke out the checkers - and you can see by the chips I accumulated - it was Total Domination!!! Poor Chris :)

January 16, 2009 - 26 weeks 2 days

Ok - so I have an IV in still and this is what I have to do to take a shower - if you have ever seen Billy Madison, I feel like his golf coach with the wooden hand when I'm wearing this thing! It's a little awkward!

January 15, 2009 - 26 weeks 1 day

A few monster trucks found their way into my room tonight - photo courtesy of Braden again :) Give him a digital camera and he's occupied for a good 5 minutes - priceless!

January 14, 2009 - 26 WEEKS!!!

Well today Cookie gave us our first real scare - and it was not fun! I woke up at 6:30 to nurses in my room ready with an IV kit, changing me into a gown and taking away my water jug and saying no food or drink - just in case. He had had some significant heart rate drops and we were preparing for delivery - I was taken first into ultrasound and he checked out ok - he was still in there kicking around, flow was absent but not reversed, fluid was still ok - so we decided to watch and wait. He had a few more decels throughout the day, but nothing consistent. We said he must have heard all of us celebrating 26 weeks and wanted to shake things up...silly, troublemaker boy. Chris stayed with me all day and we played on computers as we listened intently to his heartbeat...

January 13, 2009 - 25 weeks 6 days

Anyone that knows Braden well - knows that he has been obsessed with "Piggies" for some time...he just loves them - so excuse my ugly toes and need of a pedicure (anyone know someone who will come up here and give me one :) ) Braden had to have a picture of them!

Monday, January 12, 2009

January 12, 2009 - 25 weeks 5 days

My dear friend Kara McTriplet sent me a care package today and inside was 5 little onesies all with a cute saying and a shirt for me and Braden - along with beautiful pictures colored by her 3 boys and goodies galore!! This was one of my favorites!! - Thanks Kara, it sure made my day!

Status Quo today - once again we had absent flow in all spots but other than that, not much change. He seems to get the hiccups a lot which we can hear on the monitor - they say that is good and actually working his diaphragm as a form of practicing breathing!!

January 11, 2009 - 25 weeks 4 days

PopPop Dirk, John and Katie came down to say good-bye before they hit the road for home! Braden came in to my room for a little bit after they were gone and found some cartoons on tv and decided to take my place in bed - he looked pretty comfy (legs crossed and all) and was in a zone for sure! Love the new shirt that Aunt Katie got him for Christmas!!

Then tonight Chris came back and we had a little date night, which I think we both needed! He brought homemade lasagna (from our neighbor Susan - it was DELISH Sue - thanks!) and garlic bread and we had a little dinner while we watched the 2 hour premiere of 24 - we have been waiting for 2 years for it to come back on, so it was a good night! Thankfully my nurses only came in a few times - we do not like to be interrupted during this show ;)
Cookie update: yesterday we saw *flow* in Cookie's cord for the first time in over 3 weeks, it was a good day - prayers are working! Today he had one spot of absent flow and still flow in the other 2 spots which was great. He is hanging in there and trying his hardest to make it longer! A lot of people have asked if we have a recent weight on him and we don't. They will only do a growth check on him every 2 weeks so we have to wait until Friday for the next growth measurement - and YES I plan on still being pregnant next Friday :):):)

January 10, 2009 - 25 weeks 3 days

Tonight the clan brought Christmas to me! I was able to take a wheelchair ride to the lobby for 30 minutes and I got to see everyone and open my Christmas presents :) Thanks for everything!! They also brought me what Cookie was craving - Macaroni Grill - I figure it was a great time to get the worst (but best tasting) thing on the menu - calories baby!!! It was really yummy!! It was bitter sweet watching them all leave - that part is hard. Especially when Braden gives me a big hug and says he misses me and wants me to come home :( I miss him so much - it's hard having a say in his every waking minute - to not really knowing what is going on at all. I know he is in great hands, but they still aren't mine.

Posted by Picasa

January 09, 2009 - 25 weeks 2 days

As I sat here and watched the snow fall outside my window - Chris, Braden and the whole Missouri clan celebrated Christmas up at our house!

Thankfully they all made it before the snow started to fall! Katie took some pictures for me with my camera - so these are her handiwork! It was hard being away from them and having to hear all about it after the fact - but I do believe that Braden got spoiled rotten again and had a great time!

He has a hard time keeping the light out of his eyes ;)
Cookie Update: Back to just absent flow today so we're status quo! Keep up the prayers!!

January 08, 2009 - 25 weeks 1 day

Some beautiful flowers from my Family! - I didn't alter the colors at all! They really brighten up my room!

Today we got a little hiccup from Cookie. We found the first signs of reverse flow in one spot in his cord today. We didn't want to see that yet. But it can still go back and forth for awhile and since Cookie is doing good still and not showing us any signs of distress - we just continue doing what we are doing and watching him!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 07, 2009 - 25 WEEKS!!!

Tonight, Jill, Brooks and Gavin brought me down pasta with homemade sauce and garlic bread - it was so yummy!! Gavin was really happier than this to see me, I swear :) He came right in the room and said "Ker-Ker (that's what he calls me!) I give you a hug" "Ker-Ker I want to go to your house" it just about broke my heart! Then he was sure that my baby was in the machine and I better get him out of there! It was good for a good belly laugh, because he was so darn serious!
I think everyone is hanging in there ok. Chris is amazing being super husband and super dad. Braden is wearing Meena K out, but I think they are both having fun. He goes back to school tomorrow so that should bring a little schedule back to his life.
Thank you again for the support you all continue to give. We are truly blessed with so many beautiful people in our lives - and your generosity amazes us! (although it should not!)

January 06, 2009 - 24 weeks 6 days

I had a few visitors today, so that lifted my spirits! All in all I'm ok b/c I know this is where we are the safest. Meena K came last night to stay with Braden this week and he is enjoying some quality time with her, so no need to worry about him!
My friend Shonda brought me lunch today (and she also made that awesome blanket you see in the picture - 1/2 Nebraska, 1/2 Mizzou) and the March of Dimes girls from the office came to visit.
Then Lindsay and Baby Gracie came to see me! Oh I so needed that cuddle time! Even after getting her 4 month shots right before - she cuddled me for a long time and talked and talked and talked! It was just what I needed today!

January 05, 2009 - 24 weeks 5 days

This is what being in the hospital room for too long will do to you!
It was decided today that I am staying till the baby is born. When that will be we don't know. To be able to get more days, weeks maturation on him would be a Godsend. We will be doing daily ultrasounds (where he has 45 minutes to complete certain *tests*) and monitoring him closely for any sign that he has had enough.
Already day 2 and he is known as the troublemaker on the floor. It usually takes 2-3 nurses and a long time to even get him on the monitor. He is VERY low and folded in half and once the monitor is placed on him he gets very upset that something is in his space and hides from the nurses. Like I've said all along he is feisty - and that is good. I kind of just laugh as all the nurses try to pin him down!

January 04, 2009

Well...after the Great Monster Truck show - we ended up in the hospital last night. It was scary and not something I want to go through again - but the good news is Cookie Bean is doing ok today. He gave us a scare - but he's back to his feisty self. We are not sure if they will just keep me here (that is the plan that I would prefer to take) but we are waiting to talk to my doctor on Monday to see what the plan of action is.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! Braden loves hearing his brother's heartbeat on the machine. He talks to the machine like it is Cookie. "Cookie, are you in there? Are you ok? Wow mom, he's going really fast - he's going 7mph" then he runs down the hallway to show us how fast that is! Too cute!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 03, 2009 - Monster Truck Show!!

After hitting the hospital for Cookie's second steroid shot we SURPRISED Braden with a trip to the Monster Truck Show! He was thoroughly surprised and it was a wonderful day! We got passes to go down on the track and see all the trucks, meet some drivers and take lots of pics. I am upset because they wouldn't let me bring the good camera in because it was *too professional* - so thankfully I had stuck the little one in too, so we at least had some pics! So they aren't the greatest, but hopefully you get the picture!
It was a long day and I am tired, but to see his face was priceless, it was so what I needed before we begin on our next big journey - his favorite GraveDigger won the races and Freestyle event and he was thrilled! I have some video that I will try to upload later when the laptop is up and running! Enjoy a few pics!!
Tickets to Monster Jam - $50
Lunch and snacks at the arena - $40
GraveDigger Flag, souvenir cup, Program - $24
Seeing our Precious boy have the time of his life for 5 hours - PRICELESS!!

Posted by Picasa

January 02, 2009

Here is our little man! We finally got a decent profile today although if you look closely he does have his hand up by his head - he also had both feet up there too - he loves to be all curled up.
So here's a little update on the Cookie Monster :)
He was very active which is good news and kept kicking the ultrasound head because we were disturbing him! He continues to show his stubborn and feisty side which we know is going to bide well for him!
We found out that he continues on his growth slide and is now 2 weeks behind in growth. They are estimating that he is about 15 oz. at this time. The blood flow in his cord is still *absent* which is the lesser of two evils - still not great, but good that it hasn't progressed yet. In essence there is nothing they can do about the blood flow - it's my placenta being resistant, and with all the medical technology they just really can't do anything but watch and wait for him to show us it's time to get him out. Today we got an estimate - our doctor said that after *absent* flow is found, delivery usually occurs between 3 and 35 days. He has never had anyone go the 35 days - but would like Cookie to prove him wrong :) If we could make it to the 35 day mark - that would give him 3 more weeks to mature - and get us to 27 weeks gestation. Although this is somewhat what we were expecting today - it hit us hard to be given those numbers. I am now on modified bedrest at home - his exact words were "eat bonbons and watch tv!" I can still get up for the little things...but need to stay down as much as possible. They want all the calories to go to Cookie. Chris says he is up for the challenge and we have such a big support system now here in town and beyond that we know we can do it. Unlike when we had Braden 4 1/2 years ago and we knew 1 person in Des Moines (love ya Linds!) :) Already tonight a good friend showed up with dinner for 3 nights and lots of snacks! (Chris thinks it might be a good time to learn to cook :) - I won't stop him!!!)
If there is any change in Cookie's activity or I start to just not feel right, I will be admitted to the hospital no questions asked. That way we can monitor him more closely. With his heart still being very strong and him being so active - we are in a waiting game. We get another scan on Friday and will go from there. We did go to the hospital today and got the first of 2 steroid shots to help speed up the maturation of his lungs - we go back in tomorrow for the 2nd.
We are doing ok. This weekend will be full of discussions and trying to figure out everything that needs to get done, but I know we will be ok. We are in trouble though because they put a Starbucks in the new tower of the hospital - so now we can go broke on Starbucks and McDonalds without ever leaving the hospital :)
I did get the ok to attend the MONSTER TRUCK show tomorrow with Braden and Chris - I need it - to spend that time with him, to see the smile on his face and his excited "WHAT?" (he still doesn't know he's going!!!) So we will have fun tomorrow as a family and hopefully Cookie will be rocking out to all the noise! I'm sure knowing me, a million pictures will be taken - so I'll be sure to share!!
You all are our family and friends - and so important to us. We are asking for your prayers (even though we know you all have been hard at work!!), pray for Cookie (guess we better come up with a name soon!) - for his strength, for God to wrap his arms around him and keep him safe. Please pray for my doctors that they have the wisdom (and we trust them whole heartedly) to make the right decisions in our care. Pray for Chris and I that we can remain strong through this new journey - that we can stay mentally, emotionally and physically strong for each other and our boys. And pray for Braden - this is going to be really tough on him too - he wants to be the best big brother and doesn't understand why he won't be able to see Cookie when he is born. We still don't have the right answers and it breaks our hearts. He gets very sad when we talk about it, he truly loves his little brother so much already!

Posted by Picasa

January 01, 2009 - Hello 2009!!!

Picture will be coming - it is stuck on my laptop which is dead - it should be revived by Tuesday - so until then I'm using the old desktop - bear with me!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

December 31, 2008 - Goodbye 2008!

Just a little get together with friends!
The girls cleaned up on Partini - that was a fun game!!

Me and the bub - I told him that tomorrow will be 2009 - the year that Cookie will be born...he asked if tomorrow was Easter :) (We told him that Cookie would be born around Easter)

Jill and I - I love great friends!

Chris and I - 2009 will make us parents of 2 boys - so much going on!

Braden and Gavin finally crashed around 11:45pm. They did watch the ball drop at 11pm (Eastern time) and almost made it to midnight. By the time we were ready to go - we didn't want to move him - so he had his first official sleepover with a buddy! It was weird going home without him, but he said he had a great time!