Counters

                                                           Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Monday, January 31

Birth story

For those of you who want to know more details (and for posterity's sake), I thought I'd let you know how our last day and a half went.

On Sunday morning, my water broke at 6am, well at least I thought it had. And I started having somewhat painful contractions. Me being me, I didn't wake Jim, but DID call my doctor on call to see if she thought it had broke as well. I talked to her at 6:30 and she said to lay down for 15 minutes and drink some water to see what happens. Then I told her that I'd had at least three intense contractions in the last half hour...she quickly changed her mind and said I had to go in to get checked. I then woke Jim up and we were trying to decide if we should wait for somebody to come stay with Finn or to take him along.

As it turned out, I'm so glad we didn't wait because my contractions were so painful by the time we left the house that I was throwing up. Yuck! Poor Finn just didn't know what to do with Mommy in so much pain. Both Jim and I thought he was going to start crying, but he never did. We got to the hospital a little after 7am, at which time I was dilated to a 5 and 100% effaced. I was in so much pain by this point, I couldn't move. They quickly moved me over to labor and delivery because, duh, my water had in fact broken. At that point, my wonderful friend, Stacey, and her son Dillon came to the hospital to pick up Finn and have a fun day with him. Within 45 minutes after the first assessment, I was dilated to a 9! They knew I wanted an epidural (and at that point, I NEEDED one!). The anesthesiologist was going as quickly as he could to get the epidural in place because of how quickly I was progressing (there is a window that if you miss, you can't get one). He kept saying, "Oops, that is bone" when he was poking the needle into my spine! Owww.

I got the epidural and was relatively comfortable for about an hour. He gave me a button to add more medicine if I needed it, but I didn't want to be completely numb for pushing. The nurse casually came in and said she was going to check me. Prior to this, I was a 9, but baby's head hadn't come down into the birth canal yet and was facing the wrong way (one of the reasons my contractions were so painful). She reached in to check me and only got in about an inch because she quickly said she was going to get the doctor! She'd found the head! I pushed for about 45 minutes and when baby was ready, she just spurted right out and was crying before they even got her on my chest. What a novel experience...to have your newborn baby put on your chest and kept in  your room the whole time after birth!

The nurse said that if I hadn't gotten the epidural, I probably would have delivered about an hour earlier, but I honestly don't know how I could have pushed with the level of pain I was in. Unfortunately for me, for many reasons but probably because she never turned all the way around and because she came so quickly, I ended up with a third degree tear, on a scale from 1 being smallest and a 4 tearing all the way through. It took a while for Dr. Harris (the doctor on call from my clinic...who I'd actually seen a few times before!) to get me stitched up and after getting her stats, Jim and Korrigan were busy bonding in the rocker in our room. Again, what a great sight to see. She scored a 9 out of 10 on her Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes...better than Finn's 4, if I recall correctly.

So far, she is having a little bit of a problem latching on and staying latched on. Our pediatrician happened to be the one on call and rounding this week, which was fabulous. She said that baby isn't opening her mouth very far, which is making it hard to get enough of the nipple in for her to suck...but the good thing is that she has a strong suck. Korrigan doesn't like to think she is alone. She doesn't have to be held, but she has to hear you to know you are there...oh, and she does prefer to just be held. Maybe she will be more of a cuddler than her big brother.

After meeting his baby sister, Finn went home with and had a sleep over with aunt Kelsie last night and Stacey is watching him again today. We are so lucky to have family and friends that are so willing to step in at a moment's notice to help us out. Thank you very much!! Jim isn't feeling well today and had to go to work for a few hours today since the entire management committee flew into town for meetings since Jim couldn't travel. Not exactly sure what tonight and tomorrow will bring, but hopefully we will figure something out. Time to feed the baby!

I'm sure there are a ton of details that I'm currently forgetting, but that gives you a snapshot as to the events that lead up to and after Korrigan's birth. And just to appease the masses, here is a picture from today:

Sunday, January 30

As requested

Here are several pictures of our new baby girl, Korrigan Joyce. She is a big sleeper so far...hope she takes after her big brother in that regard. Just love looking at her and seeing similarities between her and Finn. I'm doing well, just sore and tired, which is to be expected. Thank you for all the support :)
Daddy already wrapped around her little finger.
Mommy checking her little girl out.
Mommy and daddy with new baby girl!
Big brother meeting his little sister. His response: "Hi, baby!" over and over.
Our "big" little girl, Korrigan Joyce

It's A Girl!

I guess that everyone knows she's a girl but this confirms that she's here! Korrigan Joyce Thomas was born at 10:39 am this morning. Mom and baby are both doing great. Baby Korri was born at seven pounds, seven ounces and 20 1/4 inches. People are welcome to come visit - call my cell at 612-227-8057 to coordinate. We'll post pictures as soon as we can. Thanks for all the prayers that helped us get this one to full term - what a wonderful, different, exciting experience!

Today's the Day?!

Just a heads up that Stacy's water broke this morning at 6 am and she started real labor contractions immediately. We made it to the hospital by about 7 am and that's where we are now. Stacey and Dillon came to get Finn - I'm sure they'll have a blast together today.

Stacy has an epidural to help with pain and is doing well. She's dilated to 9 cm so it looks like we'll be having another January birthday! We'll be pretty busy here so I probably won't be making any more phone calls until later. If you want an update you are welcome to call me at 612-227-8057.

Saturday, January 29

A few pictures

As requested by some, here is a half picture of the baby's room:
I can't show you the other view yet because it has her name on the wall! My aunt Janice has graciously agreed to make curtains and a crib skirt, so it obviously isn't complete yet. I'm hoping the curtain panels will be a pink and white stripe and the valance will be polka dots. I'm having a little bit of a hard time finding the exact fabric I want, but hopefully it is out there.

On Thursday night, we decided it had been too long since we'd been to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Loro, so the three of us went out to dinner. Finn hadn't been eating much all week because he wasn't feeling well, but he made up for it there! He had tons of chips with salsa, white dip and cheese dip, half a cheese quesadilla, some refried beans and rice.
 Yes, he is eating the salsa straight out of the salsa cup. Hey, there are far worse things for you to eat!

Then yesterday, NeNe also came over and brought us LeeAnn Chin for lunch, which happens to be one of my favorites. I really appreciated the gesture because NeNE is recovering from knee replacement surgery and while it is getting easier, still isn't super easy for her to get around. But she is more mobile every time I see her! Yay for recovery. Then my wonderfully thoughtful friend, Stacey, (and her son Dillon!) came over and brought this beautiful and yummy cake to celebrate making it to full term:
I'm so thankful and lucky to have a friend like her in my life. Thanks for the company, ladies! Finn's fever broke Thurs AM, but now his cough and runny nose are here with a vengeance. It has been a week since he first got sick, so I'm hoping it won't last too much longer...makes for a crabby and easily irritated Finn (and mom, too, I suppose)!

Friday, January 28

FULL TERM!!!!!!

Jim woke me up a little after midnight and said, "Congratulations, you made it to full term." I honestly can't believe it and am so thankful. If God allows you a set amount of answered prayers, I'm fairly confident that between our two children, Jim and I have used up our allotment. We will never be able to appropriately thank all of you for your continue love and support through the last two plus years (well, and much longer than that, really!). THANK YOU!!

37 weeks!!

How your baby's growing: Your baby is now considered "full term," even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, her lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb [thank GOD!!!!]. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you're planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there's a medical reason to intervene earlier.)

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). [If you're like me, you probably don't know off the top of your head what Swiss chard looks like, duh...doesn't everybody?!?!]
Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

How your life's changing: Braxton Hicks contractions may be coming more frequently now and may last longer and be more uncomfortable. You might also notice an increase in vaginal discharge. If you see some "bloody show" (mucus tinged with a tiny amount of blood) in the toilet or in your undies, labor is probably a few days away — or less. (If you have heavier spotting or bleeding, call your caregiver immediately.) Also be sure to ask your caregiver about the results of your Group B strep culture. [had that on Wed and haven't heard anything, but it was the second one and she said they go by the first anyway. Weird.]  That way, if the result isn't yet on your chart when you get to the hospital or birth center, you'll be able to give the staff there a timely heads-up if you need antibiotics.

It may be harder than ever to get comfortable enough to sleep well at night. [it usually is more the need to pee every hour on the hour than being uncomfortable!] If you can, take it easy through the day — this may be your last chance to do so for quite a while. [I have noticed the need to take a short snooze in the afternoon when Finn is napping, something I haven't done regularly since the first trimester] Keep monitoring your baby's movements, too, and let your caregiver know immediately if you notice a decrease. Though her quarters are getting cozy, she should still be as active as before. [Finn was laying on my tummy yesterday and she kept kicking him. It was really cute. I'm not even sure he noticed, though!]

While you're sleeping, you're likely to have some intense dreams. Anxiety both about labor and about becoming a parent can fuel a lot of strange flights of unconscious fancy.

Thursday, January 27

Feb 1?

No trip to Abbott last night. Although, after I posted yesterday that I was feeling great, I started having intense (not necessarily "painful") contractions fairly regularly. I went to bed and I figured if they kept me up, we'd go in, but I was able to sleep, so no need to go in. My belly remains almost constantly hard even today, but the intensity of the contractions seems to have subsided a bit. I'm still hoping for Tuesday since that will be Feb 1...we have enough January birthdays already! Although, I know it doesn't really matter :) Full term tomorrow! Can't believe it.

Finn's lip/chin was far less worse than I thought it would be. He woke up with a little rash and bump on his chin and a slightly fat lip, although I don't even think most people would notice it. No harm, no foul, I guess.

I called Finn's ECFE teacher to see if we should go today considering he still has a cough and runny nose, but no fever today! Yay! She said as long as the runny nose is clear and since it has been 5 days since he got sick, she was comfortable with us coming, thankfully. Finn was more clingy than normal during play time and completely broke down when we separated (break a mom's heart!), but the teacher said it didn't last very long. At least I can tell he is on the mend.

Wednesday, January 26

Face plant

Finn seems to be feeling better today. His temperature was 99.0 this morning, which is fantastic. He still has a slight cough and runny nose and is super fragile as far as temperament, but slowly getting back to his normal self (thankfully!).

Finn and I went to my weekly OB visit this morning. The weirdest thing...we ran into our friends Laura and Matt there! I didn't know they went to the same OB we did. Too funny. I guess the OB world is smaller than I thought. The other funny thing is that my OB LOVES Finn. Every time she asks if he can stay with her all day. Today, since it was just me, she picked him up and had him help with the heartbeat monitor and gave him gloves to play with. At one point I even though, "Hey, isn't this appointment supposed to be about me?!?!" At least I know he is welcome there.

I am now 70% effaced (measures the thinning of the cervix) and still dilated to a 3 (measures the opening of the cervix). She is amazed and confused as to why I haven't delivered yet and said she would be happy to see me in tonight since she is on call at Abbott! However, based on how well I'm feeling, I don't think that is going to happen any time soon, unless my water breaks or something. She had me make all of my next appointments in the hopes that when you plan ahead, you won't need them! Ha. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I have a few things I'd like to get done yet before baby comes, so I guess I'm not in a huge hurry.

After the appointment, we met our friends Lisa and Samuel for story time at the Global Market, which is conveniently maybe 3 blocks from the clinic. I didn't know how Finn would do since he still isn't 100%, but overall, he did fine. He got thirsty and being the terrible mom that I am, I forgot to bring a cup or a snack. Oops. It was good to catch up in person with Lisa and so weird because we are both at such different stages in our pregnancies (here's hoping for at least 2 more weeks for them so they make it to 23 weeks...and beyond!). She is a super adorable pregnant lady, by the way. Just a little ball right in front. So cute.

And to make me feel even worse, I was taking Finn's boots off when we got home and he did a major face plant straight onto our hardwood floor! His lip bled a ton (including on both of our shirts), but he actually recovered quicker than I did, I think. Wonder what his lip will look like when he gets up from his nap. I know bumps and bruises are normal, but he is such a cautious kid that I'm just not used to them yet.

Monday, January 24

Good night, bad morning

Well, last night was uneventful, but this morning was not. Finn was just sobbing when I got him up and I immediately knew he had a fever. We took his temp and it was 103.4 (which is VERY high for him). He could not be consoled and was having a difficult time breathing in. SO, we called the nurse's line at his clinic and while we waited for them to call back, Jim called our insurance nurse's line, too. The nurse said that when there is the combination for fever and breathing issues, the child needs to be seen right away. Unfortunately, our clinic was double booked all day and their Urgent Care is the Children's ER, which we wanted to avoid if possible. We took Finn over to the Urgent Care Clinic by our house and they were able to see us. The doctor was not concerned with RSV or croup because his lungs sounded fine. They tested for strep and the flu, but both came back negative. So, after over two hours, basically he has a virus and we just need to keep him hydrated, well rested and hopped up on Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Argh. I'm glad I canceled our play date with the Arks today...I would have felt terrible!

Sunday, January 23

The best big brother

Any concerns I had about Finn being a good brother were put to rest yesterday. Uncle John came over after swim class and helped re-organize the kids' rooms. They moved Finn's dresser and crib into baby's room (they are matching and John couldn't live with just moving the dresser!). Then they moved the extra dresser into Finn's room (it is a little bigger than his dresser and since his clothes are bigger than baby's, made sense to switch) and assemble the crib we got from Borns (thanks again!). And the rocking chair is now in baby's room, too. Finn should have a lot more room to play in his room now...I just need to organize everything! His clothes are still in his dresser in baby's room. Oops!

Anyway, so after all the moving took place, I pointed to baby's crib and told Finn this is where his baby sister is going to sleep. He went back to his room and came back with his Kiki and Lamby. I told him he didn't need to share those with his baby sister because mommy got ones for her. He just went over to the crib and put them in there for her to sleep with! How selfless and sweet. I'm sure we won't always have "good big brother" moments, but I will cherish that one forever!

Thank you to Uncle John for all your help yesterday and thank you to aunt Kelsie for putting together Finn's play kitchen (which had to have been a thousand pieces!). It looks great and will account for many hours of fun for Finn.

So, Finn was sick last night. He seemed out of sorts and in a little pain during the evening, but we didn't think too much of it. We gave him Gripe Water and Ibuprofen and put him to bed. It took him a while to fall asleep, which isn't like him. Then when Jim went to check on him before going to bed, I heard, "we might need to go to the hospital." Yikes! That should be me telling Jim that because I'm in labor, not because of Finn! His temp was 102.9, which is very high for Finn. Jim comforted him while we waited for the nurse's line to call us back and eventually, I cuddled with Finn (melt my heart...I don't get to do that EVER!) while Jim called the nurse's line from our insurance. Both nurses said that the temp by itself wasn't overly concerning. He was also breathing fast and shallow, his tummy was rock hard, he'd been pulling at his ears during the day and had a slight runny nose. It was decided to give him Tylenol, give him a steam "bath" for 20 minutes, put him to bed and see how he did. After that, he seemed fine, but he was exhausted, too, since he'd been up for about an hour and a half in the middle of the night.

Today, Finn has been very whiny, clingy and seems fragile (playing fine one second and crying the next). Of course, it did help that NeNe came over for a while and spoiled him with attention ;) It honestly doesn't seem like anything major, but it is always tough any time your kid is not feeling well. Hopefully tonight is uneventful and it was just a 24 hour bug of some kind!

Saturday, January 22

Stop snoring already

I am SOOOOOOOOOO happy! It will take me a couple steps to get the reason, but bare with me. Jim has been having facial pain for, well, it seems like months, but probably for several weeks. He finally went in to get checked out and they had him get a CT scan. The results came back that he has two cysts in his sinus cavity, and while they weren't sure, thought that could be causing his pain. So they then referred him to an ENT specialist for further care, which he went to yesterday. Getting to my exciting news (no, I'm not happy all of this has happened...I'm not sadistic, people!). Jim went to the ENT yesterday and they did a thorough exam and told him lots of stuff and ultimately did two things: 1. gave him oral and spray medications to hopefully reduce and/or eliminate the cysts without the need for surgery (yay!). 2. But more importantly, TOLD HIM HE HAS TO GO TO A SLEEP STUDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My prayers have been answered. For all you none believers out there, have faith because God DOES hear and answer your prayers, even if you have to wait YEARS for that to happen. I can't wait. He can't go in for the sleep study until he has finished these medications, which will be the middle of Feb, I think. I can hold off until then, I think. Yay :)

I've been feeling great the last two days. Limited number and intensity of contractions and I seem to have more energy (also the fact that we've gotten to 36 weeks might have alleviated some stress!). Although, I must be doing more than I'm used to because my feet swelled up last night, which hasn't happened in a couple weeks. Oh, well. All part of the blessed joy of being pregnant (along with the heartburn that just won't go away!). Based on how I've been feeling, I wouldn't be surprised if we go full term and maybe even to our due date! Crazy how these things work.

Jim took my 36 week preggo belly picture last night:
Upon viewing the pictures said, "Wow, that thing doesn't even look real!" Ha, I must be getting pretty big. The funny thing is, I don't FEEL that big and am shocked when I see pictures of my belly. I guess that is a good thing rather than feeling huge all the time. Finn has swimming this morning, which I'm going to, but not going in the pool (nobody wants to see this in a swim suit!). I haven't heard a plan, but I'm hoping uncle John comes over afterward! Hope he doesn't mind a "honey do" list from me ;) Of course, the list is for Jim, but we all know John will "help" to finish it.

One comment about the weather. I'm not really one to complain about the weather. I mean, we CHOSE to live here, so I don't really understand people who complain when it is hot and humid in the summer and frigid and snowy  in the winter. I mean, it IS Minnesota, what do you expect?!?! My comment is simply this: it is a little ridiculous, however, when the HIGH yesterday was 0 degrees and the current wind chill is -13. I mean, come on! We do have a "warm up" next week where the highs are supposed to be 20. I guess we have that going for us...which is nice ;)

Oh, and Jim and I started a game of Trivial Pursuit last night, which we had to put on hold to watch Criminal Minds (if you haven't seen it; SO GOOD!) and you'll never guess who's winning. I'm not one to brag, so you can figure it out on your own ;) Hee, hee.

Friday, January 21

36 weeks - Yay!

How your baby's growing: Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She is now more than 18 1/2 inches long and weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon).

She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she's in a head-down position [thankfully, yes!]. But if she isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying she'll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

How your life's changing: Now that your baby is taking up so much room, you may have trouble eating a normal-size meal [a big meal brings on contractions, so I try to eat small meals instead]. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to handle at this point. On the other hand, you may have less heartburn and have an easier time breathing when your baby starts to "drop" down into your pelvis. This process — called lightening — often happens a few weeks before labor if this is your first baby. (If you've given birth before, it probably won't happen before labor starts.) If your baby drops, you may also feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen, which may make walking increasingly uncomfortable, and you'll probably find that you have to pee even more frequently. If your baby is very low, you may feel lots of vaginal pressure and discomfort as well. Some women say it feels as though they're carrying a bowling ball between their legs!

You might also notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent now. Be sure to review the signs of labor with your practitioner and find out when she wants to hear from you. As a general rule, if you're full-term, your pregnancy is uncomplicated, and your water hasn't broken, she'll probably have you wait to come in until you've been having contractions that last for about a minute each, coming every five minutes for an hour. Of course, you'll want to call right away if you notice a decrease in your baby's activity or think you're leaking amniotic fluid, or if you have any vaginal bleeding, fever, a severe or persistent headache, constant abdominal pain, or vision changes.

Even if you're enjoying an uncomplicated pregnancy, it's best to avoid flying (or any travel far from home) during your final month because you can go into labor at any time. In fact, some airlines won't let women on board who are due to deliver within 30 days of the flight.

Wow, 36 weeks! So happy to have gotten this far. I know it has been a rollercoaster ride, especially for the last two and a half weeks and it has taken its toll on us, but now we can breath a little easier, even though "full term" isn't technically until next Friday. Contractions seems to be slowing a bit and hardly any pain associated with them. Now I say that and labor will start! Ha.

Thank you to everybody for helping get baby's room ready, but especially thank you to auntie Becca for helping FINISH it last night (and vacuum and take all the boxes to the garage)! All the painting is done. And if you've ever been pregnant and nesting or know somebody who has, you will know how good that feels. Now we just need to get furniture in and it will be completely ready for baby. I hope uncle John knows what's in store for him this weekend ;) Pictures to follow when complete.

Thursday, January 20

Monkey see

I was wondering what last night would bring: it was a full moon and a low pressure went through (both of which are supposedly reported to bring on labor). I definitely had contractions all night, but nothing to make us go to the hospital. I've been having stronger ones today, but I also took Finn to ECFE by myself this morning, so I'm sure the physical activity might have contributed to that.

You know the saying, "monkey see, monkey do?" Well, Finn is and has been a super big copy cat for a long time, especially with language. But recently, I've started noticing it in other parts of his life...and it is usually based on what daddy is doing. The other night, we were eating pasta for dinner and once Finn realized that daddy was using a fork (Finn was using a spoon), he said, "oh, fork" and picked it up to eat his pasta. Then another day, daddy was eating bread with his meal and Finn instantly demanded bread, too! He definitely looks at both of us for cues on how he should respond to different situations (like, should I be scared by this? How do you feel when this happens? That kind of stuff). It just goes to show me what a sponge he is and how much he is taking in all the time. I feel like he has left his baby-hood behind and is now a full fledged toddler (which actually probably happened months ago, but I wasn't willing to admit it).

Oh and any time we walk by the baby's room, he has to comment, "baby sister's room." So cute. I also had Jim bring in the infant car seat from the garage so I could wash it up and have it ready for when baby comes. I must have said it was for baby sister at some point, because now, every time he sees it, he says, "baby sister's car seat." He is so perceptive and his memory is ridiculous. I have a feeling if we were both tested, he would score higher on memory retention than I would...especially now while I still have pregnancy brain!

Wednesday, January 19

Don't ever grow up

You all know that Finn is two, BUT his two year pictures are ready! And he is growing up so quickly. Here is a sneak peek:
Here is the link to the slide show:

www.jessicahislop.com/clients/Finn

If you'd like to order pictures, view the proofs or make a "favorite" list, click on "proofing" and the password is 2year (and then click on the "Finn" image). Jess managed to take a stubborn, uncooperative toddler and get some amazing shots. I can't believe all the different expressions of his that she got. Thank you for the millionth time, Jess!

Be warned, this is Jim's response when I sent the link to him: "Those are so good. You have to listen to it with the music muted though if you don’t want to cry." Don't you ever grow up...so fitting. Good thing we have Jess in our back pocket to help document these fleeting times. Finn'll be 18 and we'll be doing his Senior pictures before we now it, I'm sure.

Busy bees

Finn and I each had an appointment today. Finn had his 2 year well child appointment at Children's. He weighs 28 lbs and is 31.2" tall. This was the first time they weighed him and took his height on the "big boy" scales. He wasn't too sure about it, but wasn't too worried, either. For his actual age, he is at the 50th percentile for weight and head circumference but <1% for height. They start looking at BMI at 2 years and, obviously, Finn's is a little higher than they like to see because of him being so short, but are not concerned at this point. Just something they want to monitor, since they are hoping his height eventually catches up like the rest of him did. We also talked about the possibility for growth hormones and she is very open to that, but the restrictions on who gets them is very stringent because they are very expensive, I guess. So, she is keeping any eye on it, so I don't have to worry...yeah right!

She is also concerned about Finn's teeth, which this was the first she mentioned it to us. She said he needs to be seen by a pediatrician dentist "sooner rather than later." She thinks there may be structural issues, potentially due to his torticollis and plagiocephaly (misshapen head). She also wants Finn to be seen by the carniofacial team that worked with him on his cranial cap. It has been a year and she said she would feel better if he was seen by them. AND he still needs to be tested every 6 months for hearing and eyes. Yikes...was kind of hoping his appointments were tapering off. But, I'd rather do them and make sure all is well, than be lazy and not do them because it is inconvenient. She also agree that it is good he is being seen for his feet. AND she gave me the number to the NICU Follow-Up clinic since they have not contacted us yet and Finn is obviously passed his 2 year birthday. AND he had blood drawn for lead and hemoglobin, I think. Of course, I would be remiss to not mention that she was overly surprised and pleased with his comprehension, language skills and cognition! I think that is it. No wonder our appointment lasted an hour!

Then we went across the street for my OB appointment (I was one minute late!). I explained the symptoms I've been having over the last few days. She was concerned that my water had broke and tested for it, but nope. She said the pain I was experiencing Monday night and yesterday was most likely contractions and not constipation pain. Darn it...I was sure it wasn't contractions. I'm so bad at figuring this stuff out! Why isn't it like in the movies when they just know it is labor and go into the hospital to have a baby?!?! My cervix has not changed since Saturday, which was a little disappointing to hear, considering how uncomfortable I have been. She lifted my bed rest restrictions, but also said to listen to my body and not over do it. There are just some things that I can't do and things I can do, but they take a lot out of me (like going up and down the stairs or carrying Finn). I'm done with my hormone shots! Yay! I will miss my weekly check-in/chat with my wonderful home nurse, but so happy to be done with the shots. The baby is most definitely head down, and has been for a while. So, whenever she decides to join us, I guess we'll be ready.

Tuesday, January 18

Over did it

Okay, for those of you who said something and those of you who thought it, but didn't say anything...yes, I over did it yesterday! In part, I was trying to prove a point, but I paid for it today. I had pain in my lower back and lower abdomen every time I moved...but could rest comfortably, which was good. Experienced more painful contractions then I'm used to as well (but like Jim said, "I suppose you didn't call your doctor?" Um, nope). SO, I took it very easy today. I did NOT get the chair rail painted or even Finn's laundry done. There is always "tomorrow" right? Speaking of tomorrow, we have Finn's 2 year well child doctor appointment and my OB appointment right after (Finn's is at Children's and OB is across the street). Jim is going to both, so hopefully won't over do it.

If you could include dear friend of ours in your prayers, it would be greatly appreciated. They are currently 20 weeks pregnant and were in the hospital today with contractions. She delivered their first son at 23 weeks, so this is obviously a critical time for them. Luckily, terbutaline worked for her and they were able to get the contractions under control and go home tonight. Hopefully, they won't be back for a long time!

Finn wore boots for the first time today. His new boots came and I tried them on him and he says, "Go walk in the snow?" How cute. Unfortunately for him, it was far too cold and it was the last thing I wanted to do. BUT, he did get to wear them after daddy got home when we went out to dinner, so he was happy and figured out quickly they are easy to get off! Even so, I'm glad I got them a size bigger than I was going to. Now I KNOW they will last through this never ending winter.

Monday, January 17

You go, girl

I think I might be having the most productive day of my life today (me thinks nesting?!?!). Thank you to my wonderful aunt Angie (and her kids) for taking Finn for part of the day so I could get stuff done! And my friend, Laura, for offering. Too bad every day isn't MLK day. Oh, Happy Martin Luther King day!

I got up nice and early for no reason (which actually ticks me off...but usually happens when I start thinking about all the things that need to get done). So I got up a little after 6:30am, went online to pay bills. Then found and endorsed checks to mail into the bank (a chore I always put off, which is kind of counter productive!). Then I sorted and actually went through close to a month's worth of mail (um, probably #1 thing I hate doing). Then I sanded the chair rail in baby's room (I puttied it last night). Then showered and had breakfast. Got Finn up and ready and took him to meet Angie. Came back and went through all of Finn's clothes! I hadn't done it since before he was in 12 month clothes and he is now transitioning into 24 month! Oops. As you can tell, I usually put it off as long as I can, and I think today was as long as it could go. And that isn't counting all the "little" things that you do in the regular coarse of a day that you just do! Yay, me. Now, I'd LOVE to be able to get the last coat of paint on the chair rail and top section of the wall in baby's room (I already have it taped off). Not sure I can do the high stuff by myself, though. We'll see :)

I'm also, trying to figure out what things we NEED right away when baby gets here, what things we can hold off on getting and what things are wants. Now, if only we had a money tree in our back yard!

Sunday, January 16

Celebrating Miss. T

Well, before all the "excitement" of yesterday afternoon's visit to the hospital, I had some excitement of my own at the baby shower Stacey (and Connie!) threw for me. It was perfect in every way and I had so much fun catching up with so many girlfriends. Stacey was the perfect hostess and didn't let me get up for anything, well except to use the bathroom about halfway through the shower...and I'm sure she would have helped with that if she thought it would have caused me less stress some how! Thank you to all my wonderful friends who came to support little Miss Thomas (and those that wanted to, but weren't able). She is such a lucky girl and she isn't even here yet. The gifts were overly generous (with lots of pink!) but really, just getting together to celebrate her meant the most to me (and Jim, he said so!). THANK YOU Stacey and Connie for a wonderful time, scrumptious food and lending your beautiful home for the event!

Side note: Did anybody take any pictures? I brought my camera but forgot to take it out of my purse. If so, please email them to me!

Of course, my day started out a little stressful as I had to start and clear off my car of snow before leaving (and drag a heavy box out to my car...oops!). Then I left in plenty of time to get there early enough to just relax. Until I realized about a quarter of the way there that I took the wrong car! I took my car, duh, but Jim needed it to take Finn to swimming, since that is where Finn's car seat is. SO, I had to turn back, clear off Jim's car with Jim's help and Jim moved the heavy box to his car. Oh and on the way there, I realized that either I didn't know how to operate Jim's wipers or he was out of wiper fluid (it was option #2, if you're curious!). By the time I got to Stacey's I was pretty frazzled, but I technically wasn't late, as I think it was 5 minutes to 11am! Sheesh. Why do I do things like that?!?! I'll blame pregnancy brain yet again (I'd better use that excuse while I still can!!).

And to top off the wonderful event, while we ladies were "showering," Stacey's husband Sam came over to our house to install the chair rail in Miss T's room! What an amazing friend he is! And it looks awesome. Now I/we just need to fill the holes, do a little caulking and do one last coat of paint! So excited.

Saturday, January 15

Home again?

Well, that was one way to spend an afternoon/evening. First of all, I'm home, doing fine and still pregnant.

I'd vaguely noticed a decrease in fetal activity last night and today during the day. I didn't honestly think anything of it because I thought I was just so busy that I hadn't been paying attention. Well, by the time I got home around 3pm, I mentioned it to Jim, who became very concerned. I waited until about 4pm and then called the doctor for fear that if I didn't, I would end up divorced. My doctor happened to be on call and after listening to what I had to say, recommended going in right away just to be monitored to make sure all was well with the baby.

So, we got Finn up from his nap and headed into Abbott. Yes, this would be trip #3 to our beloved hospital. Isn't 3 supposed to be the charm or something like that? Anyway, once they hooked me up, baby started moving and her heart rate was great...but I then started contracting, but nothing painful. After about an hour, the nurse had talked to my doctor and they decided to do a cervix check before sending me home. Well, I was dilated to a 3, which was progress from last Wed when I was at a 2. SO...they hooked me back up and had me stay for 2 hours, for which I was contracting considerably, both in number and intensity. Then she checked me again and since my cervix hadn't progressed in 2 hours, they figured it wasn't the beginning of true labor and sent us home with the instructions to "take it easy."

Argh! I'm almost to the point where the mental stress isn't worth "cooking" the baby longer. I mean, obviously, that is what is best, but you have NO idea what it is like to think you are going into labor every day for NINE weeks, then to go into the hospital with preterm labor, only to be sent home again and again...and again! Well, on the bright side, all are well and home...for now!

Taking a shower

Yesterday, Finn and I had nothing planned and definitely had too much time together by the end of the day. I just don't have patience for him right now, which I hate, but I also think it is that I just can't "do" what he wants/needs me to do, so we both get frustrated. You know it's bad when JIM points out that I don't have any patience :) Jim got home a little late because of the darn snow and I just finally put Finn in his bed...and he immediately stopped screaming and played in there for about half an hour! Hey, I normally would get him out as soon as he stops crying, but I figured we both needed the time apart!

I'm so excited for today. Stacey is throwing me a baby shower at her house in Plymouth! I'm so glad I haven't delivered yet for many reasons, but one is that due to Finn's early arrival, I never got to have a baby shower while still being pregnant (what women don't love to ogle a big preggo belly?!?!). Not that the showers that were generously given for Finn weren't wonderful and much appreciated! So, now I can cross that off my list of "didn't get to's" from the first time around. Lots of girlfriends are coming, so as long as I don't over do it, should be a blast!

I'm really getting excited about Baby T's room. Everything is cleared out (well, except for paint supplies!), the painting is finished (thanks, uncle Les!), the chair rail is going up today (thanks, Sam!!!), we have the pink polka dots (MAY need to get more, not sure) and her name applique for the wall should arrive next week (hope we don't change our minds!). Now we just need to get the furniture in and wait for baby to arrive! I'll definitely post pictures when the walls are ready!

Deal(s) of the Day: last night, I ordered Finn a pair of boots (nothing like waiting until winter is half over!), a pair of flip flops (hey, I'm hopeful summer will once again be here some day) and a pair of tennis shoes (for when he outgrows his current ones) at Target.com and spent less than $35 including shipping! I'm pretty proud of myself :) I wish I had the stamina to go to the store and not have to pay for shipping, but that won't be happening any time soon AND it seems they never have exactly what you are looking for in store anyway. I like Wal-mart's "ship-to-store" option, but then you still have to make a trip there to pick it up (normally, I wouldn't mind, but don't see that happening in the next few days!).

I haven't posted a picture in eons, so here is one from Thursday of daddy and Finn walking into the house from the car (see why Finn needs boots?!?!):
I knew we had a lot of snow, but seeing it in perspective to Finn, seems like even more! Even if my little guy IS a shorty ;)

Friday, January 14

35 weeks

How your baby's growing: Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that she's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, she isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete [what a relief!] — she'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

How your life's changing: Your uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived — now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you'd see that there's more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you're not grappling with these annoyances, you're one of the lucky few.

From here on out, you'll start seeing your practitioner every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she'll do a culture to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). [I tested positive for this with Finn and when I was in the hospital last week. But they don't treat it until they know you are going to be giving birth.] GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don't know it, it's vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own — that's why you weren't screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you're a GBS carrier, you'll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby's risk of infection.

This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics — like who'll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won't follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time — and sharing your preferences with your caregiver — should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

I'm not sure how many days exactly Becky was when she had Austin, but if I make it to 36 weeks, I will for sure have lasted longer than both Austin and Finn! How exciting. What will my family do NOT having a baby needing special care?!?! I'm sure we will deal.

No more PT

I survived yesterday. Jim worked from home in the AM, so he dropped us off at ECFE and picked us up, which obviously helped. I took it easy once at class and found a chair to just sit in the whole time. The other parents and teachers took Finn under their wings and played with him. He had a blast and didn't even flinch when I left to go to the parent room. Progress with separation anxiety? I sure hope so. In parent time, we talked about the word "no." Both parent's over use of it and how to deal when your child uses it. Pretty good conversation, now I just have to remember to use the tools they gave us!

The three of us went to PT in the afternoon, which was our last session at Gillette for potentially SIX MONTHS! They want to give Finn time to work on his balance and confidence before we move on to higher level gross motor things. I can't believe it has taken us a year and a half to get here. I'm almost a little sad to be done, but so happy that Finn has progressed to this point and for our schedule to free up an afternoon each week. They also are sending us to a specialist for Finn's feet. He rotates in on them when he walks, especially his right foot, and if not corrected, could lead to major problems later. Right now, it isn't a huge concern, but I'm glad they are having a specialist look at him (that appt is in Feb).

Pregnancy update: yesterday was a lot more contracting with a small amount of pain associated with it. Nothing consistent or to worry about yet, but things feel like they are progressing. That being said, what do I know?!?! Hoping for Saturday afternoon at the earliest (like we can control these things). Next OB visit on Wed.

Wednesday, January 12

Take it easy

We had an OB appt this morning, which went well, all things considered. I'm now dilated to a 2, still 50% effaced, but the big difference, and potential reason for concern, is that my "bag of waters" is bulging through my cervix. It doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it could also mean my water is going to break any minute. It doesn't help that I've had a significant increase in discharge the last couple of days (TMI, sorry!), which could mean my mucus plug is slowly disintegrating as well. I just want to last until Sunday, since my friend Stacey is throwing me a baby shower on Saturday!

My OB reiterated to me that I must take it easy and do as little as possible, at least until 36 weeks, with NO lifting. Hmmm...I do as little as possible, but it is probably more than I should do. It is just so hard with Finn. Although, he did walk into the house from the car after the appt...I think it was a first for him to walk in the snow, even if it was just a dusting on the sidewalk, so of course, it took even longer than his normal snail pace of walking. Finn is being allowed to watch far more TV than he ever has before and more than I'm comfortable with, but it is the only way I can think of to keep him entertained and me resting (luckily PBS has appropriate shows almost all day and I tell myself at least they are educational!). A testatment to that: Jim asked Finn what his favorite animal was at the doctor and Finn's response, "Elmo." Hmmm...

Tomorrow might be a little much for me because I really want to take Finn to ECFE in the morning (he missed last week because I was in the hospital). It is so good for him to play with kids his age and get out of the house and I like the adult time, as well. And then in the afternoon, we have PT. I guess we'll see how it goes!

Finn's EI team came yesterday, which is always a great morning. We are trying to work on Finn's core muscle strength, which is tough when I can't do much. My nurse came later and now I only have one more hormone shot left! Yay :)

Oh, and Jim set my computer up last night, but I still don't have things organized. I really want to get some pictures uploaded, so we'll see if I can find the right cord.

Tuesday, January 11

You're gonna miss this

A week or so ago (seems like a lifetime!), I posted how one of Darius Rucker's songs was so powerful and put things in perspective for me when I'd been having a rough patch. While Jim and I were listening to music a few nights later, I remembered another one with a slightly different spin on the same message. It is a song by Trace Adkins called "You're gonna miss this" and here is the chorus:

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

It got us talking about how things change and how we don't want to forget how things are now (even on the bad days!). Like the million and one ways Finn is silly and goofy every day and brings so much joy to our lives. And the mannerisms that accompany this age, but will soon disappear simply because he is learning and growing. I'm not good at remembering to take video, especially of "just" the little things, so I hope I post enough of those things here so we will be able to look back and remember them (well, and so you can enjoy them, too).

Then Jim does or says things that surprise me. He isn't a very self-reflective person nor do I consider him to be much of a sentimental person, although that isn't necessarily fair, because he values traditions even more than I do. Anyway, last night, I was looking at one of my online bargain website and found a very sturdy wooden dollhouse for over 50% off. Now, I know it is a little early to get something like that for our daughter, but I showed it to him. He said, "No, I want to get her a huge one that is bigger than she is. Oh, and a pink Barbie car that she can ride around in." As though he had been thinking about this and already had a plan! It caught me off guard, but now in hind sight, I'm realizing she already has him wrapped around her finger and she isn't even here yet...which is 100% okay with me, given the lack of relationship I had/have with my dad. I hope she calls him daddy until the day she gets married or has kids of her own.

Monday, January 10

Yum, Melting Pot

Les, with limited help from Jim and me, managed to finish painting the baby's room yesterday! My computer isn't set up yet since moving the office downstairs, so I can't post pictures, but it looks great. Lynn said Finn kept asking to see "baby sister's room" last night! Now we just need to put the chair rail and pink polka dots up (both of which we don't have yet!). Should be cute when completely finished! Thank you so much for your help and lunch from Panera, NeNe and Les!

Yesterday, Jim's mom came into town, so Jim and I were able to go out to dinner for my birthday. Jim had a whole surprise evening planned out, but had to make last minute alterations and let me in on the surprise given the turn of events from last week. He'd made reservations at Melting Pot, which is one of my favorite places to eat. I decided I was up for going to dinner there, mainly just because I wanted to go so badly. We nixed a movie afterward, though, so as not to over do it for me. Dinner was amazing and there was a birthday rose waiting for me at our table. So sweet. One down side was I ate so much that I started contracting on our way out to the car (but stopped when we got home). Oops. I decided I'd better eat smaller meals going forward! It was a great night out with my amazing husband.

This morning, Lynn watched Finn for me and I headed out to get a pedicure (SO over due!) and then to Jess's house for round two of my maternity photo shoot. Jim wanted to have a few risque pictures that the public studio didn't allowed for at the last one. I guess I am thankful that he is one of those guys that likes the pregnant body and not disgusted by it! I think it was a first for Jess (and certainly for me), but it was fun and I can't wait to see them (she is finishing up Finn's 2 year shoot first). I know Jim will love them.

This afternoon I was on my own with Finn, but luckily, Lynn didn't have to leave until around 1 and Finn napped for over 2 hours, so our time together alone and the stress associated with it was limited. After work, Jim picked us up and we went with to watch his basketball game. Finn LOVED it and was super good. I was able to just sit there, so, while a folding chair isn't the most comfortable, I was able to take it easy. Overall, day 1 of modified bedrest as a stay-at-home mom went well.

Sunday, January 9

The best

We are so truly lucky and blessed to have the people in our lives that we do. Yesterday, Sam, Stacey and Dillon came over to help get the baby's room cleared out. It was something that has been causing me stress for a couple weeks but Jim needed some help. They helped bring a desk over and Sam and Jim set it up downstairs while Stacey cleared out the office of almost everything! It might not sound like a big deal, but it went above and beyond the call of duty and we truly appreciated the help. Oh, and Stacey made a lasagna dinner for all of us, too! You can't beat that. Thank you so much, you guys.

And today, NeNe and Uncle Les are coming over to help get started on painting the baby's room! Just getting these things done will allow me to relax a little bit. I was worried that we wouldn't have a place to put baby girl Thomas if she did decide to come early. Now with the room cleared out and if we can get most or all of the painting done today, we can at least set up the crib and have a place for her to sleep! It feels so good and we really are so lucky to have people who are willing to help us, especially when we didn't even ask! Thank you :)

Hey, how about those Seahawks, Papa?!?! ;)

Saturday, January 8

Basket case

I don't know if it is the stress of the last few days or if going into preterm labor has muddled up my already crazy pregnancy hormones, but I was on an emotional roller coaster yesterday. I would go from feeling immense joy at the smallest thing like watching Finn walk next to Jim on the way into the kitchen, to being in full tears because I couldn't help with putting Finn to bed. Of course, it didn't help when I talked to my mom on the phone. What is it...things are fine and the second you hear your mom's voice, turn on the water works (well, for me at least). I think part of it for me is that it is hard having to sit and watch Jim have to do everything by himself. I don't mind the occasional break, but not being able to help at all is tougher than I thought.

I'm sure my nerves were on heightened alert yesterday and I was contracting almost the entire time since we got home, which was a little after 11am. It felt so good to be home, but the second Finn got here, I think my blood pressure rose, too. I was able to calm down after Finn went to bed and had a fairly restful night...nothing like being back in your own bed! Not to mention the wonderful shower in my own bathroom with my own things this morning!

Right now, Jim and Finn are at swim class, Finn's first of the winter session. I think this might be the first time Jim has taken him by himself. I know they will do well...although I felt a little left out, but I know I would over do it, even if I just went to watch. Contractions have slowed this morning and I was even able to help a little bit with Finn before they left.

Friday, January 7

34 weeks and no baby yet!

Yay! Keep in mind the size and development examples may now be off. Once you go into preterm labor, it is common for the baby to mature at a faster rate to prepare for early arrival. And her lungs should be good, since she got the full dose of steroid medicine.

How your baby's growing: Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long.
Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

How your life's changing: By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you're under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now's the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you've been sitting or lying down for a long time, don't jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy. Also be sure to call your doctor if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don't have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.

Going home!

The doctor just rounded and is sending us home, hopefully yet this morning! The contractions I'm having are few, small and not productive, so they are comfortable sending me home. The doctor wants me on modified bedrest, which means if I didn't have to take care of a two year old as my job, I could go about my business. But since taking care of a two year old is probably more work than several "normal" jobs combined, she wants me to take it easy and get as much help with Finn as possible. She checked my cervix and after all that hullabaloo, I am still where I was when we came in Wednesday morning (was that Wed?!?! Man, time is warped here).

Thursday, January 6

Rest of day

Two hours to go and Finn will not have to share his actual birthday. I think we are thankfully in the clear. Renae, Becky, Austin and Finn came up for a visit this afternoon. We all went to McDonald's for a birthday sundae, which Finn loved. Pete came up for a bit, as well. Finn lasted about an hour and a half and then was getting a little squirrelly so they headed out around 6pm. It was so great to see him and I could tell he was happy to see us as well. We took some pictures and sang to him. Ironically, the nurse that was on tonight was one of our nurses last time! She was busy while Finn was here, so she didn't get to see him, but what a small world!

The Mag was discontinued a little after 2pm. Yay! I was able to take a shower, brush my teeth, put on real clothes...all with only a little help from Jim. I felt human again. Contractions were practically stopped all evening, but are now about every 15 minutes or so, but not painful. I'll probably have to go back on the monitors in a little bit, but I'm trying to hold off. Still feeling good, though.

Stacey and Sam came for a visit tonight. Stacey brought me Pad Thai from Noodles (yum!) and Sam and Jim went out for Mexican...Jim needed to get out. Which was great because Stacey and I got some girl time. Becky A also came up tonight, which was great. We talked about old war stories, since she spent 3 weeks here just after Finn was born (and even knew my nurse tonight!). Thanks for all the visits, guys. Helps to break up the time a bit.

Will know more tomorrow about when we can go home and what activity levels are allowed. Hopefully we have an uneventful night.

Happy birthday, Finn

And hopefully only Finn! Auntie NaeNae is watching him today, but hopefully they, plus auntie Becca and Austin, can come to visit this afternoon. We talked to Finn on the phone this morning and auntie says he misses us and keeps asking about us. I wasn't even sure he would notice with his aunties and Austin around! Hope to at least be able to have some ice cream with him to celebrate (there is a McDonald's downstairs...which I still think is so funny).

Anyway, update on Baby sister. So far, it doesn't look like she will be stealing Finn's birthday. Yay! Probably a bigger deal to me than it would be to them (because Kristine and I are one day apart), but I can't help it. If things continue as they are, the plan is to discontinue the Magnesium Sulfate at 2pm today. At that point, the steroids have done their magic on baby's lungs and there isn't a reason to continue the Mag, thankfully. They will then monitor me and the baby for 24 hours and if things look good, we will be able to go home tomorrow afternoon/evening! Yay!

Of course, I will be the magic 34 weeks tomorrow, so if anything does happen to progress, they do not try to stop labor at that point. If I am able to hold off for a few weeks, they should be interesting weeks. I haven't talked to the doctor about what life will be like at home after discharge, but I'm assuming bedrest or modified bedrest. So, if any of your have some free time and would like to either come over next week or the following week(s) and play with Finn or have him for a day, please let us know. Jim has some flexibility with work, but he does have to go in to work some time! At this point, I have truly given this pregnancy and birth to God and whatever happens going forward is what is supposed to happen. And, we know we can and will be able to deal with it.

I am comfortable and so happy my water hasn't broken this time. Other than being tied to the IV, the side effects from the Mag and occasional fetal/maternal monitoring, I have much more mobility than last time (hey, I'm even allowed to sit up as I type this!). I also want to thank everybody for their wonderful support and prayers over, well, this whole pregnancy, but also over the last few days. It really means more than we can ever properly express. Jim, Finn, Baby and I are so truly blessed to have the magnificent support network that we do. THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, January 5

Admitted

After two more medications to stop the contractions no luck so Stacy has been admitted; not committed to avoid any confusion =). She's going to go on magnesium, so that should be fun (she didn't enjoy it with Finn but it worked). Another dose of steroids for baby and we will be staying at least over night. Welcome to visit today if people want but call me first.

Good Morning?

Just talked to the doctor after the contractions got more intense again. Headed back in to get checked out. Will keep you updated.

Tuesday, January 4

Memories

I'll preface this with the following statement: everything is currently fine and so as not to cause a panic we didn't call a lot of people so don't be offended if you weren't informed until now. That being said Stacy and I just got back from Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

This morning Stacy saw her home health nurse, Jen, who gives her the progesterone shots and upon evaluation she insisted that Stacy call her nurse's line. Based on symptoms both nurses insisted she go in and be evaluated further in labor and delivery to be on the safe side. Jen was kind enough to stay until Becky got here to watch Finn and was only just leaving right as I got home from the dentist. She also coordinated things so they were expecting our arrival at Abbott. She is a great nurse.

When I got home, we headed to Abbott and went to their Maternal Assesment Center (MAC) so Stacy could be evaluated. They hooked her up to my least favorite machine in the world the Maternal/Fetal Monitor and that proved that she indeed was having contractions about four minutes apart which of course I read before the nurse came and told us. The exam also yielded the fact that she was dilated to about a centimeter. On the plus side, her water has not broke which is what initiated the labor with Finn's situation.

Upon confiring with Stacy's on-call physician, they proceeded to give her terbutaline medicine to stop the contractions (it was one step down from the level of medicine she received when she was in labor with Finn) and also gave an injection of steroids (betamethasone) for the baby's lungs and development which is the same medicine Finn received.

About an hour later, the contractions slowed enough for them to determined it was fine for us to go home which is where we are now. The nurse also noted that most babies born at this point (33 weeks and four days) go to the special care nursery at Abbott and aren't even transferred over to Childrens Hospital.

All in all, this certainly isn't what we were hoping for but much better than what we've dealt with before. We're 9 weeks past when she ruptured with Finn and just shy of seven weeks beyond when Finn was delivered. While every additional day until the baby comes will continue to be a blessing the biggest blessing is that we've made it this far. Stacy will have to go back in to Abbott tomorrow afternoon to get the second steroid shot and to be further monitored.

Stacy is of course to take it easy and rest as much as possible (i.e. no lifting or running after Finn!), drink a lot of water and stay vigilent with the symptoms and go in if the contractions progress. Hopefully it will be a few more weeks but we'll see.

If anyone has any questions please call me at 612-227-8057 as opposed to calling or emailing Stacy which will make her busier right now than what we need. Becky, thanks for getting over here so quickly to watch Finn and help Stacy and for watching Finn tonight in case anymore calamity were to ensue.

Here's to six and a half more weeks before meeting baby!

Saturday, January 1

Cool birth days

PT went so well on Thursday AM that Melissa thinks after our next appt in two weeks, we may be able to take a break from PT for a while until Finn gets stronger and more stable with his walking! I never know when you can say you child is "walking" per se, but I think I'm comfortable officially calling Finn a walker. He made leaps and bounds over Christmas (with so many people here, he had to keep up and there was always somebody close to catch him if he fell!). But at PT yesterday, he stood over over 15 second independently while playing with a toy and walked unassisted without falling for over 50 feet...that is a LONG way. Now he just needs to build his confidence and balance and I think he'll be a pro. Of course, he had to show off and run yesterday, too (albeit clumsily). See, I told you he would start running as soon as he started walking!

Thursday night we got to celebrate the wonderful engagement of our friends Ryan and Leah by hosting a dinner at our house with them and our friend Doug. I worked with Ryan at Gander Mountain and wasn't sure there was a woman out there who would be able to put up with him...but I was wrong. Not only does Leah put up with him, but she makes him step out of his obstinate shell, too! A perfect pairing if there ever was one. Congratulations, guys!

Last night we took Finn to his first Wild hockey game (courtesy of Jim's cousin Matt...THANK YOU for asking us, Matt!!). Finn was super duper extra good! I guess the trick to him being good in church is bringing the Wild hockey game with us! Now the only thing left on Finn's tour of MN sports is a Vikings game...I'm thinking that one might be a while!

After the game, we went over to Becky's for a little New Year's (low key) party. I think Finn does so much better with walking when there are people around. He was a walking stud last night, like it was no big deal. Finn stayed up until 10:30 pm (which I couldn't believe), but then he started wandering aimlessly around asking for any food he could see, so I figured it was time for bed. He cried for maybe 30 seconds and then was out cold, even though we were playing Rockband in the room next to him and were making lots of noise (oh and using the connecting wall as target practice with Austin's new nerf gun)! We stayed later than I was thinking and it was hard for me to stay awake while driving home, but all three of us had a blast. Hey, I slept in until 10am...which NEVER happens! Thanks for hosting us, auntie Becca, Pete and Austin!

Happy New Year! I can't believe it is 2011. Crazy. I told Jim this morning it would be kind of cool to have a baby today because her birthday would be 1/1/11, but then I said 1/11/11 would be better (another week and a half of cooking time). However, he said we should have one on 11/11/11...which means we'd have to get re-pregnant the minute we have this one. I don't think know that's not going to happen!! Sorry, Jim ;) I am not one to make new year's resolutions (because I'm a believer that if you want to change something, you should do it any day, not just at the beginning of a new year), but I had a good one for this year and now I can't remember it. Oh, well. It couldn't have been THAT good. Did you make any resolutions? How long do you think you'll stick to it?