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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.

Tuesday, May 20

Insurance? What insurance?

I'm sure you can all relate and I just need to vent. After spending 3 to 4 hours on the phone yesterday, Jim and I have realized that our insurance would rather we NOT get the preventative prenatal care that is considered necessary by the experts treating me and they would rather us deliver early and spend over $1 million like they did when Finn was born! I DON'T get it. We are being "penalized" because we are being proactive in our health care needs. In essence, they are punishing those of us who preemptively are trying to save them money in the long run. Don't get me wrong, my motive is to have a healthy baby NOT save them money but the actions I am taking WILL save them money.

I was on the phone with my old clinic and the insurance company for 2 hours (and got hung up on once) until I got to the point where my blood pressure was so high, I had to hand it over to Jim or risk going into labor (ironic, isn't?). Jim was then on the phone for another hour or more and basically, nothing was resolved. The kicker of the deal is that when you look up our benefits online, it says no co-payment is required after the initial OB doctor visit including prenatal care, delivery, postnatal care and any related complications. Black and white. But nothing is "black and white" when it comes to insurance. They are charging me a co-payment for EVERY VISIT I've had since starting ultrasounds and injections! I could spit fire. If I didn't worry about the well being of my unborn child, I would stop all "high risk care" and then let them figure out the expenses of care when baby is born. So ridiculous.

I guess "it is just money" but when money is tight and you only have one income (when you are used to two), it IS a big deal. Argh. If you can't tell, I HATE insurance companies. They are such a scam.

Thursday, May 15

Breathe easier

Ha, a play on words! We are now 28 weeks and the reason we are so happy to get to this milestone? This is the point during pregnancy when the baby's lungs are able to absorb oxygen and the baby starts manufacturing surfactant, a substance that allows the lungs to expand and collapse. By no means does it mean things would be easy sailing from here if baby were to be born but it is HUGE for the infant mortality rate to get beyond this milestone. Hooray!

I had an OB check today. We talked about a lot of things but the good news is that my cervix appears to be in great shape...closed, somewhat firm and no external funneling. My OB is concerned about how big I'm getting so early and possibly the size of the baby. This is contradictory to what the perinatologist said two weeks ago (she had NO concerns), so I don't know how concerned I should be about it. Basically, she wants me to eat a diet high in protein and veggies so that we don't run into another issue where baby is TOO big! If I continue to get bigger (which I'm sure I will, duh!), she will probably schedule regular ultrasounds to monitor baby and also my uterus...there is only so much room in there! is always something.

Waiting for results of the FFN test, but expecting it to be negative, which is good!

*UPDATE* FFN was negative! Should be "safe" for two more weeks!

Tuesday, May 13

SEVEN days!

Last night was the night...Finn has been dry and accident free at night for one full days! He is SO proud of himself, as are we.
It has taken just over 4 months but we finally made it. And the best thing is that he has started waking up and taking himself potty...which I think is a good sign that he is really starting to "get" it. We will see what the next few days/weeks brings but we are super happy and proud of our GanGan! The deal is that he gets to pick "anything" once he made it one week...and it sounds like he is picking Chuck E Cheese. Boo...mommy hates that place, but daddy and the kids will have fun!

On another Finn note, I posted of Facebook but wanted to share here too...Finn found a neighbor friend this past weekend, Max! Max is in kindergarten (so one year older than Finn) and lives three houses down.
I am SO happy to finally find a neighbor that my kids can play with. No little girl yet for Korri but she doesn't mind tagging along, for now. They rode bikes for two hours Saturday morning. Max's mom drew an obstacle course on the road with sidewalk chalk, complete with a gas station and tiring changing station! So creative and the boys loved it. I also love how quickly little kids, especially boys, make friends. They have a common interest, riding bikes, and that is all that matters. I may live to regret this as I've heard, "Is Max outside? Can I go play with Max? When will Max be outside?" about 100 times since Saturday morning, but for now, it is music to my ears! Happy summer days to come.

Monday, May 12

Happy Mother's Day

Overall, I had a great Mother's Day. I have to say, Jim sure knows how to do it right! He got up at 7am with the kids and kept them downstairs until 9am, at which time he brought up breakfast in bed for all of us. He made scrambled eggs, bacon, homemade jumbo blueberry muffins and fresh squeezed juice.

The kids gave me a necklace they made at preschool (which Finn promptly put on and wouldn't let me wear) and Jim got me a membership to a CSA! I was so surprised and beyond happy since Jim never really seemed to be into it before. If you don't know what a CSA is (I didn't either until all my trendy Minneapolis friends told me about it!), it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you buy into "shares" of a farm and in return you receive a weekly box of local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. I am like a kid at Christmas...I can't wait to get our first box (which I THINK will be the first week of June).

Side note: last week a member of the church came over to explain some things about St. Mary's and the congregation (I submitted our membership form a couple weeks ago) it was basically a "welcome" visit. He asked if I had any questions and one was about how the kids all left mass at the beginning and came back right before communion. What was this? Could any kids go? Was there an age limit" Etc. He basically made it sound like it was the church's form of Sunday School.

Back to yesterday after my wonderful breakfast and gifts, we all headed to church. When they called the kids to the front of the church, with little hope of them actually participating, I asked Finn and Korri if they wanted to go to "Church Class." Korri said yes right away and after some encouragement, Finn agreed as well. Jim and I were skeptical but hopeful. All the kids filed out and even though Finn was pushing Korri the whole time, they left and stayed the entire time! Jim and I got SO much more out of church with them gone. I really hope this is a trend to come. Honestly, I think them going to the class was my best Mother's Day gift possible!

When we got home, Jim made Eggs Benedict, even though he was partially lame after having broken his finger yesterday. Oh, yeah. We had to take a trip to the ER Saturday afternoon after Jim smashed his finger between a cement block and a rock.
It ended up being broken and was extremely painful (and continued to fill up with blood...gross!). Glad we went in, but there is so little they can do. Basically, he is in a splint for "several" weeks and is taking pain killer as needed. Hopefully the pain will start to dissipate soon. I've gotten really good at securing his splint.

So after lunch, Jim worked out in the garden for most of the afternoon and evening. He HAND TILLED it! That is crazy, especially considering I'm pretty sure nobody had actually planted something in there for several years (seemed to be overrun with strawberries and raspberries). The kids "helped" daddy and by bath time, they were all covered in dirt! A good spring day, I'd say. Now we just need to plant and wait for our harvest!

Enough about me. I want to thank our two wonderful mothers and wish them an extra special Mother's Day. We are so lucky to have your in our lives, and while you helped shape us into the adults we are today, we are especially grateful for the grandmothers' you are to our kids. And while DeAnn isn't either of our mothers, she is as close to a grandma to my kids as you can get. We appreciate you so much. I'd also like to thank all the women in our lives who are mothers, grandmothers and especially Kelsie, Becky and Renae...the godmothers to Finn and Korri. Our kids have so much love in their lives and it is mainly due to the influences of all of you wonderful women. I'd also like to thank all of their partners (and mine!) because let's face it...without our big boys caring and trying, Mother's Day would just be another day! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 2

We make big babies

I had a growth scan ultrasound this morning at the MN Perinatologist office. This was a follow up to my level 2 ultrasound when they were a little concerned about my levels of amniotic fluids being high. A huge thank you to Stacey for sitting in as Jim's proxy, as Jim had travel that he couldn't change.

First and foremost...Babygan is doing great with no concerns! Fluid levels are still high (95%) but all the reasons of something wrong with baby that could be causing it were basically ruled out. Babygan has grown considerably since the level 2 and is now in the 75% (abdomen in the kids have big bellies!)! Basically she said it is as simple as big babies make more fluid. She said there is nothing for me to do differently and is happy with the size of the baby. While I don't like the idea of going full term and birthing a "huge" baby out my hoo-ha...I do like the idea of baby being big, especially if we go a little early. So good news.

My cervix was 3cm long (NOT to be confused with dilated), which the perinatologist said was good. I still to have reservations about it continuing to thin, but I keep getting told not to worry. The tech said it was starting to funnel (she didn't use that term but I can't remember exactly what she said, maybe beaking) but only on the interior side and not to worry (there's that word again). They did not do a manual exam of the cervix.

Upon Jim's request, I asked if we have preterm labor, should we go to Buffalo Hospital, which is closest or go directly to Abbott, which is further but has higher level of care. She said to go to the closest hospital. It is most important for them to start whatever treatment as soon as possible and then transfer me than run the risk of "not making it" to the hospital if we went to Abbott. Yikes! Guess that answers that question. Maybe we won't need to worry about it and we'll have an August baby...
Babygan's face...there's that chin again!
Babygan was "talking to the hand" with hand in front of face (profile with hand at top of pic)!
As a testament to Jim and me making big babies, Finn was 1 lb 15 oz and they were expecting him to be around 1 lb 6 oz...HUGE difference when you are that small! And Korri was three weeks early and weighed 7.5 pounds. They estimated that her 40 week weight would have been 9 lbs! Ouch.