NG Gone

As I stated previously, Kristin had her first BM last night since the surgery. She had a few more today and is feeling good. Today they did a tolerance test to see if Kristin's digestive system was working. The test is to clamp off the suction on her NG tube for 4 hours. Then reattach the suction for 30 minutes. If the suction removed less than 100 CZ of fluid then the stomach and intestine are doing their jobs. Then repeat this test a second time to make sure the first wasn't a fluke. Well, for both tests Kristin produced less than 20 cc of fluid. At 7 PM the NG tube was removed. The RN, Tracie, made a comment about the size of the tube that was used. She stated it was much bigger around than what they would normally use. Once the NG was removed there was a noticeable difference in Kristin's energy level. Now she is still extremely tired, but feeling much better than earlier today.

As for Victoria, she continues to do well. Since Kristin was infected, the doctors in NICU decided to do blood cultures on Victoria and begin her on antibiotics. Last night we learned that the culture had shown a presence of Gram positive Cocci. It appears that this infection has not had any major symptomatic effects on Victoria to date. However, the "big guns" or "gorilla killers" have been deployed to combat this infection. It is not known if this infection was contracted by contact with Kristin. Regardless, we are confident in NICUs ability to return her to forward progress.

Here is a pic of Kristin after our big moment today. Happy New Year! May it be MUCH better than 2005 has been to both sides of our family.


Holy Crap!

I never thought I would be so happy (once again) to see feces. Tonight around 8 PM Kristin had her first BM since the surgery. This is AWESOME news because it means that her colon appears to be working properly. Also after twisting some arms and making threats...Kristin finally received the TPN and it appears to be working already. She has some energy back and I know it will continue to build. I hope you all are as happy about her poop as I am because it means she just took a huge step towards going home.

How to say Thanks

Kristin continues to do well on her long road to recovery. She has been very tired today due to not eating since Monday. TPN has been ordered and will hopefully return some energy as it provides calories and some nutrition via IV. Today she has gone for two short walks and is making good progress.

As the days pass, we begin to realize exactly how serious this infection was. Women's OB in Saginaw is Kristin's OB group practice. So far 4 of the 6 doctors have stopped in to check on Kristin, or just say hello and wish us well. Some of them have come in on their own time (not on call). So, I would like to thank all of the doctors, especially Dr. Ladonna Jones for their professionalism and overall caring for my wife. Bruce normally has wise words for me....one thing he normally tells me is either "Thanks for doing your job" or "Thanks for locking up the bad guys". I must admit that I have stolen these words and used them several times in the past 2 months. Last night Dr. Jones was telling Kristin how lucky she was to be alive. She said, "If we wouldn't have gotten to that infection quickly, it would have killed you." At this point, I made it a point to thank her for saving her life. I said, "Thanks for doing your job." "No problem." she replied. I have realized that being a doctor is a unique profession, but possibly similar to being a cop. Here this lady is responsible for saving my wife's life and all I can do is say thanks. She put herself through years of education and countless hours of practicing her art, all for us. I have directly reaped the benefits of her hard work. Sure the pay is good, but if the job was easy then we would all be doctors. So I encourage anyone reading this to call or write Women's OB and thank their staff on our behalf. I have tried to think of a way to show my appreciation. Like many cops, they don't want to be called a hero. But a smile, a handshake, and a "Thanks for doing your job" goes a long way.

Women's OB
5400 Mackinaw Rd.
Saginaw, MI 48604
(989) 792-3100




Sorry! As you can probably tell, this is Rod reporting again. I apologize to those that know what the title means...but lately I have been wondering WTF is going on!!?? I'm sure you are all worried and concerned for Kristin, so I will actually give you the whole story...beware, its long.

Since giving life to our wonderful little Victoria, Kristin's recovery had been slow. She recently (Past week to two) had been experiencing low back pain and minor cramping in her stomach area. Since this was our first baby, and due to all the added events, we thought it was "normal". Monday night was my first night working after a nice 4 day Christmas weekend. Before I left for work I noticed that Kristin was a bit warm and we took her temp (100.3). Shortly after I left for work, Kristin began to have much more extreme pain in her stomach. When I got home from work at 7:15 AM, she was in obvious pain and told me that she had not slept at all. Both Kristin and I thought that it was simply the flu again that may have been passed from on of the kids or adults that were visiting over the weekend. So, I laid down and slept for about 3 or 4 hours. When I got up Kristin was still in a lot of pain. Still thinking it was the flu we decided to go get checked out. Since St. Mary's has an emergency care unit near our house we decided to just go there, again thinking it was just the flu. Luckily we received excellent care... they performed a pelvic ultrasound on Kristin. This discovered an area of concern around Kristin's ovaries. The PA described the concern as being a large cyst on her left ovary and medium cyst on her right ovary. He also told us that there appeared to be an area of bleeding around her left ovary. The PA contacted Dr. Jones at Covenant and they arranged for Kristin to be transported to Covenant's ER via ambulance.

Shortly after arriving at Covenant, Dr. Jones came and spoke with us. She told us that she had reviewed the radiology reports and that surgery was necessary to see what was actually going on around Kristin's ovaries. Dr. Jones stated that she believed that it was most likely a large cyst that had ruptured and began to bleed. So, after many questions and signing some paperwork, Kristin was transported back to Covenant Harrison. She went to the 5th floor operating room. Ironically, this is the same floor that the NICU occupies. Kristin was quickly preped for surgery.

At 8:30 PM, Kristin was taken into the operating room for surgery. Dr. Jones told me that if all went well the surgery would last up to 90 minutes. I decided to wait in the NICU to be with Victoria. At approximately 8:55 PM one of Dr. Jones' assistants called me and told me that they did not believe that the ovaries were cancerous. This was obviously great news. About an hour later I received another phone call. This time the assistant told me that Dr. Jones had discovered a "pocket of infection" around the ovaries. She also told me that Dr. Jones had called in two general surgeons to assist her. I was unsure what this all meant, but I knew it wasn't good. At about 10:30 PM Dr. Jones came to speak with me at the NICU. Dr. Jones explained to me what exactly occurred. As we were speaking, Bruce and Karen arrived and I asked Dr. Jones to explain all the details to us. Dr. Jones told me that she observed a devastating infection in and around Kristin's uterus. She stated that she believed the infection began inside her uterus and quickly spread to her ovaries. The infected tissue had spread to Kristin's appendix and her colon. Therefore, in order to save Kristin's life, the doctors removed her uterus, ovaries, tubes, and appendix. The general surgeon, Dr. Patel, cleaned out much of the infected tissue and repaired her colon. Dr. Jones told me that, if left untouched, the infection would have killed Kristin within 24 to 48 hours.

At approximately 1:45 AM I was able to see Kristin in the recovery room. She was stable and did not require ICU. I had the unfortunate burden of explaining the results of the surgery. However, Kristin took the news well. She remembered my advice to her just before she went into surgery, "Victoria needs a mother more than she needs a brother or a sister."

At this point, Kristin is feeling very well. Her spirit is high and she is very positive about the situation. We are so thankful for the skill, dedication, and knowledge of Dr. Jones, Dr. Patel, and everyone that assisted us thus far. Covenant is a great hospital and we are lucky to be here. And I am thankful that my wife, my best friend, my LIFE is still here with me....Smiling!

So now what?? Kristin will remain in the hospital for a week or more to recover. As long as her colon responds normally there will be no more surgery. Unfortunately, Kristin will not be allowed to visit Victoria for a few days due to the infection. NICU has already began preemptive measures to check and combat a possible infection. Anyone wishing to call or visit, please call me or the Balcerski's for details.

This has been a difficult few months....we may never have all the answers to our questions....but at least we have our baby girl.


Just a cool pic!

What's changed in this picture?

It seems like every day we visit the nursery, something has changed - sometimes better, sometimes a little step back. I guess it's a mixed Christmas blessing.

Today, they took Victoria's IV out. Overall, this is a "YAY!" event, though we wish it would just have happened because she had been completely weaned off of it. The IV site in her leg started leaking, and they weren't able to restart the IV in her hand, so the doctor decided that she was getting little enough in the way of the supplemental fluid that she could do without it.

The little step back was that she had to be put on Oxygen via a cannula. In speaking with Dr. Mohsini, we're comfortable with the decision. As she explained it, as we increase the amount of food Victoria takes into her belly, the harder her body has to work to digest that food, which means it's tougher for it to control other functions. Doctor's comment to us was, "I see tons of premies every day, and Victoria is doing as well as she possibly could for a baby her age/size". How reassuring to hear that! We only know our situation, and don't really know what to expect - it's great to hear it from her.

Weight-wise, Victoria's still on an upward trend, which is important. The overall trend seems to be 40 grams gained, 20 lost. That's what happened yesterday. She's now 3-3.

The nursery was a very busy place, as the parents of six of the babies were there celebrating with their little ones. By the time Victoria comes home, she should be able to sleep through anything!


Crazy few days

Sorry we haven't updated this in a few days... It's that time of year when schedules seem to get tight (even if we don't have to work!)

Friday, Rod and I hosted our second annual family Christmas dinner, and were able to take Uncle Jeff and Aunt Marie, and Uncle Steve and Aunt Brena to meet Victoria. Of course, both sets of grandparents were at the hospital for a while visiting as well! Jaj (Grandpa B.) got to hold Victoria for the first time, and I think she enjoyed it (see pic below)!

Also on Friday Victoria got moved to a different nursery in the NICU. There are eight total nurseries - 1-3 are for those babies needing the most attention, and the remainder are for everyone else. We moved from nursery 2 to nursery 5. In many ways, this is a big milestone - it's one step closer to coming home.

Victoria is the second smallest premie in her new nursery, so she's got some catching up to do. But she's working on that part! She's up to 3-4 now, and taking 20cc's of milk at each feeding. The doctor has stopped increasing her feedings for now, as that amount seems to be just about all she can handle.

When I was holding her the other night, I had my pinkie finger in her mouth, and she started sucking on it like crazy! It's exciting to see her slowly having more control over her actions. Now all she's got to work on is the swallow/breathe part. Her nurse told us it takes a while for them to learn to hold their breath when they swallow.

It sounds like around 33 and a half weeks is when they usually start to try to get the babies to nurse or bottle feed. If Victoria's on target, that would be around January 5 or 6, I think, since she's 32 weeks today. I can't wait for that!!!

Well, it's Christmas, and Rod and I are going to be spending most of the day at the hospital with our miracle.



Here she is - our big Christmas star! Grandma Penny bought this outfit the day Victoria was born. It's a preemie outfit and still a little too big for her, but we couldn't resist trying it on!

Not too much has changed since the last update with Victoria. She's still getting her feedings increased every 12 hours by 1cc. The medication they're giving her to help with the reflux really seems to be helping. She's also doing a good job digesting her feedings in time for the next one, with not too many residuals. Victoria's weight did go down 10 grams, but she's still technically at 3-2. All in all, a pretty good day!


New Ticker

I've added a countdown ticker to the top of the blog, as I'm sure you noticed. We don't really know when we'll be able to bring Victoria home, but originally the doctor told us to plan on around her due date, so that's what I did. If it's sooner, it's that much more special for us!

We've become "those people"!!!

What do I mean? We got excited over poop yesterday!! Victoria has been getting daily suppositories to help her move things through... Yesterday, she pooped all on her own!! Funny how such a little thing can seem like such a big milestone. I understand that it doesn't mean she won't need help in the near future, but it's still a step in the right direction.

Also, now that she has been on the medication for a day to help with the reflux, she seems to be keeping her feedings down. With the exception of one little setback, she also seems to be digesting all off her feedings in time for the next one, too.

Victoria gained 40 grams last night, so she's now up to 3-2. She also seems to be getting more and more alert every day - though we've still got a long ways to go.

Photo for today - two hands with no IV! Of course, it's not gone, it's just been moved to her foot.
And our little Christmas Elf :) A group of women made and donated little outfits for all the girls in the NICU.


Just a quick update

Daddy and I are both still trying to catch up on the sleep we lost over the past month... Not too successfully, I might add. Everybody says we should sleep now, before Victoria comes home. But Rod's got to get readjusted to working nights and sleeping days, and I can't sleep much anyhow. We'll get it figured out eventually, I'm sure!

Weight updates: Victoria's weight was up to 3lbs, 1oz last night, and stayed the same tonight.

Her feedings seem to not quite sit so well with her belly today, but it might all just be too much too quickly. They'll get that delicate balance figured out soon, we're sure. I was at the hospital earlier when Dr. Chai made his rounds, and he's just as wonderful as ever. If ever there were a group of doctors who really seem to earn the money they make, it's the neonatologists in the NICU. He really takes the time to make sure we're completely comfortable with everything that's going on, explains why he's doing what he's doing, and at the same time, tries to prepare us for what might be going on when it's time to bring Victoria home.

Today's camera shot:


A Breath of Fresh Air

Just as the doctor suggested yesterday, Victoria's weight won't always go up. The main thing is that there's an upward trend overall. Last night, Victoria's weight went down an ounce, so she's an even three pounds. The good news today? The doctor ordered her feedings to increase by 2cc's every three hours (they were going up by 1cc), so she's already up to getting 12cc's at each feeding! Also, the doctor okayed the cannula to come out of Victoria's nose! We can finally see her face, and she looks like her daddy!

It's Time for Mom to Take Over

I'm back! I figure it's about time you hear from the happy mommy for a change. I'm feeling a little bit better as the days progress, though I think little Victoria is recovering more quickly than I. It seems patience is the key for everything these days. I still can't do much around the house, but at least am feeling up to getting the laptop out to post updates. I'll try to be as consistent as Rod has so wonderfully been the past month. It's been a long month, and he's been an amazing husband and father. I couldn't ask for a more perfect life partner. He is my rock.


3 lbs. 1 oz. and counting

Yesterday we took time to rest and then went to visit Victoria around 8 PM. We were there for the daily weigh in, and she crossed the 3 pound mark again. Victoria is doing very well with only one minor issue. She is getting a sopository pretty much daily to help out with the #2 situation. The nurses say that this is common and really nothing to worry about. Today, Grandma Penny is coming down and going to take Kristin over to the hospital to visit. Once again, thanks to everyone that has been leaving encouraging comments on the blog. We really enjoy reading them and they help us a lot. Now, I must go snowblow the driveway so that mom's Park Avenue can make it up to the house....Fun!!!


1 Week Old Today!!!

Today Victoria became 1 week old. Kristin and I were at the hospital on Thursday around 9 PM and she told me she wanted to stick around until 0402 hours for Victoria's 1 week birthday. Then about 5 minutes later I noticed Kristin closing her eyes in exhaustion. It seems that the long 6 weeks has taken a toll on the both of us. As much as we want to be at the hospital it is also important that we rest. So, off to home we went and Kristin went directly to bed. I am assuming that she is getting some good sleep but, as you can see, I am not. I am writing this at 6:15 AM and I just finished feeding the dogs and putting dinner in the crock pot......As they say, I'll sleep when I'm dead! Till then, Bruce bring me some more "ex"presso.


Test Run

Day 6

Wednesday was another good day. Victoria maintained her previous weight of 2 lbs. 15 oz. They continue to increase the amount of breast milk she is receiving so that should turn into more weight because it has a high fat content. Today we gave her another bath and I was able to do "kangaroo care" for about an hour and a half. It was definitely a good day!


Backed Up Tuesday

Tuesday was yet another good day. They continued to increase the amount of breast milk Victoria is receiving with only one minor setback. At the 11 PM feeding they noticed that her entire feeding from 8 PM was still in her stomach. Then they realized that she had not gone #2 in a while. So, after giving her some medicine, the way no one wants to get medicine, she went #2...And #2 again..And #2 again. I should know, I was the one changing the diaper. It was probably the most fun one could have looking at feces. Either way, I definitely have the lead in the messy diaper contest.


Day 4

Victoria again lost a bit of weight on Day 3. She is now down to 2 lbs. 9 oz. The good news is that they have increased her breast milk intake and will increase it 1 cc every 12 hours. Once she is receiving around an ounce every 3 hours they will be able to remove the IV which provides her with nutrition. The Rn said this could take around 15 days. Day 3 I was lucky enough to hold my daughter for about 45 minutes. She fell into a deep REM like sleep, and I couldn't be more proud! Kristin and I will attempt to spend most of today at the hospital, as we believe that our presence is essential to our little girl's health. And now for 1,000 words...


Home ...Not So Sweet Home

Around 7 PM Sunday, Kristin and I finally left the hospital for home. It was bitter-sweet. Coming home without our little girl hurts, but we know she is in the best hands. Sunday Kristin and I got to be involved in some more firsts. We assisted with Victoria's first bath and we both changed a diaper. It was so FUN!! Kristin also spent some time doing "kangaroo care". If you don't know what this is, well neither did I a few days ago. This is a time of bonding where they place the baby directly on the parent's chest for skin to skin contact. It has all kinds of benefits for the baby and parents. Today Victoria lost a bit more weight, down to 2 lbs. 15 oz., but I am assured that this is not a major concern. It is now 7:30 AM and we are getting ready to go she her, so once again I leave you with a picture. This is one of my favorites to date!


What a difference a day makes

Day 2

Wow, were we tired or what?! Kristin and I both cashed out last night around 8 PM. Sleep has replenished our energy. Kristin is feeling better by the hour, and as soon as the pneumonia clears up, we will be able to go home. Victoria is having a wonderful day of firsts. Her first bit of food in her stomach closely followed by her first poop. Her first time being held by mommy and followed by daddy. Today they removed the Cpap (breathing apparatus that makes her look like a Navy pilot). We were able to hear her cry for the first time (for us) also. Lots of visitors and phone calls has made it a busy day. So again, I will leave you with a picture and a promise to continue the updates as much as possible.

Just Pics


December 9, 2005 Victoria Makes A Grand Entrance

As you may have heard, our beautiful baby girl was born today at 4:02 AM. Kristin had been experiencing increasing contractions for the better part of the day. At about 3:30 AM, I was finally able to talk a RN into checking her. Kristin was almost fully dialated. Fifteen minutes later Kristin's water broke while she was on the toilet. Her immediate comment, "Oh, that can't be good." Seventeen minutes later Victoria made her grand entrance. As she was born she opened her beautiful eyes and looked right at me. It was a nervous time because it was unknown if Victoria would be able to breath on her own. I watched as the medical staff placed a small bag-valve mask on my little girl. After two pumps, I heard the operator say, "Oh. There she goes." Then I was able to see her little chest moving up and down. She was breathing and making little sounds. They quickly rushed her up to NICU. About an hour and a half later I was allowed to go and see my baby girl. They warned me of all the equipment that would be hooked up, but I expected this. What a sight. For some reason, I was not worried. I had complete confidence in the personnel and the situation. I knew that Victoria was born for a reason. Either to protect herself, or to protect mom. A few hours later Kristin was able to go up and see her creation. The moments are simply indescribable. Later in the day we learned that a test taken a few days ago showed that Kristin was infected with the Flu. Of course, she had the flu shot two days before all of the contractions began.......If it was the cause, no one expected it. However, all is well with both mom and baby. She is breathing on her own and everyone speaks highly of her. Victoria weighs a grand 3 pounds 5 ounces and she is 16 and 1/2 inches in length. Well there is simply too much to say, so I will leave you with two photographs. The first face to face meeting between mother and daughter and the proud parents. More to come. Enjoy!


An Apple A Day???? I wish.

Today started out a bit rough. Many contractions and a lot of pain. However it is ending up a bit better. It seems that the Procardia is working again and Kristin has regained some energy. It seems that a good shower should be in the medical books under "How to make someone feel better." Kristin's appetite is getting better each day and her breathing is nearly back to normal. Hopefully only a day or two more on the O2. Bad news is that there is no end in sight. It is becoming more and more evident that Kristin will be here for the remainder of the pregnancy. Luckily Jeff and Marie have agreed to take in Foxy for a while and Brandon (cop buddy) has agreed to take Olly. This is a huge weight of guilt off of my shoulders. Thanks also to Ben for taking care of the dogs last night.


Doctor Roulette

As quickly as Kristin was placed on magnesium sulfate, she was taken off. You have to understand that the doctors work 24 hr shifts and change at noon. So, a lot of quick changes come in the early afternoon. Again, medicine is an art and not everyone can draw a straight line. A few more ultrasounds and we were assured that Victoria has no idea what is going on with mom. As of late, it appears that the contractions are slowing. Kristin's O2 level keeps getting higher and her white count keeps getting lower. All good signs that she is kicking the crap out of the infection. Oh, we also saw the Pulmenology specialist, Dr. Cannon, came in to see Kristin today. (Remember he was the one 95% positive she did NOT have pnoumia) When he asked if Kristin or I had any questions for him...We simply said "No." Guess we are not to sure about getting advice from the guy that was completely wrong in a subject he "specializes" in.

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

After having the best day in a while, Kristin started contracting again today. At about 2:30 AM Kristin began contracting. Procardia and Breathine had little effect. Therefore, she is back on the magnesium sulfate. Definitely not what we wanted to happen. So it appears that the infection in the lungs may not of been the cause of the contractions. This means we are back to square one, and it appears that Kristin may be here indefinitely. Hopefully by the end of the day I will have some better news to report. Until then...


Phone Calls!

Phone calls at work from my wife always seem to scare me, especially now. 6 AM this morning and my cell phone rings...I have temporarily made a spot for it on my duty belt in case of an emergency call from the hospital...Its Kristin and the thought "Oh Shit!" runs through my head. Kristin says, "Hi. I just wanted to call you and tell you that I feel great!" Ahhhhh, dodged a bullet. So, as you can see, the doctors appear to be doing something right. Today was the best Kristin has felt in about a month. Towards the end of the day she has gotten worn down, but nothing a good nights sleep won't cure. Me, well I have to work tonight and I have traffic court tomorrow. Can you believe this knuckled wants to fight one of MY stop sign tickets...What a joke. Anyway, after court I am off for three. Looking forward to visiting with Rich, Cyndi and Jordyn on Thursday and whoever else decides to stop.


Patient or Felon? You decide!

From this picture....Is this a medical problem or a law enforcement problem? I thought I was witnessing a violation of the controlled substance act, however it turned out to be medicine. Dang! Missed yet another collar. Well, if you can tell by my demeanor, Kristin is feeling much better. Still not good enough to even think about coming home, but making progress. More sleep and more food equals more energy. This weekend we had much help from our families. Thanks to Russ for coming down to support. Thanks to Penny for washing all the baby clothes, cleaning the entire house, and shoveling the porch. Thanks to Bruce and Karen for being here for support and company. Thanks to Scott for taking care of our dogs again and again. Thanks to Jody for visiting and for all the nice gifts! Certainly things would be much more difficult for us if you all didn't pitch in. More to come...Stay tuned.


He said...She said

They say that medicine is an art...Each doctor sees medicine a bit different. Originally, Dr Wagner used the chest x-ray to say that Kristin had pnoumia. Then the Pulmenology specialist came in and said that the x-ray was inconclusive and that he was 95% positive that she did not have pnoumia. Later in the day we saw the infectious disease specialist, Dr Kahn. Dr. Kahn stated he was 100% that she did have pnoumia. He said listed several reasons and was able to convince both Bruce and I. Later in the day Kristin was transported to the Cooper building for a CT of her lungs to check for blood clots. Results showed that she did not have any blood clots and it proved that she did have pnoumia. This was great news since it may be a cause for all the garbage going on. The antibiotics that Kristin is currently on double covers any possible bug that may have caused the infection. Today looks like it will mainly be a day of resting. Kristin and I just returned from the shower....Sounds sexy, but not really! :) She is feeling a lot better as her energy level has increased a bit and she doesn't currently smell.


Doppler, and X-Rays, And Glucose Oh My!

Last night Dr. Wagner pulled out the book and ordered every test imaginable. The goal was to use the process of elimination to try and find a reason for Kristin's condition. He ordered Doppler tests on Kristin's legs to check for blood clots. Results were negative. Next up was a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia. Results....POSITIVE. The x-ray showed signs of pneumonia in both lungs. Now this may sound bad, but it may also be good. The good part, is that it may be the cause of the contractions in a round-about way, and it is treatable. Kristin has received every imaginable antibiotic in hopes of knocking out any infections. She is also getting breathing treatments every 4 hours. The glucose test is to see if Kristin has gestational diabetes. This test involves fasting for 8 hours and then taking a glucose filled drink. The lab then draws blood every hour for three hours to check her sugar level. This test turned out to be a bad idea. Since Kristin had been on a liquid only diet for the past few days, her stomach was completely empty. If there was anything in her stomach, she puked it up last night due to the effects of some of the antibiotics that were given to her. Kristin had to drink the glucose beverage within 5 minutes. Approximately 30 seconds later, the glucose drink was in the basin and I flushed it down the toilet. Needless to say, they are going to have to do that test another day. A few hours later and Kristin has eaten a little food and appears to be feeling better, however she is extremely tired. Today she is supposed to see a breathing specialist regarding the pneumonia.

I would like to thank everyone for all the kind words and help you have been giving us. Thanks to the Packard family for taking care of my other two kids (Foxy and Olly). We are looking forward to visiting with Bruce, Karen, Penny, and Jody on Saturday. Stay tuned...More updates are sure to follow...I seem to have a lot of time on my hands.


As The World Turns...

We had a hectic night. After telling us that Kristin would not receive magnesium sulfate, Doctor Jones changed her mind. It appeared that procardia was not working, and Kristin continued to have contraction after painful contraction. At approximately 1 AM, they started the magnesium sulfate to "clean out her body so the procardia will be able to work." Kristin slept for about 2 hours on her left side until about 3 AM. At this time, Kristin rolled over and described sharp pains on the left side of her body. Kristin's stomach was tensed on the left side for approximately 15 minutes. This was very painful. I alerted the nurse, who alerted Doctor Jones and within a short time they were performing another ultrasound on Kristin. The doctor's were very concerned the placenta was beginning to separate from the uterus. As Doctor Jones stated, "This would be catastrophic." This would cause bleeding which would jeopardize both Kristin and Victoria. Since this was a possibility, they requested that Kristin give permission for an emergency cesarean section if it became necessary. The ultrasound did not show anything unusual. They also did a amniocentesis (basically they jam a needle into the womb and pull out some amniotic fluid). This is done to check for bleeding and infections inside the uterus. This showed no signs of blood or infection and after a short time, along with some pain medication, the pain subsided and Kristin was able to fall asleep. She slept well from about 4:30 AM until about 7:30 AM. If you are wondering about me...Well, I slept from about 6:30 AM till about 8:30 AM. Today, we had another ultrasound performed by the neoperinatologist, Dr. Wechter. He did observed an area where their may have been some bleeding. However he stated that it may have been caused by the amniocentesis. For now, Kristin is feeling better but still not good enough to return home. As the world turns...We get closer and closer to having a healthy Victoria that is ready for the outside world. We can only hope that she holds out another 4 weeks ...Preferably longer.


One More Visit and We Get Our Own Parking Spot

Wednesday we had our scheduled appointment at Women's OB. Kristin was having contractions again all day. Dr. Fettinger did another cervical ultrasound and a pelvic exam. He stated that the cervix is still closed and thick. All good news. However, he appeared to over-react by telling us that we needed to head back to the hospital where Kristin would probably remain for the duration of the pregnancy. Once we got to the hospital we spoke with Dr. Jones who had other ideas. According to Dr. Jones, there is nothing to be alarmed about. The FFN test on Monday was negative again, which means there is a less than 1% chance that the baby will be born within the next two weeks. With the cervix being greater than 2.5 cm, Kristin is still in a stable condition. So it appears that these are simply early contractions that may continue or may cease. VERY VERY FRUSTRATING. Therefore, baring any major changes, Kristin will remain in the hospital over night for observation and hydration. Hopefully the contractions will stop and we will be able to return home.


Finally Connected/Update

We got our wireless router today, so I'm back in business and no longer feel cut off from the cyber-world!

Well, medication for me seems to be a trial and error issue to see what works to keep the contractions at bay. When we were at the hospital yesterday, Dr. Spence changed my Procardia from 30mg every 12 hours to 20mg every 4-6 hours. She instructed me to begin taking it every 6 hours, but gave me some leeway that if I needed to, I could reduce it to every 5 hours, then 4 if necessary. Though I know it's probably not the case, it seems as though the more frequently I take the medication, the quicker the contractions start.

So far, I made it almost 24 hours taking it every 6 hours before I shortened it to every 5 hours because of the discomfort and contractions. I'm drinking tons of water (five 32oz bottles of water a day - that's more than a gallon!), so I know dehydration is far from the problem.

Overall, I feel okay, pretty similar to how I did when we came home from the hospital last time. Sort of like I worked out my abs and back really hard - lots of sore and tired muscles. My biggest difficulty seems to be finding a comfortable position to sit in, and a comfortable position to sleep in.

Thanks to everyone
Rod for being such an amazing husband/father/support.
Mom and dad for everything - coming to the hospital, helping with the shower, making and bringing Thanksgiving dinner to us, making ready-to-serve meals for us, and I'm sure there's much more I can't think of right now.
Jeff and Marie for helping out with the shower, visiting me at the hospital, taking the time to come up to share Thanksgiving with us, the Netflix subscription :)
Jody for being such a great friend, for putting on an excellent shower, for visiting me at the hospital, for doing a little shopping for me ;)
Manna for being such a great friend, for sending me flowers, for calling me every day to check on me, for keeping my chat group updated on my situation, and just being a great support.
Bonnie for making some yummy food and sending it up with mom.
Bev for offering up one of her laptops for me to use.
I'm sure there are many more people I'm forgetting about, but want everyone to know I'm so thankful for all the well-wishes and prayers.

I'm trying hard to do everything I can to keep my body under control and keep little Victoria cooking for a lot longer! We've got a follow up appointment tomorrow afternoon with Dr. Fettinger for another cervical ultrasound - keep your fingers crossed that everything looks good!


5 more hours at LDR

Last night around 2 AM, Kristin began having contractions again. They started out slow and grew in frequency until about 4:30 AM when I had her call the hospital. Dr. Spence told Kristin to come in and get checked out.... Of course, once we arrived at the hospital and got Kristin all hooked up on the fetal monitor, the contractions pretty much stopped. After about 5 hours, Dr. Spence decided to change the medicine around a bit to try and help things out. So far, so good! BTW, we will be selling all of our old, still full, prescriptions on eBay later....in case you are looking for some decent smooth muscle relaxers.


And We Have A Baby Sitter

Today we received some excellent news. The neighbor, Charee Clark, agreed to be our daycare provider. She has raised 5 of her own children which are all in school. Charee is CPR certified and most of her children have taken baby sitting classes from the local hospital. Charee seemed to be very excited to help out. We are also excited!

Kristin continues to get better each day. I have ordered a wireless router which will be used with the laptop that was loaned to us. Thanks Bev! Hopefully the router will arrive on Tuesday and Kristin will be up and running. Till then you will be hearing from me. :)


More of the same

Well, it took a day or two to get acclimated to our situation, but I think we have it down now. Bruce and Karen are working on getting a laptop here so Kristin can begin to update her blog. Also received some more good news today...Spoke with Mrs. Clark (neighbor) regarding child care next year. She has 5 kids and is a stay at home mother. She sounded very interested in being our babysitter. This would be an ideal situation given our/my strange schedule. Kristin and I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving as we will be spending it with Bruce, Karen, Jeff, and Marie.


Free At Last!

If I have one complaint about Covenant Hospital...It would be the lack of quality Doctor time with their patients. Today, Kristin was told she would be going home soon at around 3:30 PM. We finally left the hospital at 10:30 PM. The good thing is, Kristin is home and feeling well. She is extremely tired, but the "bed rest" order will allow her to catch up on sleep for the next few months.

Once again, Kristin and I thank everyone for their gifts and we hope to be seeing you all soon.


Waiting for the word

As of Sunday morning at 8:30 AM, we are still waiting to see the high-risk doctor again to get the okay to go home. Kristin is feeling much better and we are both extremely optimistic about the next few months. I asked our nurse (Tammy) this question last night: "In your experience, what percentage of patients in our situation end up going to full term?" Her response...with a grin: "The better question is; how many of those patients do we end up inducing at 41 and 42 weeks?" So it seems that many women who experience pre-term contractions without any major cervical change actually build up a tolerance for labor. Hmmm could make for an interesting February.


Feeling better

At the end of the day, Kristin is feeling much better. She was able to get out of bed for a short time and finally eat some good food. Well, it was hospital food with no wine. Sorry Uncle Tony, Doctor's orders! :) We are all moved into the new room, free of roommates for the time being. Although the doctors will not say, Bruce and my professional opinion see Kristin staying in the hospital until at least Monday. If you would like to call or visit, contact me or Bruce
and Karen for phone numbers.


Latest Update

Once again this is Rod....

Kristin is doing much better, and Victoria is still doing well. Today the news has gotten better. Only a few contractions and a good amount of rest have helped a great deal. Kristin is now allowed to get out of bed...funny being she is too exhausted to do so. After swinging her legs over the bed, she called it quits and went back to resting. This exhaustion is apparently from the magnesium sulfate, which is a heavy muscle-relaxing agent. The liquid only diet is also off and I just ordered Kristin some fresh fruit and an egg salad sandwich. Hopefully food will equal energy. The bad news is that since Kristin is more "stable", they are looking at moving her to another area of the floor. Unfortunately she may end up with a roommate, which will essentially kick Bruce and I to the curb for the night. Luckily that unit is full at the moment so we remain in our nice private space.

Thanks to Bruce for coming and staying with Kristin last night. This allowed me to return to work and get some much-needed rest this morning. Also thanks to everyone that has called or sent Flowers. Post any questions in the comments section and I will answer or ask the doctor as soon as possible.

A few bumps in the road

First off, you should know that this is Rod writing for Kristin. It has been an eventful week for the three of us. I will attempt to update you, the brief version. Here it goes...

After 26 weeks without a *major* complaint Kristin began to have some complications on Saturday night. As you can see in her earlier post, we spent a lot of time at Covenant Hospital on Sunday night. They released us with an explanation of "Sometimes this stuff happens and we don't know why." Kristin returned to work on Monday with some minor pain which grew into major pain on Tuesday. At 8:30 AM, Kristin called me from work complaining of extreme pain. Since the amateur liability lawyers (work) refused to let her drive, I picked her up and we headed to the hospital for a second trip.

This time it was obvious that Kristin was having numerous contractions. A quick shot of Terbutaline (relaxes smooth muscle) calmed the contractions significantly. Everything concerning the baby still looked positive as Kristin was not dilated at all. After another 4 hours, Dr. Spence sent us home with a prescription for more Terbutaline and an order to have another cervical ultrasound the following day. Once home, the oral Terbutaline did little to nothing to stop the contractions.

Wednesday we headed to Women's OBGYN for our previously scheduled monthly appointment combined with the cervical ultrasound. Sunday's ultrasound showed a cervical length of 4.5 cm...Wednesday showed 3.1 cm. You may already know...the shorted the cervix gets...the closer you are to having the baby. Now, the sonographer warned us that this extreme change may be due to having two different people performing the ultrasound. Citing a few reasons that the measurements could be different on the same person. At this time we were told that Kristin was currently in "pre-term labor". Scary! The sonographer did a complete anatomy ultrasound which showed that Baby Victoria is right on schedule and healthy as can be. Finally some good news!!

Back to the hospital we go. After 4 more hours of intense contractions with no effect from 3 more shots of Terbutaline, Dr. Minnec made the decision to admit Krsitin to the hospital in order to get the contractions under control. A change in medication slowed the contractions for a majority of the night. Around 5:30 AM on Thursday, the contractions increased again. This called for another cervical ultrasound with the high risk pregnancy doctor. This time the cervical length was 3.1 cm again. They decided to start Krsitin on Magnesium Sulfate, AKA The Big Guns. This combined with a steroid, to help develop Victoria's lungs, quickly proved to help the situation. After a few hours, Kristin's contractions were reduced to 1 per hour, and then 1 per 1 and 1/2 hour.

What does this all mean??? Baby Victoria is doing well, and so is her strong, wonderful mother. Kristin will most likely be on "bed rest" for the remainder of the pregnancy...and unfortunately she will have to miss her shower on Sunday. One of us will keep you posted as things change.


Victoria this week

Your baby weighs more than 2 lbs (actually, 2.5 lbs, according to the doctor yesterday!), measures 9.6 inches from crown to rump and her total length is about 15.3 inches. If your baby were born now, she would have about an 85% chance of surviving. Nonetheless, your baby still needs another 13 weeks of in utero development to be considered full term.

Your baby's eyes, no longer fused shut, are now open.

Your baby's skin still has a very wrinkled appearance, but it is protected and nourished by the covering of vernix, a waxy coating that keeps the skin supple.

Your baby looks almost like a full term baby, but is still much thinner and smaller than she will be at birth.


4 hour trip to LDR

Well, after much complaining (done by me, of course) about abdominal and lower back pain, Rod strongly suggested I make some phone calls. I called the on-call midwife, who suggested I take a little trip to the hospital to get checked out. I've been a little emotional about the fact that I've felt relatively great this entire pregnancy, but the past few days have felt so achy and crampy every time I stand up.

Long story short, they put me on a monitor, checked all they could to rule out pre-term labor or any indication of it. They did a quick test to see if maybe a bladder infection was causing a problem, which came back negative.

The on-call doctor came in and did an ultrasound to make sure everything looked okay, and it does. Although she couldn't confirm that Victoria is really a girl (she's so shy!!). The doc did say I might just be one of those women who feels this way the rest of the pregnancy.

The one last thing they're going to try is to put me on antibiotics for a week. MaryJo (the midwife) said it might be the Group B Strep acting up, which apparently can have similar symptoms to a bladder infection.

We'll keep you updated!


Just couldn't help myself

Okay, so I made a little trip to Target last week and just couldn't help myself. I just wanted to have one or two articles of clothing for little Victoria, now that we know she's a girl! I tried so hard not to get all pink, but check out what I got - four outfits (all on clearance) for under $4 each! They're just so dang tiny!

Double Digits!!!

Check out the ticker at the top of the page! The countdown to when we get to meet little Victoria is now less than 100 days away!!! I think she might be getting just as anxious to meet us as we are to meet her - she's been moving around like gangbusters lately!


Happy Birthday, Jaja!

Last Saturday (Nov. 5th), we had a birthday party for my dad (Victoria's Jaja) at mom and dad's house. We had a great time visiting with family, and I only got scolded a few times from Rod to slow down and take a break :) . He's such a concerned daddy. Thought I'd share some pictures from the day!

Here are soon-to-be Uncle Jeff and Aunt Marie

And soon-to-be Jaja (grandpa in Polish) and Busha (grandma in polish)
~ Gonna stick with the phoentic spelling for now :)

And here's my Aunt Susan, telling Victoria how great she (Aunt Sue) is and how much Victoria's gonna love her!!


Crummy Yucky

Okay, I guess the not so pleasant pregnancy symptoms are starting to kick in.

I've had a sore back since last week. I thought maybe it was just too much sleeping in strange beds, between being up in Mio, and home, then in Lexington, and back home. Now that I've slept a few nights in a row in my bed, it hasn't gotten any better. I'm just a little stumped! I know how to deal with neck/upper back pain. I know how to deal with lower back pain. Those are both things I've had in the past, pre-pregnancy. It just seems that no amount of stretching, no number of pillows at night, no amount of direct heat (via the heated seat in the car) is helping the situation. Not much fun.

I had my first hot flash this morning, too. I had my bi-monthly orthodontist appointment to get my braces tightened today. At one point, I had to have her sit me up and let me go get a drink of water. That was the first time I've felt so nauseous this entire pregnancy - not a fun feeling! I got all hot and started to kind of panic. I guess all that excess blood was going right to my head! At least that went away, though...


Viability of baby

Bryn has this posted on her site, and I thought I'd share it on mine, too.

These are the survival rates for babies born preterm, by weeks of gestation.

Chances for Survival
Completed Weeks of Gestation at Birth
21 weeks and less 0%
22 weeks 0-10%*
23 weeks 10-40%
24 weeks 40-70%
25 weeks 50-80%
26 weeks 80-90%
27 weeks >90%
30 weeks >95%
34 weeks >98%
I got excited for a minute, thinking we were at 25 weeks, but am pretty sure "gestation" refers to age of the fetus. In which case, we've got two weeks to go before we're over that 50% mark...

Baby Victoria this week

From Fertility Friend dot com:

Your baby weighs just under 2 pounds (850g) and could possibly survive if delivered now. Your baby measures approximately 9.2 inches (23cm) from crown to rump.

She is growing fast and gaining weight now. Her skin is less transparent and is becoming opaque as fat builds up.

Your baby's heart is beating 120 to 160 beats per minute, as you have already heard at several doctor or midwife visits.

Until now, your baby's eyes have been sealed shut, but she reopens them this week. The eyes are almost fully formed and the retinas contain all the layers they will have when your baby is born. Your baby's eyes are blue right now, no matter the ethnic origin or eye-color of you and your partner since eyes do not acquire their final color until months after birth.

Your baby is lean right now, but is getting fatter all the time as fat is being deposited. Your baby's skin is getting thicker and paler and is becoming less red and wrinkled as more fat is deposited.

Your baby has eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails, though all are short and need to grow more.

25 week comparison!

I thought it would be fun to get the entire belly shot comparison up to this point. Check it out!


We'd like to introduce you to...

Victoria Mary Schanck

Currently weighing in at one and a half pounds, heart beat was at 136bpm - right on target!!


Video from today!!!

Okay, be patient with me while I try to figure this out. We've got a new video of the little one. While we were getting our u/s today, the tech was nice enough to use the 3D transducer to get 3D images - it was so amazing! I'm trying to figure out how to include them in here.

I think I got it, just beware - this is an almost 6-meg file, so it takes a minute to download! What look like feet are really fists in front of the baby's face, then at the end, baby straightens its arms out.

3-D Ultrasound

Oh - pretty sure you need Real Player or Media Player to view it, too.


I need a new calendar!

I just called the hospital, and scheduled our childbirth education classes.

Baby Care - once a week for three weeks in November

Labor & Delivery - once a week for five weeks December and January

Breastfeeding - one time class the end of January

That pretty much fills up the weeks till our little one is here!!!! I guess I see why they say time starts to fly as you get closer (at least till those last few weeks when I hear I'll just want the kid OUT!)


Note to Bryn

Where are you? I know this has nothing to do with my blog, but this seems to be the only way I can reach you. I can't get to your blog anymore... I want to see how you're progressing!!! Did the address change?

Growing Exponentially!

Man - no wonder I couldn't breathe this weekend! Check out how much I've grown in the last week:


Weekend in Chicago

Work was... well, it was work.

But then mom came into town, and we had so much fun! I think it's a really good thing that I don't yet know what I'm having, since I probably would have wanted to buy everything in sight in every little shop we went into. We found the cutest little shop, Madison & Friends, that had everything from newborn outfits all the way up to toddler stuff. They also had the top of the line strollers (around $700 a piece!) and of course designer diaper bags. They had the most adorable little girl clothing, too!

We did tons of walking, but mom was (of course) very conscious about slowing down and making sure I was drinking enough water.

And the food!!! Yum-O!

From dinner at the Culinary School (quite an experience!) to lunch at the Tavern on Rush, we had some great food. Not too many fruits and veggies, but hey - you only get to splurge like that every so often!

One small downside to the trip was the stay the last night at the Quality Inn at O'Hare. But I'm putting that part of the trip out of my mind, other than to file it under "Places not to go in the future".

Thanks, mom, for such a wonderful mother/daughter weekend. I love you and can only hope to have a similar relationship with my little one. You're the best!


October Midwife Appointment

Well, yet another uneventful ob appointment, but that's a good thing! Well, it was relatively uneventful. Suki was a little surprised by my 12 lb. weight gain within the last month, but recovered quickly and reassurred me that I'm now where I'm supposed to be for weight gain. I got okayed to travel on an airplane, which is good since I leave tomorrow morning for Chicago (yay!). Suki also told me that it's normal for me to still be feeling the BH contractions, but to really make sure I'm staying hydrated (my biggest stumbling block so far) - especially when I'm flying.

We officially made the decision today to go with midwives for the delivery. So now the main thing is to meet the other two (Kelly and MaryJo) so we're comfortable with all three. Our next prenatal appointment is in four weeks (I'll be 26 weeks), and then from there we start on the two week cycle (beginning at 28 weeks)!!! I guess they'll also order more blood work to check my glucose levels, make sure I'm not getting gestational diabetes.

Suki brought out the trusty doppler so we could hear the heartbeat, and Rod was able to use our new digital camera to video tape that. I'm going to try to figure out how to put a link in here for that... check back maybe sometime next week on that one.

Appointment Stats:
Kristin's Blood Pressure: 104/64 (up a tiny bit, but no big deal)
Baby's Heartrate: 150 (it was kind of all over the place, but that might have something to do with the few sips of coffee I had before I went in)
Height of Fundus: 24cm.
Weight Gained from last appt: 12 lbs.!!

We tried to get them to sneak us in for an ultrasound today, but were unsuccessful. The good news is that we've got one scheduled for October 31st!!! We have to pay for it, but will finally get a good look at how this little one is growing ~ and of course (hopefully) what this "it" is!!!

Ultrasound appointment: Monday, Oct. 31st with the u/s tech.

Next appt: Wednesday Nov. 16th with Kelly (midwife)


No Wonder!

Okay, looking at the pictures from the past month, it's on wonder I've gained at least 10 pounds in 4 weeks! I'll get my official weigh-in on Wednesday when we have our next doctor's appointment, but unofficially, my scale has me up by 10!


I love baby showers!

Heather Lake's baby shower was this weekend. They're having a little girl, and she's due January 1st, 2006. Her shower was so much fun (great food, too!!!), and I got to see some friends I haven't seen in a while - Kathryn and Julie (and Heather, of course)!

And Heather and I had to get the belly shot - just a little snapshot of what I might look like in two months...

We can officially Rock!!!

Rod and I were finally able to make the trip up to Mio this weekend to go to the amish furniture store with Penny (Rod's mom) to pick out a rocking chair. It's a tradition she started when Brena was pregnant - to buy all the daughters-in-law a rocker for them to rock the grandbabies.

After trying all sorts of rocking chairs and gliders, we found one that's not only really comfortable to sit in for long periods of time (I've already fallen asleep in it twice!), but matches our living room furniture perfectly!!!

Thanks, Penny! You're not allowed to get us anything else from now on!!!


Diapers, and Bottles, and Nipples, Oh My!

So far the most overwhelming part of this whole process is trying to figure out which diapers: Huggies, Pampers, Luvs, store brand; which bottles: Playtex, Dr. Brown's, Avent, store brand; then there are all the other little things - pacifiers, nipples, oh my goodness!

So far the only certainty I've gotten from parents is that every baby is different, and you just don't know. How am I supposed to prepare with answers like that?!?!? I guess there's only so much we can do before little Baby Schanck gets here.

This week's updates

Well, I re-weighed myself yesterday (making sure it was first thing in the morning, before I ate breakfast) and the scale doesn't lie. It said I was up 6.5 lbs. I guess as long as it doesn't keep going up that quickly, I'll be fine!

People have started getting their shower invitations (HUGE props to Bo~they look amazing!!!) and RSVP-ing. Yay! I'm getting so excited!!! I think this is when that nesting urge kicks in. I don't want to wait till the shower to get everything! I want it all now so I can feel prepared!!!

Oh - we did buy our first pack of diapers this weekend. Another overwhelming experience. We've read and heard people say to buy a pack a week to start stocking up. I'm just making sure I keep the receipt with the pack.

Here are updated belly pics for this week:

We got a new digital camera this weekend, so I got to try it out with this morning's shot - the colors are a little different... the new camera has more buttons and stuff :)


This can't be right!!!

Okay. When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I did was buy a scale. I promised myself that I wouldn't obsess over what it said, I just wanted to keep a handle on how much weight I was gaining. It's not like I can judge that by how clothes fit!

Anyway, I try to weigh myself every Monday, the same day as I take my belly picture. Just on a whim, I jumped on the scale this morning and to my horror, I've gained 7 lbs. this week! SEVEN POUNDS!!!! That's more than I've gained this entire pregnancy!!! What's worse is that my belly hasn't even seemed to grow at all this week, so I don't think the baby went through a big growth spurt! Maybe it was all that bragging I did about not gaining much yet... payback.

I think I'm gonna weigh in again tomorrow just to see. Maybe it was a fluke. Too much dinner at Famous Dave's last night, or something!


Made it halfway!

As of this past Sunday, we're officially halfway there! Now the countdown can begin... And the panic can set in.

Is it bad just to answer "No complaints" when someone asks me how I'm feeling? I do have complaints, but they seem so minute when compared to problems other people are having. My complaints mainly consist of not getting any good restful sleep, an achy back (although Rod still owes me that massage...), and having to pee every 15 minutes! It could be worse. I know it could be worse! Plus, even though I took an updated belly pic this week, I'm not sharing because it doesn't look any different than last week's. But somehow the pants that fit last week no longer fit! I'm officially down to 6 pairs of pants I can fit into... I guess it's good that there are only 5 days in a work week!


So much stuff, how to choose???

Well, Rod and I finally registered for the shower. Turns out both Target and Babies R Us have those fun scanner guns that Rod got to play with :). So that's set, at least for now. It's nice that in this day & age, we can go online and add/delete items from the registry, versus having to go to the store or call some 800 number.

Jody and I got a place for the shower finalized this weekend, too! So the official stats for the shower are:

Sunday, November 20th
daVinci's Restaurant in Frankenmuth

Invites are going out shortly, thanks to Jody's creative handiwork!


Definitely Growing

I'm finally seeing some major change from week to week. Check it out!

October Madness

Okay. So in the past week, our next doctor's appointment has changed three times.

New date: Wednesday, Oct. 19th with Suki

October 18th Rod gets his wisdom teeth out.
October 20-21st I'll be in Chicago for work!
October 21-23rd mom and I will be in Chicago for fun!!!


A Shower!

And not just outside, either! Thursday, it rained so hard and so fast, I had to take my sandals off, and roll up my pant legs to run out to my car after work! But that's another story.

We have a date, and maybe even a location. Or at least a city.

November 20th! Frankenmuth!

Okay, that's it so far.


The start of something new (a little late)...

I've decided I'd like to keep a blog of this pregnancy. I know - nothing like waiting until I'm halfway through it! I am going to try to add some info from prior dates, and pictures as well. We'll see how it goes!


Monthly OB Appointment

Rod and I had our monthly appointment at Women's Ob/Gyn this morning. This time we met with one of the midwives, Suki. Alina had spoken so highly of her, and the other two midwives, that we thought we'd check her out. Eventually, we'll have to make the decision of whether we'd like an Obstetrician or a midwife to be with us in the delivery room.

So we took the opportunity to really try to get to know Suki, and hear her thoughts on docs vs. midwives. Seems like it all comes down to time... And we've got plenty of that before we have to decide.

We talked about the feelings I'd been having, and whether they were BH or just round ligament pains (like the nurse suggested when I called to ask about them last week). Suki agreed that they were most likely BH, although she said most women don't notice them or feel them until they're 28-30 weeks. I got a short lecture on staying hydrated - I'm to drink at least 10 glasses of water a day, and that should help.

Appointment Stats:
Kristin's Blood Pressure: 100/60
Baby's Heartrate: 144 (according to Suki, average range is 120-160)
Height of Fundus: 19cm.
Weight Gained since last appt: 4 lbs. - right on track!

And, as hard as we tried, Suki pretty much told us if we want another ultrasound, we'll probably have to pay for it - that's what I get for having a "perfect" pregnancy so far!

Next appt: Tuesday, Oct. 18th with Mary Jo (midwife)


My thoughts on baby showers...

Today mom and I went to Wendy and Emme's baby shower in Port Huron.

First thought: Baby showers are so much fun! And they know it's a girl, so look at all the cute little outfits, little socks, stuff in pink!

Second thought: Wow, they're getting so many outfits... so much pink...

Third thought: More pink? Dang! I think they maybe got a half-dozen things they actually registered for! (Of course, nothing mom and I got for them was on their registry, either)

Final thought: Maybe I really don't want to know what we're having - or if we do find out, maybe we won't tell anyone until after the shower! I know, beggars can't be choosers, and I should be happy people would want to buy us anything! But still... I think this issue warrants a little more thought.

Not that we'll get a chance to find out what we're having anytime soon...


The Nursery Is One Step Closer!!!

Thanks to all mom's hard work today, the nursery is one step closer to being complete! It took some time, and a lot of painter's tape, but I think the result was well worth it.

Braxton Hicks Contractions?

Well, it was a long day yesterday, filled with shopping with mom for hours, ending in a small birthday party for me at the house. I was on my feet all day. Mom and I got some great maternity outfits for me for work and play. And we had a fun little gathering with Chad, Vicki & Caiden; Dan, Gina & Easton; mom, dad and Jeff.

Last night, though, I felt something throughout the night that was completely different from the muscle pulls and stretches I've been feeling. From what I can find online, they were most likely BH. It felt like someone was just squeezing my uterus! Not in a painful way, just uncomfortable enough to half wake me up. Finally, early Saturday morning, Rod got up, and got me a bottle of water, which helped to stop them.

Guess it's something I'll have to keep an eye on...


Movement!!! I felt movement!!!

Okay, after checking with the gals online, I have confirmed that I definitely felt movement last night!!!

I was laying in bed, on my back, with my hand on my abdomen, and I felt these two little *bump*s against my hand!!! I know they say many first time mom's don't feel movement until they're at least 20 weeks, and I'm only just 16, but it was definitely not indigestion!


More Bloodwork

I had to run in to the lab today to get some blood drawn. We decided in order to be as prepared for this baby as possible, we'd have the Maternal Serum Triple Screen (triple test, for short) done, along with the test for Cystic Fybrosis.

The triple test gives percentages of likeliness that the baby will have a neural tube defect or trisomy problem (ex. Down's Syndrome). The test was initially set up and is required for high-risk patients (moms over 35, dads over 42, family history), but is offered to all patients. There's no doubt in our minds that we would never terminate the pregnancy based on results, and for many couples, that knowledge is enough for them not to get the test. We decided though, in an effort to be prepared, that we'd rather know, so we can read up, find support groups, decide if it makes a difference in my career choices between now and then. We also know because we're not high risk, there's a good chance that the test could come back with a false positive result, in which case, we'd be sent for more testing (non-invasive).

The CF test right now just needs to be done on me, since I'm already giving blood, they may as well take a little more for that. In order for the baby to have problems with CF, both Rod and I would have to be carriers. So we'll test me first - if mine comes back negative, then there's no reason to test Rod.

Now the wait begins... Dr. Jones said it could take up to 6 weeks to get results.


Monthly OB Appointment

This morning, Rod and I met with Dr. Wagner, another of the Ob's at Women's Ob/Gyn. Incidentally, Dr. Wagner is the Doc who delivered Jeff & Alina's daughter, Ally Marie.

He's a really nice, easy to talk to guy. Turns out, he was a paramedic! He also is the practitioner within their group who does the most with Ovarian and Breast Cancer awareness and screening. We spent quite a bit of time discussing the Reinhard family history, and given his interest, he may end up being my choice for long term Gyn. He was very interested in Aunt Kathy's tests and their findings, as I mentioned to him that she's volunteering in many different studies, in particular, the results of her BRCA-1 and -2.

Appointment Stats:
Kristin's Blood Pressure: 100/60
Baby's Heartrate: 140
Height of Fundus (size of uterus?): 14cm
Weight Gained since last appt: 1 lb (s'okay~I started out a little high)

It took a few minutes for the doc to find the baby's heartrate, but it turns out it's because it was so low in my abdomen! Once he found it, it sounded so strong!

Next appt: Tuesday, Sept. 20th with Suki (midwife)


Our First Ob Appointment

Rod and I met with Dr. Jones today. She's one of 6 Ob/Gyn's at Women's Ob/Gyn and is so sweet! And so talkative!

The first thing we did was go over the results from all the initial bloodwork they did. Everything looked good, nothing too much to worry about, other than I tested positive for the Group B Strep virus. What this means, from what I understand, is nothing more than I need to make sure I get Penicillin when I go into labor, to protect the baby. This virus is nothing that can harm me, but the baby won't initially have the antibodies to fight the virus, so we make sure we both get the penicillin before I deliver.

We also got to have an ultrasound! They like to do one early on to accurately date the baby. It can tell by the size of the fetus an approximate due date. Originally, I had thought the due date would be February 22nd, but they're putting it at Feb. 19th. So that's it! It's official! What an amazingly unbelievable experience to see that little thing moving around in there - when it's so tiny!!!
Appointment Stats:
Kristin's Blood Pressure: 104/60
Baby's Heart Rate: 156 (average, Dr. Jones says)

Next appt: Tuesday, Aug. 23rd with Dr. Wagner