Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ahhhh My Child!!!

This is the email I got from Brayden's teacher today....

Good morning,
I recently found out that Brayden has been eating another child's snack at snack time. He admitted to it and said he was sorry. He said he doesn't do it every day and sometimes he asks if he can have some and sometimes he just helps himself. When I asked him about it, he said he didn't bring a snack so he is eating someone elses. He asked me to let you know that he would like a snack each day. I am hoping that if he brings his own snack, he won't eat other children's snacks. He did apologize and seemed to not realize that it was wrong to eat other people's food. Anyway, just wanted to let you know.

(Speaking with him about it was actually kind of funny because he is so innocent when he makes a mistake)


Argh!! What am I going to do with this crazy child? This whole situation is frustrating - they were told at the beginning of the year to bring a healthy snack. Well, Brayden doesn't exactly like healthy food so that narrows his options to string cheese.... I packed him a snack every day at first and he kept coming home with them uneaten. When I would try to pack him chips or fruit snacks - something he would eat - he would freak out because he is "only allowed to bring healthy snacks" so I just quit sending one with him most days and he has never asked about it or said anything to me.
The craziest thing about getting this email today is that he brought his lunch - which has snacks in it!!!
Somebody is going to be writing another apology letter today....

**Update: I talked to Brayden about this when he got home. He said "Well in the mornings I just think that I don't want a snack, but then when I get there my friend Carson has the extra cheesy goldfish and I just can't resist - I have to ask him to share with me." Guess we'll be buying some extra cheesy goldfish to send to school each day and keep his grubby little hands off of other people's food!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My dad informed me the other night that I needed to update my blog, so here I am! Life has been crazy yet perfect. I feel like we have been going non-stop since Carter has been home. I am back at work full-time (which is 30 hrs/week for me) and have class 2 nights/week. Rubin has been down an employee at work with another one on vacation so he has been working a ton. Brayden is playing soccer and has practice one night/week plus games on Saturdays. I'm also trying to find time to run whenever I can - I'm doing the Couch 2 5K program again and hope to run in a Turkey Trot with my mom on Thanksgiving. So here is a little update on everyone:

Rubin is superdad - he puts the 2 older boys to bed every night, out of necessity the 2 nights I'm in class but then they both ask for him the other nights too so I don't fight it. I try and use that time to clean up a little or go for a run.

Brayden is absolutely hilarious, as always. I have decided that when just the 2 of us are in my car I am going to record our conversations. He says some of the funniest things. He just had his 6 yr check up (several months late) and is in the 90th % in his height - such a big boy and constantly outgrowing his jeans. He has been struggling in school with being "impulsive" and we are trying to figure out how to deal with it. We had him tested for ADHD last December by a child psychologist who specializes in it and he came back to us with the results of not ADHD but a very high IQ. He wasn't kidding when he told us that the road ahead would not be easy - we are actually meeting with him tonight to see if he has any suggestions of how to help Brayden with his behavior in school. Wish us luck!

Cameron is the sweetest little man and still loves to cuddle which melts my heart. He loves to read books and does some of the silliest things. He is really working on his colors and counting, but not potty training!! He has absolutely no interest in wearing "big-boy underwear" and says that he likes his diapers. I think he just wants to stay our little baby forever (see picture above ;))

Carter is doing great and growing so fast! He had his 2 month check up last week and was 8 lbs 13 oz and 21.5 inches long. He still spits up like crazy - sometimes we wonder if any of his bottle stayed down, but the dr didn't seem concerned since he is still gaining weight and it doesn't seem to be hurting or upsetting him. He is starting to stay awake for longer stretches during the day and can be very alert at times. He is also stronger than I expected and lifts his upper body during tummy time and looks around - I honestly think he'll be rolling over before too long. So far they have not found any long-term issues with him so hopefully he'll just keep growing and developing normally and will eventually catch up :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

He's Home!!



I forget that there are people who read my blog and aren't friends with me on Facebook, so I'm updating here also to let everyone know that Carter came home yesterday!
He is absolutely perfect and is doing great. Brayden is the proudest big brother I have ever seen and wants to hold him all the time. Cam still isn't quite sure what's going on but is doing really well so far. He kissed Carter's head today and when I asked him if he just kissed his brother he said, "That's not my brother, that's baby Carter!". So he still has a few things to figure out :)
I have never been a more proud mommy and am so happy that our family is all in the same place and I'm not having to split my time here and at the hospital. Our perfect little family is complete :)
Again, I want to thank everyone for the prayers and support throughout these past few months. It has been a crazy ride but was all worth it in the end.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Update


So here is the update from yesterday:
I talked to the doctor last night about doing the 3 day versus 8 day monitoring. From what I understand, the 3 day is more strict and harder to pass. If he fails it, they have to wait 2-3 days and then try it again or start the 8 days over again, so if he doesn't pass then we are looking at him staying longer than 8 days anyway. For the 8 day, as long as he doesn't have any major spells he is fine. We were really struggling with what to do because obviously we want him home as soon as possible, but we also want to do what is best for him. If he comes home in 3 days and then has a spell 2 days later, how would we know without him hooked up to monitors? As hard as it was, we have decided to go ahead and do the 8 days. That is what the doctor recommended and we feel it is the safest thing to do. These "spells" are just a prematurity thing and he will grow out of them. As I was holding him last night in the hospital trying to decide what to do (and crying from the stress of the day), his heart rate dropped again. It didn't stay down long and isn't considered a spell since he was able to recover on his own, but it seemed like a sign to me that he just still isn't ready to come home.
With that being said, I talked to my doctor's nurse this morning about extending my disability to 8 weeks and she said that they can't. She was really nice about it and was very understanding of my situation, but said that they have to follow protocol. Because they will do a 6 week postpartum check up and clear me, I will no longer be under their care.
So the timeline we are looking at now is Carter coming home next Thursday or Friday and me going back to work on Tuesday. I have a few vacation days so I will probably take them to give myself at least a week home with my child before I have to go back to work, but I don't exactly want to use all of that and have nothing left either.
I also start grad school Sept 6 and will have class 2 nights a week, on days that I work, so those days I will leave the house around 6-7 am and get home around 10 pm and not see anyone in my family. It sucks, but I don't really have a choice - neither one of these classes are offered again for another year and 1/2 so I have to take them this semester.
So overall the situation just sucks, but we will figure something out. It will be a rough few months but I'll just have to suck it up and deal with it. Nothing about this summer/pregnancy/year has been ideal, but that precious baby is worth it all :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Home Soon!!

*UPDATE: About 2 seconds after posting this the nurse called and said that he just had another spell where his heart rate dropped. He is supposed to go 8 days spell-free before he can come home, but she said sometimes they do a different monitoring for 3 days. I have to talk to the dr when I go over tonight and we'll see what they decide to do. Kind of a discouraging phone call. While I want him home, I also want to know that he is ready to come home. If he is still having problems with dropping his heart rate, we won't have monitors here to tell us so it could be dangerous. I want what is best for him but I really would like for him to be here.

Carter has been a rock star with eating and on Monday they switched him over to "ad lib" so he now eats what he wants, when he wants. When they switched him, the put him on a lower calorie formula so they said it may take a couple of days to adjust and start to gain weight. Once he gains weight 2 days in a row, he gets to come home!! He gained 4 grams (pretty much nothing) Monday night but then lost last night. They said he has been taking more than his usual amount at his last few feedings today so hopefully he'll gain tonight and tomorrow and then get to come home on Friday!! We are trying not to get our hopes up or get set on a certain day, but we are pretty sure he'll be home by the end of the weekend.
He is a month old today and we are so proud of our little miracle baby. I can't wait to have all of my family here together (but I should probably get started on the nursery...)
Thank you all for the prayers and support over the past few months. This summer didn't exactly turn out as we expected but we are thankful for how well everything is going now and are looking forward to the future :)

Oh - and I had to post this picture of him with no feeding tube! His little cheeks have fattened up quite a bit - he is up to 5 lbs 12 oz.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Growing Boy


Carter is still doing really well!! He is growing like crazy - as of last night he was up to 5 lbs 9.7 oz!!
He is starting to get the hang of taking a bottle - he took a full 2 oz for me today but he still has feedings where he gets too tired or starts breathing too fast and has to stop. The plan is that once he takes 80% of his feedings by bottle (he is a little over 50 now) then they will switch him to eating on demand - he can have however much he wants whenever he is hungry. He has to gain weight for 2 days doing that method before he can come home. We seem to be getting pretty close to that, but he also has to go 8 days "spell-free" before going home (heart rate drop below 80 for more than 20 seconds). He had been doing awesome and had not had a spell since July 31, but then the little stinker had one 2 days ago, so now he has to start the 8 days all over again.
At this point, if he gets his feedings figured out and has no more spells he could come home as early as the 25th (next Thurs). We are hoping he can come home by next weekend!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sweet Little Peanut


Carter is doing great!! He has gained up to 4 lbs 11 oz (as of last night) and according to the nurse he is 18 1/2 inches long, but that seems like a huge difference in just 2 weeks!! (He was 16 inches when born.)
They have discontinued the caffeine, so as of right now the only thing he is getting is vitamins. He is working on taking a bottle but only take about 1/4 to 1/3 of his feeding and right now is only allowed to try once a shift (twice a day). His breathing is still fast at times but seems to be getting a lot better. He had a follow up echocardiogram yesterday but we don't have the results yet. I guess his heart murmur is still pretty loud so they want to make sure the hole isn't getting worse or something.
The past couple of days have been great - I have been able to take the boys to daycare and then spend a majority of the day over at the hospital, but today was their last day so it will be a lot harder to go see him starting tomorrow. Actually, Rubin is working until at least 7 tomorrow night so it will be pretty much impossible to see him. I have made it a habit to go to his 9 pm feeding every night and it is really nice because I can stay as long as I want and don't feel guilty about not being home with Brayden and Cam since they are in bed by then anyway. I am just ready for him to be home so I can spend time with all of my boys at the same time, but I know that he is where he needs to be right now. I feel like the past 2 weeks have gone by pretty quickly so hopefully it will keep going by fast. I just hate feeling pulled in different directions.
Other than being a little tired at times, I am feeling great! I haven't needed pain meds other than ibuprofen every once in a while. I had my incision check yesterday at the dr and everything looks good so far. I need to start dieting to try and lose this baby weight and actually am looking forward to being able to work out again. None of my clothes fit (really wish I wouldn't have gotten rid of all of my "fat clothes" last summer!!). I'm sure it will take a while to get back to my normal energy level after the bedrest combined with the blood loss but I really can't complain - I just love being allowed to get up and move whenever I want!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Brothers

Carter was moved to a regular crib by a window last night so the boys were able to come see him today for the first time. They were so proud and excited! It was adorable to watch the boys reactions to seeing him for the first time. I think Cameron is finally starting to get that he has an actual little brother - when we left the hospital this afternoon he asked to see him again. So sweet!!

As far as an update on Carter's condition, he is doing really well. He has gained up to 4 lbs 4.5 oz and has consistently been gaining weight every day which is great. He is in a big boy bed and is off of all oxygen and his IV. Other than the feeding tube he is doing everything completely on his own. The speech therapist stopped by to evaluate him today to determine if he is ready to bottle feed yet. He still has some work to do and isn't showing an interest yet, so we just have to work on it and be patient.

I am doing really well. I am still pretty sore at times but nothing I can't live with - especially when I remember to take my pain meds which I'm not so great at doing. I am feeling fine and have been out and about several times over the past few days. (Somehow I feel well enough to go to the store but not well enough to clean the house yet ;) The more people I talk to the more I realize how crazy and dangerous the whole situation was. I'll save the details for another post, but will sum it up with the fact that God had absolutely everything to do with the fact that Carter and I are both alive right now. And another huge thank you to the doctors and nurses that were there that night - they were all seriously amazing!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Big Day!!


My mom and I just got back from seeing Carter (Rubin is with the boys, Bonnie and Levi at the monster truck show at the fair), and we were so excited when we got there to find out that not only did he get his mask off, but he doesn't have any oxygen tubes at all! (We were originally told that they were going to transition him to a cannula (sp?), which is just the regular oxygen tube.) They said that he had 2 "episodes" this morning shortly after they took him off of the oxygen but he has been stable and doing really well since. They started him on caffeine, which helps stimulate his system and help him remember to breathe - apparently sometimes he gets so relaxed he forgets. He is still breathing really fast at times, but they said that is just due to his lung immaturity and he will eventually learn to keep it slow and steady. They are also going to try and wean him off of the humidity tonight during the night shift, so he should get to transition to a regular bed soon. And he should lose the IV in the next day or 2.
Then while we were there, the nurse told us that he will be moved over to the intermediate side of the NICU during the shift change tonight. The room over there is divided up a little more and each baby has it's own little space with decorations and everything made to look like a little mini-nursery. The critical side is just a big room with a bunch of beds and no space in between. It will be so much more comfortable over there and seem a little less scary. My mom called it the "big boy side" at first, but then we got over there to see it and there was a baby that was only 2 pounds and something, so I guess they aren't all big over there after all :)
I can't believe he will be a week old tomorrow!! He is doing so well and we are so blessed.

Friday, July 29, 2011



Nothing really new with Carter. He is still doing great and getting stronger every day. He is still on the c-pap and they keep telling me that they "may take him off tomorrow" and give him just a regular oxygen tube but then every day they say he's not quite ready. As much as I know we just need to be patient and wait until he's ready, I really would like to see that precious face without straps and hoses and masks attached to it :)
HIs echocardiogram came back okay. He does have a small hole in his heart, but they said it is very common in preemies and usually closes up on it's own. They will keep an eye on it and give him medication to help if it doesn't. His brain scan also came back normal. They found a small cyst (2 millimeters), but the dr said it is nothing to be concerned about. He told me after the results that he was honestly worried about doing the brain scan because of everything Carter has been through but that he was very relieved to find no bleeding in the brain or any other problems.
For those of you worried about me, I'm doing really well. I"m glad to be home and not on bedrest - I went to Walmart today and it felt so good to just go to the store! I have enjoyed being home with Rubin, the boys and my mom. I would say it was nice to sleep in my own bed, but I wouldn't know since both kids ended up in there with us last night and I didn't get much sleep. We'll try again tonight :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weds Update


So far today has been pretty good. I took a shower and put on normal clothes and it feels good to not be in one of those stupid gowns anymore. They are going to give me a couple of units of blood since my levels are still low and my head has been feeling kinda funny lately. They said that I should feel a lot better after getting the blood but even after getting 2 more units I will still have low levels and be considered anemic. It will take a month or 2 for everything to be back to normal.
Carter is doing great - he is just absolutely perfect. They had to turn his oxygen levels up again today so he will have to stay on the cpap machine for a little while but they said that's perfectly normal. The doctor called this morning and said that they detected a heart murmur and they are going to do an echocardiogram this afternoon to check it out. The nurse explained to Rubin and my mom this morning that a lot of babies are born with small holes in their heart but they close up on their own within 24 hrs or so. Since he is a preemie, that could be what is causing it. If it is it's not a big deal - they will wait and see if it closes on it's own and if it doesn't they have a medication they can give him to help it. Other than that he is doing great and they increased his feedings again today and so far he has done awesome! I absolutely love that we get to hold him now - it helps it seem more real. I held him for a little bit this afternoon and he smiled at me a couple of times. Yesterday he opened his eyes while I held him. He truly is a little tiny miracle and I love him so much!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carter Update


I just walked down to see Carter this morning and he was sleeping so peacefully. He is really so tiny and precious - even when he cries it is the quietest little noise.
They are going to wean him off of the cpap machine hopefully by tomorrow and the nurse said that he should be gradually moved out of the isolette and into a crib by probably Friday. I still haven't been able to hold him but she said that if I come back this afternoon around 12:30 I might be able to then. My mom's flight just got in so I'm hoping her and Rubin will be back here by then so she can come in there with me when I go see him again.
My blood levels have still been pretty low - they dropped yesterday morning but then went up a little by last night. This morning they were down to 7.2 again but they have decided not to do another transfusion unless I start to show symptoms of needing it (dizzy, lightheaded, trouble breathing, etc.) and so far I have been okay. I'm still pretty sore, which is expected, but am doing okay. I will probably go home either tomorrow or Thursday.
Thank you all for the prayers, notes, texts, etc. They mean a lot to all of us! I am up for visitors if people want to come by, but nobody will be able to see Carter. They have very strict rules in the NICU and can't have visitors and he is not able to be moved over to a window yet.
For those of you confused about the middle name and when it changed from Mason to Maddox, it was kind of a last minute thing. Brayden came to us last week and said that he wanted to change the middle name. We kind of coached him into picking Maddox because we decided after our "list" was made that we both really liked it. We never made an official announcement because since we let a 6 year old pick the name we figured it would still change a few times before he was actually born, but we weren't really given enough time for that to happen so Maddox it is!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Carter's Story



Okay, a lot has happened in the past few hours so here goes....Be warned this may be TMI for some of you!
I woke up at around 2:00 this morning to go to the bathroom and all was fine but as I was sitting on the toilet I started bleeding. The boys were both asleep so Rubin and I made the decision that I would just go to the hospital alone so I could get there quickly. He called his parents and they came over to watch the boys so he could meet me over here. I got to the hospital and the nurses were awesome - they immediately got started on everything and had the dr in doing an ultrasound within minutes. I kept asking if Carter was okay and nobody could give me an answer. Then all of a sudden they rushed me into the OR to do an emergency c-section. They were finally able to get an IV in me there (I had lost too much blood and my veins had collapsed) and I was put under general anesthesia for the procedure.
So, after waking up they told me that I also ended up having another super dangerous complication called placenta accreta. Basically my placenta was attached to the inside of my uterus and they weren't able to remove it, so they had to do a hysterectomy and remove my uterus also. They didn't remove my ovaries/tubes so hormonally I'm not in menopause or anything. I lost a ton of blood and had to be given 4 units of blood and 2 units of plasma.
I found out later that when they finally found Carter's heart rate it was only 60 and he was pretty lethargic when he was first born but seems to be doing okay now. He is in the NICU and is currently breathing with a little help from the ventilator but they plan to take him off that tomorrow. He has not tried eating yet and is just on the IV for now, but they plan on trying to feed him in the next couple of days. They are also going to do a brain scan to see if there was any damage but he hasn't shown any signs of anything so far so that's good.
I was finally able to go see him this afternoon around 3 but couldn't see much from sitting in a wheelchair and I'm not able to hold him yet. I did get him to hold my finger and one of the nurses took a picture - he is so tiny!!


I have to say that last night was the scariest night of my life and I don't think I have ever prayed so hard for something as I did for him to be okay. One of the nurses told my sister in law that she is not a religious person but that we both had a guardian angel on our shoulders and that it was truly a miracle that we are both okay. I cannot say enough about the nurses and doctors that were here and handled everything. From the time I left the house to the time Carter was born a total of 18 minutes passed. They responded so quickly to the situation and saved our lives.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Help?

So everyone is asking what they can do to help. To be honest, I'm not really sure. I don't know how to ask for help - it's not something I've ever really done. I am the type of person that will just try and do everything and then beat myself up when I can't, but right now I'm in a position that I can't do anything so here goes...
I don't know what is "normal" to ask people to do and I feel really bad asking people to do things, but here is a list of some of the things I have been sitting here thinking that I wish I could do now or need to do as soon as I'm allowed:
- Clean the house: Rubin is not exactly aware of when things need to be cleaned, so I feel like I am constantly asking him to do stuff around the house but he is already really overwhelmed with the boys, work, etc. I know that once I'm gone he probably won't touch anything and this place will be disgusting
- Do yard work: luckily it has been so hot and dry that our grass is pretty much dead and hasn't needed to be mowed, but I know that Rubin would really appreciate it if someone would mow for him. The front "flower beds" (I use that term loosely since there really are no living flowers) are completely overtaken with weeds and look horrible. That is something else I would usually take care of but haven't been able to this summer.
- Laundry: Again, I love my husband, but he will not do laundry unless he runs out of clean underwear, and even then he has been known to just go buy new ones to avoid laundry. It will just pile up even more than it already has.
- Kids: We have child care arranged during the day most days between daycare and Rubin's parents, but it would probably be nice for someone to come over in the evenings or on Rubin's days off (Fridays and Sundays) to watch the kids for an hour to 2 so Rubin can come over to the hospital and see me every once in a while, or just hang out and help entertain them for a little while.
- Nursery: Carter's room still is nowhere near ready for him. The furniture and everything is in there, so if it doesn't get done it can wait until I get home, but right now all of Cam's stuff is still in there, including his name hanging on the wall. We haven't been able to do anything to update it for Carter (clean/arrange the bedding, put clothes away, etc.)
- Install the car seat: We have bought a new car seat but haven't installed it yet, and that is another one of those things that I usually do and I don't think Rubin has a clue how to do.
- Meals: Honestly, with just Rubin and the boys home I think they will be okay for the most part. The boys don't really eat anything but chicken nuggets and Rubin won't eat an entire meal on his own, although I guess he could still bring me real food over to the hospital - I'm sure the cafeteria food will get old pretty quick.
- Company: Visitors are absolutely always welcome. I have spent the past 6+ weeks completely isolated from the rest of the world and am lonely and bored out of my mind. At least at the hospital I will have nurses to talk to during the day, but not being able to spend the evenings/weekends with my family will be hard. The boys really can only handle about an hour at the hospital before they get too crazy and have to be kicked out.

Okay that is all I can think of for right now, and I feel really weird about asking for this stuff. In fact, I'm debating right now whether I will actually post this. So anyway, this is me asking for help. If you are sitting at home wishing you could do something but are waiting for me to call you and ask you, it's probably not going to happen. I'm just not comfortable doing that so don't hold your breath. If there is anything you want to/are able to do just let one of us know. You can reach either one of us by phone/text/email/facebook.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Time to pack my bags...

I had an appointment with my OB this morning, and she said that they are admitting me next week, which I kind of expected after seeing the specialist last week. So everything will be ready for me on Monday and I will go hang out in the hospital for a couple of weeks until they decide to do the c-section. We still don't know for sure when that will be, but sometime between 34 and 36 weeks, so somewhere between August 8 and 22. They will do another round of the steroid shots for lung development and I guess just see how things are looking before they make a decision. They are putting me in the hospital just so I'm there if labor does start and they will be able to respond immediately to any problem. I have read a little online about vasa previa and this seems to be standard procedure - admission to hospital during 3rd trimester and delivery around 34-35 weeks. Although I enjoy being at home, I think I will feel more comfortable at the hospital for peace of mind. I'm starting to get to the point that I am uncomfortable and with every little ache or pain I wonder if everything is okay.
I know we have been pretty easy going through all of this and haven't really asked for help from anyone, but Rubin will definitely need some additional help with the boys. I will be in the hospital for probably 3-5 weeks so he will be doing everything at home on his own and trying to get the kids to and from daycare/his moms while still going to work every day. He has been pretty stressed out as it is because it's not like I can do much but at least I'm here to help with disciplining and hanging out with the boys so it's not going to get any easier with me gone. Plus I can only imagine how nasty the house will get without me here to ask him to clean things (which I have tried not to do unless it drives me absolutely crazy since he has enough on his plate).
I can't believe it has been over 6 weeks since this whole ordeal started and that I am still pregnant with a healthy little man! We are getting close to the finish line and I am very ready to be done with bedrest and meet Carter!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dr Appt Update

I went in today to see the MFM Specialist again. He checked everything and did another ultrasound and everything is about the same. Carter is about 3 1/2 pounds and is in the 50th percentile so he is growing perfectly. We did discuss the plan going forward and he is still very unsure about what to do. Vasa previa is pretty rare and there is really no established protocol to follow - each doctor kind of makes their own decisions. Right now his thoughts are to put me in the hospital at 32 weeks and then plan to deliver around 34 weeks. I go back to see him on the 27th and imagine he will probably admit me then. He wants to talk things over with his partners and see what their opinions are.
They did a non-stress test today to make sure I am not contracting and that the heart rate is healthy, and everything looked good.
I should get the results of my glucose test today or tomorrow (from my OB) so hopefully all is okay there.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

We have a name!!

So Rubin and I decided that since we couldn't pick a middle name and everyone we know had a different opinion, that we would let Brayden choose. We talked to him about it for a few days and gave him a list of names we were looking at. We told him it could be something special for him and Carter that he would be able to tell him someday that he picked his middle name. He went back and forth between a few of them for a few days, but he has finally decided on...

MASON

So Carter Mason Chrisman it is. It isn't my favorite for the middle name, but I like it (we would have given Carter that as a first name but one of Rubins friends just named their baby Mason, plus it is like #1 in popularity right now).

Then today we were talking about it again to make sure that was his final choice, and he said "Yes, but I think we should change the last part of the name. Everyone else has Chrisman as the last part and it's getting kinda boring. Maybe we could pick something different for Carter." Such a goofball.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Glucose

So I had my glucose screening the other day, which I was totally not worried about since I don't mind the nasty drink and have never had a problem before. Well, the nurse just called and told me that I didn't pass the screening. I have to go back next week for a 3 hour glucose tolerance test. If I pass that then all is good, but if I don't then I have gestational diabetes and will have to deal with that, which should be fun! Especially since after reading about it, the way to control it is through diet and exercise and since I'm not allowed to move exercise could be a problem. I want to get it over with as soon as possible so I guess I'll schedule it for Monday morning. Have an OB appt on Monday afternoon and see the specialist on Weds so it looks like next week will be busy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I really don't have anything to update, but feel like I haven't posted in a while so just thought I would say hi :)
I had a dr appointment last week, but it was just a routine OB check-up so nothing really to report. I go back to the specialist next Wednesday and will update after that.
The boys are home so life is back to semi-normal again. They are both as crazy as ever but the sweetest little boys on the planet. Brayden has been awesome with helping out and has been really careful around me. He asks about Carter all the time and wants to feel him kick. Cameron on the other hand says that he wants a doggie. I told him we are getting a baby, not a dog, and he says "no baby, I want doggie". Somebody is going to be jealous and it's going to be interesting....
We still haven't picked a middle name, and we have decided to let Brayden choose (from the list we gave him). We can't seem to make a decision and thought it would be a fun special thing for Brayden to do as the big brother. He is leaning towards Mason or Jax so we'll see.
I can't believe I will be 30 weeks on Monday - we have made it so far and I don't think anyone can believe it, including the doctors. Again, thank you all for your prayers - this is proof that it works!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Middle Name

So we are really stuck on a middle name for Carter. For some reason this has just become a pain - do we name him after someone in the family or just pick a cute name? Then we still have to decide which name to use once we make that decision. Brayden's middle name is a family name - it's both Rubin and his dad's middle name. Cameron's name is just one that we picked b/c we liked it. Here are some ideas for Carter:

Family:
Carter Richard Chrisman (my dad's name)
Carter Sheffield Chrisman (my mom's maiden name)
Carter Ryne Chrisman (Ryne Sandberg and both of our brothers have Ryan in their names)

Cute:
Carter Brooks Chrisman
Carter Mason Chrisman
Carter Bryce Chrisman
Carter Lane Chrisman
Carter Jace Chrisman
Carter Jax Chrisman

Opinions? And please no additional suggestions - we have too many as it is!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today's post is a more personal, emotional one. I'm not trying to complain or make people feel sorry for me, I have just had a lot of time to think and need to get it off my chest.
I have lived in Illinois for 7 and 1/2 years now, and I still do not have anyone here that I can call my best friend. I have always been so busy with my family that it has never been a big deal I guess, but now that I'm sitting here alone every day the realization has kind of slapped me in the face. I mean I don't want to sound pathetic - I have a lot of good friends up here. I have work friends, church friends, Rubin's friends, and his family. But to them I will always just be a "work friend" or "Rubin's wife." I don't have a special connection with anyone here that I can truly call a best friend, and that they could say the same about me. I still have best friends from high school and college, but they all live over 12 hours away from me. I don't have anyone to just to shopping with or go out to lunch with, or right now that will just come over and hang out with me and keep me company for a couple of hours. I know that it's my own fault - I have never really made the time to form relationships with people. I have always had an excuse, but with working, going to school, and having young kids at home I'm not really sure where I'm supposed to find the time.
Okay I'm done whining for now - I guess after 3 weeks of sitting here the loneliness is starting to kick in, especially without my boys here to at least keep me busy and entertained. Maybe it's the fact that I just watched Sex and the City 2, which was a terrible movie, but I guess I'm just jealous that they all have each other.
Guess I'll go watch some more HGTV or start a new book :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dr Appt Update

So today I got to leave the house!! I have never been more excited to go to the doctor - I dried and straightened my hair and put on make up and cute clothes. Oh the joys...
Anyway, I had an ultrasound and appt with the MFM Specialist. The first part of the u/s went great. They said Carter looks super healthy and his measurements are perfect, actually a day ahead. I still have placenta previa, so it hasn't moved up and doesn't look like it's going to. He also re-diagnosed the vasa previa. There are definitely veins around the cervix area and although they can't tell for sure if they are actually covering the cervix, it is too close for comfort so he thinks we have to call it that. I am back home now and still on super strict bedrest, and he really doesn't want me moving at all other than to the bathroom. I know that's what they had told me before but I guess after 3 weeks I probably relaxed a little and was moving more than I should have been, but now knowing about the vasa previa he has me scared enough to listen and do as I'm told. If I go into labor at any point it is super dangerous and life-threatening so we have to make sure that doesn't happen. He said they will probably do a c-section at 34-35 weeks, and after looking at the calendar I'm actually hoping for 34 weeks - it is August 8! My other 2 boys birthdays are 5-5 and 2-2, so 8-8 would just be awesome!
I'm still feeling great (and have only gained like a pound and a half in the past month, which is amazing), but there is definitely still a major risk, so keep praying that I don't start bleeding again or go into preterm labor at all. Both situations would be really bad right now.
I have an appointment with my OB next week and then go back to the specialist for another appt and ultrasound in 3 weeks. Will keep everyone updated!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bonnie and Linda "Clean Sweep"

So this weekend (Fri/Sat), Rubin's stepmom and her sister came over to help me organize all of the toys that had taken over my house. By the end of the weekend, my coat closet, laundry room/pantry, living room, and basement were completely cleared out and organized! For those of you getting ready to yell at me, no, I didn't help with any of the manual labor. I sat on the couch and they would bring me piles of papers, bins of junk, etc. to sort through and decide what to keep and throw out. We got rid of a TON of junk!! Had to pay some guys to come and haul everything away. We also ordered a new couch and loveseat for the living room, so we had the guys move the sectional down to the basement and threw out the old nasty couches we had down there. Here is a before picture of my basement and then some after pictures. They did an amazing job and I feel about 50 pounds lighter with all of the clutter gone!! I just hope we can keep it this way!!!
Basement "Before":


Basement "After"


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Meals

Several people have asked how they can help us or if we need meals, etc. One of the ministries at our church called yesterday and they set up a Meal Baby site for us. If you are interested, you can go on and sign up for a day to bring a meal or purchase restaurant gift cards, etc. We have had so many people ask and this is a great way to keep everything organized so we don't end up with 3 meals on the same day and then nothing for 2 weeks or whatever. Anyway, they told me to share the link with anyone so I figured here was the best place to do it.

http://mealbaby.com/viewregistry/512650

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well, 2 weeks ago today my life went into a tailspin. It doesn't seem like it's been that long, so I guess that's a good sign that time seems to be going by pretty quickly. I am missing my boys like crazy but we have skyped them a few times and they are having a great time. Brayden is absolutely loving camp and all of the fun things he has been doing, and Cameron is loving playing with his cousin Bailee (they are only 6 months apart).
I know I mentioned that I was going to continue to work from home at least part time, but after researching it more it just isn't going to work out, so I am filing for disability.
I wish I had something more exciting to update but there isn't much going on right now :) I am trying to convince Rubin to buy me new couches. Now that I'm spending so much time on this one it's getting on my nerves more than it ever did and I think it would make a great basement couch, so wish me luck with that!! I have been watching way too much HGTV and am making a list of projects I want to tackle once I'm allowed to get up (although then I'll have 3 kids including a newborn so it's not like I'll have time or energy to do any of them).
Okay I guess those are all of my random updates for now. Thank you all for the prayers - keep them coming and I'll keep him cooking :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

26 Weeks

Today I am 26 weeks along - another week under my belt and another week that Carter is getting bigger and stronger!! I have been home from the hospital for a full week now, and so far things have been good, but last week my mom and the boys were still here to keep me company. Yesterday morning my parents left with the boys and I cried like a baby as they drove off. I don't know why - I'm excited for them to get to spend this time and am thankful for my parents taking them. Rubin and I had even talked about when they would be old enough to send them down there for a week or so in the summers. It was just hard to see them go. I think we have decided that they will probably be gone for 3 weeks and that is a long time!! I also finally had my first emotional breakdown yesterday since this whole crazy ordeal started. I asked Rubin to do something for me and then kinda lost it - I just hate feeling so helpless and not being able to do anything. I have to ask him to do everything - get me a drink out of the fridge, make my food and bring it to me on the couch, grab me some Tylenol and on top of that he is now expected to pick up the house and do everything else that I can't do anymore. I just hate having to rely on someone else so much and hate putting the extra responsibilities on him. Hopefully we will settle into a routine over time and with the boys gone the house should stay fairly clean once we get it that way. I knew it wouldn't be easy and I guess I'm just starting to feel the frustration. Please continue to pray for us as we continue on this long road.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blessed

I just wanted to update and let everyone know that things are going fine so far. I know everyone is still asking how I'm feeling etc., and want to let everyone know that I actually feel completely fine. I have had absolutely no pain or discomfort at all, but that doesn't really mean anything. I felt completely fine the day I started bleeding, and still felt fine while bleeding. There is just no warning sign - I can be completely fine one minute and then start bleeding the next, so it is just the fear of the unknown.
To answer several more questions:
Yes, my mom is still taking the kids back home with her this weekend. There is absolutely no way that I can be left here to watch the kids by myself. If it was just Brayden then maybe, but with a 2 year old it is impossible.
Yes, this is our last baby. I had really wanted one more, although Rubin was completely against it (which doesn't mean much....I'm convinced I would have eventually gotten my way :)). After hemmoraging with Cameron and now this, I have decided that there is no way I can put myself or my family through this situation again, so I will have my tubes tied during my c-section. Maybe we can adopt someday.... ;)
Work is being very flexible and we are currently trying to come up with a plan for me to work from home so that I don't have to go on disability for quite as long since it is only 50% pay. This will be a huge blessing for us, and it's not like I have anything better to do while laying here!!
For those who have asked what they can do for us - this week we are fine because my mom is still here so she is feeding me :) After she goes home next week with the boys, visits, food, anything would be welcome. I will be laying here by myself day after day while Rubin is working, and meals are limited to me grabbing something out of the fridge and maybe using the microwave for a few seconds. If it requires standing for longer than that, I'm not allowed to do it, so my meal options will be pretty limited fora while.
I think that answers most of the questions from people but feel free to ask if you want to know anything else :)
I also want to take a few minutes to thank my family for how amazing they have been. My mom just took off and flew up here on a minutes notice, and Rubin's family has been awesome with helping out and stopping by. I also have gotten several pair of VS Pink pants, since I was wearing my absolute favorite pair on Thursday and had to throw them away (and I don't just go by myself $50 sweatpants on a regular basis so these were kind of a prized possession!). I am truly blessed and feel very loved and cared for. I also wanted to quickly mention that the nurses at the hospital were A-MA-ZING. They all genuinely seemed to care about how I was doing and would call or stop by on their days off just to check on me. They were all super!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Well I have been home for almost a day now, and although I was a little nervous about leaving the hospital, I have to say I'm very thankful to be here. I was able to sleep in my own comfy bed last night, spend time with my husband, mom and kids, watch TV, and sit on my own couch. I just sat outside on the patio for a couple of hours and watched the boys play in the pool and sprinkler (and enjoyed a little sun!). I know everyone is worried about me following orders to stay put, and I completely understand why you all are. I know that I can be a "little" stubborn at times :) But I also know that this is what I have to do and I will do anything I'm told to keep this baby safe and healthy, so I'm listening. It's not easy - there are definitely more temptations to get up while at home and I keep seeing things I need to pick up or throw away etc, but I'm trying to just let it go and relax. I feel like a complete lazy bum - it's so weird that a week ago I felt guilty that I haven't really been exercising, and now I'm not even allowed to stand up for more than 10 minutes a day.
Today I told Brayden that he would be going to Nana's house for a couple of weeks, and was a little nervous that he would be sad to leave me and wonder why I wasn't coming, but we just told him it was his summer vacation since we can't all go on one now. He will get to go to my mom's daycare which has a "summer camp" type program and he is soooo excited about it. He said "I get to go on vacation for 2 whole weeks without my parents? Wow, most kids probably don't get to do that." Hopefully he handles it well while he's down there - I'm sure they'll keep him busy enough!!!
I can't express again how thankful we are for all of the prayers and well wishes from everyone. I know I haven't responded to you all, but I have read every message and we are very appreciative of everything.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Home!

Well I just talked to the doctor and they are going to let me go home. Everyone seems to be a little nervous still (including nurses and doctors), but she said that she feels comfortable that I live so close and can get here quickly if anything happens. She said now is the time to try and see how it goes and see if I do okay at home. I am not allowed to leave the house other than to come to dr appointments and can't stand longer than it takes to take a shower, but they will allow me to go upstairs at the end of the day to go to bed so at least I don't have to sleep on the couch. It is still going to be a very long and boring summer, but hopefully I will be more comfortable at home. Chances are I may end up in and out of the hospital a few more times over the next couple of months, but hopefully things remain stable enough that it won't be too crazy.
Thank you all for the kind words, thoughts, prayers, visits, and junk food (the nurses are constantly commenting on my candy stash). From this point on, I guess no news is good news!! I will update as things change!

25 Weeks!

I am 25 weeks along today - thankful for every week that passes :)
I just had my ultrasound and they no longer think I have vasa previa. There are veins there, but they appear to be over to the right and not covering the cervix. I still have the placenta previa and partial abruption, so I am still considered high risk for bleeding again. They are considering sending me home on strict bed rest. My OB should be stopping by my room at some point this afternoon to talk to me about it and we will go from there. She mentioned this morning that if I go home I should expect to probably be back and forth to the hospital a few more times throughout the pregnancy. I will update everyone after I talk to her, but either way it is great news that there is no vasa previa!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday

Nothing much to update today. Things are still good. They have taken me off the IV and I'm allowed to shower once a day which is kind of exciting. They moved me downstairs to the mother/baby unit yesterday since things appear so stable, so I guess that's good. The room is a little cozier, but a hospital room is a hospital room. The specialist stopped by again this morning just to check in. At this point we are still just waiting on the ultrasound tomorrow. If it is vasa previa, I am for sure here until delivery and she thinks they'll probably move me back upstairs because any bleeding will be a dire emergency. If it's not vasa previa, chances are that I might be sent home and then I don't know what the restrictions will be there - still full bed rest, partial, nothing? I didn't ask too many questions today - will just wait and see what they say tomorrow.
I will be 25 weeks tomorrow, so that's huge. The survival rate goes up with every week he stays in there!!
Everyone keeps asking how I'm staying so calm and positive, and I really have no explanation other than that God is just giving me a sense of peace about everything. There is no way that given the situation I was in when I walked in here on Thursday that I should not be hysterical, but I have just had this feeling of "everything is going to be ok" and can't really explain it. And what's the point in whining and complaining about bed rest. No, it's not ideal or fun, but this is where I need to be so I might as well have a positive attitude and make the best of it. Every little freedom I get is a big deal and I am appreciative of them, and also know that they can all be taken away immediately if something else happens.
Well, they are getting ready to hook me up to the monitor for an hour, so gotta go. Just keep praying!! So far they are working!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Still Waiting

At this point nothing has changed - we are still just sitting and waiting, and I'm still pregnant! I saw a MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist) this morning and it was just a quick check in. She is a partner of the guy who has been treating me, and we are just waiting for another ultrasound on Monday to have more answers. They are still not 100% sure that I have Vasa Previa because there was a blood clot blocking the view when they did the ultrasound on Thursday. He wants to look at it again on Monday and see if that's still what they think is going on. Basically, if it is Vasa Previa, I am here until delivery. If it's not and is just the placenta and blood clot they are seeing, they may send me home, although if I bleed again I am here to stay. So at this point, we just have to sit and wait and pray for no more bleeding before Monday and then hope that they can get a better picture with the ultrasound.
I have been doing a little research on everything they have told me about, and feel that this is actually a blessing in disguise. Most of the time, vasa previa is not diagnosed before delivery, and then during delivery the veins can rupture and threaten the life of the baby. Because they know (well, I guess think) I have it, I am in much better shape because we know I have to have a c-section and will not let me go into labor on my own so that we do not put Carter in danger of losing his blood supply. We just still have to hope and pray that it does not spontaneously bleed on it's own.
Several people have asked what they can do to help us out, and honestly right now I can't think of anything. My mom is on her way here as we speak and will be taking care of the boys at our house for the week and depending on how things look after this week she may take them back to Arkansas with her for a few weeks, so at this point child care is taken care of. I don't really need food or anything - I have snacks that a couple of people have brought over and can order anything I want from room service. Meals for the family aren't necessary because A) my mom will be at home and can get the boys fed and B) Rubin and the boys don't really eat normal meals anyway...
For those of you who have asked about visiting, feel free to come by anytime. I am in the labor and delivery unit so there are no visiting hours. The only restrictions are 4 people in the room at a time and no children besides my own. Please do not feel like you will be bothering me by calling, emailing, texting, or visiting. I am just laying here with nothing else to do so entertainment is welcome anytime!!!
Again, thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Freedom!

So I just saw the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and they are very pleased with the way everything is going so far. I have not bled at all in over 24 hours and the baby's heart rate has remained stable. They took me off the catheter and I am now allowed to get out of bed to walk to the bathroom. We still have a long road ahead of us and things could change at any moment, but for right now things are looking good. He said that delivery does not seem imminent so they have taken me off of the antibiotics and magnesium. They are going to do another ultrasound on Monday to see if they can get a better view of what is covering my cervix. They have a suspicion that it is the baby's blood vessel, and if that's the case I am still very high risk and will be here until delivery. If it isn't, things look a little better but I still won't be out of the woods. Thank you all for the prayers!! We are feeling them so much and appreciate them more than you all know!!

Long Overdue...

So it seems fitting that the last time I updated was Brayden's first day of kindergarten because yesterday was his last...guess I didn't have much to say? Unfortunately it seems that this blog has gotten more use for medical updates than fun stuff, but I wanted to give the longer version of what is going on for those who are interested, so here you go...

Yesterday morning I was sitting on the couch with Cameron (who had a 101 fever) and stood up to get him juice when I felt the bleeding start. I grabbed him and drove across the street to the ER where they freaked me out for a while trying to figure out what was going on - there were probably 20 people in the room and everything was pretty up in the air at first. They were trying to figure out if Carter still had a heartbeat and coudn't because my heart rate was elevated to 150 so they couldn't tell if it was mine or his with just the monitor. After an ultrasound they were still unsure of what was going on with the bleeding, but could tell that he was okay so they moved me up to labor and delivery. I have been told that I have placenta previa with a partial abruption, and vassal previa. Basically my placenta is low and has separated into 2 pieces. One of the pieces is covering part of my cervix, which is where they think the earlier bleeding came from. There are also veins connecting the 2 pieces of the placenta that are laying across my cervix. They have said that it's not really a question of IF I bleed again, it's when. If it's determined that the blood is coming from me but they are able to keep us both stable, they won't do anything. If the blood is from baby and he is in distress, the will have to take him by emergency c-section. So, I am here on complete bed rest until either I bleed again and the worst happens, or I make it far enough that they can just take him by regular c-section.
Right now I am 24 weeks and 4 days. His chance of survival at this point is a little less than 50% so every day is crucial at this point to just keep him in there. They are giving me steroid shots to develop his lungs and another medication that is supposed to protect his brain. If he survives, his risk of complications is extremely high - very probable CP, brain damage, etc. Each week is a huge milestone, and at this point the major goal we are shooting for is to make it to 28 weeks (June 27) where his chance of survival goes up to almost 100%. If I make it to there, then I think they will shoot for 32 weeks (July 25) and I assume at that point they may just go ahead and take him.
It seems really strange to be in the hospital and instead of hoping to get better and go home soon, hoping to have to stay here for a really long time. It is going to be hard on the boys but we will make it work. My mom is coming up tomorrow to spend some time here and if everything is still the same after a week or so she will probably take them back home with her to Arkansas for a few weeks. I'll miss them both terribly, but it would be a huge help for us to not have to constantly worry about who can watch them.
Thank you all for the prayers and support. I have had a ton of people ask if we need anything, and at this point all we really need are prayers to keep this baby in there! I am very open to visitors as I feel totally fine - I am in no pain or discomfort at all. I have a feeling I will be extremely bored after being here for another day or so, so don't feel like you are bothering me if you need me for anything!
For now no news is good news, but I will update if there are any changes.