Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two Weeks Old!

We can't quite believe it, but our little man is two weeks old! He is doing so good and we are so very proud of him. He now weighs 4lb 3oz, his head has grown and his body has grown just a little bit. He has started drinking out of a bottle -- not at every feeding, but at least a few times a day! He also tried breastfeeding the other day -- he is so big we can't stand it. It takes a lot of energy out of little babies to eat and he usually falls asleep about halfway through. He is more awake and alert these days and its awfully nice to see his sweet little eyes open more of the time. He loves to snuggle and is totally content to sleep in our arms all day long. I had to put him down the other day so I could pump and he was so mad at me, it was a little funny! He even has a girlfriend, his nurse Barb has a crush on him! No estimate on his departure -- we are thinking maybe another two weeks but no one knows for certain. As we have quickly learned, he is the boss and in charge of things these days :)
I had my two week check-up today and all is well and good! My blood pressure was even normal again and I am able to lower the dosage on my medicine, woo-hoo! I am able to drive again and made a little trip to Babies R Us for some Y Cut nipples for the little man, to make it a little easier to eat his thickened feeds. Other than that, we are just hanging out waiting for New Years! Oh, and this is outfit #2 from daddy!

Hot Mama Designs

So, pretty much since I found out I was pregnant I have known what I want for my first Mother's Day and my birthday this year. Weird that I would already know -- so unlike me! :) A guy at works wife makes these beautiful necklaces and it is all I want. I think they are the sweetest way to display your baby's name/birth date/birthstone. I like how it's a little more modern than some of the other bracelets and necklaces. While I was still in the hospital on the Mom/Baby side I showed Bj and picked out the exact one I want. I figure Connor was still in my belly and could hear us talking about it and it is surely what he would have picked out for me anyway! They are a little expensive, so I thought it would be the perfect double gift -- hopefully it comes closer to my birthday and not mothers day -- heaven forbid I wait until May!!

What do you think? You can put the birth date on the back too! She hand stamps each and every letter and I just think they so neat! A few of the nurses at the hospital have them too -- and I always make them show me their hot mama designs!

This is the website -- I just can't get over how talented she is! I like the name too! I like to think that once I lose my pregnancy weight I too will hot mama! :) HA!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sweet Daddy

After Daddy came to the hospital the other day and saw Connor in his purple "Barney" outfit, he decided to run out and find him some manly preemie outfits! Connor does not at all take after his momma in the weight gaining department and we have had a hard time finding little clothes to fit him -- but his sweet Daddy pulled through and found him two very adorable little outfits. They even actually fit him! :) This is the first of the outfits -- no worries I am SURE we will take pictures when we change him into the other one! We think he looks pretty darn cute -- this outfit is all the rage for preemies too, another little boy down the hall has one too!

We are going to make sure we go shopping for some cute boy preemie outfits to donate to the hospital though -- they have been so good to us and we want to return the favor! We also want the other little boys who come after us to have some cute digs to wear -- nothing pink or purple!

Splish Splash...Another Bath!

It has officially been one week since Connor's first bath and in honor of no more iv, we decided he was ready for a little tub bath! We even got to unhook him from the monitors and take him to another room for a bath...very exciting stuff! Momma was in charge which was a little scary, but I think he liked it! He is so quiet when he gets his hair washed and perks up a bit more for the body washing...he looked too stinkin cute in his little pink tub! His little feet were all curled up and he was all toasty and warm in the water. He was very patient with Momma who still is adjusting to his small and wiggly body! After the bath I did some Kangaroo Care and just snuggled with and sniffed his sweet, clean body and hair. There really is nothing like the smell of a clean, sweet baby. After his bath and feeding time he was conked out having sweet dreams!

His little feet, I just can't help myself I think they are the sweetest little things I have ever seen. He very much has his daddy's hands and feet and I just love them.

Dear Connor,

I was thinking this morning, as I got my update that I would be 36 weeks pregnant with you today and instead you will be two weeks old tomorrow! I will tell you that I was really scared and nervous (and also really excited) when we found out two weeks ago today that we would be meeting you on the 16th or 17th of December. I knew we were in good hands, but it didn't stop your daddy and I from shedding a few tears. So many emotions all in that one moment and little did I know the myriad of emotions that would follow in the next two weeks. I was scared because I didn't know what you would need medically when you entered the world -- you needed a few things, but you have done so well. I am so proud of you, my strong little man.

We have documented every move you have made since you arrived -- we fell head over heels in love with you the minute we saw you and we haven't looked back since. I can't wait to hold you and snuggle with you everyday and watch you grow. You have been learning how to eat out of a bottle and breastfeed these days and I have been overwhelmed with pride watching you learn and figure things out. You just seem too little to do some of the things you do, in my opinion, but really you are not, you are just doing what you need to do. I love to watch you while you eat, sing to you and read to you (the Twilight series, I am not proud of it, but I am totally addicted to it! We are on book three and I think I enjoy it more than you -- you just fall asleep!) and watch how you hold onto your pacy while you suck on it. I know that you recognize your momma and daddy -- you always watch us when we talk to you and you immediately calm down when one of us walks into the room.

It is still hard for me to watch you live in the NICU, but I am getting better. You have had some issues with reflux (a very common problem with preemies) and it is breaking my heart. I just can't stand to watch you in pain -- it literally breaks my heart. Heaven help the first person that is mean to you, I don't know what I will do or how I will handle it. I have started holding you (and daddy holds you when he is here) after you eat for awhile and it seems to help you out. I know you are where you need to be, but we are looking forward to breaking you out of here and getting settled at home. We can't wait to show you your room and your sweet doggies! We have been bringing home things you have worn and they LOVE to smell you. Daddy starts his "paternity leave" next week and we can't wait!

Above all we just love you. As silly as it sounds, you were meant to be our little boy and our family is now where it should be. We look forward to everyday and watching you grow into a sweet little boy. I feel like I am already more fulfilled than I ever imagined as a parent and I promise to be the best momma I can be.

We love you Connor Francis Johnson.
Love, Momma and Daddy

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Peanut

So, I have been getting the biggest kick out of this lately -- from the pictures we send out Connor doesn't always look as small as he really is. That is usually the first thing people comment on after they see pictures, "wow he really doesn't look that small" -- but lo and behold he really is! We have been skyping with the families lately (it is so fun, I highly recommend it!) and a few more visitors have stopped by and It is always the first thing they comment on how they didn't think he was so small. We just can't wait to bring him home so we can really show off the little man!

Bj was so cute when we were skyping with the Johnson's on Christmas, he put on a little show with Connor and all of this toys. They all said it was so neat to actually see him move and visualize how small he is compared to one of us or the toys in his bed. We think he is perfect and I have thoroughly stared at every exposed inch of him to memorize how small he is so I will never forget it. I know the time is going to fly by and soon enough he will be walking, talking and going to school -- my big boy. Ah, I am sure I will cry as he does all of those things!

Speaking of a big boy -- last night he drank 17 cc's out of his first bottle (at 11pm) and then at 5am he drank his whole bottle! He was absolutely precious -- he paced himself and breathed the whole time! I could not have been more proud of him (I immediately called Daddy and had to restrain myself from calling him at 5am!) and you could tell he was awfully proud of himself! I even got to feed him the second bottle, it was wonderful. He has been having issues with Acid Reflux (apparently it is something that no preemie escapes, their little muscles just aren't strong enough to keep everything down) and it is literally tearing me apart. I think it is so unfair and I hate to see the little one in pain, especially when he is trying to eat. So, it was so nice to see him so happy and wide awake while eating away. I know we still have a long way to go with the whole suck/swallow/breathe thing, but we are so proud of his progress! He apparently doesn't take after his momma in the weight gaining department though -- after bumping up feeds and calorie intake -- his weight stayed the same!
That is about all of the newest updates! Oh, and he looks like Barney today. He has on a very lovely purple outfit -- I think daddy and I are running to Target in search of some more preemie outfits to fit this sweet boy!

Diaper Changes

So, I think because I am usually sitting in Connor's room following the nurses around they took pitty on us and have started letting us be a part of his care, ie: change diapers, help feed, and take his temperature. I never knew I could get so excited about changing a diaper -- I also had no idea I would act like it was my first time changing one EVERY TIME I DID IT (he is just so small and mine, its a totally different thing)!

For those of you who know me, you know I have changed my fair share of diapers in my lifetime, I love little kiddos and therefore have changed a few of their diapers. Well, Bj changed the first one and said that he wasn't fast enough and Connor man peed a little -- only on the diaper, no where else. So, I had to laugh when it was my turn later that night to change his diaper and make a big deal about how I wouldn't let anything like that happen to ME! I get everything ready and open the diaper, clean him off (he only likes to poop when I change him and he usually likes to poop as soon as I put the new diaper on!) and get ready to put the diaper on -- when he pees ALL OVER EVERYTHING! It was kind of funny and exactly what I deserve for being so cocky -- we had to change everything, the diaper, his outfit and all the blankets. Way to go Momma! At least I have a few years ahead of me to perfect the talent.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our Little Stocking Stuffer

We spent a very lovely day at the hospital. We opened some presents in the morning, ate some cheese and crackers, hung out with the little guy, relaxed and ate a nice dinner. It was really nice, it didn't totally feel like Christmas as it was the first one away St. Louis -- but it was really nice to relax with our little family.
We knew we needed some form of entertainment and our eyes immediately turned to our adorable one week old, 4 lb. son...and this is what followed!

Believe it or not this was the smallest hat Bj could find at Target -- I think we will get a few more uses out of it!

He is almost ready for his close-up -- he almost has everything on!

He just needed the fancy stocking to complete the outfit!

I mean in our eyes it doesn't get much cuter than this! Our Little Stocking Stuffer! He liked it too, he is smiling in the picture!

The whole family -- the little one makes us complete, all that's missing in the picture is the doggies!

I have to say that he was PERFECT for this photo shoot -- he slept through the whole thing! We had the entire hospital staff in our room and they all think he is pretty darn handsome. It was really fun to dress him up and celebrate our first Christmas as a family of five -- we can't wait to show him these pictures a few years down the road! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We hope everyone has a very lovely holiday with friends and family! We are so thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives -- we love you all!


I have been so overwhelmed lately with the kindness people I don't even know have shown us this past month. It is a little scary having your baby in the NICU and it is amazing how kind and supportive all of the nurses and doctors have been -- as well as people in the community. My mind has been put at ease and I am totally touched by the people around me.

We found out the other day that volunteers make quilts for all of the preemie babies in the NICU and we both thought that was such a neat thing to do. Connor is "borrowing" one now and as soon as a new shipment arrives he will be able to pick out a boy quilt. I know that homemade things takes time and the fact that people we don't know took the time to make a quilt that will keep our baby warm while he is in the hospital and away from his home is amazing. There are really sweet people in this world. Here is the quilt he is "borrowing"...

Today while I was hanging out, Connor's nurse came in with a blanket and card and explained to me that a first grade class handmade fleece blankets for all of the preemie babies. They also made Christmas cards for each and every baby and their mommy. I cannot think of a sweeter thing -- as I know their teacher had to take the time to do the project with them and buy all of the supplies with money out of her own pocket. I just think it is amazing and so wonderful that people are taking the time to do sweet things for others -- what a wonderful lesson to teach these children at such a young age.

I can guarantee the Johnson family will be returning the favor as all the sweet little things people have done to make us feel comfortable have really touched us.

One Week Old!

We can't quite believe it, but Connor is one week old today! It is hard to imagine that we still didn't know who was going to arrive in the world at this time last Wednesday -- he was still one hour away from entering the world! Now we can't imagine any other sweet boy but this one -- he was meant to be ours.

Sweet Daddy brought Connor a cake to celebrate the occasion, we took his one week old footprints, and moved into a big boy bed! It has already been such a big day, Aunt Steph and Aunt Jamie even called to sing us Happy One Week Birthday-- the little guy is tuckered out! It was so nice to think back on all the things that have changed since Connor arrived in the world -- he has lost his CPAP, IV, Phototherapy lights, Warmer Bed, and Lipids/Electrolytes. He is now able to be swaddled and wear big boy clothes! We are going to wait for his cues and start working on eating out of a bottle. As soon as he can master sucking/swallowing and breathing all at the same time -- we can bust him out of here! We are so blessed to have such a sweet little baby boy and we can't wait to celebrate Christmas with the little man tomorrow!

Connor's First Birthday Cake -- 1 week is a pretty big milestone!
Another new outfit and a new bed-- looking pretty cute!

Connor's first outfit -- borrowed from the hospital! He looks pretty handsome!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rub a Dub Dub -- Connor's in the Tub!

You got it, the little man got a sponge bath today! His hair was looking a little scruffy, so he got all cleaned up and fancy for the holidays. His next bath will most likely be in a little tub, but he had to go with the sponge version today because of his iv. He got all toasty and warm underneath his warmer and Ms. Kris, his nurse, just scrubbed away. He wasn't extremely excited about getting rubbed with the washcloth, but he toughed it out pretty well.

He was so good until the scrubbing
came along and he didn't like that so much -- but other than he just snoozed away! How handsome does he look with his clean hair!

A sponge bath wouldn't be a sponge bath without getting your hair washed in the sink -- especially when you have as much hair as Connor Johnson! He was so very good while he was getting his hairs cleaned, he just snoozed away and was totally oblivious to what was happening. I must say he looked awfully handsome when all was said and done -- Bj and I were so proud!
Look at that sweet boy sleeping away -- and that head of hair! Thank goodness he was good as this is only the first of many baths in his lifetime!
All clean and posing with daddy! He was such a good boy and he now officially has that baby smell -- all I did this afternoon was snuggle with him and sniff his head -- it smells just the way a baby should :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Sweet Boy

Apparently when you make a slideshow it likes to post itself in its own place! I only included the "newer" pictures in the slideshow, so they should be nice and new for everyone to view! You will all have to forgive me, I have been a little busy falling in love with Connor Johnson the last few days and I am going to back track a few posts so that I remember everything.

The little boy is doing well! He is still "dialed in" in the NICU and the estimate is his stay will be anywhere between 4 and 6 weeks (though, it could be sooner!!!). He has lost a little bit of weight (perfectly normal) and now weighs 3lb. 12oz. -- though he keeps bumping up the feeding so I am sure he will beef up soon. He will hopefully start bottle feeding (I have been pumping and he gets my milk -- as soon as he masters that he will be on to breastfeeding!) tomorrow or the next day and his departure time will be up to him. In order to leave the NICU and come home he needs to maintain his body temperature in an open crib and be able to suck/swallow/breathe all at the same time. Hopefully he is like his momma and he can master the eating and breathing in no time at all! He was able to lose his oxygen the other day and he now only has a feeding tube, iv and phototherapy lights. He has a case of jaundice but hopefully we will be able to lose those pesky lights and silly purple mask in the next few days.

We have been able to snuggle with him twice a day -- I make sure no one forgets that I want to snuggle in the morning and I always take daddy's time in the evening if he has to work. I can't help it, it's the highlight of my day. I like to think it is the highlight of the little man's day too :) He is as sweet as can be and I think we fall in love a little more each day. The hardest part about being in the NICU is hearing him cry and not being able to do anything about it. It literally tears my heart out, if he is upset his momma should be able to hold him. I just keep telling myself soon enough he will be home and he won't remember any of this. Luckily he has crazy parents who have documented his every movement upon arriving into the world! Granny and Uncle Dave were here to visit and it was wonderful to have them. I think they are smitten and it was so nice to be able to show the little guy off! We celebrated Christmas on Saturday and just hung out with the little guy the rest of the long weekend. We were sad to see them go, but looking forward to hanging out with them when they come back to visit!

**That is all for sure and read past the slideshow so as not miss anything!**

Connor Francis Johnson

Welcome to the World Baby Boy!

Connor Francis Johnson
December 17th, 2008
4lb. 2oz. -- 17.5 inches long
Very shortly after the doctors came in on my 34th week, Tuesday December 16th, to let us know that we were doing fine and would continue on as we were -- the little baby had another dip in his or her heartbeat. So, as we were sitting in our hospital room relishing in the fact that we had made it, the doctors came in and said we were going to have a baby. They said that he was ready and we would start the process within the hour. Needless to say, we shed a few tears, were a bit nervous and overwhelmed, but also very excited to meet our sweet little baby.

About an hour later I was started on Pitocin to induce contractions in order to see how the babys heartbeat would tolerate labor. We passed with flying colors and were going to wait until the morning before we did anything else. My doctor inserted a foley catheter in my cervix to dilate me 3cm by the morning to hopefully move the process along. I was also told I would be started on a magnesium sulfate drip in the morning to keep me from having a seizure during labor (because of the high blood pressure). I was a little hesitant about this as I had not heard very good things about. We were a little nervous, but still managed to get some sleep before the big day.

Wednesday December 17th -- I woke up and we realized that I had had a few contractions during the night and it was time to see how we would do. I had to get another catheter as I would not be allowed out of bed during labor because of the effects of the magnesium sulfate. My IV was stocked with antibiotics for the baby, pitocin to induce labor, magnesium for me and saline drip. We worked on inducing labor for about 6 hours before I rolled over on my side and realized, while talking to Bj, that the baby's heart rate was not where it should be. I realized that the nurse wasn't coming right back in and I looked down to see three large dips in the heartbeat on the monitor strip, I think about that time I knew what was going to happen. As soon as I looked up two of my doctors and my nurse, Jeanie, were in the room telling us that the baby could not handle labor anymore and we needed to get him or her out. Minutes later the anesthesiologist was in the room explaining what he needed to do, I was given a quick rundown of what would happen during the c-section, Bj was suited up and we were off to the operating room. I have never seen anyone move quite so fast. The anesthesiologist was waiting for us, the doctors and nurses were in the OR, I was given a spinal tap, laid down on the table and 10 minutes later at 2:37pm the most amazing little man was born -- Connor Francis Johnson.

It was an absolutely amazing experience -- I had Bj by my side and we just looked at each other after he arrived. The doctors told us he was a boy and we watched as they cleaned him up and tapped on his feet, he didn't want to cry right away, and couldn't quite believe that the little person on the table was our son. Bj went right over to look at him, take pictures and tell me he was perfect. They brought him over to say hi for just a minute before they whisked him off to the NICU. Bj followed him while I was stitched up and brought to the recovery room. I can't even begin to describe the adrenaline rush we both had. We called both Grandma's and then I had to be quiet so I could stop by his room on the way back to mine. I had to stay in Labor and Delivery for constant monitoring and I had to continue with the magnesium drip until 24 hours after I delivered. I have never in my life felt quite as terrible as these drugs made me feel, but I still had a rush from just delivering out sweet little man. My mom and David arrived that evening and spent some time with me and some time admiring the little boy. I wasn't able to go over and be with him until Thursday afternoon, but the minute I saw him and held him for the first time I instantly felt better. I had no idea you could fall in love with a tiny little person quite so fast. He is teeny tiny and perfect in every way. He is going to take a little extra care in the NICU but that's okay -- we will be home soon enough.

I could go on and on and I will probably write him another letter with more feelings and emotions but I just wanted to get out the story of his birth. I don't want to forget one single thing about it -- it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever been a part of. I just can't wait for us to love this little boy for the rest of his life, welcome to the world little man.

Oh, as of right now we think he is a combination of both of us. I am happy to report he has a lovely head of dark hair and long legs like daddy! I think he has my round face, lips and nose and daddy's eyes and body shape! It will be fun to see how much he changes and who he looks like!


Another sweet mamma friend of mine who has experienced the joys of bedrest gave me some wonderful advice: to journal. She said as hard as it is to think now, I will not always remember what I was thinking and feeling during this time of bedrest. So, I have tried to jot down some feelings here and there and I thought I would share some of them now. I have to say the hardest week was the first week -- just the uncertainty of what was going to happen and how long we would be in the hospital. So here goes...

Feelings and Thoughts
  • uncertain
  • lonely -- I miss the dogs, my house, falling asleep with Bj
  • excited
  • anxious
  • tired
  • restless
  • controlled
  • quiet
  • scared
  • nervous
  • out of control
  • connected to the baby
  • happy for each day
  • proud of each week that goes by and I am still pregnant
  • thankful

I think the list could go on and on. Overall, I just really hope that I remember what it feels like to have no control over what happens to you. To realize that life is short and precious to not get so caught up with the small stuff. Nothing about the last month has been easy -- I have worked so hard to keep this baby in so he or she is closer to being ready to enter the world. I have also been really content just sitting and talking to the baby. I have found that I keep the lights/tv/computer off and just talk to the baby. I feel so connected to the little one and I love feeling him or her move. I know their patterns and movements and I think they are going to be a good little snuggler. I know all of this will be worth it in the end -- it will just be really nice to be home and a family again -- plus one!

34 Weeks!

WE MADE IT! I woke up this morning with a HUGE smile on my face, I am just so proud of us! There are quite a few people out there who did not think we would be able to make it to this point when we arrived at 30 weeks. We held our own and stayed put for the time being though. As I have said many times before -- any day over today will be icing on the cake. I have reached my goal and will be thankful for any day or hour we have after today. Way to go little one -- Momma is so proud of you!

The doctor's came in this morning and said all was well and good and we would be staying pregnant. We have a growth ultrasound scheduled for Thursday to see how big the peanut has gotten -- we hope he or she is over 4 lbs!

That is all for now, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Granny and Uncle Dave on Wednesday night! It will be so nice to see them and show off the peanut on the ultrasound on Thursday!

34 weeks

33 Weeks

Another milestone - we did it! The little one is staying put for the time being. We are hanging in there and just hoping to make it to our 34 week mark! We have moved back over to the Labor and Delivery area to monitor the baby a little more closely. We were upset at first, but know it is better for both of us. We are also pretty excited to see some of our old nurse friends! We have been put up in the a lovely suite and have a gorgeous view of the mountains. I can't think of a better place to hole up and grow a baby!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spring Break

So, Bj came to visit a few nights ago and there was nothing on tv. We were flipping through the channels and came to this show called "Rehab", it was all about this pool in Las Vegas that people go to to party and have a good time. It looked like a lot of fun, expensive, but a lot of fun. It reminded me of what would probably be a daily Spring break for any and all party-goers. The women were wearing teeny weeny bikinis and people were making out at the bar. I think it all of a sudden hit me, I looked at Bj and said "are we ever going to let this baby go on spring break?!". It was so funny, he just looked at me and said "no". I know we have quite a few years before we need to make that decision for real, but it really made me think about what what kind of parents we will be and the many decisions we will make regarding our children and family.

I think I just focus so much on this little one being a baby that is amazes me sometimes that he or she will grow up and want to go to places like Rehab for Spring break. When the thought of piling into the car with the family and driving down to Destin for Spring Break doesn't sound as appealing as going somewhere with friends (oh yes, I have already told Bj how excited I am to go to Destin for Spring Break, don't worry!). I know they will always be our baby, I just wonder what we will let them do and what we won't. I know it will be an amazing journey with many ups, downs and inbetweens -- and don't worry I am sure I will write about each adventure along the way!

The Furry Babies Come to Visit!

So, I was just sitting in bed this morning writing some emails when I hear what sounds like tags jingling in the hall. It sounded like a dog, but I couldn't imagine what it could be (side note: we kind of have the "penthouse" suite these days, we got moved back to Labor and Delivery for constant monitoring of the little one ((all is well)) and we have this swanky corner room with our own entrance). All of a sudden I look up and Sedona Johnson comes trotting in! Bj had brought my furry babies for a visit! Sedona looked so proud of herself, prancing through the halls and into her momma's room! Scout Man needs another shot, so he had to wait in the car. After sniffing everything in the room, Sedona was ready to jump up on my bed and give me a smooch. I called my nurse, Carla, to ask if she could talk to the doctor about letting me have a wheelchair ride outside to see Scout and they said it was okay :) Carla came in and said she wanted to take my blood pressure first (YIKES! in order to keep my blood pressure okay I have to "meditate" on my left side for at least 30 mins. -- I did not know how well it was going to go over after seeing my doggie for the first time in 3.5 weeks!) and sure enough it was high, but they still let me go. I threw on my slippers and covered up with a blanket (I seriously looked like an 80 year old woman!) and we wheeled on down. Bj let the dogs run around while I soaked in the sunshine. It was the first time I had been outside since my arrival on November 20th. Needless to say it was a wonderful visit and I was so happy to see those sweet little monster dogs. I think they were excited to see me, but far more excited to run around in the snow! Scout even managed to run away and lick some poor child's ice cream cone. Uh oh! I have such a sweet husband for surprising me with the doggies, I could tell he was pretty proud of himself! It was also very nice to get outside in the sunshine for a bit. I made Bj wheel me back in the long way so I could stay outside for a few minutes longer. All the nurses were pretty excited, as I have been talking about the dogs non-stop. Then it was back inside to watch the Food Channel and some "Triple D" this afternoon. (Bj and I are HOOKED on "Diners, Dives, and Drive-In's" with Guy Ferari...we can't get enough of it!). I keep trying to come up with some fun ideas and traditions for next Christmas as we will have so much to celebrate, most likely a birthday and of course Christmas! So what better place to look than the Food Channel. So far I have a few good ideas for desserts and some holiday dinners -maybe we can have a special dinner and put the tree up! What do you think, are we a motley crew or what?! I think they are sweet pictures and Bj looks pretty cute, but I don't think it's going to make the Christmas card! :) I hadn't had my shower for the day and my hair is looking pretty fancy! What you can't see is that I have slippers on to!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Memo: "Patient is Starving..."

In case you were wondering that is an actual line from my chart here at the old hospital. Yep, that's right large pregnant, bedridden patient in room 304 is starving!!! WOW, this will not comes as a surprise to many people, but I thought you would find it funny! I had casually mentioned that eating was never a problem for me and this is what ensued.

One of my night nurses comes in and says "Oh, I saw on your chart that you are starving, did you figure out some snacks you can eat?"

I turn red and go "Oh Melody, could you please black that out?"

She goes "Oh no, it wasn't bad, it just says that the patient wants to have some healthy snacks for her and the baby"

Sure, sure, I think she was just trying to make me feel better and not like a huge pregnant lady! I really do find it rather amusing and I stick to my case, I am just doing all I can to fatten up this little baby...I want him or her over 4lbs before they enter this world! So, I smiled as the next morning I ordered my eggs, french toast, a cinnamon bun AND a muffin for breakfast :)

Sneak Peak Number 4!

Okay -- I am going to go ahead and preface this with the fact that the ultrasound technician was far less excited about taking a picture of this beautiful baby than I was. I know I am a little on the crazy side, but come on I OF COURSE want a picture of our beautiful baby in the womb! So, I asked her in the beginning if she could snap a few cute profile pictures for me to have...
Well, after taking all the measurements (and not really saying much to me -- didn't worry me AT ALL!) she remembers at the last second to take the first picture of the baby's face she can see. I looked at it and smiled because to me it is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. BUT, most people will look and jump because Baby Johnson looks TERRIFIED!!! The machine only picks up shadows -- so no worries this sweet angel has actual eyes, nose and mouth not just the sockets :) I just had to share and if you chuckle a little no worries, we did too! So, in case you can't see -- that is the baby's face looking right at you! Little eye sockets and all!! We have had the week of ultrasounds! The first one we had upon arriving at the hospital was on Saturday the 22nd of November and we still can't figure out how to get the pictures off the disk :). The babe was 3lbs. 4oz. and looking sweet as can be. I was so relieved to see that the baby had gotten bigger from our 20 week ultrasound! I feel as though I have done all that I can to beef up this little one -- and I was quite proud of myself!

The doctor said we would have a "regular" ultrasound every two weeks or so to check on the baby's weight gain and stats. She decided to schedule one a little earlier so we could have the ultrasound expert take a look at it(they are only here on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Side note: you can tell from my descriptive "ultrasound expert" title that I can't for the life of me remember what her title is -- Her name was Dr. Wheeler, all I can remember. So, on the 4th of December I was wheeled on down to check on this little one's progress! The nurse took my blood pressure right before I was wheeled down (terrible idea, I had been looking forward to this all morning -- I got dressed up and couldn't stop talking about it!) and she just looked at me, sighed, and said "we will just go ahead and take that when you come back." I can only imagine how lovely it was!

So, the technician took the measurements and the doctor came in and told me the results. She said the babe was 3lbs. 10oz. (a 6oz. gain, we were so excited!) and in the 27th percentile. She said everything looked good and she didn't think I needed to be delivered today! I was excited because I wasn't at all thinking we would have a baby that day! She said I have a good amount of amniotic fluid, not great and her recommendation would be to deliver somewhere between 34 and 35 weeks -- seems to be on par with the doctor's too. So, those are the little one's newest stats, we think he or she is perfect! And, everyone keeps one has spilled the beans on the sex of the little sweet pea! I have been impressed -- we have had them say both boy and girl in there, so we really don't know!

Sneak Peak Number 3!

We have started having Bio-Physical Ultrasounds (BPP's) to check the baby's movement, amount of amniotic fluid, and breathing. They are AMAZING!!!! The pictures are not great quality, it is the machine they move around on the Labor and Delivery and Mom and Baby floor -- but in the first one the baby waved and he/she was sucking their thumb!!! It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen and I had tears in my eye thinking that this is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. It is unbelievable what you can do and see with modern technology.

It is amazing to see the baby move on the screen and feel it at the same time. I love it. The breathing is also quite amazing--you just see their little ribs moving up and down, it's just the most amazing miracle I will ever witness. The heart just beats away and you can see the four chambers and the valves opening and closing--I have stars in my eyes just thinking about it! I think we have had three more BPP's since this one and I am just as amazed at each one we have.
The first picture shows the baby's leg -- not a great one, but I still thought I would put it in. We saw the baby stretch that sweet, long leggie out -- it was so cool!!!! I screeched :) The leg is up in the left-hand corner and it is stretched out.

The second picture is a little profile shot (the baby's head is on the right and the arm is in the air)and you can see the baby's arm is extended -- it was so sweet in one of the ultrasounds the baby was snoozing away with their arm all nestled up on their face and the other one down by their side. I mean...does it get much cuter than that?!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

32 Weeks

My first milestone of this latest adventure...32 weeks! I have been so bad about posting, but thanks to the wonderful Wootton family -- I have the internet again! So, I will hopefully be a lot better about getting these posts out. Last week was a tough week, but we made it and we are feeling much better. I think all of my tests "spiked" at the same time and this momma was not feeling so good, but we are troopers and stuck it out and each day is another day that sweet pea grows in my belly. We are feeling much better this week -- so much so, that we got to move rooms!

Okay, I will back up...when I arrived at the hospital, two weeks ago, my protein urine count was at 451 (mild) on the 25th it spiked to 700 (severe) and as of the 2nd it was back down to 500! My lab work (they draw and test my blood everyday to make sure my organs ((kidney and liver and a slew of other things)) are still functioning well) seems to be going down a little bit each day too! I am happy to report that Shrek legs are no longer and have been replaced by chicken legs! Woo-hoo! I about cried when I saw my ankles for the first time in a good few months. It is funny when a nurse I haven't seen before comes in and says my swelling doesn't look "that bad" and I laugh and say "let me tell you something about not bad!". They also do a Non-Stress test on the baby (started out 24 hours a day, went down to 3 times a day, down to once a day, and back up to twice a day) to make sure he/she looks good. The strips have been reassuring but not reactive, so we are keeping close eye on the little one to make sure my placenta is not acting up and taking away all of the baby's amniotic fluid. WHEW! I am tired from writing all that! The nurse said they typically do not see patients as sick as I was when I got here end up looking this good and still pregnant two weeks out! So, I was very proud of us and we are just going to keep on trucking as long as we can. Our next goal is to get us to 34 weeks and if the baby and I look good after that we can keep on going to 37 weeks! I don't think the doctors quite know what to do with me -- they said they would conference on me once we hit 34 weeks. But, hopefully we will be doing so great that we won't have to induce and we can sail on to our 37th week!

The strict bed rest (I can only get up to go to the bathroom and take a bath) seems to agree with me and the doctor said I could plan on addressing my Christmas cards from the hospital. I have noticed that the less noise and stimulation I have the better, so I do a lot of looking out the window and snoozing. On the 29th we were able to move from the Labor and Delivery side of the hospital to the Mom/Baby side. We have a bigger bed and a wonderful view (we enjoyed watching the snow fall all day today and we fall asleep looking at the Christmas star), so no complaints! Upon arriving over at Mom/Baby we were given a tour of the NICU (I cried, but I am getting used to the idea that we are most likely going to have a preemie baby and it is okay) and if this baby is going to come early, this is the place to do it. The NICU is amazing, we would have our private room (that apparently we wouldn't have to leave until the baby does because it is so expensive to stay -- thanks insurance!) as would the baby. The baby would be right off of our room and the nurses' would have a door and we would have a door, so it is an ideal situation if sweet pea has to stay in the hospital.

I think that is about all I have for this update! I had an ultrasound today and we got a little picture! I think it is a picture only Bj and I will love -- the baby looks kind of terrified! The shadows the beams picks up around the face look a little scary, but I think it is the most beautiful baby out there! I am having Bj scan it at work tomorrow, so I will fill you all in on those details then!