It's All About Perspective

I started to re-read a devotional book that I had read in the past.  It's called "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow.  Fitting?  Yeah, I think so. 

One thing that I've really been trying to do each day here at the hospital is to keep everything in perspective.  When I start to feel sorry for myself and realize all of the things that I'm missing at home or will miss this summer, I try to remember why it is that I'm here.  I need to be here for the health and well-being of my unborn child.  Me, being on bed rest, will give my baby the best odds of survival and the longer I'm here the better off the baby will be.

In reading the other day, I came across a quote in the book that really hit home for me:

"Two women looked through prison bars
One saw mud, the other stars"

It's all about perspective.  Yes sometimes I do feel as if I'm in prison.  I haven't been outside to feel the breeze for a week now and just learned that I may gain wheelchair privileges.  And up until late last week, I had to call someone every time I went to the bathroom.  However, I have every medical necessity at my fingertips if I were to need immediate care.  My insurance will cover almost all of the costs.  We have amazing friends and family that are supporting us with prayer, love and are helping us meet our needs.  And for that we couldn't be more thankful.  And, last but not least, baby is still cooking. 

I hope to be the woman who gazes at the stars.


Update: How I Ended Up On Bed Rest in the Hospital

Judging by the subject of this post, you may guess that I'm going to be having quite a bit of time on my hands.  So what better time to jump back into regular blog posts!  I probably won't be able to upload any pictures, but hopefully the info given will keep you up to date and give you ideas on how to pray for our family.

Let's start back about 4 weeks ago when we went in for our routine 20 week ultrasound.  This ultrasound is when they measure the baby and see if baby is on target for growth and also to find out gender, if so inclined.  It was no surprise that baby was difficult to measure, sitting very low and being shy.  We had to go back when I was pregnant with Cole for the very same reason.  And alas, we would need to return to re-measure this one as well.  They also mentioned that baby's tummy wasn't filling with fluid, so they needed to check that again.  And, as a side note from the doctor, they would want to re-measure my cervix as it was measuring about 0.5cm shorter than they typically like to see.  But it probably wasn't a big deal.  We scheduled another ultrasound appointment for 22 weeks to check everything out again.

I spent that next two weeks very worried about the baby - scared that something was wrong with baby's tummy - never once really considering there might be a problem with me.

Fast forward to April 27th, the day I went in for my 2nd ultrasound.  First of all, what a relief to hear the tech say that the baby's tummy was full of fluid, so no worries.  She was also able to get all of the measurements of baby and noted that growth was right on track.  Lastly, she measured my cervix....and didn't say anything.  I asked her and she told me, "The doctor will go over that with you."  Not a good sign.

I was called back to my doc's office and she informed me that my cervix had gotten even shorter, from 2.5cm down to 17mm, and this was of immediate concern.  She wanted to me see a specialist at a local hospital, to discuss the option of having a surgery called a cerclage.  Basically, the surgeon would be putting stitches in my cervix to ensure that the cervix would stay at the length it was and not get any smaller.  So, I picked Ben up from work and we met with the surgeon, ultimately deciding that this was our only option. 

I was admitted for surgery that day, with the surgery happening late evening.  The surgeon was happy with the success of the surgery as he got two stitches in and there was plenty of cervix.  I was to stay overnight to be monitored and released with the orders of taking it easy at home, a modified bed rest of sorts.

I felt pretty good and ended up working from home that next week and a half, mostly working from bed, but able to sit at my desk by the end of the week.  I was no longer able to pick up Cole, so when Ben wasn't around, I had help at night getting Cole ready for bed.  My parents came up that weekend to hang out.  Ben and I had originally planned a weekend get-a-way, but I no longer felt comfortable going on a mini vacation when I should be taking it easy.  We did manage to go out to dinner and a movie before Ben left for New York on Sunday night.

Monday, May 9th (24 weeks) - my mom took Cole to daycare and accompanied me to my follow up appointment to see how the stitches were doing.  The tech doing the ultrasound was having a hard time seeing one of the stitches, so she asked the doctor to come in and take a look as well.  The doctor did an exam (physically) and felt like one of the stitches wasn't holding as it should.  She said the cervix felt closed and it felt like there was plenty of it, but she wanted me to go to the hospital where the surgery was done to see if they needed to re-do the surgery or just leave it as is.  Annoyed, my mom and I stopped at home to pack an overnight bag just in case and made arrangements with a friend to get Cole from daycare.

I arrived at the hospital where another physical exam was done.  The doctor finished and gave me the complete opposite report of what the first doctor initially said.  He said that I was dilated to about 2-3cm and that my cervix was very thin.  He felt as if the stitch had pulled out.  Based on that, there was no way he was going to go in and re-do the surgery as it would do more harm than good.  He was admitting me for pre-term labor.

Six days later and I'm trying to accept the fact that I'm still in the hospital and will be until the baby is born.  The first few days I was on some medications to stop contractions and develop the baby's lungs, but am currently med-free.  I haven't had any contractions (that I know of) since Monday and all seems quiet.  I am monitored 2 times a day for an hour each time - one monitoring the baby's heart and one monitoring me for contractions.  I also take a progesterone dose at night to help strengthen the cervix.  But other than that, it's a game of wait-and-see.  My husband is having to take over everything at home while still working full-time and going to graduate school.  I may be able to work for a few hours each day, but still haven't heard if that will happen.  Until then, I've had a lot of support from friends and family and know that we will continue to receive that support brings a peace to my heart.  Mentally so far I'm doing OK, but expecting to hit a wall at some point.  I haven't been outside since Monday and am realizing all of the things that I will miss doing this summer.  But I need to remember why I'm here - to prolong my baby's time in my womb to ensure that baby is well-developed and healthy at birth.

Our next big milestone that we need to hit is the 28 week mark (June 7th).  The doctors don't think I'll go much past 32 weeks.  So we are preparing ourselves for a baby that will spend the first few weeks/months in NICU....this is a hard reality to swallow.  But miracles do happen and we very well could go full term.  That means a lot of books, crossword puzzles, TV watching and possibly learning to crochet!

Continue to keep us in your prayers and I will try to update daily.  We so appreciate all of your support!


My Baby.....otherwise known as a Big Boy

I'm not even going to bother trying to cover what's happened in the last few months since I blogged last....I can't say that I'd even remember.  So let's start fresh!  And what better way than to show you a wonderful picture (compliments of our friend Dan Bennett) of my dashingly, handsome first born.

And in other news, this handsome little boy is going to be a BIG BROTHER!!  I am due the end of August and although we're a bit nervous about having 2 kids, we are very excited!  I'm about 15 weeks and feeling much better than I was about a month ago.  Hoping that I start popping soon so people don't suggest that I get back to Weight Watchers! :)

Ben also accepted another position (still at Ameriprise) which will have him traveling some.  And soon we're going to attempt transitioning Cole into his big boy bed....YIKES!  He's going to be a big boy real soon.


Ho, Ho, Ho!!

A local Culver's has Santa at their restaurant on Tuesdays.  It's free and Santa looks great!  We never took Cole to see Santa last year, but I thought it would be fun this year because he's more aware.  When we ask him what Santa says, he says, "Ho, ho, ho!" And he'll point and say the same thing if he sees a Santa hat or picture.

Well, as expected, he thought Santa was cool from afar, but once I handed him over, the screaming and tears ensued!  But what's Christmas without a "Screaming-Kid-With-Santa" picture! :)  Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!!


Halloween, Hunting, Snow

You know it's bad when I'm writing about Halloween in December.  Instead of apologizing at the beginning of every post that I suck at doing this blog thing on a regular basis, just know that I am not good at doing this on a regular basis. :)


Cole was a puppy for Halloween.  And a darn cute one at that!  Rather than trick-or-treating in the cold, we went to a local church who puts on a huge event.  They had everything there!!  Even live animals!  It was a ton of fun and afterward, Cole had the biggest sugar rush ever!  It was pretty hilarious.


Ben went hunting several times this year and finally got the biggest deer he's ever gotten in his hunting career - a 10-point buck!  I always find it exciting to get the  breathless phone call and to hear the child-like excitement in Ben's voice.  And now we have ground meat to last us quite a while!

 I was a little nervous about Cole seeing the buck dead.  Ben has been showing him a lot of pictures of bucks, so he's come to really like looking at them.  Well, Cole was excited to see the buck and grabbed right on to the antlers and pet the fur!  However, he seems to have a little insight as he said, "Buck....uh, oh!" :)


And not that long ago, we got our first snow (today we got our third!).  We were excited to take Cole out because he never played in the snow last year and wouldn't remember it.  He wasn't to excited...he was annoyed because it was hard to move in his gear and in the snow.  And it was kind of windy, so he wasn't too happy that the snow was blowing in his face.  But in any even, we got some cute pictures and he now LOVES snowmen!

The next snow storm started with ice and when we went outside to run errands, Cole slipped and got his pants wet.  We were trying to hurry so we thought we could just do a quick change and we ended up laughing at our cute little skinny legged boy.  Love!

Fun at Papa and Nana's House

**Update - I meant to post this back in October, but I guess I never hit "Publish Post"....so here you go!**

This past weekend, Cole and I decided to take Friday off and head to Wisconsin Thursday night to hang out with my family.  Ben stayed behind and decided to go hunting for the early season.

We started out on Friday with my mom, Cole and I going to the Children's Museum in LaCrosse.  Cole had an absolute blast and I did too because I could just let him run around and he could touch anything and everything!! :) 

He especially loved the fire truck...

the swoosh vacuum thingy (don't know how else to describe it)...

and the boats in the water.

Saturday it rained and was pretty gloomy.  My brother and his family came over for dinner and we made our own fun while being cooped up inside. 

Back in Minnesota, Ben was sitting in a tree all day and getting soaking wet!  He didn't get anything, but saw two buck and is excited to see them again come hunting opener in two weeks.

Sunday we went to church and visited some more family before hitting the road to head home.

Thanks for a fun weekend Papa and Nana!!


Fall Fun

When you know it's going to be a nice fall weekend in MN, you try to pack in as much as you can, knowing it may be your last chance before the snow flies.  So, we took advantage of the gorgeous fall weather this past weekend and decided to head out to the apple orchard.

Oddly enough, I don't have any pictures with apples in them.  All Cole really cared about were the animals, tractors and various dogs that were out and about.

We thought he would enjoy climbing on the hay bales, but it turns out he didn't like the feel of it and didn't like it sticking to his socks.

We met Ben's folks and Oma treated her grandson to his first hayride.

And on the way home Cole showed us how "Joe Cool" he was - just chillin' mom!

And what a perfect weekend to help Daddy wash the car.  Last time Cole "helped", he ended up eating the soap suds, so we had to keep a close eye on him.

And he actually helped this time.  He would scoop up some suds and take it over to the car and wipe it down.  Very cute.

On Friday as I was driving by our local fire station I noticed that there was an open house this past Sunday.  Cole has been really into fire trucks and sirens lately so we figured he would enjoy it.

So many buttons to push, so little time.  Luckily they can disable the buttons so the kiddies don't raise the ladder or turn on the sirens. :)

Already riding in the back of a cop car!

And a couple pictures from tonight - Cole making some expected and unexpected messes!

We're trying to let Cole feed himself so he can get used to using a fork and spoon and for the most part he does a pretty good job.  But with yogurt (or yo-yo as Cole calls it) he gives up and chugs it straight from the container.

And the unexpected mess??  Ben was working on his car and Cole loves to pretend drive, so Ben let him have at it.  What he forgot was the container of baking soda he had in the console.  Well, you guessed it.  Cole found it!

And in other news, Cole is pretty much broken from the Nuk!  WOW!  I never thought it would happen.  We decided to cut the tip off of the nuk so that it wasn't as fun to suck on and he lost interest and won't take it anymore because it's "broken".  Way to go kiddo!