Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Different "Normal"

A picture of Brody in our bathroom.
It says "Sweet Baby - The moment we saw you, we fell in love."

I have come to the realization that life after Brody will never be the same. My joy now comes from doing things that remember Brody. Recently my mom, Jeremy, and I put together a wreath to decorate Brody's grave. Pretty much my mom did most of the work while I layed on the couch and watched because my anemia has been causing me some terrible headaches. I also hung up a wonderful frame (pictured above). I spotted that in kohl's the other day, and I instantly started crying. It just seemed so perfect. Sunday night Jeremy and I and his two boys went over to Nancy's for the Worldwide Candle Lighting Ceremony. People light a candle at 7 pm for one hour in their time zone in rememberance of a child that has passed. This creates a 24 hour window of time where candles are lit. Very cool! Later today I will go back to painting what would have been Brody's nursary. I started priming it before I pProm'd. I just hate looking at it half done- it seems like a constant reminder of the events that unraveled prior to Brody's birth. Eventually we will have a baby to fill it.
I also feel like now I know what the word desire truly means. I have a constant desire to see my son, hold him, and have him back. Its a very odd feeling to have this continuous longing for something that is completely impossible to have. I mean, I know that one day I will be with him again in heaven, but its just not the same. And if you know me at all, you know that I'm very impatient- I want him now.
Speaking of heaven, that is another thing I think about a lot. Prior to Brody's passing, I just thought of heaven as most others do, a beautiful place where everything is perfect. But now I have millions of questions about heaven, like will Brody always be a baby in heaven? Do we look like people still in heaven? What does it really look like there? Sometime soon I will get a book to read about this, but right now my mind is just not too great.
On a different note, my dad got inducted into the hall of fame at Wauseon on Saturday night! Woot woot!! I was so proud! They inducted nine men and one woman between the JV and Varsity games. Heres a little exerpt from the program: "Steve established many basketball scoring records at Wauseon. At the time of his graduation, Steve held the record for most points (41) in a game, in his junior year; most points (492) in one season, in his senior year; and most points (943) in a career. An interesting point to consider is that all of these scoring records were established prior to the creation of the three-point shot....Some of Steve's other accomplishments include most baskets (74) in one season which is still an NWOAL record. Steve averaged 23.1 points per game in his junior season and 25.9 in his senior year. He averaged 25. 8 in his NWOAL career which is still an NWOAL record." Very nice dad, very nice. ;)
Again I will close this with a poem. It just seemed so perfect:
What makes a Mother

I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother
And I know I heard him say.
A Mother has a baby
This we know is true.'

But God, can you be a Mother
When your baby's not with you?
Yes, you can, He replied
With confidence in His voice
I give many women babies
When they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime
And others for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb
But there's no need to stay.

I just don't understand this, God
I want my baby here
He took a breath and cleared His throat
And then I saw a tear.I wish I could show you
What your child is doing today.
If you could see your child smile
With other children and say:
"We go to earth to learn our lessons
Of love and life and fear.

My Mommy loved me oh so much
I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a Mom
Who had so much love for me
I learned my lesson very quickly
My Mommy set me free.
I miss my Mommy oh so much
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep
On her pillow's where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek
And whisper in her ear.
"Mommy don't be sad today
I'm your baby and I'm here."

So you see my dear sweet one
Your children are ok
Your babies are here in My home
And this is where they'll stay.
They'll wait for you with Me
Until your lesson is through.
And on the day that you come home
They'll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of
Right from the very start.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Staying Busy

The NICU took this pic of Brody with his teddy bear for me. Its just so cute.

I believe one thing people go through after losing a child is the wide range of emotions. I know I have mentioned this on many different occasions, but it is a very odd feeling. Thankfully, I have Nancy who has been there before and let me know that I am not crazy.

I spent a lot of time this week feeling angry, an emotion I haven't really felt until lately. I started therapy this past week, and I was so excited to sit down and talk with someone about everything, and it wasn't at all what I had expected. So I was angry at that. I was angry that there are horrible people in this world that never have to experience this sadness that I do. I was angry at God. I think He had this wonderful opportunity to show people his ability to perform miracles, and He didn't. I just don't understand that.

I have also spent a lot of time being thankful for the things in life that Brody helped me to realize in his short life. I realize now what amazing parents I have. My mom has really done everything in her power to help get me through. There was a period of time when my mom was in Florida with my sister when I was up here in the hospital, and my dad had to be there for me. He drove to St. V's almost every day to keep me company. I feel like through all of this I really got to see who my dad is for the first time. He was really there for me when my mom wasn't able to be, and I will always remember that. I'm also thankful for Jeremy. After finding out about my pProm, Jeremy and I had to lean on eachother like never before. Brody showed us what was inportant in life, and that has done nothing but make us stronger than ever.

Another thing I have figured out (from Nancy) is that the best way to get through the day is to stay busy. I have probably mopped my floor 10 times in the last week. I do puzzles all the time. I have painted my kitchen, even spray painted my fridge! I painted a picture for my bathrrom too. I watched my friend Linday's kids one day, and I even substitute taught on Friday.

As far as physically, I am doing pretty good! My recovery from my c-section was far easier than I thought it would be. (a bikini cut by the way!) I figured my body would have a hard time recovering due to the fact that I had been on bedrest for so long, but it didn't. My scar is barely visible, and only hurts occasionaly now. From my belly-button to my incision is still numb which is so annoying. I am still anemic from the massive amount of blood I lost from the night Brody was born. Women are supposed to be either a 12-14 and after I had Brody I was at a 7.4. One week Later I was only up to an 8. They usually do blood transfusions when you go under an 8. I have to get blood drawn again today to see if I have gotten any better. I have to take iron pills now, and I try to eat more red meat because that helps as well. All-in-all I'm doing well.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Keeping it going...

Although Brody didn't make it, I am going to keep the blog going. Doing the blog is kind of like therapy for me, so expect a post at least once a week! It is nice to be able to get across my thoughts and feelings and let everyone know where I am coming from. I am so blessed that people were able to check in on Brody's progress and root for him like we were rooting for him. People were able to see that he was an actual person with a personality and all, not just a fetus to be disregarded.
I know that many people feel awkward around us not knowing what to say or how to act, so I thought I would let you know what helps me deal. Know that I LOVE to talk about Brody. I could talk about him all day. Like any mother, you want the whole world to know about your precious baby, so please- bring him up in conversation, let me talk about him and my experiences, I enjoy it. I am a mom without a baby to take care of, so talking about him is all I got. Know that I am grieving still, every minute is different. One minute I am at such peace, and the next minute I am asking "why me?" I may not always answer phone calls depending on the time, but know that the cards, calls, and facebook messages help me out so much. Thanks to all.
I am a part of an online group filled with other pPROM queens (yep-thats what we call ourselves!), some have had happy outcomes, others have lost their babies like me. One woman emailed a wonderful poem to the group, so thats how I will close this out:

My Mom is a Survivor

My Mom is a survivor,
or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear her cry at night,
When all others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her
to help her understand.

But like the sands on the beach
that never wash away,
I watch over my surviving mom,
who thinks of me each day.

She wears a smile for others,
a smile of disguise.
But through Heaven's door
I see tears flowing from her eyes.

My mom tries to cope with death
to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
it's her way to survive.

As I watch over my surviving mom
through Heaven's open door.
I try to tell her
that angels protect me forever more.

I know that doesn't help her,
or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her
and show her that you care.

For no matter what she says,
no matter what she feels,
my surviving mom has a broken heart
that time won't ever heal.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Perfect Memorial

Thank you very much for those who made it out to Brody's memorial, it was great to have your support. For those who could not make it, it was truly perfect (I was very worried because I knew Brody deserved something great). My aunt Diane started off with an amazing prayer followed by a wonderful speech by my dear friend Nancy and in the middle our friend Amanda sang a beautiful version of "Tears in Heaven." We then headed out to the burial site where Nancy recited Psalms 23 and my uncle Larry said another wonderful prayer. It was great for me to see the lives that Brody has touched through his short life here on earth. I don't think I will ever know the vast number of people that have followed my son's journey to make it here and the number of people that he has affected. I couldn't be more proud of him. Brody had such a personality before ever even leaving the womb and I am so happy that people got to see that. I still miss him every day, I wish for him back every minute and think that this sucks and its not fair because I would have been the best mom ever to Brody. But then I think-Brody only ever knew the tremendous amount of love that Jeremy and I had (and still have) for him, and he only ever knew the fight we fought together and how truly wanted he was. My son will never see the sorrows here on Earth, he only knows the joys of heaven, and I can't wait for the day when I can see his beautiful face again.

I have also been asked about people making a donation in Brody's name. Initially I wanted to donate money to pPROM research, but it looks as though no one is really doing much to research this. This has been my frustration the past 8 weeks. So now I am working on something with the NICU at St. V's right now. That hospital did everything in their power to give my son life, and that means everything in the world to me. I will never look back and think "what if..." thanks to the wonderful people at this hospital. I hope to have more information soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

An explanation, memorial times...

I wanted to write to everyone to let them in on what happened, and how we are doing. Sorry if everything doesn't make much sense, I am still very out of it. Wednesday everything was going along as normal when my nurse came in to check my vitals around 4:30 pm. During this time I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and lost a lot of blood. Thankfully she was in there with me to know that something wasn't right. Slowly I began cramping up until I was in the worst pain of my entire life. Jeremy came in, they did an ultrasound and realized that my placenta was tearing away from my uterus (placental abruption). This is a process that is far more painful than actual labor, you have no idea the kind of pain I was in, it was terrible. Due to the fact that this was an emergency c-section, I was not able to be awake for surgery, and Jeremy was not allowed to be in the room. At 5:54 pm our little Brody Jason was born. They fought very hard for his life, but he passed away at 7:55 pm. 2 hours and 1 minute our little boy blessed this world. His lungs just weren't developed enough. Unfortunately I was not awake for any of this, but I don't know if I would have been able to see my son go through all that anyways. Later on that night the NICU brought him down so we could spend some time with him and hold him. I will never forget the time I spent with him. He was by far the most beautiful little baby I have ever seen, and he looked so very peaceful. I will never understand why any of this happened, and I hate the phrase "everything happens for a reason" that doesn't make the pain go away. I fought so hard for Brody, and would do it all again for the moments that I got to hold him. I miss him so much. This is so very hard, and no parents should ever have to go through something like this.

We are going to have a memorial service for Brody at 11 am on Tuesday in Waterville at Peinert Funeral Home. They are located right behind the McDonalds on the Anthony Wayne Trail (St Rt 24). Here is their website if you have any questions . The service will be from 11-12, the first half hour will be open casket for those who would like to see Brody, and the second half hour will be closed casket for those who would be too upset to see him. Directly after we will have a small service to bury Brody at the Wakeman Cemetery (right up the road). Jeremy and I will hold a small gathering afterwards at our home for food and visitors. We would love to see you there to help us through this hard time in our lives. Brody had many people thinking about him and praying for him, so it would be great to see the little guy you have been reading about and praying for.

Like I said, no parent should have to go through something like this. This is very hard for all of us, and we thank you very much for your support.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This is Tami. Abby asked me to let you all know that our little Brody Jason went to heaven last night around 8 pm. She will write a post to everyone as soon as she is able. In the meantime we appreciate your prayers for her and Jeremy.
Love and thanks to all of you who have been so wonderful..................

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brody is here!! Please Pray Everyone!!

This is Tami, Abby's Mom. I got a call this afternoon from Abby. She had a good day up until 4;30 this afternoon when she lost a lot of blood and was in a lot of pain. She was taken into surgery for an emergency c-section around 5:30 this afternoon. Brody was born sometime around 6 pm tonight. Please everyone, pray from both of them. I have will try to update this as I get word. I am still in Florida with Allie and Justin.
We need your prayers......................

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm an aunt!

Yaaaay! Yesterday Allie and Justin Riegsecker welcomed a beautiful baby boy into this world. Riley Steven Riegsecker was born at 12:41 pm central time on November 10. He weighed in at 7 lbs 8 oz and was 22 inches long (although they tell me he wasn't stretched out all the way, and they think he was a little longer).

Monday, November 10, 2008

26 weeks pregnant, 2 weeks in St. V's (contains name)

It has been a few days since I have posted, but thankfully the baby has been extra good and hasn't scared us at all. Everything has stayed very stable! Yesterday I got my IV out and I am just getting my fluids through drinking water. This is both a relief and kind of scary. I have to drink a lot now through the night so I don't get dehydrated at all, because that starts contractions. So far I have had none. Apparently though I was having them all day on Saturday and had no idea. I don't know how its possible to have contractions and not know it, but thats what my nurse told me. Maybe my pain tolerance is higher now since I am constantly being poked and prodded in here!
This morning I had another ultrasound. I talked to one of the high risk doctors about it already and he said that I do have more pockets of fluid. Unfortunately they are not able to measure these pockets because they contain the chord. This isn't a big deal, it just prevents me from telling you an exact amount. He did tell me that it looked like there was more than last time. We are showing progress, so I'm happy.
So far I have outlasted all the other girls in the "preemie" wing of labor and delivery. St. V's is a level 3 (3 is the best) high risk hospital, so they get a lot of different cases of odd pregnancies like mine. One girl was in at 28 weeks because her baby's heart rate was off the charts, another was in because she was 24 weeks and completely dialated but hadn't broken her water yet. Different girls are coming and going, but the baby and I are very competetive and enjoy outlasting everyone else.
Also, I have been asked a lot lately about what this little guy's name is. As long as he is a boy when he comes out, his name will be Brody. So from now on, I wont tell you about "the baby" I'll tell you about Brody :)
My sister is in the hospital right now, so hopefully today I will be an aunt! Check back tomorrow because I will post the details of his arrival for everyone (as long as he comes). That little stinker is a week late, but I think he is conspiring with Brody so they can get their birthdays as close together as they can.
Alright thats all for now, keep up the prayers- you guys are great!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

It has been one month since we found out the horrible news that I had pPROM. Since then we have surely had our ups and downs, but ultimately we realize that each day our little boy stays in utero we are blessed. Today is definitely an amazing day. I just spoke with one of the high risk docters that had reviewed my ultrasound from this morning. They did see about a centimeter of fluid, which really isn't much but is something! I will take anything at this point. He also said that the baby was developing well and that they didn't see anything to tell them that his lungs weren't developing. Woot woot! Lungs aren't something that are able to be seen on ultrasounds, but apparently they can look at other things developing in the baby to help them with determining lung development. I also asked the doctor about the hiccups and he said that it is a good sign, but he couldn't really tell me much about it, although he wishes that he could. He told me to keep doing what I'm doing because things are looking good. Praise God!! No matter what, this little guy is going to have a tough road ahead of him, but so far he is showing us that that he can take on anything. Thats my boy! I really can't tell you all how much I appreciate the time you take to read this blog and pray for him, it means the world to me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Straight from the horse's mouth

I'm back!!! Thankfully my bleeding has stopped, so the MFM doctors have lifted my orders for strict bed rest. You know what that means? I get to get up to go to the bathroom, and I even got to take a shower this morning. It was so great to actually stand up, my butt was seriously hurting so bad. I'm not sure the last time I have felt this refreshed, it feels awesome!

Since my mom has posted last, we have only really had one scare. Monday night I started having contractions again and the baby's heart rate started increasing. It got up to about 170 bpm, when his usually falls between 145-150. The doctors said they were going to just watch it, hoping that it went down when the contractions stopped. I ended up falling asleep, but they had to wake me up on two different occasions to make me change my sleeping position because his heart rate was all over the place. Once again they flooded me with fluids, and everything eventually went back to normal. It wasn't really a big deal, but had the possibility of being a problem. The MFM doctor later told me that contractions put pressure on the chord, thus slowing down blood flow to the baby. They just wanted to put me in the best position possible, to let blood flow through the chord as easy as possible.

Due to the fact that I've been here for a week-and-a-half I have become pretty close to the nurses here. One advantage to this is that they fill me in on the doctor's game plans. Yesterday one told me that the doctors are talking about using a catheter-type of balloon to go in and fill my cervix to prevent fluid from coming out. As the baby pees, the fluid will fill up and he will be one happy baby drinking and swimming around. The problem with this is that the pressure that is put on my cervix will most likely cause me to dilate and go into labor. Right now it is just way too risky to try, but they might try it later on around 27 or 28 weeks. This is just coming from one of my nurses though, and is not any sort of definite plan.

This little one is still up to all his old tricks. He is finally letting the nurses trace his heart rate for extended periods of time, but he doesn't always make it easy. Twice now he has kicked the monitor as soon as the nurses place it on my belly. We all get a kick out of it because it shows us how ornery he is. He hiccups at least once a day (for about 20 mins), which just lights up my face. He actually has them right now!

Alright so I just had to put the computer up to get my IV switched (they like to take mine out and put a new one in every few days to prevent infection). Six tries and one new IV later, I'm hooked back up. Thats right, I have really crappy veins, and it took three nurses to try to find a vein that would work. Ouuuuuuuuch.

Tomorrow I get another ultrasound- pray for fluid!!!! I'm going to go rest my arms now because they are a little sore from all the poking.

Monday, November 3, 2008

One Week In.......

Abby has been in St. V's one week today! Yeah!!! So far today is a much better day than yesterday. The bleeding has let up today but is still there. Abby had an ultrasound at 7 am this morning. There was less than 1/2 centemeter of fluid, very minimal. However, the baby did have hiccups again, and that was good to see. He had them yesterday as well. We are hoping this is a sign that he may be getting a little fluid or at least has some lung development. Here is an excerpt I found online regarding fetal hiccups:
According to
Sophia Levis, hiccups in the unborn baby are just a fetal reflex that is remarkably similar to our own. Only the more mature fetuses will hiccup, as hiccups rely on the development of the central nervous system. Some experts think that hiccups in utero are a response to fetal drinking or fetal breathing, which causes the flow of amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs, stimulating the diaphragm to contract.
The hiccups have really helped bolster Abby's spirits as have the visits and messages from family and friends. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers. A special thank you to Di and Larry Weber and Grandma Rupp for the floral arrangement. It sure brightens the room. Thanks also to Megs Tameling for the beautiful cookie basket arrangement and to Joe and Nancy Dolan for the huge basket of goodies, slippers, books and magazines and especially your visit. Thanks to Jeremy's mom and sister for everything you have done. You have been amazing! Thanks to everyone who has sent a card or e-mailed, too. Abby really loves getting mail.
During the ultrasound visit this morning Abby was able to meet with one of the MFM Drs. He told her that even with the bleeding they do not want to take the baby yet if they don't have to as the chance of survival at this point would not be good. Keep praying they the bleeding will stop and that she will not have any contractions. It was decided after yesterday's scare that Abby's case will be managed primarily by the MFM Drs. as opposed to her regular OB-GYN. We think this makes sense as they are the high risk specialists and final decisions will now be left up to them.
One other bit of information......the nurses here have now given the little guy a name. They call him "Dennis the Menace" as they think he is very ornery. Whenever they try to find his heartbeat he moves as soon as they find it. He apparently doesn't like them pushing the monitor on her belly and finds a way, with no fluid, to move away. They can't imagine how he does this but somehow he finds a way! I can't say enough for the staff here at St. V's. They are the best and they help keep us going when things get rough.
Update on the bed rest situation. Abby is still confined to her bed. She is still a little bummed by this but has managed to find her usual sense of humor. She has come to the conclusion that pregnancy robs you of any and all dignity. I even heard her tell her sister today, "Just think, all you have to do is push your baby out your vagina." I knew we had a little bit of our Abby back.
Those of you who know her will relate to this.................. the rest of you I hope I didn't offend.
Thanks again for your prayers. We keep dodging bullets and I know that is the reason.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good News - Bad News

This is Abby's Mom, Tami. First of all...the good news. We are at 25 weeks today! Another little milestone but every day this little one is in utero is equal to 3 days in the NICU, so every day is a precious gift. Now for the bad news......Abby has had some heavy bleeding today and the Drs. have put her on total bed rest. This means she can no longer get up to use the bathroom or do anything for herself. She also has a hard time typing on the computer as she is in a reclined position so it is hard for her to update the blog, hence you may be hearing from me for a while. She is right here beside me so all messages are subject to her approval! She is really struggling with these changes and feels pretty down right now. We are still waiting for the Dr. to come in today and aren't sure what they're response to this bleeding will be. It is one thing they did not want to see. Last night the OB-GYN was in and told Abby that both he and the MFM Dr. felt that she would hang on for a while yet. Of course, that was before the bleeding started again today. We are still hoping for positive news! One other bit of good news, the nurse was in the other day to check the baby's heart rate and she could tell the baby had hiccups. That means the baby did swallow a little fluid in order for hiccups to occur. Abby is scheduled to have another ulltrasound on Monday or Tuesday, probably Tuesday. Hopefully we will see some small pockets of fluid. We so appreciate your prayers. Pray especially for the bleeding to stop and for Abby's spirits to be lifted. I'm not used to seeing this girl so down so if you can send some positive thoughts her way it would be great! She can still read the blog and her e-mail, it's just difficult for her to type. I'll do my best to keep you posted. I am supposed to fly to Florida on Tuesday to be with Abby's sister who is due to deliver her baby anyday. As you can imagine, it will be very hard for me to leave Abby. I'll do my best to keep you all informed, even if I am in Florida.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back to Stability

One of the problems with working with multiple doctors is that each is focusing on different issues with this pregnancy. What some doctors think is a big deal, others consider fairly normal. Yesterday some of the doctors were very worried when they saw my white blood cell count go up (white blood cells fight infection, so when your body produces more they can see that your body is working harder to fight infection), but I talked to one of the high risk doctors in MFM and he had a completely different outlook. He told me that it is extremely common for my white blood cell count to go up because I had just gotten steroids earlier in the week, he was actually suprised that my numbers weren't higher. I guess steriods make those number jump pretty high. This was a relief! He also said that contractions are fine at this point as long as they aren't regular, it is only natural for your body to have contractions after your water breaks. So right now they are just trying to flood me with an IV because if I ever become dehydrated the first thing that is effected is my uterus. When the uterus becomes dehydrated it cramps up, starting contractions. My OB doctor has also orded my blood to be taken every morning to test my white blood count on a daily basis. so far I have gotten my blood taken twice since my scare and my white blood count has dropped, which is great news. The nurses here have told me though that its going to be a fast process when this baby comes, it really could be any day- I'm just not ready for him yet!

ps- I should be an aunt any day now, Allie is due tomorrow!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

One step forward, two steps back...

It seems as though everytime we get good news, there is a damper of bad news around the corner. Last night around midnight I started having contractions, about every two minutes for abut 2 hours. The doctors started a new IV to try to pump me back with fluid to try to calm the contractions, and took blood to check my white blood cell count. They did see a jump in my white blood cells, which means that I might have an infection. This is a very strong possibility because I have been ruptured for so long. If I do have an infection, I might have to deliver soon. This really stinks because the longer that the baby stays in utero, the higher his chances for survival. I will find out later on today more information from the high risk doctors and I will keep you all updated. We really need your prayers more than ever right now, infection is really a bad thing.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some Good News...

Last night I got a visit from one of the MFM doctors (a high risk doctor in St. V's) to go over my ultrasound from earlier in the day. He did say he saw an improvement in the fluid!! This is great because as of Monday there was absolutely no fluid, so its just a great answer to prayer that over two days some fluid did come back. The baby wasn't swimming around in fluid like most babies, but there were some pockets. Many people don't know that amniotic fluid is baby urine, so as long as fluid doesn't leak out, it can replentish itself. Since I have been here on bedrest I am barely losing any fluid, unlike the last 4 weeks when I was at home. I will also get ultrasounds twice a week down in MFM, I will probably be in for my next on Monday or Tuesday, so pray really hard that this fluid does not go away and more accumulates. God is really being good to us, keep praying because I know he is listening! Alright well I am going to go count all the political ads that I see on tv, it helps pass the time, haha.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just a Few Updates

This morning I was taken down to MFM for another ultrasound, and everything is still looking well and on track. Still, they cannot check his digestive system or his lung development in those ultrasounds. My ultrasound tech showed me on Monday that she did see lung tissue, which is a good sign, but it is still no guarantee of actual lung development. I thought in this ultrasound that I spotted some pockets of fluid, but I am no pro at reading ultrasounds. A MFM doctor will probably be up later on today to tell me if he ended up seeing any fluid. This was an exciting trip for me today, because I got to get out of my room and see some different scenery.
Right now I am getting my last dose of antibiotics by IV, and will be put on oral antibiotics from here on out. My IV will stay in my arm, but will only be flushed every few hours or so to prevent blood clots from forming in it. Therefore I am not getting continuous fluid in my arm. This will make trips to the bathroom a whole lot easier!
Also, I found out that I have an anterior placenta, which is why the nurses are having such trouble listening to the baby's heart rate (this really stinks when they can't find it at 3 am). This just means that my placenta is located in front of the baby. This is not the reason that I am having problems with the baby. Here is what one website said about this: "Most of the time, a fertilized egg will situate itself in the posterior uterus — the part closest to your spine, which is where the placenta eventually develops, too. Sometimes, though, the egg implants on the opposite side of the uterus, closest to your abdomen. When the placenta develops, it grows on the front (or anterior) side of your uterus, with the baby behind it. Does the location of your placenta make any difference? Not to your baby, who doesn't care which side of the uterus he or she is lying on, and it certainly makes no difference to him or her where the placenta lies." This just makes it harder for me to feel him move in the front, but I think those steroid shots have really started working on him, because he has been moving quite a bit. The nurses and the MFM doctors have both told me that this means he is very strong because he really doesn't have any room to move in there. I told you he was a fighter :)
They might be moving my room sometime here since I am staying so stable. So there is the possibility that I will move over to Post Partum sometime in the future. I have no idea when this will be, no one really knows, they just tell me that it might happen. So this means that that my room number and phone number will change, so keep checking back to see where I am! Coincidently, my cell phone broke yesterday so I have been unable to receive any calls or messages that might have been left for me. Thankfully my lovely mother took care of everything and I will be getting my new phone tonight. Still, the hospital wants me to use my room phone, so just keep calling that.
I want to thank everyone for the messages of support and everyone for following our story. As you know this is a very difficult time for us, but hopefully we will get a wonderful gift out of all of this in the end.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Greetings from St. Vincents!

We have completed our first goal- make it long enough to get admitted into the hospital. Our next goal- stay stable until at least 27 weeks. Obviously 27 weeks isn't some magic week, but from the "research" that I have done, most babies make it through after 27 weeks. Nothing is promised, but I like setting these little goals to have something to work for. Alright so here is what went on today:
Jeremy and I arrived at Maternal Fetal Medicine to get an ultrasound to check the size of the baby and the fluid. Right now there is still no measureable amount of fluid (boo) but that was no new surprise. He currently weighs 1 lb 6 oz, give or take 3 ounces (right where he should be). That is big enough for me! I will be very excited when he reaches two pounds. They also checked the pressure of blood flowing through his chord, also very good (sometimes the chord collapses due to the lack or room and the pressure on the chord in the womb). He was moving all around, looking more precious than ever.
After MFM I was admitted into my new temporary home in labor and delivery. All the nurses were so amazing and told me that it is a miracle I haven't gone into labor yet. They informed me that we are fighters, so they are going to fight all they can along with us to help this baby. How wonderful! Initially I was supposed to be hooked up to a heart rate monitor for the baby and be checked every two hours for my temperature and blood pressure, but at this point we know nothing can be that easy. The baby is being very ornery right now and making it very hard to keep a steady heart rate on him. The doctors decided that instead of the constant monitoring, a nurse will come in every hour to check the baby's heart rate. So yes- I will be woken up every hour throughout the night. His heart rate is staying between 145-150, very good! (Some say if the heart rate is over 140, its a girl- remember that we don't know for sure if this is a boy!)
Despite that one little "issue" everything else has gone according to plan. I got my first steroid shot this morning, my first of two. This was somewhat unpleasant, but the nurses told me that these shots make the world of difference in these type of situations. These shots are an asset in the development of our baby's lungs. Unfortunately, there is nothing that they can do to help his digestive system, which apparently can be a whole new issue. But God won't give him anything he can't handle! I also am getting antibiotics through an IV every six hours for one hour at a time. Eventually I will take these orally, they just want to get it fully flushed into my system to start me out. Preventing infection is essential! So please, please, please do not come visit me if you feel ill or even have a stuffy nose. Thank you in advance :) I also have these cool little leg warmer looking things on my legs that constantly inflate and deflate with air. This prevents me from getting blood clots into my legs due to the fact that I am barely moving my legs through the day.
We also got a visit from the neonatologist in the NICU, where our baby will be staying after he is born. She was extremely nice, preparing us for all the complications the baby might have once he is born. She told us that most preemie babies are jaundiced, which is really no big deal when treated. There were also other things she told us that were easy to understand when she explained them, but too difficult (confusing, not emotionally) to explain. Know that pretty much everything if fixable over time! He will also get antibiotics once he is born and be fed through an IV because he will be too small to eat on his own.
Now, on to my information. I am at St. Vincent's in the labor and delivery wing room 701. There are no visiting hours, come as you please, but know that I will probably want you gone by 10 pm. Also, I am not technically supposed to use my cell phone, so you can call my room at 419-251-5370 if you want to call and check up on me. I really really really would love if you would come and visit me- as long as you are healthy! Alright well I think that is it, check back soon!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Officially Viable!

Jeremy and I on our last night out for a while.
Peanut and Kiwi cuddling together on the couch. I am going to miss those guys sooooo much!

I know that I said I was going to update everything on Monday, but I was a little unsure about what my internet situation in the hospital would be, and I also wanted to share some pictures. I'm pretty sure I will be able to get online once I am settled in the afternoon, so we will see!
Tonight Jeremy and I went out to dinner because he thought I might need one last night out of the house with some good food before I'm couped up in the hospital with their food. But I can promise you that no food can be worse than the food I had to eat at Flagler freshman year, so I am not too worried.
Today the baby is officially viable which means that they must fight for him once he is born. YAY! We are just one step closer, which is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Check back soon!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Less than four days until St. V's!

Today I had a regular checkup appointment with my doctor. The doctors that I usually talk about are in Maternal Fetal Medicine, and none of them are my regular doctor that will be delivering the baby. They just monitor my weekly ultrasounds, and basically come up with a plan on how we can give this baby every chance to make it out alive.
At this appointment we got to hear the heartbeat again which always lights my face up, because it reassures me that he is not giving up- so neither are we. I am already so proud of him :) This appointment was also very informational as to what is going to happen when I am in the hospital.
I will go in on Monday with Jeremy to get another ultrasound to check for fluid. They are also going to check the weight of the baby because it also has to weigh a certain amount to qualify him for viability. I think that it is one pound (but I'm not positive) and three weeks ago he was 14 oz so I am pretty sure he is viable at this point. I have grown a lot in these last few weeks! These Monday ultrasounds at Maternal Fetal Medicine will continue for the duration of my stay at St. V's.
After my ultrasound I will get my first steroid shot and then be admitted. These are not an ongoing treatment as I first thought. It will be two shots, 24 hours apart, and then that is it for the steroids. While I am admitted I will have an IV that administers antibiotics, so I don't get an infection. She told me this will probably last for about 5 days, and then I will be taking them orally. I will also be visited by my doctor daily.
I was informed that I will have to have a Classical cesarean to birth this baby. This is unlike normal Low Transverse (bikini cut) that most women have. A Classical cesarean is a vertical incision in the main body of the uterus whereas a Low Transverse is a horizontal incision in the lower uterus. Having this will prevent extra stress on the baby. This approach involves more bleeding in surgery, and creates a higher risk of infection after pregnancy. Having a Classical cesarean also means that all subsequent deliveries must be done this way because there is a high risk that the scar will rupture. From the stories that I have heard and the research I have done, I know that this will be a very painful recovery.
This baby will stay inside of me until I go into labor or I get an infection. Hopefully once the antibiotics are started, infection won't be such an issue. I know that the longer the baby is staying inside of me the better. Most women go into labor within 24 hours to a week after their water breaks, so each day that I don't go into labor is a blessing. My goal is to stay in the hospital for at least a month, but the longer I am there the better.
Monday I will update you all with my room number and all the important information you need to know to come and visit me. I will really need the company, so I would love to have any visitors! Please keep praying for a miracle baby, and that I regain fluid. Check back Monday for more updates!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wishing I was 24 weeks...

Well I just got back from my weekly visit to Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Vincent's, and I am a little disappointed. Thankfully my temperature is still down, the baby's heart rate is average at 141 bpm, and my blood pressure has stayed normal. They do not see any fluid now, whereas before there was a small pocket by the baby. To me, little fluid is better than no fluid but the doctor acted as if it didn't really matter. I guess I was just hoping that the tear would repair itself and the fluid would regain itself, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. Keep praying for miracles! Also, I found out today that I will not be admitted until next Monday. So I will go into Maternal Fetal Medicine at 7 am, get an ultrasound, and then get admitted. I just want to get admitted so bad, and I know I will be more relaxed once I get into the hospital.
On a more positive note, my mom got to feel the baby kick, and Jeremy is able to feel him every now and then. My mom has really been a great help to us by constantly making dinner (with the exception of Nancy Dolan's dinner-thanks Nancy!), because there is no way Jeremy could get that done every night. Also, I want to thank Kyla for the books she sent me, I read through one in 2 days, and I am about to start on the next. If anyone has read an inspirational book that they could suggest that would be great! Jeremy will be making a trip to the library for me sometime before Monday so I will be able to waste time while in the hospital. Also, I have heard that many people are not able to leave comments, if you are having problems you can just email me at with anything you might want to say to me.
I have another appointment with my doctor on Thursday, so check back then for more updates!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another day closer...

Today was an exciting day for me! This morning I received a great surprise from my cousin Suzy, which instantly put a smile on my face, but I think the little guy was pretty excited too because he started moving around like crazy! Any movement is a celebration, because it is a confirmation that he is alive and kicking. I think he moved more than I have ever felt today, which is such an amazing feeling.
I also got a visit from my grandma and mom today. My grandma made rivels, which is one of my favorite meals of all time, so that was also another positive for the day.
I really want to thank you all for checking in and praying for us. It is so exciting to read all of your comments, they make us so happy!

Update: Jeremy felt the baby move for the first time tonight! It was a great moment for us :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How it all began...

Hello all! First of all I want to thank all of you for listening to our story and praying for us, and we encourage you to keep doing so. Many of you don't really know all that is going on, so this blog was started to keep everyone as informed and up-to-date as possible. This first entry is going to be a lot longer than others because I have to catch everyone up on what has been going on these past months, and explain how these events have affected one another, so please bear with me!
When I was twelve weeks pregnant (Aug 8), I started bleeding very heavily. I was very scared that I had lost the baby, so I rushed to the emergency room to get everything checked out. I was there for six hours being monitored, getting blood work taken, and getting my first ultrasound. In the end I was told that everything looked good and normal, and whatever happened didn't affect the baby, and that the baby was fine. Nothing was explained to me as to why the bleeding happened; I was just relieved that he was alright.
I am still being told by other doctors that bleeding in the first trimester is pretty normal.
At nineteen weeks (Sep 17) I began bleeding again, this time no where near the extent as the first. I was concerned, so my doctor scheduled me an appointment at Toledo Hospital. She told me that they have great technology there that could spot exactly where the bleeding was coming from, and that they were also going to do another ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing alright. This is when we found out that we are probably going to have a boy. They sent the pictures to my doctor to examine them; she called me and told me everything looked fine.
Once again, as long as the baby was doing alright, then I was at ease.
At twenty-one weeks (Oct 6) Jeremy and I went in to get another ultrasound. This one was scheduled, and they wanted me to keep it because there are certain specific things they look at in an ultrasound after 20 weeks. Once the ultrasound was done, she told us that she was going to have the head doctor check out the pictures because it looked like there was fluid lacking around the baby, and in ultrasounds that fluid acts like a window to see the baby more clearly, and she was having a little trouble viewing everything she needed to. Jeremy and I waited patiently to see the doctor, laughing and giggling about how cute he looked opening and closing his mouth and wiggling his fingers. We were never prepared for the news we were about to get. He sat us down and told us that the lack of fluid prevents the baby from getting the nourishment that he needs, and without fluid his lungs will not develop. We were basically given two options: 1. Termination 2. Go full term, but he wouldn't make it long after I gave birth. This was by far the worst day of my entire life. I just didn't understand how there wasn't anything else I could do to try to help him make it. We knew we couldn't give up on him, and termination was just not an option for us. Our baby is a fighter, and we could not just live our lives wondering if he could have made it.
So we decided for a second opinion.
The next day (Oct 7) my mom, Jeremy, and I went to see my doctor to see what she had to say. She was as surprised as we were, because less than two weeks ago everything was fine. She said that this is a wanted baby, so why not try all that we can. She referred us over to St. Vincent's, and got us an appointment later that day. I was given another ultrasound, and their doctor came in to talk to us. He told us that I have pPROM (preterm premature rupture of the membranes) something that happens in about 1% of pregnant women. This means that my water had broken some time in between my 19 week ultrasound and my 21 week ultrasound. This was most likely caused by the bleeding that I had previously. This is bad for two reasons: 1. That fluid is something that helps the baby's lungs to develop (this we knew) and 2. My risk of infection is very high. Due to the fact that there is no mucus plug protecting the baby now, the tear in the amniotic sac could easily get infected. This is not good for either me or the baby. So now I must take my temperature at least twice a day, to make sure that it has not risen. This doctor provided me with a different option (way better than Toledo Hospital). He said I needed to take it easy (bed rest) and drink an overabundance of water until I could be admitted at 24 weeks (at 24 weeks the baby is viable, that is why we must wait until then). There I would be monitored more closely, given antibiotics to prevent infection, and the baby would be given steroids to help speed up his lung development. Until then I would be monitored weekly to make sure my hormone levels are up, my temperature is down, my blood pressure is down, and the baby is still going strong. He also said that on the ultrasound that everything else looked like it was developing well, but there were some things (his lips and things in the brain) that he couldn't see, but he saw them on my 19 week pictures, so all is well there. I know many of you might be thinking- Abby why can't they go in and inject more fluid into you to see if it will stay? The doctor said that this increases my chances of going into labor, and it is like trying to blow up a balloon with a hole in it. With all of my bleeding that I have had, this process would be more detrimental to the baby than anything. We were also told that they are going to do all that they can, but if 100 women came in with this problem, about 10-15 of them would have a baby that made it out alive.
But we have God and your prayers on our side so I am very optimistic.
Yesterday (October 15) I went in with my mom for my weekly checkup. There is still only a small pocket of fluid, but hormone levels are good, along with his heartbeat. So no new news is good news to me. We saw a new doctor, who said that the baby is breech (he kind of looks like he is folded in half with his legs up by his head) and that he has seen in a few cases where the baby's rear end kind of plugs up the hole as he grows and lets the fluid regain itself. We are hoping something like that will happen. He also asked when I would be 24 weeks (Oct 25) and he told me he would get me admitted the day before- Friday, October 24th and start steroids at midnight. I thought that was pretty amazing of him. He told us that faith and staying stress-free would also be very helpful to the I am doing just that.

Alright well I think that is it for now, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and stay tuned for more to come!

19 weeks

22 weeks 2 days...His head is on the left, tummy on the right

Jeremy and Me...he is taking very good care of me :)

My mom and me...I have no idea what I would do without her right now.