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11/15/09

3 Months!

Dear Raegan,

You are three months old today! I wish we could freeze time, because it is definitely going too fast! In the last month, we had your first Halloween! Next week we will celebrate your first Thanksgiving and your daddy's 27th birthday (also on Thanksgiving) in Medford with our family. I know they are all anxious to see you and spend allll day with you!

Tomorrow it is supposed to snow, so if it does, we will get to experience your first snow. It seems like about every day we could write about a first that we have had! It has been a hectic couple of weeks. This last week our daycare was closed, so in the mornings we had to find somewhere for you to stay. Last week our neighbor Susan kept you until Samantha was out of class. This week, it appears it is "Daddy Day Care" time! haha! You will stay here with your daddy until Samantha gets here and then he will go to work. I'm a tad bit jealous that he gets to stay here with you. I just don't have any time I can take off from work since I took eight weeks of maternity leave.

We found out this last week that my grandma's (your great-grandma) cancer has come back. She goes this Friday to have a scan done to see if it is contained in the one spot or if it has spread. We are hoping it has not spread and they will be able to go in and remove the lump and get all the cancer. This is not something I had hoped we would experience again, and definitely not while you are so young!

What can you do these days?

- You take 6 ounces in your bottle, but I try to sneak in an extra ounce at night to make you sleep a little longer. (It doesn't work!)

- You are in a size 2 diaper. They are still a little too big, but the 1's are too small!

- You are still wearing newborn size clothing. You wear some 0-3 month also, but you're still a little peanut.

- You attended your first basketball game last week when we went to Uncle Tanner's game in Medford.

- You babble ALL the time.

- When I come home from school, you get the biggest smile on your face and it melts my heart. I so wish I could be here with you all the time.

- You have rolled over twice in the last week. I'm not sure if it was a fluke or for real!

- If we hold you on our lap, you will push up with your feet until you are standing. We can't believe how strong you are!

- You love to have both hands full of my hair, especially when you are falling asleep. When anyone else is holding you, you grasp for my hair.

- You have reached all the milestones for your age, and are ahead of schedule on others.

- You still suffer from reflux, so at your well baby appointment in December, we will probably be changing your formula.

- When you are lying on your back, you will try to sit up. You are strong enough to make it about half-way before you fall back!

Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks and a video of you "talking"!

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We love you, Raegan, and the person you are becoming!

11/5/09

A letter from Raegan

"My daddy has to work late tonight, so it's just me and my momma."

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"She says I was a big 'ol crank pot, and it was time to cook dinner, so she decided to try my high chair for the first time."

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"Here I am, two days shy of 12 weeks, sitting up like a big boy in my chair. My momma's a little sad I'm growing up so fast."

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"My momma's a little indecisive..."
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"...so she tortured me TWICE with these darn costumes."

"My momma said my daddy's a little goofy sometimes, especially when he is with his friend Nate. She told me they put this crazy piece of cable in my hand because they thought it was funny."

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"And finally, my momma said to ignore her silly voice and my Daisy's (she's my doggy that loves me - and licking me - and is VERY protective!) loud barking and listen to me talking. By the way, I went from mad, to happy, to mad again in around 15 seconds."




The End.

Love,
Raegan

11/1/09

My First Halloween!

Dear Raegan,

Yesterday was Halloween, and your grandma came over so that she could be here for it! Your grandpa and Uncle Tanner were going to come, too, but they got stuck in Cherokee for longer than they expected.

We had a zebra costume and a turtle costume. I couldn't decide between them, so we used them both! Your daddy took you to a few places in our neighborhood and then came back to hand out candy. I told him he should probably only give one piece at a time so we didn't run out. Well... he opened the door and said, "Dig in", so we were finished after about 15 minutes. You have a pretty silly daddy sometimes, but we love him none the less. :)

You were so cute in your costumes! I'm sure next year we will be chasing after you on Halloween!

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I love how blue your eyes look in this picture!

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At first, you wanted no part of the turtle....

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... but you quickly changed your mind!

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Your daddy and Nate thought it would be pretty funny to put a cable in your hands. I tried to say no, but I lost!

We love you so much, Ragean. You are the light of our lives!

10/22/09

2 Months!

Dear Raegan,

One week ago you turned 2 months old! I only thought the first month passed quickly! This last month has gone by way too fast. I had to do the hardest thing ever this week, and that was leave you to go back to work. I have missed you so much during the day and I constantly wonder about you!

In the last month you:

  • Shot up to 11 pounds, 5 ounces and 22 inches! Your weight is in the 50th percentile and your height is in the 25th percentile. So while you've grown so much from birth, you're still a little peanut.
  • Moved up to 5 ounces per bottle, and just in the last couple of days, you are not quite satisfied with that!
  • Will smile at mommy and daddy, Samantha, and your grandma and grandpa.
  • Have been to 6 more football games!
  • Have been on 2 overnight trips to Medford (with us of course).
  • Are sleeping better than the first 6-7 weeks, but you still wake up about every 3-4 hours, day or night.
  • Have started blowing rasberries.
  • Can hold your head up very well for only being 2 months old.
  • Are about to outgrow your newborn clothes. I had planned on you being in 0-3 months when you were born, so you have a TON of clothes that you will never get to wear because they are for warm weather and we no longer have warm weather!
  • Still have a head full of blonde hair and big blue eyes!
  • Get very excited when I ask you if you are a happy boy!
  • Have been to 5 more doctor's appointments. 2 for you and 3 for me.
  • Will go back to the pediatric urologist in January for hopefully the last time. The doctor told us your hydronephrosis was so minor and he wasn't even concerned about it. We have been waiting to hear those words since May. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

We are looking forward to your 1st Halloween and many other firsts that will come in the next month. Our hearts are overflowing with love and joy that you have brought to us.

Love,
Mommy

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9/16/09

One Month!

Dear Raegan,
There are two verses from the Bible that can summarize how I feel right now (and I know your daddy agrees). They are:

Every good and perfect gift is from above. ~James 1:17
and

I have prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. ~ 1 Samuel 1:27

You are now one month old! It is amazing to me how fast the last month has passed. It has been a whirlwind for sure!

Our wonderful, wonderful doctor has scheduled my induction for August 28th at 5:00 in the morning. That day was firmly planted on my calendar, I was going to stay at school until August 26th, I was going to have all my plans finished and organized and detailed instructions ready to go for my wonderful substitute. And then, August 14th rolled around, and you and God had other plans! Around 10:00 that morning in between classes I started not feeling well. It was so ironic because just two hours earlier I felt fine and was talking about how I knew I could make it another two weeks. I made it through the morning in pain, but trying to hold it together in front of my students. When lunch time rolled around, I was really not feeling well. I was in no mood to eat lunch, but I had recess duty that day, so I walked to the cafeteria to wait to go outside. Long story short, I was convinced to go home, call my doctor just to be sure, and rest.

I called your daddy and he drove me home while another teacher took my car to our house. He got me home, went back to eat with the people from his office, and I went to bed to try to rest. I would doze off for about 2 or 3 minutes and my pain would go away, but I finally called my doctor’s office and they told me to go to the hospital to get checked out. I called your daddy again, and he came home, I grabbed your diaper bag just in case, although I was certain I was NOT in labor! I also packed a change of clothes for your daddy and out the door we went. We finally arrived at a hospital that is 70 miles away at about 3:00. I was hooked up to monitors, but they just showed irritability and not contractions. I was feeling contractions, though!! They finally decided at about 5:30 that I was severely dehydrated. I was given two liters of fluid and that was supposed to stop the contractions. By this time, my mom had gotten to the hospital and the contractions were only getting stronger. Also by this time, they were showing up on the monitors.

Because I was now having regular contractions, they checked, and I was one centimeter dilated. After a long, drawn out ordeal, I was given three shots of Terbutaline to try to stop my labor. These shots slowed the contractions for about 5 minutes, and then they started back up. At one point I went to the restroom and realized I was bleeding again. This created a whole new frenzy! The nurses and on-call doctor finally decided I needed to go on to Oklahoma City where my perinatologist was located and to the hospital that I planned to deliver in. Because I was only 36 weeks along, we also needed a high-level NICU, just in case. The kicker to this was that we had to drive ourselves, and they would not transport me. So, at 10:00, with contractions three minutes apart, your daddy, my mom, and I loaded up, me in hospital gowns and IV still in my hand, and drove to Oklahoma City.

When we got in the car, my contractions became closer and closer together. By the time we got to OKC at 11:00, my contractions were a minute apart. We did not have a fun drive! I was in a triage room by 11:15 at our hospital and my doctor arrived about five minutes later. Again I was on monitors, but this time, they realized my placenta was abrupting again. The difference this time was that I was also contracting and dilating and instead of only being 21 weeks, you were now viable at 36 weeks. The next hour or two are a blur, but I remember four nurses being in the room, trying to get blood to type in case I needed a transfusion, as I was being taken in for an emergency c-section. They were practically running with the bed as they wheeled me upstairs to the labor and delivery floor. I did not go to my room first, they took me directly to the operating room, and threw scrubs at your daddy to put on! I got stuck 8 times and they finally got blood at the same time I was getting my spinal. Your daddy came in the room and sat next to me, and at 12:31 a.m., on August 15th, four weeks before your due date, you arrived in this world!

The NICU team was in the OR just in case you needed them. By the grace of God, you were only taken to a transitional nursery where you had your own nurse, and you never had to step foot into the NICU! You weighed six pounds, nine ounces and were 18 ½ inches long. You had a typical 36-weeker problem, and that was breathing too fast. I was wheeled back into my room to recover and your daddy got to go to the transitional nursery to see you and hold you. At around 5:30, my wonderful nurse had me get out of bed for the first time since my surgery. It was the most painful thing ever, but I knew it meant I would get to see you for the first time! She wheeled me down and I held you for the first time. I will never forget that moment! You finally got to come to my room at noon, twelve hours after you were born, and you never left again!

Your full name is Alan Raegan, after your daddy’s father. He’s not here with us anymore, but your daddy knew what your name would be from the minute we found out you were a boy. Your middle name was a little more difficult to decide on, but once we found this, it fit perfectly. Your grandpa’s name was Alan Rae, and I’m sure he’s watching you today.

You also chose a special week to be born. My grandparents’ anniversary is August 13, my parents’ anniversary is August 14, my birthday is August 16, my aunt and uncle’s anniversary is August 16, and my twin cousins’ birthday is August 17. What do you know that on the one day that was open, you snatched it up! You are by far the best birthday present I’ve ever received!

So now, one month later:
· You are still in preemie sized clothes
· At our one week check-up you weighed 6.8, almost back to birth weight
· You wear a size “N” diaper
· You are teeny-tiny, but have stolen everyone’s hearts
· You are flirting with four ounces in your bottle, but are not quite ready to consistently eat
that much
· You love to be swaddled
· You hate sleeping alone, so you are basically held almost all day long
· You are not a sleeper at night
· You have your daddy wrapped around your finger
· For that matter, you have our entire family wrapped around your finger
· I can stare at you for hours and wonder why I have been so blessed
· You have a head full of blonde hair
· You have blue eyese
· You will see a pediatric urologist on October 5th where we will discuss your kidney
problem and hopefully set a plan to solve the problem
· You have already been to three football games and three doctor’s appointments
· You are a wonderful traveler, which is good, because we are constantly on the go!

Raegan, we cannot imagine our lives without you. When you are screaming in the middle of the night, or just laying next to me not sleeping, I remember how long we waited for you and remember a doctor telling me we had little hope for children. I will never forget the complications we encountered on the way, the fear that each new complication brought us. But my God is bigger than the bleak outlook that doctor gave us and bigger than all my worries for the last nine months, and He knew all along that you were ours. I am so thankful He sent you to us, and cherish every minute I am given to spend with you.

Love,
Mommy

8/12/09

36 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

Remember when we talked about growing? Well, you did. A lot. Yesterday your estimated weight was 7 pounds, 4 ounces. At 35 weeks, 5 days, you were larger than a lot of babies are when they are born. I think overall you are in like the 93rd percentile. What does this mean? Well, average gain is 1/2 pound a week, but in two weeks, you gained just shy of two pounds. So, in a little over two weeks when you arrive, it's possible that you could weigh close to ten pounds. I just keep telling myself that it could be 4 more weeks, which would mean close to 4 more pounds. It definitely could be worse, but it looks like you will not be wearing newborn clothes for long!

After you are born, you will be started on amoxicillin and then we will make an appointment with a pediatric urologist. We continue hoping that at that appointment, everything will have taken care of itself.

We are just barely over two weeks away from meeting you. We got your swing yesterday that was partly a gift from the hostesses of your shower. We also got a few other things, too. The day is so close, it seems to be coming fast! I will be induced at 5:30 a.m. Hopefully the process will move quickly. Our doctor did tell us yesterday that if I am not progressing, he will be quick to do a c-section because of your size.

This last weekend, on the day of your shower, my mom brought our glider to us. It is special because it was my great-grandparents'. I'm sad you won't get to meet them, but I think it is neat that we will be using their rocking chair. We purchased new fabric for the pads, and your daddy has been working on re-covering them. He is half-way finished, so maybe this weekend they will be completed! We also had our shower and we were so blessed by many of our friends and family.

Here are a few pictures of your many, many clothes from the shower! I will have to change your clothes 3-4 times a day to make sure you get to use these and the clothes we already had!

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Here are some closer pictures...

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And two blankets that didn't make it into the other pictures...

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Your swing isn't put together yet, but here is what it looks like:
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There are a few things that didn't make it in the picture, but this is close enough to remember the wonderful things you got last weekend!

I have a few new ultrasound pictures, but they are not scanned. Also, as soon as Pam sends me pictures from the shower, I can add those. There are some funny ones of your daddy and his diaper-changing kit that he got!

School started today, so I have been busy, busy, busy. I have been at the school for many hours the last couple of weeks. Not only was I getting ready for school to start, but I also have to get everything ready for my leave in two weeks. This is making the time pass even quicker, but I don't mind, because that means we are that much closer to bringing you home, and we can't wait!

Love,
Mommy

How your baby's growing:Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she's in a head-down position. But if she isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying she'll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

8/5/09

35 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

We are anxiously awaiting your arrival in just over three weeks. It's hard to believe that it is that close! Well under 30 days!

Today was the first time your daddy did not go with me to the doctor. He is trying to save his leave so that he can be home for a while after you are here. My mom and brother came along instead. My doctor was on vacation, so I was just having the NST done and then the other doctor in the practice checked it. Well.....for a few minutes I was about convinced you were coming today! You kept moving from the monitors, which wasn't a huge problem. The problem was you only had one acceleration, and they really needed to see more. The nurses at one point asked me if I was pre-admitted to the hospital. That was a little nerve-racking! I was about ready to call your daddy and tell him to head out...but they pulled out their "tool" that buzzes and stimulates the baby. This is the first time they've had to use it for us, but it did the trick. It woke you up and got the accelerations we needed! The second time they buzzed you, you kicked HARD right where the buzzer was pressed into my stomach. It seems you didn't appreciate it, so next week, if you could be awake during this process, it will save me from almost freaking out and yourself from being "buzzed"!

Your room is completely ready for you to come home! And your bassinet has moved to its home in our bedroom. I start school next week, so I have lots to keep me busy! Our shower is this weekend, and we are looking forward to seeing our friends and family!

After a long, long day of driving, I arrived home to find this:

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You see, Mr. Ieatflipflops and I have been going round and round for two weeks over this plant. He believes it is his to play in, on, and around, and I do not. I am usually here most of the day to keep him out of it. Of course, today I left early in the morning and got home late in the evening. This turned out to be the ideal time for him to completely flatten the poor plant. When I get some energy back tomorrow, I will try to revive it!

And this girl is anxiously waiting for you to come home (in barely over 3 weeks - have I mentioned that yet?!?):

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When I woke up this morning I found her on top of our 6-foot chest inside of a basket of clean laundry that I was entirely too exhausted to fold and put away last night. I'm so glad it could be put to good use...ha!

We can't wait to meet you and bring you back to this crazy life we call ours!

Love,
Mommy

How your baby's growing:
Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

7/28/09

34 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

You are now up to a whopping 5 pounds, 7 ounces! That puts your estimated weight at delivery at 8 pounds. The ultrasound can be off one pound either way, so we shall see! If we were going the full 40 weeks, you would probably tip the scales at over 9 pounds! Our NST was great again, so that is good news! Also, I am going to get to attempt a normal birth. If something changes or complications arise, we will do a c-section.

We toured our hospital yesterday and I am so pleased with the choice we made! Everything is so nice and the rooms are big and new and just great! I was also impressed with the security features. The only area accessible to the public is when you first get off the elevator, and it is a waiting room. The NICU, and both wings of rooms are locked and you must be buzzed in to get past the doors. Also, the nursery is in the north wing of rooms. We are very happy with all the features of the floor. We are now pre-admitted and ready to check in on the date of my induction, which was officially scheduled this morning! Just a tad over 4 weeks away. We will check in and get started at 5:30 that morning, and hopefully everything will go smoothly and not last too long!

We are thankful that my placenta had moved out of the way for delivery! We made the decision yesterday to have your kidneys looked at after birth. The fluid is still there, and our doctor recommended it. This will consist of having an ultrasound done on your kidneys while we are in the hospital. Even if the fluid is gone by the time we have it done, we still think it is best to monitor it and make sure everything is okay. We will continue to pray about this. At next week's appointment we will have another NST and then the week after that an NST and ultrasound. That week school starts, so it will be a busy time for me!

This last week was also busy, as my mom, dad, and brother all came to help your daddy finish his building. We have a little bit left to paint, the garage door needs to be installed, and a couple of things left to do inside the house and then we are finished!!

Your latest pictures are added as well, but we only got one that I think is good because your head is so low! They tried to move you, I laid on my side, they tilted me almost upside down, all to no avail. You are lodged in there and waiting to arrive!


Love,
Mommy

How your baby's growing:
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

7/21/09

33 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

Nurse Jodi (who we absolutely LOVE -- you will too!) gave you a gold star yesterday! You did so good during the non-stress test. In fact, she said my strip would have passed at 37 weeks, so at 32w4d, it was amazing! Your daddy and my mom were in the room while I was hooked to the monitors, and we all got to listen to your heartbeat and your little (BIG) kicks! Since my doctor was next door doing a c-section, I stayed hooked up for about 40 minutes instead of 20!

We didn't end up having an ultrasound yesterday because of the c-section my doctor was doing. We had to wait a little while longer because it took a little longer than expected. He told us everything looks good and because we are so far away from his office, instead of seeing me twice a week, which is what I would normally go to now, we are just going once a week until delivery. Unless, of course, something changes. We tentatively set the date for your delivery! 5 weeks away! It seems soooo close! Monday we will have another NST, and an ultrasound. During this ultrasound we will probably decide if I need to have a c-section. He was a little more optimistic yesterday that a normal delivery may be possible, but no promises. We will see what my placenta looks like on Monday. We will of course be hoping for no fluid and we will also look to see how big you are, as that could affect the delivery method.

We finished a couple of more things in your room, and we are closer each and every day to being finished! I am off to the doctor again today. Sometimes it seems that my life revolves around running to the doctor! Next week I have two appointments again! Lots and lots of driving and lots and lots of co-pays!

Love,
Mommy

How your baby's growing:
This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

7/14/09

32 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

I suppose I could start calling you by name, but after 32 weeks, why change now? That's right! It has been 32 weeks!! This is our "magic" number. My rheumatologist has been waiting for it, as have we. Well, I was waiting for 30, but 32 is even better. Now we have 6 more weeks until you join us. That doesn't seem like much time at all. I feel like we have so much left to do, although we really don't. If you came today (don't even think about it!) we would be prepared, but there's just a few little things I want to finish before we bring you home. I really should get those finished because school starts in 4 weeks. That doesn't seem possible, but it does!!

Saturday you must have been a little tired. You did not move much at all. I would start to get worried and I would ask God to please let me know you were okay. Within ten minutes I would feel you. It's amazing how He takes care of our smallest needs. I guess you were just resting up, because Sunday and Monday you were a wild man! Almost constant movement from the time I was awake until I went to sleep, and I imagine while I was asleep too! I am such a worrier it seems, and I shouldn't be, but it is hard. We waited so long for you that I just can't imagine something going wrong. Your kidney issues are enough for my heart to handle right now!

Remember this cute, precious, sweet, neverdoesanythingwrong, cat:

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who was oblivious to your arrival? Well, I have changed my mind. I walked into the bedroom where my closets are last week, and my shoes were EVERYWHERE. Mr. Neverdoesanythingwrong just became Mr. Ilovetoeatflipflops. Not just one or two pair, but every single pair I own. He did not discriminate between the $3 Old Navy ones and the $25 Nike ones. He just couldn't be bothered with such nonsense. Apparently, a flip flop is appetizing to him regardless of the price. If he wasn't so cute, I'd be angry. I wasn't happy, but I can't say I got angry. In the four years we have had him, this is the first time he's done something like this. I am chalking it up to your impending arrival, and I can no longer say he has no clue! Ha!

And remember this sweet darling who is attached to my hip:

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She is now literally attached to my hip. Whenever I am laying down, she is right there with her head and front two paws resting on my stomach. I'm secretly hoping you will kick one of these days when she is there, just to see her reaction!

I'm anxious for my NST on Monday, and hoping everything goes well. We'll also get to see how much weight you have gained in the last two weeks! We plan to tour the hospital we are delivering in in between my appointments, so I'm ready for that!

Love,
Mommy

How your baby's growing:
By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

7/8/09

New Pictures!

Dear Baby G,

Here are some of the pictures we got of you Monday. We have so many questions about what you will look like and what your personality will be like. When I look at these pictures, I immediately think you look like your daddy. We wonder what color your hair will be. Mine was black when I was born, then turned blonde, and now it is a light brown. Your daddy had blonde hair when he was born and now has dark brown hair. Will you have blue eyes? Our guess is yes, your daddy and I both have blue eyes and my entire family has blue eyes, so we predict blue. Will you be tall? I am tall, but your daddy is just an average height. Whose nose will you have? I have a guess! Will you be quiet or like to jabber and talk? Will you be content to do things alone or will you want to be held all the time? We can't wait to have all the answers to these questions... in only 46 days!

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Here you are with your hand next to your face... the way it has been every single time!!

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Once again, with the arm... maybe it makes you feel secure in there?

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A spitting image....

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...of your daddy! These two pictures are him through and through. The nose, eyes, and lips... all your daddy's!

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You sure like that arm!

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One last look at your precious face.

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Here's an "old-fashioned" 2D ultrasound...just for good measure.

I can't believe you will be here so soon. We are definitely ready and excited! We love you so very much already.

Love, Mommy

7/7/09

31 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

We are now less than 7 weeks away from meeting you! You are up to exactly 4 pounds now. Your heartbeat was 133. You are measuring two weeks ahead, so if we were going all the way to September 10, you would most likely be pretty big. The average weight gain is 1/2 pound a week, so if that is the case, in 7 weeks you will be about 7 1/2 pounds. In your new pictures I really think you look like your daddy. I will add them in a little bit, as I need to scan them and lighten them, and I am a little tired from our weekend!

You still have fluid in your kidney, so we will continue to pray about that. We have been told that the surgery to correct this is "simple". However, the thought of my days old baby needing to be put under and have surgery does not and will not ever seem "simple" or "routine". Also, I will most likely be having a c-section. Not only because of the tear in the placenta, but it has also moved and is too low for delivery. So, unless that changes in the next few weeks, a c-section will be necessary. We did dodge a bullet with my liver function tests. They were very concerned with this because it was a possible sign that my liver and galbladder were not functioning properly. After further testing, they are okay at the time. Because I have lupus, I am at an increased risk to develop all of these other complications. Luckily I am monitored very closely, so if something should happen, we would catch it rather quickly. Also, we got very good news in the fact that there is no evidence on ultrasound of you having a heart block. This will continue to be monitored and you will be tested for any signs of neonatal lupus after you are here.

We go back in two weeks for another ultrasound and to do a non-stress test. After that we will possibly go twice a week until you are here. If we can work it out, we may only have to go once a week. Either way, I'm sure it will pass quickly.

Love,
Mommy

How your baby's growing:
This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

6/30/09

30 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

Not a lot has happened this last week. I have spent a lot of time in my classroom, and in the evenings, your daddy has come up there with me. I finally have all of my things organized and put away. That was no small task!! My bulletin boards are finished and you can finally see the wood on the top of my desk! Your daddy has been busy cleaning the kitchens for me, as that is not something I can do yet. This is proving to be a long process, though, as we (by we, I mean he) are only finished with one of the three. Hopefully a couple more nights will be all it takes! After that is finished, we will start painting. And again, this is something I can't do, but your daddy graciously offered to do it for me. Meanwhile, I am going to start working on lesson plans for my long-term sub. That will definitely not be exciting, although the reason I am doing it is exciting!

I feel like you have doubled in size recently! I'm sure you haven't, but it sure feels like it. You have some strange sleeping patterns just like I do right now. I definitely need to work on getting back in a routine, because I only have 6 weeks left until school starts. That doesn't even seem possible! Then, two weeks after school starts, you will make your arrival! I have more clothes to wash and put away, and I'm pretty sure you will have to change clothes about five times a day to have a shot at wearing all of them!

We are anxious to see how much you have grown when we go to the doctor Monday. We are also praying to see no fluid or dialation. We still have 8 weeks to hear that news, but hearing it next week would be wonderful! We are also ready to leave Friday and ready for the 4th of July. It hardly seems possible to me that we will meet you in less than 2 months, but we are ready!

Love,
Mommy

How your baby's growing:
Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

6/23/09

29 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

We've been pretty busy this week, but it made the week go fast! It seems hard to believe that we are just 9 weeks away from meeting you. We are excited and ready! We still have a few little things to finish before the time comes. We did get the new window put in your room. We went ahead and did it now so that we don't have to make a mess and worry about it after you are here. Now if all the other windows in the house were already changed out, that would be amazing! I know it will get finished soon, though!

We go to the doctor today. Two doctors actually. I am hoping to get some answers about my abnormal liver function tests. I will also have more labwork done. After three years of being a pin cushion, I can actually say that it doesn't phase me anymore. Having labwork done is just a part of life for me I guess. I am a little anxious about getting my IV started when you are born. We have been told that most likely the anesthesiologist will have to start it for me. I was blessed (ha!) with deep, uncooperative veins. I know it will all work out and in the grand scheme of things, the IV is just a minor blimp.

This is a big week for your daddy and I. Friday is our 5th wedding anniversary.

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We have been through a lot of challenges in five years, some that a lot of people don't have to face until a lot later in life. When we got married we were both still in college and we were young, but we were in love and knew what we wanted. Five years later we have both finished college, your daddy has a career that he loves and I will be teaching in my "dream" position this fall. Has it been easy? Not all the time, but it has been worth it. He was my strength when I literally and physically had none, and although that is under control now, he is still my strength. He only wants what is best for he and I, and now you too. He's not afraid to stand up for his beliefs or make tough decisions with our best interests at heart.

Originally we were going to go on a big trip for this anniversary, but after a year, you finally changed those plans! So, we were then going to go on a short trip this week for our anniversary. However, since we had all the complications come up, that can't happen either! So next week we will stay over the 4th of July and have some time away from home and then go to our doctor's appointment. I would gladly cancel any plans we had or have for you, as it is definitely worth it!

I can't wait for you to meet your daddy! You are already at the center of his universe and you have not even arrived yet! I know you will be blessed by him just as I have.

Love,
Mommy

How your baby's growing:
Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

6/16/09