25 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

We're going to start off with the good and exciting things first. Medically - my tear has not gotten any bigger, which is a praise. There is still a blood clot in my uterus. Your heart is still beating strong (149) and everything else developmentally is good. I know you aren't reading these yet, I can't wait until the day that you can, but I have been telling you for weeks now to grow, grow, grow. Well, you did. In fact, you're quite the big little baby. You are measuring almost two weeks ahead. You weighed two pounds, two ounces (could have been three ounces, I was thinking about a million things when she told us). Our doctor said he would just continue to watch and see what happens. Your daddy and I almost wonder if this isn't a blessing, because should you have to come into this world early, maybe those extra pounds will help!

Also, after my appointment but before we came home, I ran (well, not ran! walked!) into Hobby Lobby and went straight to the letters I wanted for your room got them and the other things I needed to make them! I can't wait to start them later today. I had found letters on the internet that I really wanted, however, I can't justify spending $200+ on wooden letters to hang on the wall. So, I found these and I am going to customize them and they will look almost identical for about $150 less.

We also saw my rheumatologist yesterday. Everything lupus-wise is great. That is also a praise. Because it is so unpredictable, we did not know how my body would react to you. We couldn't ask for better results! Monday night your daddy was finally able to feel you kicking! It took about an hour, because he would move his hand and I would poke my stomach and before his hand was back on there, you would kick me! But, finally.... he has felt you kicking.

Now for the not "bad" news, but things that need to be prayed about. You have fluid in one of your kidneys. We had found this out at your last appointment, but it was on our way out and our doctor didn't seem worried about it. Yesterday during our ultrasound, the fluid is still there. So, I asked questions about it. I know the explanation in my head, but not well enough to relay it on here. What I can relay is that if this does not resolve itself, there is a possibility that you will need surgery after you are born. He said that usually this will fix itself by the time babies are born. This is what we are praying for.

Also, we are praying that the bleeding will stop. It has once, but we really need it to again. We also continue to pray that the tear does not enlarge. This is very preliminary, but we received two bills from the emergency room yesterday and they are outrageous. If you know the story and what happened, I think you will agree. We probably have a long process of resolving this with the insurance company and the hospital, so we are praying for this also. I am still on bedrest, which really is no surprise. The risk is just too much for me to do anything. However, I can leave the house occassionally, so that will be a blessing! Not that I have anywhere to go, but still having the option to be out of the house once in a while is good.

To end on a good note, we got more 3D pictures yesterday. This time she also gave us a CD with the pictures on them, so that saved some time by not having to scan them! Everyone who knows my family says that you look just like a little Tanner (Uncle Tanner to you). Your daddy says you look like his baby pictures. We are going to get some of his pictures out later and compare. Here is probably the best image from yesterday:


A little Aaron.... or Tanner?

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


How your baby's growing
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.


Stay in a little (a lot) longer...

Dear Baby G,

As much as we would love to meet you, right now is just not the time to make that happen!! We need you to stay put for another good 4-5 weeks, and really, a whole lot longer. So, keep growing and gaining weight and getting those lungs mature, so that God forbid you should have to come early, things will be a little better.

Until our appointment, we will pray that things change again for the better!



24 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

I can hardly believe that it has been 5 months since we found out we were expecting you. The time has passed very quickly! This past week has gone fairly quickly, and I am thankful for that. Although nothing too terribly exciting happened, it was just a busy and full week.

We finally got all the odds and ends out of your room. We got the bedding put on your crib and it looks great! Sunday we (and by "we" I mean your daddy) got your room painted and then last night he got the chair rail painted and put up! There is one spot on your chest he needs to touch up tonight, and then he will move that in there. I am excited to get everything arranged and ready! There are a few more little things I am planning on getting to finish the decorating, but for the most part we are finished! Now that we finally have a name, I can start painting your letters for the wall.

Within the last two weeks, you have started kicking hard enough that you can see it through my clothes! Everytime you are kicking, I will call your daddy to come and feel and the instant he gets there, you stop! This has been going on for close to a month!! It seems like you know what he's coming for, and you just don't want to cooperate. I'm hopeful that one day soon you will decide to be cooperative!

We are anxious for our appointment next Tuesday. We would go Monday, but they are closed for Memorial Day. We are praying that nothing has changed because at this point, that's the best news we can hope for. Also that the blood clot has not gotten any larger. I am also hopeful that the issue with your kidney has cleared itself up. We do have several things to check on, but I am trusting nothing will have gotten worse!


How Your Baby's Growing:
Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.


23 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

It hasn't quite been a week, but because we are going to the doctor on Monday's now, I will start doing this sooner in the week. I have been busy all morning putting grades into the computer so that in a couple of weeks I am not rushing to finish before I have to have them turned in!

Yesterday I finally got to leave the house!! We had to go back to Oklahoma City to see our doctor. We had a pretty long appointment -- it always takes a little longer while we wait to move into an ultrasound room, and then the ultrasound itself takes a while! It's always worth the wait, and it's always fun to see you! Yesterday you were quite contrary! Your hands were up covering your face almost the entire time! The ultrasound tech that we had yesterday switched it over to 3D several different times. We could see your arms covering your face and then finally, once, you moved them just long enough that she could get a good picture in 3D. We have about 5 pictures in 3D, so that is exciting! We got a regular picture of your foot and also one of your hand spread out where we can see your fingers!

After the tech does the ultrasound, our doctor always comes in the looks for another 10-15 minutes. The good news we got yesterday is that the tear has not gotten any bigger. Also, your Uncle Tanner graduates from 6th grade on Thursday, and we do get to go to that! The bad news is that there is still a blood clot inside of my uterus and I am still on bedrest. However, I was very happy that the situation did not get any worse. I want you to stay in there as long as possible, and keeping the tearing to a minimum is extremely important!

Our doctor told your daddy to take me to eat and go a couple of places before I had to go back home and do nothing!! So...we went to eat at P.F. Changs - one of our favorite places. I also wanted to look at some bedding in person, as I have just been shopping online. Your daddy had a completely different idea than what I had been looking at. While in the store, he found a set that he really liked. I just happened to look in a different part of the store and found another set that was the same theme, but I liked it a little bit more. Turns out, so did he, so we went ahead and bought it and all the other accessories that go with it for your room! I am so excited. He has big, big plans after the room is painted and ready. I can't wait to see what he does to it!

After a really long day, we left to come home. The entire three hours in the car were spent trying to decide on a name! We had picked about five names that we both liked. Then, I remembered a name I had not told him yet. When I said that name, he immediately liked it, as it starts with the letter he had really hoped to use. It is also significant in another way, too. So, we said this name with your other name and our last name and I am almost 100% positive this is the name we are using. Unless, of course, when you are born we totally change our minds. But I think this one could be the one!

So much has happened in the last few days, although it seems like it is going so slow! I'm excited to have everything picked out and am hoping that your daddy and my mom can get quite a bit organized and ready for your room. I still am not supposed to do much of anything, so working on your room is out for now. I'm also excited about your name and I think it will be perfect! I am anxious for Tanner's graduation Thursday, and then we won't go back to the doctor for two weeks! We will keep praying that things will stay the same!


How your baby's growing:
Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.


22 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

I wish I could say this week has gone fast, but unfortunately, it hasn't! I suppose not being able to do anything at all would cause that! We are blessed with some wonderful people in our lives that are taking care of every need we could possibly have.

Because I have been in bed since Monday when we got home from Oklahoma City, there is not much to share. We go back to the doctor on Monday. He will do another ultrasound to check everything. Although I know he said there is no possible way for this to "fix" itself, I am praying and hoping that somehow that may have happened!

You weighed one pound, two ounces on Monday and your heartbeat was 161. Everything was perfect with you! You are still measuring a little over a week ahead, but that's okay too. That may help us in the long run if we end up having to deliver early. You were still a boy and this time you were showing us that fact very clearly. There is no doubting what little parts you have!

We are taking this day by day, because really, each day is important now. We are anxious for our appointment on Monday, and me probably more so than anyone. I will actually get to leave the house then, even though it will just be straight there and straight back.


How your baby's growing:
At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.



21 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

This week has gone fast again. Only three more weeks until school is out. I'm sure they will go quickly too. We go back to the doctor on Wednesday, so we are looking forward to that.

Today, your daddy antiqued your chest that I bought. I was so glad he decided to do it, because that was one thing I was dreading! We also bought the paint for your room, and will probably paint tomorrow. We were going to do it today, but we have run out of time. We are leaving in just a little bit to go bowling, so tomorrow will have to be the day! I'm excited to get it painted and then get the chest moved in with your crib and start putting all of your things where they belong! I have about three bedding sets that I am trying to decide between. That will be the next thing we order. I'm ready for that too!

Last night I was laying in bed and I would poke my stomach and then you would start kicking me. This morning right after I woke up you were also kicking away. I could feel it from the outside too, so hopefully next time your daddy will be in the house where he can feel it. And.... when I sneeze it feels like you are doing flips inside of me. It's a pretty crazy feeling!


How your baby's growing:
Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you're having a girl, her vagina has begun to form as well.